Saturday, 11 May 2019

Spring Update, Writing, Zazzle, and Wattpad

Welcome readers and browsers to my spring update. I’m way late and can’t believe I last posted in November – yaagh… Life is like that. 
It’s May and spring is slow to show herself despite famous groundhog Wiarton Willie’s prediction for an early one but our tree in the backyard is now finally starting to bud. It’s amazing really this renewal considering that our tree has caught I believe the emerald ash borer. This beautifully coloured but deadly Asian beetle somehow came up through the US and is now killing off trees in southern Ontario so we’re looking at eventually having to take her down and losing the lovely shade that it gives our backyard and our cars, never mind the shelter it gives birds and squirrels. 
On the positive side, a beautiful new white Rose of Sharon flowering shrub reseeded into the spot where an ageing English rose bush has finally petered out. Rose of Sharon are very hardy so I’m looking forward to seeing it flourish. 
Through winter I’ve been establishing my new Zazzle shop, Paperie Artemisia. If you’re looking for an outlet for your visual design talents, check out this growing, and free!, platform for designers to create gift items and paperie to sell online. Understanding the back end is quite complicated though so plan to put in some time figuring out how to make it successful. They’ve allowed for an entire category for everything wedding so if you’re looking for ideas for your celebration check them out. Click the link above to see some of my wedding invitation and paperie collections!
Writing for me has been taking something of a back seat for a while. Real life work stress just obliterates my muse. Has anyone else been having a wretched 2-3 year stretch struggling with maintaining decent work income recently? I’m seeing that this will finally be improving for me in a while, thankfully, and writing and publishing ideas are slowly coming back to me. 
How many of you are on Wattpad, either writing or reading? I can’t believe I joined a couple years ago but did nothing about it at the time as it just didn’t fit well with me but now am taking a re-think. I’m definitely late to the party but feel this is the next step for me. I had contemplated opening my own website to sell my novels direct to public but realized that I don’t want to be swimming alone out in the sea (though eventually I plan to do this) just yet. Can you imagine, Wattpad  has more than 400 million story uploads! That’s a lot. 
And Wattpad is continuing to expand their opportunities for both income streams for writers (via ads between your chapters, and an option for readers to pay their fave authors), book publishing deals for authors, and even a road into movie deals. This sounds like a great community to get involved with. Here's an article about some of these new possibilities at Techcrunch
I’m liking this sense of community for the support it can lend, as well as giving me literally millions of new stories to explore and authors to connect with. I’m totally indie but can see that it makes sense to commune with those of like mind in figuring out how to become a successful writer.
So here’s my reworked Wattpad landing page to check out: KRWriter.
The first work I’ll be uploading is my fractured fairy tale, Cursed Ice Prince, which is a take on Hans Christian Andersen’s, The Snow Queen. This has been my total fave forever so it was the only fairy tale I could imagine redoing and I’m filling it with lush Russian and Nordic mythology and visuals which I love.
The premise is, what if the Snow Queen (Anyu in my story) and Kai really take to each other, I mean Really like each other? To bring an elemental and a human together is a challenge but what scope for fabulous fantasy visuals and a story to take you away from the every day. 
If you’re on Wattpad, leave a comment with your link and I’ll be sure to follow you too!
 Have a lovely spring if it arrives one day, dear readers…

