Transmissions from Vlentary – 10th – 23rd October – Lockdown Level Groundhog – The Lockdown Continues

Transmissions from Vlentary – 10th – 23rd October – Lockdown Level Groundhog – The Lockdown Continues







Level 3.1415926535

Red Light – Green Light

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction and Ohhh Look… wormhole

Continue as you were, do not pass Go, do not collect $200


O.k so I’m mixing my idioms here but, I’m on day 62ish of lockdown, my Groundhog has given up and rinse and repeat is just making everything soggy…


Yes, our lockdown continues… We have just been told to expect to be locked down until the end of November.  Despite the bad news that we will have been in lockdown for over 3 months, the announcement has actually alleviated some of my stress.  I’m no longer holding out for some arbitrary date that may, or may not appear any time soon.  We have tangible targets and a way of tracking them.

Am I still frustrated about being locked in my house and being expected to work a full-time job as well as manage my child’s schoolwork, and not completely lose the plot when three of us attempt to have zoom meetings at the same time… Hell yes.  But I now have something to aim for that isn’t just a pipe dream.  I’m no longer grasping at sand as it slips through my fingers.  My mental health has suffered during this lockdown because there was no endpoint in sight. No Endpoint, no finish line, which when you are a competitive as I am… you need 😀


Now that I am settled in my head about the next milestone… my muse also returned (But of course she did …)


October So far …


  • I survived the school holidays, without duct taping anyone to the ceiling 😀
  • I managed to get two outings and caught up with a writing friend.  Yes, we were masked up and social distancing, but damn was it worth it.
  • My Muse came back 😀 … O.k so she’s playing ball enough that I can start writing again, but she is giving me some plotting ideas for my Zombie stories.  Some of which have left me wondering how I can pull them off in the story … 
  • I have also plotted out all my scenes up to the First Plot Point 😀 … just in time for NANO.


I haven’t progressed any of my other goals… I am taking the fact that I am up, mobile and functioning as a human as a win at the moment… anything else is a bonus 😀


Quick Update on Nyx

For those of you wondering …


Nyx is improving in leaps and bounds.  They have been transferred out of ICU and into a private room at Seattle Children’s Hospital.  Mum and Dad are able to share the room … and the stresses.

Their sense of Humour has remained well and truly intact and many a therapist has been sent away with their own homework… and one has even seriously regretted asking the question “What is the purpose of a Banana …”.

The sutures were all removed today, and the feeding tube is expected to be removed this coming weekend, and there is also a potential discharge date advised.

Nyx has been set goals and has consistently exceeded them with strength and determination far beyond their sixteen years. I’m grateful to be able to call them and their parents good friends… I just wish I wasn’t on the other side of the world. (Google Maps can’t even calculate how far away I am … LOL)


Looking ahead

  • With NANOWRIMO starting in 10 days (Cue PANIC MODE), my blogs will be switching to weekly as I document my planning, Panic and pyromania (when it all fails) as the month of madness progresses … hang on to your hats, it’s guaranteed to be a wild ride.
  • I’m hoping to get Zombie completely outlined to the midpoint by 1st November.
  • I’m planning on writing the remainder of DG&OWIS, however… with how disrupted this year has been so far, I am setting up Zombie so I can keep writing that one if all my ideas disappear for DG…

O.k Best go finish that outline… See you all next week.

Transmissions from Vlentary – 26th September to 9th October – Lockdown Level 3.1 – Playdates and School Holidays

Transmissions from Vlentary – 26th September to 9th October – Lockdown Level 3.1 – Playdates and School Holidays











Ooops, a little late with this update. It’s certainly been a fortnight I’d much rather forget.


As you can see by the title, Auckland is still in lockdown. Eight weeks now, and we’ve been told to expect another four to eight before we come out the other side.


