Jun 6, 2018


I finally got my kitchen set up the way I wanted it. I've been wanting to get rid of the existing cabinets (old, rotten, bulky) and change the overall layout of the room.

A while back, my son and I tore apart the largest of the cabinets (actually, a combo of 2) and tossed the debris out into the garden (well, we set it along the wall, we didn't just throw it out, the dog needs her space out there). We assembled the new one and that only made me want to change the rest even more.

Here's my son, pretending to be a mad Bob the Builder

And this is the finished product.

So, yesterday, I finally had someone over to help me with getting the rest of it done.
They broke out the old sink and the cabinets it was mounted on top of (and tossed everything out along with the rest of it), hammered a sturdy wooden panel where the cabinets had been (one of the previous occupants made a construction about 10 inches away from the exterior (brick) wall, mounted wooden panels on it, but omitted to do the same behind the cabinets. So once it was torn down, there was a gaping hole in the wall.

Here, you can see part of the cabinets, this was taken after my new central heating was installed (in September 2017). I was getting tired of the color and the wood soaked up so much water from all the times the kitchen got flooded, it was barely holding together.

Here, you can see most of it as my son is washing the ceiling (that needed some serious lovin' (and a whole heck of a lot of elbow grease, lemme tell you that!!)) The double sink and "dripping" section cover the entire length of the cabinet (2 meters), so it's not something you can just pick up and move. It took some serious muscle power to get it out!

And here you can see what the wall looked like when they took everything away (the green panel is the new one, next to it, you can see how far the whole thing actually sits from the wall (I lose about 25 cm of my width and I'm sure it's the same on the other side).

The dirt at the bottom was put there to keep the drain in place.

Now, this is what it looks like with the new panel attached. Washing machine was put in place first, as the door opens from right to left. The door on the dryer opens left to right, so this way, I can put my basket in between and go from one to the other smoothly.

All of the appliances were lined up against the new wall, resulting in this awesome view (the one I've been after for months!!!)

The hanging cabinet will be taken down, stripped and repainted. The old double sink was replaced by a very ingenious kit from IKEA, which slides over the dryer (or any other appliance), provides work space and allows for storage underneath. What it doesn't allow for, is rodents hiding away in it (we live right by crop fields and often get mice inside, but we've had the larger variety a few times as well and they're less welcome).
You might also notice the patch of paint missing next to the cooker hood (is that what you call it in English???). That's because the last paint job was done *around* things. One lazy ass (my ex-husband) didn't want to take everything down to do a decent job, which leaves me with a patchwork of paint on the walls. The holes just above the electrical rail are from the previous outlets and will be plugged before I repaint.

I already have the paint and the walls will be a sandy yellow. Not sure what I'm going to paint the remaining cabinet, but I might just put a clear varnish on it if I manage to strip it down to the wood and I like the look of it. My new cabinets have that wooden look too, so it would fit right in.

Any suggestions for other colors are appreciated.

And to close the debates, here is a shot of my new microwave cabinet, with the new microwave oven sitting pretty (it was a b-day gift from my mom and has been sitting in a corner for 6 weeks, waiting for me to get things sorted out so it could go in its rightful place). The smaller one that is sitting on top of my dishwasher in the picture above, has found a new owner in my mom's upstairs neighbor.

It took all day to get this put together and finished properly, then my son and I battled the final cabinet (and yes, my doors are crooked, I was tired of it and needed to start on dinner, so it had to wait).

Overall, I gained a lot of space in my kitchen (dishwasher and dryer are now sitting against the wall instead of taking up space between the cabinet and heater on one side and between the washing machine and new fridge on the other (I recently bought a new washing machine with a bigger door than the previous one, and this door couldn't open entirely because of the position of the dishwasher).

Happy home owner!!!

May 23, 2018

Introducing .... Bandit!

You may have read about this in a previous post, but I figured I had to do things a little more "officially".

Introducing the newest member of my family, my trusty bodyguard and my nutty sidekick: Bandit, the German Shepherd!

Here she is, shortly after joining the family with some of her first toys. There have been many more, I can tell you that!!

She was rescued from a garden where she had been left to fend for herself. Neighbours had been throwing food over the fence for a while, but that wasn't doing her much good. A rescue organisation went in and saved her, finding the corpse of another dog in that same garden. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out the destiny this beautiful girl was facing.

Now, she has nothing to worry about. She is spoiled rotten and in return she guards the house and her new humans. She has in fact chased away potential burglars at least 4 or 5 times since she came home and she kept a drunk away from me as well one night, so she wears her harness with pride "Bodyguard".

So, there you have it.

Isn't she just lovely?


Taking shape - a novel update

As promised, here I am with an update on my first novel.

I have finished the final edit and my baby has been sent off for formatting. Hopefully, it will come back to me soon, in the best possible shape 😜😜

Next, I'll be contacting the person who was working on my cover, to see if she can finish it and send her all the required information, including one of the hardest things I had to do: the back cover blurb. Let's hope it's good enough to draw some readers to my book.

There's not much more to say, the most important news being: I finally got around to finishing it.

And what can I say, pretty soon I'll self-publish my own novel.
All by myself.
Like a big girl.

Well ... that happened

I'm quoting my son here, who will be 18 this summer.

Can you imagine that?
I have no idea where time went. It seems like yesterday he was nothing more than a tiny bundle in my arms. Now, he wants to buy a car.

I guess one could say "life got away from me" and that's why I haven't posted here in two years.
It wouldn't be such a bad thing to say. Honestly, life did get away from me quite a bit in the last two years. One of my last posts, dating from October 2016 explains a few things already, the death of both my father (whom I never really knew) and my ex-husband had quite a long-winded follow-up to them. I ended up buying the house in March 2017, so I've been a home owner for little over a year.

Around the time of my last two posts here, I had burglars in the house one night. While I was in my living room, playing some Call of Duty, someone jumped the back wall into the garden, managed to open the back door into the kitchen and raided my fridge without me ever noticing a thing!!! I can tell you it's not a great feeling when you realize they could've been bolder or you could've walked in on them emptying your fridge. For about a year, nothing else happened, even though I did 'fortify' the kitchen door a bit. Then, almost exactly one year later, a similar thing happened. It did the trick and I got a dog less than 2 weeks later. A lovely female German Shepherd dog. The kind with big teeth and a certain dislike for people who try to enter uninvited.
In the few weeks following the second break-in, she chased wannabe burglars away 5 more times!! Not sure what the hell was going on, but everyone wanted a piece of me!

The spree ended when I (finally) got my new doors and windows installed, which are far more deterring than the old raggedy door and worn window frames used to be. So that happened. And more improvements happened to the house, which is almost 100 years old. It was in dire need of some serious lovin'.

And something else happened.

I - finally - finished my first novel!!!

I will be sending it off to be formatted, hopefully it can be done quickly (now that I've gotten to the end of it, I don't want to waste any more time) and I will give the final information to my cover artist, then .... it will be time to release it into the wild ....

So, hopefully some people will pick up a copy and I won't feel like a total failure.

I will try to come here more frequently again and hopefully, I will be posting a link to where my book can be ordered from next.

Nov 13, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016 - update

Well, after almost 2 weeks, I am still ahead (be it by a few hundred words only) and it's looking good so far. I haven't done much writing during the past few days, but I knew that was going to happen since I had to start combining it with the full-time job again.
I'll try to get back to it tomorrow, so I can get further ahead again, which will give me a bit of a buffer for the upcoming week.

How's everybody else doing this year??
Are you still motivated?
Soaring ahead?

Let me know in the comments.

Nov 6, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016 - A new beginning

I'm doing it again.

Hopefully this time, I'll keep the updates coming instead of dropping off the radar the way I did last year.

Either way, I'm back at it after finding a 20.000 word story sitting there, hoping it would be finished one day. And that day has come. It's a 24 fan fic so it won't make it into novel-form, but I'm sure folks will enjoy reading it over at my forum just the same.

Yep, Jack is Back!

So, how are things going??
Well, they're going great.
We're on Day 6 and I am at a total of 14.000 words. With the target for Day 6 at 10.000, it's not an understatement to say things are great and I'm happy I've built up a bit of a buffer because I probably won't keep up this pace over the next week.

