my novel-in-progress Writing

Almost there…

Well, this month was D-month! (Is that even a thing? And if not, why not? And can I make it a thing? And who even came up with the ‘D’ for ‘D-day’ anyway? And I’m really showing how much of an ignoramus I am right now, aren’t I?!)

And back to the story: my plan was to start querying my Middle Grade novel by the middle of March. Am I on track to still make that deadline? Well, yes… but it’s a long drawn out ‘yes’ so everyone knows there’s a caveat attached!

So here’s why. Amongst my drama group preparing for our performances next week and Miss 18 finishing her 100 hours on her learners and then getting her license (YAY!!!)… my computer died! And yes, I’m one of those people who says ‘I’ll back up *next* week, which of course never arrives, meaning my last back up was before Christmas, and I have done SOOOOO much editing since then!!!

In fairness to the computer, it *was* ten years old, which I’m told is a very good age. My 13 inch MacBook Air, as light as a (okay, maybe a pelican’s or an albatross’) feather, and it had never had ANY problems… even after I accidentally dropped it hard enough to dent its corner a couple of years ago; and even though I’ve let it overheat once or thrice.

But the keyboard stopped. The trackpad, screen, everything else was fine. Just no keyboard – and external keyboards (both wired and wireless) also didn’t work.

Hence: I now have a new MacBook Air. And the IT guru was able to restore my old computer using a P-RAM reset (which he did for free) so I was able to save, back up and then transfer my book baby (and all her siblings!) to my new computer. No edits lost!!!

But Scrivener had apparently undergone a new version in the years I’d been writing, so I had to buy the new version. And then my baby (and her siblings) needed updating to the new version, and I need to relearn how to do stuff on this new Scrivener which I already knew how to do on the old version, so… sigh. It’s been a bit of a set-back.

But I’m determined to send my first query letters on the 16th, so I have 10 days left to get my baby ship-shape and looking her best.

Wish me luck, dear Reader! I’ll let you know how it goes come April!

⁃ KRidwyn


Tech-savvy kids

I love the fact that my children are digital natives. The screen of my MacBook Pro is covered with little fingerprints from when they’ve been using my iPad / iPodTouch, and have forgotten that they’re not on them anymore. When it comes to technology, their brains don’t ask “can I?”,  but instead “how do I?” – they automatically assume that anything is possible. Whereas I, and others of my (and surrounding!) generations ask “IS that possible?”
Mr 3, in particular, amazes me with what he works out. (And I find it funny when Miss 7 and Miss 4 also ask, “How did you do that?’!) Case in point: the app Vid Rhythm. It’s a cute little app, making cute little video clips from various sounds that you copy. Mr 3 figured it out by himself – and then kindly saved me a copy of his creation. I had no idea that he was even playing with this! He was on the iPod Touch in the lounge room, while I was making dinner one night. I only discovered it after he was in bed that night:



Life Random thoughts Technology University studies

Big Bang. Times two.

For the past few weeks now, I’ve looked forward to Monday nights. As a “Big Bang Theory” enthusiast, the idea of new episodes each week has been exciting. In fact, I’m so hooked on BBT that I’ve even blogged about it for work!

I started my Masters in IT in July 2010. The majority of my classes have been on a Tuesday  evening, and since I teach violin Tuesday evenings, I have been unable to (virtually) attend classes, and so instead I generally listen to the podcasts, later in the week. This semester however, my INN530 unit has been on a Monday. And it took me until after I had missed three classes, to realise that I had a clash between the two. (Whoops!!! Sorry, Kate! “Confession via blog?” That must be akin to “Death by misadventure”?!!)

So – last Monday, I was DETERMINED that I would not be distracted by the latest BBT, and that I would DEFINITELY attend class. Especially seeing as this lecture was the biggie for me. Coding. And I’ve never written any code in my life! So I teed up Hubby to feed, bathe, and put the kids to bed, bought a headset, and went. And I’m so glad (cough) I did. Kate, in her usual incredible manner, simplified the basics for dummies like me, to such an extent  that I – almost! – managed to keep up with her pace. And I was also able to keep my brain from exploding until after I had left BlackBoard Collaborate.

