Thursday, March 29, 2012

How do you define a paragraph? Jessica Crockett a member of YAWRITE@LISTS.PSU.EDU>
Gives her view.
There is no hard and fast rule, but a paragraph should generally contain a
single 'thought' or 'idea'. This could be a phrase one character speaks, the
description of a place (which may be quite a long paragraph), or a coherent
bite of something like action where one major thing is happening.
Sometimes there will be one point in a paragraph, but sometimes there may
also be several unified points (this tends to happen more often in formal
writing like essays or other non-fiction works rather than in fiction, where
very long paragraphs risk slowing the pace of the work). A paragraph break
is also used to give readers a pause where one seems to be needed.
You really have to do it by feel.
I was told when I began to write - one new paragraph for each character's dialogue. This was turned on its head when in some classic novels more than one character spoke in the same paragraph. Like Jessica says - you really have to do it by feel.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Free read Short story Night Meeting at

A bitter sweet love story
An excerpt below

"Damn," Darren cried aloud when he stopped the motorbike in frustration and realized what he'd suspected for the last twenty minutes. He'd taken the wrong turn.
He rode along slowly, looking for somewhere to camp, when in the fading light he noticed the cottage by the river. He traversed the little used track leading to the building. Getting off the bike, he stood for a moment outside the broken gate, staring at the small garden enclosed by a tumbledown fence. The grass grew thickly as it tried to smother the sprawling lavender bush and straggling red geraniums. Pushing open the gate, he went along the stone path and up the few wooden steps and knocked on the weather beaten door. When no one answered, he tried the door handle. It opened protesting. "Is anyone home?" he called a couple of times.
The room was sparsely furnished with a wooden table and several chairs pushed into it. Against the opposite wall was an open stone fireplace. Beside it was a small stack of wood.
He called again but no one answered. The place looked deserted.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Writers Reading

Are you a writer who reads?
Was there a book in which you became completely lost in the characters? I read Tolkien's trilogy, The Lord of the Rings, and became involved in the characters in their struggle of good against evil. Tolstoy's books have made me aware that theme is repeated in some form or other in most of the books I've read. 

Suzannah from Write It Sideways has some thoughts on Writers reading.

1. Renew Your Love of Reading
Do you remember the first book you ever loved, perhaps one that was read to you over and over again as a child? Or the first book you read all by yourself? Or that love story you read as a teenager that made you fall in love with falling in love?
“All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you; the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was.” — Ernest Hemingway
I’m wiling to bet there isn’t a writer, dead or alive, who hasn’t been transformed by reading. But when was the last time you got lost in a wonderful story?
If you believe, as I do, that writers do half the work and readers do the other half, then the act of reading is an act of writing.
Maybe we need a new word to describe this phenomenon, but for right now, make a writerly commitment to enjoy reading on a regular basis. Make a date with the library or that pile of books on your nightstand, and rediscover the joy of reading.
Read the rest of this article. Contact>

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Waiting Women Poem

My poem, Waiting Women, is up at my website, as a free read.

I wrote the poem from a Japanese print by Harunobu displayed at Claude Monet paintings and Japanese prints exhibition held at the Perth Art Gallery some years ago. Monet was interested in Japanese prints, some which he owned and kept in his private collection.

Waiting Women [excerpt]
She saw the young woman
Seated next to a lamp.
A painting by Harunobu.
And knew it was her
Waiting for her lover.

The poem has been re-published again in the WA poetry download magazine
Perhaps you might like to read it there with poetry from other WA poets.

I used another Japanese print for the cover of my short story and poetry book available for download at and other download sites. In this one, a woman is sitting at a loom.

Monday, March 19, 2012 is up for sale

When I tried to find Laurel's latest novel at I discovered the site is up for sale.
I wonder what has happened to all of the ebooks there. When I did the search for Laurel's Journey from Walara I was directed onto the web to look from there.

I wonder if the authors have been notified. Has this been in the media?

Here is the link to Laurel's Journey from Walara 

This ebook is only $3.99. Might be wise to get it while you can, since the Sony site will soon disappear.

Friday, March 16, 2012

New Books Published

Looking for an interesting book to read? You can't go past

New novels just published.

