Some music

Thought I’d catch up on things today, instead things caught me…


Learning this piece on the viola via memorizing.  I don’t have the sheet music and see no reason to get hold of it.

Violin can be a pretty emotional instrument, but a lot of the time it can be used to project sparkly and fun music.  The viola is more serious, contemplative, almost troubled. The problem with this piece is that it stays with one long after one has stopped playing it or listening to it.

Remembering Iain…

… would imply that at any point we might have forgotten about him.

Tonight we honour him for the sacrifice he made, putting his life on the line (and laying it down) to chase a deadly threat off his wife and children.


We focus on remembering his life, not his death – but every night it haunts me, is there anything I could have done differently and he’d still be alive today?

The short answer to that is:  No.

It could have gone differently.  But not in the positive sense.   He did save our lives.  None of us could have acted differently than we did.

Two years tonight.  I have learnt a lot about all sorts of people in the interim.

And I feel that he has never left our side, since.  When I want to cry, I hear him say, “shhh…  I’m here!”  When I talk about him, he says (like he used to in life too, when his mom brought out stories of him while he was listening) “don’t talk about me as though I’m not in the room!” or “I can hear you!”  Tongue-in-cheek, with humour like he always did.  This brings it very near to me that he is involved in our lives.

If people differ from this view, namaste. This is just the way I am experiencing things.  I doubt anyone will want to lock me up or exorcise me for it.

I need to sleep.  Tomorrow will bring its own worries.  Goodnight, Peeps.


It Is Done!

So I’ve decided it’s going to be “Raider!”

Discount: 100%!

Coupon code: FK96V


Expires: Feb 1.

There’s a limited number of these coupons, so if you want your free copy, go geddit, Tiger!



Alien Touchdown!

If the crew of the Solar Wind thought the Unicate and the Rebellion were tough cookies, they haven’t yet met the Danaan – from Planet New Dome. Coming to take over Earth – or destroy the planet. Or alternatively, for a mango daiquiri in the subtropical paradise of Southern Free. And then destroy the planet.

January can be dry…

…which is why, unilaterally as owner and CEO, I decided to give peeps access to ONE of my books for free again, just for now…  but promise me… you won’t allow it to interfere with homework!

I’m also curious how many people, downloading a free ebook, will actually read it.  If you end up actually opening it and reading the first chapter, and you find time, please leave a little comment – “Read chapter 1” or something.  If you finish the book, it would be cute to leave a little message here in the comments, “reddit” or similar.  This is just to satisfy my curiosity, will you play?  (It’s a funny psychological effect that people will download a free book in a heartbeat, because it is free.  Whether or not they then end up reading any of it or even the first page.)

Now, the only question:  Which one?  Could you leave a comment for me which of my books you’d like me to throw out there for free until end of January?

Here are the choices:

  • Solar Wind 1 (“The Mystery of the Solar Wind”)
  • Solar Wind 4 (“Raider”)
  • “The Family Pool”  (low word count)
  • “Chiaroscuro” (short-stories)
  • “Arcana” (~60 000 words)


Let me know in the comments.

~ gipsika ~

Merry Christmas

to all ye* P’kaboo followers, authors, readers, doers and friends.


(*I have learned, since arriving in Ireland, that “ye” is still the perfectly acceptable plural of “you”.)

As a Christmas discount for our readers, particularly ebook lovers (because of the convenience, the light-weight, the take-it-anywhere, you know…), we’re giving deep discounts on many of our Smashwords books.

Here are the coupon codes:

Code: SEY75

Split Decision (Carmen Capuano)

The Assassin (LR)
Freedom Fighter (LR)
Raider! (LR)
The Morrigan (LR)
Nix Romipen (LR)

Code: SEY50

The Family Pool (LR)

Fanta Claus (LR)

Code: SS100

Mercury Silver – short stories, various authors
Arcana (gipsika)

This puts all the included books in the under $2 category – for a week, around Christmas, from 25Dec – 1 Jan.