On Monday, it's back to work (after a week off, mostly due to another bowel problem) and I'm not sure I'll have any energy left to do much writing.
On Tuesday, we have our self-defense class. I might not have a lot of "juice" left after that either. Then again, if I didn't smash my hands to pulp, I should still be able to sit on my couch and type ... we'll see.
On Friday, I have a trip planned with my kid. It's a WWII remembrance visit and since he's interested in the history of WWII, I agreed to do it. Problem being the weather will probably be pretty bad and I don't feel like spending my day running between raindrops.
I'll have to discuss it with him and my mom (it was booked through a friend of hers), but if we end up going, I won't be able to write much (if anything) on Friday either. If we don't go, I'll have a 3-day weekend to catch up on any slack I may have accumulated during the week.

But for now, everything's going great.

Anyone else taking part??
If so, let me know in the comments how you're getting along!

And if you'd like to "buddy" me, I'm MoodyVal.

Here's to more novels!!

Oct 3, 2016


Holy crap!!

Has it really been nearly a year since I was last here??????

Well, they say time flies when you're having fun, but I guess it flies just as quickly when you're not.

So, what has happened the past 11 months?
A lot!! That's for sure!!

First of all, let me just say I finished NaNoWriMo with a win (but just barely so). That was after all the last post I made, an update on my progress. So there ya have it. I won!!! LOL

What else has been going on since?
Well, my father died (no worries, I never really knew him, he left my mom when I was still a baby) and we're only now getting to the end of all the follow-up. Now, the only thing that is left to discuss, is the house. When he died, my siblings and I (there's 3 of us, but don't worry, I'm the only crazy one) inherited his half of the house he bought with my mom. We're trying to figure out what to do with it (I live in it at the time, since I'm renting it from my mom who had full "use" of it after their divorce so many years ago).

Then, exactly 2 months after his death (even though we didn't find out till the end of April because nobody knew if he had a family or not), my ex-husband died. He actually didn't just "die", he committed suicide. That made a big impact on our lives. Thankfully, it was an immensely positive impact!! My son no longer has to find an excuse every other weekend and there are no more arguments or fights over him not wanting to go. The kid just turned 16. That's YEARS, not months. There's no way you could get away with forcing a 16-year old to spend his weekend in your tiny, stinky apartment, watching you smoke a pack and a half of cigarettes each day and pour beer after beer after beer down your throat. Eventually, you're gonna have a problem.
Now, the problem has resolved itself.

Nobody knows why he did it, but I sorta put 2 and 2 together and I'm thinking he simply ran out of money and decided that was it and he put an end to it. I can't think of anything else because he really wasn't the type of guy who would even consider "backing out" of anything. He'd rather make your life miserable than admit he was wrong. Even about the silliest things.

So, that's a weight off our shoulders (even though I'm keeping an eye on my son, just in case).

Then what happened?

Oh yeah!! We had a great holiday visiting my friend in Canada and adding a long weekend in New York City after what my son went on his second trip to Sweden (he's becoming a genuine little globe trotter).

That actually brings us almost up to today.

One more thing I might want to add, I finally found Krav Maga classes in the area and have started last week. Good thing about it, my son can join me (even though it's an adult class). We're probably going to enjoy the fact we're doing it together more than the activity itself, which is not necessarily a bad thing.
Looking forward to tomorrow's class and if you're lucky, I might even start updating on that .... if I don't lose my link.

Nov 25, 2015

NaNoWriMo - update 3

Well hello there, glad you're still here :-)
I'm still here, too. Talk about a coincidence.

Yeah, yeah, I'm feeling silly.

Here's another update on my NaNo project.
Due to work and other events, I've had a few really slow days (sometimes only managing a few hundred words), but the good news is that I have been writing every single day for the last 3 weeks!

So, days 12 & 13 were slow, 12 because of work, 13 because of the soccer game between Belgium and Italy. It was a friendly match, but that doesn't make a difference.
I shouldn't even have been able to watch it, since I had tickets to a classical concert by Andre Rieu that same night (bought them as a present for my mom's 70th b-day), but she didn't feel like going. I know she has a thing about crowds and being indoors with a lot of noise, but I thought she would've enjoyed going to the concert. I guess not!
Anyways, I was home for the soccer match, which we won 3-1 against a world class opponent.
Right after the game, we heard the news about the Paris attacks. Shit hit the fan in no time (but I've already written a blog post about that, so I'm not going to dwell on that now)

Day 14: with everything going on and shopping needing to be done, I didn't get to write as much as I would've wanted to (especially on a Saturday) and only managed 700 words or so.

Day 15: Sunday was a much better day writing-wise. A lot of stuff was going on all around us, but I managed to pull back from that and plunge myself into my alternate world. Added over 2.500 words.

Between day 15 and 20, I only added about 2.000 words in all. Not much writing going on. On Tuesday, I was planning on going to the soccer game against Spain, but that was cancelled the night before. Too dangerous. Despite that cancellation, I didn't get to write much.
On Friday, I went to the cinema for the Mockingjay marathon (both movies back-to-back). Upon leaving the cinema, we encountered massive police and security forces at the subway/bus station. I was wondering what the heck was going on, but didn't find out until the next day. The only words I squeezed in on Friday, were those written before bed that very early morning (I hate going to bed early and am never in bed before 1 am)

Day 21: Again, not a good day for a Saturday, more shopping, more lockdown consequences, more fear all around. Only managed 700 words.

Day 22: Now that was a good day!! The best so far I think, with a grand total of over 3.500 words added.

Day 23: Brussels is in lockdown, my workplace is shut down along with everything else. We are invited to either take the day off or go to a local branch to work from there. My son's school is closed as well (though not in Brussels). I took advantage of being home all day and added another 2.500 words.

Day 24: It has just ended (just after midnight now) and I have totalled 1.700 words today.

I am nibbling my way to my target and even though I'm not sure I will make it, I am thrilled to be writing again. Let's hope we can keep this going and I can finally get back to all those projects that are waiting for me.

Good luck to all you fellow NaNoWriMo's!!

Bye for now.

Nov 21, 2015

Threat level 4

Jeez, what a weekend this has been and it's not even over yet!! Yesterday, I went to the movies with my son for a "Mockingjay marathon", planning on seeing both parts back-to-back. On the way home from work, my subway was stopped twice for nearly 10 minutes each time, making me worry about getting there in time. I did make it and I even had to wait for my son to join me (he was late coming home from school as well and still had to have dinner). We took the subway for just one stop to get to the cinema, but they were making an announcement just as we entered the station, both lines 2 and 6 (the one we were taking) were delayed. Thankfully, a metro rolled into the station just as the announcement was being made. It departed 2 minutes later, so we were at the cinema well in time for the movie. When we got in, we received a "Mockingjay care package" consisting of a poster (the 4 movie posters side by side), a voucher for a free Red Bull, a discount voucher on candy and a Mockingjay armband. Part I was awesome (we'd seen it before) and even though my neighbor tried to be a bitch (shushing me and poking me in the arm because I said something to my son), we had a good time. During the break, I went to the loo and grabbed our Red Bulls. Part II started out very promising, but 20 minutes into it, my Red Bull got to me negatively. I pushed back as much as I dared, but then figured I had better go because I would never get to the end of the movie. I missed about 5 minutes (duh), but got back in time for the action. Again, very promising, but wow boy, was I disappointed!!! Really not a worthy ending!! And soooooo damn short!!! Not even 90 minutes!!

We left the cinema and headed for our bus stop, seeing a bunch of police and security vans had gathered there. The cops were in full gear with assault rifles and a dog on standby. One of the lady officers watched us coming towards the bus stop and I simply said "good evening", to which she replied with the same. A bunch of cops standing together don't intimidate me and as long as they're not trying to stop me from going where I'm headed, I don't have to worry about going there. Since "there" was a bus stop, I really don't see why I should be worried.
Anyways, we got home around midnight and pretty much headed straight for bed (it had been a long day).

