Ramblings of a Young Aussie Writer

A writer lost in her own imagination

Never Underestimate the Human Mind – Just For Laughs — November 3, 2019

Never Underestimate the Human Mind – Just For Laughs

Like most adults, my memory isn’t great. Ask me what I had for dinner last night and there’ll be a pause at best. ‘I’ve got a bad memory’ is basically a staple in most adult’s phrase book. There are some memories though that you’ll never forget – my wedding, the birth of my baby (okay, I hadn’t slept for a day but we’ll just say I kind of remember that) but then there’s the weird moments. Case in point –

I was 16 years old and at a Japanese boarding school. We had an Aussie teacher teaching us Japanese lessons. I remember his name clearly, Blake. There was one lesson where, for the entirety of it, he had snot dangling from his nose. I WILL NEVER FORGET THIS!!!! It’s still funny 15 years later. But WHY does this stupid memory in my mind block out so many possibly important ones. I don’t understand! I am glad though that that one silly memory can always make me giggle like a teenager.

To Blake, wherever in this world you may be, your slightly embarrassing situation has brought many giggles to me in the last 15 years so thank you.

The First Chapter — February 17, 2017

The First Chapter

Kindle and Apple ibooks have free eBook samples of many books and personally, I think it’s a fantastic idea. From a reader’s perspective, this is a great way to see if a book appeals to your interest before buying it. From an author’s perspective, I’d say this would put a lot more pressure on them to write a first chapter that will ensnare the reader into the story you’ve created.

For those who have had books traditionally published, they’ve already had to impress the publishing company to get their book published. The problem with that, is impressing a few people is a whole world different to impressing millions of people worldwide.

Without these free first chapter samples, the most important part was writing a blurb that would entice people to buy your book, especially on the eBook front. With these free exerts, the first chapter needs to be almost as good as the blurb but no pressure or anything.

On a positive note for authors, at least if someone reads the sample and decides the book is unappealing to them, they won’t be leaving a one star review.

Naturally, a fantastic first chapter doesn’t ensure a great storyline but hey, at least the first chapter was great.

Of course when it comes to print books, well, if the cover is great then at the very worst it will look good on your bookshelf.

 

 

3.5* Book Review – Iniquity by Amy A Bartol (The Premonition Series) — June 26, 2016

3.5* Book Review – Iniquity by Amy A Bartol (The Premonition Series)

Iniquity – The Premonition Series (Book 5)

Amy A Bartol

3.5 Star Review

I’ve finally finished the series that I thought would never end. I feel like it has dragged on for way too long. It just felt like overkill. I understand that as a writer, sometimes you love writing about those characters and that world so much you never want it to end but there needs to be a conclusion. It might be a bit of a spoiler but there were loose ends at the end of the book. Clearly, Amy Bartol has left a few things open just in case she wants to add a sixth book. *Groan*

Positives The cover is just beautiful – lets take a moment to appreciate that. I really enjoy Amy Bartol’s style of writing, probably most of the reason I persevered with this series (and of because of Reed). The basic storyline was great but I’ve heard that she doesn’t always plan her storyline when starting and I think that showed. I love Reed. How can you not? The ending certainly does him justice. Russell is really well developed and I wished he had had a bigger role in this book. I actually ended up liking Brennus which is no easy feat as I’ve wanted him to die from book one. You were shown very different sides to quite a few characters in this book. I did end up crying at the end of the book but that’s not too uncommon. Evie was well, Evie. There were quite a few moments where she certainly didn’t try that hard to deter some of her many admirers.

NegativesHow many admirers can one person have? Like seriously? I swear the count got up to seven. Yes you read correctly. Evie had a minimum of seven males obsessing over her. There was a lot of build up to a climax that just didn’t live up to it. A few pages and the spectacular climax scene was basically over. It was certainly a letdown. Especially considering this is the final book, the final fight scene. Buns, Brownie and Zee seemed like awkward add-ons in this book which was a shame. A lot of things that needed to be finished properly were just skimmed over. I enjoy finishing a book and still thinking about it days/weeks later but with this one I mostly just keep thinking of things that still confuse me. Whether they were unexplained or left too open, I’m not sure.

