DB Tait

love can be dangerous …

For the past four years, ShellyRae at Book’d Out has run an Australia Day Blog Hop. This year I’m part of it! If you make a comment, you go into the draw for a copy of Cold Deception (ebook only). The competition closes  at midnight on 27 January 2016. Open to international readers as well.

There are a lot of book bloggers, writers and other folk participating the the blog hop, so you could go here to see the list and visit their blogs too. Over at the Australian Women Writers Challenge you could go into the draw for a copy of Desperate Deception as well.

While you’re there, you could sign up for the 2016 reading challenge. I did so today and have challenged myself to read at least ten books by Australian women and review five of them. I’d like to read more literary fiction this year so the AWWC is a good source of inspiration for my list.

Are you participating in any reading challenges this year?

 

Many moons ago when I first started writing, I used to blog a lot. Then I had a disaster with upgrading my website and managed to lose all my posts. Since then I haven’t done much. I used to love it. I’d post about trips I’d made, books I’d read, what I was writing …

But then I fell into the trap of many writers. I forgot to fill the well. In my rush to get books completed, I stopped doing any other writing that took me away from my latest work in progress. I also stopped doing other nurturing things like going to the movies or skiving off to Sydney to the art gallery. I even cut down on gardening.

A sad mistake. Writing became a chore rather than something that gave me intense satisfaction. Not surprisingly, my doubts and worries about my writing, which were always much larger than they should be, got a lot worse. I became paralysed with self-doubt. Mind you self-doubt is a life long curse for me, but it somehow it deepened.

One of the writing methods that helped me challenge this self-doubt (along with having a great crit group – take a bow Kandy Shepherd, Cathleen Ross and Elizabeth Lhuede) was keeping a Bullet Journal which one of my writing mates Mel Scott put me onto. (Mel writes contemporary and fantasy romance so if you haven’t read her books you really should).

I like this journal method because it integrates several parts of my life. I work on only one note book at a time instead of having a notebook for my work in progress, a notebook for my internal life and a diary for work related appointments and tasks.

I started it in June 2015 using an A5 note book I’d been given for Christmas. By the end of the year I’d almost completely used it up so started a new one for the New Year.

I like it because it makes me look at my life most days. I have to make a decision about tasks that I haven’t completed (eg my tax!!) but I also have something that I can write in about anything without having to worry that it’s in the wrong note book.

One opening of my notebook could contain a plan for the week including a shopping list and a task list that includes cleaning out the gutters (still haven’t done it) while another opening could be free form writing on my plot or some aspect of the writing life.

Mel also put me onto washi tape, so as the mood takes me I tart up my notebook with coloured bits and pieces. I’m am not arty at all but I still get a lot of satisfaction out of playing with pretty things.
If you’re interested in the Bullet Journal method there is a ton of stuff on Pinterest. Beware though. It’s a never ending rabbit hole. You could get lost for months.

IMG_1690What do you do when you’re a bit stale and need to get your sense of enthusiasm for your creative endeavours going? I do a bit of baking and of course gardening, although you’d never know from the jungle out there.IMG_1694

 

p.s. One thing that completely blasted me out of my writing blues was becoming a finalist in the Australian Romance Readers 2015 Awards! Both Deception books and a members choice nomination for the Strongest Heroine! Thanks ARRA!

I read eighty books in 2015 which is down on previous years. In no particular order, although Station Eleven was my favourite.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
Those Who Hunt the Night by Barbara Hambly
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
The Spring Bride by Anne Gracie
After Hours by Cara McKenna
The Secret Place by Tana French
Three Weeks With Lady X by Eloisa James
Talent For Trouble by Susan Sey
One of Us: The Story of Anders Breivik and the Massacre in Norway by Åsne Seierstad
Resurrection Bay by Emma Viskic

I did have two novels and a novella published, so all in all a good year. In 2016 I hope to get the next in the Dark Mountain series, Fatal Deception finished, re-visist my alter-ego Keziah Hill and see what she has in mind (maybe a novella) and finish another shorter romantic suspense.

What does 2016 have in store for you?

Cold deception book of the weekYou can get COLD DECEPTION on iTunes this week for free!

 

 

Now, to the really important point of this blog post. Cathryn Hein rural romance writer par excellence and Friday Feast wrangler, has requested my recipe for cheese and onion muffins. I based this recipe on one I found on the internet which was too salty. With both parmesan and tasty cheese (or any combo you like) I don’t think extra salt is needed, but that’s just my taste. This recipe makes six muffins so double for 12.

Ingredients:
1 egg (beaten)
¾ cup milk or butter milk
1 cup self raising flour
1½ cups grated cheese (I use tasty and parmesan)
a small onion or half a large one (you could use chives. I’ve done it with garlic chives which was a bit overwhelming)
a tablespoon or so of olive oil
a bit of melted butter

Method:
Preheat your oven to 190°C. Melt some butter and use a pastry brush to oil a muffin tin (or line with muffin cases).
Fry the onion in the olive oil until it is very well done (I don’t mind some browned edges)
Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together until combined.
Spoon into the greased muffin pan.
Bake at 190°C for 15 minutes.

IMG_0088Enjoy warm with butter!