Friday 22 March 2013

Pic of the Week . . . Equinox

Wednesday this week saw the arrivial of our Spring Equinox, a day when there is the exact amount of daylight as there is darkness.  There are two of these a year, Spring and Autumn, and they fall in between the longest day and the shortest day of the year (my birthday.  If it's not enough that it's so close to Christmas I only get one lot of presents because people can't afford two, I also get the shortest birthday!  Lose lose situation,

Anyway, moving on.  I thought I'd help celebrate our Spring Equinox by showcasing a piece of art by the same name.  Introdusing Alexiuss on DevientArt, with their stunning piece, 'Equinox'.

Enjoy and have a grand weekend.  

Friday 15 March 2013

Pic of the Week . . . Saturn

Seeing as this weeks blog hop took on a sci-fi twist I've decided to continue with that theme. 

I'm not that clued up in Sci-Fi literature, but I've heard that the planet Saturn - or the image of a planet with rings - is very cliche.  It's been over used and has lost all originality.  But you know what?  Meh!  That's what I say to that.  I like Saturn.  It's the only planet in our solar system with a difference.  And that difference?  Yep, you guessed it.  Rings.

I love those rings.  And when you get a powerful enough telescope and actually get to see Saturn for yourself (I've only seen it this way on TV) it takes your breath away.  It really does.  I've seen Mars and Venus - and the moon pretty close up - but none has that certain factor that just captures you and mesmerises you.  It's those rings.  That's what makes it so special.

This week's Pic of the Week is Saturn, but imagine if this was a real photo.  Imagine if this is what greeted you every morning when the skies were clear, or at night alongside a full moon.  Wouldn't it be spectacular?  But then would we also begin to lose our love for it and take the sight for granted?

I'll let you decide that.  In the mean time, enjoy and have a great weekend.

Wednesday 13 March 2013

National Wormhole Day Blog Hop . . .

Today I'm taking part in the National Wormhole Day Blog Hop, hosted by Luanne Smith , Laura Eno and Stephen Tremp.

What would you do or where would you go if you could traverse a wormhole through space or time just once? One safe round trip passage. Would you go back in time and talk some sense into a younger you? Go five years into the future and bring back the Wall Street Journal? See just how the heck the Great Pyramids of Giza were really built? View what the other side of the universe looks like? Kill Hitler?

So, what would I do if I could travel through a wormhole and back again?  Hmmm...

I would jump in my wormhole and travel back billions and billions of years and then pay the Planet Mars a visit.  Why?  Well, for those who don't really follow the likes of Curiosity, astronomers have recently discovered gullies and valleys across the surface of Mars that looks like it was created by water.  Whether these were huge, deep lakes that carved their way across the land or whether they were just mere streams that, over the course of centuries, eroded deep fissures that snaked by, who knows.

But, if it was water, and as much as what they say it may have been, was it enough to sustain life?  If so, where is this life - and WHERE is this water?  Why is the planet so dry and barren now?  What happened to it?

Now that is something I'd like to know.


I could give Justine Beiber the key to my wormhole but forget to give him the return ticket (snigger snigger)...

Ahhh the possibilities are endless :)

Friday 8 March 2013

Pic of the Week . . . Salvador Dali

Today sees us delving into the weird and wonderful world of Salvador Dali.

I've always liked Dali's work, and one of the first pictures I ever bought myself was a print of one of his pieces depicting the human body and the circle of life (it also included the signature mini figure of him which crops up in most of his pieces).  So I got home, found a home for this piece on my wall and went on with life.  It wasn't until a couple of years ago, however, that I actually realised what I had been looking at all these years.  As with most of his work, there's always a lot going on, a lot to look at and a lot to miss - but how I missed this I'll never know.

A large part of the main focal point in the picture was actually a...erm... *cough...a male member.  The picture was sitting on my wall all those years and I never noticed?  How could that be?  I was just so glad my parents never studied the piece while I was still at home...oh imagine the embarrassment of a teenage girl...

Anyway, this piece, I think - I'm hoping - is clean with no hidden body parts to suddenly jump out and poke you in the eye - pardon the pun.  And seeing as I'm still all about Galleon ships and life at sea, I thought this was apt.

Enjoy and have a great weekend :)

Thursday 7 March 2013

Going 'OVER BOARD' With Research . . .


It’s something us writer’s must do.  In order to get our facts right in the story we’re telling, we need to look them up.  Do cows really have four stomach compartments?  I don’t know.  Let’s look it up.  Can fire still burn in the rain?  I don’t know.  Let’s look it up.

We need to research, and it’s so easy to get lost in it and forget the reason why we ventured there in the first place.  But there’s a reason why we get lost.  We find interest in what we’re looking up, and you find yourself learning and discovering new things (albeit things you may never need again after you've finished your WIP).

I definitely discovered something new researching for my current piece.  As many of you know, old galleon ships play a huge role in my story, and so a lot of research has had to be put in to get things right.  I'm fairly lucky in that I have a small amount of navy knowledge from my teens when I was contemplating joining the Merchant Navy as a communicator, and it's made my life a little easier despite the fact that modern ships and galleon ships are somewhat different (in case you couldn't tell).

