Behind the Scenes – Editing

I figure I might as well clue you all in on how it goes behind the scenes. You know, the stuff you don’t see on my posed and filtered Instagram feed. Everybody who knows me knows I’m currently editing A Trial of Sparks & Kindling. I haven’t been shy about that fact so far. But […]

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November Life Update

The last time I wrote a life update, I had a wrist injury. Guess what. Funny story, but I tend to fall a lot. I’m a pretty clumsy human, which means I spend way too much crashing to my butt or knees. Yay me. So, the other day, I eye this set of stairs, decide […]

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How AHA moments changed A Study of Ash & Smoke

We all have little aha moments while writing. Those moments come to us either through brainstorming, talking to others about our work, feedback from betas or editors–heck, even the most random of places–but those aha moments spark the changes in the story that pull everything together. You could probably guess I had plenty of aha […]

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Inktober 2019

I want to start by saying I don’t feel like a failure this time. But that makes no sense, so I’ll elaborate. 🙂 Whenever I take part in something online, something with deadlines and prompts and goals, I get totally crazy. I have to reach each goal and tick them off as done. It’s an […]

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Let’s Write – The Structural Edit (Continued)

In the last post, we talked about the first two elements we must revise during the structural edit–plot and setting, and characters. Today, we’ll wrap up the last three. Flow and pace Conflict and resolution Voice and style Let’s get right to it. Flow and Pace I’ve grouped these two elements together, because most of […]

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Let’s Write – The Structural Edit

Welcome back to the self-editing miniseries. 🙂 It’s good to have you. Last time, we summarised the self-edit. Feel free to check that out if you want to brush up first. In the next two posts, we’ll be looking in-depth at the first big part of the self-edit–structural editing. (Quick note. I thought to keep […]

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The Lie Tree – Book Review

I’ve been sharing many reviews from those books randomly picked at the library. I’ve honestly had pretty fabulous luck when it comes to choosing a book by its cover. Which is great, you know? It means exposure to authors I wouldn’t have discovered otherwise. The Lie Tree is one of those books by one of […]

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What’s Happening with A Trial of Sparks & Kindling?

As you all know, my summer was a whirlwind of writing. I wrote the first draft of A Trial of Sparks & Kindling (and then some) in 7 weeks. It was intense. I’m still not fully human after that sprint. Now that I have one book out, I have a teeny tiny itty bitty fanbase, […]

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Let’s Write – Basics of Self-Editing

Something about the editing process has always intrigued me, and I’ve wanted to take an editing course or two for ages. Yet, I’ve always had an excuse why not to take that course. I sent off A Trial of Sparks & Kindling to my editor at the end of September, which meant I had nothing […]

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How I Paint Auroras

My husband is pretty much obsessed with the northern lights, or aurora borealis. He’s one of those people who will jump in his car in the middle of the night to chase auroras, and talks about the beauty of this phenomenon basically non stop. I really appreciate the gorgeousness of the auroras too, but folks, […]

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Fawkes – Book Review

I’ve heard only good things about Nadine Brandes‘s writing, so I bought a copy of Fawkes when I found it on sale. This isn’t my usual genre–I don’t typically read historical fantasy. Yet, something about the familiarity of the story of Guy Fawkes appealed to me. I call it historical fantasy because this book includes […]

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Exploring Lake Minnewanka

As with most of the well-known tourist spots, we’ve visited Lake Minnewanka before. Just a quick stop, though, as the sheer mass of tourists kept us from exploring the area last time we were there. This time, no such thing happened. We drove mountain-side last weekend, stopped at Minnewanka, and could finally see what the […]

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Losing Sunshine

In Johannesburg, where I grew up, the seasons turn in such a predictable manner. You know that the sun will almost always shine, and even in the heart of the winter, the days are basically the same length as those warm, blessed summer days. At the most, summer and winter days differ in length by […]

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Quick Watercolour Lightning Tutorial

It’s been pretty much forever since I’ve last done a watercolour tutorial. Aside from the wrist injury that has kept me from making art, everything else comes in second while I’m writing. Still, I keep getting requests for stuff, and I feel guilty for not blogging about art for so long. The request for a […]

