I won NaNoWriMo 2008!

December 29th, 2008

Reposted due to a hard disk failure at Hostgator.

I won NaNoWriMo 2008!

What the NaNoWriMo 2008 winner goodies page said:

I won NaNoWriMo 2008!

Through storm and sun, you traversed the noveling seas. Pitted against a merciless deadline and fighting hordes of distractions, you persevered. You launched yourself bravely into Week One, sailed through the churning waters of Week Two, skirted the mutinous shoals of Weeks Three and Four, and now have landed, victorious, in a place that few adventurers ever see.

We congratulate you on your hard work, salute your discipline and follow-through, and celebrate your imagination.

You did something amazing this month, novelist. We couldn’t be prouder.

The goal was 50,000 words in one month. I passed that goal by the 16th November, idled for a week, then managed a personal record of 15,000 in one day, 20,000 in a weekend, to take me to 71,416 words.

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NaNoWriMo 2008

November 1st, 2008

And I’m off again…

I’ve done NaNoWriMo every year since 2005 and won it each time. Hopefully I’ll win in 2008 as well. I’ve already written over 2000 words today (the minimum daily word count is 1667) so I’m on the right track.

Once again I’m focusing on my All Change universe. In the spirit of NaNoWriMo’s “don’t put limits on your writing and you’ll more”, I’m writing all 7 books simultaneously.

The NaNoWriMo site is very slow, which is normal for the first of November each year. But at least it hasn’t frozen, which is particularly normal. Those thousands of dollars worth of server upgrades were worth it.

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September 9th, 2008

I was under the impression that genuine Native American moccasins were rather like beige suede slippers with tassels. But the reality is somewhat different.

Genuine moccasins - want!

Catskill Mountain Moccasins.

They’re gorgeous! Not to mention machine washable, available in a wide range of colours, and they’re supposed to last 20 years!

I want to walk a mile in these moccasins. Too bad they’re US$1195.

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Rain Donut

September 6th, 2008

What the…? There’s a rain donut over Sydney. I’ve never seen rain falling in that shape before.

Rain donut over Sydney

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Great Coastal Walk

August 16th, 2008

The Great Coastal Walk is a mixture of bush trails and road rambles that lead from Cronulla in Sydney’s south to Barrenjoey Lighthouse in Sydney’s north. It’s only just fully opened.

I did the Manly to Barrenjoey walk a few years ago and it was fantastic.

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July 9th, 2008

The iPhone is coming out in Australia.

I’m not getting one until:

1. My iPod and/or phone conks.

2. The iPhone capacity exceeds my iPod – 30 gig. Sixteen gig is the current capacity.

3. I can buy outright. No monthly bill slavery for me!

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July 8th, 2008

Spotted a waterspout on the way home yesterday, an intense thin trunk against the darkness of its storm cloud. I only had my tiny camera phone with me, so the best photo I got was taken several minutes after I’d spotted it, when it had already roped out and only the very top was left, hanging down from the wall cloud.

It’s just a few pale pixels against the dark grey of the cloud underside, in the centre of the picture.

Waterspout off the headland south of Mona Vale Beach

The sky was such a strange colour that day. The clouds were lurid orange and yellow in the east, turning pink towards the west, and streaked with stark grey in all parts of the sky.

Perhaps yellow is the colour to watch out for when there are tornadoes about? Green sky for hail, yellow for tornadoes.

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Photo Dropper

June 15th, 2008

I shall illustrate my posts uncontrollably from now on! I’ve just installed Photo Dropper, a WordPress plugin that searches Flickr for any keyword, and offers a range of Creative Commons licensed photos I can use with just a click. They even offer a range of sizes. I’ve used every size below:


Nasturtium / Tropaeolum majus / 金蓮花(きんれんか)
Creative Commons License photo credit: TANAKA Juuyoh (田中十洋)


Nasturtium / Tropaeolum majus / 金蓮花(きんれんか)
Creative Commons License photo credit: TANAKA Juuyoh (田中十洋)


Nasturtium / Tropaeolum majus / 金蓮花(きんれんか)
Creative Commons License photo credit: TANAKA Juuyoh (田中十洋)

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Castle Mudcake

June 14th, 2008

I finally managed to buy a castle-shaped Bundt cake tin today. My experiments with my cathedral-shaped Bundt cake tin have twice ended with crumbs instead of a shaped cake. But I used the cake tin spray on oil supplied by the shop and voila!

It worked!

