Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Fruitless Endeavours (aka Happy Holidays!)

When you don't eat fruit (eeeeeeeeee) Christmas pudding is usually off the menu... unless it comes via sugar-pumped, chocolate-filled completely fruit-less miniatures! Cake pops!!!!! (You had me at "cake-on-a-stick" :)) Love this idea! 

Happy holidays and thank you so much to all the amazing people who have supported my online adventures this year. You've helped me tackle Twitter, brave Facebook, and stumble sporadically through the blogosphere :) 

Social media has connected me with so many exciting, inspiring, ridiculously hard working people (yes, I'm looking at you!) As a (partially) converted introvert, (i.e. introvert by design, extrovert on demand) I'm suddenly part of a global community of writers and readers - super-cool! Your reviews, comments, tweets, ticks, tags, and Likes give me a wicked fizzing-feeling! 

And an especially huge thank you to the readers. I have been sent some beautiful emails (even the ones that make me cry!) and knowing that I get to be part of making your dreams come true really is my dream. Because of you, I get to do what I love most in the world, and I am so happy and grateful! 

****I'm taking a break for a couple of weeks. Happy adventuring, and we'll talk in 2012!****

Fruitless Christmas pudding, extroverted introverts, world domination in your pyjamas...

Everything is possible!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


The Total Blueprint for World Domination paperback is now available! Soooo exciting :)

If you’d like to win your own copy, check out the Goodreads giveaway:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Total Blueprint for World Domination by Jolene Stockman

Total Blueprint for World Domination

by Jolene Stockman

Giveaway ends January 30, 2012.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Everything is possible!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

World Changing Books

A massive thank you to Erika at Moonlight Book Reviews. Erika juggles passions, commitments, and challenges with a smile :) She also hosted my recent guest post about world changing books (and is one of the first bloggers to review Total Blueprint for World Domination!) Thanks Erika!

As readers, we walk into books with an open heart. We trust that the writer will take care of us, we let them carry us away. And whether we're entertained, inspired, or totally creeped out, we are often changed by what we read.

I was eight years old, devouring as many books as the librarian would let me check out. I loved books, but I didn’t understand how powerful and magical they could be. Then my Aunty sent me a book that would change my world. The book was thick, heavy, huge. I clutched it excitedly (a real grown-up book!) curled in a blanket, and flipped to page one.

I'd never seen anything like it. The first words were typed backwards, and the story’s text alternated from red to green. As I read, swirling images wrapped me up. I dissolved into the  movie all around me. The Neverending Story was one of the first books that showed me a secret world that was all my own, a place that didn’t stop when I closed the covers. With a main character who was shy in one world and a hero in another, the book gave me the freedom to have faith in a future that I couldn’t see yet.

Fiction or non-fiction, long or short, books can change your world. Green Eggs and Ham? Be open to new experiences. Before I Fall? Be kind. I know my life is changed when I read books, and as a writer I hope to do that for other people.

Is there a book that changed your life? Carved a crack in your world?
Everything is possible!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Lighting Of A Fire

As a child, teachers are grown-ups that love you by choice, not birth. They help you find your way in a world far from home. As you grow, they open doors and challenge you to discover more about yourself. We learn more from who they are than the curriculum they set. We learn how to be in the world. I was lucky enough to have some amazing teachers, and they all kicked ass in very different ways:

Mrs Ellis The perfect first teacher, peaceful and wise. Mrs Ellis empowered and encouraged me, and came to my house to eat cheesecake :)
Mr Murray An artist, a musician, and a homeroom teacher. He brings his personal powers to his professional life, and thanks to him I’m still a times table whiz.
Mrs Hill From language and food, to jewellery and movies, Mrs Hill loves classical studies. She is a teacher who so fully lives her passion, she brims with the joy of the subject. Because of her, I knew I would either grow up to be a writer, or a Latin teacher.
Mrs Smith A dedicated art teacher who is able to embrace crazy and guide mischief. Mrs Smith is a cool breeze over high school stresses.
Ms Lewis A role model in public relations; professional, witty, experienced. Ms Lewis feeds  creativity, and develops super-sticky course materials.
Mr Pauling Gentle, smart, and conscientious. An ego-less high achiever. Mr Pauling knows how to cut through the gunk and make things possible.

I was recently in touch with Mr Hammonds – the principal of my primary school. He is now a teacher of teachers, and a pioneer in education. It was brilliant to catch up with him and super cool to hear that my book is helping motivate him!

Teaching is more than a profession, it’s a calling. The ability to share your own passion while being completely invested in the success of someone else? Awesome. The best teachers are role models. Teaching isn’t their job, it is who they are.

Is there a teacher in your life that helped shape your world?

Everything is possible!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

We do things everyday that people used to think were impossible. 
Today's crazy is tomorrow's normal. Be crazy - change the world!

