Final Countdown

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Personal

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 […]

My Novel Planning Journey

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Writing

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 […]

Niagara 2.0

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Photo Diary

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, […]

Travel in Writing

Posted Leave a commentPosted 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 presses tell us otherwise, […]

Let’s Write Joy

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Writing

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 […]

9 Months

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Maple Mondays

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 […]

Draw and Paint a Barn Owl

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Art

This tutorial is brought to you by request. 🙂 I love interacting with you, so please keep them coming! This is a super easy tutorial. This project took me about an hour to complete from start to finish, with interruptions from the kid of the house. You can also check out my bird tutorial here! […]

A Comparison – Shopping

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Maple Mondays

Let’s keep chatting about the differences between the cities where we’ve lived today. If you want to go back to the post that started it all, click here. Okay. Shopping in Johannesburg is simple. The shoppers are mostly laid back and the cashiers are friendly. There’s no rush either. People wait in line patiently and […]

Life Update

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Personal

Folks, it’s that time again for me – editing. As you can imagine, I’m pretty much consumed by fixing my novel at this stage. Where everything else is concerned, this meme has me covered. Still, I must take a break from accepting changes now and then, so here we are. I haven’t done one of […]

Drawing Birds

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Art

I’ve never done a drawing tutorial, so this is scary. 🙂 Still, it’s been requested a time or two and I figured there’s nothing lost in trying. I chose small birds for this tutorial since they’re SO EASY to master, both in terms of drawing and painting. So yes, I’m totally saying this is a […]

A Comparison – The Weather

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Maple Mondays

The greatest of all the FAQ’s we are asked remains ‘what’s different?’, especially now that we’ve lived on three continents. The short answer is a lot, but that doesn’t seem to cut it with the asker. 🙂 So, I’ll do a series of posts that look at these differences in depth. Please do keep in […]

Let’s Write Anger

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Writing

Friends. Writing is difficult. Especially emotions, which are the slightest bit important to make your characters come alive. At first, you really try to have your cast do interesting things, show interesting body language and have interesting expressions. But then, you slip into that easy repetition. He gave a look. She nodded. They shrugged. Or […]

Rainy Watercolour Tutorial

Posted 6 CommentsPosted in Art

This was such a fun little project, especially after about two weeks with a stiff wrist that demanded I let my art supplies gather dust. It’s nothing serious, please don’t worry. Just an old injury acting up. I wanted to try something with mixed media this time, so I used watercolours (I picked up a […]

Long Walks

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Personal

As someone who’s spoken to her fair share of therapists, you’d think I remember how important exercise can be for mental health. You’d think, but you’d be wrong. I mean, in theory, I know. Of course I do. But I’ve never really done the recommended exercise. I’m a butt-in-chair kind of person. 🙂 Lately though, […]

Blog News

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Writing

It’s been a hot minute, I know. I fully intended to blog at you last week, but then the plague struck again. I tell you, we’ve been sick at least once a month since we arrived in Canada, lucky us. More on this in another post, though. I used the time away from the blog […]

Note

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Personal

Hi folks. I missed a couple of posts last week, but that’s because I’ve been working hard on ideas for the blog behind the scenes. From next week, things might be a little different here. I’ll see if I can put everything together before then, but will do an update post at the start of […]

Ice Ice Baby

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Maple Mondays

It’s official, we’ve experienced another first on our journey. Last night, we had no electricity due to the insane storm that has been raging here in the north since Thursday. Ice rain, friends, is a bitch. If those of you back in sunny South Africa thought the worst thing that can possibly happen in Canada […]

Seven Years

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Personal

It’s so surreal, but this is my seventh year of blogging. Writing my thoughts and publishing them on the internet has always been strange, but stranger still is the fact that people read them. I’ve mentioned a bunch of times that I don’t always know what to write about. That’s been happening more frequently lately. […]

Current Favourites

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Personal

I’m always the slightest bit late with my favourites post, so that title should have been March Favourites, but I missed the deadline. It’s time to schedule these things, I know. 😛 I’ve been revising again, folks. Scatterbrained isn’t a strong enough word. Anyway, let’s get right to it. I’m currently reading two books, both […]

Horton Tree Farms

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Photo Diary

Living in Canada means loads of snow and maple syrup. As a self-proclaimed right of passage in our journey to become Canadian citizens, we figured it was a must to visit a maple farm and witness the process of making maple syrup. We’ve seen it a time or two on TV shows, but the actual […]

