Saturday 14 February 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!

Well, hello! I am here to give you all a huge Valentine hug! I have been busy but I will be back!

I am sorry I have not been leaving comments on your blog…but I will be catching up with you very soon.

Signing off for now.

Wednesday 28 January 2015

My Choice for January: Beyond Looking Good by Dina H. Loomis

Beyond Looking Good by Dina H. Loomis
For this year's first, I picked Beyond Looking Good by Dina H. Loomis. Ms D., as she is fondly called by people who know her, is a good friend. I met her many years ago when I was aspiring to become a radio broadcaster and chanced upon Toastmasters Club (Tambuli). She became a mentor who helped me with my speeches and I later became an events presenter (which I did for sometime).

Ms Dina H. Loomis is fondly called Ms D by people who know her
Beyond Looking Good is Dina's first. This book is a compilation of her monthly articles published by the People Manager magazine of the People Management Association of the Philippines. It is divided into three parts, i.e. Appearance, Behavior and Communication. It contains tips, guidelines, stories and examples on a variety of topics including attitude, civility, colors, styles, communication, public speaking, leadership, spiritual and physical wellness and the power of persona profiling.
Beyond Looking Good, the title of this book, is also the name of Dina's blog. It captures her rebirth, so to speak. Facial beauty, flashy clothes, sparkling accessories can only enhance our persona. It is our core values, our attitudes, and our behaviour that determine who we really are.
This book is for the reader who wants to explore the myriad of possibilities that life has to offer, and offer to life the myriad of possibilities from one’s being.
In Dina's own words: "It is my desire that you will enjoy reading it, learn something from it, and take positive action to enrich your life."
If you like books by Dale Carnegie, Richard Templar, Andrew Matthews - just to name a few, you will love Dina Loomis' Beyond Looking Good.
If you'd like to know more, go and visit Dina's blog: Beyond Looking Good
If you'd like to stay connected, go and find her on Facebook: Facebook - Beyond Looking Good
If you'd like to get a copy of her book, here's the link to Amazon:

Friday 23 January 2015

Good grammar skills will help your career

I follow Grammarly, an online grammar checker, on Facebook. I have also heard fellow writers give their praises on their services.  I am also a Grammarly subscriber/user and have used it once or twice on line and it is free. If you'd like to upgrade to premium, you can find out more on the link above.

Grammarly has recently polled nearly 500 freelance professionals in eight different job categories on Elance, an online staffing platform. Grammarly reviewed the profiles of freelancers who had received four or five star ratings from employers with the goal of determining whether the accuracy of a freelancer’s profile is related to their credibility, hireability, and pay.

Checking for spelling, grammar and punctuation errors, Grammarly found that freelancers with the highest ratings had fewer mistakes in all eight categories (Writing & Translation, Admin. support, Legal, Design & Multimedia, Engineering & Manufacturing, Sales & Marketing, Finance & Management and IT & Programming). 

Also, Grammarly found that the better writers tended to earn more money. 

Freelancers in Engineering & Manufacturing with 10 or fewer errors in their profiles on average made $520.64 per job; while those with 30 or more errors made on average $237.42.
Freelancers in Sales & Marketing with 10 or fewer errors made about $498.26 per job; while those with 30 or more errors made on average $182.07 per job.

Additional findings:

Freelance Writers & Translators made the fewest amount of mistakes, averaging 10.1 errors per every 100 words.

Freelancers in the IT & Programming fields fared the poorest, with 19.3 errors per every 100 words.


This is not a paid advertisement.  I have not received any payment in any form from this post.  I am a Grammarly subscriber/user. I believe in this campaign and this is the only reason why I have published this post.

Wednesday 21 January 2015

I greet the new year with a new name!

Frankly, I have no idea what my blog is going to be called.  Eversince I've moved here from Conversations with Self, it never felt like home. The blog names I came up with so far did not sound right.  I used my name as well which did not sound quite the one I had in mind, especially since I stopped writing for nearly two years.  Even now that I'm determined to get back on my feet and write again (I wrote nearly 2K words last night, yay!), I still wouldn't use my name (yet) as this blog's title.