Everything is possible!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Super You

I am completely in love with the gorgeous art of Danny Haas :)

The idea of everyone having a super-self is a favorite of mine. I talk about it in my book and these images definitely capture some of my feelings.

"Superman isn’t Superman all of the time – just when he needs to be. It’s okay to Clark Kent your way through the day. Even Wolverine retracts his claws! Just know that you can be Super You whenever you want! You can put on your superhero persona, become Super You, rescue some kids / stand up for yourself / give a speech / fight a villain, and when it’s all over, try to remember which phone box you left your pants in."  -Total Blueprint for World Domination

Go be super :)

Everything is possible!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Taking control!

In case you missed it, here's my first guest post, hosted by Misha at My First Book (more soon!) ... You may not be able to decide who will buy or like your book, but there are some things you can control.

Your book
From the second you make the decision to write, you are in charge! You choose the genre, the word count, the content, the editing, and (if you are self-published) the cover, too. Even changes your agent and editor suggest are ultimately up to you. Your book is a fingerprint on the world, and it is absolutely your creation.

Your promotion
Facebook? Twitter? Goodreads? You choose! The amount of time, energy, and you that goes into your promotion is your choice. Forget what you could be doing, what you should be doing, or what everyone else is doing. Do what feels right for you! As Nathan Bransford says, “The next big thing is never like the last big thing.”

Your responses
An anonymous interwebber tweets you. They review your book, your baby. They call it rubbish. Crap. Badly formatted, hideously worded, error-filled-ugly-covered crap. And they do it with spelling that would disappoint a first grader. Prepare yourself. Once your work is published, it belongs to the world. Your response? Thank you. Thank you for taking the time to not only read my book, but to share your thoughts. You don’t have to correct, complain, or justify. Yes, the reviewer might be completely wrong. They might be mistaken, out of line, and all kinds of mean. (Or they might be the only person brave enough to tell you the truth..!) Either way, when someone spends money, time, and energy on you – it is awesome! One review is one review. A tweet is gone tomorrow. But the way you respond reflects on you, and a rant can reek forever.

Your intentions
Your goals are what you do, but your intentions are how you do it. You get to present yourself with professionalism, humor, warmth, and optimism (or not!) You get to choose what you put out in the world. You may get rejected, but you get to choose the agents you query, the groups you join and the writers you support. And as for who you link up with, and where you hang out? That’s right: all yours. Decide how you want to be in the world, and who you want to connect with. Because over time your intentions become who you are.

Your attitude
Chances are, even your favorite author has had some scathing reviews. Some rejection. Some slow sale days. Do you hear them going off about it? Whining? Grizzling? Nope. They’re busy. Writing.

Being a writer is a dream. It’s a top-of-the-bucket list, thing-to-do-before-I-die, can’t-believe-I-get-to-see-it-on-a-bookshelf dream. You are doing something that people aspire to. Even when the blank page is taunting you. Even when the twenty-third rejection rolls in. Even when you’re squishing rewrites in with a million other things. You are part of something amazing. Feel that with all your heart. Know that it’s true no matter what. You are a writer.

You may not be able to control who reads or likes what you write, but you can choose your words, your attitude, and your intention. Grab hold! Take control of what you can, and let the rest go. Seriously. Focus on what matters – having fun, creating the world you want, and writing your amazing next book! (I can’t wait to read it!)

Jolene Stockman’s book Total Blueprint for World Domination takes you from this very moment to your greatest dream.
Plot a step-by-step plan for world domination!

You can find Jolene on her blog, as well as Twitter, and Facebook.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Book Art

Postertext are turning entire books into poster art. That's right, your favorite book in teeny tiny print, including a scene from the story.  And if they don't have your favorite? You can request it!  

I love things that are tiny (the Coke cans you get on aeroplanes) and giant (cupcake cookie jars) and Postertext is both! I want The Neverending Story, how about you?

Thanks to Adrienne Kress for this great find :)
Everything is possible!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sharing the love :)

It's a super-cool feeling when someone follows your blog :) Knowing that you are part of a community can make all the difference - especially on those days when the blank page seems particularly blank. 

With this in mind, I want to thank the lovely Jen from Jen's Bookshelf who has awarded me the Liebster blog award:

This award is given to up and coming bloggers who currently have less than 200 followers.

The rules are:
1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Reveal your top picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.
5. And most of all - have fun!

So, I am especially stoked to pass the award on to three of my awesome blogger friends: 

Ruth at Ruth + Writing who is kind, open, and wickedly funny.   
The equally wicked Aurora at Aurora Smith, the home of three (toddler!) boys and three (nearly here!) books. And for something a little different:
Paul at 0800jukebox has a music themed blog. He posts music jewels, news, and humour (and has a pretty cool Tumblr, too!)