So. Ceridwyn the coder? I hardly think so! Rather, I think that learning to code at the ripe old age of 37 is going to do my head in. Oh well. At least I’m going to go down trying…!

CC Image courtesy calixto at

Bloxham Marketing Random thoughts Technology Work

Working differently, working smarter…

I was working on my iPad early this morning, then I was called away to attend to my children. Upon returning to the iPad, my first thought was that for some strange reason, it hadn’t put itself to sleep. Then I got closer and realized that it wasn’t that I could still see the keyboard on the screen, but that the screen was black and I could see the reflection of my fingerprint smudges. LOL!
So I’ve been thinking quite a bit about my iPad this morning. I use it a lot, and couldn’t live without it’s calendar – and I absolutely adore the iPad version of HootSuite, but I want to use it more. Currently, I’m using my MacBook for around 90% of my workload, I’d say, and I’m still using it in meetings / presentations etc etc. but it’s cumbersome, and I now have an iPad, so I want to do things differently. Work smarter, not harder (Well, I can’t fit any more into my life, so I need to work smarter anyway!) and this change might work for me.
So, I’ll keep on thinking about it… And let you know what I come up with!
(and yes, I’m guessing that for this move, from Mac to iPad, to be more successful, I will also need to figure out the problem with my Pages not syncing between the two, so that I can transfer my word processing over to the cloud rather than relying so heavily on my Word for Mac…)


Bloxham Marketing momentous events More about me Random thoughts teaching Technology Work

Toys for toys?

Today was Day 2 of LEQ’s Mini-conference, exploring iPads in education, on the Sunshine Coast. Again, another very cool day of exploring what iPads can do; how Apps, App chains, and even the tool itself, can be leveraged for better outcomes for our kids. Very very very cool stuff.

Amongst the myriad of sessions and workshops were two standouts for me. Firstly, the very tactile ‘app-cesseries’ – extra bits and pieces that accessorise the iPad (or iPhone, iPod, etc) to give it added functionality. My favourite – in the photo – would have to be the mini-Mater (from Disney’s Cars movie) that you could move on the iPad to explore the world of the movie.


And the other standout would have to be my extreme surprise at one of Greg O’Connor’s slides. Still can’t believe it, but there was a screenshot of hmmm… up there. Yes, you read right – he had my last night’s blog entry “The Good Stuff” up there on the screen, and was talking about this ‘cool blog he had found last night’. Absolutely INCREDIBLE!!! I was just so surprised, so grateful, so humbled! (If you ever read this, Greg – thank you SO much!) Absolutely stunned to think that everyone at this conference had, in a way, “visited” my blog. How COOL!!!

So yes, these were my highlights of the day. And if, by any chance, any of my readers also happened to attend the LEQ conference, please feel free to add below what your highlights were. And if you weren’t – then I’d love to hear what you think of the Mater truck!

(Oh, and I’ll be writing a blog post on the other great Apps / links, on the other page – “The Good Stuff”. Hope they’re helpful!)

family anecdotes Random thoughts Work

Exhaustion plus.

Source: via Jessica on Pinterest

Ever had one of those weekends when you finally get there and just ‘stop’?! Where your week has been just SOOOOOO busy that you haven’t had time to just sit? And you haven’t really noticed if you’ve eaten, or slept? Well, that’s been my week this week.

Starting last Saturday, I woke up sick. As in, the non-stop dry cough kind. Sunday, this became a back-ache so bad I could hardly move, and spent the day flat on my back. This is extremely unusual for me, a person who is often told that she ‘never stops’. I was actually really quite worried, because I knew how huge the coming week was, and I just didn’t know how I’d survive it all if I couldn’t even walk! But God is good, and I was able to stand by Sunday night, and walk again by Monday morning. Thankfully! But the upshot of a day in bed was that I read ‘People of Heaven’ by Beverly Harper, which was rather reminiscent of Bryce Courtenay’s writings about Peekay and Tandia. An interesting story, but I’m not sure whether the author should have included so much history ‘tacked on’ in places, without being directly relevant to the plot. Nevertheless, a good way to spend a day in which you can hardly move.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were a blur of work, podiatry appointments, childcare, swimming lessons, driving, and non-stop rain. On Wednesday afternoon, I pulled Miss 7 out of school early, planning to buy school shoes at Athlete’s Foot, Morayfield… only to discover that their store had closed, and the closest was at Caloundra. So the kids played with my iPhone camera while we waited in line at BUPA, to get some of the huge amounts of money back from the Podiatry appointment. And be yet more disappointed, because our Health Cover didn’t do much covering. And yet again, it was a day of poor health choices food-wise.











