Information · Writing

New Page

I have added a new page called “Writing”.  I will put up here what I am writing, and eventually what I hope to have published. I will probably also list the EIC’s writings as well, but I will need to consult before hand. 🙂

On it at the moment is a short blurb for  A Darkening Dawn. I think later in the week, once I have reached my writing target, I will edit some of chapter one and put it up… Maybe… If I am feeling very brave 🙂




A Good Crop

We were out at the block again this morning, after driving the route the house will take, and trying to figure out which bits the house moving company will say are going to be problems. We think there is only one spot… So it should be all good!

We will be chatting to the man from the house moving company (Britton) this week, and to a crew who put in water tanks and sewerage systems. After getting a report on wastewater, and seeing that even if we go to a composting toilet system, we still need a septic tank (which we didn’t want at all), it looks like we will just go with a normal system.

We inspected the fruit trees, and it looks like we have only lost one,  a sour cherry called Monmorency. Not bad from just under a hundred tress. unfortunately it looks like vast numbers of the firewood seedlings didn’t take. One of the cherries has black aphids which need dealing to and we are grateful it is only one! A couple of the trees have gone crazy and produced fruit. If they don’t drop naturally, we will probably de-fruit soon, as we want them to put all their energy into growing root systems and branches…


Inordinately Pleased With Oneself

On Friday last week, I set about on my latest writing crusade. By the end of the week, I was happy with progress, and put down some aims for the coming week. By the end of the week(well almost) I have achieved two aims, but the ones I haven’t completed I am not too unhappy about. 🙂

Aims for this week:

  • Work through next module and start on one after that for course work. [Done]
  • Finish Chapter two, and get a good start on Chapter three of A Darkening Dawn [Not Done]
  • Bonus to feel really virtuous – Finish Chapter three and start Chapter four. [Not Done]
  • Word count aim: 3000 by Friday [Done]

I reached my word count aim, and discovered that chapter two is going to be much longer than chapter one. It is three and half thousand words and only half way there! Having not got this far into a story in ages it is hard to judge. But hay… 🙂

So aims for next week:

  • Finish next module.
  • Word count aim: 3000 words by Friday. Bringing total word count to 9000 words.

As for the EIC, she has been writing a children’s story aimed at our eldest boys age group. She is pleased because he liked it.


Devil’s Food Cookies

The E.I.C. found a fabulous biscuit recipe, called Devil’s Food Cookies, the other day. I think it will be ok to call these cookies as it is an American recipe and they have that soft chewy texture that seems to be the hallmark of American cookies. The recipe was in a library book, actually from a collection of short story mysteries, not a cook book. The book is Candy Cane Murder by Joanne Fluke et al. It’s quite interesting this trend recently for mysteries to come with recipes. Must mean mystery writers are often foodies as well. 🙂

Devil’s Food Cookies

2 cups flour

1 and 3/4 cups white (granulated) sugar

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup melted butter (1 stick, 1/4 pound) [114 grams]

1 beaten egg (just whip it in a glass with a fork)

1/2 cup extra strong coffee

1/2 cup of white sugar in small bowl (for end process)

In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda. Once combined add butter and mix thoroughly.

Add eggs and mix.

Add coffee and mix.

Chill dough in refrigerator for at least an hour.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F or 175 degrees C.

Roll dough into one inch balls. Roll balls in bowl of sugar and place on greased tray. Flatten balls, then back for 8 to 10 minutes. 


Waste Not Want Not

We have received our wastewater system report. Now we know all we need to know about valves, tanks and treatment plants. It is interesting to see that even though we are looking at a treatment plant, we still need a septic tank. Now we just need quotes to see how it will cost to install.

The report is based on our preferred option of installing a composting toilet. I know very hippy green of us. In deference to our various relatives however we are not looking at a dry system. Actually having to give guests a lesson on using the facilities doesn’t appeal to us either. So we are looking at system that acts like a normal toilet.

Cool 🙂



Iron Dragons: Book 1 – The Saramond Quests by Derek Gilbert: A Review

We finished The Rookie and went looking for more Podiobooks to listen too. We listened to a number of different starting episodes in our hunt, and the next one to grab us was Iron Dragons by Derek Gilbert.

How could we go passed a story with the first line being, “Dragon pee really stinks”. What a hook 😆

We both really enjoyed this one. The authors voice and pacing in reading his work was excellent. I think the voice is one of the most important things for audiobooks and podiobooks. The story itself was well passed and flowed from scene to scene, with good characterisation and a nice descriptive turn of phrase. I did feel though that one of the side adventures could have been missed, and the whole “starman” sub plot was unnecessary. I am thinking though that it is part of an overarching world plot, but I was still a bit disappointed. I was enjoying my fantasy without adding sci/fi. 🙂

Anyway, we enjoyed the story and will look forward to more in the series.

Study · Writing

A Good Weekend

I am very pleased with the weekend’s effort. I finished my assignment, a week before due date. Usually (as in pretty much every case previously) assignments are finished very early the morning of the day they are due. 🙂

I wrote just over 3000 words on the new novel, finishing chapter one, and getting a good start on number two. I am feeling quite positive about the writing, and I am looking to not good too bogged down in extraneous fiddling.  Although I already need a map, and as I can’t draw, I will need to find some sort of free online mapping programme that can produce a half way decent map 😆

Aims for this week:

  • Work through next module and start on one after that for course work.
  • Finish Chapter two, and get a good start on Chapter three of A Darkening Dawn
  • Bonus to feel really virtuous – Finish Chapter three and start Chapter four.
  • Word count aim: 3000 by Friday


Some of you may have noticed the comic strip sitting at the top of the front page of the blog. For those of you have stumbled across my blog who aren’t librarians, the strip is called Unshelved, and is a library inspired strip. I love it, as sometimes it is just so accurate, I se it as a bit like Dilbert. ANyway the strip will refresh each day as they authors upload the next one.  🙂

I will confess to most identifying with the character Dewey, with just a smidgen of Mel as well… 😆


A Productive Two Nights

Friday night and tonight have proved to be productive.

I have finished over half assignment one for the web writing course I am doing. It is due next friday, so thats good going for me to have started it a week out 🙂  

I have also made a start on a new novel to be called at this stage “A Darkening Dawn“. More details to come as I write [Isn’t that a positive statement!] I finished chapter one at 2500 words. Which leads me to a question? How long is your average chapter, or book length? Just pondering, as it seemed like the right length and all, but I don’t know.


Death Row Dog On The Loose

So the Death Row Dog looks like she will have a more permanent reprieve than two weeks. 🙂

The only trouble is she is a bit of an escape artist. 😆

The EIC was on the bike with smallest tornado child and heading off to pick up largest mischief, when she heard a pant, pant, pant beside her, and looking down there was a happy dog going for a wee walk. 😆 Unsurprisingly Candy is a bit nervous about being left alone.

So, we have set up a rope as a temporary run line. Now we will need to look for a kennel and run. We found this one called “Mutt Manor” at RD1 but the price is a bit prohibitive. We might have to just see what we can find second-hand on Trade Me.