Thanks again Jen, I feel really lucky that so many people come and visit :)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Guest Posting

"Being a writer is a dream. It’s a top-of-the-bucket list, thing-to-do-before-I-die, can’t-believe-I-get-to-see-it-on-a-bookshelf dream. You are doing something that people aspire to. Even when the blank page is taunting you. Even when the twenty-third rejection rolls in. Even when you’re squishing rewrites in with a million other things. You are part of something amazing. Feel that with all your heart. Know that it’s true no matter what. You are a writer."

...That's me, guest posting over at My First Book. It's my first guest posting experience, and has been super cool (and a total privilege!) Check it out, and say hi to Misha!

Everything is possible!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Happiness is...

Ice cream!!!! 
You're looking at goody gum drops, cotton candy, cookie dough and cookies and cream.
Oh yes. Everything is possible!

Monday, August 22, 2011


Hey Campaigners!

Rachael Harrie's platform building campaign is on again, you can find all the details here.

I’m Jolene :) I live in New Zealand, and I’m the author of Total Blueprint for World Domination.

To my regulars:
Thank you so much for your comments and messages.You make me feel like a rockstar blogger instead of a stumbling newbie!

To new followers:
If I’m not following you back yet, send me a message or leave a comment so I can :) 
I can’t wait to check out your blog!

My first nonfiction is a life planning book for teens – creating a step-by-step blueprint to achieve a dream world! I’m currently working on two new books, and exploring the blogosphere!

See you soon!
Jolene :)

PS If you’d like to review my YA nonfiction on your blog, get in touch!

Everything is possible!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Pick a Pencil

You know that book you want to write? It's inside you. I promise.
It already exists - you just have to start!

Those words will become sentences. Those sentences will become paragraphs. Then chapters.
One hundred words a day? It's a book in a year.

You are the best person to write that book. (You totally are.) Pick a pencil. Open a document. Start!

Why not? What if?

Everything is possible!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Facebook Day

Like! The feel-good click :)
I did it! I started a Facebook page for my book!

For some reason Facebook freaks me out. I guess it's one thing to have people "follow" you (yay!) but the "Like" button definitely feels a lot more personal!

Do you have a Facebook page? Personal? Business?
Are you scared no one will Like you? Does it matter?

I'm still figuring my way through Facebook's settings and options. How do you use Facebook? Is it part of your platform? Any tips / tricks to share?

Keep kicking ass!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Want Anika Moa at Your Wedding?

The talented, charming, and utterly kick-ass Anika Moa has donated this experience as a charity auction for Women's Refuge.

This is your chance! If you're in NZ (and getting married :)), you've got until Friday August 12 to get your bids in!

Check out the auction here.

(The winner even gets a designer wedding gown to boot!)

Everything is possible!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Know It All

"Here's a question: do any other YA authors out there get asked if they have kids of their own? Because when I say no, I get this look..." - Claudia Gabel.

When Claudia* twittered this out, it got me thinking. "Write what you know" is a great way to tap into pure feelings and experience. You can explore real-life texture and detail from your own life. You can provide genuine emotion, and finally take advantage of some of the crap you’ve been through by spinning it into fiction. But you can also get tangled up. You can get set in, “But that’s not how it really happened,” and force your story to follow a narrower path. I’m a big believer in spring-boarding real feelings into new creations. It’s just that when I do it, I have to remind myself to balance what’s best for the story. Real life doesn’t always translate into believable fiction!

I say: whether you have kids, know kids, or were one (what feels like) two seconds ago, don’t let anyone give you the look! Have faith in your gut and your imagination, prepare an answer for the doubters, and do what feels right! Plus you know, if we had to wait for writers to write “what they know”, there’d be no Labyrinth, no Neverending Story, and not even a George’s Marvellous Medicine (I hope!)

Do you think that having kids is key to writing YA?
Do you write what you know?

(Or if it is true, and you have to have kids to write YA, and be in love to write about love, etc. Let’s not ask what’s happening over at Stephen King's place...!)

*Claudia is super-sweet, super-talented, and has an AMAZING new publishing deal. I was lucky enough to work with Claudia on my book The Jelly Bean Crisis, and can say without hesitation: she rocks! Yay Claudia - so excited to read Elusion and Etherworld!

Keep kicking ass!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Go Bagless (You Rebel!)

Toss on a tin-foil hat for an end-of-the-world party: are you an eco warrior? Do you compost? Recycle? Do Meatless Mondays? Walking Wednesdays?

There are a billion plastic bags choking up the planet, and that's just in NZ landfills. Hey, it's not like I'm totally eco-noid or anything. I drink fizzy drink (and recycle the bottles), I eat pizza (and compost the crusts), and I know that when I turn down a plastic bag, millions of others will probably take one.