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Rise – Book Review

This was probably one of my most anticipated sequels of 2019. I picked up Rule from the library earlier this year, and really loved getting to know Zofi, Akeylah, and Ren. I couldn’t wait to read how their stories ended. The Blurb Sisters Akeylah, Ren, and Zofi are all a step closer to their dying […]

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Johnston Canyon Revisited

The last time we went to this magical place, the ice was thick and we had no spikes on our shoes. We’re noobs. How are we supposed to know you need spike strips when visiting Canadian parks in the winter. 😛 We’ve wanted to go back since that first time–heck, we’ve even tried–but somehow, something […]

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On Writing Sequels

Somebody recently asked me how I found the process of writing the sequel to A Study of Ash & Smoke. I finished A Trial of Sparks & Kindling at the end of August, after one of the most intense writing sprints of my life. Of course, this isn’t the first sequel I’ve ever written. Cringe. […]

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Four Years an Immigrant

I was pretty shocked to realise our four-year immigration anniversary came and went on the 25th of August. I was feverish with writing the final chapter or two of A Trial of Sparks & Kindling, so I didn’t even realise the anniversary had passed until a few days later. Four years an immigrant. In the […]

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SA Bookswap

The South African Bookswap, organised by Tams, or Bibliobookwolf on Instagram, is one of the coolest bookswaps ever, and I wanted in. Of course, South African as I may be, I don’t live in the country. Or even on the African continent. With shipping costs as high as they are, pairing me with a bookswapper […]

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Trip to Big Hill Springs

During the Summer Holidays, we headed out to hike in Big Hill Springs with friends. It was a super humid day, with oodles and oodles of mosquitoes. The kind of mosquito that bit while we walked, but only some of us were victims. Jan and Kayla, for example, had no bites at all, while I […]

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Wake Me Up When September Ends

Well, I’m back. I’m happy to inform you the two blog-free weeks haven’t been spent in vain, as the first draft of A Trial of Sparks & Kindling is officially done. Did that read first draft? What I really mean is first complete draft. You see, it’s the fifth version of the document on my […]

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My Writing Process (Updated)

So, I’m a published author now. (Look, Ma, I’m famous.) A Study of Ash & Smoke was written, then edited and produced by Skolion, and they wrote an article on how the book was made. In that article, we linked to this post I wrote in 2017, all about my writing process. It’s been just […]

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A Hike to Grassi Lakes

I swear, every time I think I’ve seen all Canada has to offer, we discover a new route to hike and our minds end up exploding. Grassi Lakes is one of those places that will take away your breath and make you want to stay forever. The best part? We’d never even have known it […]

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The Random Photo Post

These are the last of the vacation photos, the stragglers who didn’t come in with the rest of the herd. My in-laws aren’t really photo people. I have a wall of photos in my house, a display of all of the faces we love, but the last family photo I have of us and my […]

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August Life Update

This thing happened with my hand this week and I couldn’t work on my novel as much as I’d have liked, which got me thinking. I haven’t really updated you on the stuff in my life in a long while. Let’s talk about the hand first, since you’re probably wondering. In December of 2016, I […]

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Calgary Stampede & Parade 2019

Yahoo! Our very first Stampede stomped around in early July, and these new Calgarians were there to enjoy it all. Parade day was cool and overcast–apparently not the usual weather around Stampede. Still, I reckon the cool air was good, since we didn’t need to deal with general sweatiness. We were also quite lucky and […]

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Major Character Death

I’ve recently read a few books where major characters died–and I’m talking viewpoint or main cast characters–only to be resurrected. Then, you know, they all live happily ever after. When this dead-but-resurrected-thing happened the first time, I was annoyed but okay. My mood elevated to disgruntled by the second time, then shot into the orbit […]

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Vacation Photo Diary Vol 1

We went to the mountains. I mean, this was obviously one of the first things we did while my in-laws visited. Have you seen the Rockies? I want to live there. 🙂 We explored Banff and Bow Falls this time, so expect to be bombarded with images of nature that will pull at your heartstrings. […]