This morning, my mom called me out of bed around 10, asking me if I'd heard the news. Obviously not, since I wasn't up yet. The city of Brussels has been under high alert since last night (that's why those cops were there). The whole of the metro and pre-metro network was shut down, events were cancelled and people were advised not to go to "busy" places such as shopping malls or areas. So much for getting some shopping done in Brussels. Half an hour later, she calls me back, asking if I want to "take advantage" of her neighbor's car since she was taking my mom shopping. I accepted (much easier by car) and we headed out. When we got to the mall, it was closed. We then crossed the parking lot and headed to the supermarket. One of the entrances was locked and everybody had to go in on the other side. There, we were "greeted" by security personnel who asked to check our bags/purses. Even my mom's purse which is just big enough to have her wallet and her cell phone in it. The guard's response "even a little bag like that can hold a lot of things". Seriously?? Saying that to a 70-year old who is out shopping with her daughter and grandchild?? Asshole!!! And they weren't even "checking" everyone!!! Bigger asshole!!!

We went on about our business and got our shopping done. By the time we left (2 pm), they were "filtering" people out through a single door and not letting anybody in any longer. Really???
I usually don't even set out before 2 pm, so I would've found all doors closed if I hadn't gone with my mom's neighbor.

Nothing but a bunch of assholes and scaredy cats, that's what they are!!

And all that because of what??
Because of ONE idiot who might've been seen in Brussels. But then again, he was reported in 3 different cities over the past week, and three days ago, he was possibly in Paris (the raid on Tuesday) and spotted in Germany.

The only thing I have to say to all those assholes who are trying to scare the shit out of everyone:


I will live my life and if it's my time to go, it's my time to go, but I will not hide in the dark and hope for things to get better. If we don't do anything about it, it will never get better, it will only get worse. And honestly, it's bad enough as it is already.

Make love, not war.

Nov 12, 2015

NaNoWriMo - another update.

Hello guys!

How is everyone today??

Here's another update on my NaNoWriMo project.

Since I decided to skip ahead from the troublesome part, things have gone much better. My daily wordcount is up and so is my average. I did have 2 more slow days on Monday and Tuesday because I was back at work after a week. Mother Nature also decided to leave me my monthly present on Sunday, so I was pretty much a wreck on Monday. If you're a woman, you probably know what I mean.

So, day 8 was a success. Skipping ahead really was a breakthrough and I added a big chunk that day, despite Mother Nature's untimely gift. Over 2.000 words written that day. I believe they call that victory.

Day 9 was okay overall I guess. I did write some after midnight, so that went to Monday's wordcount. I added about 1.300 words.

Day 10, Tuesday, was really bad. Since I hadn't written on Monday evening, there had been no update after midnight. I was worried about it and I kept telling myself I would have to update my count before midnight if I wanted a chance at getting all the badges. And I want them. Seriously! Thankfully, I wrote some during my lunch break at work, mailed it to myself and .... updated my wordcount on the spot. It was a good call because I didn't get any writing done at all that night. I stranded at a mere 520 words, but I got them in. That's another victory for me. Still winning the fight.

Day 11, Wednesday. We had the day off, like most people and I took advantage of it, pouring out another 2.500 words. It simply happened. No problem writing now that I've moved on to the central part of the story. I'll still have to go back to write the missing section, but those are worries for later.

Let's hope I can get a little more writing in the next few days, then it's the weekend again.

Whoop whoop!!!

Nov 8, 2015

Update on NaNoWriMo.

Nothing fancy, just a quick update.

First off: I'm still writing!!
And I've been writing every single day!!

That alone is a victory worth celebrating.
A victory over my writing lethargy (can't call it anything else, really).

Sure, I've had a hard time. I wasn't used to it anymore. Sitting at my desk for so long and hammering away at my keyboard. I've had my distractions (Facebook mainly) and I've had my troubles (migraine, you suck!!) which caused me to fall behind on the target word count.

On day 3, I was really close, just a few dozen words away from the target.

On day 4, migraine struck, keeping me home from work, but away from my computer screen as well. I only managed a few hundred words and that's only because I forced myself to write at least *something*. I wanted an updated word count and I really didn't want to skip a day. I didn't. I didn't write much, but I wrote.
Another victory.

Day 5 was a small day as well, again a few hundred words only, again because I forced myself to get at least *some* writing done. Another updated word count. Another small victory.

Day 6 was better, the headaches less intense and the writing more focused.

Day 7 saw me getting back into it, but glaring at the receding target line. I was only about halfway where I should've been. The fact my story wasn't letting me write it as smoothly as I should be writing, didn't really help. I struggled mainly because the beginning of the story wasn't really planned. I had a "vague idea" of how things would happen. The main section was much more detailed in my mind, but I had a hard time getting there.

Day 8 (today): Breakthrough!
With a little advice from my friends over at FWG, I decided to skip the "hard" part and get cracking on the main section. In just a few hours, I added over 1500 words. The best part? This day is far from being over.

I'm gonna hit the hay for a few hours of sleep and then I'm gonna get back to it.
Hopefully I will get my wordcount up to where it needs to be (+/- 4k left to go). If I can achieve that goal, I can achieve anything.

Bye for now!!!

Nov 1, 2015

NaNoWriMo 2015

Well, despite everything that *didn't* happen the last year or so (writingwise I mean), I decided to do NaNoWriMo this year. I never thought I'd ever be able to write 50.000 words in just one month, given the fact I have a fulltime job and a single mom, but to hell with it. The least I can do is try it, right?

What more is there to say?
Just get your thumb out of your ass and start writing.

Plain and simple.

And guess what! I actually got it going.
I kept myself "busy" playing some Call of Duty until midnight, then started up the computer and actually did get some writing done. Not that I did a whole hell of a lot of writing, but those first 200 words are all that matters.

Actually, those first 5 words were the ones that mattered.

They put an end to a very longlasting lack of writing "juice". Aside from a short story I whipped up just about a year ago for the FWG Anthology (which I didn't even finish and ended up pulling out of the anthology due to a lack of interest), I hadn't written anything. Proof enough is right here on my blog. I hadn't posted anything since February until I took a leap of faith and asked one of my English speaking colleagues to beta my novel. I still needed to finish the edit I had been sitting on for over a year, but having asked, I knew I couldn't make him wait forever. That same night, I finished the edit and posted on my blog. A double victory.

My mind has been working overtime on stories lately (which is always a good sign), but I needed something to get me started on actually *writing* them. November 1st did the trick.

I will try to keep the updates coming, but for now, let me get back to my alien invasion .... lol.

For those of you who are joining me: Have a Fabulous NaNo!!!

Bye for now!!

Oct 21, 2015

Finally ... an update on my first novel

So, what can I say?
I've been soooooo absent lately and I don't even know why. I haven't written anything in nearly a year and I sure didn't work on my novel. Well ... until last night, that is.

I wasn't sure if I made the right choice in asking a co-worker to beta read, but apparently I did. I pulled myself up and out of that bottomless pit I had tumbled in and finished editing the final chapter and epilogue.

It's a bit scary to think I'm sending this to someone who can rub my failure in my face on a daily basis, but I don't think he will, he's too much of a gentleman for that :p

Either way, I have now finished the final draft and am hopeful for (maybe) and end-of-year release date. I'll have to make up my mind about the back cover blurb and see if the person who agreed to do my cover is still game, and then I'll be ready to rumble. Unless I get a chuckload of comments that force me to do a complete re-write .....

I'd better not think of that possibility or I won't close an eye.
Better to keep the focus on the good news: I finally went back to it and managed to finish the edit that had been going on for such a long time. Now, all I can do is send it on, cross my fingers and hope for a positive response.

For now, I'm heading to bed.

Night all!!

Feb 2, 2015

Coming right up.

Yup!That's about how close I am to my first novel!

I'm editing the final chapter now and the cover is coming along real nicely, so I'm guessing it's a matter of weeks now.


Something else that's coming right up, is another anthology I'm part of. Then again, my submission for it, is what's coming right up. I wrote a first rough draft a few months ago, on a surge of inspiration, then left it untouched for weeks at length, but did a first revision of it last night. Made some minor changes and I think it's just about as ready as I'll ever get it.

Some of the other authors who will be published in that same anthology, were pretty lyrical about my first draft already, calling it much more than just a draft. I guess I haven't lost my "touch" :o)
It's only slightly longer than a flash fic (approximately 1.400 words), but I don't think it needs much more. Everything is said and done, and aside from giving it a little more color to "buff" it up, there isn't much I can add to it. Sometimes perfection just comes a knockin'.