But I love eco-initiatives that make me feel empowered, and I have to believe that every bag makes a difference. I don’t think feeling scarce, deprived or judgemental is going to make the world a better place. I can’t worry about melting ice or shrinking habitat, because it will keep me up at night. I can’t save the whole world.

But I can save mine. A billion plastic bags: one bag at a time.

July 3rd is International Plastic Bag Free Day - shop with reusable bags, or be a total rebel and go bagless!

...Wait, is it too late? Do you already have a whole drawer full of plastic bags in your kitchen? Don't worry! You can always recycle them as street art...

Keep kicking ass!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Periodic Table... of Storytelling

Writers, film fans, TV lovers: prepare to fall head first into James Harris's Periodic Table of Storytelling. Seriously, have you seen this thing??!

Described as a visual metaphor for TVtropes, this visual arts project has created conversation and controversy.

Gorgeous, intricate, and all kinds of clever, this has MADE my month. Oh, to have it on a t-shirt. (And to be someone who wears t-shirts :)).

You can use it to inspire or enhance your own plots, or just enjoy marinating around in other people's!

Everything is possible!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Universe in a Year

Tens of millions of stars... searchable constellations...
Get ready for the Photopic Sky Survey!

Nick Risinger spent a year travelling with his cameras (and his father), photographing the starscape. "I worked my way through the sky, frame by frame, night after night."

The result? An interactive, zoomable image of the entire night sky.
37,000 images, laced together: our universe like never before.
"Frame by frame, night after night."
If Nick can capture the entire sky in a year, what can you do?

As well as totally blowing your mind (and freaking you out...), doesn't it make you feel like anything is possible???

Keep kicking ass!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Feel Good Words

Have you checked out Free Rice?
It's the addictive online vocabulary game that makes you feel good!

For every answer you get right, Free Rice donates 10 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Programme to end hunger. Super cool!

Started: 2007
The current total? 91 255 368 390

Click to play...
Show off your vocab...
Learn new words...
Watch your donations grow... 

Win-win-win-win  - love that! :)

If you haven't been played before, woohoo - I get to introduce you*!
If you haven't played for a while, check out the new subjects - there's art, math, languages... brilliant!

You can boost the daily total right now! Go! 

*Apologies in advance to your WIP!

 Keep kicking ass!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

You can quote me on that!

There it was.

A line from my blog, smiling out of a Twitter post at me. I got quoted!!!!

Here it is:

"Everything is possible. Stop talking about it. Start doing it"           ~ @JoleneStockman

People write for different reasons; to get rich, to get famous, to be able to work in their pyjamas, or just to get the shrieking voices out of their head...     I write because I want to make a difference*.

I love the idea that pieces of me are heading out into the world, bouncing around and sending out ripples... So for me, being quoted? Having someone (thank you Tony Riches!) enjoy my words enough to repeat them? Pfffoooar. That's AMAZING. That's a little piece of me out in the world. Yay!

So, how about you? Why do you write?

*...of course, I'm not denying the shrieking voices or the joy of a life in pyjamas... and I'm not turning down any of the other good stuff either... Making a difference is just my toe-tingliest intention!

Keep kicking ass!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Oh Why A-Z?

Looking for a way to kick-start your blogging? The A-Z challenge:

  • Lights a fire. Nothing like a daily deadline to keep you moving!
  • Lasers your focus. Suddenly the world starts filling with potential blog fodder ("Ooh, there's my X!" "Woohoo, W sorted!"
  • Helps you let go. Posts don't have to be perfect: just enthusiastic, spell-checked and you.

Thank you so much everyone for stopping by, commenting, and following :)
I posted more in April than I have posted... ever...! I love being a (more active) part of the blogosphere! You guys ROCK!

How was A-Z for me?

I've met some incredible people. Sweet, supportive, super smart :)
I've read some amazing blogs. Brave, honest, laugh-out-loud.
I've been inspired :)

Thank you to the organizers - I can't even imagine how much time you guys put in! Bring on A-Z 2012, it will come around quickly!

I'm especially stoked that I got such a great reaction to my posts World Domination and Zip It & Zoom. They are the closest to my book "Total Blueprint for World Domination". I love getting people excited about their world!

PS My most popular posts? Pooh and Ice Cream. Best we not think too hard about that :)

Keep kicking ass!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Zip It & Zoom!

There comes a time when you just have to zip it and zoom!
Zip your "I wish I could"s and your "maybe someday"s and just do it:

Write that book.
Quit that job.
Save that money.
Book that trip.
Make that apology.
Do it.
Be it.
Have it.

Everything is possible. Stop talking about it. Start doing it.

Zip it

...and zoom!

Keep kicking ass!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Yorky = Cuddles or Coat?

Whether you cuddle them, play with them, or wear them as a coat - there’s no denying it:
Puppies make you feel good!

I don't have a Yorkshire terrier (I'm a squealer, so I need a dog with a good heart :)) But I still think they're probably the cutest tiny dog...

