Choosing The Crazy – my path to SP – Part #1

Hi all, Often when I’m reading a novel, and come across a mistake, wrong word… whatever, assuming it is traditionally published, I may become annoyed, but I am rarely annoyed at the author – it’s the publisher and their editorial … Continue reading

Interview with – City Owl Press

Hi All, I’m so excited about this. Today I have a super treat for you – an interview with the Co-Founders of City Owl Press (can I get a WooHoo). For those of you who don’t know, the magic Team … Continue reading

No Man is an Island…

cute-cat-kitten-skiing-animated-gif-pictureHi all,

It’s 3.30am as I begin to type this. One of those days/nights where I’ve got about 1000 things flying through my mind and I simply cannot rest. So, rather than waste this excess energy, I decided to write a summary of #Nestpitch & Nikola

>>> Remembering 2014 – The Year That Was <<<<

Those of you who have followed this blog from the beginning will know I started the Nestpitch blog primarily for the #Nestpitch writers contests (2014 being our first year) but also to use this blog as a avenue for other contests, to promote authors, interview agents and/or editors & generally open up discussion on topics pertaining to writing & arts in general.

Given I began this blog in late Jan-2014, overall, I’m very happy with its progress. The clever Monkey’s at WordPress.com sent all of us our “yearly stats” but I’m such a numbers nerdy-geek that I’ve been following & keeping my own stats and am looking at around 15,000 visitors by the time  the Nestpitch Blog turns one-year-old. Even so, I did like how WordPress.com put it:

computer Kitty“…The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 14,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it…”

For a 1st year I couldn’t be happier or more thankful to all of you who have viewed, read, commented, followed, re-blogged, re-tweeted etc. You have all helped to make this blog & #Nestpitch as a concept, work.

And while I’m throwing out thank-you’s. I need to thank all those wonderful people who formed #Nestpitch 2014, the Mentors & the Slushies, and of course the Agents. Without the help, support and guidance, #Nestpitch 2014 would never have taken off. And not forgetting everyone who entered. You are all so brave and wildly talented!

Nestpitch had visitors from 86 countries Oh My Gosh! I had to think hard to list 86 countries so that is so wonderful.

I would also like to send out a special Thank You to Rhiann Wynn-Nolet who helped me run Post-It-Forward, a 35-word pitch clinic which she and I ran on both our blogs prior to submissions for #Nestpitch opened.

There are so many people I would like to thank but seriously, there really are dozens and dozens! The old saying of No Man Is An Island is never more true than for solitary artists. If you’re a member of a dance troop or a band, while it may be true that a lot of time is spent in solitary training & practise, it is also true that in order for the group to work, they must spend large portions of time rehearsing and practising together.

It is not so for a visual artist or writer. I am both. We painters, sculptors and authors are truly masters of our own time but are equally solitary creatures. We come out at the oddest hours (it’s coming up to 3.55am, need I say more) and are inspired but the strangest things, to create the wildest ideas and forms. We do it because we cannot to anything else. We do it because we are driven to do so. But in all this mad energy and wild creative inspiration, in all the editing and re-touching and slashing and burning and re-writing, we remain, for the most part, alone.

Even those of us who have partners and/or agents/publishers, the internal struggles are uniquely solitary. We cannot explain why things happen the way they happen, they just do and because we cannot explain them… we remain internally alone.

tumblr_mr6kf4j54K1qdlh1io1_400The other day I was watching a programme on TV where someone picked up a lump of coal. I could not tell you what the programme was about, but I can tell you the outcome. Literally within minutes I had the inspiration and idea for an entirely new visual art exhibition. I’ve not been doing much in the way of painting and sculpture in the past few years, partly because I’ve been working on my writing, but mostly because I didn’t want to repeat what I’d already done. I wanted to create something entirely new… move forward as it were. Sometimes as artists, it takes years to be truly inspired with an utterly unique idea, but when it happens, and to quote the inspirational QUEEN “It’s a kind of magic.” These moments do not respect timing (who else has still being punching their keyboard at 3am?) or location. It goes something like this:

Inspiration: “Oh my frigging God, did you get that idea?”

