Jul 30, 2013

Great Rules of Writing by William Safire

Posted by AJ Blythe at Tuesday, July 30, 2013 0 comments
  1. Do not put statements in the negative form.
  2. And don't start sentences with a conjunction.
  3. If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a greta deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
  4. Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
  5. Unqualified superlatives are the worst of all.
  6. De-accessin euphemisms.
  7. If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
  8. Avoid trendy locations that sound flaky.
  9. Last, but not least, avoid cliches like the plague.

Jul 25, 2013

Grand Designs

Posted by AJ Blythe at Thursday, July 25, 2013 0 comments
I love the show Grand Designs. Hosted by Kevin McCloud each episode follows a new residential build, or substantive renovation, and is set in the UK. I also watch the Australian version, and while I enjoy it immensely, I do enjoy the original more.

I think in part it is to do with Kevin's interviewing/hosting style - which is probably explained in this interview with Adam Hills (click here and go to about 42 mins, although there is a rather funny (unrelated) segment at about 20 minutes in).

I sit on my lounge at home and critique the houses and the approach of the owners and decide what I would do (or not do) if that was my place. Apparently a lot of people sit at home and drink while they watch (there's actually a drinking game based around the show) - but I have enough fun without the drinks.

The cartoon below was published in the local paper this week and it tickled my funny bone. It also made me wonder... Does anyone know if there is going to be a 13th series?

Jul 21, 2013

Magical Day

Posted by AJ Blythe at Sunday, July 21, 2013 2 comments
We'd heard there was a chance of snow above 700m for today. The kid have never seen snow and since moving to Canberra have been excited that they probably would get the chance. So, believing the glass-half-full version of the weather, we got up early and headed 25 minutes down the road to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve.

We could see snow capped peaks as we drove closer and, sure enough, as we drove through the Reserve we found snow (in fact it was still falling when we got there). There wasn't a lot on the ground but there was enough for snow ball fights, toboganning, and a very Aussie snowman (it's eyes were kangaroo poo). We had about 2 hours of snow play before the sun came out and quickly melted our playfield.

We spoke to a ranger who said in the 15 years he'd worked there it was the lowest level he'd seen snow. Pure magic :)
Heckle, Jeckle and The Hub

Kangaroos in the snow

Aussie snowman (with roo poo eyes)

Snow capped peaks

Jul 17, 2013

Dog's Dinner...

Posted by AJ Blythe at Wednesday, July 17, 2013 2 comments

Yesterday was our dog's 7th birthday. We don't usually give him treats or anything - we consider the day he became part of our family to be the special day.

But yesterday he managed to get a special dinner. He normally ges a chicken wing every evening. Heckle went to feed him and inadvertantly grabbed the 1/2kg of chicken meant for our dinner, instead of the chicken wing!

Needless to say, the dog licked his lips and we had toast.

Jul 12, 2013

Story Inspiration

Posted by AJ Blythe at Friday, July 12, 2013 0 comments
I love Calvin and Hobbes. Possibly because Heckle and Jeckle get up to the same sort of boyish mischief *grin*.

In fact, one of the things I'm disappointed about since moving to Canberra is that the local paper doesn't run some of my favourite comic strips. Calvin and Hobbes and For Better or For Worse are no longer part of my mornings and it is a great loss.

This is a strip that was published in Queensland's Courier Mail that I cut out and kept as a favourite. I found it today (it wasn't with my bundle of cutout strips). It made me smile so I wanted to share:

Jul 10, 2013

Conference Countdown...

Posted by AJ Blythe at Wednesday, July 10, 2013 0 comments
This time in 5 weeks I'll be in Fremantle, Western Australia for the Romance Writers of Australia conference. This close and I'm starting to cycle through a whole range of emotions:
  • excitement - at seeing my friends
  • nerves - at how my pitching will go
  • happiness - at some down time from the family
  • sadness - at some down time from the family
  • stress - at getting everything ready in time (home and work)
But overall I can't wait for conference to get here. I've enjoyed every conference I've attended; this will be my 5th. Conference is like a shot in the arm. I've never needed motivation, I have that in spades, but conference gives me a renewed sense of belief that I will succeed.

I can't wait. What about you?

Jul 6, 2013

More Dr Seuss...

Posted by AJ Blythe at Saturday, July 06, 2013 0 comments

Jul 4, 2013


Posted by AJ Blythe at Thursday, July 04, 2013 0 comments

Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but perserverance.
~ Samuel Johnson ~

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