Oct 26, 2014

Rejection

Posted by AJ Blythe at Sunday, October 26, 2014 0 comments

Sep 16, 2014

Malle Vallik's Words of Wisdom

Posted by AJ Blythe at Tuesday, September 16, 2014 0 comments
At the recent RWAus conference, Malle Vallik (from Harlequin) said branding should start now. I asked her if that applied to unpublished authors, and if so, should we be using our author name. Her response: yes!

Taking her words of wisdom on board, I've started rebranding myself with my full name in preparation for the day when I am published. Instead of being Anita Joy, I am changing my online name to the one I hope will eventually grace the cover of my books.

So with great fanfare I introduce:  
AJ Blythe

Sep 14, 2014

Fireworks Like Never Before

Posted by AJ Blythe at Sunday, September 14, 2014 0 comments
The Hub, Heckle, Jeckle and I went to the Gunning Fireworks Festival last night. About 2.5 hours of fireworks culminated in the most dramatic, immersive fireworks experience I've ever had. The fireworks were so intense, and so close, that my whole body felt the vibrations - chests were literally rattling. The fireworks were exploding directly above us and gold fairy dust rained down. The noise was deafening and the flashes blinding, but even so it left us in awe.


Sep 9, 2014

Do What You Love...

Posted by AJ Blythe at Tuesday, September 09, 2014 0 comments

Jun 15, 2014

Lego Scientists

Posted by AJ Blythe at Sunday, June 15, 2014 0 comments
In my day job I am a scientist. So I was rather chuffed to see the new range about to be released by Lego consists of three female scientists. My two sons, Heckle and Jeckle, have filled the house with lots of Lego, all of it easily classed as boy toys: policemen, firemen, garbagemen, trucks, helicopters, planes, boats etc. I have to confess I love playing with their Lego too, but I am really looking forward to adding one of the characters below to the mix (that is, if it doesn't end up on my desk at work *smile*).

You can read the article here.



Apr 27, 2014

How Easily You Can Be Found

Posted by AJ Blythe at Sunday, April 27, 2014 0 comments
The police gave a talk at my sons' school on social media awareness. It was a fascinating talk, and I will post more about it in the future. But last week I was emailed the link to the youtube clip below, which reinforced elements of the police talk.

It's something I think every person who posts photos online should be aware of.


Apr 26, 2014

ANZAC Biscuits

Posted by AJ Blythe at Saturday, April 26, 2014 0 comments
Every year around ANZAC Day I make ANZAC Biscuits. The availability of ingredients, coupled with the lack of eggs which results in a long shelf life, meant they were popular for sending to soldiers at war. There are many variations to the recipe, although they are all very similar. Here's my family recipe:



ANZAC BISCUITS

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup plain flour
1 cup sugar
¾ cup coconut
125 g melted butter
2 tbs golden syrup
½ tsp bicarb soda
1 tbs boiling water.

Combine oats, flour, sugar and coconut.  Melt butter and syrup. 
Mix soda with boiling water and add to butter/syrup mix.  Pour into dry ingredients and mix well.

Place teaspoonfuls of mixture onto trays.  Bake in a moderate oven for 20 mins.

Apr 25, 2014

ANZAC Day

Posted by AJ Blythe at Friday, April 25, 2014 0 comments
April 25th is a very significant and important day in Australia (and New Zealand). It is the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australia and New Zealand in WW1 (the Australian and New Zealand Armoured Corp - ANZAC). On this day the nation comes together to remember those who have served, and are serving, our country in war.


Lest We Forget.

Apr 20, 2014

Posted by AJ Blythe at Sunday, April 20, 2014 0 comments

Apr 18, 2014

Easter Bilbies

Posted by AJ Blythe at Friday, April 18, 2014 0 comments
In Australia we don't just have the Easter Bunny, we also have the Easter Bilby.

WIth its long fluffy ears it is easy to see how the Bilby could be Australia's answer to the bunny. But it isn't that simple. The Bilby is disappearing. In fact, the Lesser Bilby is extinct. The Greater Bilby is vulnerable.

The Easter Bilby is all about raising funds to save the Bilby in the wild and to increase the public's awareness of the plight of the Bilby.

The Greater Bilby is a nocturnal marsupial, native to Australia, which has a silky light grey and white coat and a long black and white crested tail with a naked spur-like tip.  Bilbies have a long snout and well-developed sense of smell to aid in finding food. Their large, hairless ears are extremely useful for listening for predators as well as prey.

Pink Lady proudly sponsors Save the Bilby Fund through the sale of its chocolate bilbies. Locate your nearest Pink Lady chocolate bilby stockist so you too can help save the bilby this Easter.

Apr 17, 2014

Stolen: Motorbike from Fisher, Canberra

Posted by AJ Blythe at Thursday, April 17, 2014 0 comments
Wednesday night The Hubs motorbike was stolen from our driveway. It was locked and the key was nice and safe inside the house. At 16 years old it wasn't worth a lot, so the insurance will help, but it will still cost us money to replace.

It was well looked after but old and without any flashy after-market parts. But for us it was worth far more than its face value. We only have one car, so The Hub relied on the bike to get to and from work. Without it I will have to drive across town to drop him at work, drive back to get the kids to school, and then back across town so I can get to work. And repeat again in the afternoon while somehow juggling the sport and extra-curricular activities the kids are involved in.