Brain: “Its 3am, go back to sleep” 

Inspiration: “(in excited voice) “But… but… but… if we go back to sleep we’ll forget this by the time we wake up. GET UP! GET UP! GET UP! GET UP! GET UP! 

Brain: “Oh Jesus! OK, I guess I can function on 4 hours sleep, I’ve only got a 12-hours shift today, now what was that idea? Wooo! Damn, that is good!”

I’ve actually had an attack of inspiration at a funeral. I felt guilt, shame & excitement all at the same time. I know you all are reading this and nodding – ha!

There is so much more I want to share with you, but not today.

In the coming weeks I’ll be discussing the role, the need and the marketing ploys of artistic diversity. I’ll also be norweign forest 16interviewing Tina Moss & Yelena Casale as they embark on their new adventure {City Owl Press}. And I’ll be updating on #Nestpitch 2015 (looking forward to reading those submissions!) I’ll also be discussing BETA Reading and Readers as well as sharing my reaction to my first 1-star review.

2014 was a rough year, and not just for me. But I don’t want to dwell on the rough for the mere sake of dwelling. I do however want us to learn and come together from the adversity we may have struggled through.

For me, the very hardest day and week was when I lost my beloved Baltasar. There have been times & days when all I had in the cupboard was instant noodles or when I’ve sent a cheque for the utilities with more rubber in it than Dunlop… or when I’ve had to decide, power or phone, which do I pay? But none of that has mattered, because, as I often say, “they print more money every day” but losing my beautiful snugly fur-ball was close to devastating. It’s been over 6-months and even now, as I write this, my eyes are welling.

No man is an Island… let that be our motto for 2015.

– Eighty-Six Countries Visited NESPTICH in 2014 –

All of you, reach out to your neighbours, your partners, your fellow artists, your children, for no man, woman or child is or should ever feel they are an Island.

Reach out to your community centre or animal shelter, your children’s school, to the homeless person and the musician busker.

Fruit of Life  GoucheI have no doubt 2015 will offer its own rewards and challenges but if we all offer our hand to another, be it physically or virtually, I know it will make those heavy days less burdened and the lighter days more memorable.

One last thing. Quick apology to those who also follow my personal blog. I will be posting there too but I don’t want to get into the habit of repeating the same thing, so there will be less posts on my personal blog and more on here.

That’s almost it for me. Have a safe and wondrous 2015. Aim high but remember to fall is not to fail, you’re simply discovering how NOT to do something.

4.50am – hoo! More cute kitten gifs!  ImageProxy

As I’ve been writing this I’ve watched the sky turn from dark blue-black to the first grey signs of dawn. Being summer, daylight is only minutes away & the first magpies have already called to the the sun to wake up. I think I might try and get a few hours sleep, I mean SHEESH! It’s New Years Eve, how will I stay up to watch the fireworks without some sleep? (No one mention the midday Nana Naps I’m planning on taking – shhh!). If I’ve made any spelling or grammar errors in this post, I’m putting it down to the hour – 5.25am – might go check out Candy Crush on Facebook & then “to sleep, perchance to dream” for me.

See you all in 2015

Five Minutes With… Yelena Casale

Hi folks, Well … I have such a treat for you in today’s instalment of Five Minutes With… Today we have Yelena Casale, author extraordinaire and one half of the dynamic duo of Tina Moss & Yelena Casale, who are … Continue reading

Latest from NestPitch…

purringHello all,

Well it’s been a few weeks since the fun of NestPitch ended and I have to admit, between 4 family birthdays and Mother’s Day, I’ve been a little absent… but we’re b-a-c-k!  So, lets just recap. Nestpitch, as a pitching comp, will be back for Easter 2015. Naturally, we are keeping in close contact with all our pitch-ees and agents, which means, if there are any “offers” in the future, we’ll be celebrating along with the author and agent big-time.  047

