We are currently under review.

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I received notification today that “Wytch: A Most Noble Profession” has been reviewed by Damien White, of GLAM Adelaide. It’s my first independent review and I think Damien has put together a balanced report. I can’t say that I agree with his comments in entirety; but, as a person seeking to improve my art, I appreciate the fact that it wasn’t padded with a load of sugar-coated waffle.

To see the review, go to the GLAM website – www.glamadelaide.comau – mouse over the ‘Entertainment’ link at the top of the page and from the drop-down menu, select ‘Books & Literature’.

gg… over and out!

 

Sleeping with the enemy…

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One of the most frequent questions I’m asked as a writer is: where do you come up with the ideas for your plots and characters? Sure, some of the things I come up with can be assigned to the product of a warped mind, but the overwhelming majority of my themes and ideas just come from real-life and everyday occurrences. I’m fearful of a lot of things and some of those fears are rational – some, but by a very long way, not all!

I read this article two days ago on news.com.au and thought it worthy of sharing – despite the grammar and punctuation errors. Before you read on, however, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very deep and restful sleep tonight.

IF YOU’RE not a fan of spiders, this statistic will have your skin crawling.

While we’ve been told time and time again that the “humble huntsman” is nothing to fear, the thought of having one crawl on your body — and face — while asleep would send even the most tolerant person into a tizz.

But according to Michael Tate, known as ‘Ranger Mick’ from the Australian Reptile Park on the NSW Central Coast, we all better get used to the reality of having the unwelcome guests in our bed.

“It’s very likely that someone may have had prey caught on their face by a huntsman. Bushy eyebrows are the perfect hunting ground for a spider,” Mick told 2UE radio hosts John Stanley and Garry Linnell.

“By the time you’re 35 years old, and if you’re living in Sydney, several huntsmen will have walked across your face during your sleep.

Bill Shear, the former president of the American Arachnological Society told Scientific American that spiders have absolutely zero interest in humans and “regard us much like they’d regard a big rock … We’re so large that we’re really just part of the landscape.”

But that’s the problem … we become part of the furniture which the hungry spiders have to crawl across to find their food.

“Huntsmen can walk across you and you wouldn’t know,” Ranger Mick added.

We saw the impact an unwelcome huntsman had on an 18-year-old Sydney woman who got so spooked by the spider in her car while driving, her Volkswagen ended up in the water. The woman, who wasn’t identified, jumped out of her car after the spider crawled on to her lap as she pulled up at the Bayview boat ramp in Rowland Reserve. While she leapt out of the driver’s seat “and started doing a spider dance”, her car edged towards the water, leaving her on the shore as it started to sink.

But despite their often large and hairy appearance, huntsman spiders are not considered to be dangerous spiders — and even make for valuable additions to your home.

“If you can cope with them, they are actually an asset in your home, and beneficial for taking care of the environment,” Ranger Mick said.

“They can eat quite large food items so they can tackle a cockroach.

“If you’re going to have a spider running around the house, make it a harmless huntsman. But they have very long legs, so they are able to jump.”

So if they’re using our face as a hunting ground, who’s to say they aren’t venturing into the mouths of those sleepers who snore?

Some experts say we will consumer three spiders a year while sound asleep, others say it’s closer to eight. But according to Rod Crawford, Curator of Arachnids at Seattle’s Burke Museum, to swallow even just one spider in your sleep, a number of very unlikely circumstances all have to happen at once — making it a very random event.

For a spider to go from your face, to your mouth and down into your stomach — five things would need to happen.

The first, Prof Crawford says, is that your mouth needs to be open. Then, the spiders have to get in your bed.

Third and fourth, the spider would have to just happen to cross your body where your mouth is and be so bold as to enter an orifice that’s exhaling warm breath.

“Just try blowing on a spider and see how they react to that!” Crawford told Mental Floss. “It’s not attractive to them!”

Finally, you’d have to swallow the spider while sleeping.

The odds are pretty clearly stacked against you swallowing any one spider, but that doesn’t mean they don’t like an adventure.

