Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Monday, 19 September 2016

Decluttering is a state of mind

I've continued down the path of decluttering. Though it's a slow process for me. 

A hoarder's life 
I'm a hoarder and changing one's mindset from keeping everything to not is not an easy task. I do reuse or recycle or repurpose, so some things get a second life but a lot don't. So this begs the question, 'why is it kept?' 

Some are for sentiment reasons, others because i may use/ reuse in future, and many times because I haven't had a chance to sort out of its (or a replacement) is needed or not, and some need a home that hasn't been created yet. 

Daily tasks
I've stopped and started decluttering my office a few times over the last few years but thanks to family and volunteer commitments it always got put on the back burner. I'm trying to get it to become part of the daily cycle of my life where one day I may declutter paperwork or go through a box or bag, and other days I'm decluttering emails (yes they take up space too). The trick is not to leave either too long or you lose momentum. Or so I find. 

The beauty of digital 
In this day and age with digital photography, taking photos of items is a way of keeping the memory alive but not getting crowded with the physical items. This is the case with the Golden Book Encyclopaedia. I remember the hours spent perusing the books as a kid (they got tatty from overuse). I decided to take photos of the ones that sparked the nostalgic feeling of childhood and then recycle the books. It's been nice going down memory lane but it was time to let the actual items go. I'm almost done with these. I'm sure there's plenty of other items that can use the same treatment. 

 Before it becomes clutter
The best way is to not allow things to become clutter in the first place. This means having a system in place that works for me. There's no point having an in-tray if the items do not get sorted regularly. In times of great stress, this sorting has fallen behind but it adds to the stress when i can't find what I'm looking for easily. Making time at least a couple of times a week will help reduce the clutter for my future self.  And I know she will be most grateful. 😁

Until next time...

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Iris, the Unlikely Hero! Shadow Eyes Re-Release Blog Tour and $50 Amazon Card Giveaway with Dusty Crabtree

Welcome to Dusty Crabtree as she visits Eleni's Taverna as part of her Shadow Eyes Re-Release Blog Tour

Thank you for hosting me! It’s been a long time coming, but I’m so thrilled to finally be re-releasing my young adult, urban fantasy, Shadow Eyes! It was first released in 2012 by Musa Publishing. Musa closed in 2015, and since Shadow Eyes was my first novel, I took the opportunity to revise and change a few minor things before self-publishing it this time. I am very happy with this second version and I hope you will love it too!

(Everyone, don’t forget to enter the rafflecopter below for a chance to win a print copy of Shadow Eyes and a $50 gift card to Amazon!)

Let’s check out the synopsis for Shadow Eyes first…

Iris thought she could ignore the shadows…until they came after everyone she loved.
Seventeen-year- old Iris Kohl has been able to see both dark and light figures ever since a tragic incident three years ago. The problem is, no one else seems to see them, and even worse…the dark figures terrorize humans, but Iris is powerless to stop them.
Although she’s learned to deal with watching shadows harass everyone around her, Iris is soon forced to question everything she thinks she knows about her world and herself. Her sanity, strength, and will power are tested to the limits by not only the shadows, but also a handsome new teacher whose presence scares away shadows, a new friend with an awe-inspiriting aura, and a mysterious, alluring new student whom Iris has a hard time resisting despite already having a boyfriend. As the shadows invade and terrorize her own life and family, Iris must ultimately accept the guidance of an angel to revisit the most horrific event of her life and become the hero she was meant to be.

So Why is Iris an Unlikely Hero?

I’ve always been a fan of strong female characters. Take Katniss Everdeen for example. She is, beyond a doubt, the hero of her story. She doesn’t need a male to save her or take care of her, although she has a few who would and sometimes try. In fact, she takes care of them a few different times. She’s independent and isn’t afraid to rebel against the corrupt culture she lives in. Aside from that, Katniss is also hard-working, protective, loyal, loving, and genuine.

Strong female characters are so popular because they become heroes to the girls, young and old, who read about them. As readers of their stories, we then try to emulate and strive to be like them some day.