Thursday, 29 November 2018

November Musings

PhotoCredit: cmpsiegen at Pixabay

Welcome readers! Can you believe we’re rushing into the end of November already? Christmas will be upon us in the blink of an eye and the cold is descending upon us.
For me the late fall has been about repairing the backyard fence and gate, prepping the furnace and getting ready for a forecast of a cold winter ahead. As temperatures drop one of the first things I notice is how dry everything gets, especially my already dry skin, so my night table has a jumble of pots and jars of skin hydrating and moisture sealing creams. We get -20 degrees through January. That’s really cold! So I'm looking for serious, heavy duty skin protection. 
Summer 2017 I chanced upon an interesting 2015 Raquel Welch interview with Piers Morgan in which she divulged a simple beauty secret. Then 75 years of age she looked amazing! I can’t find the original full interview but there’s an article Here that shares this information she let out during that interview. 
You won’t believe what’s in the simple product she uses called Bag Balm. It’s a mix of lanolin, petroleum jelly and paraffin wax! We're familiar with lanolin which is a waxy sebum secreted by sheep and other animals into their wool for protection against the elements. I need something really effective for the cold and lanolin is the most unctuous and seriously heavy duty moisturizer I’ve found (I might try a liquid version in future too). Make sure to get 100% pure and be aware that you'll need to mix/melt it into shea butter, or Vaseline, or coconut oil or similar. PipingRock makes an inexpensive pure lanolin and they have great customer service.

Ideally we would want to source lanolin from unsprayed and non-GMO fed sheep (that’s a topic for another discussion) but at this time this looks to be very difficult if not impossible.

The other ingredient I think in Bag Balm that’s probably very effective is paraffin. I’m not that keen on it though it would probably be an excellent sealant, maybe too effective and I’d want my skin to breathe easily. It sounds great if you work out of doors during the cold months though!
As the year is winding down I'm busy working on new directions for 2019 to help me achieve greater goals for independence, some for my writing and some in skin care. To get an early peek visit SkinCare101. 
November Mood Collage
Merry Christmas from Cat!
So early season’s greetings all! If you’re looking for ideas, check out 900HedgehogBrand for cute and classic greeting cards, gift bags and tags, iphone cases and more.
May the best of friends, family, health, food, and contentment fill your life and home through Christmas and into 2019!

Monday, 15 October 2018

Hauntingly Romantic Winter

Welcome readers!  Autumn is here, and my most favourite month of the year, October.  It’s great for snuggling in fleece-lined socks, close to your sweetie, up to a cup of hot cocoa, and especially reading.
I’m excited to be participating in A Hauntingly Romantic Winter: A Fairytale Collection, a beautifully illustrated anthology of previously unpublished fairy tales (fractured and otherwise) compiled and published by Tamara Rokicki and D. Fischer.  These entrepreneurial authors head up The Other World, an online community of writers and readers who love fantasy, paranormal, and dystopian reads.

I’m thrilled to team up with other talented writers and photographic/illustrative artists in this gorgeous publication out November 1, 2018 some of whom are Lucille Moncrief, H.M. Gooden, Tabetha Waite, Martin Wilsey, Erin Casey, Lecia McDermott, and more for this gorgeous winter publication.  This is being offered as a paperback for the beautiful visuals as well as ebook format. 

Cursed Ice Prince is a tale I’ve been working on that is inspired by traditional fairy tale, The Snow Queen, by Hans Christian Andersen.  I love this story for its magical winter qualities and wanted to do a fairy tale re-telling so this was the one for me.  My idea was, what if Kai and the Snow Queen like each other?  What might draw them together, and what elemental problems would come between them?  Could they ever come together, really, a human and an elemental?  Some big questions but I’ve got a pretty active imagination! 
The blurb:
Anyu is the Sovereign of Snow since the beginning and for eons, always alone, yearning for connection, maybe even the love that humans prize so much. But she reaches out to human men only to kill them with her frozen kiss of death.
The hobgoblin Rhaznomr’s evil magic mirror has splintered into a zillion pieces, lodging in the hearts and eyes of humans all over the world. Perhaps a man with mirror splinters could withstand her cool brand of love with such black magic to keep them safe and alive.
Anyu’s trail of frozen lovers comes to a fantastic resolution with Kai as Anyu is determined, even if she must enlist the aid of the evil Rhaznomr himself, to make him her Ice Prince.

Meant originally to be a novella size read (and will be completed into winter 2019/2020), I’ve trimmed Cursed Ice Prince to a short story for this anthology but with key points about the plot.
If you’re looking for the magic and myth about the Snow Queen, be sure to check out Cursed Ice Prince and the entire fabulous anthology to cuddle up to on a cold autumn or winter night to whisk you away to another world!
Pre-Publication Reserve Orders and Orders Here  
Check out The Other World Here to learn more.