The thieves would have to break the steering lock and the key lock itself to be able to move it and get it started (somehow, but they obviously know how). Not much use if you can't start it. I guess they might strip it for parts. But it is 16 years old.


Below is a photo of a similar bike (not ours but one I found on the net).



If you are in Canberra and see our bike, or hear anything about it, please call the police (crimestoppers 1800 333 000). 

Apr 13, 2014

The Lego Movie

Posted by AJ Blythe at Sunday, April 13, 2014 0 comments
As it was the last day of school term on Friday, we took Heckle and Jeckle and two of their mates to see the Lego Movie that night. Everyone, kids and grown-ups both, enjoyed it. It's a fast-paced, fun movie that anyone who has ever played with lego will enjoy. I enjoyed every element of the movie.

Apart from the jingle.

There is a really catchy jingle that the characters in the movie sing. And it has been playing on a loop in my head ever since. Argh. The basic words/tune is very simple:

Everything is awesome
Everything is cool when you're part of a team
Everything is awesome
When you're living out a dream

The song is actually by an indie pop group Tegan and Sara. As I don't want to be the only one suffering here's the video clip:



Apr 4, 2014

Silly Walks Song

Posted by AJ Blythe at Friday, April 04, 2014 0 comments
I'm a big fan of Monty Python. I wish I could make one of their reunion shows, but unless they come Down Under it won't happen.

I was thrilled to discover, though, that they have released a new song in anticipation of their reunion shows. Time hasn't lessened their ability to make me smile :')


Mar 21, 2014

Romance isn't Dead

Posted by AJ Blythe at Friday, March 21, 2014 0 comments
Recently it was Canberra's 101st birthday. To celebrate the city celebrated with stage shows, food stalls and lots of activities for the kids - many free. We took Heckle and Jeckle in for the afternoon and they had a ball on the jumping castles, watching the Scooby-Doo stage show and checking out the live reptile display.

As we were leaving Jeckle spotted free balloon sculpting and decided he had to have a pirate sword. The Hub and he queued while Heckle and I sat in the nearby shade and people watched. After 20 or so minutes I looked up to see The Hub on bended knee (in front of *lots* of people) holding out a balloon flower for me (oh, and Jeckle had his pirate sword).

Gotta love the man.


Mar 14, 2014

My Writing Process Blog Tour

Posted by AJ Blythe at Friday, March 14, 2014 0 comments
Author Fiona Greene (her amazing debut book is soon-to-be-released with Escape Publishing) has tagged me in the "My Writing Process Blog Tour". I have four questions to answer about my writing process.

1. What am I working on?

I've just started working on the first of a 4 book series. This is a series I've been thinking about for a year now and it's a relief to finally start working on it. I write cozies (traditional mysteries a la Agatha Christie). In the first book a prominent businessman is killed in an apparent car accident. When it's revealed the brakes failed the finger is firmly pointed at Erin Dwyer, the local mechanic who serviced the car. Erin knows the car was in tiptop shape when it left her shop, so someone must have tampered with it intending to kill. With no-one else interested in what she has to say, Erin, along with her best friends, have to solve the murder themselves to save her reputation.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Probably the biggest difference is the location! I set my contemporary stories in my native Australia. The most successful Australian cozy author (Kerry Greenwood and her Phryne Fisher series) also sets her stories in Australia, but back in the 1920s.

3. Why do I write what I do?
I've always loved mystery stories and have read Agatha Christie novels from a young age. I've also been writing and making up stories since I was a teenager, so it seems a natural progression that I would find myself writing murder mysteries. Write what you love!!

4. How does your writing process work?
I usually let an idea swirl around for a while before I do anything with it. As I'm a plotter the next stage is to write some notes. I used to be very detailed with my plotting, but I'm more relaxed now. The key things I need to work out before I start writing are:
  1. who was murdered and why and by who
  2. how the murder was committed
  3. why my heroine is involved
  4. the clues (and red herrings) I'll drop into the story along the way
Then I write :-)  My biggest hurdle when I write is to just allow myself to produce a dirty draft - I have to force myself not to edit as I go. One of the best ways I've found to do this is to type with my eyes closed (thank goodness I can touch type). 

If you want to know more about my writing process, click the link on the top of the page.

Mar 10, 2014

New Look

Posted by AJ Blythe at Monday, March 10, 2014 0 comments

It's been quite a while since I gave my blog a clean-up and I decided why not take it one step further and renovate. A new look to more closely reflect my writing.

I write cozies with a touch of romance featuring a sassy female heroine. Of course she couldn't solve the mystery without some help from her friends :)

What do you think of the new look?

Mar 2, 2014

Call Off Christmas

Posted by AJ Blythe at Sunday, March 02, 2014 0 comments
A long time between posts, I know, but I've finally got here.

I want to share a favourite movie line by a favourite actor. I haven't thought about this line for years, but the concert band I am in is looking for new music to play, I thought of the theme music to this movie and... well, you can see how I got here.

Anyway, the movie is Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, the actor is Alan Rickman, and here is the scene:


 

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