Watercolour Forest Tutorial

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Art

In moments when my anxiety runs away with me, I often reach for my art supplies. There’s something super soothing about the way watercolours flow and blend together. No? Maybe it’s just me. I also find that in these anxious moments, I paint forests. Don’t ask me why. I really have no specific answer for […]

Better

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Maple Mondays

I’ve tried to chronicle everything throughout this double immigration journey, more so this time around than the first. Being vulnerable on the internet is difficult, but in the name of helping other immigrants through their journey, I felt I had to make myself just that – vulnerable. As a result, you might have noticed many of […]

My Thoughts – The Office

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Opinions

I mentioned in another post that I was rewatching The Office. I’ve been finished with that for a few weeks and now I can’t stop thinking about it. I find myself looking at behind the scenes videos of the show on YouTube, and laughing so hard at all of the memes. I remember watching the […]

Visit to Reptilia Zoo

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Photo Diary

It’s no secret that Kayla is a serious lover of creepies and crawlies. Her perfect day involves crocodiles and spiders, so we figured we’d deliver. The Reptilia Zoo in Vaughn caught our attention last year, but we haven’t had a free moment to go – until last weekend. As you can imagine, we had one […]

Just Publish it Already

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Writing

We’re back to reality today, after a week-long break (if it can be called that, considering we were so sick we could barely move). Kayla’s been dropped off at school, which means it’s back to work for me too after a mini-break from writing. Well, writing The Physician’s Apprentice anyway – I’ve been sporadically working […]

The Five-Month Update

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Maple Mondays

This Wednesday edition of Maple Mondays is brought to you by a broken router. Being without internet in this day and age is a form of torture, I’m certain. First world problems and all that, but seriously, the internet has become such an important part of my work and daily life. Being cut off from it […]

Keeping it Current

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Personal

It’s been a really long time since I’ve blogged about what’s currently on my reading, watching and listening to lists. Since I’ve been a little absent from the internet in general and took some time off last week, I figured this would be a good post to help me ease back into blogging. So let’s […]

Braving the Weather

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Maple Mondays

This never gets old. If you, like my little family, have immigrated, or are planning to, brace yourself. Winter is coming, as are the questions about it. Moving to a country with a radically different climate from your home country is always interesting. I say interesting, because there’s something magical but challenging about the whole […]

Sledding Fun

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Photo Diary

I mentioned on Monday that we went sledding for the first time. Loads. Of. Fun. I never imagined I’d like it, I’m not a very sporty person, but I’m excited for when we go again. 🙂 And if I’m excited, you can imagine what’s going on in the Kayla’s mind. She had an absolute blast, […]

Inadequate

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Personal, Writing

You know what I mean. That so-out-of-my-depth feeling that hits us all from time to time. Like you’ve brought a football to a ping pong match and you’re going to smash your paddle to smithereens with your first serve. (Where are these sports metaphors even coming from?) Lately, this has been my reality. You’ve seen the trend in […]

One of Those Days

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Personal

Some days, I have zero direction. As you probably guessed by the title, today is one of those days. I could tell you all about our newest experiences here in Canada: our first Groundhog Day (apparently, we have six weeks of winter left) our first time sledding (photos incoming sometime this week) or our first Superbowl (not […]

Social Sabbatical

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Personal

Lately, I’ve been absent and apparently folks have been noticing. Except for sharing my posts from the safety of my blog, and maybe the occasional mini-scroll on Facebook once a day (if I actually make the effort to go there) I’ve been avoiding social media like the *cliche incoming* plague. Instagram is the exception to the […]

Say What?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Maple Mondays

Can you believe that we’re days away from our four-month anniversary of moving? I certainly can’t. In some ways, it seems we’ve been here forever. In others, it’s like we arrived yesterday. This strange limbo also hit while we lived in Germany, so I’m expecting it to last a while. Today, I want to talk about […]

Looking for Sympathy.

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Personal

One of those things people forget to tell you about immigration is how often you’re going to be sick in the first while. We’re thoroughly submerged in the murky waters that involves getting all the known bugs through our systems. Along with some unknown bugs. I’d forgotten all about this phase, to be honest. We […]

The Stages of Home – Maple Mondays

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Maple Mondays

The time directly after immigration comes in five stages. Okay, fine, I made that up. This is based on personal experiences and conversations with many other immigrants from all over the world. Turns out, we tend to have the same emotional responses to this immigration-thing. Each person will experience the span of these differently, even […]

Vacation Highlights

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Photo Diary

As many of you know, my parents came for a visit over the month of December. I’ve already shared photo posts of us doing the things tourists do (over here and here if you missed it) but we still had some other expeditions that you haven’t seen. Since there are SO MANY photos, I thought I’d […]

