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Think before you thieve…

8 Sep

In the UK, “Thieves Will Be Prosecuted”, and “Stealing Will Result In A $100,000,000,000 Fine”. Let’s face it, people DO need telling. Rules are broken so often in my own fair land these days, with absolutely no consequences, that I’m not entirely sure people know the difference between right and wrong anymore.

Here in Ubud, Bali, though. Well… who needs to be threatened with a fine to thwart an action one might grow to regret? A simple reminder that the universe will kick your ass should suffice.

I spent hours in the local library here today, gathering research material to help me on my quest to write my next book. It’s going to be something similar to ‘Burqalicious – The Dubai Diaires’ only this one is not about Dubai, and it won’t involve burqas, aaaaaand there’ll be very little gold, or shopping, or shallow media launch parties. OK, fine, it’s totally different because this one will be documenting life as an expat in Bali. And no, it’s not another Eat Pray Love. (sigh).

She went to THREE countries whereas I’m skint and can only afford to live in one. She met a hot foreign man who couldn’t get enough of her, whereas I can’t seem to meet anyone who’s not a total knob (this could change, though right now the chances are slim) AND, Liz Gilbert got to go on Oprah, which I will never be able to do because she has selfishly shut up shop. With that said I’ll probably never be famous or rich enough to live anywhere other than here when I’m done. EVER. Not that I’d mind. I do have a nice new villa, with a swimming pool…

Anyway, all in all it’s something fun to do for the next six to eight months and seeing as I didn’t have anything better to do with my life when the opportunity arose I thought, why the hell not live in a town full of yoga-loving, raw food eating, crystal-ball-consulting, alcohol-shy hippies?! Hell, you only live once. Unless you steal from book shops.

The only downside to this project (apart from possibly losing my mind and thinking I really do look hot in fisherman pants), is that I’m not allowed to blog anything that might eventually be included in the book. I used to blog all the time. In fact, ‘Burqalicious’ started as a blog, which is why I was scribbling so enthusiastically pretty much every day. Dubai was a weird, weeeeeeeeird place to live and there was tons to write about. And consequently tons to share.

Ubud is equally weird and wacky, just for totally different reasons. It is also one of the most magical, incredible, spiritual places I’ve ever had the fortune to visit. Keeping it all to myself, save for tiny snippets here and there (maybe the odd photo or random rambling that’s not to be included in the manuscript, like this) will be tough, but will have to suffice. And when I give the nod that it’s finally out there to buy (not take), in print (October 2012) you can all rush out and catch up on what clearly hasn’t happened to me yet. Deal?

In the mean time, don’t steal shit and don’t put your future lives in jeopardy. I mean it.

Namaste x

My first video review!

17 Aug

My friend ‘Stacey’ sent me this link, which must have slipped my radar, seeing as I’m being one of those travelling people at the moment (seriously, you can hardly see my arms for the handmade bracelets). It’s my very first video book review, I think, by a lovely New Zealander called Sarah Gumbley. Thankfully she liked it and wrote it up on her blog, too! How cute is this… awww, thanks Sarah!

More blogging to come… if I can lift my arms to type with all these bracelets on…

Burqalicious in Bali…

3 Jul

Huge thanks to my friend Trevor here, who made a fabulous host at the Burqalicious – The Dubai Diaries Q&A night in Ubud last week. And yes, it was last week, in case you were thinking this photo has a 1978 sort of quality to it. Not sure what happened there… my dress wasn’t even blue, but hey, it only goes to show how much we had to put up with before the world went digital.

If you’re heading to Bali in the near future, you have to check out the coolest venue on the block, Bar Luna. I was lucky enough to discover Casa Luna’s sexy sister on my first day in Ubud, as a result of reading about the Thursday literary nights in a little magazine. I made it a bit of a regular haunt while I was there; the food is great and even BETTER, the cocktails are buy-one-get-one-free from 5 till 8pm (try the Coconut Killer, it’s to die for). They have live music on Tuesdays too.

The Burqalicious night drew a nice crowd and although I was admittedly a bit nervous at first, it was pretty cool getting to chit-chat for an hour. Trevor was a natural and we had fun. He prepared all sorts of interesting questions and got me talking about the book in a way I haven’t been able to do, to this point. I was actually surprised how fast the time went! It’s a shame we couldn’t get any books delivered as I had a heap of people asking where they could get one, which was cool… but we have to wait for a reprint as they’re all out of stock in Australia, apparently. Sorry peeps!

You’ll find Bar Luna hidden down a little laneway about a 5 minute walk uphill from the main Ubud marketplace (walk in the opposite direction to the Palace). When you hit Nomads on the right, take the little street alongside it and you’ll find this hidden diamond seconds later, waiting for your arrival. Tell them I said hi!

