Category Archives: Uncategorized

More captcha?

Okay, can someone please tell me which of the captcha pics I should have ticked???

This is why I hate captcha so much. 😦


Competition and Giveaway

No, not from me! One of my favourite Indie authors, Laurie Boris, is part of a multi-author, print book promotion that includes:

  • A new Fire HD 10 tablet.
  • A new Kindle Paperwhite.
  • A new 9 watt Fire tablet / Kindle eReader charger (you never have enough).
  • A signed print edition of RP Dahlke’s A Dead Red Cadillac.
  • A signed print edition of Donna Fasono’s Following His Heart.
  • A signed print edition of Laurie Boris’s The Call.
  • A signed print edition of Melinda Clayton’s Return to Crutcher Mountain.
  • A signed print edition of Dianne Greenlay’s Quintspinner.
  • A signed print edition of Julie Frayn’s Mazie Baby.

I’ve read ‘The Call’ and even though I know nothing about baseball, I still loved it. I haven’t read Melinda Clayton’s ‘Return to Crutcher Mountain’ but I have read an earlier book of hers and it was brilliant too.

If those two authors are anything to go by, the rest of the books will be fantastic as well. And then there are those Kindle goodies as well…

You can find all the details here:

Go on…what’re you waiting for? -grin-


My first payment!

I’m almost giddy with joy! After five years, I finally get a payment notification!

I have no idea how much it’s for but this is the best pre-Christmas present ever. 😀

In case anyone’s wondering, Amazon has a $100 threshold for payments that require a cheque, and as Australia is in the back of beyond, I’ve never managed to receive a cheque. I have made sales though! Just not enough. Now with my Australian account, I can receive payment through EFT so…I get paid.:D

No comments. Just picture me jigging with happiness as I mow the grass!



TORUK and beyond

The Offspring and I went to see the Cirque du Soleil production of TORUK last night and it was spectacular, but not quite as magical as the production I saw a great many years ago. Clearly, nostalgia played a part, and I do know that memory cheats, but some of the real differences are worth mentioning.


Back when I saw Cirque du Soleil for the first time, the performance was under a Big Top, and although huge, it made the experience much more intimate. Last night’s performance of TORUK took place in the Rod Laver Arena, and to me, the place is insanely big.

This is a photo I took before the performance began:

Apologies for the quality of the photo, but that hand on the right makes a perfect point – the other side of the arena is a looooong way off and the people there look like fly specks. The dark, purple area in the middle is the ‘stage’.

The Offspring made sure we had excellent seats very close to the stage, but I was still gobsmacked by the sheer size of the place. It felt more like a football oval than the venue for a performance.


Another point of difference between then and now was the security. Every single person was checked – bags and bodies. The security guy didn’t wave the wand thingie over me – too grey and inoffensive looking? – but the Offspring was wanded, and the efficiency of the security people was both reassuring and rather scary. Way back then, there was no need for such stringent security, and I’m saddened by how much the world has changed.


Melbourne has more public transport than most Australia cities. We have an excellent train network and the inner city area is well supplied with trams as well as buses. Nevertheless, we are also a city of cars, and never has that been more obvious than last night.

The Offspring and I left home at 6pm for an 8pm performance. We drove. We barely made it to the performance in time.

Part of the problem was that Friday night traffic is always bad, plus there were road works at a critical point on one of the feeder roads leading to the Rod Laver Arena. But most of the congestion was caused by the venue itself.

This is a map of the area:

You can see how close the venue is to the Melbourne CBD. The CBD is well supplied with public transport, but the area around the arena is for cars only, and the roads were ‘chockers’ [stop-start to you non-Aussies]. What’s worse, the Rod Laver Arena is not the only venue in that particular stretch of real estate. The area bounded by the purple line is full of public venues, and they all seemed to be in use last night.