However, some of the phrases used back in the day are still being used today, and did you know that a lot of our common phrases originate from old navy terms?  Yeah!  I was stunned to learn this and thought it interesting enough to share.  Here's a few examples:

  • Above board – "Everything seems above board; kosha; ok; legit"

Original meaning: On or above the deck, in plain view, not hiding anything.

  • Chock-a-block - "The shop is chock-a-block; rammed; tight"

Original meaning: The rigging blocks on a ship are so tight against one another that they cannot be further tightened.

  • Clean bill of health - "The person has been given a clean bill of health"

Original meaning: A certificate issued by a port indicating that the ship carries no infectious diseases.

  • Fly by night - "A term given to someone who is seldom seen " 

Original meaning: A large sail used only for sailing downwind, requiring little attention.

  • Flotsam and Jetsam - "random belongings; clutter; junk"

Original meaning: Debris ejected from a ship that sinks or washes ashore.

  • Know the ropes -  "A new person is learning the ropes; to know the ropes; knows what they are doing"

Original meaning: A sailor who 'knows the ropes' is familiar with the miles of cordage and ropes involved in running a ship.
  • Loose cannon - " A wild, outgoing person; someone hard to control"

Original meaning: An irresponsible and reckless individual whose behavior (either intended or unintended) endangers the group he or she belongs to. A loose cannon, weighing thousands of pounds, would crush anything and anyone in its path, and possibly even break a hole in the hull, thus endangering the seaworthiness of the whole ship.
  • Nipper - "A nickname given to a child with fondness"

Original meaning: A short rope used to bind a cable to the "messenger" (a moving line propelled by the capstan) so that the cable is dragged along too (used where the cable is too large to be wrapped round the capstan itself). During the raising of an anchor the nippers were attached and detached from the (endless) messenger by the ship's boys. Hence the term for small boys: 'nippers'.
  • No room to swing a cat – "A room that is too small"

Original meaning: The entire ship's company was expected to witness floggings and assemble on deck. If it was very crowded, the bosun might not have room to swing the 'cat o' nine tails' (the whip).
  • Son of a gun – "A slang term used to describe someone" 

Original meaning: The space between the guns was used as a semi-private place for trysts with prostitutes and wives, which sometimes led to birth of children with disputed parentage. Another claim is that the origin the term resulted from firing a ship's guns to hasten a difficult birth.
  • Taken aback - "Shocked, stunned"

Original meaning: An inattentive helmsmen might allow the dangerous situation to arise where the wind is blowing into the sails 'backwards', causing a sudden (and possibly dangerous) shift in the position of the sails.
  • Under the weather – "To feel a little under the weather; not well"

Original meaning: Serving a watch on the weather side of the ship, the side exposed to wind and spray.

There are so many more that I could list, and it's stunning how sea-fairing ways from centuries ago have influenced our ways, terms and sayings today.

Love a bit of research, I do.  Who knows what you might discover :)

Monday 4 March 2013

Book Launch: 'Overcoming Adversity: An Anthology For Andrew' . . .

It's here! It's here!!!

The 4th and 5th of February of this year (2013) saw a bloghop hosted by Nick Wilford.  This hop? The 'Overcoming Adversity' bloghop.

Bloggers from all over the blogasphere found themselves writing short pieces and taking part, pieces to move and uplift you.  These wonderful pieces were then collected and have now been published together in one amazing anthology to help raise money for one specific good cause.  Read on to find out more:


A collection of seventy moving and uplifting original pieces - real life, flash fiction, and poetry - about battling against the odds and the ultimate triumph of the human spirit. The contributors include Amazon bestselling authors Alex J. Cavanaugh and Kyra Lennon, and the cream of upcoming talent.

The anthology is part of a fundraising effort to send the editor's stepson, Andrew McNaughton, to a specialist college in England. Andrew has cerebral palsy, and is a remarkable young man with a promising future. However, the free further education options offered in his own country of Scotland will not challenge him and allow him to progress. In order to access the education he deserves, Andrew will have to pay exorbitant fees, thus creating a situation of discrimination.

Help us get Andrew to college by buying a book that runs the full gamut of human emotions, ultimately leaving you inspired and glad to be alive. Whatever struggles you are going through, our sincere hope is that this book will help.

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK:

Amazon US:



Editor Bio:

Nick Wilford is a writer and stay-at-home dad. Once a journalist, he now makes use of those rare times when the house is quiet to explore the realms of fiction. When not writing he can usually be found spending time with his family or cleaning something. He has four short stories published in Writer’s Muse magazine. Nick is also co-running a campaign to get a dedicated specialist college built in Scotland. Visit him at

*As a side note, I'd just like to thank Nick for the wonderful opportunity given me to work on the cover for 'Overcoming Adversity', following the wonderful and interesting concepts of Ella over at Ella's Edge.