Estimates are for a March release date, so keep your eyes on this blog as I will be promoting the anthology as soon as it's out. It's another Fiction Writer's Group project and it will go by the name of "Anything Goes II". It's a mix of 20-odd stories where literally "anything goes". If you're not sure what you're looking for, but you know you want a good read, that's where I'd put my money. Lots of different stories (haven't read them all at this point, but those that I have, are very promising) from a diversity of authors, just waiting to take you away from your daily drab and drop you into wonders unknown.

Will keep you all apprised!!

Cheers for now.

Jan 28, 2015

The Final Stretch - an update on that novel I'm writing

Hey folks!!

I realize it's been ages since I last blogged.
Actually, it's been ages since I last wrote something altogether.

I haven't been feeling all that good lately and with the energy gauge dipping below zero, it's not easy to get things done. It's a lot easier to just sit around playing stupid games instead of trying to force your butt in gear and get busy.

I'm not feeling all that much better per say, but I have found the courage to get back to editing my story. I have finished editing 9 chapters and am currently struggling my way through chapter 10. It's a big one and I've been thinking about chopping it up to make two shorter ones. Also, it contains a lot of action and since I want these scenes to feel as real and as intense as possible, it's taking some time to get them just right.

After this, I have two more chapters and a short epilogue to edit and then it's off to get formatted (won a free format a while ago, so now I'm gonna "cash in" on that). My cover is also coming along nicely and I'll have to get busy on the back cover blurb as well. I posted the 2 versions I had a while back, but I think it's gonna take some serious looking at before I've got the catchy, teasing blurb I'll need. I have to get it right, it's the billboard for my novel, so I want people to look at it and go "Hmm, I'd like to read this!"

It's looking good so far, so I really hope I can keep this momentum going and get it done within the next few weeks. I might be looking at a Valentine's release.

Keep an eye on this place for further updates.

Bye for now!!

Aug 22, 2014

Just a reminder

Heya guys,

I just wanted to post a little reminder to all of you out there reading my blog.

Have you picked up your copy of the "Writers' Anarchy II: The End of the World as we Wrote it" already?

This awesome anthology features my first "officially" published story.
The title should tell you all you need to know, but let me tell you a little more about it anyways. This anthology is the result of a collaboration over at the Fiction Writers Group on Facebook, a great community of writers, young and old, beginning and established, self-publishing or not. There are 30 stories to be read, all by different authors, all with their own view of The End of the World.
Some have interpreted that in the largest possible way and have chosen to write the End of the World. Others have narrowed it down and tell the tale of an individual whose world comes to an end. Still others have written about the End of the World as we know it and have established a new world.

So what's your take on that?
Is there someone somewhere with his finger hovering over the "reset" button?
Are aliens stalking us, waiting for the best time to strike?
Or will Mother Nature put an end to human life on this planet?

"Writers' Anarchy II: The End of the World as we Wrote it" will give you a shot at each of those options and more, so pick up your copy today!!
Available on Kindle or paperback on Amazon, or at Createspace and even available for my Canadian friends on Amazon.ca

Make sure you get your copy and leave us a review.
You can also visit the Writers Anarchy website for more information on the project, the participating authors and upcoming project at the Writers Anarchy website.

Hey wait, there's more!!!
It's not the only thing I've published!!!

There's another anthology, called "Flash It!".

In this anthology, each author is featured with two stories. There is no general theme, just a collection of 60 stories you can read faster than lightning. That's right, you heard me. All of these are 1.000 words or less. You won't even have time to blink and you'll be done.
So, if you're always running short on time and are afraid you'll never be able to read anything anymore, pick up your copy of the "Flash It!" anthology and you'll get exactly what you're looking for; a quick read for whenever you find a gap in your busy schedule.

Available in e-book or paperback version, whatever fits your needs the best.

Paperback can be ordered here and this is where you go for the Kindle version.

I'm looking forward to reading some reviews, so hurry on over and get your copy now!!!

Happy reading!!!!!

Aug 2, 2014

Talking Trash

Something I have to get off my chest.
And no, I'm not the one who's talking trash. And no, this post is *not* related to the latest "news" on Kiefer.

What this post *is* about, is a co-worker. Now, I'm not the type of gal who will come online and get into the blame & shame game and I usually keep private stuff to myself, but this is really starting to bug me, so I need to vent. Once you're done reading, you may think it's no big deal, but it is and if you give it some time, you'll find out why.

So what is this about??
Kiefer in the first place.
By constantly (and deliberately) getting his name wrong. In Dutch, there is only one way to pronounce it and that's the right way!
-IE- in Dutch is ALWAYS pronounced "e" whereas -EI- sounds more like the word "heir". There is no way you can get it wrong, unless you're *trying* to get it wrong. And that's what bugs me.
That intention to say it wrong just to tick me off.

News Flash!!
It's a lack of respect when you don't get a person's name right, especially when you're doing it on purpose. You want to disrespect Kiefer "to my face"? You're gonna get a reaction and you know it.

And here's another news flash!
Stuff like that is "funny" when you're 15 and in mid school! Not when you're a grown woman and even less so AT WORK!

Makes me feel like I'm 15 again and being constantly pestered by my stepdad. HIS biggest joy, was to talk trash about my idols just to tick me off. Just to get me going. For the sake of pissing and setting me off.
Ten years worth of that are enough to last me a lifetime, thanks a bunch for putting me through it again.

Yeah, I'm stronger than that, but honestly, enough is enough.
You're really starting to piss me off by intentionally disrespecting someone I admire and respect immensely. You don't like him? Fine! To each their own. That doesn't mean you can/should disrespect the man. You're also disrespecting me in the process.

That's the first point.

And this is the second one.

You trashing my writing!!

You asked me what my upcoming novel is about. When I told you it was Sci-Fi, your reactions said enough. When I added the word "aliens", your response gutted me.


How do you know?
You haven't even read THE FIRST WORD and you're saying my novel is boring, simply because it's about aliens. What makes you think a story about aliens can be nothing but "boring"?? Don't you think you should try *reading* it before deciding whether or not it's "boring"?
It could be. But how do you know?

How can you say something like that, when you haven't read ANYTHING I've ever written??

I tried explaining the difference between "not being interested in something" and "something being boring", but you weren't listening. You even dragged another colleague into it, asking HIM what he thought about aliens, and practically telling him he should agree with you in saying aliens are "boring". Thankfully, he's slightly more tactful than you are. And a little more respectful as well.

Do you have any idea how hurtful that remark was?
You don't even know what the damn story is about!
How do you know the book is going to be "boring"?
Simply because it's about aliens?
Why couldn't that be intriguing?

What makes you think it's impossible to write an interesting story about aliens?

Maybe Sci-Fi is not your thing and maybe you don't believe in aliens.
That's fine by me, I won't judge you over that.
But what gives you the right to judge my work without even reading it?
What gives you the right to shoot my story down without even giving it the benefit of the doubt?

What gives you that right??

It's a good thing I've been publishing my work online for over a decade. I've had more than enough compliments and confidence boosters over the years and I know I can write a good, strong, intriguing story. You're not the one who will convince me otherwise.

Just know that talking trash about people and disrespecting them and those they admire, isn't going to make you many friends.

You know who you are.

Enjoy your weekend, I'll be working on that "boring" piece of junk you'll never read.

Jul 28, 2014

Making some changes

Heya folks,

I've been fiddling with my blog for a few days now, and I've made some major changes. I hope they will work out the way I intend them to, because I'm definitely not "tech savvy" at all and wouldn't know how to fix it if it didn't work out.

First of all, I've changed the colors a bit, hopefully these will make for a better reading comfort.

Next, I've added extra pages and have (hopefully) linked the posts to the "appropriate" pages so things will show up on certain pages instead of having everything on the "main" page. There might be some issues with that, as I'm still trying to figure out how to do it and get everything where I want it.
Initially, I figured I could add a page, which I could then use in the same way as the main page, but it doesn't work that way, so I had to remove the pages I had created, and create a "link page" instead. As I've said, not very tech savvy at all, so I might not have everything set the way it should be.

I'll have to wait and see what happens.
So far, everything seems to be where I would want it to go.

