Sunday, May 30, 2010

Not Telling

Not Telling is now available on
Not Telling is the story of two sisters who give new meaning to the term ’sibling rivalry.’ Jealous, hate and betrayal are woven into their lives, after a series of traumatic events completely disrupts Jenny’s childhood.

You can never escape your past, it’ll always come back to haunt you in some way. Jenny is quite unprepared when her past resurfaces and she is faced with an enormous dilemma. But, does she tell?

You’ll have to buy a copy of Not Telling from to find out!

Virtual Book Tour

It is with great pleasure that I announce my first ever Virtual Book Tour from 1st-11th June 2010. Please follow my tour and comment on the articles I'll be writing. If there are any changes to the itinerary, I'll write them on here. Hope to see you on these blogs!  There will also be some guest bloggers posting guest posts on my blog, so watch out for them as well!

Virtual Book Tour

1 June 2010 Staying with someone who doesn’t want you.
2 June 2010 Is it possible to love and dislike someone at the same time?
3 June 2010 Can you be a working mother and write a book? /
4 June 2010 Living in Tanzania
5 June 2010 Addicted to Africa
6 June 2010 How I became a writer
7 June 2010 The Expat Writer
8 June 2010 The Good, the Bad and the Ugly about writing fiction.
9 June 2010 It all starts with a plan
10 June 2010 Chimpanzee conditions in Tanzania
11 June 2010 A car, a teenager and a long bumpy road

Friday, May 28, 2010

Please pass me the blind defeathered carrier pigeon

You know the bird? The one with two broken wings. Trying to get anything done on the internet today is a major mission, so I figured, bring back the bird. Call it out of retirement, unless someone's already eaten it, and I can send birdie along to deliver my emails and messages. Gotta be faster than this antiquated internet system that they're running today. I have to ask with tears in my eyes, running in glistening rivulets down my plump cheeks, what the *#@!&* has happened to the fibre optic cable which was supposed to have made the internet faster? Has some prehistoric beast dwelling in the depths of the sea off the coast of Zanzibar, changed its diet from drunken skunken pink Englishmen to underwater fibre optic cables? Usually, the internet at home is 300% faster than this, but this? Poo, I say, poo poo poo.
The expression on my face is currently not a happy one, so I shall attempt to put things in perspective before giving up totally on catching up with mail and heading off to bed to read Jodi Picoult's latest, and that is I do have a house, food and a car, which is more than a lot of people on the continent. So, I shall be grateful for what I have, and stop bemoaning the snailish internet, and make a note to catch a pigeon first thing in the morning.
Have a great weekend with fast internet!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Siobhan singing at the Variety Show.

 This is a short clip of the video taken of Siobhan singing Taylor Swift's Fifteen at the Variety Show at International School Moshi.  Unfortunately the whole clip of her singing was made as a Quicktime movie, and I couldn't get it on Youtube or anywhere else.  I eventually managed to find free software to change it into WAV format which is more acceptable to Youtube, but as it's free you can only change the first 3 minutes.  The actual Quicktime movie is 4 minutes so with this you miss the ending, but gives you enough of a taste of the talents of my beautiful talented little girl.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Book review for 'A child called It

A Child Called A Child Called "It" by Dave Pelzer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The writing style is easy to read, and the story absolutely gripping. How can a mother be so cruel? All the way through though, I kept wondering why she changed, what was it that made her suddenly turn on David? She had 4 other boys, why only him? Very thought-provoking!

View all my reviews >>

Cindy Vine Not Telling special offer on use this coupon to get a free copy of Not Telling as an ebook Coupon number FC98A. Offer expires 28 May 2010

Friday, May 14, 2010

Random thoughts from a saturated brain

I only remembered to take my thyroxine pills once this week.  Last week wasn't much better, which meant that I could feel myself slowly slipping away into the forest with the faeries.  When I get to that state, then it's hard to remember to take them, especially in the rush to get out of the door in the morning.  I need to seriously re-think my pill-popping time.  Luckily, Katie called this morning to remind me to take them.  Yesterday, I couldn't remember how to spell 'inquiry,' so settled for writing 'look' instead.  Then towards the end of the day, I had to concentrate extra hard to not slur my words.  I know from experience, this means that I'm fooling around with my thyroxine levels, and with no thyroid, I can't be so careless.  So random mental note to myself, TAKE THOSE FRIGGING PILLS.