Rosalie's Skinner's fourth book in her saga Exiled: Battle for Enderseer Hold

The Man in the Boat by Cheryl B Dale

Nic Brown's A Grave St. Patrick's Day

Earrings of Ixtumea - Kim Baccellia

Balance by Peter Giglis

Read about the books on

Wendy Laharnar's latest book is, Billy the Bonsai Bull

Download from Kindle books  
 & Smashwords

My latest book, Journey from Walara, the second book in the Hennessy family saga is available for download at

It is WW Two. Danny and Will, the two sons of Jack Hennessy, are off to fight for king and country leaving Jack to manage Walara, the huge Hennessy sheep property in Western Australia.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Riva's Quest by Sue Perkins

This is an unusual way to promote a book - the YA author, Sue Perkins, interviews Riva, the main character in her book. Check out the rest of the interview at
Author of The Unhewn Stone

Riva's Quest by Sue Perkins available at Amazon Kindle and MuseItUp Publishing.

Riva's father's job moves them from place to place meaning she frequently changes schools and consequently has no friends. At every school she attends friendships have been in place for years and there is no room for a new girl to join in. Reva withdraws to her imagination and begins to write about the magical world of Fey

Reva: It was funny really. I'd been writing a fantasy book about the land of Fey. Then one night Fey came to life.

Sue: How do you mean "came to life"?

Reva: We hadn't had time to tidy up the garden since we moved in and I'd found a garden gnome half buried in the bottom of the garden. That night the gnome knocked on my window and told me to come with him.

Sue: A garden gnome spoke to you? That's weird. Did you? Go with him I mean.

Reva: Of course I did. Who wouldn't when it provided a bit of excitement in my boring life. His name was Gareth and he took me through the scummy pond where he usually fished. When we came out the other side we were in Fey. Read More
Download The Rainbow Children by Laurel Lamperd at Smashwords

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Carole Sutton, her latest book, Flash Harry, gives an idea of how she writes her thrillers. How do you write your books? The rest of Carole's interview can be viewed on
TB: Can you describe your writing process?
CS: A bit disorganized, I’m afraid. I don’t start writing until I have a plot in mind and know how it starts and roughly how it’s going to end, though that tends to change as I progress. I set the plot up with a prologue to start with. If nothing else, that anchors me and gives me a flying start. I make a few notes on each chapter as I come to them on what I want to cover in that chapter so I can monitor how the story is moving forward. I am not a blank screen person – I can’t sit there and wait for the writing to appear. If the muse isn’t working I go off and do something boring, like housework, or ironing—tidying my office doesn’t seem to work!
TB: To what degree are your fictional characters based in reality?
CS: None of my characters are based on any real person, but they do have to be realistic, and recognizably human, as I don’t write fantasy. The good characters have to have some flaws that make them human. And even the bad guy might have loved his mother or something else in his lifetime, so he can’t be all bad. I’m blessed (or cursed) with the devil’s advocate mind. It has caused me much trouble in discussions in the past, but now I find it helpful in giving depth to my characters because I can see both sides of just about any argument.

                                                   Desert country inland Western Australia

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Read free short story Woman in the Blue Dress on www.authorsden,com/laurellamperd &

What happens when a young man marries an older woman for her money.

Marlene first noticed the woman because she wore the same blue dress as she did. The woman even wore a pearl choker like her. 
She didn't worry seeing another woman in the same dress. In fact, she felt pleased someone had liked it enough to wear. Charles hadn't liked it. He didn't like any of her clothes. He said she'd have to acquire a better dress sense now he was a politician.
She sat by herself in the corner of the room, ignored by the partygoers chatting vivaciously in groups. She hated going with Charles to parties which all the rich and well known attended but she had to because of his position.
She glimpsed him through the crowd talking to a tall blond woman near the double glass doors leading onto the terrace. He looked very handsome. She was proud of him. He was forty-five and looked thirty.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

How do you keep your blog interesting. You might find a few ideas from this excerpt of Susan Bearman contribution to Write It Sideways blog.

Demonstrate your best writing in every post. This is essential. Your blog may be the first exposure a potential reader (or agent or publisher) has to your writing, so do a good job. Think through your post. Make sure you have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Proofread before you post. Better yet, ask a picky friend to proofread for you. Correct mistakes immediately.