So let's get it all on the table:
are you a dog person?
Or a cat person?
Can you be both??

(No fighting!)

Keep kicking ass!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

X-Men Family Tree

I recently found this handy-dandy X-Men family tree. Yeah. Probably not as handy as it is dandy... But I bet the writer knows it backwards :)

I use poster paper and colored markers to map out my books. It's great to see the big picture (even if it is a mass of arrows and ink squiggles!)

How do you keep your characters and plots under control?

Everything is possible!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

World Domination

I believe there's a perfect world for everyone. That we can define exactly what we want, and we can make it happen. Bring on world domination!

My perfect world includes:
A happy family
Abundance (Writing for a living! Food! Fizzy drinks! Happiness!)

How about you? Do you have a dream you can share?
Do you feel confident you can create it?

Keep kicking ass!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Vader vs VW

As kids we know that everything is possible...

And as grown ups we can find out it's true :) Hang on to your childhood as long as you can... and help other kids hold on to theirs!

Keep kicking ass!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Uruti School

In Uruti, there's a little school with big dreams.

The eight-student-strong New Zealand school has created a ukulele song that is now close to winning them a big cash prize.

Imagine how long it would take this tiny school to fund raise $10,000!*

*That's a whole lot of cake stalls...

To help them win, vote by watching their youtube video before April 29.

Go now! (I'll wait here :))

Wait, where's Uruti?

Keep kicking ass!

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Are you looking for ways to build your platform? You're writing, blogging, twittering... have you thought about speaking?

Toastmasters International is an educational organisation that specialises in public speaking. Here are some reasons to check it out:

- Build your confidence.
- Boost your self esteem.
- Network.
- Develop leadership skills.
- Meet awesome people.
- Get qualifications.
- Practice public speaking*!

(*Just in time for your book signings!)

Face your fears or hone your skills in a friendly and supportive environment.
Keen? Find a club near you.

Would public speaking skills help you in your quest for world domination?

Keep kicking ass!

Friday, April 22, 2011

South Paw

Even though it comes with smudgy pen marks, useless scissors and an early death (statistically speaking :)) I love being left-handed!

Any lefties passing by? Anyone living with a lefty?

Keep kicking ass!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Robert Rodriguez

Film maker Robert Rodriguez writes, shoots, cuts, and scores. His movies are blunt-smart, kick ass, and have an undeniable rhythm.

"Rebel Without a Crew" is a must-read for anyone wanting to make a movie (or get motivated!)

Here's a guy who hasn't just taken over the world, he's helping others do it too. A total superhero!

When you need a kickstart, who inspires you?

Keep kicking ass!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino spins (and borrows!) epic tales of love, violence, revenge and redemption. He throws in pop-culture gems, killer soundtracks and rapid-fire dialogue... And he writes his screenplays long hand. (Say what?!)

One of my favorite writers shares his ritual:

"I never use a computer. I just write it all by hand. It’s a ceremony. I go to a stationery store and buy a notebook. Then I buy a bunch of red felt pens and a bunch of black ones, and I’m like, “These are the pens I’m gonna write Kill Bill with.”

I love pen and paper, but I really love to work electronically. (Plus I'm addicted to cut and paste!) Do you write projects long hand? Do you have any special rituals?

Keep kicking ass!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Coming up with titles for your book? Let Winnie be your guide! Here's what not to do:

There's also Pooh's Touch and Feel Visit: A Pooh Texture Book...

I know it's silly. But these make me LOL every time :) Do you own any books about Pooh? Have an unfortunate title to share?

Keep kicking ass!

Monday, April 18, 2011


When you get an Oscar you've made it. Everything you've worked for, everything you've dreamed of, in one shiny golden moment!

What’s your biggest dream? How will you know when you’ve made it?

I love watching award shows: the speeches, the applause, the tears, the gratitude... but I wonder what happens the next day. Do the winners bask in the golden glow, or jump right back into setting new goals?

PS Whether your golden moment was yesterday or is on its way, wouldn't it be great to just be at peace with exactly where you are? Now there's a great goal!

Keep kicking ass!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Ninjabread Men

Bask in the awesomeness:

Do you enjoy your cookies people-shaped?!?

Keep kicking ass!

Friday, April 15, 2011


One of my favorite cinematic baddies.

Oh yes. And all because she missed out on an invite to Aurora's christening. (You'd think someone who loved babies that much would be a little less Mistress-of-All-Evil...)

Have you ever forgotten an invitation?
Turned someone evil?
Or have a favorite character that happens to be bad?

Here's hoping the 2013 Maleficent movie does her justice!

Keep kicking ass!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lounge Against the Machine

Bringing extreme swankification and loungaliciousness to your favorite music? Lead singer Richard Cheese and cover band Lounge Against the Machine.

