Cat’s Eyes: Another Review

It was a wonderful surprise to go to Amazon today and find another review. I feel blessed by the kind words…and inspired to keep writing. 😀

This is a very enjoyable read for young children with a great story that will take their imaginations on a journey to the land of Miu, where they will experience adventures. It also teaches children respect and love for others with good family values and of course a happy ending.I hope there will be a follow on to this book.

The review can also be read on Amazon.

Best Australian Blogs 2011 Competition – People’s Choice Award

Voting for the People’s Choice Award is now open! This is a competition run by the Sydney Writers’ Centre. There are over 450 websites in the running and I would greatly appreciate your vote for this website.

Click here to vote!

It’s easy to vote, and will only take a couple of minutes of your time at the most. Just follow the link above, click on “next” until you reach the section starting with “T” (the websites are listed in alphabetical order), place a check beside The Desk of Karen Lee Field, enter your details when prompted and you’re done.

My heart felt thanks to those who vote for my website. 😀

Voting will close on Thursday 5 May 2011 at 5pm (Australian EST).

Review: Trouble in Mudbug

Trouble in Mudbug (Ghost-in-Law, #1)

Trouble in Mudbug by Jana Deleon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I wanted something completely different to what I usually read and chose this book purely because of the cover, which screamed “light read”. And it is a light read, but by no means was it a boring read. I would class this book as a romance mystery with lots of humour. I really enjoyed it.

Maryse’s mother-in-law, Helena, is dead. This is cause for celebration because the old biddy is a real pain in the backside but before she can celebrate Maryse finds she hasn’t seen the last of her horrid mother-in-law yet. Helena climbs out of the coffin at the funeral and Maryse is the only person who can see her because she’s a ghost.

The combination of these two characters is really entertaining. Maryse has so much on her plate already, like trying to serve her allusive husband with divorce papers, trying to avoid a sexy man who makes her think thoughts no decent woman should be thinking, and staying alive long enough to claim her inheritance. Nothing much really, but Helena claims she’s not going anywhere until she also solves a murder case – Helena’s murder!

The story is character driven. It’s not fast paced, as such, but the interaction of the characters draws the reader through each chapter just because you need to know what’s going to happen next. However, underneath all the humour and sex, (yes, I did say sex) is a well thought out plot which I found to be convincing. I commend the author in her delivery of the clues and resolutions. It was very well done.

I recommend this book and will be purchasing book 2 in the series in the near future.

Cat’s Eyes: Amazon Review

How exciting! Cat’s Eyes has received its first review on Amazon.

This is the first book in The Land of the Miu Series. This was an entertaining story full of imagination. The characters were quite colorful and the story was so descriptive that you could visualize them. The storyline flowed nicely and the scenes in the story just fell into place. Even though you could predict how the story would end, it did not end abruptly like so many novellas tend to do. It was an enjoyable read and I think young children would really enjoy it.

Read the full review at Amazon.

What to Do When Typing is on the NOT-to-Do List

Last week I mentioned a slight problem I’ve been having with my shoulder. It hurts, a lot, when I use a computer mouse. And it got to the stage when it hurt, a lot, just to type, to hold a cup of tea or try to write freehand. When it got to that stage, I knew I had to take action!

On Thursday, I decided to go cold-turkey and stop using the laptop for a few days. Three days. It doesn’t sound like a long time, but I found it difficult because most of the things I enjoy doing are on the computer — writing, internet activities, playing games, researching all kinds of stuff, family tree investigations. It was like we had no electricity for three days. Everything I wanted to do involved a computer. It proved how dependent I’ve become on the thing.

Friday was the worst day. I went through a bad withdrawal period. At one stage I realised I was standing at the door of the room where my computer is, staring at it wistfully and that’s when I realised something else. I need a life! In the afternoon, I went to work for my allotted five hours and got to use a computer but it was only for work stuff, which is so boring, so that didn’t appease me in any way. It was late when I got home and I was tired so I sat in the lounge room reading an ebook on my iPod Touch.

On Saturday morning, I was awake before the birds and continued reading. After an hour or so I got a bit fidgety and that’s when I discovered something new. Of course I knew I could use the iPod Touch to go on the internet, but what I discovered is Twitter, Facebook, WordPress and probably every other big name on the internet has developed an app for the Apple store. Which meant, I could send status updates, check other people’s updates and write posts for my blogs. Brilliant!

As soon as I knew I could do something that was “out-of-bounds” I no longer HAD to do it. And that opened the door for me to do other things.

We moved into this house two years ago. We still had two huge boxes of books that we had not unpacked as we had nowhere to put the books. So what started out as a simple mission to tidy my bedroom up, ended up being a major clean out. Heavens, I was ruthless!

Apart from the two unpacked boxes, I also had a large pile of books (30 or so books) piled up on the floor. I decided to go through my book shelves, discarding the books I’d read and knew I wouldn’t read again and getting rid of the books that I hadn’t read and knew I would never read. I estimate about 25 books ended up in this pile, which meant the pile of books on the floor were finally to be moved to a place on a shelf. When I went through the books on the floor, I discovered I had doubles too, which meant a couple more books ended up on the discard pile.

G, seeing an opportunity, then reminded me about the two boxes of unpacked books. I looked at the newly arranged book shelves and could plainly see that there was no more room. When I mentioned this, G went to the book shelf and pulled out one book.

“You’ll never read this,” he said.

“I might,” I replied.