A positive is a slight change to the alert levels, so while we still can’t travel out of Auckland, we can organise playdates with one other household… outside and masked up.  So of course the school holiday’s roll around, the temperature drops and the rain set in …



End of September Roundup


  • The month crawled by with no sign of my muse appearing any time soon.
  • Word count … yeah let’s just ignore that one shall we.
  • Unfortunately it was a repeat of August. Lockdown is doing my head in


The start of October


  • Good News!!! – I managed to send my Desert Magpies manuscript off to the editor last week.  She’s going to have a look at it, to see what kind of work is needed. I should know by the end of the year how much of a rewrite I am looking at.
  • I finally managed to get my reworked timeline for DG&OWIS sorted and into Aeon Timeline. Culled about 10 scenes in the process.  Let’s see if that keeps me under 100k words.
  • Zombie & EarthDancer both have their main plot points sorted to the Mid Point.  I’m currently trying to nail down my Antag for Zombie, and add a couple of plot twists to the first Act … Sorry to say, Jai still has to die.
  • I survived the first week of the school holidays … by working.  I am now losing my mind during the second week, trying to entertain the 12-year-old while confined indoors and unable to use electronic’s due to his father working from home… in the living room. Looks like we are still going to be in Lockdown for a while so it’s back to working and homeschooling from next weeks as well.
  • With the slight relaxation of the rules, I am going to try and catch up with a fellow PingWing tomorrow… sitting on her deck, 6 feet apart, while we have a NANO planning session.


Current Projects


Writing:  DG&OWIS – First Draft – 50,688 words

Drafting: Zombie Outline – Outlined to the Mid Point

EarthDancer – Outlined to the Mid Point

Reading:  Rae of Hope – Book 1, Chronicles of Kerrigan – WJ May. – I may finish this book this week

Courses: The Creative Writing Project, by Steve Alcorn.

Blogs:  Nothing this fortnight



Now, I usually finish on a positive or at least a happy note… but it has been a little hard to find recently.

My CP experienced a family emergency on 6 October, when their 16-year-old child was injured in a vehicle vs pedestrian accident. Every parent’s worst nightmare.  I’m stuck on the other side of the world, worrying about my daughter from another mother (they call me Mama Rhi), trying my best to keep their actual mother from unravelling in the small hours of the evening.

Nyx is a fighter though and despite the broken ankle, head injury and other injuries, they are continuing to surpass all the goals set by the medical team and managing to retain their sense of humour. Including beating Mum in a thumb war … and flipping off the physical therapist.

It is gonna be a long road of recovery, with at least another 6 weeks in ICU/Hospital, and many sleepless nights for their parents, who can only visit one at a time.

A go fund me has been set up to help with medical expenses if you are so inclined.

Link is here.


Transmissions from Vlentary – 12th to 25th September – Lockdown Level 3 – Just like Level 4 … but with fast food.

Transmissions from Vlentary – 12th to 25th September – Lockdown Level 3 – Just like Level 4 … but with fast food.












Slowly sliding towards the end of September, into spring and hayfever season, and the start of Preptober …


Technically, I’ve been prepping all year for NANO and October is usually about the time I start to panic that I haven’t done enough, and end up completely reworking all the prep.  Trying not to let that happen this year… will let you know how that goes. LOL


How September Shaped up


Well, Auckland managed to drop to level 3 restrictions this week, which is pretty much the same as Level 4, but with fastfood and cafe coffee.  We still can’t cross the border out of Auckland and no one can come in… although the guys with $100k and a trunk load of KFC certainly tried



Level 3 does mean we still can’t get down to our bach, so my writing getaway is still on hold. The child is still doing online schooling. One more week and then he’s on school holidays for two weeks. Fingers crossed we can actually get away, otherwise, it’s going to be a very long fortnight.


Writing didn’t happen again. My Muse appears to have taken up residence on an island in the sun, sipping margaritas.5


Reading hasn’t happened either. I’m currently waiting for my new reading glasses to arrive, (They were ready the day we went into lockdown.) Hoping that will make reading small print easier. I haven’t managed to make my arms grow the extra two feet currently needed.