I came up with a lot of ideas and they were all absolute rubbish (so I'm not going to share any of them with you).  I've been thinking about this feeling of uncertainty and indecisiveness lately...and I'm coming to a conclusion that somehow, maybe, it stems down from "waiting" for something to happen all the time, for something to make it feel right when it feels "not quite there yet" or "not quite right". So, today, I thought, sod that.  I'm going to call this blog whatever I want. Of course, of course, I still thought of it for weeks on end, to be honest.  I had lists, endless lists, of names, some stupid, some okay, most of them not-okay. But at the end of the day, we have to laugh.

I have quite a few things in store for you in the next few months so this name must do for now.  I really cannot afford to lose the word "conversations" but it would be a repetition of my old blog so I thought I'd replace it with "confabulation" instead (Did you just burst out laughing? Ha, me too!).  Phew, what a day! Such hard work just to decide on a blog name when all the world seem to be coming to an end (if I disappoint you or make you feel this way in any way, I apologise).

It is a long explanation for a blog name so I must sign off for now.

Happy New Year!

Monday 8 December 2014

Featured Book for December: The Watchers Book One, Knight of Light by Deirdra Eden

Every month, I will be featuring a book on my blog.  This month, I'd like to give it to Deirdra Eden.  Deirdra has been a long-time on-line/blogger/writer friend.  I was excited to hear about her new book, 

The Watchers:  Book One - Knight of Light.  

If you like reading fantasy and paranormal, this book is for you!

The Watchers Book 1: Knight of Light

In England, 1270 A.D., Auriella (pronounced yurr-ee-ella) flees her village after being accused of witchcraft. Pursued by nightmarish creatures, she struggles to accept the truth about her humanity. Filled with fairies, dwarves, pixies, dragons, demons, and monsters, Knight of Light is an enthralling tale that will capture the imaginations of readers young and old.

The Watchers Series has been described as Braveheart meets Supernatural. The mythology for the series is based on many theological texts from dozens of sects with correlating themes. Ancient writings include The Dead Sea Scrolls, The Traditional Apocrypha, The Pearl of Great Price, and The Kabbalah.

“The Watchers” are supernatural beings in human form whose duty it is to protect and guard mankind from the armies of darkness. Unfortunately, as the Book of Enoch mentions, some of these Watchers go bad. Although the mythology is based on these texts, Deirdra Eden’s The Watchers Series is written in a traditional fairytale style with a young girl’s discovery of incredible, but dangerous powers within herself, a cast of humorous side-kicks, a quest for greater self-discovery and purpose, and villains of epic proportions

About the Author

"My goal in writing is to saturate my books with intrigue, mystery, romance, and plot twists that will keep my readers in suspense. I want to see fingerprints on the front and back covers where readers have gripped the novel with white knuckles! Aside from writing, I enjoy jousting in arenas, planning invasions, horseback riding through open meadows, swimming in the ocean, hiking up mountains, camping in cool shady woods, climbing trees barefoot, and going on adventures."
-Deirdra Eden

Find Deirdra Eden and The Watchers Series online on AmazonDeirdra's websiteFacebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Wattpad, and Pinterest.

Thursday 4 December 2014

The Jedi has returned!

Err.  Actually, it isn’t a Jedi.  It’s just me.  And I am not a Jedi.  But you already know that.

It is Novem…wait, no, it is December! Crickey! It’s really been that long, folks.  I’m sorry I have not been in touch.  I am here now to tell you what’s happened.

Well, you know when my father passed away in 2012, right?  It has now been two years and I still miss him.  I guess it’s true that when a loved one dies, we really don’t stop missing them….but somehow, we get used to their absence and it helps to think that they are somewhere safe.

There has also been a couple of wearisome situations that, somehow, made me re-examine my life.  I began to spend so much time thinking and so much time overthinking things.  In the process, I lost all inspiration to write.  Because I thought it was, one way or the other, a waste of time.  Because I thought that there were more important things I should be focusing on.  Because there were (and still are) so many reasons in my head to procrastinate and stop believing in myself.  These thoughts were like waves – they were worse whenever I’d be in a life crisis or a new challenge.  So, for a long time, I had lost my sense of self. 