Let’s Talk About Panic Attacks

Posted 8 CommentsPosted in Personal

Now here’s an uncomfortable topic. One of those most people feel is best left (read lost) in the closet forever. It’s one we need to talk about though, in the name of awareness and breaking the stigma. According to Google, we can define panic attacks this way. pan·ic at·tack ˈpanik əˌtak/ noun noun: panic attack; plural […]

Hello 2018

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Personal

Welcome back! I lost touch with the blog for a moment there – totally unplanned – and it’s great to be typing something especially for you again. I’m a creature of routine, so being back in routine is a relief. Here’s a little catch-up post. My parents visited us for 5 weeks. It was good […]

Sick Note

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Personal

Folks, I have nothing for you today. The thing about being a brand new immigrant while simultaneously having your kid in school for the first time – you are basically guaranteed to get every bug doing its rounds. In the past two and a half weeks, we’ve had everything from stomach flu to the common cold […]

Snow Fun

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Photo Diary

I learned one of the most important lessons of my life as an immigrant this week – don’t leave the snow shovelling for the next morning. Also, snow shovelling? Not fun, but really satisfying when it’s over. Having a walkable sidewalk made me feel fantastic, weird as that may sound. And thankfully, I had my […]

Blank

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Writing

Today is one of those days where blank pages intimidate me, but somehow, no matter how fervently my fingers slam against the keyboard, the words just aren’t up to standard. These are also the days where everything is more interesting than the screen, from the single leaf that managed to escape being covered with snow to […]

A December Update

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Personal

It’s been one of those weeks. My parents arrived from South Africa on Monday, so you can imagine emotions were all over the place at our reunion. We’ve been catching up, exploring and just being together. Then on Tuesday, Kayla’s school called me to come and fetch her. A stomach bug is running through (punny) […]

Step-By-Step Illustration

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Art

I’ve started painting again, amid the madness that is immigration, and it’s such a relief to be creative again. I’ve always found art to be an anchor in times when my life has been hurled into chaos. Usually, I depend on detailed doodles or photorealistic portrait drawing to soothe my nerves, so I never imagined […]

Gingerbread House

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Photo Diary

When we saw gingerbread house kits in Michael’s the other day, my husband immediately knew we had to build one together. He’d always wanted to try baking a gingerbread house, but I’ve never been that interested in art of the food variety. Sure, I bake when I have to, but I much prefer a paintbrush to […]

Late!

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Personal

I’m really sorry folks, I’ve been working on a special post for today all week, but I haven’t managed to finish it. I realised ten minutes ago that I wasn’t going to make it, which is why there’s no backup post. I’ll make up for it next week. Also, how Canadian am I for starting […]

A Life Update

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Personal

Aside from the immigration, we’ve been facing a lot of other changes recently. Life, it seems, goes on. Even amid the chaos. Kayla is *finally* going to school. Of all the changes, this is the biggest one. I’ve spoken about our troubles getting her enrolled in a kindergarten in Germany, and also mentioned how easy […]

Growing Pains

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Maple Mondays

So, Kayla started school this week. Kindergarten in the rest of the world (well, the parts I’ve lived) and kindergarten (nursery school) in South Africa are vastly different concepts. ◄ This is something we’ve been learning really quickly. I also know how much some of you loved the differences posts I did while we were […]

Let’s Do This

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Maple Mondays

No, this isn’t another of those please-bear-with-me-posts, I really am here to blog to my little heart’s content. Starting today, the schedule is back in action. #FTW A general update on the Canada side of things – we’re getting there. Most of our stuff has been sorted. Heck, Kayla even started school today. You remember how […]

It’s ALIVE!!!!!!!

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Personal

Honestly, this is only half a post. Just wanted to drop in and let you know we’re still breathing here in our new corner of the world. Immigration isn’t a simple thing, but I have to say moving to Canada is superior. If you want people who will welcome you with open arms and pretty […]

Oh, it’s Monday…

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Personal

And I’m supposed to blog. Folks, I’m going to ask for some patience here. My week is looking a little cluttered. Considering I’m leaving the country in the very near future, that’s probably not such a shocking admission. My computer will be packed away soon, so that’s going to make it difficult to maintain an […]

To Say or Not to Say

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Writing

So you’re a writer. Welcome to the club, please pick your t-shirt from the pile and have a seat. You’ve probably been around the interwebs and have no doubt found an article or two on the topic of said. You know, dialogue tags. There are two firm groups of thought here. Okay, okay – two […]