In hindsight, we should have parked elsewhere and walked, or taken one of the cute little rickshaw-type vehicles that work that stretch of road. But we didn’t know what conditions would be like and had a terrible time getting there. At one stage we thought we might miss the performance altogether.:(

That kind of stress is not conducive to magic, so I was not in my happy place when the performance of TORUK began. Nevertheless, there was enough magic in the show to bring a huge smile to my face. You see, TORUK is like a modern day opera with circus elements.

Opera? Really? Yes…well, sort of. If you think of opera as a story told through music and acting then TORUK is not far off the mark. Cirque du Soleil has always been known for creating beautiful, evocative music, sung in a ‘language’ no one understands. In fact, like opera sung in Italian, the ‘no one understands’ bit is the true genius of the music because it does away with the language barrier completely.

And then there’s the story. TORUK takes the Avatar concept and subtracts anything overtly ‘human’ from it. The story is Na’vi-centric [the blue natives of Pandora] and follows three young heroes – two males and a female – as they overcome great obstacles to gather five sacred objects. These objects are needed to stop a volcanic eruption from destroying the Na’vi sacred tree.

Anyone familiar with gaming would immediately recognize the story as a ‘quest’ plot, and as with the Lord of the Rings, the quest is also a story of personal development. Told through mime, and action sequences that showcase the circus elements, the story is complex enough to need a ‘narrator’, and this is the one element I could have done without. Every time the narrator spoke in English, I fell out of the story.

The Offspring disagrees with me about the storytelling aspect of the performance, so I may be in a minority of one here. Nevertheless, I believe the English actually broke the magic that I’d come to expect from earlier productions. I have no idea whether the rest of the audience felt the same or, like the Offspring, appreciated knowing what the hell was going on.

Anyway, that was the only element that was a negative for me, and it was more than counter-balanced by some of the other, innovative elements of the show, such as the puppets. Controlled by performers in dark body suits, the ‘beasts’ of Pandora really made me smile, but then I’ve always loved puppets – Dark Crystal anyone? – and the Japanese art of Bunraku.

Couldn’t resist showing you some examples. First up is a scene from the Dark Crystal by the late Jim Henson:

And from the other side of the world, Bunraku from Japan:

The TORUK puppets were not quite as sophisticated as either of these two examples, but they were still amazing and totally unexpected in a ‘circus’ performance. But then, Cirque du Soleil has always been more than just a circus. Right from the start they refused to have live animals, and although they used to have clowns, the more death defying circus acts were always woven together into a theme that told a story of sorts.

Those innovative, non-standard circus elements are what made Cirque du Soleil such a ground-breaking company, but TORUK has taken that evolution to a new level. It is story-telling with music that uses circus elements instead of being defined by them. The result is a spectacular and beautiful performance.

And yet, if I’m honest, it was still the death-defying, gasp-inducing circus elements that really took my breath away, and two ‘acts’ really stood out. One featured a gymnast working on something like the ‘rings’, and the second featured a gymnast/contortionist.

My dad was a champion gymnast in his youth, and I learned to appreciate the skill through him. Especially the rings:

The rings are all about strength, control, skill. The young man who performed a version of the rings in TORUK used only straps. If Dad were still alive he would have applauded his strength and artistry.

The second element that blew me away was a contortionist who bent his? her? body into impossible positions while balancing on what amounted to a very large seesaw. The following Youtube video isn’t from TORUK but it does show how amazing the Cirque du Soleil performers can be:

I should also mention the performer who ‘juggled’ five boomerang type thingies. Simply amazing.

And did I mention the sets, props and light show? I’m not sure how they did it – laser projections perhaps – but they made it look as if water were flooding across the stage. Colour me gobsmacked.

Would I recommend TORUK to others? Oh god yes. Seeing TORUK was our big treat and Christmas present this year, and it was worth every penny. 🙂





TORUK – Cirque du Soleil

We’re going to the Melbourne show tonight!

