Tag Archives: Blogging

Mistral Dawn Blog Feature

Hey everybody,

I just wanted to share with you that Mistral Dawn interviewed me and it’s up on her website! You can find it here. You may find out something about me you didn’t know yet 😊.

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Thanks for the opportunity, Mistral! 😘

Ask Me Anything Author Session

It’s now Monday, 12 March 2018, and I’m live to answer your questions. You can ask me anything!

Go to my AMA session site to type your question 🙂

My Weight Loss Journey – Week 2

Week 2

Summary

I have good news and bad news for you this week. I’ll start with the bad news to get it out of the way and off my chest. I didn’t stick to the diet. Surprise! I knew this would happen, so I’m not so surprised myself. That it would happen so soon… yeah, I didn’t expect that. My dear friend Stephanie told me it is not a diet but a lifestyle change which means that habits need to be adjusted and this will take time. I’m all for that.

What did I eat that I shouldn’t have? Pizza, a hamburger, and an ice cream. Not too much, you’d think, but the results speak otherwise. I’m going to stick to the diet again this week.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. Ever since I stopped eating biscuits with my tea in the afternoon, my daughter has stopped eating them as well. She is copying my healthy diet (well, not everything, but at least the biscuits thing). In itself, that is good. What scares the hell out of me is that I’m literally influencing somebody else’s life. I guess that’s what parenting is all about, but what if she’s copying my bad habits too? Scary!

My yoga exercises are going great. I don’t have the tight shoulder muscles anymore and am contemplating moving on to the next set of exercises.

Results

Not surprising, I didn’t lose a lot of weight this week. I was 76.9 kg (still 12.1 stone) this morning, so I lost 0.1 kg/0.02 stone. I’m still on the same notch on my belt (85.5 cm/33.7inch), but I am halfway to the next one which is encouraging. It’s an old, leather belt, so fingers crossed it doesn’t stretch anymore.

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Even though I didn’t lose any substantial weight, I think I clearly lost some belly fat. Whether it moved up, I don’t know. Like I said, I’m trying to keep my belly in sort of halfway, but it’s hard to be 100% sure it’s the same every time.

 

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Yep, still the same belly, but if you look at the next picture, you’ll see some progress.

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I put the red line along the front line of my belly. It has certainly gone more vertical since Week 0 (the distance between the line and the front of my thighs is shorter now). This means that even without losing weight, my body is adjusting and losing fat.

Diet

Like I mentioned, I didn’t stick to the diet. I have been good in the fact that I didn’t snack unhealthily. The cravings were stronger than last week and I curbed them by eating walnuts. They are nice but have a bitter aftertaste which stops you from eating too much.

On Friday I treated my family (including myself) to home-made pizza. I thought it would be healthier than bought ones (it does make more mess). Maybe it was healthier, but the number of carbs was, of course, a shock to the system. I didn’t learn, and on Saturday, we had hamburgers, on a bun (those of you who follow me on Instagram already know 🙂 ). It was delicious, but again, my system that was starved the week before took in all the energy and stacked it all on my hips (or boobs, I’m not sure). I also ate an Orea icecream for dessert. One of my kids brought it from the kitchen for me (it’s very hard for them to adjust as well) and I kinda did them a favor by eating it so they didn’t have to put it back. I’m kind like that :). Did I enjoy it? I’m afraid not. It was awfully sweet and the cone was soggy. I’m going to stay away from the desserts again.

Here are some of the things I’ve been eating:

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There are three images of a dish I got from Pinterest: Avocado&Bacon&Egg breakfast dish. One of the images is the one from Pinterest. It looks scrumptious, doesn’t it? The other two are of my culinary attempt to recreate this. You have to scrape out the avocado, break an egg in it, put some bacon and cheese on top, and shove them into the oven for about 25 minutes. Sounds simple. Result: something that looks like ovaries after a cycle of IVF. Not very appetizing.

Next to this, my avocado was way to small to hold even 1 egg, so it spilled into the tray with ceramic baking beans and I had to clean them all, individually, by hand. To my horror, the avocado, which I normally love, tasted like mushy peas after being cooked to death. I can tell you this recipe is no longer on my favorite list.

I’m going to keep strong this coming week! Why? Because I so want to wear this jacket:

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I bought it on eBay from Pixieknix last year (they don’t sell this one anymore though) and I love it. However, the sleeves are very narrow and my belly sticks out from under the zipper, so I really need to lose weight to look good in this!

Do you have any pieces of clothing that you want to wear when you’ve lost weight? Show me!

Happy New Year!

It’s 2018… and I’m back!

It’s been a while, over a month I’d say, and I’ve missed blogging. Did you miss me? I bet you’ve had many things to keep you busy over the festive season. I have so many things to tell you and I hardly know where to start. 2018 is going to be such an active year for me.