Ah Ubud, I miss you so, but I know I’ll be back soon and there are tons more literary nights and events to look forward to in your wicked bubble of creativity and inspiration. Big thanks again to Trevor, and Chara, Janet and all the awesome staff at Bar Luna for a fab night and much-appreciated support for Burqalicious. Mwah xxx

And now it’s number one…

28 May

Let’s hear it for the power of social media!

Burqalicious is number 2 in Apple iBookstore chart…

27 May

Just got this lovely piece of news, which is very cool. Burqalicious – The Dubai Diaries is number two in the Apple iBookstore charts! YAY! But wouldn’t it be awesome to get it to number one?!

OK ya’ll, if you haven’t bought this book yet, now’s the time to download it for the measly price of just 99c. Yes, that is LESS THAN A DOLLAR to read the nitty gritty life-changing events that took me over two years to write down. The whole painstaking process, the hours of labour, the blood, sweat, tears and emotional trauma, the wretched heartbreaking affairs that went down, all exposed, for less than the price of a cheeseburger.

Don’t feel guilty. Hey, I won’t hold it against you (much). You can buy me a glass of Cab Sav when next we meet and you can pretend you bought it at full price. I’ll never know and I’ll still think you’re great, so it’s win win!

Get onto you iBook apps and download that sucker now. If you don’t have the app yet, it’s easy peasy to download and you can read it on the train, or the bus, or on the loo, or at school, or wherever!

Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease go get it NOW! Thanks!



26 May

So next Spring my book will be published in North America and Canada, thanks to a lovely little publisher’s called Skyhorse. How cute is that name? It reminds me of galloping ponies in the clouds, maybe even unicorns and Care Bears. I like it a lot. It wouldn’t be the same if it was called SkyTiger would it? That would just sound like a cheap airline. Or SkyRacoon, or SkyMillipede,… ugh. I think they picked the right name.

Apparently I will have to edit it a bit for the American market, which may mean inserting a happy ending where Dubai is completely finished and everyone lives happily ever after, but who knows. Maybe I’ll just have to change all the s’s to z’s and everything will be fine. Either way, I’m happy to have another play with the text. As a perfectionist I’m sure I could re-write entire chapters if allowed, which I won’t be. I’d like to write a few songs in, too, as I know American’s like things with songs in them. Maybe Miley Cyrus could sing something when a little button is pressed on the cover? I’d like that. I think book shops would like that too – imagine the whole store blurting out Miley Cyrus at regular intervals! It would get annoying after a while though, the song would overlap itself as kids pressed different buttons at different times. An eight-track Miley Cyrus in stereo. The staff would have to wear earplugs. The book would eventually get banned… which would actually be cool because everyone always wants what they can’t have. Perfect. Let’s get it banned!!!

Anyway, I’m excited about this. I love America and I really, really hope they like my book. Canada’s nice too, though I’ve only been to Niagara Falls, so I can’t really comment on its people. The only people I met there were people like myself, all wearing bumbags and taking photos and saying things like “Ooh my gooood, there’s so much water!” I’m sure they’re nice too though. I hope they like burqas.

I should say, still have the book listed, which they shouldn’t, because although they’re letting you order it, it won’t be delivered till America actually gets it in stock, NEXT YEAR. So don’t order it yet, else you’ll be waiting ages! Same goes for the UK. It hasn’t been sold in the UK, so even though I’m British I have to change things like Boots Meal Deal into Starbucks SuperSize and you have to pretend I’m from the U.S. If anyone would like to print it in the UK please do, but tell us first, don’t just go photocopying it. We will find you.

I’m excited. I want to go to America and have a launch party so you must all come. I understood when you couldn’t come to the Australian one because it’s really far away, but America is the centre of the universe, so there’s no excuse.


Burqalicious in NW…

3 May

I haven’t really seen too many reviews of my book… and who knows, maybe that’s a good thing. But I was still quite excited when someone told me they’d seen one in this week’s NW magazine.

Before you say it, it’s not really a review – as such – rather a mention. They haven’t passed judgement or offered an opinion at all, like they have with Calling Romeo next to it. But still, they gave me half a star more than Alexandra so I’ll just be grateful that someone liked it an incy bit more, even if they haven’t said why.

I  took this piccy of it on page 85 with my phone, because I’m too cheap to buy it. Yes, that’s right, I’m too cheap to buy a magazine featuring a mini-review of my own book. Tragic isn’t it. Thanks to Sydney’s extortionate living expenses, it was a choice between buying the mag, or buying my lunch.

I chose a chicken wrap, and very nice it was too.

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