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We Had More Time

Last week, we lost two family members. We witnessed the slow decline of my husband’s grandfather over long years. Seeing him suffer, seeing him fade away–that was torture. While his entire body and mind failed, our distress was restricted to the heart-zone. We knew he was ill, and we knew our every visit with him […]

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My Favourite Character Trope: The Lovable Rogue

The way to hook this reader is easy. Write a character who is always dressed to impress, has the wildest charm and self-confidence, flirts with everyone, says things the protagonist thinks but would never utter, and is willing to take the quickest route to get the job done–even if that means doing morally questionable things. […]

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Living on the Veg – Cross-stitch

I’ve recently taken up a new hobby–as if I didn’t have enough half-done art projects strewn about. I’ve never done anything like this before, because I’m not particularly blessed when it comes to needle and thread. Yet, here we are. Cross-stitch. And, like with all other new projects, I hurled myself into this hobby willy-nilly, […]

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Book Review – Furyborn

Furyborn by Claire Legrand was one of those random books I picked from the library, based solely on its cover (and what a cover it is). I wasn’t disappointed. Lovers of YA and Sarah J. Maas’s writing style will probably adore this book. It’s action-packed features female characters who take no prisoners, and a delicious […]

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Ideas For Writers of Instagram

I’ve been trying to up my Instagram game. I stumbled into the whole thing because the Dragon Writers group on Facebook ran an Insta challenge back in January, and my good friend Tallulah encouraged me to keep going when the challenge ended. So, since January, I’ve tried my hand at Bookstagram. I really enjoy taking […]

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A Visit to Calaway Park

The weather forecast wasn’t great, but we had family over last weekend and decided to have some fun at Calaway Park. None of us had ever been there, so this promised to be a day of exploration. This is not a sponsored post. 🙂 What I really love about Calaway Park is how family-oriented the […]

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Quick Review – Posca Paint Pens

I haven’t been using these pens for that long, but I still wanted to chat about Posca’s Paint Pens. Since I am still a noob, I’ll let you know if my opinions change in the future. My hubs bought me the set of eight, extra fine (0.7mm) Posca paint markers for my birthday last month. […]

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So You Got a Bad Review

Or maybe your beta reader/s had some less than ideal feedback. You’re freaking out, and don’t know how to handle this negative take on your book baby. I wrote a post about writing a review the other day, and I’ve also written something about being a beta reader and how to give feedback. Then, last […]

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Books That Inspire Me – The Black Magician Trilogy

I’ve never really talked about those books that inspire me, which is sad since there’s a lot of them. The obvious answer is Lord of the Rings. Tolkien is king, and the worlds created by the master are incredible. But to say I read and write fantasy because of Tolkien is wrong. First, before anything […]

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No Time For Burnout

Folks, after all the effort it took to get the book written, edited, revised, edited again (and again, three more times) then prepared for print, proofread, revised, and finally ready to publish–my mind has gone blank. The words, it seems, have fled me. It’s probably an oh-boy-my-book-is-published phenomenon. The project is finally out of my […]

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Exploring Bowness Park

Now that the weather is getting better, we’ve had more opportunities to explore Calgary. We’ve been living here for 7 months now (SE-VEN, holy crap, when did that happen?) and still haven’t seen most of what Calgary has to offer. Friends have recommended the Bowness Park trip multiple times, but though we’ve been in the […]

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Published!

People of the world, it’s finally here. After five (official) drafts, almost five years, two titles, all the sweat and tears, extreme keyboard bashing, lots of swearing, squeezing in moments to write while also being a mother, general anxiety, crying because none of it worked, celebrating because it wasn’t so bad, threatening to toss the […]

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How to Review a Book

This post exists just because so many of my close family and friends have been asking about reviewing a specific book *cough, wink*. I figured I’d write something about reviewing, since I’m part of the indie writer community and so many of my friends have books coming out soon too. Most people don’t believe me […]

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Mother’s Day 2019

Jan and I aren’t really big on celebrating holidays. We’re more chillaxed and show-them-daily than I-need-to-spend-all-the-money-to-make-them-feel-appreciated people. No judgement if you’re a hard holiday celebrator, it’s just not our groove. So this was literally the first year since Kayla’s birth that we went out of Mother’s Day. And then only because we had friends over […]