Two of the books are absolutely free during this time;  the SS100 books, Mercury Silver and Arcana.

Here are the links:

Have fun reading!

Words of Power

(Resources post)

So, I don’t feel entirely qualified yet to write on this topic, in fact the more I read and study it, and process it, the more there is to learn.  But it ties in with what I have been learning and investigating for many years now, formally and informally.

Still, this is important.  It probably affects every person alive who has ever been a child.

Starting with the obvious:

Your self-image hinges on self-talk, and your self-talk consists of words.  What do you tell yourself when you’re talking to yourself?  How can some people strike out and do things others consider scary?  It’s all in what they tell themselves about themselves.

And that gets laid down, as you know, early in life.  In childhood; in young adulthood.

Voices in your head.

The voice you hear in your head, the one that tells you “you’re fat” when you look in the mirror?  It’s your own voice.  But it wasn’t always.  Long ago, possibly before you can even remember, an adult told you these things.

An adult you trusted.  A parent perhaps; or a beloved aunt, uncle, grandparent or teacher.  As a child you firmly believed that adults are always right, they are “grown up”, they know everything.  You may have known that they don’t always agree, but when speaking to you, they were firm, sure of what they were saying…  so you took it and made it your own.

And now it has become yourself rehashing to yourself what you were told, and many things you were not told, that you found all by yourself in the meantime.  And because you yourself are saying it, it must be true, right?

It doesn’t matter.

Here’s the key.  It doesn’t matter who told you the vile things you believe of yourself.  It really doesn’t matter.  Because if it was someone you loved, you love them all the same.  Maybe it was many adults.  Maybe it was every adult you ever interacted with.  It doesn’t matter; because of two things.

Firstly, though they were blunt, at the time these words may have been valid criticisms you needed to hear.  “We need to look into your diet, Lindsey, you’re getting a little fat.” They were never meant to be permanent! 

Or they may have been called out in frustration:  “You forgot your keys?  Are you stupid?”  Oh my hat!  There’s that S-word!  Everyone was bandying it around. 

Secondly:  It is your own responsibility if you went and made them your own!

Remember we used to say, “wear the shoe if it fits?”  (Whenever someone brought up that argument, my own response was, “ha!  That’s your shoe!  I’m not wearing your stinky old shoes!”  But unfortunately, whenever it wasn’t said, I did just like everyone else and took every crit and insult personally and wore it.  Hot tip:  Don’t do that.  It serves nobody.)

Are you still walking around in someone else’s discarded shoes?

These “power words” that stick to you like gum on a shoe – how to get rid of them from your head?

There are any number of self-help books on “how to boost your self-image” or whatever.  All the ones I’ve read have very sweet and functional ideas.  But the most important step is this:

Dispute it!

“That’s not my issue.  That’s not my ‘is-shoe’.  That’s not my fear!”

Here’s an example.  While working through Suze Orman’s “The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom” (fantastic book by the way), one of the exercises she puts one through is to pinpoint a financial fear.  Really get to the bottom of what fear drives one’s financial behaviour.  And the one I pinpointed was this:

“What if I can’t give my children enough?  What if I can’t meet their basic needs, feed them, clothe them, provide them with shelter, education and health care?”

I looked at it, over, and over, and over, scratching my head.  For years, for over two decades, I’ve been feeding and clothing my children, providing them with shelter, education and health care and so much more!  What sense does this fear make, at all?  

And I drilled deeper, and found to my bass surprise (you may imagine a fish blowing bubbles) that it was not my fear!

It didn’t sound like my voice!  Oh, I heard many voices… many caring, concerned, worried voices, friends, bosses, colleagues, family, all dating back to pivotal times in my life when I made big changes… had a baby… changed jobs…  left a job in favour of joining my husband in the music studio… but, not my own or my husbands voices in there! 

So the key fear on which many of my financial decisions were made was not even my own!

Fun story, but what’s the conclusion?

