Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tidbit Tuesday: Hiatus Alert

Hey peeps

Once more I get thrown a curveball that I cannot dodge. First off, my laptop is not working and is off to repairs. At least a week's worth of time away. Total bummer, and I hate this slow, slow PC that seems to be okay for the kids' gaming but is a pain on the Net. So that's one thing.

Second, for health reasons I'll need to take a break as I'll be at the hospital most of the time in the coming week.

So maybe this isn't a coincidence - laptop fizzling out just at this precise moment.

Still, I'm sorry to be leaving you all in the lurch. I apologize, and know I'd never do it if I had a choice. I should be back, hopefully, by the first week of April. Hopefully too, I'll have some progress to show writing-wise when I get back.

Big hugs all!

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Monday, March 21, 2011

Random Thoughts' Monday: ...is...

I've got just one word for you all today - weary. That's me, that's all...

Will try to muster something better tomorrow, but so far, dang if I'm not feeling out of my loop once more. Like I said last week, it's a time of change, and I have a hard time dealing with that head on and all let's-get-it-all-outta-the-way.

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Friday, March 18, 2011

Progress Friday

I should've stuck with 'nothing' last week, coz I ended up trashing the 4 pages I wrote back then when I sat down to get some progress going on the WIP this week. All in all, none too peeved with myself - I added a total of 17 pages this time around and the material that was in those deleted 4 pages got introduced in more seamless and dynamic manner in the story.

Lesson to remember - never to try to write, at least write sense, when you have jaw pain and are under painkillers! Let's just hope I don't ever have to go to the dentist for that kind of torture again.

So I get onto this weekend pretty much on a good high. The WIP is close to a quarter done, which isn't so bad given that it's been 3 weeks since I'm actively working on it. If I keep this up, I might just have a working writing schedule that will help me ease out a few projects a year.

Now can you people believe it's already Friday? Where did this week go? I've been helping my son with his lessons and revision the past few days as he's having the first term assessment sked at school. That must've used up a good deal of my conscious awake time, because I cannot fathom how we went from Monday to Friday in literally the blink of an eye. I know, I know - I'm always saying this, that time flies and yada yada yada. It's just sooo true though! Time does fly and forgive me if I sound like a broken record!

On that note, I pen off. Hope you all have a nice weekend. I plan to chill a bit and catch up on some reading in the coming days. What's on your agenda?

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Link Thursday: 8 Things Guys Notice About You Instantly

Darn, darn, darn! Back in the days when I was dating/actively looking for a man, the Internet was pretty much in its infancy stage. I must've set a few dates via email, but that's as far a role as the Internet played in my dating life. Now I wish those times had been different - I would've been more Internet-browsing-savvy, and lots, lots more dating resources would've been available online. Like it is now.

Check out this article - who wouldn't love to know what a guy thinks/judges you on the minute he sees you? Would've helped with all those hair-frying-blowdries or the paint-primer-like makeup application, because... guys don't notice these! Hello?? Was that a wakeup call or what?

So for all of you still in the dating pool out there, check out those tips. Believe me, they do come in handy!

For all of you writers out there - whether your hero is a modern tycoon or a historical rake - chances are, these following pointers are what's lighting up in his brain when he sees 'the girl'.

The article is from my Links bible, MSN Lifestyle Love & Relationship section. I accessed it back in August 2010, and is written by Bethany Heitman.

*****

8 Things Guys Notice About You Instantly

The second a man sees you, he starts ticking off a checklist to determine if he'll ask you out. Shocker: A nice rear end is nowhere on that list. See what actually is.

By Bethany Heitman

You know that look where his eyes slide past you ... then turn back? Wouldn't it be great to know what stopped him? You totally can. "There are a few things men instantly observe when they meet a woman," says Jackie Black, Ph.D., author of Meeting Your Match. Learn what they are and you can maximize your, um, assets. Then you'll have your pick.

1. How Thick Your Hair Is
This is all about evolution. Since caveman days, dudes have been drawn to lush locks, which signal that a woman is healthy (translation: shaggable).

2. If Your Smile Is Genuine
Sometimes your eyes crinkle a bit when you grin. Most men are good at distinguishing the vibe of this kind of smile, which says you're relaxed and fun.

