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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Life Update

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 […]

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Long Walks

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, […]

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Note

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 […]

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Seven Years

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. […]

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Current Favourites

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 […]

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Social Sabbatical Results

It’s been just over two months since I announced on the blog I’d be taking some time away from social media. In reality, I’d been avoiding those platforms for a while longer than the official post date, probably since around December. A friend of mine did something similar a few years back, only she wanted […]

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A Quick Note

I just wanted to pop in and say I won’t be around this week. Since it’s March break here in Toronto, I thought I’d spend the week with Kayla. So, I’ll see you again with regular updates next week. Have a good one, Yolandie

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Keeping it Current

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 […]

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Inadequate

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 […]

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One of Those Days

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 […]

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Social Sabbatical

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 […]

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Looking for Sympathy.

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 […]

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Let’s Talk About Panic Attacks

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 […]

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Hello 2018

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 […]

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Sick Note

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 […]

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A December Update

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) […]

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Late!

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 […]

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A Life Update

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 […]

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It’s ALIVE!!!!!!!

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 […]

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Oh, it’s Monday…

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 […]

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Boxes and Suitcases

Boxes and suitcases everywhere. This is my current reality. Those boxes we’re not shipping to Canada are full of stuff for charity. It’s a minefield. The clutter makes me anxious. It’s a combination of excitement and being totally overwhelmed, so every now and then I find myself disengaging to regain some semblance of focus. I […]

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A(nother) Note

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 […]

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Explanations

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 […]

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The Big News

As a teenager, I dreamed of moving to Hollywood. At first, I wanted to act. Who doesn’t? But then, one fateful day, I saw the work of my first idol, Steven Spielberg. More than anything, I wanted to follow in his footsteps and make films. I wrote many brilliant screenplays (they were Oscar winners one […]

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Life Update

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 […]

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Under Construction.

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 […]

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Lesson Learnt

The answer came through the random comment from a friend. You need time off to refill the well. The ironies upon ironies I’m faced with now are shocking. Not only have many friends and loved ones made similar statements, but didn’t I write a post with the same friggen message? The answer is yes. Yes, […]

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The Travel Tip Round-Up

Since the last bunch of posts were all travel-related (you missed it? Start here), I figured I’d share some of the tips we’ve learned in our travels. I realise the internet is chock-full of travel tips, but this is a roundup of the things that work for us.

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Before I go on Vacation…

I just wanted to pop in and say cheers. I don’t have a specific post planned for today, and I’m honestly too lazy to write a meaningful one right now. Let’s call it the vacation spirit that’s kicked in, since that sounds so much better than laziness. Besides that, I have some editing to do […]

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Gamer Girl

For me, it started way back when with Red Alert 2 and Age of Empires – still one of the best strategy games out there. Actually, that might be inaccurate. The first game I tirelessly played was Frogger, when I was a wee tadpole myself, then it moved to Tetris and Super Mario. Red Alert and […]

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Downtime

Hi there. I know Mondays are supposed to be for Weekends in Pictures, but this weekend didn’t go down in that kind of way. While I do have a few photos, they’re just of stolen moments in between, and I want to keep them for our personal records. So, this is another update post, to […]

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Hello February

Wel, lookie here. A brand new month. I’ve been gone for a week, I know. A mini-plague descended on my house and we’ve been recovering. Meanwhile, I’ve also been up to my eyebrows in edits. Even sick, obsessive nature won’t let me go. It’s a blessing and a curse. This is going to be a […]

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Sick Note

Hi folks. Just dropping by to say no real post today. I have a sick kid and we’re up to our eyeballs in expelled bodily fluids. I’ll try to resume normal posting on Friday, but will keep you in the loop. Have a good day! Yolandie

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Hi there, 2017

I hope you all had a fabulous festive season! I woke up this morning with a cold spot next to me where my hubs sleeps, which means the holiday is officially over. He’s off to work, so I have to get back to work too. At least, back to blogging. I’ve kept busy over the […]

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Happy Holidays!

Hello there. Right, by now, I’ve missed 3 posts. I’ve finished the revision of the Physician’s Apprentice, a statement which demanded many late nights, a too stiff neck and constantly fidgeting fingers. Because I worked so hard on this thing, I missed more than a few other things, including blogging on schedule. Sorry. I also […]

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The Threes

My kid will turn three in under a week, can you believe it? I struggle to. Kayla is a happy, sweet little person. She loves to cuddle and kiss and say ‘I love you, Mama’, which obviously melts my heart. She and I have a blast together, and that’s a good thing, considering she’s home […]

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The Things That Repeat in my Mind

It’s been ages since I updated you on any of my obsessions. Today, I’m going to fix that. As many of you know, I’m currently revising The Physician’s Apprentice. My editor‘s advice was to flesh out some scenes, so I’m adding words. This means a particular kind of madness has come over me. You know […]

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Quiet Time Book

By this time, you probably know what a creative genius my mom is. No? Click here and here for a reminder. Pretty cool, huh? This time though, she totally outdid herself. When I forwarded my mom a video of a quiet time book in January, I have to admit it wasn’t even a subtle hint. I was preparing […]

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You want to put that where?

We’re safely back from our trip to London, of which I promise I’ll share some photos this week. I just wanted to let you know I’m still alive, even if I was unsure for a minute there. We arrived back in Germany last Monday night and on Tuesday, the floodgates opened. Kayla was super ill, […]

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My WIP – Grandma’s Memorial

This weekend was a sad one, because it involved a final goodbye. It was my grandmother’s memorial service on Saturday, in Durban, South-Africa. Thanks to modern technology, we could be part of it from thousands of kilometres away via a Skype call. It pulled at my heartstrings that the pastor used my tribute as a part […]

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A Tribute

This morning, my grandmother passed away. It was a long illness. I remember the first time I asked people to pray for her on the old blog, I was pretty pregnant. That’s around three years ago now. She had a lot of pain and problems closer to the end, and I really do believe she’s […]

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Go Fish

Continuing on the other day’s shape-thing‘s wave, my mom made a second cool gift for Kayla. This one is a fishing dam with glittery fish and fishing poles. And it’s just as easy to make and effective at occupying little hands as the shape-a-ma-jig. What makes this one great is that Kayla can fish on […]

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Fun Shapes for Kids

When my folks came to visit, my mom brought some cool hand-made gifts for Kayla. I mentioned in a post that I would share more about these gifts with you, so I’m doing that now. As a mom of a two-year-old who still has her own things to do and ambitions in life, I’m always looking […]

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Geronimo

I’ve been in a weird place for too long now. I used to adore blogging, but in the last year, I’ve struggled to keep it up. I don’t know what to write about a lot of the time, and the other times I don’t have the drive to sit down and write something here. To […]

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This Mothering Thing

I often wonder when the exact point is when a person becomes a mother. And I don’t mean the ‘having the kid’ part. I mean the internal shift to ‘mothering’. Is there a moment when you suddenly just know instinctively what to do? Do you have to learn how to mother? It’s probably different for […]

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I’m Yolandie

A few years ago, before the birth of my first blog, I was recovering from a really bad time in my life. It turns out makeup was just the creative outlet I needed. Full of hope and belief that makeup would heal my heart, I took to blogging about it. Today I can safely say […]

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