Monday, November 28, 2016

Brisbane Review: Viet de Lite and Dumpling Republic

An update on the move and all those boxes. It's been three weeks since I moved to Brisbane from Sydney. The majority of the boxes have been unpacked. Not everything has been put away, however. And where to store all those empty boxes until we can send them back to the moving company? In the guest bathroom, of course!
Being a relative newbie to Brisbane, my diet has taken a hit because of all the delectable places to sample. Last week I had dinner at Viet de Lites, at South Bank. It offers Vietnamese style cooking in a semi al fresco setting. The mixed entree wasn't awesome due to overcooked proteins, but the dau phu xao (tofu stir fry with cashews) was brilliant. Generous and tasty with the vegies perfectly cooked. Would I eat there again? Probably not since there are so many choices in Brisbane.
Then on the weekend we took a ferry across the river and walked into the city for the first time. After much shopping, we found a wonderful restaurant hidden away in the Wintergarden mall: Dumpling Republic. Yum. Service was excellent, the food was amazing, and we walked out totally satisfied. Would I eat there again? Absolutely!
And in case you might've forgotten... Cling to God, a great Christmas gift to give:

Cling to God: A Daily Devotional
by Lynda R Young

Published by Freedom Fox Press

Cling to God in the chaos of life…

A book of short devotionals for every day of the year to encourage you in your faith, to help you think about your beliefs and learn more about God. Perfect for people with busy lifestyles.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Brisbane Storms, Food, and Interview

Today I'm over with Juneta Key for an interview. Please pop on over to learn a little more about me and my devotional, Cling to God.

Today is officially two weeks since I moved from Sydney to Brisbane. There are still boxes to trip over but not as many. The place is starting to look like a home. I'm thoroughly enjoying it here. So I thought I'd share some pics.
This is a storm that rolled in. They grow their storms BIG here in the subtropics. Great to watch from a balcony that offers plenty of sky.

This is Medley, a wonderful cafe only a five minute stroll from home. Normally open for breakfast and lunch, they recently opened for dinner as well. I highly recommend their pear and chocolate smoothie. Yum!

To work off all that good food, I enjoyed Zumba in Captain Burke Park under the Story Bridge, Kangaroo Point. No pictures. Too busy missing my steps, flailing my arms about in the cool breeze coming up from the river.

Lastly, I put my Christmas tree up because I had no idea where I was going to store this massive thing. It hadn't seemed so big in my old place. I'm going to buy lights for it tonight so you'll have to wait for a proper pic. Speaking of Christmas... Now is a great time to start buying gifts for your friends and loved ones. And I have the perfect Christmas gift you could give:

Cling to God: A Daily Devotional
by Lynda R Young

A book of short devotionals for every day of the year to encourage you in your faith, to help you think about your beliefs and learn more about God. Perfect for people with busy lifestyles.

Published by Freedom Fox Press
Cling to God in the chaos of life…
If you've Zumba'd before, did you feel as gangly as I did? What do you love most about storms? Started your Christmas shopping? 

Don't forget to pop over to Juneta's!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Supernova and Benefits of Journaling

Today I'm over at the Insecure Writer's Support Group talking about the 7 Benefits of Journal Writing. Please pop on over and check it out.

In the meanwhile, I had to share my experience of Supernova, an awesome comic book convention. It was held at the Exhibition Centre at South Brisbane, with wonderful wonderful air conditioning. We checked out the cool merchandise.

I bumped into a blogger friend and awesome MG writer, Charmaine Clancy. Read her books. They are great!

Went to the panel discussing a new indie scifi film in development, Space/Time. Gotta love time travel stories! Unfortunately we are going to have to wait until 2018 to see it! Rawr!

And we checked out the cosplay competitions. So much fun! And the amount of work everyone puts into their costumes is amazing.
So there you have it. My first jaunt out to explore and discover more of Brisbane since my move last week. Wow, has it only been a week? I'm still tripping over boxes, though.

What have you been up to lately? Are you a fan of comic book conventions? Do you write journals? Are you reading my debut devotional, Cling to God?

Don't forget to check out my article about journaling at the IWSG website!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

5 Reasons to Write with... Plus Moving

Today I'm escaping all the moving boxes and heading over to Tyrean Martinson's blog to share my 5 Reasons to Write with Images. Please pop on over and check it out.

An update on my move. As some of you know I moved from Sydney to Brisbane. It's been awesome so far. A little warm, but doable. And the view has been incredible. My little apartment started like this:
And has become this:
Eek! That's a lot of boxes to unpack. Plus the ones you can't see in the other rooms.

Plus my internet provider has decided to make things difficult and not connect me properly yet so my net is at a horrible crawl. It may take me a few days to visit everyone. My apologies for that.

Have you ever moved? If so, what was the hardest part of moving?