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A Study of Ash & Smoke Book Trailer

Friends, I had something else planned for today, but then this happened. My incredibly epic best friend Liani and her husband Franco took some time out of their hectic schedules to make this little video montage for Ash & Smoke. Can we just take a moment to appreciate how fabulous they are? I could sit […]

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Survival Tips for New Immigrants

Maybe it’s because I know so many people who have recently moved countries or are about to take that particular leap, but I’ve been thinking about life as a new immigrant a lot lately. Friends and acquaintances have been sharing so many firsts photos in their feeds, it’s difficult not to get all nostalgic about […]

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Meet the Characters

I don’t know if you know this, but A Study of Ash & Smoke is officially available for pre-order. Can you even? I can’t even. Everything is happening so quickly now, it’s almost unreal after all the time I’ve spent working on this book. And let me tell you, it’s looking good. I’ve been assisted […]

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Royal Alberta Museum

For the first time in forever, we went away for a weekend. Since a blizzard was in the cards for Calgary, we reckoned we’d get the hell away from here, and maybe catch some sun up north. We have friends and family in St. Paul and Cold Lake, and have been dying to visit them. […]

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Review – Six of Crows Duology

I have an intense book hangover and I’m struggling to get over it. Let me tell you why (and this might spoil my entire review in the second sentence) but Six of Crows was wonderful, then Crooked Kingdom was next level epic. The problem with Crooked Kingdom is that every book you pick up to […]

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Calgary Zoo Visited

We had such a wonderful weekend with friends from South Africa who also live in Canada. Besides the good food–and there was loads of good food–we hung out, caught up, laughed and chatted, and also treated the kids to a day at the zoo. We’ve heard really good things about Calgary Zoo, but haven’t had […]

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Graphic Ballpoint Landscape

It’s Thursday, which has become synonymous with throwbacks. Today we’re doing something new. I’ve been itching to try making a timelapse of an art process for you, and I figured I’d combine that with a tutorial. I made the original artwork during Inktober 2018, and since I struggled so much to wrap my head around […]

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Should Authors Step Away Once the Novel is Complete?

I’d never heard of death of the author until a few months ago. It blipped on my radar because of this phenomenon where some authors make us privy to facts about their worlds or characters after the novel came out, and this new knowledge somehow changes the way we read the book. What is Death […]

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Rule – Book Review

Here’s the story. To spice up my reading life, I try to pick a random book by an author I’d never heard of whenever I’m at the library. I usually aim for two or three from a to be read list I keep on my phone, but let fate decide the last book. That’s how […]

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When Do You Find the Time? An Essay by a Work-From-Home Mother

When Kayla was little, I worked when she slept. This is how I managed to write a book in just over 7 weeks when she was a few months old. I was lucky she was a good sleeper. As she grew and the daytime sleeping hours dwindled, I wrote in those moments she was occupied […]

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Johnston Canyon

Since Canada is gorgeous and we have serious wanderlust, we headed out to the Rockies again. As if we could be kept away. This time, our destination was Johnston Canyon and the mission was to see the frozen falls. We miscalculated a little. Who’d have thought the pathways would still be slick with ice now […]

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My Thoughts – Carmen Sandiego

Folks, I grew up chasing Carmen Sandiego and Co. across the pixelated globe on the screen of our very first computer. I remember the sounds, the graphics, the sheer excitement when we managed to catch someone. We played this game so often that we needed only a single clue to know where to go next, […]

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Book Review – A Court of Frost and Starlight

I was pretty excited to find this one at the library, since I’d read some mixed reviews and didn’t want to buy it until I knew for sure if I liked it or not. Especially not at around $18 a copy. I’m glad I did that. This will be a spoiler free review, except where […]

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Peace Bridge Explored

One of the coolest landmarks in Calgary has to be Peace Bridge. Apparently, the locals have nicknamed this one ‘Finger Trap Bridge’, because it kind of looks like a finger trap. I personally think it resembles a diamond back snake. Either way, it’s gorgeous. We haven’t spent that much time exploring Downtown Calgary since we […]