So now, for your clicking and listening pleasure... in the style of Richard Cheese, I present: Radiohead, Linkin Park, U2...and Lady Gaga:

Along with being the proud owner of all of RC's albums, we were lucky enough to get be at their sell-out 2009 concert in Vegas (Oh. My. God.)

Rumour has it that LATM will be playing the Royal wedding reception in April... what do you think, sound like the Queen's cup of tea?

Keep kicking ass!

K is for Kindle :)

Hundreds of books in your palm... what??!
You know, I'm still excited that I can nuke popcorn!

We live in a world of tiny little miracles - and great big ones :) And while I will always love the feeling of a book in my hands, for travel and convenience? I’m getting a Kindle! EEEEeeeeee!

Do you have a Kindle?
Do you love it?

Any advice?

(Can I handle the awesome?) 

Keep kicking ass!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Jumping Cow

When 15 year old Regina Mayer's parents wouldn't buy her a horse, she taught the family cow to jump.

Your dreams may not show up the way you expect - go with it!

Keep kicking ass!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Ice Cream

Ice cream = happiness :) 

I love cookies and cream! I love cherry-less sundaes, hot chocolate sauce, sprinkles, pink waffles...and a small spoon that makes it all last that much longer :) What's your favorite?

Keep kicking ass!

Saturday, April 9, 2011


I'm a fainter - and passing out in a movie theatre is something I'll only ever risk for Quentin Tarantino or Robert Rodriguez :) But if I do see this movie, the information on this honest poster would be helpful!

Imagine if all movie posters were like this! Have you ever been tricked by a movie poster? Or have an idea for an honest one?

Keep kicking ass!

Friday, April 8, 2011


I've been blue, purple, green and black - but never ginger (I like the sound of "red-head" better). 
What about you?

What's the biggest change you've made hair-wise? Any red-heads in the blogosphere today?

Keep kicking ass!

Thursday, April 7, 2011


I'm introverted by design. As a teenager, I joined Toastmasters to help overcome my shyness - and after years of public speaking (and a whole heap of hand-sweating, stomach swirling, and heart racing..!) I achieved their highest award - the Distinguished Toastmaster :)

Are you afraid of public speaking? Any Toastmasters passing through?

I'm also afraid of whales*... but I won't be facing that fear any time soon...
(*I know, it sounds weird, but look into their eyes! See them leap onto the land trying to hunt me down! Shudder.)

Do you have a weird fear? Are you facing it?

Keep kicking ass!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Elmore Leonard

Fly head first into rapid-fire dialogue, twisty plots, gritty guys and vivid girls. Crime fiction writer Elmore Leonard commands an action-packed world with both edge-of-your-seat and laugh-out-loud moments.

And Elmore Leonard's advice for writers?
"Try to leave out the parts that readers skip."

As a reader, what parts do you skip?

Check out the trailer for the '98 film version of Elmore Leonard's book Out of Sight :)

Got to love a strong female MC - Karen Sisco rocks!

Keep kicking ass!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


I went to Disneyland as a (sort of) grown-up, and it really is the happiest place: the Disney Princesses sign autographs, everything is Mickey shaped, and the fireworks are beyond awesome!

"If you can dream it, you can do it." 
Walt Disney.

Going to Disneyland should be a birthright. Every kid (and ex-kid!) should get to see Walt Disney's dream come true. This is the world that's possible!

So... have you been? Do you want to?

Keep kicking ass!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Coca-Cola DIY

Coke: fizzy, delicious, and (when combined with a block of chocolate..!) a dissolver of writer's block... but would you make your own?

This blog has published a photograph of the handwritten recipe for Coca-Cola. They're also going to include details of where to buy the
ingredients and how to make it yourself... but I'm sure it's never the same when you DIY... (maybe half of the deliciousness is in the secret?)

Close your eyes if you don't want to know, but in case you're curious...

Here are the ingredients:

Fluid extract of Coca, Citric acid 3 oz, Caffeine 1oz, Sugar 30 (quantity not known), Water 2.5 gal
Lime juice 2 pints 1 qrt, Vanilla 1oz, Caramel 1.5oz or more to colour, Merchandise 7X flavour (use 2oz of flavour to 5 gals syrup): Alcohol 8oz, Orange oil 20 drops, Lemon oil 30 drops, Nutmeg oil 10 drops, Coriander 5 drops, Neroli 10 drops, Cinnamon 10 drops

Has anyone tried this? Does anyone want to???

(Or maybe you've made your own Oreos? Or Big Mac sauce?)

Everything is possible!

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Creativity is everywhere!

<= Check out this graffiti found on a hand dryer.

People like to tell you what you can't do, and people like to tell you "how it is".

I say, the next time you're faced with hot air?
Think bacon!

Keep kicking ass!

