I’m Not Addicted To Books, I’m Just Focused On My HEALTH

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It doesn’t really need¬†explaining that all of us here love reading! Finding a quiet nook of the house, curling up where nobody will disturb you, and diving into a book. Looking up after a few pages, realising several hours have gone by… and not regretting a thing.

Well next time someone calls you a bookworm, you can now tell them it’s for your health! According to this article, scientists have found a bunch of benefits, mostly for our brains.

The list includes stress relief, boosting intelligence and memory, and¬†better brain function in old age. I think my favourite factoid was on stress relief – six minutes of reading can reduce stress by 68%! It’s also better than listening to music or making yourself a cup of tea. Sign this stress bunny up.

But really, as if we needed proof that us readers are a smart bunch ūüėČ Now¬†if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go buy a bunch more books. For my health, you understand.

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(Psst, want a sneak peek at my books before they hit the shelves? New releases for 99c? Join my mailing list to get the VIP treatment. eepurl.com/bwTdtD)

 

Cheesy Positivity

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There are two equal and opposite sides to my personality – a cheesy hippie who wants only love and light, and a sarcastic cynic, who thinks the hippie is super lame.

But even though the cynic wants the hippie to be quiet, and stop being so uncool, the hippie does have a little something to say.

There’s a lot of negativity right now. Politics the world over. People are upset, many have good reason to be.

It’s one of the reasons I walked away from being a journalist. The overwhelming pressure of¬†writing about negative things, being present for what would be someone’s worst day of their life. Letting the worst days for other people, become every day for me.

It’s easy to let this negativity infect every part of your life. I know people who have.

I’m not saying don’t push for change on the things that matter. And I’m certainly not going to suggest a solution to the political problems around at the moment – those are for other people to suggest these days, and I prefer it like that.

But I hope, amongst all of this, you can take a moment today. Each day. To remember what you’re thankful for. What was a success today. To remind someone close to you that you love them.

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Right, my cynic is sufficiently embarrassed. The hippie is back in her cage.

 

(Book status: 3,200 words into first draft)

Tomayto, Tomahto

Back when I was much younger, I remember enthusiastically talking to an established author. I LOVED reading as a kid, so getting the chance to talk to a Real Life Author was exciting. I babbled to him that one day I’d love to be a writer, too.

His response was… less enthusiastic.

“DON’T,” he answered. “You live in New Zealand. Your cultural references are all wrong for a global audience. Even your experience of the seasons is backwards. You’ll confuse a global audience, and never make any money. Don’t waste your time.”

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Which put me off writing for a long time. Until the indie publishing revolution came about, and I thought, “screw it. What do I have to lose? Let’s just see what this global audience thinks.”

Fair to say, the response has been far better than that author led me to believe! But I’ve also been quite careful to avoid New Zealand-isms, and make sure all readers can understand what I mean.

But every now and then, the occasional one still slips through. When I was editing the latest book, Open Home Closed Heart, I made a reference to Tess only drinking long blacks.

And then I thought: have I ever heard someone call it a long black when I’ve been overseas? A quick google told me, nope, that’s a name only used in New Zealand and Australia. (My editor is Australian, which further¬†explains how it slipped through.)

Right, got it, Tess drinks black coffee now.

And then I was on Twitter the today, and I was unexpectedly caught out again!

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(Don’t judge me, chocolate porridge is delicious. Or should I say chocolate oatmeal?)

The cross-cultural differences just sneak in there, damn it. You’ve gotta be eagle eyed.

Any differences that have¬†caught you out before? If you’re a writer, do you watch out for them? And if you’re a reader, do they bother you?

 

P.S. Open Home, Closed Heart is available on pre-order now, for a special reduced price of $0.99. So far all the advanced reviews have been five stars, so grab your copy quick!

Amazon: http://ow.ly/9vOU3012bpJ

iBooks: http://ow.ly/iEIx3012bs2

Nook: http://ow.ly/QjfV3012bF3

Kobo: http://ow.ly/Igho3014cN0

Favourite Places and Hidey Spots

I think every bookworm has a favourite reading spot. But what about a therapeutic reading spot? Just as important, and I’ll bet most bookworms also have one of those.

Old faithful, for me, is reading in bed. BORING, I know, but it works. Before going to sleep, I’ll snuggle under the duvet, flick on the bedside lamp, and read for a little bit. No better way to wind down from a long day.

But when I want to properly escape, a little something extra is needed.

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Today was one of those days. A little head-clearing was in order. So I took off on a walking trail near my house, parked up on my favourite bench-with-a-view, and read in blissful peace and quiet.