Don't forget to visit Tyrean!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Brisbane and Getting to Know the Author

As some of you know, I've been going through the busy time of selling house, downsizing and moving from Sydney to Brisbane. Today, having been offline for a few days, I finally arrived in Brisbane in our new place. The pic is the view as of five minutes ago as dusk takes on its hues. I've literally just arrived and set up the laptop on the kitchen bench because the apartment is completely empty.

In the middle of all that, I am also over at the wonderful blog of Karen Lange. Please pop on over and learn a little more about me and my debut devotional, Cling to God.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

What Gives with Character Arcs?

I'm being a little tricky today: I'm in two places at once. Sharing about my move to Brisbane and my next adventure, I'm with Denise Covey. And, sharing a couple of truths about myself and one naughty lie, I'm over at Crystal Collier's blog where you have a chance to win an ebook copy of Cling to God! I'd love it if you could visit both awesome blogs.

IWSG question of the month:  What is your favorite aspect of being a writer? 

Being able to find clarity of thought and creative expression through the written word, and sharing that with others. How about you?

Please welcome Crystal Collier here today sharing her new book and some writing tips!

In 1771, Alexia had everything: the man of her dreams, reconciliation with her father, even a child on the way. But she was never meant to stay. It broke her heart, but Alexia heeded destiny and traveled five hundred years back to stop the Soulless from becoming.

In the thirteenth century, the Holy Roman Church has ordered the Knights Templar to exterminate the Passionate, her bloodline. As Alexia fights this new threat—along with an unfathomable evil and her own heart—the Soulless genesis nears. But none of her hard-won battles may matter if she dies in childbirth before completing her mission.

Can Alexia escape her own clock?

Add to Goodreads
Buy: Amazon, Barnes and Noble

What Gives with Character Arcs? 

Thank you for having me here today, Lynda!

As you become a seasoned writer, you slowly master a whole slew of issues. First is getting actual words on a page. Next is translating the story in your head onto the page. Once you've written a WHOLE BOOK (!!!), you blissfully believe it's the best thing on the planet, until someone kindly tells you it isn't. And that's the moment a writer either gets off the horse, or learns the buiz.

That's when we learn the intricacies of plot, and as we're about to discuss today, character.

One subject I don't see very many people discussing online is character arcs. Every main character should have their own arc. (Including antagonists.) This is just like a plot arc.

  1. The protagonist starts out with status quo.
  2. Plot: Status quo is disrupted. Character: Reacts to status quo changing.
  3. Character tries to get back to status quo, or a new sense of normal.
  4. Conflicts keep the character from reaching their goals.
  5. No matter how hard the character fights, they are completely defeated.
  6. Character find the strength to start again, usually with a reversal of what they first wanted in the story.
  7. Character builds toward achieving their new goal.
  8. Character faces a crisis that forces them to make a key decision leading to the end.
  9. Climax: Big battle brings out the best or worst in the character.
  10. Character has achieved a new sense of normal.
There are the mechanics, so what does this look like when applied to an actual story? Let's try it with Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
  1. Status Quo: Goldilocks is taking a jaunt in the woods.
  2. Status quo interrupted: She sees a house in the middle of the woods. Strange.
  3. Character tries to get back to status quo: She knocks on the door to see if someone is home, to discover what kind of weirdo lives in the middle of the woods.
  4. Conflict keeps the character from reaching their goal: No one answers. 
  5. Character is defeated: She goes inside to have her question answered and sees the porridge.
  6. Character starts again: Now she forgets about her original inquiry and remembers that she's hungry. Goldilocks tries the porridge in her investigation. She's burned, chilled, and then at ease.
  7. Character builds toward achieving their new goal: Sated, she tries each chair. Now she's just looking for comfort and has forgotten her original intent.
  8. On to the beds, and she finds exactly the comfort she's looking for in the last one.
  9. Climax: The bears return home and Goldilocks is terrified. She runs away.
  10. Character has achieved a new sense of normal: She never returns to the home of the three bears.
Character arcs are AS intrinsic or more so than a plot arc. They're like the music portion of a musical. A MUSICAL wouldn't amount to much with just a script. The music is what makes you FEEL the story. If you want satisfied readers, the characters had better make the full journey from start to finish.

Just for fun, I'd like to show you how Status Quo is broken in each of my books:

In the beginning of MOONLESS, Alexia's status quo is disrupted by an unexplainable murder and everyone abruptly forgetting about it, except for her.

In SOULLESS, her status quo is broken when she flees from her home forever to escape the Soulless and a group of Passionate who have come to kidnap her.

In TIMELESS, Alexia has thrown her own world out of whack by stepping into a time where the Knights Templar are trying to wipe out her bloodline.

We all want to see the change in people. It's fascinating. It's what makes our lives worth living.

Do your characters make the full journey?

Crystal Collier is an eclectic author who pens clean fantasy/sci-fi, historical, and romance stories with the occasional touch of humor, horror, or inspiration. She practices her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, four littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese.

(Email address is required for awarding prizes.)

Don't forget to visit Denise and Crystal!