September Achievements


  • All products are now uploaded to my Cozmic Creations shop. Hoping to get the last of the new product photos up in the next week or so.
  • My husband finished my spice rack … and now I need a third one.  OOPS.  Yes, I do actually use all the spices I own.
  • Finished reading about Chiastic Story Structure.  Check out the blog posts by KM Weiland here.  I discovered that the books of my Dancer series naturally feel into this pattern… now I just need to plan out the books.
  • Started doing some Roll-a-prompt writing exercises in an effort to coax my muse into coming back.  She hasn’t turned up yet, but I’ve had some interesting Character/Trait/Location?object/Scenario combinations.  Today’s one was a Fantasy Prompt, involving an abandoned Baby Troll, a Child with a fever, a cloak and a fork in the road.
  • Finally finished that neverending game of 500/5000 … only took 4 weeks.  Going to be starting Polyconomy this weekend.


October Plans

  • Running away from Auckland as soon as the borders open… yes my bag is already packed LOL
  • Going to be spending this month making sure the timeline for DG still works.  I reoutlined it a few months ago and I now have a few scenes happening out of order
  • Outline both Zombie and the first book of the Dancer Series to the end of Act 1, using the Chiastic structure.
  • Send DM off to an editor … yes, I found someone who is interested in helping me edit the 165,000-word monstrosity.
  • Try to keep my sanity while continuing to home school


Current Projects


Writing:  DG&OWIS – First Draft – 50,688 words

Drafting: Zombie Outline – currently up to the Inciting Event.

Reading:  Rae of Hope – Book 1, Chronicles of Kerrigan – WJ May.

Courses: The Creative Writing Project, by Steve Alcorn.

Blogs:  Archetypical Stories – KM Weiland.


Humble Brag Corner


Mermaids & Fae, but not as you know them.  Check out Dustbound and Siren’s Call by kiwi author Clementine Fraser

Football and Romance – Peyton Storm has a Novel – Hardpressed and a short Story – Home Bye Christmas.  

Jane Doesn’t Save the World – check out the book by Erin Grey, Author, Editor and fellow WFGC Member 🙂


Transmissions from Vlentary – 29 August to 11 September – Lockdown Edition 2: MIA Muse & Hunting for Flippers

Transmissions from Vlentary – 29 August to 11 September – Lockdown Edition 2: MIA Muse & Hunting for Flippers

September So Far.


Well, it’s shaping up to be a rinse and repeat of August, with a few extra curve balls thrown in for fun …

In a year where my WTF Bingo Card has included – Lockdowns, MIQ escapee’s, earthquakes & Tsunami’s, I have also managed to tick off, Flooding (including a bonus for miniature ponies evacuated to the second floor of a home for safety), a failed travel bubble, (stranding my brother in Australia for the foreseeable future), car seizures for money laundering and drug running & a terrorist attacked all within 5 km of home.  I’m hoping I don’t have to add anything else to this before there is some light at the end of the tunnel.


I’m currently still in a level 4 lockdown. The rest of the country is in level 2 and able to have some extra freedoms, still with restrictions on gathering numbers and having to wear a mask.  Auckland has a decision made about it’s level on Monday. Not holding my breath though. My son can’t go to school until level 2, so I’m predicting he’ll be home until after the next school holidays.

My Muse is still missing in action and I’ve got crickets where the plot bunnies used to be, and my TBR pile is still sitting on 499.  My moods are all over the place lately and I can’t seem to focus on any one things.


Positives from the last two weeks.