Killing A Vampire

My biggest accomplishment in 2017 was finishing Book 3 of the Suckers Trilogy. I was able to send it to the beta readers before Christmas, and I’m receiving their responses back now. The few grammatical errors (tenses keep being my bane), the odd remark on character statements, but overall a positive reaction. I even received a pat on the back for two suspenseful chapters by Kathy Lance, an ex-director of an international school of linguists and now book reviewer for One Stop Fiction. She’s a tough one, writing very honest reviews, and her comment made me very proud.

I must admit I was a bit wary of this book when I began writing it. I have planned this story for a long time, and writing it according to ‘plan’ felt different than writing the first two books, which were written ‘from the wrist.’ Writing the interactions between the characters still felt exciting as they were new on the page, but I worried about the storyline once I finished it.  I wanted a grand finale and felt my story lacking. I discussed the issue with my family and they helped me improve it. Now I have revised the ending, got rid of the grammatical errors, and changed the wording here and there, I feel this story is a great ending to the trilogy and am ready to promote it.

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Christmas Celebration

Over Christmas, we flew to Holland to spend time with the family. We visited almost all of our dearest family and slept in four different beds in the seven days we were there. The weather was great, we only had rain the last day. We were very lucky to get a Maastricht city tour from my uncle, who has been a tour guide in one of Holland’s oldest cities. We visited the tunnels as well, which was very different from what I expected. We spent two days in the Efteling, a fairytale theme park, which is always a big hit with the kids. It was great to see everyone again and we were sad to leave.  I was glad to sleep in my own bed again though 🙂

What is 2018 going to bring?

Promoting

First of all, the promotion of my trilogy. I never thought I would ever write a book, so finishing three has been a major accomplishment in my life. It gives me a real boost and I’m looking forward to promoting them. I love writing and will continue. There are so many new ideas already flying around in my head.

Improving health

The new year also brings a new year’s resolution for me as I have never been this unhealthy and overweight in my life. Writing has been my passion and I have put all things aside for it. This year, I need to take more care of my body, my family, and my house. I have started doing yoga exercises and will begin doing some physical exercises as well. I’ll have to take it slow, as I’m as flexible as a door. Next to this, I fell on my wrist during ice skating on our holiday and it is still painful. Fingers crossed it won’t be a chronic issue.

 

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Family time

I also need to take out more time for my family as I feel like I have neglected them badly and want to spend more time with them. I’m going to cut our TV-watching dinners and eat at the dining table so we can have actual conversations. Cooking more interesting dinners and resolving the draft issues in the dining room will probably help promote this.

Renovations

2018 is also the year that we are going to have major renovations done to the house. We have decided that it takes too long to do everything ourselves. Sometimes you need to put a little water to your wine. The work doesn’t have to be perfect, as long as it functions and you can enjoy life instead of worrying about not having enough time. So, the kitchen and family bathroom are going to be done by someone else than ourselves. The kitchen project will cause some problems as last year, my husband decided to rip out the little kitchen in the basement ‘because it was ugly.’ We will now have to organize a makeshift kitchen in the dining room when we rip out the old kitchen. This will mean my previous resolution of having meals in the dining room will have to be postponed, but hopefully it won’t take a whole year (famous last words).

Reading

As I won’t be writing 24/7 anymore, I also hope to have more time to read so watch this space for some awesome book reviews!

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Do you have any new year’s resolutions or major plans for 2018? I’d love to hear what’s written down on your calendar 🙂

Monday Moaning

I know, it’s Tuesday, but yesterday was such a horrible day that I thought I’d tell you about it. As mentioned yesterday, my day started with a whole episode of IKEA contact issues.

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Once that was out of the way, I continued the saga that my husband and I were having regarding a proposed visit to the family in Holland over the October school holidays. My sister is over from Curacao and my nephew and his girlfriend are embarking on a three month trip around the world. I thought it was a good time to visit them. The initial idea was to go alone, but then I thought it would be nice for the kids to come along and see their relatives. After all, that was the reason we moved from Australia to Europe. Of course, the prices for air travel soars around this time of year and my husband was very reluctant to part with such an amount of money in return for only three days with the family (and five days of not being able to work on the house). So I made the decision yesterday. Family first. I filled in all the details and was about to enter my bank card number when my husband texted ‘what about the dogs?’ Completely forgot about them. Called the kennel, but they were fully booked already. Bummer. So I booked the trip for myself. As planned in the first place.

Then I thought it would be a good idea to ‘quickly throw out an ad campaign for my first book.’ Wrong. Took me several hours. I thought I’d try the new Canvas option of Facebook. Looked okay, until I wanted to put my images in. Didn’t want to work. the images were accepted, just not displayed. No matter what I tried, different sizes, different format, they would not show. Contacted the helpdesk. They took thirty minutes to respond and by that time I was over it. I decided to go with the one-image ad. I put in my bank details and lo and behold, my computer stalled. I’m still not sure what happened, but the screen remained blank. I probably shouldn’t have done it, but I pressed the ‘back’ button. Big mistake, because now my bank account was blocked. Yay. Fortunately, I could make it work via another route.