3. The Size of Your Group
You don't want a big bunch (it'll be hard for him to approach) or just one friend (he'll figure you wouldn't desert her to talk to him). The perfect crew size? Three. Your two buds can keep each other company when you slip away.

4. The Pitch of Your Voice
Studies show that men are drawn to voices in a slightly higher register (think Kristin Bell's), probably because — yep, evolution — they're reliable signs of youth and reproductive health.

5. Your Hip-to-Waist Ratio
Yet again, blame eons of human history. Men instinctually look for baby mamas. If your waist is noticeably smaller than your hips, it signifies fertility — a huge point in your favor. A wide belt will emphasize that hourglass shape.

6. Your Glowiness
Guys associate a radiant complexion with good mental health. That's because stress and anxiety usually cause breakouts and dull skin. So those lotions and bronzers you sweep over your cheeks? Totally worth it.

7. What's Fake About You
Not personality-fake, but artificial-accoutrement-fake: lashes, hair extensions, etc. To guys, these things shout high-maintenance! Not good.

8. Your Eyes
People focus on eyes more than they do on any other body part. And dramatic eye makeup will have him zeroing in on your peepers even more.

*****

Great tips for that first time your hero catches sight of your heroine, innit? Yeah, I thought as much too. :)

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Writing Wednesday: It's Your Job!!!

I'm trying to get back into the thick of my Writing Wednesday advice posts. In looking for a topic to talk about today, something struck me - I'd been getting a lot of questions about a certain aspect of my writing life lately, and thought I'd tackle that. What is it?

How I manage to write lots of pages as if I'm fired up, in one single go?

I wish I could tell you there's a secret, or a formula. There isn't. It's just hard work. Not touting my own horn here, but this is what I mean.

Writing - being a writer - is my occupation. I am many other things (wife, mum, homemaker, student, freelance editor and cover artist, reviewer), but my primary occupation, what I do, is writing.

So is it as easy as parking one's butt in the chair in front  of the computer and just writing? It might look this way, but no, it isn't. There's a lot of work that goes behind being a writer.

Face it - when you're a writer, when writing is your occupation, then it becomes your job! Full stop. I've worked in corporate in the past. I started out as an administrative assistant (the blown up title to the original secretary) and moved my way up until I was an after-sales department coordinator. Every day, whether I felt like it or not, whether I was sick or not, whether I was blue or not 'feeling myself', I traipsed into that office at 8.30 AM after a one-hour commute in a hot, stuffy bus, sat down at my desk, fielded calls all day and got the technical staff's roster going at 10 AM, after which I'd be inputting all the tech reports of the previous day's jobs. At 4.30 PM, I left the office for a 45-minute trip home via a hot, stuffy bus again. Did I like my job? Not exactly. It paid well though and that was that.

But it was MY job, and I aimed to do it well.

Today I write. I don't get paid for it, at least not until I get a book contracted and it comes out and starts selling. I sit in my office, which is a sort of middle, floating space between the living room and the TV room in my house. I don't have the horrendous commute morning and afternoon, and no one bothers if I'm still in my pyjamas, not wearing makeup, my hair looks like a bird's nest, or if I ate too many almonds/peanuts last night and so my face broke out in pimples.

I get away with it, don't I?

WRONG!!

When you're a writer, writing is your job! You do it everyday, whether you like it or not, whether you're sick or not, whether you're feeling blue or not. Just because you work from home and have no boss and no one to account to (even if you have an agent or a publisher who have given you a deadline, they're not physically there and breathing down your back, are they?)... doesn't mean you shouldn't take this writing business as your job. It is what you do. Full stop.

So if you worked in an office outside your home, what would you do? You'd have time dedicated for that job, say 9-4 every weekday. You wouldn't let other issues get in there, like, let me stay home because I didn't do the laundry. You'd fit the laundry somewhere before 8 or after 5. Just because you've been sniffling a little when you woke up doesn't mean you'll take a sick leave. In the office, 'people' are counting on you, you have a job to do.