  • My husbands is making progress on the spice rack he promised to make me … 7 years ago. I may have it in time for Christmas.
  • Our game of 5000 is still on going.  Child is close to losing at -4570 points and we may actually finish it tomorrow.  Just in time to start another marathon game, this time Poloconomy.
  • I finally finished loading up all my products from Cozmic Creations. I need to do some additional product photo’s so might dust off my light box tomorrow.  Provided I can keep the kittens out of it long enough to get anything done.
  • I loaded up my new Nano Project into the website.  Rebelling again this year and writing DG&OWIS again.  I’m determined to finish it… Provided my Muse comes back and I’m not still in lockdown
  • My scardy cat kitty is finally getting used to all the noise of having three people confined to home, and doesn’t go running under the bed now.  I even managed to get an involuntary head boop out of him this morning.  Followed by a confused look as he tried to work out what he’d done LOL. This from the guy that was abandoned at a young age and hates hands anywhere near his head normally.  The other one is living up to her middle name of trouble, and I keep having to pull her out of and off of all manner of places.  And rescue my orange rubber thimbles before she hides them.


Plans for the remainder of September


  • Slowly working through a couple of courses and hoping it sparks my Muse in coming back
  • Determined to clear at least 1 book off my TBR list this week.  I have another two stories in The Theatre of Nok-Mondu to read once I have finished my current book.
  • Opening up my Manuscript every day and trying to get some words down.


Current Projects:


Writing:  DG & OWIS – First Draft – 50,688 words (12 Chapters)

Drafting: – Redoing my outline for Zombie.  Currently up to the first plot point

Reading:  Rae of Hope – Book 1 – Chronicles of Kerrigan – WJ May

Courses:  The Creative Writing Project by Steve Alcorn


Here’s hoping I have a happier update in a fortnight.

Transmissions from Vlentary – 15 – 28 August – Lockdown: The case of the missing Muse

Transmissions from Vlentary – 15 – 28 August – Lockdown: The case of the missing Muse




August So Far

I had high hopes for August… I really did.

After July pulled off a vanishing act for the ages, I was determined to make som progress on my August plans.

  • My office was all set up and the space felt comfortable
  • I finally replaced my keyboard
  • cleared out my fifteen copies of identical story notes … (No I don’t know why I had so many copies, but I have found upwards of 20 copies of Writing Craft notes before so seems par for course)
  • Planned how and when I was actually heading down to our holiday home for my writing get away & started to pack my writing box

Which, of course, is when the Universe decided to throw me a curveball and plunge New Zealand into Leve 4 lockdown.  For the first time in a year, we were confined to our homes as the Delta variant snuck in through our border control and made its presence known.

From midnight on 18 August, all my carefully crafted plans went sailing out the window … and yes, I did consider running away to the bach anyway, but couldn’t bring myself to leave my husband home alone with 2 kittens and our 12-year-old son.

My muse, on the other hand, had no such qualms and moved out of my head without a sound … so much so I didn’t realise until I sat down on the first Friday night and opened up my Manuscript … only to be presented with.

No One Tumbleweed GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

no amount of wrangling, carjoling or pleading could convenience her to come back, so instead of stressing myself out further with trying to write while also dealing with the now lack of work, homeschooling my son and dealing with the fact that both my husband and child are not quiet … and I can’t get rid of them for a few hours peace and quiet, I decided to put my writing on hold and hope that my Muse wanders back sometime soon.

As it is, I don’t know how long we will be in lockdown for.  Most of the country seems to be coming out of lockdown this Tuesday, unfortunately, I live in Auckland which currently has the largest outbreak.  I could be stuck at home for the next two to four weeks.  I’m hoping it won’t be too much longer, being an Introvert stuck at home with an extrovert and and ambivert is going to seriously test my patience and my supply of duct tape.


Revised August Plans

So for the last two days of August… I am planning on taking it easy.  I have reorganised my TBR pile – all 499 books …, still plodding through a writing course and checking out some blog posts by K M Weiland on Archetypes and Plot Points, beating my Husband and Child at 500 … which is currently being played until 5000 points, with the option to increase it to 10,000 depending on how long we are in lockdown for.