Did the trick, I have to say. My Zen has returned.

How about you? What’s your favourite reading spot, and what about a therapeutic one?

Celebrating with Caffeine and Sparkles

Wearing my favourite shoes today, because I just got my revised book back from the editor! And while there’s red pen decorating the page, it’s not too bad.

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Now for the hard part – going through the changes, and getting it into¬†final book shape…

 

Celebration and a Melted Brain

EDITING. The bane of any writer’s life, and yet it’s the part which turns a book from OK, to beautiful.

It also turns my brain from functional, to mush. (And my laundry pile into a mountain, but I digress.)

However – I’m finally done with my part of the editing process! It’s a blissful relief that I’m well and truly celebrating. I’ve¬†handed it on to my editor, so now I sit and watch my inbox like a hawk until she returns it, covered in red…

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I’m not sitting on my hands while I wait, though. Spare time means cover designing! I can’t wait until we’re done and I can show you the pretty results.

Of course I’ll be sharing it with my mailing list first – as well as the inevitable giveaways and special deals when the book is ready to be released! Sign up here if you haven’t already.¬†http://eepurl.com/bwTdtD

Who else has reasons to celebrate? Share the happy with me, I want to hear about what’s happening with you!

 

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Celebration Time

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The barista always knows how my day is going, based on order. Today I got a “long black? Congratulations!”

And congratulations is right, if I do say so myself. No need for a mood-boosting mocha today, because I finished the first round of editing for the current book. And damn, but I love this story!

Now only five more edits to get through…

 

(Are you on Twitter or Instagram? I love hanging out with fellow readers and writers. http://twitter.com/AuthorLibby and http://www.instagram.com/authorlibby/)

Bribing The Muse

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The first round of editing is always a tough one. You find lots of silly mistakes, rushed conversations, cardboard characters… But that’s fine, that’s why we edit!

Except yesterday my muse ran away. One particular paragraph needed a major overhaul, and I was blank.

So I did what any good writer does, and set out to bribe her. I got a mocha, with marshmallows of course, and sat down in the sun to clear my head. Staring up at the blue sky through this tangle of branches, birds singing around me, my brain unfocused… I may have napped for a bit.

Today I sat down in front of the WIP, and the muse has returned. The troublesome paragraph was sorted in about five minutes flat!

So if all else fails, bribe the muse. Every time.

 

(I love hanging out online with fellow readers and writers. Instagram https://www.instagram.com/authorlibby/ and Twitter https://twitter.com/AuthorLibby)

Baby, I’m Giving You Up

Do you know what’s great? Food.

I’m not really picky about it. Candy is my biggest weakness, followed swiftly by baking. Then comes the other usual suspects; pizza, anything you could serve for brunch, and all forms of caffeine.

So when I have to choose between food and my vanity, believe me, I’m torn. Because I’ve just found out that dairy is triggering the eczema that’s plagued me since I was a teenager.

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Hello, beautiful.

Do you know what dairy is in? Everything delicious.

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How’s it going, pretty?

And do you know how difficult it is to switch from lattes to long blacks when you’re trying to finish a book? (Great success there by the way, but more on that later.)

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I miss you, my lovely.

The worst part is that dropping dairy has worked. So now I have to¬†stick with it. Although I’ve gotta say, my skin in general is glowing. So if vanity wins, at least it wins big time.

Have you given anything up lately? Also, does anyone have good recommendations for dairy-free treats?

Romance Isn’t Dead

I’m a sappy¬†romantic. I’ll admit it.¬†So unexpected from a romance author, I know! Flowers, chocolates, big gestures, sign me up. But after the flowers have wilted and the chocolates mysteriously disappeared, there’s some really weird things I find romantic.

If I get home after a long day, and the house is all clean and tidy without me ever saying a word about it, then you can bet I’m suddenly in the mood. If dinner’s made as well, then all bets are off.

And I’m not talking in the mood as in, “OK, here’s your reward”. As in I’m suddenly physically very attracted to my husband and¬†not in the mood to wait.¬†A clean house has somehow become a major turn on. What?

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Tell me that’s not doing something for you

Which makes me feel very old fashioned! It’s not as if I’m usually responsible for all the chores or anything, we both pull our weight. The best explanation I can think of is that I’m naturally fairly lazy, and unexpectedly not having to do my share is a relief. Then, what can I say, he gets the benefit of that rush of happy hormones.

I’m still working out how I feel about this one. While I do,¬†help a girl out! I’m not the only weird one am I? Anyone else have something odd that gets them in the mood?