Well, being a writer is no different! It's your job. If you get into this game to be a happy go lucky cute little butterfly who'll flitter from this flower to that flower and stop to smell the roses... Sweetie, let me spare you the pain of when you'll slam into that wall that's looming just ahead of you! Penning stories could've started as a hobby, or because you were totally annoyed with the soap opera script writers and wish you could tell them that Bryce has to end up with Jenna and cannot, for the love of God, be getting hitched with Janice while James sits there on the sidelines and watches the love of his life, Janice, making the biggest mistake she'll ever make because she's expecting Ethan's baby but everyone thinks it's Bryce's-- Get my drift?

When you become a writer, writing is not a hobby anymore. It's your job!

Sure, there will be 'off' days. There will be times when it feels like pulling words out of your brain is akin to pulling teeth out without novocaine just after you got a root canal done. There will be times when you don't 'feel like it'.

But when writing is your job, you don't have that luxury. Writing is a biatch of a job all right - you're not racking in the moolah when you do even manage to get a story contracted and selling. No one pays you a cent when you're toiling and pulling teeth. No one's there to take care of your house and laundry and cooking. There are definitely 'better' uses for your time on some occasions. Then when you do get a story out, all it takes is one nasty review to spin you through depression faster than you can say Prozac.

Yet, through all this, sometimes it does come back to you that you chose this job for a reason - because you love it. Because it's part of you.

That's why and how I write, and manage to get so many pages down in one go - because writing is my job and I aim to do the best I can at it.

Are there strategies to cope and get along with this state of things? There could be. I've found one that works for me and I'll share it with you another time.

Today I just wanted to say that when you're a writer, you write. That's it. That's all.

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tidbit Tuesday: Cinderella Ate My Daughter

I started reading this book yesterday. So far, it has captivated me. I'm not usually one to gobble non-fiction (yes, I'm that shallow) but with this book, I'm finding myself sitting down and gobbling at every opportunity I can get.

Now you may wonder why I'm bothering with this title, because, let's face it, I have no daughters. My house is loaded down with testosterone, and the only pink thing you'll find in my home is my tube of lipstick (the lipstick is Bordeaux Red, the lipstick tube is pink!).
However, I have nieces, and... I write romance. Today's little girl is tomorrow's young woman - she'll be a reader of romance most probably, but she'll also be the 'heroine' of tomorrow, the kind of woman we'll have to 'tune in to' to write.

I'm pretty sure I'll finish this one by next Tuesday, when I plan to write up a review and my thoughts about this title and its subject.

In the meantime, here's some more about the book:

Product Description
The acclaimed author of the groundbreaking bestseller Schoolgirls reveals the dark side of pink and pretty: the rise of the girlie-girl, she warns, is not that innocent.

Pink and pretty or predatory and hardened, sexualized girlhood influences our daughters from infancy onward, telling them that how a girl looks matters more than who she is. Somewhere between the exhilarating rise of Girl Power in the 1990s and today, the pursuit of physical perfection has been recast as a source—the source—of female empowerment. And commercialization has spread the message faster and farther, reaching girls at ever-younger ages.

But, realistically, how many times can you say no when your daughter begs for a pint-size wedding gown or the latest Hannah Montana CD? And how dangerous is pink and pretty anyway—especially given girls' successes in the classroom and on the playing field? Being a princess is just make-believe, after all; eventually they grow out of it. Or do they? Does playing Cinderella shield girls from early sexualization—or prime them for it? Could today's little princess become tomorrow's sexting teen? And what if she does? Would that make her in charge of her sexuality—or an unwitting captive to it?

Those questions hit home with Peggy Orenstein, so she went sleuthing. She visited Disneyland and the international toy fair, trolled American Girl Place and Pottery Barn Kids, and met beauty pageant parents with preschoolers tricked out like Vegas showgirls. She dissected the science, created an online avatar, and parsed the original fairy tales. The stakes turn out to be higher than she—or we—ever imagined: nothing less than the health, development, and futures of our girls. From premature sexualization to the risk of depression to rising rates of narcissism, the potential negative impact of this new girlie-girl culture is undeniable—yet armed with awareness and recognition, parents can effectively counterbalance its influence in their daughters' lives.

Cinderella Ate My Daughter is a must-read for anyone who cares about girls, and for parents helping their daughters navigate the rocky road to adulthood.