Friday, April 1, 2011


How much have you written today?
One hundred words? One thousand? Ten?

Ten or ten thousand, every bit brings you closer!

Keep kicking ass :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Die Happy

Check out the guy in the pink shirt.

He's in the moment, he's one with the universe, he is totally elated and about ready to die happy... It's more than enthusiasm. It's more than glee. Feel it!

Whether it's the first time you ate a Twinkie (Oh. So. Amazing.) or two whole weeks in Vegas (24 hour buffets! Bellagio Fountains! The Deuce!) Joy is joy - wherever you find it.

When's the last time you felt overwhelmingly, heart-palpitatingly, NBA-guy-MPGingly on top of the world? Total joy - where do you find it?

Keep kicking ass!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Unleashing your powers

Do you have a trick? A trademark? A talisman? Something that brings you luck, or makes you feel like a superhero?
Same Bat Time...

U2’s Bono said about his sunglasses:
"These are my superpowers... When I look through these glasses every problem is solvable; I'm tall... I can't let them go."

Do you have lucky jeans, a favorite bag, or a special belt? I have a Batman watch that I wear when I want extra oomph. How about you?

Keep kicking ass!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Okay, so I lied...

But not about the fruit...
Vegetarian, piscetarian, gluten free – these dietary anomalies get intimidating names, but fruit-free? Freak seems to about cover it. I don’t mind the endless explaining and shoulder shrugging (“yep, just born this way I guess”), but having a label for it really would make my life easier.

And not about the broccoli...

I do eat that. Good for the brain. Anti-carcinogenic. And it’s actually not too bad (especially sprinkled with celery salt or crispy chicken).

And not about dissecting menus...
I learned to do that the hard way. A menu declaring “chocolate brownie” proved hideously evasive when said brownie arrived draped in berry coulis (ew). This foul drizzle rendered my brownie inedible (and if you don’t think so, see if any vegetarian will eat a salad with “beef coulis”).

Waiters are always AWESOME. In their absolute professionalism / morbid curiosity they listen to me work my crazy and then rescue me from whatever cherry-on-the-top or apple-sauce-on-the-side threatens my meal. The trick is never to assume that they have to help (because they don’t) and to always be super grateful (which I am).

The lie?

Tomato. Yep, technically it’s a fruit. So I don’t eat it.
Actually, I feel yucky that I even wrote it*.

Zan and Margo - it was so great to hear from people who are / know someone similarly afflicted – if anyone has a word for this thing, I’d love to know. We could get t-shirts :)

*Luckily, chocolate will fix me :)

Keep kicking ass!

Monday, February 21, 2011

My Kryptonite

I don’t eat fruit. Can’t won’t don’t do it.

And I keep this a secret. Why? Try telling people you hate kittens. Or ice cream. There’s the blank stare, the doubt, “but what about strawberries?” Yes. I hate strawberries. I won’t go near pear, I detest banana. Even sweet little guavas. Even perfectly proportioned peaches. Even that innocuous avocado wobbling on the counter top, fuliguline and faltering. Even that glistening apple cut crisp with a blade. Vomit.

Hey, I don’t mind rabbit-food: I’ll eat carrots, broccoli and tomato. I’ll even drink juice to keep the scurvy at bay, but fruit? Something -everything- inside me screams “don’t do it!”

Oh, they can bloviate on the “goodness” and “healthiness” of fruit, but I know that is not true. Not for me.  Would you question a vegetarian? (“Oh go on, I’ll scrape the meat off...”) Would you tease or trick them? (“Ha, we’ll sneak  some meat in...”) This is my socially unacceptable phobia. My horror. My kryptonite.

And I must stay strong in the face of doubt. Persistent and unyielding.

Because while it means annoying waiters with endless menu dissection (“are you sure it doesn’t have fruit in / on / around / beside it?”)... it is all worth it for one of my favorite things in the whole world: a triple-deckered, whipped-cream-wearing, chopped-nut-sprinkle-dusted, wafer-sporting, utterly fruitless, chocolate hot fudge sundae (as big as my head).

...After :)

Okay...I’ll admit it, something here isn’t strictly true... Can you guess?

Answer: here

First Crusader Challenge
300 words or less:

• one secret
• one lie
• one interesting quirk
• one annoying habit
• one of your best character traits, and
• one of your favourite things in the whole world.

And must include the random words, “bloviate,” “fuliguline,” “rabbit,” and “blade”.

Keep kicking ass!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

What did you call me??!

Do your characters come to you in vivid multi-color: likes, looks and intentions at the ready? Or do you create a bio? Hack away bit by bit until personalities and peculiarities reveal themselves? And what about the name?

It’s like naming a baby. Only harder. Because if your baby hates their name they can always grow up and change it. A child can use something else, abbreviate, or get a fake ID. Eventually, they might forgive you. But if you give your character the wrong name? It will stare out at you from the pages of your book forever (no pressure :)).