September Plans

I’ve had stirrings of ideas over the last couple of days, fingers crossed it is my Muse coming back and not this particular Plot Bunny …

Ocotpus  running across the ocean floor going Nope Nope Nope Nope.  Martial Arts spin takedown


(Conversation shared with permission … Names redacted to protect the not so innocent)

My Writing Goal has been set to 25,000 words this month on DG&OWIS, and working on the Outline of both my Zombie Story and potentially the Dancer Series, but, I’m also not going to beat myself up if I don’t reach the goals.  This lockdown has hit me harder than the previous ones and I need to take care of me. If that means sitting at home, making a dent in my TBR pile… so be it 🙂

So, that’s all I’ve got for now.  Take Care, Stay Safe and Be Kind, no matter where you are.  We’ve got this New Zealand.

And remember

Transmissions from Vlentary – 1 to 14 August – On the hunt for my missing 31 Days

Transmissions from Vlentary – 1 to 14 August – On the hunt for my missing 31 Days


July Round-Up


Looks at the calendar … that can’t be right. Checks three other calendars and asks my child as he wanders past the study.  All confirm it is the 17th of August, and I officially have no idea where the month of July disappeared to.


End of July wrap up


  • According to my accountability spreadsheet, I wrote a grand total of 4501 words. Which given the fact I blinked and it somehow managed to go from 5th July to 17th August, is kind of surprising.
  • The day job workload has been picking up, which is great for the pay packet, just not so great with trying to fit writing in around the rest of life as well.
  • I didn’t reach my CampNano goal, unfortunately.
  • I got lots of kitten cuddles, and the husband is slowly coming around to having two voidfloofs underfoot
  • Wes and Danni are still sassing each other while trying to work out if they really do want to see if something will work out between them…

The little bit of a giggle I managed to write, before chucking all the angst at them again.

Danni glanced down at her feet, then sideways at him, “Given how often you lose your keys, I’m not sure having a pair of these boots will save you that much time.”
“You mean to tell me you wouldn’t share your allen key?  I’m hurt.”
Danni looked at wes, trying not to grin as she said, “Four words Wes.”  She pointed to the right side of the rink. “Woman’s locker rooms.” and then to the left and added, “Men’s locker rooms.”
“That’s six words, and I also note you haven’t said no.”

Current Word count for DG & OWIS – 52,789


August Plans

My plans for August are a little all over the place at the moment. Trying to get back into the routine of working full time and not having my brain turn to mush by the end of the day, so I can get some writing done.


  • Doing two writing courses this month to improve my knowledge of the art of writing.
  • My montly word count has been revised to to 17,000. Trying not to stress myself out too much.
  • I have a weekend getaway planned with a few of the Pingwing Inklings. We are all determined to write, and NOT get distracted by the great company, food, wine… will let you know how that goes.
  • Beta reading a short that I have been neglecting for a month … Sorry Joy
  • Reading, The Theater of Nok-Mondu & Tim Te Maro and the Subterranean Heartsick Blues and trying to get my TBR pile under control … laughs hysterically


So far this month …


  • I have written 280 words … out of 9320 ooops
  • I have completely redesigned my office and its starting to feel like a writing/creating space again.  Kittens are miffed as I covered up all their hidey holes.
  • I have broken my keyboard… sigh.  It had lasted 5 years so I guess I really shouldn’t complain


Brag Corner


Each month I will try to boost some completed projects by Friends.

Go check out these guys 🙂 … Links below


The Theater of Nok-Mondu: Science Fiction and Fantasy Anthology
Contains Stories by Sage Wolfsong, Davene Le Grange and others.


Davene also has a story in:
Neon Digital Darkness


I have several mutual Twitter followers in this Anthology
Check out: Martin Freznell, L. A. Cunningham, Paul D Nolan & Steve Sellers as well as other on Twitter.


And on the new Novel release front. I am happy to announce a fellow PingWing, HS Valley has produced:
Tim Te Maro and the Subterranean Heartsick Blues


Cozmic Creations by Amberfyre Update.


I am slowly updating the website with new products – check out my store for available products.


Off to get some words down before August decides to disappear on me as well.