****
On the book's Amazon page, there's this note from the author, Peggy Orenstein:

"As a mom, I admit, I was initially tempted to give the new culture of pink and pretty a pass. There are already so many things to be vigilant about as a parent; my energy was stretched to its limit. So my daughter slept in a Cinderella gown for a few years. Girls will be girls, right?

They will—and that is exactly why we need to pay more, rather than less, attention to what’s happening in their world. According to the American Psychological Association, the emphasis on beauty and play-sexiness at ever-younger ages is increasing girls’ vulnerability to the pitfalls that most concern parents: eating disorders, negative body image, depression, risky sexual behavior. Yet here we are with nearly half of six-year-old girls regularly using lipstick or lip gloss. The percentage of eight- to twelve-year-old girls wearing eyeliner or mascara has doubled in the last TWO years (I ask you: shouldn’t the percentage of eight-year-olds wearing eyeliner be zero?). A researcher told me that when she asks teenage girls how a sexual experience felt to them they respond by telling her how they think they looked. Meanwhile, the marketing of pink, pretty, and “sassy” has become a gigantic business: the Disney Princesses alone are pulling in four BILLION dollars in revenue annually.

As I immersed myself in the research for this book, I began to trace a line from the innocence of Cinderella to the struggles Miley Cyrus has faced in trying to “age up,” which in turn was connected to how regular girls present themselves on Facebook (where identity itself becomes a performance, crafted in response to your audience of 322 BFFs). It seemed that even as new educational and professional opportunities unfurled before my daughter and her peers, so did the path that encouraged them to equate identity with image, self-expression with appearance, femininity with performance, pleasure with pleasing, and sexuality with sexualization.

So much is at stake, for mothers with girls of all ages: How do we define girlhood? What about femininity? Beauty? Sexuality? Our choices will tell our girls how we see them, who we want them to be, our values, expectations, hopes, and dreams. Do we want them to be judged by the content of their character or the color of their lip gloss?

I’m the first to admit that I do not have all the answers. Who could? But as a mother who also happens to be a journalist (or perhaps vice versa), I wanted to lay out the context—the marketing, science, history, culture—in which we make our choices, to provide information and insight that might help parents, educators, and all of us who care about girls guide them toward their true happily-ever-afters."

****
Want to know more about the book? Check its page page on Amazon, and this article Newsweek pubbed about it.

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Monday, March 14, 2011

Random Thoughts' Monday: When change is looming ahead...

I'm afraid to jinx myself but I just have to tell you all that this week has started well! After the nightmare weeks I've been having lately, just this one day going as planned was a balm to the ragged soul!

Sometimes I wonder about all the things I have on my plate. I'm a mum, a wife, a homemaker, a university student, a writer, a darn social butterfly who needs her social contact fix everyday. That 'looks' like too much, but strangely, I function this way and cannot think of operating differently. Today was the deadline for the first assignment of this semester. Guess I've told you all (over and over again!) that this is supposed to be my last semester at uni, with a final module left for me to tackle. In a way, it felt weird for me to whip out my phone and check the calendar, and not see big blocks of days marked in red as Assignment-whatever-number-for-whatever-module. I have just 2 dates listed this time around, and even more weird is the idea that after May (hopefully! Let's pray I do pass the exam!) there won't be any more blocks of dates for Assignment-whatever-number-for-whatever-module. For the past 8.5 years - give or take a 1.5 year break in there when I hit some health snags - I've functioned and powered on as a university student mainly. Everything in my life got organised in and around exam and around Assignment-whatever-number-for-whatever-module dates. How will I get used to this facet of life changing drastically?

In a way, I know it's a positive change. Like, for example, at the start of 2011, for the first time in 9-10 years, since I stepped on my own two feet independently of my father's wallet reach, I was able to think of something else but 'this money is going towards this set of fees and that set of textbooks'. That felt totally strange. It was like I was giving myself permission to do as I wished with my money but this felt so odd I had to second-guess myself time and again.

Sometimes, you're wired one way, and then when change happens, whether inevitable in the course of things, or unexpected, you have to change your very outlook. And that can be scary, you know... Take away the familiar and you're left with a void. Like me with my clear schedule of blocked days for Assignment-whatever-number-for-whatever-module post April 2011. What will I fit my time with...?