I've added these new categories:

* Moody - This is where I will post stuff about me, my life, my son, my dog, etc
* Dreams - Need I explain?? I'll be posting about my dreams, wild and other, and maybe help you dream a little as well
* Published Work - This is where I'll be bragging my butt off .... once I get something published that is ... LOL
* 24 Fan Fic - Instead of having everything slapped together, I decided to filter my posts for you and here is where you'll find my fan fic
* Erotic - The secret little nook, the adult section of my blog. You *must* be in legal age to browse it, stories will be both in Dutch and in English, so if you're looking for some inspiration, here's where to get it ... LOL

More might follow at a later stage.
For now, this is it.

I hope you'll all enjoy the new set-up and if you have any comments, remarks or requests, I'll be happy to read about it in the comment section.


It's a word.
It's a name.
It's a state of mind.

But where did it come from?

Here's the place for you to find out more about me.

Who is Moody?

I guess everyone can be moody at times, but no one can be as moody as Moody is. LOL
Now, where did it come from?

A few years ago ... okay, fine, over a *decade* ago, I worked at Disneyland Paris.

I'm not sure how people feel about that, but I don't really care. I had a blast. I worked there for 3 years, starting in 1995. The main reason why they hired me, is because I speak 4 languages and Main Street is the one place where they need that most since all visitors come through there at least twice every. The more languages you speak, the more visitors you can assist, so the choice was logical. After a year and a half approximately, I moved on to Discoveryland before moving out of the park and into one of the hotels about 6 months later, where my languages still opened all the doors. At the Sequoia Lodge hotel, I was also "noticed" by the Parade manager, which resulted in this:


It's hard to tell (and maybe even harder to believe), but that's me (oh, but don't tell the kids, okay!!!!)

I had an absolute BLAST, even though it wasn't always easy. The feeling you get when all those kids rush you, happy smiles on their faces and magic in their eyes .... you can be depressed when you walk out "on stage", but it sure doesn't last long. Before you know it, there's an ear-to-ear smile on your face that just won't go away, no matter what.

It's excellent therapy!!!

Something else I did while in Disney, was spend a lot (a whole heck of a lot actually!!!) time in the Village, more specifically at Billy Bob's Country and Western Saloon. It still exists nowadays, but things have changed so much since they added the second park, I don't think I would still enjoy it as much as I used to. The one reason why I spent so much time at Billy Bob's, is the fact they had live country music every night. The band's name: The Moody Brothers.

In this picture, from left to right: Billy Helms, Marcc Nutter and Brian (sorry, can't remember your last name), in the back, behind the drums is Greg Auch.

These guys rock in more than one ways.

When I returned home after 3 years, I wanted to do something to keep the memory alive. I started using the internet and when I was prompted to enter a username, I adopted "moodywizz" as a name. It later morphed into simply "Moody" and more recently into "Moody Val".

Bottom line, Moody Val is a total fruit loop who likes to run around in costumes, making little kids happy and loves country music so much, she didn't want the memory of a great bunch of musicians to fade away.

Stick around to learn more about me.
I promise you, there's a LOT more to come.

Toodles for now!

Dreams - A new page

A place for me to share my dreams with you.A place for you to dream along with me.

Welcome to the Land of Dreams.

Jul 27, 2014


How do you like the new look of my blog??
I've been fiddling with it for the past hour or so, and it's looking pretty fancy to me.

So what do you think??
Do you agree?
Or do you think it looks cheeky? Childish maybe?
How do you like the colors?
Does it improve the reading comfort/quality at all?

I'll be looking into a different cover page photo as well, but don't expect to see a huge pic of me sitting there in the near future, that's not gonna happen. EVER!!!

Feel free to drop me a note if you'd like, any feedback is highly appreciated.

I've also added new pages (took me a while to figure out how to actually make them show up, but hey, I did it!!!) so tell me what you think.
Is there anything else you would like to see here?
Or is it too much already??


Looking forward to reading some feedback!

Imagine - A novel update

Might as well give it its own post.

I finally got back to editing my novel, even though I'm still waiting for my beta readers to get back to me with their feedback. Having only 1 person comment on the first 50 pages isn't going to cut it, but there's not much I can do aside from asking them every other week or so. Unfortunately, I keep getting the same answer and still no "full" feedback.
One of them admitted to having stopped reading "for some reason" at about the halfway point, but upon reflexion, he said it was probably due to the fact he had been reading it on his computer screen. He promised he would transfer the file to his e-reader for a more comfortable read and he also told me he had a 1-week vacation coming up, during which he would finish the read and send me feedback .... but I can't remember which week he said ... lol
He did however, give me some general feedback already, along with a pretty massive compliment I never saw coming. It felt great hearing it, even though I immediately had to put things back into perspective. Yes, my English is really good and yes, I do master my craft, but to say I'm better than native writers .... I'm not gonna go that far, even though he sure did. Makes me wonder what kind of books he is usually reading .... LOLLLLL!!!

Okay, back to the update.

Last night, I went over chapters 2, 3, 4 and 5 with a fine comb, filtering out 1 typo (yep, just one in 4 chapters and it wasn't even *really* a typo, I just put "the" where it should've been "he") and changing 1 action scene (which I had been given feedback on, and agreed to the fullest) and 1 description (which actually gave me more trouble than it's worth!!!).

So now, I'm about to tackle chapter 6. Hopefully I'll be able to work my way through a few more and get it polished a little more, then I can sit back and wait for the feedback, which will - again, hopefully - enable me to make the story shine even more.
Once I've rubbed enough wax on and off again, I'll be sending it off for professional formatting. It's the perk I chose "in exchange" of my contribution to a project that ran on the FWG Facebook page. When all is said and done, I'm hoping to get my cover finalized as well (and I am once again looking at the possibility of having a hand-drawn front cover .... whooop whooop!!!) at which point my first novel *will* be ready for publishing.

I also hope having "broken the spell" on the writing side of things, I'll be able to work up the energy (and catch the flow) to get back to writing book 2 in this series. I still have 3 stories planned with the same MC, so I really need to get busy on this.

Bye bye for now.


It's the only correct word for it: Neglect!
I have neglected a lot of things lately.
This blog in the first place.

I had so many things I wanted to blog about. So much stuff I wanted to share or just "throw out there". I ended up doing no such thing. And this just made me think of one of my co-workers, because he always gets it wrong, he says "I will do not such thing" .... blahhh. Yes, I keep correcting him and yes, he keeps getting it wrong. Smartass!!

But no, work is not something I wanted to blog about, nor are my colleagues, I have to deal with that 5 days a week already, I'd rather not think about it/them when I don't have to.

I might be flooding this little area with posts in the next few hours, get those things off my chest/mind/hands that I've been meaning to get off and maybe - hopefully - find my "inner peace" again. Maybe that's what's been keeping me awake at night, or maybe it was just the heat. I don't know, and I don't really care. Bottom line is: I have been extremely tired lately.
I have no idea what caused it or how I can "fix" it again, but I do know I can't stay like this much longer. I'm starting to see two words wash in and out of focus at times and they're not inspiring confidence .... at all.

The first one is "Burned".
The second one is "Out".

Together, they scare the hell out of me!

I'm 42, I shouldn't be facing those two just yet.
But here I am, neglecting everything and everyone just the same.
Like I said, I have no idea what caused it, nor do I know how to stop those words from becoming reality.

Thing is, I've got things going for me. I have a job that pays reasonably well, I have a place to live and food in the fridge, running water and electricity, a bed to sleep in (even though I *really* need a new mattress!) and a connection to all of my buddies out there. I have finished writing what will be my first novel, my kid is growing up real nice and my mom is helping me out in everything she can. So, what's wrong with me? Why are those two words sneaking up on me? Where did they come from? And how the *hell* do I wipe them away?

Do I need a vacation? (I know I do, but is that going to solve "the problem")
Or do I need professional assistance? What kind? A doctor? A shrink? An exorcist??
Or do I just need to kick my ass into gear and break the spell? Is that going to keep them at bay? And if so, for how long?? Will they just draw back into the shadows and wait for another chance to sneak up on me?
Am I better off breaking the routine?
Getting away from the "drag" of life?
But how can I?
Quit the job? Take up sports? Force myself to go out more?