Thursday was Australia Day. A day of not ‘having’ to go anywhere. When asked that morning, I had told Hubby that I wanted to spend the day hanging pictures, now that I had finally bought myself a Wall Stud Finder. Instead, seeing as the rain had stopped, we took the kids to a crowded Kings Beach Pool, ate a fish-and-chips lunch, then took a lovely long drive. Mr 2 immediately fell asleep, and the girls played with home-made ‘helicopters’ made out of sandals and sunnies. Quite cute.









The rain returned that night, so on Friday morning I changed my plans and spent the day at home. It was splendiferous. Hubby and Miss 7 eventually made it to school, but not before being caught in the parking lot that was the Bruce Highway southbound, at Caboolture. And I caught up on work. Housework. Laundry. Dishes. Hanging those pictures. Filing. Blogging for Bloxham Marketing. Oh – and playing with iBooks Author, now that I’d upgraded to the Lion OS and lamented my touchpad now going backwards.

So. That was my week. Huge. And now I get to stop. Hooray!!!!!

University studies Work

Absolute bliss

I’m heading towards the end of what has been an absolutely incredible holiday in Hervey Bay, housesitting while the owner is at a conference in New Zealand. Poor hubby is still at work, so it’s me and teh kids staying in our pj’s until lunchtime, watching DVD’s and playing playstation, spending time on the beach and at the playgrounds, and (once the kids are in bed of an evening) I’ve been having oodles and oodles of ME TIME!!!!! It’s been just so incredible – a quiet house, a DVD library that rivals that of a DVD store, and hundreds of books that I’ve never read.

The first two and a half days saw me devour (ha!) the ‘Twilight’ series. I must say, I’m very impressed with Stephenie Meyer’s writing style! It’s no wonder that Twilight has the legion of fans it has. Kudos to her!

And then it was time to finish Miss 6’s blanket that I’ve been crocheting for the past 5 years. (Yup, it’s a bit embarrassing, hey. But a disclaimer – I’m not overly slow; I’ve just been busy…!) But that’s done now, and she’s very impressed with it. So was Miss 3, who immediately started nagging me to make her scarf. (I had promised her a purple scarf to match Miss 6’s pink one.) So that meant a trip to Pialba, which was worth it for the $2.97 sale on the wool I wanted. The colour range was also more than adequate, so I splurged and bought all the wool I needed to make Miss 3’s blanket as well. My plan is to start it after the scarf – maybe tomorrow? – and hopefully finish it before she gets married. (Ha! If the past is anything to go by, that may not be too unrealistic a prediction! And then Master 2 will get his scarf, and blanket, by the time he’s about 30. Hmmm… perhaps I should pick up the pace?!)

I’ve also been organising the creation of two retractable banners for St Paul’s, with the aim of their being made and delivered to the school by Wednesday of next week, our Open Day. But I’m cutting it a bit fine with that one, as the profs are still being negotiated, and there’s usually a five day turnaround on production… wish me luck that it gets finalised today!

I’ve also been busy preparing for, and pitching, Mr Shane Altmann, the principal of St James Lutheran College. It was pretty crazy, putting down on paper all the work I’ve accomplished for St Paul’s since starting there mid-February. And when I ran through it, I even impressed myself! Shane also seemed rather impressed when I pitched him my proposal yesterday; who knows but I may soon be the marketing consultant for their school as well…?!! That’d be pretty cool. Just as St Paul’s is majorly brilliant with their positive, supportive school culture, genuine care for each and every child, and very strong focus on academics, St James blows everyone out of the water with their iPod Touch program, now with one-to-one devices across the whole of Middle School. Considering that they’re only P-9 in 2011, there’s so much potential for their future! The possibility of marketing their college is an extremely exciting one. And add to that the experience of working geographically distant from the college, and making that work, I must admit a sense of real enthusiasm at the idea. Guess I’ll find out in the next week or so?!