School is a bit crazy at the moment.  I'm working with the Grade 5's on their exhibition.  Sometimes kids do even more random things than I do.  I gave a poetry writing lesson to get the little blighters all inspired to write poetry for their exhibition, especially seeing that it falls under How we express ourselves.  The kidlets have all chosen quite deep issues to investigate and express their feelings about.  Anyway, back to the poetry.  One little monklet is working on HIV/AIDS and his poem, hold on while I giggle uncontrollably again, Goes 'You have AIDS and you live with maids all alone in your room...'  Okay, I told him we need to work on that a bit.  The rest of the poem is in a similar vein, very inappropriate but hysterical all the same.  To be sure, he was just using a word which rhymed with AIDS.  So much more to do with the exhibition, only a week left, next week will be crazier.  I have to remember to take those damn pills.

Debs, the learning support teacher, and myself will run the SEN Unit next year.  We have been thinking about calling it the LSD - Latte and Scones Department.  I'll be taking in my filter coffee machine and sandwich maker, and we have a little oven.  Should be fun.

The Yearbook is also on my list of things to get done.  Another mammoth job, but Siobhan and Katie said they'd help.  We lost all the work our yearbook committee had done when the school server crashed, never to be retrieved.  Sometimes, technology sucks.

Which reminds me, Sunday is my day to knock off some reports.  25 Kidlets, another huge as hurdle, but we're heading rapidly towards the end of the school year.  So much to do, so little time.  Must remember to take those wretched pills.  Okay, have to order their t-shirts, the exhibition ones....just remembered.  What's that song?  It's all coming back to me now...Okay have to become a list person, but I've lost my passport.  Tomorrow is the search the house and find where Siobhan put my passport day.

And then of course no week is without some drama.  Some pathetic moron decided it would be funny to send menacing threatening texts to the head of our Arusha campus, with a result it was closed down for two days.  Our head just got one threatening text, I think, but we decided to stay open and operating.  Diploma kids are writing exams so closing the school would have been problematical.  The less than efficient security guards upped their security, confuddled policemen patrolled our gates, and our three male superheroes on the staff manned the entrance, putting their bodies on the line to ward off the infidel.  The other male staff members thought a cuppa coffee and chat in the staffroom before school was far nicer, especially as there was a light drizzle.  The police and US Embassy failed to catch the culprit, even though he used the same number to send countless threatening texts over a two day period.  A few kids were upset, but none hysterical and most treated it with the contempt it deserved.  Probably a moronic ex-student at home on holiday with a grudge.  Tsk....tsk...

Last weekend I worked flat out to finish the revising of Not Telling, after going through my editor's notes and suggestions.  After a 15 hour stint on Sunday I was satisfied with my book.  More than satisfied actually, I think I've done a great job.  There are some graphic bits in the beginning which might scare some people off, but hey...I've always been one to call a spade a spade.  Now Not Telling is at Createspace and I'm waiting for my proof copy, as well as the proof copy of Fighting Fisi, my children's picture book.  At the moment you can download a free ebook of Not Telling from   Use this coupon number FC98A. Offer expires 28 May 2010.

I spent this afternoon trying to sort out this ruddy carnet de passage I need to drive into South Africa.  I have managed to get a temp export permit from Tanzanian Road Authority, surprisingly painless and free.  But to my disgust, I've discovered that the yellow card is not the same as the carnet, and allows me to visit every blasted country in Africa other than South Africa.  Why do they have to be so damn special?  Anyway, my insurance company is investigating it, but I won't hold my breath.  I reckon I'm going to have to smuggle ourselves across the border.  And when they say, "Do you have a visa?"  I can say, "Sorry, only have a mastercard."  Okay forgive me, a lame joke.
So, I came home all inspired to research our trip.  Hell, have to know which direction I'm driving, don't I?  Actually, truth be told I am starting to get a little nervous.  A mother and teenage daughter doing a big overland trip through is a little daunting.  Okay, and probably a little dangerous.  But oh my God, think of the adrenalin rush.  Had better remember to take those pills.
Our route going down is finalised.  I'm going to avoid Gabs I think.  Oh dear, maybe I might change my mind again.  I am a woman after all, I can do that.
Saturday 12th June.  Drive 514km from Moshi to Morogoro, Tanzania.
Sunday 13th June.  Drive 639km from Morogoro to Mbeya, Tanzania.
Monday 14th June.  Drive 480km from Mbeya to Mpika, Zambia.  (border crossing involved)
Tuesday 15th June.  Drive 1100km from Mpika to Livingstone, Zambia.
Wednesday 16th June.  Drive 591km from Livingstone to Francistown, Botswana (border crossing)
Thursday 17th June.  Drive 909km from Francistown to Kimberley, South Africa (border crossing)
Friday 18th June.  Drive 828km from Kimberly to Cape Town
Saturday 19th June.  Sleep all day.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Walking with crossed legs