For now, I've gotten back to my writing project, which is good since I've neglected that for far too long already. Now, if only my beta readers would get their butts in gear as well, it would help me make this thing better yet. Without their input, all I can really do, is filter out any typos I may have left in (found 1 last night in the 4 chapters I edited) and edit bits and pieces that don't feel or sound right, or that flirt with the surreal a little too much. Keeping in mind this story started out as another one of my 24-fan fics, it goes without saying the power of the Bauer is greater than anyone else's (HA!!) which is why I had to change a few scenes that Jack Bauer might've gotten away with, but no "normal mortal" would. Like shooting at the military (oops!) and blowing out a headlight with a single well-aimed shot (yes, Jack Bauer *can* and *will* do that!!)

I'm happy I decided to leave the 24-fandom though, because it enabled me to create my own character, make up his background, think up a family situation and build up from there. Granted, Brian Tucker is a lot like Jack Bauer, in many ways, but he *is* an original character with a mind of his own. He will also have adventures of his own. Yes, you'll probably *feel* a little Jack Bauer in my books, but hey, I wrote about the man for over a decade, what do you expect???

So much for neglect.
I'm gonna get back to it and see if I can put a lid on those two words.

Catch ya later!!

Apr 15, 2014

One down, twelve to go

Alrighty then!!!

This isn't going to be a very long post, but merely an update on my work.

I started editing my soon-to-be novel yesterday and have finished Chapter 1. That now has 4.200 words and is looking in much better shape than it was before. A few tips from my beta reader gave me what I needed to work certain section out a little more, changing and/or adding to them to keep the pace and make for a better reading experience (or so I hope).

I will have to get my butt in gear though (which is why this post won't be long) because I have 11 more chapters and an epilogue to get through and only 7 days off work (and a few things planned, which will further limit the available time).

There's no need in saying I'll keep my fingers crossed, because then I can't type anymore, so I'll just keep that rabbit's foot close-by and hope I can get to the end of this in a timely manner.

On to chapter 2 I go ....


Apr 9, 2014

At long last ....

Those of you who know me personally or even just more than "only online", you know I have a number of tattoos. These are a means for me to express certain feelings and emotions.
Now, at the age of nearly 42, I have finally gotten to a milestone.

My mother, who has always been against tattoos and has never had anything good or positive to say about my tattoos, has finally gotten to a point where she understands and accepts my way of expressing certain things.

3 years ago, I got my son's name tattooed to my right wrist while I was in New York to see Kiefer perform in "That Championship Season". Right from the start (I sent her a picture of the tattoo while I was still away), she disliked it. Not the tattoo itself, and definitely not the fact I had my son's name inked to my skin, but the "extra" curl on the M. She felt it made the letter look a lot more like an N instead. It bugged her and she didn't miss a chance to tell me so.

Here's the picture for reference.

Since my son is just about everything to my mom, I didn't want her to have bad or negative feelings about that tattoo, so I went looking for something to add, which would camouflage the curl. I ended up finding a dragon image I liked and sent it off to a tattoo artist I recently discovered (who lives 5 houses down fom my mom's actually, which is super convenient) and I asked him if he could fit it "to" the other one.

The result is this:

He went over the name as well, making it look and feel like it was only one tattoo.
My son was born in the year of the Dragon and he has always liked dragons (toys, movies, books, you name it, he wanted it!!!) and I found an image of a dragon to go along with his name perfectly fitting.
My mom loved it!!

At a later time, we were talking about it and she actually told me she likes that tattoo very much. She still doesn't approve of the fact I have so many and she's not a big fan of the idea I still want more, but she came to the conclusion (finally!!!!) it was my body, my life and my decision. In the end, I'm the one who has to live with them.

This conversation meant the world to me. When all you've ever gotten was negative or reprimanding, this felt like a "get out of jail free" card. As a result of that conversation and the fact my mom has now gotten to *that* point, I could add another one, as meaningful as every other one I have.

This is it:

In case you can't read it well, it says "Those who mind don't matter, those who matter don't mind".

The day after I got it done, my son asked me what the text means and I translated it for him, then explained what it truly means. My mom matters to me, and now she doesn't mind anymore, so I could get that one done. I think my mom finally understood the deeper, true meaning of all that ink (I have 16 in all now, ranging from tiny ones inside my left hand, to the one you can partially see in this shot on the inside of my right forearm).

She finally understands the fact these actually mean something to me and it's not me being a rebel or a pain in the butt. All of my tattoos mean something, maybe it's something silly, but it's always part of who I am, where I've been and what I've been through.

My life hasn't always been fun and games, I've been through rough patches, but I've never let that stop me. My tattoos are a testimony to that.

Kiefer once said it about his tattoos and I really couldn't agree with him more: My tattoos are a road map, at my funeral, nobody will have to speak, just take a look at my tattoos and you'll know where I've been.

When your 'ink' is inspired by your heart and pulled from your soul, that is exactly what they are: a road map of your life.

Now my mom gets that.

Mar 27, 2014


This post has nothing to do with my writing, that's not where motivation is lacking.
Where is it lacking, you may wonder. I'll tell you where, in my young teenage son, that's where.

He's been hell so far this school year and today, he came back with a note: Detention!!!

The reason?
Very simple, he managed to get 10 "points" on his "behavior" card. It's a very simple concept, you misbehave, forget your workbooks, forget to hand in an assignment, you get 1 "negative" point. When you reach -10, that's it, you're in detention.
This card has to be signed by the parent(s) each week and on Sunday (yes, 3 days ago!!) I noticed he was already at -8 with 2 more weeks left "on" this card (it's one card per trimester). I warned him about it, told him to be careful because he was only 2 points away from detention. He said he knew and he'd try his best .... Yeah, right!!
On Monday (so the very next day after he said he'd try his best to avoid taking any more), he forgot one of his workbooks. BAM!! (but here's the catch, he didn't tell us about it!) And today, my mom texted me after he got home, letting me know he's got detention next Wednesday. So, when I came home after work, I asked him why and he said he'd forgotten to hand in an assignment which he did on Monday at my mom's and she reminded him to take it THREE times (!!!!) while I was there because he had to hand it in. And when I asked him what the other point was about, he "confessed" he'd "totally forgotten" his workbook on Monday.

He's 13, going on 14, but jeez, we're going to have to start treating him like he's 5 again!!!

There is absolutely NOTHING that seems to help to motivate him. Last report card was a disaster (with 2 failures and a total of 59,5%), which resulted in him having to hand over the MP3 player my mom got him for his previous report card, which was 71%. His challenge was set, if he reaches 65% on the next report card, he can have it back. I gave him another challenge to see if we could tease him into acting a little more responsibly. If he doesn't reach 70% again, he's handing over his Nintendo 3DS. So far, I haven't seen any really bad tests coming back, but I've got a feeling he'll be handing over his game anyway, because the test results aren't all that good either and if he's "forgetting" to hand in his assignments again, he's not going to make it.
Thing is, if you hand in the assignment one day late, you still get 50% of the grade, if it's any later than that, you get no points at all. Last report card, he had "forgotten" to hand in FIVE assignments. These poor grades were the major reason why he dropped from 70% to not even 60%, but apparently, handing over his MP3 didn't do the trick of motivating him.
And I don't think the 'threat' to his Nintendo did any better, because he's still as incredibly sloppy in his school work as he was before, forgetting his workbooks, forgetting to hand in the assignments, or simply forgetting he had one to do, ....

I just don't know what to do to get him to move his teenage butt a little.
I don't know if I have to be more strict with him or if being less strict will help.
Do I have to go back to holding his hand and guiding him, or do I let him figure it out "the hard way" and hope it'll work out? I'm all in favor of letting him grow up and find out things aren't always going to go the way he was hoping for, but I'm not entirely sure that's what he needs. He's always been overprotected by my mom, so I'm trying to give him challenges that will help him be a little more independent, but I'm not sure that's not backfiring right now. Maybe I let him go too quickly, too suddenly, after such a long period of always having grandma around to do everything for him, I don't know.

I don't know and it's getting really frustrating!
And being alone with it, isn't helping either.
Being mom AND dad at the same time is difficult enough as it is, but when the kid's not responding to either, it gets even harder to figure out what needs to be done. Maybe he needs a boot to the ass to get him going, but he might be in desperate need of a big cuddle instead.
He's not talking either. When you ask him what's wrong, or what's going on in his head, he doesn't give you anything to work with. Also, we've noticed he's lying a lot more lately. Lying about school work, about his friends, about what he does with the money we give him so he can get a drink or a snack from the vending machines at school, ... That's really bugging us, but we don't know if it's just him being a teen, or if it's bad influence from his old man or from hanging out with the wrong kind of friends. Again, I don't know and he's not telling us, that's for sure.