One thing's for sure - definitely not more studies! I just recently realised (yeah, call me daft!) that I've been studying for every single year ever since I stepped into a kindergarten at 4. That would make 24 years of continuous study. I value education most definitely, but hey, that's enough of studying! I need to start living too.

The problem? What exactly is living...?

You tell me...

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Friday, March 11, 2011

Progress Friday

Sad to note - life hasn't gone back to normal this week. In fact, it took a turn for the wackier. But then too, people who know me will ask, when was my life ever normal? I know I should be asking the same question - twenty-eight years and I should know this, right? Well, guess not, since every week keeps taking me by surprise. I get into some sort of a routine, and just when I'm getting comfy and letting loose to roll with the flow, the punches start coming in and the road becomes pot-holed and bumpy. I think it all started when I turned sixteen... Still, that would make twelve years of 'practise'. Oh bugger...

Sigh, sigh, sigh... Story of my life!

Progress - what do I show as progress this week? My jaw is still killing me. Got just a bare-bones 4 pages down. Better than nothing, but now I'm starting to wonder if I shouldn't have just stuck with nothing and let this week go by too. I know I'll plan for next week to be better. Let's just hope and pray, shall we?

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Link Thursday: When Mr. Right is Mr. Wrong

Repeat to self - the initial few days after going to the dentist are gonna be much, much, worse than when you were battling with tooth pain prior to taking action.
I blogged on Tuesday and mentioned the trip to the dentist's. Guess I don't go often enough to realize/know that once the anaesthetic wears off, anyone's gonna be in a heckload of pain! I couldn't even function properly yesterday - hence no Writing Wednesday post (sorry) - and today ain't much better. At least I can move my jaw upon a spoken word and not feel like
a) my face is tearing apart
b) I was an idiot to go to the dentist
c) I'm gonna turn into the next Gregory House and become addicted to Vicodin (or actually, paracetamol since that's the toughest painkiller I have at home. Sigh...)

Tried to take my mind off the pain. Usually I try writing - once I'm in the zone, an earthquake can hit right below my house and I wouldn't notice. But sadly, writing - attempting to write actually - sounded more like (bad pun not intended!) pulling teeth! I gave up today. Hopefully tomorrow will be better (especially if seen through a haze of ibuprofen if I manage to get my hands on some at my mum's place).

So, Link Thursday article today: When Mr. Right is Mr. Wrong

I would've loved to read that one before I married my first husband. Would've spared me the heartache to find out just how much of a Mr. Wrong he was. Not been so lucky though.

Single gals out there - read this and take note!

Writers - here's the opposite of the hero, and if you need to paint an antagonist or villain, this is pure dynamite fodder!

The article is from Cosmopolitan Australia and can be found here.

*****

When Mr Right is Mr Wrong

The top ten red flags you need to watch out for.

1. You see no future with him.
Sometimes it’s nice to have someone to cuddle up to on the lounge, but if you can’t see a long-term future with him then it’s probably best to bite the bullet now.

2. He can’t admit when he’s wrong.
This is a deal-breaker. If your man simply cannot admit fault, you need to take a step back and re-evaluate where things are going. A relationship requires 100 per cent effort from each party- not 50/50. Freely admitting wrongdoings provides the framework for an open, honest relationship.

3. He is commitment phobic.
We’ve all heard stories of couples being together for years and years, but they never end up walking down the aisle. Marriage might not be for everyone, but if it is your ultimate goal and your long-term man isn’t receptive to it, you need to start asking questions. Are you willing to give up your dreams over his commitment issues?

4. You have incompatible goals.
This isn’t about arguing over what to order for dinner. It’s about being on the same page about your short- and long-term goals, such as kids (one day), career choices, and religion.

5. He isn’t financially secure.
Nothing is wrong with us ladies treating our men once in a while, but if you find yourself footing the bill every time, take control of the situation. Money woes can cause insecurity, stress, and frustration.

6. He can’t be trusted.
Women have an intuition about men that guys simply don’t get. If you find yourself constantly second-guessing your man and trying to sneak a glance at his inbox, it’s pretty self-explanatory. Be honest with yourself. You don’t trust him, so you need to either work on building that trust or give him the flick.