Murphy has dared to show his ugly mug around here again.  I thought I'd banned him for good, but I was sadly mistaken.  One cold wet rainy morning, after raining solidly for about 15 hours all night, the bastard reappeared.  I jumped into my car all innocent-like, turned the key in the ignition and it just went click.  With a list of things to do as long as my arm, and of course, school in the morning, the last thing I could afford to be without was my car.  Trudging on the sinking slippery mud is no joke.  I reckon it's easier to walk on ice.  The mud sticks to your shoes and makes it difficult to lift up your feet, and then you have to be extra-careful where you place your feet, as a wrong placement will result in you slipping backwards into a puddle.  Murphy made sure that I had to wade through mud to get to school, and once there, I phoned the mechanic to fetch my car.  A new clutch plate, engine mounting and battery later, several hundred dollars out of pocket and three days without a car, made life interesting to say the least.  Especially as I was busy tring to organise a swimming gala for over 200 kids at the time.  Oh well, I survived, so that's all that counts.

I have discovered if I play music loudly, I drown out the barking, yapping, whining dog across the road.  I find it hard to focus with that dog working overtime to give me a headache. 

Why is it that we always have to pee at the most inopportune time?  My bladder never quite survived being used as a trampoline during my three pregnancies.  In the middle of this huge swimming gala, I suddenly realised that I had to pee.  Unfortunately, I had to try and rediscover my pelvic floor muscles and practice those exercises that the urologist gave me last June which I hadn't yet gotten around to practising yet.  Somehow, I managed to walk to my classroom after the gala to sort the medals.  However, it was in leaving the classroom that I hit problems.  Major problems.  Everytime I stood up, I could feel gravity take over and because I had to squeeze my pelvic muscles so hard, I couldn't move my legs at all.  So there I was, standing in the middle of my classroom, unable to proceed or retreat.  Eventually, with sweat pouring down my brow from the concerted effort of not overflowing, I managed to lean forward and pull a chair towards me.  I hurriedly sat down and focused on once again gaining control of the leaky bladder.  When I thought I had got it together again, I once again attempted standing up and walking to my classroom door.  I got a few steps and knew I couldn't do it.  Unfortunately, the chair was now to far away for me to reach.  I was stuck, stranded.  A kid came in to tell me that they were waiting for me on the field for the start of the football tournament.  I smiled, or rather grimaced, and pretending to be studying something in the folder I had in my hands, all the while wondering how I was going to manage to escape this predicament.  I have to confess, as disgusting as this might sound, I did momentarily contemplate the sink next to the classroom window, but with no curtains in my classroom and many kids wandering around, I quickly discarded that dsturbing thought.  Eventually, I gritted my teeth and managed to speed walk with crossed legs to the bathroom.  The moral of the story is, when you get to be an old woman like me, don't leave relieving your bladder if you feel the urge, because it doesn't much to take you beyond the beyond.  I was seriously beyond the beyond.

This week Siobhan has been stayng in Marangu working at the Marangu Hotel for her work experience.  I have taken advantage of the peace and quiet at home, no having to watch movies on my laptop, and have managed to finish the first draft of my book, Not Telling.  Now, I eagerly await my dear friend and editor, Rob Stark, to finish the editing so I can revise.  We had a power surge a week or so ago which blew the new dvd player I bought on our visit to Dar-es-Salaam and Siobhan's Wii.  This was even with the regulator.  Our next door neighbour's TV blew.  It actually exploded because she didn't have a regulator.  We're not having too much luck with electronics, considering that Siobhan's macbook has never worked after I accidentally knocked my diet coke on it.

Five more weeks of school and I have my Grade 5 Exhibition to get through and reports and the yearbook, so flat-out busy and then our long drive to Cape Town!  Plus of course, the revising of Not Telling!  Oh well, better to be busy than bored.

Have a great weekend!