“We both know you won’t,” he said. He pulled another book out. “Same with this one. You’ve culled but haven’t culled enough.” He paused. “If you don’t unpack those boxes you’ll never read those books either so I may as well get rid of them along with the discard pile.”

Alarm bells flashed. Was he serious? I couldn’t even remember what books were in the boxes but I knew I couldn’t allow them to be discarded! No way!

I was aching from the work I’d done that morning, but we are talking about books and I had to attempt to save as many as possible even though I knew in my heart he was just bluffing. But he had a point. If I didn’t even know what was in the boxes, there was no way I was going to read the books they held. It was time the boxes were unpacked.

Half an hour later I had books piled up everywhere. The house looked like a bomb had hit it leaving books of every size, genre and shape laying in its wake. The books in the boxes where even better than the ones lining the book shelves. There was no possibility that I would allow them to go on to the discard pile. And I definitely couldn’t leave them piled up all over the house. So more culling had to take place.

It seemed like an impossible task but once I let myself acknowledge which books I really did want to keep and which books were being kept for keeping sake, the job became easier and now the discard pile holds about 75 books.

Making room meant I also threw out other stuff, mainly clothes I no longer wear and nick nacks I’ve had for many years that serve no purpose other than collecting dust. The bedroom was cleaned from top to bottom, as was the lounge room and eventually, late in the evening, I even made it into the computer room and cleaned out my desk. I couldn’t believe how many backup discs I had stashed away, most of them the old 3 1/2 inch floppy disks, which I can’t even access these days. And, old versions of printed manuscripts were stacked in neat piles, held together with long lengths of ribbon. Over the next couple of days I’ll be shredding those manuscripts!

Today the house looks and feels neater and cleaner. As for that pile of books I’m discarding, I was going to sell them online but I don’t have the time or the inclination to be bothered running up to the post office when a book or two sells — if they sell. Besides, I want the pile gone and I don’t think it will be worth my while trying to sell them. I could take them to a second hand book shop, get a credit on them and buy more books (which I don’t have room for), but I’ve decided to donate them to our local library. Our library is stuck in the old-days and needs something new. What doesn’t end up on the shelves will be sold and they will use the money to buy new books, and I’m happy with that.

Not being able to type made me look for other things to do and I’m pleased with the outcome. I should ban myself from the computer more often. 😀

WordPress for iOS

Due to the injury I mentioned in my previous post, I’m trying to stay away from my laptop for a few days.

No, I haven’t caved already, I’ve been using my iPod Touch. I rarely use it for anything other than reading ebooks. However, today I’ve discovered it’s a great way of posting status updates to Twitter, checking out what’s happening on Facebook, and writing posts for this blog using my new discovery from WordPress — the WordPress for iOS app.

I can write posts and check comments on any of my WordPress blogs, hosted or self-hosted.

This post is being writing through the app. And I’m writing it with one finger and left-handed! This is quite something for someone who is right-handed and when that someone is a touch typist. It took longer than usual, but it wasn’t too bad.

I probably won’t use this app often but it is handy and is a sign of how we can adapt and how technology adapts.

Editing Course: Wordplay II

This is the last topic I’ll be writing a post on for this unit. The rest of the unit is all practical exercises and then I’ll have the second assignment to complete. I haven’t received the first assignment back yet, so I’m unsure how I went with that. It might be a good idea to wait until it comes back before I tackle the next assignment.

Also, I’ve injured my shoulder in some way and find it painful to write (longhand) and to use the computer. I feel as if the pain is getting worse each day and it’s time to step back from the computer for a few days and give myself time to heal. It is my intension NOT to use the computer (except at work on Friday because I can’t avoid that) for a period of three days (Friday, Saturday and Sunday). This post was actually written on Thursday night and scheduled for Friday (in case you think I’ve caved already). 😀

Anyway, let’s get back on track.

8: Wordplay II

Words can be confusing. Often they sound the same but have slightly different spellings and completely different meanings.

The Right Word

Practice or Practise?

In the US the word is always spelt “practice”, the spelling doesn’t change with use. However, in Australia and Britain the word takes on two spellings – practice and practise.

TIPS:
1. If you can insert the word “preparation” then the right word to use is “practice”.
2. If you can insert the word “prepare” then the right spelling is “practise”.

Examples:
1. Peter needs more practice = Peter needs more preparation.
2. Jill needs to practise = Jill needs to prepare.

Effect or Affect?

These two words have different meanings so it’s important to use the right word.

Effect means consequence, appearance, result.
Affect means transform.

TIP: If you can insert the word “transform” then you should be using the word “affect”.

Example: It doesn’t affect me = It doesn’t transform me.

Beside or Besides?

I find it difficult to imagine anyone confusing these two words but apparently they do.

Beside means “next to”.
Besides means “in addition to”.

Examples:
Mary place the box beside the table.
Besides computers, I enjoy reading and writing.

Licence or License?

Again, the US uses only one of these words, “license”, but in Australia and Britain it changes.

TIPS:
1. If you can substitute the word with “paper” then the right word to use is “licence”.
2. If you can substitute the word with “allow” then the right word to use is “license”.

Examples:
1. The licence has a photo = The paper has a photo.
2. She isn’t licensed = She isn’t allowed.

Afterward or Afterwards?

They mean the same, “subsequently”.

There is no rule with this one, however “afterwards” is the main form but it is suggested you go with sound.

Examples:
1. We had lunch at a restaurant; afterwards, when we arrived home, we went in the pool.
2. It was afterward that we discovered it was a bad idea to swim on a full stomach.