7. You constantly give him ultimatums.
Newsflash, ladies - men hate ultimatums. Not only do they not work, but if you are constantly giving them you are proving you are not willing to walk from an unhealthy relationship. If you constantly focus on his flaws he probably isn’t The One.

8. He doesn’t respect his parents.
Sure, it might be old fashioned, but if a man doesn’t respect his parents it’s a pretty good indication that he won’t be treating you with any more respect or integrity. Extra points if he gives his mum a hug every time he sees her.

9. He constantly ditches you for his mates.
Boys will be boys, and this includes drinking beer until all hours of the morning talking about Top Gear. But if he constantly chooses his friends over you and you feel second best, there’s a problem.

10. You just know.
The same way you ‘just knew’ he was The One, he suddenly just isn’t. And that’s okay. Relationships are like glass, sometimes its better to leave them broken than hurt yourself trying to put it back together. If you feel your relationship has reached its expiry date, don’t feel guilty. See it as a new opportunity for both of you to find your true life partner.

*****

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Tidbit Tuesday: Chill on the playlist...

Hey peeps

Awful day today - I had a hospital appointment (meaning I lost a whole morning!) and then I had to - I mean really had to - go to the dentist. Been in tons of pain to my whole right-side jaw for the past few days and I just couldn't keep biting the bullet and try to evade a trip to the dentist. Sigh. Got the awful nerve-saving procedure (or whatever it is called!) done, but now I can't feel my jaw, nor one half of my mouth. I swear - this must be exactly what Botox feels like! I smile and cannot feel anything happen to my features. Spooky!

So, bad day - how to make it better? Chill with some music, what else. Here's some stuff on my playlist at the moment. Features two of my favourite DJs - David Guetta and Martin Solveig. The former has a new hit with Rihanna, while the latter has this absolutely smashing and funny videoclip that has me in stitches every time! Check it out - a 'fake' Roland Garros French Open tennis game between Solveig and fellow DJ Bob Sinclar (who, it has to be said, is smoking hot!). Guest appearance by the yummy Novak Djokovic too - what more can a girl ask for?

Enjoy!





From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Monday, March 07, 2011

Random Thoughts' Monday: On a desperate slope...

Hey everyone!
Hope you all had a nice weekend. Mine wasn't too bad, was all revved up to start the week - a new week, hopefully better than the one I just had. Come to think of it, any week would be better than the one I just had - but let me tell you how this one has started, and what my day has been like so far.

I woke up at 5.30AM to the sound of pouring rain drowning even the drone of the electric fan in the bedroom. We're having one of the worst heat waves ever on the island. Even where I live, which is the coldest place on the upper plateaus, the temps hit way past 30 degrees Celsius every day. Add to it that we're on the top floor - all that lovely solar heat seeps into the concrete ceiling and walls and makes the place a furnace. Not at all conducive to sleeping well! Now it's pointless to invest in A/C you're only gonna use 1 month over a total of 12, innit? So we make do with the fan.

So yeah - pouring rain. Raining cats and dogs actually. Or even worse than that. It's still as pitch dark as 2AM, and by the time 6 o'clock rolls in, I know for sure I'm not braving that not-stopping rain in the car to go drop the kiddo to school. He'll stay home today. Sigh. Just as well, since at 11.30, the government closed all schools and sent all the kids back home.

Now I have a kid on hand, and mums of kids will all tell you it's better - much better - to try not to plan or fit anything requiring more than a minute of concentration into the day when you have a kid on hand. Bye bye writing...
So what have I been doing?
Reading - made some head start on Killer Smile (though I still haven't 'gotten' into the story within the first 50 pages. Wonder if I'll even finish that one...).
Watching TV - I've seen all the soapies episodes (from B&B to Y&R to Days to the Brazilian telenovellas), and that too when the kiddo didn't require the TV to watch Ben 10 and Pink Panther and Tom & Jerry and all that lovely crazy noise-making hoopla that fries adults' brains in 2 seconds flat (my brain can survive soaps fine - not kids' TV though).
I've cleaned (????) - something I didn't know I could do or knew how to do really. My kitchen is now spick and span.
I've made lunch - homemade burgers (and my son nearly gave me a heart attack when the very-carnivorous he asked for lettuce and tomoatoes in the deal!).
I've done the dishes.
I've replied my email and done my rounds on Facebook.
Right now I'm about to head into the kitchen to make dinner - homemade beef enchiladas (everything whipped up from scratch - from the tortillas to the enchilada sauce to the ground meat filling)
And yeah too - I folded laundry.