If you don’t have anything to say, don’t say it in a post. A stale blog is pointless, but a boring blog is deadly. Keep it fresh by posting regularly, and keep it interesting. Be on the lookout for good ideas. You keep a notebook with you at all times, right? (Your smart phone works just as well.) Start a list of possible posts right now.

A great way to keep your blog fresh is to write several posts at a time and schedule them in advance. For example, write three posts over the weekend and schedule them to go up on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Once you start writing, you tend to get into a groove. Writing online usually works better when it’s short, anyway, so you don’t need to worry about writing three chapters of War and Peace every weekend; 200-400 words is plenty.

Monday, March 5, 2012

March Calamity's Corner is now available for free download online.
Read an excerpt from Canadian suspense author, Joylene Butler, energizing article on what it means to be a writer.

How do you maintain your conviction after collecting
a drawer full of rejections? How do you fill that empty
void inside? How do you rid yourself of the negative
inner voice yellng,
I’m a failure.

How do I keep the faith?
When interviewers ask me that, I jokingly reply that I
was too stubborn to quit. But the truth is, I couldn’t.
Even when I had doubts, and I had plenty, I enjoyed
writing too much. Even when it felt like I had quit, I
was actually writing inside my head.
Believe in yourself.
Believe in your ability, and learn everything you can
about your craft. It may take awhile, but your dream
will come true. Keep the faith. You have nothing to

Reviews of Books and Movies. Travel News. The Galapagos Islands.

Readers are able to participate in Calamity's Corner. Contact Calamity at

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Writer, the Alchemist.

Whether planting characters in a modern romance or trapping them on alien planets,  in prehistoric caves or the Middle Ages, writers create worlds and situations to tell their stories.
                     Some see themselves as gods.
    I see myself as the Alchemist.

I love symbolism, so it is natural I should gravitate to the art of the ancient alchemists who used physical symbols as metaphors to hide their spiritual philosophies which conflicted with the Medieval Church.                        
As the alchemist, my aim is to create my Opus Magnum or Great Work, so I focus on their three prime elements: sulphur (fire), mercury (water) and salt (form)

 The Alchemist strove to find the right balance between these minerals to produce the sacred elixir (philosopher’s stone) that would transmute base metal into gold and in the process lead him from ignorance to enlightenment. So I strive to do the same.

Ideas bubble and boil in the apparatus in my laboratory. Characters and conflicts fuse into scenes and bake in the self-feeding furnace of my imagination. The result is a jumble of words like chemical experiments. Some work, some don’t, while I seek the sacred elixir, which I call creative juice, to transform chaos into order. To do this I turn to the alchemist’s symbols for direction. 

I become sulphur (the Sun), the omnipresent spirit of life. I am mercury, (the Moon – a passive and imperfect reflection of the sun), I am salt (crystals: impure " purified).

 A particularly fine idea is that salt symbolizes self-knowledge & wisdom. In its lowest form it is bitter and painful. I love that! So I make my characters suffer as they grow in understanding, but I hope I learn something along the way, too.

As Hermes, the swift messenger (Mercury) and Apollo, patron god of the Arts (Sun) I dissolve or coagulate scenes and characters to my heart’s content. There’s plenty of symbolism here to keep me happy and give my stories form. But I use more.

The alchemist believed the Divine world is reflected in a Material world which is corrupted. Only by removing the imperfections can he reveal the true state of matter and show its perfect union with the Divine. For him, the golden sun, represents the Divine (religion) and the silver moon, represents Matter (science). He saw the marriage of the two in the total solar eclipse. It’s a beautiful concept:   
                                                                          All in One                                      

I try to do the same, by showing both the sacred and secular aspects in everything. Like the self-devouring serpent, the ouroboros, I fuse them together into the circular union of endings and beginnings: goal, crisis, consequence " new goal, crisis etc.

And I must have my staff of Hermes or caduceus wand. This is the symbol of the transforming alchemical power i.e. the transcendence from the profane to the sacred. The union of the two opposing forces in our nature, seen in the coiled snakes rising on the pole. They represent duality – a blending of the positive and negative aspects in my stories.

The Alchemist labours on, dissolving away the imperfections in his metals, trying to purify them so they not only reflect the sun, but reveal Divine Light. Like he who murmurs, ‘Dissolve, dissolve, dissolve,’ I sift through the dross in my chapters, in search of true gold, and delete, delete, delete.