One of my MCs is named after the 18 year old entrepreneur, Poppy King. I played with other names, but this one just “fit”. I like the idea of names being special or meaningful, but sometimes it really is like the character exists without you.

Do you name your characters after favorite people, pets, songs or items? Do you start looking for people to punish, or to pay back? (Your school bully becomes an extra, your favorite teacher? A heroine...)

So, what are some of your character’s names, and how did you pick them? 

Keep kicking ass!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Helvarial Shenanigans

Think you know your Arial from your Helvetica?
Twenty Helvetica company logos redone in Arial... can you tell the difference?

Obvious? Ridiculous? Take the quiz!

(I got 15/20 :))

Keep kicking ass!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Building an Army

Every plot for world domination needs an army! Whether it’s your agent, your readers, or friends and family – building an army is all about finding people who can support you. When you have people on your side (in your corner, at your back…) it means support if you stumble and celebrations when you win!

Life as a writer / blogger can be as isolating as it is awesome. But thanks to the Internet, the whole world is just a click (or three) away. This month, Rachael Harrie is kicking off another Crusade – connecting aspiring authors and bloggers. It's a way for us to join forces, make new friends, build our platforms and grow together. Smart, fun, effective... brilliant!

I love it! I’m in! :)

Keep kicking ass!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Crayon Magic

Check out these intricate crayon sculptures from Diem Chau: 
...And I thought crayons were just for eating!

Everything is possible!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Anatomy of a Moodle Quiz

Jumping off track…

I’ve been looking everywhere for a super-straightforward breakdown / script for an embedded answers (cloze) multi-choice Moodle quiz. Now that I’ve got it, I thought I’d share for any frustrated Moodlers passing by :)

Here’s the breakdown:

Your quiz is kicked off by the question as text.
{ goes at the start of each each set of possible answers.
MULTICHOICE:  sets the quiz up as (you guessed it :)) multi-choice. Other options include: SHORT ANSWER, NUMERICAL etc.
= goes before the correct answer.
# goes before the feedback that the learner will see if they select this answer.
~ goes between possible answers.
} goes at the end of each set of possible answers.

The number after the { is how many marks the answer is worth (they should add up to the total marks available for this question).

Add in your text at the end (or between the } and {symbols), and it will look like this:

{1:MULTICHOICE:Wrong answer#Feedback for this wrong answer~Another wrong answer#Feedback for the other wrong answer~=Correct answer#Feedback for correct answer~%50%Answer that gives half the credit#Feedback for half-credit answer}
–sample from Moodle Help.

This one worked for me (phew!), but if you find any errors let me know and I’ll change it for anyone else searching :)

Right, jumping back on track...

Keep kicking ass!

Monday, January 31, 2011

What, no lasso of truth?

 ...and yes, there's even a utility belt :)

The Wonder Woman collection will be released by MAC on March 4. 

Keep kicking ass!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Giving the reader more...

Of course, your book is amazing. It’s AWESOME. It’s plotted to perfection, edited to oblivion and ready for readers. But is your book enough?

Competition for readers is fierce. Already, authors have to ask, “am I enough?” and build the ever-elusive platform. Now, adding value (for the people already cool enough to buy your book) is something else for authors to think about.

As part of my instructional design study, I’m translating Total Blueprint into a Moodle course. I love the idea of making the book an interactive (and ultimately, even more inspiring!) experience.

So, what else is there?

- Authors provide discussion forums, or background novellas.
- Authors promote their book with merchandising.
- Authors let readers get into their head with book playlists.
- Authors post or create teasers and trailers.

As a reader, what “extras” do you expect? Do you expect any at all?

As an author, are you giving your readers enough? Of your book, of your world, of you?

Keep kicking ass!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Go Lily!

This is it. Twenty one one. And January is almost over...

Need inspiration?


This kick ass 9 year old has just written and recorded her first album! Not even in double-digits, and Lily is going out and making it happen. You know what that means? No excuses, no delays - it’s time to take control! If you’ve been holding back, dumbing down, or settling for anything less than what you deserve* don’t wait another minute to change your world.

The best time to plant a tree is one hundred years ago.
The second best time is today. -Chinese proverb

Heading off to plot :)

*which is, of course, world domination!

Keep kicking ass!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

First things first, on the first of the first!

1/1/11  One. Uno. Tahi.

This is the perfect time to set some goals! And for motivation? Throw in some Big Fat Whys! The trick is to make your goals doable, and your Whys inspiring…

Here’s one of mine:
Goal: I am going to write a new YA book (60,000ish words).
Why? I want to feel the joy of creation and completion. I want to see my words come to life on the page. I want to send it out to readers (and make their day / decade!) I want to express myself. I want to change the world. I want to take over the world!

Make the next 12 months count!