Overall I did enjoy this book and was glad it was the final one in the series. Would I recommend it to someone? Maybe. The series as a whole, I loved but it was really long-winded, that was its downfall for me (and of course the fact that there were more than a few handfuls of past, present and future lovers). The best bit – Reed. Now let’s take a moment to once again swoon over Reed. Ahhhh Reed, you gorgeous, perfect angel.

*All my reviews are on Goodreads too*

What the hell, Queensland? — August 4, 2015

What the hell, Queensland?

This is such an honest and shocking look into the reality of an unwanted dog.

thejessicafiles

awaiting_euthQueensland, wake up.

If you have ever surrendered a pet to a shelter or bred (even ‘accidentally’) & sold/given away puppies & kittens without being a licenced breeder with papered purebreds (backyard breeder) – you should be made to work in the a big animal shelter or pound for just ONE day. See if you can handle the outcome of your shitty behaviour. Maybe if you had to see your failure through to the end, actually take responsibility for your actions and kill the animals yourself, you would think differently – instead of telling yourself ‘he’s a good boy, someone will come for him, and at least I didn’t dump him on the road’ – they won’t come for him, and stop justifying what you’ve done just because you could have done worse. That’s like saying ‘well I stabbed the guy but I mean – at least I didn’t shoot him!’. Your pet…

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Twilight – Stephenie Meyer 5 Star Book Review — March 29, 2015

Twilight – Stephenie Meyer 5 Star Book Review

Twilight

Stephenie Meyer

5 Star Review

Finally I got around to reading Twilight (I know I’m only years late). Although a lot of people joke about both the books and movies, I personally found that it was well deserving of the fame it has gotten.

Positives I was shocked that I actually adored this book. The movies have certainly not done the books justice (although that is the case for most book – film conversions). Edward was a fantastic character and had a real sense of humour which the movie seemed to exclude. Stephenie’s writing style was enrapturing and really got you lost in her words.

NegativesAt one part in the book the timeline seemed to be off but apart from that I really didn’t find any other notable faults.

Overall The movies were great but the books are fantastic so if you’ve seen the movies then you definitely NEED to read the books. I would recommended these books to anyone. 5 Star Writing!

twilightcover

An Author Quote That Sums Up ‘Post-Book Hangovers’ Perfectly — March 11, 2015
The Confusing Etiquette Of Being A Female — February 25, 2015

The Confusing Etiquette Of Being A Female

I work in an INCREDIBLY male dominated industry and because of that I find myself regularly checking to make sure I still use the correct etiquette for a lady. I am a huge believer in the proper manners, respect and of course etiquette. The very biggest issue is something I have only just thought about lately. Surprisingly it’s the handshake. Yep, it doesn’t seem like something you’d think twice about but your handshake can say a lot about you. A simple gesture that lasts merely seconds can convey a lot about you to another person.

There are many, many things that are appropriate and very inappropriate for a women even in this day and age. I’m all for feminism but I endeavour to always act like a lady. This handshake realisation came over me when I was telling my husband how some people shake your hand limply and I felt it was weird. He proceeded to tell me that women usually don’t have even a remotely strong handshake and that’s probably why some men shake hands with a women gently. I suddenly became hyper aware of my handshake. What if I shake hands like a man? As stupid as it sounds, I was horrified to think I had a ‘bloke’ handshake. I can’t rationalise my feelings on this but it got me thinking.

There are a million contradicting actions involved in acting correctly in public if you’re a female. It is exhausting trying to remember to every single appropriate action in public. From a gentle handshake (which I assume portrays how feminine your are?) to walking anywhere with soft steps, hands gently by your side, shoulders back, head held high and delicate paces. It’s exhausting just thinking about it.

I’m inclined to actually google the correct way for a woman to shake hands with someone – yes I think I have gone crazy. It is these moments in my life that inspires the actions of my characters in my writing. From every situation in life we can take away something that will inspire our thoughts because after all, the best books are those that capture the essence of real life in their pages.

I added a funny photo just for those men out there that need some handshake tips 😉

Handshake Manliness

Does An Author’s Previous Success Influence Their New Book’s Success? — February 19, 2015

Does An Author’s Previous Success Influence Their New Book’s Success?