I thought letting him go on skiing vacation might help, but apparently it didn't do the trick either. He said he had a lot of fun and he really enjoyed it, but when you see everything else that's happening, it makes you wonder if it's true.

Basically, I have no idea what to do right now.
Do I kick his ass or do I give him a big ol' cuddle?
Do I yell at him over his poor results or do I cheer when he gets good results on individual tests?
Do I keep trying to be mom and dad at the same time, or do I pick and 'tough luck' on what he's not getting?

Anyone with teens, or with a habit of dealing with them, feel free to leave me your suggestions in the comments.


Mar 23, 2014

Game face off .... kinda

 Well, I've finally gotten to the end of it.

I have copied the content of three 120-page notebooks onto my computer, doing a first edit as I was going.

The next step in this process will be to give it a once-over and filter out the mistakes I will (probably) find (too many of) now that it's complete. Given the fact the writing process has been a stop-and-go ride which started last July (at Camp NaNo) and finished in October, being able to read the whole thing "in one go", will bring out any issues with consistency and/or pace/flow much more easily. I'm looking forward to it, hoping to discover my own work in a different way.

Next, I will have to convert my file to PDF so it can be sent out to my beta readers for revision. I'm hoping they'll be able to get it back to me in a timely manner, so I can give it another read-with-comments (or final edit if you prefer), after what I'll have to get my butt in gear to get it formatted and submitted.

Work on my cover is also coming along nicely, so I have that base covered as well.

I know there's still a lot of work that needs to be done, but I am much closer to publishing a book than I have *ever* been, which has me jumping for joy (and ignoring the pain it causes in my knees).

So far for the progression update, stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.

Mar 9, 2014

Game face is on!!

Alrighty then!
After asking several of my graphic artist friends, and getting rejections or simply no answer from everyone, I had to get busy myself. I have now made a first draft of what might very well be the cover of my first ever (self) published book.
I'm about midway copying everything to my computer as well, so this project is moving on a little more rapidly now. Gotta keep my butt glued to my chair for a while longer to finish all the copying (and first edit) so I can get it out to my beta readers for feedback.

Initially, I had been hoping to publish before the end of last year, so I'm a tad behind on schedule, but hey, I've been thinking about doing this for almost 30 years, so what's a few months ... right? Either way, this is going to happen. With the possibilities we now have to do the whole thing ourselves, and with the support of my friends and fellow writers at the Facebook community, I'm sure I'll see this one project through and put it on the (e)shelves soon.

Maybe I should try to get it out for my birthday.
Wouldn't that be a blast?
To publish my very first book for my birthday??
I think I'll go with that deadline.

See? It's not such a bad thing after all, to be talking to myself. I keep giving myself great ideas ..... if only I had enough time to follow through on all of them ..... LOL

But yeah, Game Face on and let's do this!!!

April 28th will be my deadline.
Keep your eyes on this blog, I'll be keeping you updated on the progress.


Nov 25, 2013

Feelings unmixed ...

So, let's give you an update on that incident that occurred last week.

My ex has released himself from the hospital, even though the doctors told him he really shouldn't be going anywhere OR staying on his own. But - butt-headed as he is - he decided otherwise and left anyhow (no booze to be had in hospital, ya kno).

My mom ran into our regular doctor today as she was going to the post office and they chatted a bit, so this is what my doctor (and his) told my mom.

He left hospital against all recommendations (but this isn't the first time) and he called her for an appointment. She told him he should've stayed in hospital because he had 2 small blood vessels that had been breached somewhere in his brain and he should be in medical care. He doesn't care. Neither do I!

After that, he sent a text message to my son, telling him he had just gotten back from the doctor's and he was very ill AND that he was "contagious", so it would be better if he didn't come at all over the weekend. At this point, you've got my kid cheering wholeheartedly and me fighting back a smile while wondering what the hell is contagious about being a drunken prick who hit the pavement headfirst.
Or maybe it's the stupidity that's contagious.
Or maybe the lies.
I'm not sure.

He either misunderstood what the doctors told him and thought he had meningitis, or he's just lying his ass off as usual, trying to come up with a reason for people to pity him. That's what he does best, after all, playing the poor little victim.

But anyhow, my son texted back something short and to the point "ok" and got another message back saying "aren't you going to wish me a speedy recovery?"
If you have to ask, you're not ready to hear it!
If I had given in to my first thoughts, I would've had the kid text back "oh, are you out of the hospital already?" or "What's contagious about being drunk?"

Either way, he's not "getting that weekend back" and in 2 weeks, the kid will be in the middle of his exams and he won't be going either. It'll be the end of the year before he has to go back (besides, if he's that contagious, the kid shouldn't be going anywhere near him, right????)

But yeah, there you have it.

Sick SOB ran away from medical care -AGAIN- and is -STILL- bugging the shit out of me.
Feelings have been very much unmixed and are back to what they were, even tipping deeper into the red with all of his crap!

My mom must be right: drunks DO have a special kind of god just for them!

Nov 20, 2013

Mixed feelings ....

Today, a phone call was made to my son's cell phone. Thankfully, it was charging and so I was the one to pick it up, and not my 13-year old. It was a call from the hospital. They were calling about my ex. He was found sometime last night, after he "fell" on the street and is in intensive care right now. They were trying to locate relatives and found my son's number (they could only know it's his son because of the text messages) after they got no response at his mother's number.
According to my son, he hasn't visited his mother in over a year because they are in dispute (which doesn't come as a surprise), so I'm betting they're not about to get anything positive from that angle. I gave them his brother's name, but it's not in the phone (doesn't surprise me either), but I couldn't remember his sister's name (not that I think her number will be in there any more than the brother's is).

They told me he had a brain hemorrhage and the lady asked me if I knew what it was due to (tiptoeing around the question a bit), so I told her I could easily imagine what had caused either the bleeding, or the fall, which resulted in the bleeding: Alcohol.
She didn't need to spell it out for me, since this isn't the first time he lands his ass in hospital that way.
I asked her if she had any idea how severe his condition was and if it was a potentially fatal incident. She said she didn't know. She could only tell me there's always a risk of it being fatal. She also told me visiting hours for the ICU and that he should (normally) be moved to a regular room as of tomorrow, if his condition remains stable. She said it would be nice to have someone visit, but given the fact I'd rather see him burn in hell, I didn't really feel like going. I said we'd have to see about it, because I'm sick for the time being and him being in ICU, I may not be the best of visitors with all my viruses and bacteria.

After the call, I told my son what had happened and what (little) I knew. I asked him if he wanted to visit and he glared at me, wondering if I had lost my mind without saying the words. I told him his father probably wouldn't be going home anytime soon, so he wouldn't have to visit him this weekend and his fist went up, coming down a moment later along with a heartfelt "YES". I guess he's not really worried about skipping a weekend. Already he wasn't planning on going both days, because he has several tests next week and he wanted to have time to study for them. Now, he'll have all weekend to study.

At one point he asked me what I had asked the lady (nurse?), "can it be fatal". When I told him there was always a chance it could be, his reply made things very clear to me.
He said "On one side, it would be better if it was fatal."

I don't think I have to question his feelings about his father any longer, if he thinks we'd all be better off if he died. I agree. On one side.
On the other side, I'm still a human being and I have feelings (I even had feelings for him at one point), but I can't feel bad or sorry for him. I can't even imagine him in hospital with drains and stuff 'sprouting' from him, which is something I usually have no problem with.

Has my heart turned to stone?
No, it hasn't. Just a while ago, I was watching this video on Facebook and I cried my butt off, so I know my heart hasn't turned to stone.
I guess it just does when he's concerned.

Do I want him to die?
Maybe I do.
Maybe I don't.
I think I do, because of all the shit he put me through in the 7 years during and the 7 years after our relationship.

Does that make me a bad person?
No, it doesn't. It's a result of what he did and didn't do, of what he said and didn't say.

I started this post with the words "mixed feelings", but I guess they're not really mixed.
I think what it all comes down to, is this:

I don't give a damn either way.

And neither does his son, apparently.
I think that says enough about him.