And then, somehow, somewhere, something happened to my little brain again so that now, everything is slowly coming back to me.  It’s slow but it’s alright.  There were little moments this year that helped me come back right here, here with you, here in front of my computer screen – to write again.

So, today, I don’t intend to bore you with the details of why, how or what I was sad about during my absence.  Instead, I’d like to go back a little bit and share with some important moments. I know that perhaps, these moments have now passed me by.  Still, they keep me smiling and they have kept me going. I’m done being sad.  I’m done being cynical.  I’m done with all the thinking and not writing and “not doing.”

Here are some of the things that made my day this year and still put a smile on my face whenever I think of them:

In April, I finally got the chance to meet these awesome people who have been an inspiration to me. Jessica Bell and Talli Roland became my blogging buddies in 2010. What a joy to finally see them in person and spend time with them.  I also met two lovely people – Alison Morton and Amie McCracken.
Jessica, Talli and me!
With Talli
With Jess, Amie and Talli
In May, my son’s carers gave me an awesome birthday surprise! What a delight!
It was a delicious lemon cake!
Sometime in June-July, I’ve learned about box swapping! I swapped surprise gift boxes with another writer friend, Cath Barton.  It was amazing!
Loved all the little things neatly wrapped individually inside my box of surprises!
In July, my husband celebrated his birthday.  We were happy to have a little celebration as last year was a scary time for us when he's had heart bypass surgery.  This year, it was time to be thankful and celebrate.

In August, my son celebrated his birthday without having to visit the hospital.  We were able to take him with us for a short break in Scotland. He has been really well for a few months now and we are truly happy.

And this year, I was able to sort out a little place where I can write during the summer months (still thinking of how to keep the place warm in the winter months):

I am ready for more special moments like these.  I know that along the way, it won’t be easy.  But there really shouldn’t be any reason good enough for not writing, for not being able to do what I love to do.  I must find time – no matter how busy life gets, no matter how sad life gets, no matter how uninspired I get – because really, nothing is ever going to change.  Life will always be busy and there will always be times when there is no motivation whatsoever. If I don’t find time to write, I’ll lose the very essence of me.

Signing off for now.  Until next post.

Friday 24 October 2014

Jessica Bell's White Lady Blog Tour

Today, I give the floor to the talented Ms Jessica Bell, an author, a poet and a singer/songwriter (I can't think of anything she cannot do!)


To celebrate the release of Jessica Bell’s latest novel, WHITE LADY, she is giving away an e-copy (mobi, ePub, or PDF) to the first person to correctly guess the one true statement in the three statements below. To clarify, two statements are lies, and one is true:

The first concert Jessica Bell ever went to was  ...
a. Kylie Minogue
b. Madonna
c. Smashing Pumpkins

What do you think? Which one is true? Write your guess in the comments, along with your email address. Comments will close in 48 hours. If no-one guesses correctly within in 48 hours, comments will stay open until someone does.

Want more chances to win? You have until October 31 to visit all the blogs where Jessica will share a different set of true and false statements on each one. Remember, each blog is open to comments for 48 hours only from the time of posting.

If you win, you will be notified by email with instructions on how to download the book.

Click HERE to see the list of blogs.

*This novel contains coarse language, violence, and sexual themes.

​Sonia yearns for sharp objects and blood. But now that she’s rehabilitating herself as a “normal” mother and mathematics teacher, it’s time to stop dreaming about slicing people’s throats.

While being the wife of Melbourne’s leading drug lord and simultaneously dating his best mate is not ideal, she’s determined to make it work.

It does work. Until Mia, her lover’s daughter, starts exchanging saliva with her son, Mick. They plan to commit a crime behind Sonia’s back. It isn’t long before she finds out and gets involved to protect them.

But is protecting the kids really Sonia’s motive?

Click HERE to view the book trailer.
Click HERE for purchase links.

Jessica Bell, a thirty-something Australian-native contemporary fiction author, poet and singer/songwriter/guitarist, is the Publishing Editor of Vine Leaves Literary Journal and the director of the Homeric Writers’ Retreat & Workshop on the Greek island of Ithaca. She makes a living as a writer/editor for English Language Teaching Publishers worldwide, such as Pearson Education, HarperCollins, MacMillan Education, Education First and Cengage Learning.

Connect with Jessica online: