Friday, 26 September 2014

Painting .....

Needed a break from writing and, as I had a wonderful photograph, decided to do a little painting.

A friend of mine from the FB photo group posted this amazing shot a few months ago.  I asked for, and got, permission to use it as a painting reference.

You have to admit it is an amazing photo.  The detail in it is fabulous.

So I went through all my photos trying to decide what to paint when this leaf just jumped out at me.  Spent the last few days working on it and I think I'm happy with it.

Posted it on my art blog.

Now I have to decide what I want to paint next.  I have about 45-50 photos from the group.  Each one has something magical about it, so it is such a hard decision.

Then each day more get posted and I find myself adding to my growing list .. lol.

There are some amazing photographers in my group - this is just a small selection of the photos I've got permission to use as reference.


Monday, 22 September 2014

Reptle Park ....

Took a trip to the Reptile Park at Gosford on the Central Coast on Sunday.

First weekend of the school holidays so was able to take my eldest grandson with me. We met up with my younger son and his family.

A great day was had by all. The kids had a great time, patting kangaroos, crocodiles and snakes.

We when sat down for lunch this cheeky Rainbow Lorrikeet decided to join us.  He was taking food from our fingers but when we stopped he jumped onto the tray and helped himself.
The little ones loved watching the big salt water crocodile get fed. Lots of 'oohs and aahhhs'.  Later they got to touch a baby one about a metre long and though it was wonderful.
They enjoyed seeing the giant Galapagas Turtles ... although they couldn't understand what this one was doing - thank goodness we didn't have to explain it .... lol.

There were lots of kangaroos for them to pat and even some dingo puppies.  The kangaroos have a special area that is their 'rest area' where they can escape when they are fed up with visitors patting them.

They all bundled together in the sun and rested away from little hands.

Eldest granddaughter was very excited to see an echinda - she was impressed with his very long tongue as he ate his dinner.

Another had buried himself in the warm earth and only had his quills showing.

This Bush Stone Curlew looked like it was too much bother.

The beautiful Tawny Frogmouth didn't even bother opening his eyes when we arrived in his cage.  The children had a hard time to find him until we pointed him out to them.
These three little lizards were enjoying the warmth from the heat lamp in their enclosure.

Very glad these redback weren't actual size - it's bad enough when you find them in the house without having to deal with ones this big!

Love seeing the Cassowaries - they even had an egg, although it was just sitting on the pathway.  Mr Cassowary did check it regularly.

By the end of the day we were all tired, the two younger grandkids fell asleep within five minutes of sitting in their car. Not sure about my grandson, but I know I was quite happy to put my feet up when I finally got home after a perfect day.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Pirates ...

Before I became an author I didn't think that much about pirating, but my views have really changed since my first book was pirated.

Each week I send 'Take Down' notices to various websites - and there are thousands - where I find any of my books available illegally.  I waste at least half a day of my time doing searches then sending out notices.

Sadly, most sites ignore your request and it costs too much to fight them.  However a few sites do comply which is good news.

Today I found another 5 sites with 3 of my books, so sent off the official DCMA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) take down request. The good part is that the sites are hosted by Wordpress who immediately take action by closing the site because they violated the Terms of Service.

On each page that gives book information and the download link they also show the number of downloads of the file in the past 7 days.

There have been over 6500 downloads of the 3 books!

That equates to over $16000 - that's a lot of money that I don't get!

And that was only 5 sites - in the past few weeks I've sent out dozens of notices. That has to equate to a hell of a lot of money when you consider that on just 5 sites I lost over $16000.

Even sadder - they write reviews and give ratings!  My books are rating between 8 - 9.5/10.  What a joke!

UPDATE: Gggrrrr - just found another site - this one had three books on it with 3520 downloads in the past week!

I must lose at least $100,000 a year in pirates at the very least!

UPDATE AGAIN : Got an email from the server who I sent 5 notices to regarding 5 different sites that they hosted. All 5 are now gone!!

Chalk up one to the authors!  Only another 5,876,923 sites to go ..... lol

Friday, 12 September 2014

Deep Vein Thrombosis ...

My DIL has had problem. 

illustration of dvt
The week after Connor was born she got a lump behind her knee. It was the size of an grapefruit and was a blood clot. 

She had to go onto various meds to try and dissolve it. Not allow to walk around or do anything really.  Went back to the doc after a few weeks on all the meds and it was down to the size of a small orange but doc was still very concerned.

They changed the meds and at last yesterday she said it feels like it has finally gone. Been a very scary 4 weeks.

Hopefully she will be alright from now on!

Must be the day for good news.

Got an email and contract from my publisher - they accepted a new manuscript. A contemporary romance, menage a trois. Very excited.