Autumn Watercolour

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Art

Huge excitement hit my house yesterday when my brand new Moleskine watercolour journal arrived. And, of course, like an energised kid, I had to try it out immediately. I drew inspiration from the colouring and falling leaves here in the north – something I’ve always wanted to try painting. At the same time, I wanted […]

Duisburg Zoo 2.0

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Photo Diary

We’ve had precious few sunshine days this past season, so whenever we had even half a chance of catching a ray or two, we were outside. Feeling bolstered by the cloudless day, we hiked to Duisburg Zoo. We’ve been at the zoo twice before and this is my second blog about it (hence the 2.0). […]

August Writing Update

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Writing

It’s already September, I know. I’ve had a lot on my mind lately. 🙂 I certainly didn’t think I’d be doing this with all the insanity going on in my life right now, but I’m happy to report that I’ve been writing something amid the chaos! My good friend Tallulah and I just finished a […]

Anniversary Pics

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Photo Diary

As promised, here’s the bonus Thursday post. 🙂 For the 9th anniversary, we headed to Düsseldorf. This actually happened by accident. The real reason for the trip was to pick up our passports with the brand-spanking-new visas to enter Canada. Both of us had completely forgotten it happened to be our anniversary too. 😛 Since […]

A(nother) Note

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Personal

Today, folks, is my wedding anniversary. Nine years ago, I married the awesomest dude on the face of the planet – he’s my best friend and soulmate, the greatest father and sweetest husband ever. In honour of that, I’m taking the day off blogging. 🙂 OK, not only that, we’ve got some errands to run […]

De Haar Castle

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Photo Diary

We’ve wanted to go to this place since we arrived in Europe, but every time we had the trip planned, something got in the way. We finally drove to the Netherlands on one sunny Sunday to feast our eyes upon the glory that is Castle De Haar. The original castle suffered major damages in a […]

Colourful Watercolour

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Art

This isn’t a tutorial as much as a photo-diary of the steps I followed to create this painting. It’s really very simple, so I’m tagging it as beginner. Honestly, the most difficult part is getting the violin symmetrical! If that’s something you struggle with, you can always try to find a stencil or print out […]

Explanations

Posted 4 CommentsPosted in Personal, The German Chronicles

Fair warning – this is a long post. After Friday’s big news, we’ve had a lot of good wishes, emails and questions. I thought I’d address some of those today. Most people were surprised that we’re so unhappy in Germany, especially considering how happy all of our photo diary posts look. I talked about this briefly […]

Visit to Duisburg

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Photo Diary

Would you believe we’d been living in Germany for almost two years before we went for a stroll in Duisburg (our neighbouring town)? I couldn’t either. Duisburg is a quiet city with an abundance of fountains in the city centre. Colourful and weird, these fountains create a strange contrast to the ancient buildings in the […]

Easy Watercolour Feathers

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Art

Since my feather banner is so popular, I figured I’d show you how I made it. This tutorial is super simple, anybody can paint feathers! What makes it even better is how fast this process is. I painted these in less than half an hour, they dried for about an hour, and the outlines took […]

Life Update

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Personal

After the Writing Update post, I was asked how it’s going otherwise. So, here we are. Somehow, these kinds of posts are the most difficult to write. I don’t know why. It’s such a no-brainer to put in hours of research for *writing topic* or spend an evening painting something for an art tutorial, while […]

Sunday Afternoon Hike

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Photo Diary

Sunshine has been rare this summer – I don’t know what’s going on. Apart from three or so heat waves, we’ve had an excess of rain and gloom this season. Pretty depressing, if you ask me. Especially considering the fact that I had a tan last year this time. So, when the sun is out, […]

Under Construction.

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Personal

As you can tell, I’ve been working on the website. This will probably go on for the rest of the weekend, so please bear with me in this weird time. 🙂 Because of the revamp, I don’t have a real post for you today. Have a look around and don’t be shy to send me […]

Writing Update

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Writing

You were supposed to see this post at the end of July, I know. Apologies. I’m more scatterbrained than usual lately and I forgot. But better late than never, right? The writing has been going exceptionally well. After The Great Word Draught of 2017, I never imagined I’d be writing so much, especially now that The […]

Watercolour Mountains

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Art

I’ve been looking at some photos from our trip to the German Alps last year and art inspiration struck. The initial inspiration doubled when a tutorial opportunity threw itself at my feet. Blog post sorted. #ftw I pulled out my watercolour pencils and went on to sketch some misty mountains. I apologise for the lighting of these photos. […]