I saw the Cirque du Soleil live many years ago and I’m thrilled to be seeing them live again, especially with this Avatar theme [LOVE Avatar].

The tickets weren’t cheap, but this will be my big treat for the year so I’m refusing to count the pennies. 😀

More later,


Cruel and Inhumane? — Filosofa’s Word

Rosa Maria Hernandez … you are likely to hear that name a lot in the coming days, for she is, at age ten, one of Donald Trump’s “bad hombres”. Rosa Maria came to the U.S. when she was three months old and her family settled in Laredo, Texas. She had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy […]

via Cruel and Inhumane? — Filosofa’s Word

There are two things in this world that I will fight to protect – children and animals – because neither can effectively fight for themselves. If you are a mother or a father, please, pass this post to those you know and love in the hope that the groundswell of outrage will be noticed, even by /him/.

Miira means ‘mummy’ in Japanese!?!

Okay, life can be strange sometimes. I was on Amazon, quietly attaching my new print books [dance] to my Author Central page when my search for ‘Miira’ came up with five pages worth of results. And most of them were Japanese!

Given that my Miira is supposed to be a Eurasian of Chinese/Swedish extraction, I was a little dismayed. Clearly I should have done my research when I first came up with the name, but…I thought I’d made it up. Anyway, eager to make up for being lazy before, I googled ‘Miira’ and ‘Japanese’ and discovered that ‘miira’ means…

-cough- mummy -cough-

No, not the motherly kind of mummy but the wrapped-up-in-cloth-and-buried-in-a-sarcophagus kind. I kid you not.

Not exactly the connection I would have liked but hey…maybe I can break into the Japanese horror market one day? lol

In other news, the Offspring and I went out, actually out to see a movie last night and it was absolutely, fan-bloody-tastic. The movie is Blade Runner 2049, and if it’s still playing in a cinema near you, do yourself a favour and go see it on the big screen. Seriously, probably the best movie I’ve seen since Fury Road. Okay, it’s the only movie I’ve seen since Fury Road but let’s not split hairs.

Want to know something else? The production team of Blade Runner 2049 is chock full of Hungarians!

Yes, it has been a good weekend, and I hope yours turns out the same.




Sorry, another Maru video :D

This cat is amazing!

Finally, a box too small for Maru!

The best start to a weekend EVER! Keep watching…and I apologise if anyone dies laughing. 😀

Why Evolution Is True

Let us end the work week, as we often do, with a cat—this time a prominent one. Maru is of course Japan’s most famous cat, and perhaps the most famous Internet cat in the world. His forte is entering small boxes, and he’s able to get into very tiny ones. But at last, after many years, Maru has found a box too small to enter. He does try, though!


h/t: Jim

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When fantasy and reality collide…

This is not so much a post as a kind of public journal entry by someone who doesn’t keep a journal. For that reason I’m turning comments off.

So…what is this collision of realities? It’s that odd moment in a writer’s life when she hands a physical copy of her book to someone else, for the very first time.

The books are the original proof copies of the Innerscape saga and the someone else is my neighbour. He’s a very nice man and a voracious reader, but I have no idea whether he has ever read a sci-fi book in his life. More to the point, I have no idea how he will cope with some of the scenes and language in the books.

I decided a long time ago that I was not going to self-censor my writing on the basis of what others might think of me. I kept to that pledge for Vokhtah, and I kept to it for Innerscape. But. It’s so much easier being devil-may-care about a relative stranger than it is about someone you see when you put out the rubbish or go to check the mail.

I’m not exactly worried. Just a little…unsettled. I’ve dreamt of handing my books out to real, live people for a very long time, but of course in those daydreams, the people are all adoring fans and they think the story is wonderful…

Ouch. Now I remember why I’ve never liked keeping a journal. Some egotistical imaginings should never see the light of day. In any format.

Okay, well I’m not deleting this so I’ll just pull up my big girl pants and live with it.



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