Quite a few of my favourite authors have recently released new books. Naturally I was excited to read these new books because of course I had high expectations of them. The most obvious is the Teardrop series by Lauren Kate. I loved her first series – Fallen so I was eager to read her newest series. I was very disappointed when I finished the book Teardrop. It rated very low for me (check out my review of it Here). I honestly believe though that if Lauren Kate hadn’t already made a name for herself the book Teardrop would’ve been an absolute disaster and there would be at least thousands of people who wouldn’t have bought and read it, myself included. The second book Waterfall was even worse than the first but once again I think people believe that maybe she could redeem herself with book two of the series. That was not the case and it was an even worse book than the first.

This got me thinking though – if a writer has already made a name for themselves are they more likely to rate higher than if they were previously unknown? I fully believe that is the case most of the time.

dignity popularity

The One by Kiera Cass — January 30, 2015

The One by Kiera Cass

The One

Kiera Cass

The One Kiera Cass COver

5 Star Review

This book is just wow! Interrupting your reading of this book by ‘living your life’ is not an option. It’s one of those books that you clear your schedule, curl up and read it until you finish it. You’ll thank me for the warning once you’ve finished it.

PositivesThankfully this book was as fantastic as the first book if not better. From the action (which I felt the first two books were lacking a bit in that area) to the emotional turmoil and of course the love, this book was a perfect ending to the story. I enjoyed the action scenes and was on the edge of my seat so to speak most of the way through. The change of scenery for a large part of it was good to shake things up. There was a lot of sadness in this book and as with most endings there were deaths but the ending made it all worth the sadness. There were a lot of great unexpected twists and turns added in. This book brought out the best in all of the characters.

NegativesThroughout the series Americas brother Kota was briefly mentioned but unfortunately he didn’t seem well developed and his part in the story was flimsy. America’s indecisiveness and hesitation was irritating but not as bad as the second book. I was forced to stop reading about 20 pages from the end (silly life getting in the way of reading) and I was very annoyed. I couldn’t believe that Kiera Cass had written it like that. How could she? I was ready to throw my poor ipad in frustration and wanted to refuse to finish it but it ate away at me. I needed to know what those last 20 pages said. As soon as I could, I finished the book. I must’ve stopped reading at the worst possible time. Literally the next page it started to get better again and went on to end fantastically.

OverallI just loved this book. The annoying parts were few and far between. The ending is wow. I won’t give anything away but this is one series that everyone should read. 5 out of 5 Stars!

BLURBThe time has come for one winner to be crowned.

When she was chosen to compete in the Selection, America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon’s heart. But as the end of the competition approaches, and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose—and how hard she’ll have to fight for the future she wants. 

To Grow Something From Nothing — January 27, 2015

To Grow Something From Nothing

growing strawberries

Recently I’ve started growing (or at least trying to grow) my own plants. I have always been a horrible gardener and giving me a plant meant giving that plant a death sentence. BUT I guess with practice and some research I have slowly become better at it. My growing capabilities are still very limited and the plants I can grow must be hardy but I’m proud to announce that I have my own little garden now.

Recently whilst deciding what I should plant next I realised something that is really a fantastic metaphor for many things in life. As the title implies – To grow something out of nothing. Buying a well-established strong plant can make the success rate of that plant becoming full-grown is much higher which is the goal right? Well it’s not exactly like that for me. To buy seeds, plant them, care for them and watch them grow from basically nothing into a strong plant is a wonderful achievement for me. I stare proudly at my strawberry plant believing that it must be much stronger than if I had bought an established plant instead of seeds. *I’m most proud of my strawberries but don’t tell the other plants*

I believe that growing something from nothing is a million times better in so many ways than buying your way through the tough times to ensure your success rate is almost guaranteed. You also get the satisfaction of knowing it is because of your dedication that you have your own beautiful strawberries to eat.

I’m glad I’ve started out from a ‘seed’ and eventually I hope to make my way to become a beautiful, strong plant just like those in my garden.

Happy Gardening my friends xo

Seed plants Growinf

**Please note these are not photos of my plants as mine are nowhere near as spectacular but who doesn’t like a pretty photo of strawberries.**