Nov 19, 2013

Feeling like crap

It doesn't happen to me often, but when it hits, it hits hard.
You all know the feeling, right?
It starts with an irritating itch in the throat, which you think nothing of, but as the day progresses - and you're talking on the phone or to your colleagues all the time, not really giving your throat much of a rest - the itch grows into a scratchy feeling that gets more and more painful by the hour. Then, the sneezing starts. Once, twice, three times in a row, practically forcing your lungs out of your chest. Your nose starts to play along after a while, either clogging up or leaking inexplicably and unexpectedly. The worst is when it does that alternately because you don't even know what to do about it. And when the headache starts, you know you're in for a rough ride.

Now, 24 hours into it, my head is pounding, my nose is leaking while being clogged up, my ears are 'plugged' (hate that feeling of not being able to hear correctly) and I barely made it out of bed. The white on this screen is actually making my headache worse now, so I'll be cutting this short I think, but you all know what I'm talking about. Right?

Well, let me tell you one more thing about it: it sucks and I hate it!!!

Now, off to take some pain meds and drag myself all the way across town for my 2.30 appointment at my doctor's.

On the bright side: maybe I'll have some time to finish copying my notes to my computer (I'll be sure to change the background color before my skull splits in half) and finally get that book out to my beta readers.

Catch y'all on the other side.

Stay healthy (lol)

Nov 2, 2013

Flash It! Anthology - Released!!!

Heya folkies.
The second anthology I have contributed to, has been released today, November 1st.

Get your copy now!!!

This Flash It! anthology contains flash fiction (1.000 words or less) of any genre. It's a great collection of very short stories that will carry you away when you don't really have time to get into a long read. Each of the contributors has done his/her very best to offer a wide variety of high quality, inviting and thrilling stories.

You can find the hardcopy here and your Kindle version here.

I will be looking forward to reading your comments!!!

Happy reading!

PS. Edited to add: You can now also get your copy as a PDF downloadable file. Get it at Lulu

Oct 16, 2013

First published work!!!

It's here!!
It finally has arrived!!!

Come and get your copy while it's hot!!

Available on Amazon.com for Kindle here

Paperback here
It's also available for Kindle on Amazon.ca for my Canadian friends: here

Or if you prefer, you can get your copy at Createspace

It will also be available on Lulu.com in the near future, but no dates have been given yet.

I hope you'll enjoy your read!!

Oct 5, 2013

Two down, many more to come .....

Okay, so I have sent in my second "release form" today.
This one will cover my short stories featured in the "Flash It!" anthology, which will have about 60 stories, coming from 30 or so different writers. No theme, anything goes. All stories are under 1.000 words, that is the only limitation or guideline for this one.

I haven't read any of these stories, so I have no idea what to expect, which makes it even more exciting.
As of now, I don't have a release date yet, but I will be sure to keep y'all posted about the developments on that side.

For now, October 15th is still a go for the WAII project, The End of the World as we wrote it, and I'm super duper excited about that.

I'm also in the final paragraphs of my first novel, so I'm hoping to get that finished within the next few days, copy it all to my computer and get it out to my beta (may have found my second one today, but that's not confirmed yet).
For the time being, I've got mixed feelings about the blurb that will go on the back flap of the book, so I'll share both with you. Feel free to comment with which one you prefer.

1) Head of the Federal Anti-Terrorism Agency and former Special Forces weapons specialist, Brian Tucker is sought out by an alien race in their attempt to find an ally. Tucker, a recent widower, answers the aliens' plea and –with his twin sons safely away at boarding school- embarks on an adventure far beyond his wildest imagination. But can experience alone suffice when the creatures' motives become more shady by the minute?
Tucker will have to fall back on his many years of training and find a way to put a lock on his excitement, in order to see this mission through and make it back home to his boys.

I've had some feedback on this and took some of the suggestions, thus making a completely different version, from a different point of view.

2) Driven to despair/desperation by a conflict they can no longer control, an alien race roams/crosses the stars in hope of finding an ally. Brian Tucker, head of FATA (will be spelled out in full) and former Special Forces weapons specialist, fits their profile.
Tucker, a firm believer, is easily convinced his combat/military experience can help these aliens restore order/peace on their planet. A recent widower with teenage twins in (military) boarding school, nothing holds him back and he embarks on a journey beyond his wildest imagination.
But will experience alone suffice when the aliens' motives become shadier by the minute?
Tucker will have to rely on his training and improvisation skills in order to survive and make it back home (to his family).

On this version, I haven't had as much feedback yet, because it's still pretty "new". The words separated by a / is when I'm unsure which one will fit best and the bits between brackets is extra info I'm not sure I'll add in.

I'd love to read what you think about these blurbs.
Would they convince you to pick up my book and give it a read?
What can I do to convince you if it doesn't?
Where can I improve?
What can I improve?
Is it too long, too short, too much info, not enough info?

Thank you!!

Oct 3, 2013

Published Author - Blogging - all audiences

Okay, this is it!!!
Less than 2 weeks from now, I will be a published author!!!

Yes, that's right! Less than 2 weeks!!!

On October 15th, 2013, the "Writers' Anarchy II: The End of the World as we Wrote it" will become available. This anthology features my story "Weapon of Mass Destruction", along with 20 or so other stories, all touching the theme, one way or another.
More information can be found at this super cool website

It will be available on Amazon and Lulu.com for download or in printed version. This means everyone can get it just the way they like it. Come get it while it's hot and enjoy the read.

What can you expect?
A wide array of approaches to the common theme, some sci-fi, some adventure, some romance, a lot of surprises and a damn good read. I know, I helped with the editing process, so I've read at least half of the stories in it and I can assure you: you won't be disappointed. And don't let the theme discourage you, the world will not be blown to pieces in every story .... it's just the end of the world "as we know it".

Press Restart, Sniff, Operation Adam and Eve, The Human Garden; these are just a few stories that will take you on a journey with a surprising end. So, do yourself (and all of us) a favor, mark the date on your calendar and get your copy!!!

Thanks and ..... Enjoy!!!!!

Oct 1, 2013

Excited - Blogging - Life - all audiences

The last two days have been really good to me. Despite a (very) short night Sunday (slept about 2 hours), I had a productive day at writing as I hit "a roll". Apparently, I'm still on it and I am drawing really, really close to those two magical words I have been dying to write again for some time.

Indeed, the project I started during this summer's NaNoWriMo Camp, is coming to conclusion. I decided not to wait for another NaNo-moment and continued writing it, bringing it from 16.500 words approximately at the end of July, to a full size novel. I am not 'up to date' when it comes to copying it from my notebook to my computer, but so far I've got about 32.000 words on my computer already, with another 20.000 or so waiting patiently to be transfered from print to digital form. I will have to find the time to get to that, especially since I will have to send it to my elected beta-reader.

Right now, I have a few more steps to take before I get to that point.
First, I have to finish the story. I'm in the final stretch and I can practically *feel* the magic happening, but I'm not there yet. My commute should be a little (lot) longer and my hands should move faster (and stop scrapping stuff).
Second, I have to copy the whole thing to my computer. This is going to take some time, but if I can really sit myself down and forget about Facebook and my son's war game, it shouldn't take me more than a weekend. Now, to convince my mom to stay away .... (fingers crossed!!!)
Third, I have to reread it. All of it. It was written in many different states of mind, under many different impulses and I have to make sure those don't reflect in the writing. I also have to make sure I don't repeat myself too often. And possibly filter out some typo's and other flaws.

After these three steps, I can move on to the next big stage in this process: get it out to my beta-reader(s). It is a sci-fi, action novel, so if you're interested in helping me out, feel free to comment and I'll get back to you.
I will also have to contact a former colleague of mine, who makes the most awesome drawings (and who will hopefully accept to make my cover image).
I will also have to get cracking on that blurb I want to put on the back flap. I've started on it, but I knew it wouldn't be easy, so I'm struggling (and asking for feedback on a few different levels, including my beta-reader who already said he's really interested in reading the story now that he's read the first draft of the blurb (yayyyyyy!!!!!))
Finally, I will have to get my butt in gear and gather all the information I need in order to self-publish this little piece of me.

And the very last step, is pray it gets picked up by some folks. At least a few. That would be nice ... ;o)

And for now, I'm gonna go and get busy on it.

Bye for now.
Will keep you updated when I have more to say.