Now please, please, please tell me how I'm not going crazy yet! I've turned into this Bree Van de Kamp clone and I am literally about to go insane with this kind of life! Yes, I know that since I don't 'work' outside the house in corporate, I'm termed a 'housewife'. Does that mean I gotta be desperate? No!

Writing is my sanity, and sadly, I haven't gotten a chance to do any of that today. Another few consecutive days like this and I'll be totally off my rocker! We do not want to see that happen!
And dread of all dread - the Easter break is just round the corner. Kids at home for 2 weeks.

Can you hear me running around screaming my head off? I can...

That's my ramble for today, and that's been my day so far. Sigh... Thanks for listening (if you're still around, and haven't run off screaming too, lol!)

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Friday, March 04, 2011

Progress Friday

Hey peeps

Sorry for not posting the Link Thursday article yesterday - it was my birthday and I took the day off. Also, in between hopping from one place to the next on the special day my family had prepared for me, I wasn't really able to get online.

Now, you know it's been one of these weeks, right? Well, I think everything was conspiring to make yesterday the maelstrom it was. My energy was totally, absolutely wiped out and I'm still recovering from the excitement-hangover today. Not very conducive to work, you'll admit.

I only clocked in 11 pages on the WIP this week. About half the progress I wanted to achieve to date but something is way better than nothing. I'll try to make up for it in the weekend, or wrap it all up in next week's work. Should be back to normal then, hopefully.

You know too - sometimes it's good to have 'one of those weeks'. It lets you drain yourself out to better enable you to recharge and hit the ground running. Got a relatively free weekend ahead of me now. I say 'relatively' because I never know what my blokes will be up to. Can't wait for when the boys are old enough to 'dump them off' on their dad and send them all out of the house on a man-to-man outing!

What have you got planned?

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Writing Wednesday: Blank

Hey peeps

One again, I'm sorry to say this but it is one of those weeks! Sigh. Today is also a public holiday here, and balking at the idea of being cooped up at home with the kids when there's a superb sun shining outside, guess what? Yeah - my husband decided we had to go out. I had to trudge along and become a reluctant beach bunny once again.

The good news is that I got some writing done while I whiled away the time. The bad news is that I'm already late on my daily posting time and so totally wiped I have no idea what to talk about on this writing advice post. My original idea for this week was to post on how to create a log line/tag line for your story, building upon that to find the first line of your synopsis and develop your blurb too.

I'll slot that for next week now, because sadly, thanks to the heat and the long trip, my brain is totally not functioning properly.

I apologize, people.

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Tidbit Tuesday: D'oh!

Good grief - yesterday was one of these days. Today's not much better, I'm afraid. This is gonna turn into one of those weeks, you know, where time zips by and you get absolutely nothing done. Sigh...

Need a good pick-me-up... and what better than donuts? I have to admit I'm addicted to the stuff now, after a friend of mine steered me to a bakery that makes donuts here that taste pretty much like Krispy Kreme's. But sadly, feeding an addiction equals money, and these treats do add up to quite an amount after all.

This got me on the Net, scouring for the recipe for making donuts. I tried a few, but this one is the best I've found. Real easy, cheap, not time-consuming at all. Check out the video - it's really self-explanatory.

Just FYI - the amount of flour is 2 cups. He also bakes these donuts, which is really the healthy way. However, I have fried them and they didn't come out soggy or even greasy at all. And also too, he says to 'lightly flour' your board when you're going to knead the refrigerated dough. It requires a little more flour than 'lightly floured' to get the dough to that smooth ball that you can roll out. :)

Real easy to make - I even brought the boys in the kitchen and had them cut the shapes. They had tons of fun!

Dunk them in glaze and sprinkles like in the video, or do what I did - I drenched the tops in Nutella. Pure yum!

Try it - really worth the effort. :)



From Mauritius with love,

Zee
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