And judging by the increase in emails from QUT, I’m guessing that Uni either returned for Sem II on Monday, or will be next Monday. Seeing as I’m now enrolled in INN440 Consumer Behaviour, roll on my first ever Marketing course!

#blogjune Random thoughts Technology University studies

Stuff ‘n’ all…

I knew that I’d missed a post or two on #blogjune, due to busyness, illness, and just general other stuff. I just didn’t realise that my last post was June 8!

So. To some stuff that I feel like sharing today.

I am ill. I feel like death warmed up. But on the up-side, I only have two Uni assignments left to submit.

I am sick of typing on my gorgeous new Macbook Pro. I guess it is possible to get too much of a good thing. Especially when it’s being used for never-ending assignments that I’m kinda over.

Hubby and I took our three children down to St Paul’s Church this morning. First time that it wasn’t a “School Sunday” (as in, expected due to Miss 6’s participation in a performance). It went well. Highlight: Master Two (loud voice) “Mar-mee!” followed by running up to me for a hug from 10 metres away. He only learned to say it yesterday.

Miss 6 is perilously close to losing her first tooth. Finally.

The “recommended” shoes to fit Miss 6’s orthotics are $80 at Athlete’s foot, but only $50 at the recommended shoe shop in Brisbane. Not to self: GO THERE NEXT TIME YOU IDIOT!!!!!

Hmmmm… and now back to that assignment…

(Oh, and a PS… I got a Distinction for INN331. SOOOO stoked!!)

#blogjune University studies Work

Day 2 and I’ve slept!

Well last night was vomit-free. Apparently Master 2 fell out of bed, and Hubby put him back in, but I guess I slept through the whole thing. Unusual, because I’m normally the lightest sleeper in the house, but that extra-long day must have taken it out of me. I actually fell asleep in front of the computer, so eventually gave it up soon after 11pm. Seven hours later and I’m feeling human again.

So today marks assignment day. I have a 45% Proposal and an ePortfolio view release due tomorrow, but tomorrow I’m at work, and I also have a newspaper deadline at midday tomorrow (which article I haven’t started yet!) so I’m going to attempt submitting my Uni pieces today. Somehow.

Hence my post this morning. Day 2 of #blogeverydayofJune and let’s meet again on Day 3. Wonder if I’ll have those assignments in by then? Wish me luck!

Random thoughts Technology

Still reeling…

I received a huge shock last night. Probably the biggest in years. And it came in the form of the bill for my new Telstra “Ultimate” USB Modem.

Some people may have been following the long tale of my rollercoaster relationship with Telstra. Suffice it to say, the USB I bought back on 7 March, to replace the Vodafone USB (which won’t expire til August, but whose casing died months ago, which has made it basically unusable) has only, just last Thursday, started talking to my gorgeous new Macbook Pro. So for the first month of its 24 month life, I’ve been using it with my husband’s Toshiba dinosaur.


My Vodafone plan was a 5Gig one, and I never exceeded the limit, so paid just $39.94 per month. For what seems like ages.


My Telstra bill was – wait for it! – $305 and change. OMG!!!


Yes, I had dropped down to a 3Gig plan. I figured that for the past 18 months, I hadn’t used all 5Gig, so hey – what’s the harm? (Plus, the 3Gig with Telstra was still $44.95 per month, and there’s no way I could afford more Gig!)

So out came the calculator. And lo and behold, I actually managed to use 6Gig last month. On hubby’s Toshiba dinosaur.

And in the week that the USB’s been on my Mac, I’ve used a Gig already.


(And by the way, that’s with NO movies, no TV shows, no music, and negligible YouTube watching. And who has times for games with my life?)

— I guess I’m a power user. And hadn’t realised it. And suddenly I realise I’ve joined another group of people too – that of the “broke power-users”. Hmmm…. sad.