The reason why Iris is an unlikely hero is because she doesn’t come across as a strong female character right away. To put it gently, she has some issues. But I think that makes her relatable. We all have issues we need to work through, right? We all have a past we must overcome. We most likely don’t have the same issues or the same past, but when we see Iris eventually work through all of her mess and end up on top, it gives us hope for our own struggles. It gives us hope that we’ll eventually turn our mess around for good, too.

So, I guess what I want to say is, don’t give up on Iris. She may at first seem weak and ineffective, and you may feel sorry for her at times and frustrated with her at other times for not stepping up. But be patient and remember she’s not perfect just like we’re not perfect. And if you stick with her to the end, you’ll be so glad you did as you’ll get to see a huge transformation where Iris is empowered beyond what she ever thought possible. 

And that’s just the beginning of Iris’s story…

Author Bio 

Dusty Crabtree loves a good story, but she also loves young people. These two loves are evident in all parts of her life. She has been a high school English teacher since 2006 and a creative writing teacher since 2014. She's also been a youth sponsor at her local church for as long as she’s been teaching. She feels very blessed with the amazing opportunities she has to develop meaningful relationships with teens on a daily basis. With her love of reading in the mix, becoming an author of young adult books was just a natural development of those two passions in her life. She lives with her husband, Clayton, in Yukon, Oklahoma, where they often serve their community as foster parents.

Check out Dusty’s blog
Find her on Facebook 
Follow her on Twitter
Follow her on Instagram – dustycrabtree12
Check out Shadow Eyes on Goodreads

View the book trailer at

Buy Shadow Eyes on Amazon or other major online bookstores like Barnes&Noble and Apple (Print is also available on Amazon)

Amazon | Apple | Barnes&Noble | Smashwords

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rafflecopter Link -

To see other posts on this tour and to increase your chances of winning, visit Dusty’s blog for the schedule with links as they are posted. 

Thanks for dropping by Dusty!

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Decluttering and being ruthless - aka The Taverna is back!

A blast from the past. This used to be on my website.
It reminds me of writing dreams.
Under licence from Dreamstime

Yep, I'm still here in my cluttered office living day by day. I've still been trying to declutter my life - I think that's always going to be a process for me as I tend to take on more and more without realising - and have made a little headway. 

I'm still reading though since end of July not as much thanks to family illness and attending the RWA conference here in my hometown (I'll do a post about that soon).

I've been sporadic on Facebook and Twitter but around. 

I'm making writing plans! Yay.

One of them is to write on the blog more. I find it helps my writing - if I don't overdo it.

Starting to see a theme with me? 


My limitations change from day to day, hence why it is a bit of a battle with tasks I take on, because I need to think of my bad days (this includes family health too) not the good days when I take something on. If I have a whole week of bad days then the task won't get done. And to protect my writing, I need to be more ruthless in what I do with my time. 

Ruthless Eleni. Sounds like a title of a suspense novel.

I'll be posting more beginning on the 4th September (tomorrow) with a special guest appearance by ex-Musa Publishing stable mate, Dusty Crabtree. She's on a re-release blog tour and dropping by in the Taverna.

So get your glasses filled with some wine, taste the meze on offer, sit back and relax.  
The Taverna is back!


Thursday, 2 June 2016

A little bump in the road

It's been a while, I know. 

After being busy with dad's one year memorial services in March, I was going to take a small break and then begin my slow road to writing regularly and catching up with some projects. 

It started off well- I even managed to do some design work but I found that I was having a downward spiral with my fatigue, pain and general well being. While I've had a few good days and moments, it hasn't been sustainable or consistent. Most days I need a solid sleep in the afternoon as my sleep at night is not restful. 

I haven't really been at my computer and usually only skim my emails on my phone. It's very frustrating when there are so many things I'd like to undertake and be consistent on. I have managed  step by slow step to get a couple of projects done at home that have been hanging around for ages. 

I'd been thinking I needed to check in a couple of weeks ago and my lack of computer time had this go to the back of my mind. Right now, I'm laying down using an iPhone app to write this. Love that the words pop up so it helps not having to type up each letter of the post. 

I have done fly ins to social media but not really been involved. Mainly I have been watching TV and reading. I've borrowed audio books that I can hear on the phone as I rest. And I'm trying to tackle the mountainous to be read pile one book at a time. 

I'll keep on keeping on and hope this bump doesn't continue for too much longer. 


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