I could spend a lifetime striving and never achieve my lofty goal, but that’s okay. If alchemists had given up, we would have none of their lesser achievements today.

 For The Unhewn Stone, I’m indebted to a fictional 14th C. alchemist for handing me his golden orb which
 reflects the Divine Light of the Sun.

This article first appeared in Calamity's Corner August 2011 and later on Heather Haven's This and That - January 18th 2012.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Interesting Historic Facts... Believe it or Not...

Taken from an email...yeah... reliable source of course. 
Thanks to Roseanne Dowell and her source...Tom Pavlescak

Where did term “piss poor” come from ?

Us older people need to learn something new every day..

Just to keep the grey matter tuned up.

Where did "Piss Poor" come from?
Interesting History.

They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot

And then once it was full it was taken and sold to the tannery...

if you had to do this to survive you were "Piss Poor".
But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn't even afford to buy a pot...

They "didn't have a pot to piss in" and were the lowest of the low.

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature

Isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be.

Here are some facts about the 1500s

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May,

And they still smelled pretty good by June. However, since they were starting to smell,
Brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor.
Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water.

The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water,

Then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children.

Last of all the babies.

By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it.

Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the Bath water!"

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath.

It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals
(mice, bugs) lived in the roof.

When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof.
Hence the saying, "It's raining cats and dogs."
There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house.

This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings

Could mess up your nice clean bed.

Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection.

That's how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt.

Hence the saying, "Dirt poor." The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery

In the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing.

As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door,

It would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way.
Hence: a thresh hold.

(Getting quite an education, aren't you?)

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire.

Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables

And did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers

In the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day.

Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while.

Hence the rhyme:

“Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old”.
Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special.

When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off.

It was a sign of wealth that a man could, "bring home the bacon."

They would cut off a little to share with guests

And would all sit around and chew the fat.

Those with money had plates made of pewter.

Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death.

This happened most often with tomatoes,

so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status.

Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle,

and guests got the top, or the upper crust.
Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky.

The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days.

Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial.

They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around
and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up.

Hence the custom; “of holding a wake”.

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people.

So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave.

When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people

So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell.

Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift.) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be,
“saved by the bell” or was "considered a dead ringer”.

And that's the truth.

Now, whoever said History was boring!!!
So get out there and educate someone! ~~~

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Our pet kangaroo, Daisy, raised from a baby, now returned to the wild.

Felt I had to post this - read it on Kevin Ransom's blog -

Just saw a post on Facebook and had a moment of clarity. This is what she said:
Just had one of those sad moments. Was talking to one of my old college instructors who I have been friends with since being in their class. Had a disappointing conversation with them. I was basically told I will never become a writer if I self-publish. I know the black mark some of the crap that has come out of self-publish and what it has done to authors and writers. However, I do not feel I am making a mistake and dooming myself to failure by starting that way. I hate that so many people still view Indie and self-publishing in such a negative way and have such a closed mind about it. Makes me want to get published and be successful even more now to prove them wrong!
This is what I replied: [Kevin]
I really hate to say it this way, but when someone old tells you that things will never change, what they’re really saying is that THEY’LL never change. Also, what they’re saying doesn’t make any sense; there are already plenty of success stories in self-publishing. “Never” is very petty word. The next time you see those dinosaurs, gently tell them, “Evolve or die.”

And this my reply
 Good website, Kevin. I was interested in your blog about self publishing. Many famous writers in the past have self published. They weren't so lucky as today's writers who can self publish in a wink for virtually no cost. But had to pay for so many hundfeds [maybe] of print copies which they had to hawk around. Cheers      
Hi everyone - sometimes you get a reply - this from Leah at Goodreads Women Fiction Authors. If you read this Leah. Thank you for following Sneak a Peak Aussies Authors at Work.

Free read - Phantasia in the Suburbs - short story on my websites &

message by Leah
Images are not displayed Laurel wrote: "A good idea to blog with other writers. I occasionally blog with other writers on
I liked Julie's photos of where she lives."

Hi Laurel, I visited and am following. There were lots of great posts to view and I intend to go back when I have more time and explore them.