Welcome to Castle Mudcake.

But danger is in sight! A furry yellow dragon with glowing green eyes wants to eat the castle! 😉

And he’s a dragon closeup. 😉

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Social Networking Site Spam

June 14th, 2008

They nearly caught me, until I realised I’d have to give them my e-mail address…

I’m talking about a new social networking site that shall remain nameless because they don’t deserve promotion. They contacted me through Flickr, asking for permission to use one of my pictures:

Pig skin has never tasted so good.

People have used my images before. But something didn’t feel quite right about this request. It just seemed too … automated. Besides, why should I register for an account on their site when it’s my images they’re using?

It’s just a scam to harvest e-mail address. I’m surprised Flick doesn’t ban them.

Though it’s deeply ironic that they spammed me on a photo of something that is the closest thing the Chinese have to spam…

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Airport Full Body Scanning

June 8th, 2008

I always get stopped by airport security. Maybe it’s because I’m small and blonde and don’t look like I’d cause trouble. Whatever the reason, I’ve experienced every form of airport security, from bomb sniffing machines (I asked if he’d ever caught anyone, he said no) to metal detectors.

On my way back from London, I was ‘lucky’ enough to experience a new security technology: Full Body Scanning.

And this is what I would have looked like. (The face has been blurred.)

Milimetre Wave Scan Image

Don’t know why they bothered.

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May 25th, 2008

Here’s a new theme called Structure. I happened to glance at the Dashboard of my blog and saw it advertised. Very elegant. No coding required. I just activated some widgets and it’s working.

It’s too good to be true. It’s probably stealing my private data or something. 😉

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First post on Hostgator

May 17th, 2008

As Diane’s web space on Dreamhost wasn’t letting me FTP, I’ve moved all my sites to Hostgator, which I chose after seeing which web hosting company got the best reviews.

No real complaints so far, though my 91 meg database table file took two goes to upload. I’m currently uploading a 200 meg and 300 meg database file. Yeah, I run big sites.

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Even WordPress themes contain spam now

May 11th, 2008

I just used the automatic WordPress update plugin to upgrade to WordPress 2.5 – and found that I’d not only lost all my tags, but my theme Big Blue 0.1 was no longer working. I upgraded to Big Blue 1.0 and was shocked to see that the creator or someone else had embedded an advertising banner in the theme.

I’ve commented the banner out. Serves ’em right. There was no warning that the theme was spammed on the page I downloaded it. If there had been, I wouldn’t have bothered.

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Book Crossing

March 10th, 2008

I’ve been journaling on my computer, rather than on this blog lately. I’m concerned about privacy, and I don’t want to spill my life and secrets to everyone.

But while listening to the Writing Show podcast today, I found out about something that I have to share: Book Crossing.

It’s like travel bugs, for books. Rather than tagging and releasing a small object (such as a keyring) as a travel bug, people are tagging books and releasing them in cafes and food halls around the world. People find and review the books, then release them back into the wild.

According to the site, there are quite a few tagged books located in cafes near me. Must go hunting…

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The Rapture Didn’t Happen

January 2nd, 2008

Just when you thought people couldn’t get any crazier:




Yeah, no kidding! How come the loonier someone is, the more they use CAPS LOCK and font colour changes,
not to mention font size changes?

But they can’t manage a paragraph.

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New Year

December 30th, 2007

I’ll be offline for a few days because I’m going up north to stay at a friend’s beach house.

Happy New Year everyone! 🙂


Not surprising at all

December 29th, 2007

You Are 100% Feminist

You are a total feminist. This doesn’t mean you’re a man hater (in fact, you may be a man).
You just think that men and women should be treated equally. It’s a simple idea but somehow complicated for the world to put into action.

But I don’t know anyone who isn’t. Why wouldn’t you be?

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Unicef Photo of the Year by Stephanie Sinclair

December 23rd, 2007
Unicef Photo of the Year by Stephanie Sinclair

A 40-year-old man, Mohammad, marries an eleven-year-old girl, Ghulam. He says he’s going to send her to school. But the women of the village don’t believe him, and judging from the terror on her face, neither does Ghulam.

So much for the war on terror freeing girls in Afghanistan. I feel sick to my stomach. This photo is the stuff of nightmares.

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Anti-Xmas Song

December 23rd, 2007

Here’s a dour Scottish antidote to all those bloody comfort and joy xmas songs:

We’re All Going To Die by Malcolm Middleton

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