November 30, 2010

Random numbers

The inside of my head goes something like this at the moment....

Raining! Cold! Work! Revisions! Christmas! Holy crap, it's December! Orange cat is meowing again! Cat palace! Garden! Raining! Sunny! Work! Revisions! Sleepy! Spinning is cool! Hot! Cold! Orange cat! Kitten! Chocolate! More caffeine! U2! Work! Revisions! Morning is too early! Christmas! Work! Bon Jovi! Glee! Revisions! Bump into something! Lose something! Did I do that other thing?! Forget something! Work! Revisions! Zzzzz! House is messy! Where's my clone army?! Revisions! Traffic! Remember something previously forgotten! More caffeine! Work! Socialise! Argh!

No wonder we all pass out after Christmas dinner, December tries to kill us!

November 26, 2010

It's good to be a cat!

When my little Jessie girl passed away, I decided any new kitten needed to be a mostly indoor kitty. Jessie never went beyond my backyard and the orange cat limits himself to the front porch and the backyard but a young frisky cat might want to roam.

Because I don't like the idea of completely indoor cats (plus the orange cat would probably have a meltdown if I tried to keep him in completely), I decided to get a cat enclosure.

So I did some research and weighed some options. There's a couple of companies that do cat enclosures around (or if you're handier than me you could probably build one yourself). I however, went with the expert version. A process which has involved me completely digging out my garden beds, experimenting with bodgy paving and doing a fair bit of prep work.

Today, Dale from Catnip came to install the cat palace. Catnip do wire enclosures (there are other companies that do netting type things but I don't really have anything to enclose with netting. The good thing about Catnip, is the enclosures can be disassembled and move with me and they can also be extended later on down the track.

This way, the orange cat (and the fuzzy kitten when he arrives) will get fresh air and sunshine (and grass to nibble on once I plant some in pots) plus they can be up high (which the orange cat hasn't been able to do for a few years due to his arthritic knees). I'm sure there will be a bit of an adjustment on his part, and the cunning plan is to occasionally let him go out if he wants while keeping the fuzz ball in but it's safer for both of the and the pigeon and sparrow population will be safe (though as I've said before, any bird that gets caught by an old athriticky cat whose hunting technique involves meowing loudly probably is better out of the gene pool).

And here is the end result (and Tabasco's opinion so far in the vid). Excuse the garden rubbish, I'm still cleaning up.

November 22, 2010


I think the year has officially reached the completely-crazy-lead-up-to-christmas part where the to-do list and social things and the year's goals and a thousand other things start to form a hectic sort of tangle to conquer before it's time for time off.

funny pictures-Energee?  Ai  haz  it  ...  sumwere.  Mite  be  hidin  behin  teh  cowch  or  maybe  ai  left  it  under  teh  bed.  If  u  findz  it,  jus  leeve  it  der  in  kase  ai  needz  it.
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

At this time of year, my virgo brains starts making list and calculations and numbers. Right now it goes something like:

1 revision due in 2-4 weeks
9 sleeps until U2 concert
1 election to vote in
2 parental birthdays in the next 10 days
1 orange cat to convince that 5am isn't breakfast time and sleeping all night is good
20 sleeps until the Bon Jovi concert
7 months til my next book is due
34 sleeps until Christmas
At least 3 big day job projects to finish
1 spinning class left
6 or so Christmas functions
1 complete nanowrimo fail
36 sleeps until Kitten day

And the list goes on. I'm looking forward to a well earned post Christmas collapse! Until then, caffeine is my friend!

Anyone else eyeing the silly season to-do mountain with a mix of anticipation and trepidation?

November 13, 2010


I watched The Young Victoria last night, which is something I've wanted to see for ages and really, I have no idea why I didn't get to it when it was in cinemas. I really enjoyed it even though it's bittersweet to think Prince Albert died fairly young and Victoria went on for 40 odd years without him.

I'm always intrigued by royalty. Being a princess ain't all it's cracked up to be. Sure you get gorgeous frocks and some spanking great jewels but there's a lot of politics and control and duty and what has to be a strange private life to go with it. Power and obligation vs the personal turns up in my writing a bit. In one of Barbara O'Neal's writing courses, we had to figure out our favourite fairy tale and mine was Cinderella (much as I fought that discovery for a while). Now, I think the appeal of Cinderella for me is the "finding the place where you belong and are appreciated" theme rather than the "be rescued by a prince" theme but it's undeniably a royalty/princess story, if somewhat from the other side and stopping before she has to deal with being a princess.

I've never actually written a princess (not many princesses in urban fantasy) but I have some ideas that might be close to princesses. We shall see. At the moment I have to focus back on my messed up assassin girl. She's definitely not a princess and would stab you if you tried to make her one!

So who likes royalty? Or who has a favourite fairy tale?

November 11, 2010

In other news

Shadow Kin's publication date has moved to September 2011 (which will make a nice birthday present for me). So we'll all just have to be patient a few more months. Hopefully I'll have a cover to share soon!

November 07, 2010

October contest winner

The winner of The Perils of Pleasure is Cyndie!

Cyndie contact me on my website address or via twitter and I'll get the book to you!

November 02, 2010

November contest

Another month has zoomed by and quite frankly, I'm more than happy to see the back of October which was not the best month ever in Mel land. Hopefully November will be onwards and upwards. I'm learning to spin on a spinning wheel this month and am trying to get stuck into Book 3, expecting some more edits on Shadow Kin and I guess the pre Christmas madness will start soon too so who knows exactly what the month will bring?

Anyway, to start the month off in the right way, another contest. This month, we're heading back into sci fi territory though I guess technically this book is space opera. I stumbled across the first book in this series at some point in the 90's...not long after Amazon had come along, if I remember correctly because after reading the first book, I made my first ever big internet book purchase and bought all the other books then out in the series and glommed them all with delight. Hopefully you'll do the same and there's even more of them these days (plus some other series as well).

So November's book is Cordelia's Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold

which is the first book of the Vorkosigan series, which stars the irrepressible Miles Vorkosigan, who is a fabulous hero (though technically, Cordelia's Honor is the story of his mother but start at the very beginning as Maria Von Trapp would say). Lois writes funny, exciting, clever books about wonderful people who have real problems. Her world building is flawless and she's not afraid to make her characters, particularly Miles, squirm. So to win a date with the start of a wonderful series, all you have to do is comment on one of my posts this month.

As usual, I will draw the winner early in December and announce here and on Twitter and Facebook, so follow me somewhere to keep up with the news. The winner will have one week from the time I announce them to get in touch to claim their prize, otherwise it will be redrawn.

If you don't know why I'm giving away one of my favourite books each month, then the history of the contest is here.