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To top the whole Monday disaster day off, I took my son swimming to exercise his ex-broken leg… and forgot to take my hearing aids out. They’re now in front of me on my desk, drying. A continuous reminder of my stupidity. I say drying, insinuating that they’re going to work again, but I’m not sure if they ever will. I haven’t turned them on yet. I’ll keep you posted.

Thank heavens I’m a writer and can breathe easy when I realize my characters (and many other people for that matter) are having a far worse time than I have 🙂

 

 

Header photo by Kari Shea, edited by Jacky Dahlhaus

The cast is off!

I took my son to the hospital yesterday and, after five-and-a-half weeks, they took his cast off. For those of you who don’t know this, he broke his fibula when doing long jumps in a sandpit during lunch at school. He does karate and Parkour (which is sort of Free Running with more acrobatic stunts), so to have him break his leg in a sandpit at school was a bit of a surprise 🙂 . I must admit I thought it was a bit early to take the cast off, but hey, I’m not an orthopedic surgeon. His ankle wasn’t as swollen as before (you can see this clearly in the X-ray), but not completely normal yet. The calf muscles not too wasted. All in all, my son is doing well.

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We had a coffee and donut in a coffee shop afterward. As he had two free periods at school, he asked me to take him to the hairdresser. When that was done and dusted, I took him back to school, only to find out he forgot to bring his schoolbag. Duh. So I took him grocery shopping instead (serves him right, the little bugger). Although I didn’t do any writing yesterday, it was a nice day spent with my youngest offspring 🙂 .

Another Great Review!

Check out the review Luna Rugova wrote about Book 2 on Luna’s website!

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Get your copy here!

 

 

 

Discover Ivy Logan

I met Ivy through the One Stop Fiction Authors’ Resource Facebook Page. She contacted me and asked me to write a guest blog for her website about writers and technology. As I was just told by crime writer Wendy H. Jones at the creative writing workshop in Elgin ‘say yes to everything,’ I said, “Yes, of course!”

I had asked Ivy to give me a week to write the article. The next morning I was still in bed when inspiration hit me and I wrote three-quarters of the text. I had wanted to finish it two days later, but my back pain stopped me from sitting behind my computer. It actually stopped me from sitting and I spent most of the day lying in bed. Yesterday, I finally got some painkillers that worked and I was able to finish my article. I enjoyed writing it.

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The article is called ‘Do writers need to be tech-savvy?’ and you can read the full article on Ivy’s blog here.  She also has another website (this one) where you can find out more about her books and the characters in it.

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Ivy is a passionate character that likes a good laugh and lives for her storytelling. As my father took his time when tucking us girls in at night to answer our questions like ‘why does the world turn?’ and ‘how can fish breathe under water?,’ Ivy’s father would mesmerize his daughters with stories of fantastical worlds and mystic creatures (bless our fathers). She has taken all that on board and is now telling stories of her own. Have a browse on her website and find out more about this new upcoming author.

Image by Anton Ponomarev from Unsplash, edited by Jacky Dahlhaus

Anton Ponomarev

Lessons Learned #33

This week I’ve learned a lot.

I’ve learned that running a promo needs more preparation time if you want to do it properly.

I’ve learned that it is not a good idea to run a book promotion while you’re preparing a (Halloween) party.

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t start making a Halloween dress two days before the party.

I’ve learned that velvet is not a good choice for sewing a medieval dress, particularly if you haven’t got a lot of sewing experience.

I’ve learned that you can’t sing while you’ve got a pin in your mouth. Well, you can, but you won’t have a pin in your mouth for long 🙂 .

I’ve learned that Grammarly is worth running your text through before putting it online!

Have a Wonderful Writing Weekend!

PS: My book is still available for FREE! Get it while you can!

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US copy of Living Like A Vampire (Suckers Book 1)

UK copy of Living Like A Vampire (Suckers Book 1)

AU copy of Living Like A Vampire (Suckers Book 1)

 

 

 

Writers’ Corner update 12/10/2016

Check out my Writers’ Corner update 12/10/2016!

I know I said no posts for a while due to my attempt to getting my book ready for the fair, but I can’t help myself, too many interesting articles. 🙂

For example the article about what makes a leader, or the one about what it’s like to have Borderline Personality Disorder. Very interesting articles for characters in your next book.

In my Focus on Filming there is an interesting article which claims that Guardians of the Galaxy is the deadliest film of all times.

And according in my Health Herald magazine I sure hope I don’t get breast cancer after I turn 75 in the UK.