 

If you would like to read the full article for yourselves (complete with wonderfully graphic photos), here’s the link… http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/home/interiors/the-creepy-crawly-reason-why-you-should-start-sleeping-with-one-eye-open/news-story/50a6b4eaa7d3721679d03474780a1715

news.com.au also included the following addendum to the article:

Fear of spiders? Find out how to overcome arachnophobia.

 

gg… over and – pleasant dreams!

 

The sacrament of the liniment is upon us!

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I can’t deny it… I love my Eels!

As we enter the frenzied, footy finals phase of the year, I keep looking at the way the points ladder for this year’s competition finished and can’t help but wonder what might have been – had it not been for a string of dodgy-deals, orchestrated by men in suits who should really have known better. This evening, I’m watching a game between two ‘local’ teams, geographically speaking; and while I’m enjoying the spectacle, it hurts to know that one of the teams going around in this game was the beneficiary of the ousting of my team from finals contention – as a result of the loss of 12 competition points for salary-cap infringements.

I feel so sorry for the Eels team; but at the same time, I felt very proud to wear my colours this year and support them the only way I knew how. Despite all the off-field drama the players had to endure, they applied themselves with great dignity and I’m convinced there are better years to come.

I’ve enjoyed every game they played this season – the wins and the losses – and I learned a very valuable lesson in watching the way they conducted themselves throughout, which is: when life seems to be throwing nothing but adversity your way, one of the best things you can do to fend off the gremlins is stick to what you know, and what you know you do best. Just concentrate on controlling what you can control and let life take care of the rest.

I know my stories would bring great enjoyment to a lot of people, but without having access to the distribution networks of a recognised publisher, I can only do so much when it comes to marketing and promotion. The best thing I can do is keep going – keep doing what I do best and let my game and the way I play it speak for itself.

In the end, dogged persistence will always win.

gg… over and out 😉

If you’ll not be needing me, I’ll close down for a while.

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After what seems like a run of weeks of taking care of the needs of others, I’m faced with some free time at last and finally able to pick up where I left off on my own projects.

I think the best way to do this is to ease my way back in… take it slow, pick up the thread, plan what I need to do to the end and go from there. I’m entering a phase of selfishness, but it just has to be that way for a short while or I’ll never get anything done. Saying ‘no’ has NEVER been one of my strong points!

Writing isn’t the only thing that’s suffered recently though… I’ve fallen sadly behind in the list of recent-release movies I’ve wanted to see lately. I’d love to see what they’ve done with the remake of Ben-Hur; what Mel is up to in Blood Father (although, at only 88 minutes, I get the feeling I’ll leave with the sense of being ripped-off – the same with Don’t Breathe and Lights Out); and Free State of Jones looked rather interesting.

Hopefully, between these things, work and a modicum of socialising, I’ll enjoy a very productive and very satisfying September and October.

gg… over and out!

 

The way to a man’s heart…

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Well now… this sure beats the heck out of receiving socks and underpants as Father’s Day gifts 🙂

I’ve always loved licorice… my children have known it from an early age, though none of them ever seemed to be able to explain why my stash kept dwindling while I was out at work. This gift came courtesy of my daughter and I think the twins got in on the act this year as well. They either love me to bits, or they’re all jockeying for a mention on my next dedications page!

Only joking guys! No need to go back to hankies next year 😉

Anyway… the Dad’s Bag has been a bit of a ritual for a long time and this year, since more and more of my hours seem to be taken up in researching things, I decided to dig a little deeper into the healing effects of licorice – and was very surprised by what I found. I should have included it as a secret cure when I was writing WYTCH, but never mind – it’s bound to pop up somewhere in the future.

Being an asthma sufferer, I was surprised to find that licorice is thought to have benefits for coughs, bronchitis, sore throats and also helps with some chronic stomach complaints.

I wonder if it’s any good at helping manage weight loss… or if increasing my consumption decreases my exposure to some of these ailments?

I’ll experiment further and let you know 🙂

 

gg… over and out!