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Why I Love Steampunk

Magic is an epic thing. I was so young when I got into high fantasy and kept coming back because of magic. More than anything, levitation fascinated me. I didn’t want to be able to hurl fireballs or cast things in a foot of ice, I wanted to fly, just by thinking it. Still do. […]

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Book Review – Clouds and Earth

I was excited to get lost in the pages of this book. The protagonist of Sayde Scarlett‘s Clouds and Earth is a former military operative, tech-wiz, and all round bad-arse. The book is delivered in third omniscient, is 242 pages long, and follows multiple point of view characters. ***DISCLAIMER – I was gifted a review […]

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Let’s Talk Photos and Graphics

A friend asked me about the software and resources I use to edit photos for the blog and Instagram and create the header images for blog posts. Since I have so many friends and family members getting into blogging, I figured this could be a helpful post. The best news is you don’t have to […]

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Snowy Hike

This winter was tough. November through January was lovely, but then February happened. As these things go, it was a record cold February in Calgary–you know, just to welcome its new South African residents. It seems we’ve been breaking records where weather is concerned wherever we’ve moved in the last few years. Remember last year […]

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On Writing Advice

The internet. A place of abundance. You can learn almost anything on YouTube or blogs. Unfortunately, many of these instructional sites will just as easily help you fail as help you learn. Others won’t set you up for failure, sure, but your growth process can still be stunted by bad advice. Which brings us to […]

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Calgary Library

If you, like me, love books, this is the place for you. If you don’t particularly like books–shame on you–but you love beautiful spaces, architecture, and design, this is the place for you. Holy cow, this library is gorgeous. We went Downtown with friends to check it out. I honestly can’t wait to go back. […]

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Review – Shadow & Bone Trilogy

I’d never heard of Tsarpunk before a friend recommended this series and asked me if I’d ever heard of Tsarpunk. Which I hadn’t. 🙂 Now that I have, I’m glad to know the term. There will be spoilers in this post. This is your stop here warning if you’d like to read these books spoiler […]

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How to Support Indie Authors

Another huge bomb has dropped on the world of indie authors. If you haven’t heard about the #copypastecris disaster, this is where it started. The TL;DR version of what happened is this: Cristiane Serruya copied sections from over 50 romance books by over 30 authors and hired ghostwriters to thread those copied scenes together, then […]

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A Watercolour Comparison

This post is basically a result of a question I’ve been asking myself almost constantly lately–which watercolours do I love more? Now, we all know I’m a huge lover of my Farber Castell watercolour pencils. They’re so pigmented, so versatile, so lovely. But then I got a set of W&N Cotman colours for Christmas, and […]

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Cover Reveal

I was supposed to do this tomorrow, but who can wait until tomorrow when today is still here? I’m out of my mind with excitement, if you couldn’t tell. The incredible Tallulah from Covers by Tallulah joined forces with Cat Hellisen, a magician of endless talents, to make this lovely work of art. I wanted […]

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Book Review – Twelve Kings in Sharakhai

I picked up this book in hardcover for $7–what a steal. I’d never heard of Bradley P. Beaulieu before this, but I’m really glad a book on sale introduced me to his work. Twelve Kings in Sharakhai is the first instalment in The Song of Shattered Sands trilogy. The story is set in the desert, […]

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On Tropes

Ah, tropes. The building blocks of all the stories ever crafted. What’s a trope? Well, those themes and elements we find over and over in novels, movies, games, series. For example, a princess with a mean stepmother. A cop who joined the force because their father was killed in the line of duty. A fairy […]

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My Thoughts – A Court of Thorns & Roses Trilogy

It’s been a long while since I devoured books like I devoured these ones. The series has been recommended to me a few times, but I never got around to reading them. Last week, Amazon had a special. And, well. Here we are. It doesn’t hurt that this series is New Adult (it certainly isn’t […]

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Strong Female Characters

There’s this thing all around the internet. Advice paired with a general outcry–write strong female characters. I’ve had multiple conversations about this in the last few weeks, and I thought we could continue chatting about it here. People want Strong Female Characters (from here on SFC) to the point where they come down really hard […]

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A New Title

It’s no secret that I have no idea what I’m doing. I know zero about writing movements, picking a trendy title, or putting something on a novel’s cover that will attract the right audience. Luckily I know people who know these things. 🙂 I had a Skype session with my wonderful editor and mentor, Nerine […]

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Two Jack Lake & Banff

We couldn’t wait to go back to the mountains. I think this is going to be a theme. We go, have a blast, then already miss the feeling of a higher vantage point as we drive home. We’re always a little desperate to go back, always more at home in those higher reaches. Last time […]

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Review – Winsor & Newton Cotman Pocket Watercolour Set

Who could think that twelve half-pans of paint could be so magical? But this is a review, so it probably isn’t the best idea to give away the punchline in the first sentence. 😛 The set comes with these colours: Cadmium Yellow Pale Cadmium Yellow Cadmium Red Pale Alizarin Crimson Ultramarine Cobalt Blue Viridian Sap […]

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I’m Yolandie – Revisited

A few years ago, I had an epiphany–I’m not done growing yet. Like all things at that time, ended up on the blog, in this introductory post (it has been edited a little to keep it current, but the essence is the same). It’s four years later, and I’m still not done growing. I don’t […]

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Let’s Write Confidence

It’s so good to be back in the swing of things with a writing post, especially one that adds to the Let’s Write Series. Now, I see you doing a double take there. Didn’t this used to be called the writing emotions series? It did, but then I had so many ideas to add to […]

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Things I Don’t Understand – Canada Edition

You know, we’ve been living in Canada for just over a year, and there are still things we really don’t understand. So many things are done differently in South Africa–which makes sense when compared to Germany, but one would think that Canada and South Africa would share more similarities, considering that both have a strong […]

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Watercolour Doodles

Sometime mid-last year, I saw a video of someone’s art journal on Instagram or Facebook–I don’t remember where. Anyway, this journal was glorious. The kind of thing that makes you want to weep because it’s so beautiful and your art won’t ever come close to that level of magnificence. *pro tip, don’t compare yourself to […]

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Hello 2019

After a number of years filled with great unknowns, loads of stress, and general exhaustion after everything that had happened, all I have for 2019 is hope. No expectations, no great plans, just hope. Having said that, I do have a few goals for the year, ones I seriously hope I’ll accomplish. 😛 I set […]

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2018 Recap

How does one start a recap post? I can tell you about the moments that made up this year. Some were joy in abundance. Some were desolate and sorrowful. Some were spent in limbo, neither one nor the other, a little apprehensive, a little excited. Most were in between. I’d like to chat about all […]

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Walking on Water – Lake Louise

You’d think–after everything–we’d pretty much be sick of road trips, but you’d be wrong. Why? Well, mountains. They call to us. We’ve seen some mountains before, of course. When Kayla was just a wee babe we went to the Drakensberg in South Africa, and we also experienced the glorious Bavarian Alps one December, back when […]

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Snowy Watercolour

Inspired by the snow and the Rocky Mountains, I painted a little watercolour a few weeks ago. The feedback was really positive, so I figured I try something similar and make it a tutorial for you at the same time. This is a super easy project that will make an awesome gift too. So let’s […]

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Downtown Calgary

One of our first exploration trips took us into the heart of Calgary. We hadn’t planned anything specific–it was a see where the road takes us kind of thing, AKA we wanted to get out of the house. Back in Toronto, it was always fun to go Downtown, and while some of us are in full-blown […]

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Book Review – The Strange

Now, by this time you know how I feel about this series. I’ve reviewed both The Babylon Eye and The Real, and I’ve been waiting for this book. The wait has paid off. You know that feeling when the first book in a series is ALL CAPS FANTASTIC, but the second is just meh and […]

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What’s Different – Calgary Edition

Freshly landed in Germany, I did a post comparing the most obvious differences between Johannesburg and Mülheim an der Ruhr. The post was pretty popular on the old blog, and ultimately led to quite a few comparison-type posts. I’ll link to all of these at the end of this post, if you’re interested. In the […]

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Inktober 2018

So, amid the craziness of packing to move from Toronto to Calgary, I also participated in Inktober 2018. I didn’t complete the challenge this year, but it’s understandable. I mean, my life was pretty much upside down and my creative juices were depleted. I didn’t have the energy to think up anything to draw, so I […]

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What’s Up With Your Writing?

Cross-country move aside, this has been at the top of the FAQ pile in my life lately. So let’s talk about if and what I’ve been writing today. The Physician’s Apprentice is in the later stages of production. It had initially been scheduled for release somewhere around September, but life happens, and it’s been delayed […]

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Calgary

Toronto is a city of skyscrapers. Steel and glass. Grey. Yet, there’s an energy there that refuses to be contained. It’s always on the move. Vendors and tourist and business people, rushing from place to place, night or day. Festival after festival, ball games, concerts, camera crews, and every culture represented in food and drink. […]

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Homeward

When you’ve left as many times as we have, you learn that home isn’t the land, air, or water. Definitely not bricks and mortar. Home is a smile, a hug, a long conversation at the end of the day, a week, or even a month. Home is a beating heart. For this reason, I know […]

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Final Countdown

I can’ believe we’re on the verge of another move, but here we are. it’s like the last few years of my life have been lived out of boxes. I’m ready for this to be the last time we move such a long way. For now though, we still have a lot to do, and […]

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My Novel Planning Journey

It’s Preptober! I’m not participating in Nanowrimo, but I figured this post was long overdue anyway and could be relevant to those of you preparing for Nano. If you’re wondering about my previous Nanowrimo experience, I wrote a little piece on the Sophie Melissa Blog. She also asked some other authors for their ideas and […]

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Niagara 2.0

The last time we visited Niagara Falls, the fog was so thick we could barely see anything. Going back was a huge bucket list item for us, so we did just on an EXTREMELY hot Sunday this summer. The experience was completely different. Last time, we froze our butts off. Everything was covered in ice, […]

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Moving On

I guess now that the affected parties have been notified, it’s time to announce it here too. Due to circumstances beyond our control, the high cost of living in Toronto, and some personal reasons, our little family is moving on again. This time, we’re staying in the same country, thank goodness, but are moving to […]

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After the Silence

I admit my recent blogging history has been a little strange. After 4 years of never taking more than a week off – even when on holiday, and even when sick – the last three and a half years have been riddled with random weeks or longer of absence. I’ve tried tighter schedules and more […]

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Book Review – Hard in Hightown

My little obsession with Dragon Age and the world of Thedas has never been a secret, nor has my adoration for the roguish dwarf, Varric. Maybe I love him the most because Varric and I are both storytellers, super loyal, and empaths. It’s likely just the chest hair though. 😛 If you’ve ever played Dragon […]

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Travel in Writing

Quick fact – the average horse and the average person travel about the same distance per day. As in, giving your hero a horse may not actually bring them to the epic battle faster than they’d have gotten there on foot. No, I didn’t make that up. Hollywood, gaming houses, and other media tell us […]

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Let’s Write Joy

If you’re here for the first time, I’ve been writing a series of posts on the body language of various emotions, so authors have a quick reference when they get stuck writing diverse characters. It’s so easy to fall into the same old repetitive action tags. I can’t tell you how many times I used […]

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Half-Year Update

I turned over in bed somewhere around 2 am, and realised July is almost over. Where has this year even gone? I’d planned to do an update for you, 6 months after my Hello 2018 post, but missed it. Meh. Life. Better late than never, right? Right? Let’s get to it. The first point on […]

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My Thoughts – Longmire

One night, my husband reaches for the remote. He browses the selection on Netflix without any real conviction. You know what I mean – the stereotypical man-with-remote-thing. He stops on Longmire. A cowboy who’s also a sheriff. Fantastic. I send up a silent prayer of please, not this, but he selects it and the show […]

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9 Months

To be exact, we hit the nine-month mark last Thursday. It’s the strangest feeling, looking at the calendar and realising how long we’ve lived in Canada. I can still recall the exact mix of excitement and grief when we had to say goodbye to our loved ones at Düsseldorf airport, then board the plane to […]

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Let’s Write Fear

From a fright when the spider lands on your arm, to being scared of the weird guy on the blind date, to full-blown terror when a dragon sticks its head out of the cave and you left your sword at home, fear is one of the most complex emotions that we’ve all had to deal […]

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