Words have power.  A criticism is like a spell someone spoke over you.  There are three things you need to do if you want to be free of these words that limit you.

Step 1:  Confront your “voice in your head”. 

Examine exactly what it says; analyze the words, find their origin, grab them like a weed and uproot them from your mind.  Get to the bottom of the chatter and find the truth.  Fat?  Forgetful?  Poor?  Useless?  That’s relative!  How long is a piece of string?  Anyway, that’s not who you are, that’s just something you’re maybe choosing to do at the moment, obeying someone else’s spell of power words…

Step 2:  Stop obeying! 

Just because someone else thought you’re going to be a loser if you ever quit that job, doesn’t mean you have to obey them!  Write your own definition of who you really are and want to be (and choose to be).  Write it down and say it out loud, because the written word has power and so does the spoken word.

Step 3:  Ward. 

Whenever anyone makes a critical remark, no matter how veiled, reject it.  “They don’t know me.”  “That’s simply not true.”  “This is not my reality.  They have their own limited views.” Or you could simply use the word of power that blocks others:  “Ward!”

Don’t allow any further weeds into your mind.

So, that’s my sage ufundi wisdom for this Friday morning… not because it’s Friday but because I’m just having my head rearranged by words of power that I’m reading, and wanted to share their effect with you.  😀










Young Writers Contest, Ireland

The Young Writers Contest in Ireland is LIVE!


Click the images to take you to the site.  🙂

Have fun.


//* on the aside:  A bit of webbie ranting…

…The scrollbar on the first and second image shows a sad state of affairs in web design.  A few years back the whole idea was to make pages that fit the screen 100%.  Scrolling was considered a nuisance; sliders and slide shows, fancy design.  Admittedly, lightboxes (those windows that open on mouseclick, in the middle of the page with darkened but semi-transparent background) are seriously delicious features; but… the name of the game now is “mobile phone”.  I’ve been avoiding facing up to this for a good few years, but the time has come.  The pages collapse into “modules” on narrower screens, and… the scrollbar is back.  :-/  It was inevitable on the web shop due to product logic, but now it is out of necessity everywhere.  (* sigh… *)

Certain things just don’t work nicely on a mobile; drop-down menus are one of them.  So, oh well, gone is the beloved ddmenu… the honourable, practical and tidy idea of Word Perfect.  Replaced by a messy “junk drawer” at the bottom of the page.

The Bookshop will be next.  Extra overformatting in browser updates causes everything that is a table to deteriorate horrifyingly on anything smaller than a PC screen.  There are extra cells in there etc.  There is a school of web design that declared the use of tables evil… but, if you have products that need a tabular layout, they need a tabular layout!  It is illogical to destroy a perfectly good feature of web design out of ideology.  The whole concept of tables is to categorize things.  Ah, well.  Fashion overrules solid logic.  (I’m quietly certain that Amazon uses tables!)

At any rate, end of comment.  Enjoy!  *//

Out to Launch – all of November!

Colonialist posted this: The outcome of months of focused efforts polishing not one but five different books up for publishing.

The result: A fabulous month of launches at the Grosvenor Library in Durban. Wishing you the best of luck, Col!

Colonialist's Blog

I have been working hard to put this together.  I wrote the first book mentioned a while ago (but it has not officially been launched yet), and have had a hand in editing, formatting and publishing all the others.

The month of launches finally became official today, only one day before the first launch!  Nail-biting stuff, and hasn’t given the publicity much time to get noticed. Anyway, it has a month to gather momentum, and with the fantastic books coming forward it is bound to raise great interest. It is forming part of Durban’s efforts as a UNESCO City of Literature (see top heading on the right).

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Congratulations to Bookseeker Agency!


Our literary agent in Scotland has been moving a few mountains – from closing an impressive number of publishing deals for authors to achieving his

MSc With Distinction in ‘Literature and Modernity’ from the University of Edinburgh.


Well done Paul Thompson from Bookseeker Agency!  From all of us here at P’kaboo And Friends.