What I can tell you is that several of the partial requests have been upgraded to FULL’S already, that’s great news and here’s hoping those fulls turn into offers very soon. In the meantime, what’s up with this blog-site… right? Well, just as promised, we’ll be updating on other pitch comps, we’ll be having interviews with agents, authors, editors and we’ll also be letting you know of any news that is too good not to share 🙂

Today, I wanted to firstly remind you that our awesome team of Slush Bilbies an Nest Bloggers are all authors too, many of whom have books published or book deals in negotiation.  Every few months I’m going to feature 1-3 of the Team and where you can buy their novels.  Nothing major, just a short blurb, and you can thank them for all their hard work and time by investing in one of their awesome books!

Sharon Bayliss picFirst up we have Sharon Bayliss & her wonderful novel DESTRUCTION (The December People Series #1), a Young Adult-Fantasy which is the first in a series of four.

A bit about Destruction: David Vandergraff wants to be a good man. He goes to church every Sunday, keeps his lawn trim and green, and loves his wife and kids more than anything. Unfortunately, being a dark wizard isn’t a choice.

Eleven years ago, David’s secret second family went missing. When his two lost children are finally found, he learns they suffered years of unthinkable abuse. Ready to make things right, David brings the kids home even though it could mean losing the wife he can’t imagine living without.

Keeping his life together becomes harder when the new children claim to be dark wizards. David believes they use this fantasy to cope with their trauma. Until, David’s wife admits a secret of her own–she is a dark wizard too, as is David, and all of their children. 20951394

Now, David must parent two hurting children from a dark world he doesn’t understand and keep his family from falling apart. All while dealing with the realization that everyone he loves, including himself, may be evil.

If you don’t know who Sharon Bayliss is, trust me, you’re missing out. She’s not only one of the most talented writers I know, she’s also a lovely person who freely gives of her time, often unannounced, trust me, you want to get to know her 🙂

You can find  here:

http://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/6259559-destruction-is-99-cents-from-5-10-5-11

(FYI its only 99c at the moment – Yup! Not kidding!) & Sharon here: www.sharonbayliss.com and here: https://twitter.com/SharonBayliss

AuthorMoss2Next we have the wonderful Tina Moss.

For those of you that don’t know, not only is Tina an awesome author and massive advocate of New Adult, she’s also a true Ninja- she has a black belt in Karate- Seriously!

Today we’re talking about Tina’s Urban Fantasy: A TOUCH OF DARKNESS (is it just me or is this cover a cracker!)

About A Touch of Darkness (The Key Series):
Cassie’s working for a tightwad boss at a pretentious NYC diner, dealing with paralyzing pain that doctors can’t diagnose, and trying to hide her hands that glow purple whenever she …well, whenever. So, when a mysterious stranger walks out of her dreams and into her life to spout some nonsense about her being a mythical creature, she chalks it up to one more crazy thing to add to her it’s-a-crappy-life list. Yet, when the stranger’s predictions start to come true, she discovers a world that could shake up her humdrum existence. Final-Cover

You can get yourself a copy of A Touch of Darkness here:

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18392580-a-touch-of-darkness

And you can stay in touch with Tina here: www.tinamoss.com or here: https://twitter.com/Tina_Moss

When Tina’s not kicking butt- literally, she’s fighting for the covers with her hubby and her corgi.  You’ll find Tina pop up a lot as she gives so freely of her time to so many competitions.

I highly recommend you follow both authors, and read their wonderful novels.

Creating good fiction is like making dreams come to life and these authors do just that!

And finally, a quick reminder Query Kombat is on again.

Go to: http://michelle4laughs.blogspot.com.au/2014/05/query-kombat-free-pass.html The wonderful Michelle, Mike, (http://writersoutworld.blogspot.com.au/) and SC (http://scwrite.blogspot.com.au/) are once again running Query Kombat… go take a look folks (and remember to play nice)