(This is a mirror site of my webpage karenjcarlisle.com)

Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Thankful Jar

Original post: http://karencarlisle.purplefiles.net/2015/11/29/the-thankful-jar/
Early last year, following a harrowing year of anxiety, I was down. The black dog was biting at my heels. I needed a boost - something to cheer me up. Something to put things into perspective. A friend directed me to an article; it was then I discovered the wonder of the thankful jar.
It's simple.
  1. Find a jar, or a bowl or a box. Whatever. The container is not the important thing. It is what you put in the jar that counts.
  2. Through out the year, write down those little things (or big things) that amuse you, uplift you, make you smile. Feel good things. Things that you can be thankful for. (Hence the name: Thankful Jar.) This is a long-term project. It is also a private project - unless you want to share it. It is up to you.
  3. Keep adding notes whenever the moment takes you.
  4. At the end of the year release those feel good moments. Find a quiet corner, pour out the notes and read them. Remember the good times. Revel in them. Smile.
  5. Start filling the jar the next year.
thankfuljar2015This is my second year filling my thankful jar. I really needed it last year. It reminded me of the happy moments that outshone the dark days. It banished the black dog for a time.
With only a month to go, it is almost full.
I can't wait to relive the wonderful moments of 2015 - all over again.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Super Time at Supanova Adelaide

original post: http://karencarlisle.purplefiles.net/2015/11/23/super-time-at-supanova-adelaide/

The sun blasted my eyelids. I opened one eye. Nope. Too early. I rolled over, pulled up the covers and waited until my stomach rumbled. Mega post-con fatigue. But what a blast!
I have just finished my first stint as a merchant at a full-sized pop culture convention - Supanova Adelaide. This year they moved into the larger of the Adelaide Showground pavilions. The aisles were wider. It was easy to move amongst the crowds with enough room to get some full costume photos and see the merchandise without getting jostled.
There were some fantastic costumes - Helena's Cleopatra, Snape being devoured by Nagiri, Ben's 'Aunty Snape', Aadams Family group, several Doctor Who groups, the Disney villians and Aragorn (he smocked the shirt himself!) - just to name a few. More photos are on my FB page: Karen J Carlisle.
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firesofpompei_photo_copyright2015KarenCarlisle Doctortrio_photo_copyright2015KarenCarlisle aragorn_photo_copyright2015KarenCarlisle villlians_photo_copyright2015KarenCarlisle
12227729_10153751747967937_154658861173701637_nI was pleased with my position - at the end of one of the major fairways from the front door to the signing area. My booth neighbours were friendly. Poor Kimberley Clark had flown down from Queensland, unprepared for the chill - with the milder weather (we had mid-thirties earlier in the week) and frosty air conditioning. (I loved it!) Thanks for the tips, Kimberley.
Thanks to  my cohorts, Ruth and David, who helped on the booth over the weekend.
 Kimberly Clark_photo_copyright2015KarenCarlisle IMG_1782
Thanks to Mike from Firebear Armoury for my pressie. And thank you to those who stopped by for a chat or to buy a book. I appreciate you spending time with me. I had many queries about more of Viola's adventures (squee, thank you!). I am currently writing the first draft of a new novella and short stories for Journal #2: Eye of the Beholder.  I am aiming for a May, 2016 release - all going well.
photo by scott hallandall permission to usePhoto: Scott Hallandall
It's Monday. Everything is quiet. I shuffled to the kettle, sorted out a cup of tea and scrounged in the fridge for any remnants of chocolate. You'll find me curled up in the corner, trying to get some words on paper and eyeing off the couch. I might surface by Wednesday.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Words Fail Me.

original post: http://karencarlisle.purplefiles.net/2015/11/17/words-fail-me/

Dear Reader,
This, as you have guessed, is a very late post. My apologies.
The weekend has been a long one, fraught with high emotion, personal disappointment and sadness. Tension had been increasing during the week - resulting in physical symptoms and loss of valuable writing time. Several issues surfaced on Sunday. They've been bubbling away for almost a year now. I thought that had been dealt with. I was wrong. Now I am dealing with the aftermath.
I am so far behind on my planned word count; so many words lost.
Then there was Paris.
How can someone hate so much - especially those not even met? Not only the perpetrators of the attacks, but those who now abuse others online - hidden behind the anonymity of social media? They abuse and accuse innocents just because of their colour, race or religion. These are hate crimes - their trigger is the keyboard.
Words fail me. My heart aches.
Sometimes I wish I could escape into my favourite book, join the characters and not deal with the everyday disappointments or tragedies. If we all did that, the haters would have free reign.
But there are glimmers of hope in messages of peace, not hate. Please, keep shining into the darkness.
And be excellent to one another.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

It's NaNoWriMo Time!

original post: http://karencarlisle.purplefiles.net/2015/11/08/its-nanowrimo-time/
Greetings dear Reader,
This month is NaNoWriMo (National Nominated Writing Month). For those who have not heard of NaNo, it is a personal challenge to write like the wind (gratuitous YouTube link here) and aim for 50K words in one month. For me, it is a regular kick in the pants and anti-procrastinating tool.
The first week is now behind me. How did I fare?
The Good: This time round I had actually pre-planned the basic plot points of the story. This is a big thing for me. Usually start with without the vaguest hint on where the story will take me and no plan to guide me.  I have pulled myself out of the non-productive hole where my muse had tossed me, and with a maniacal grin, had forsaken me for the past few months.
The Bad:  I am 7000 words behind the ideal word count for a 50K target. I have been sidetracked by research - into autopsy procedures of the nineteenth century and The British Museum of the nineteenth century...
The not-so-Ugly: I have written 6439 words. That's 6439 words I had not written last month. Or the month before that. It's 6439 words of my 35K word novella - two and a half scenes, with several hints laid down, characters introducing themselves and two new subjects to add to my trivia knowledge lists.
I have also written rough outlines for the accompanying short stories for The Adventures of Viola Stewart Journal #2: Eye of the Beholder and Other Tales. A new cover design is already coming together.
Here's the blurb:

Eye of the Beholder

Viola Stewart is dectectiving again. With her friend, Doctor Henry Collins, at her her side, Viola runs foul of mummies, curses and the paranormal. But this time, the threat of Bedlam hangs over them all. Eye of the Beholder and Other Tales: The Adventures of Viola Stewart Journal #2 is due out in 2016.
Check out my Pinterest page for more hints on what I am working on.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Destination: denouement: Why do we need to work so hard?

Destination: denouement: Why do we need to work so hard?: The question asked by a fellow writer today:  If 85% of everything that’s published today is crap, why do we need to work so hard to improv...