Reader, writer, storyteller

Photo taken in 1975

Unofficial Bits and Pieces

Quick Quirky Facts (also known as the good stuff!)
I don’t have a dominant hand, nor am I ambidextrous. Instead, I have what is called “mixed hand.” I am naturally left-handed but was forced in primary school to use my right hand. I use my right hand for handwriting and other fine motor skills, but I can do all other tasks equally well with both hands. I don’t have a backhand for tennis or squash, but switch the racket between hands.

I like my music unusual, in makeup with a side dash of Al. Which is code for Cyndi Lauper…


Are UFOs to blame for the disappearances from Australia’s Bass Strait triangle?

Photo by NIKKI BAGLIERI on Unsplash

In 1797 the Eliza, a longboat, disappeared in the Bass Strait. Along with the Francis, Eliza was taking part in a rescue operation. Eliza’s mission was to collect as many crew and whatever cargo could be salvaged from the wreck of the Sydney Cove. On July 6th, Francis arrived back in Sydney … but Eliza was never seen again.

It was the first recorded incident in the notorious stretch of water between Victoria and Tasmania. Since then, numerous incidents of strange goings-on have been reported. Some blame the treacherous rips. …


ANECDOTE | HORSES | EDUCATION

How a racehorse became immortalized in Australian slang

Photo Credit: Sandi Parsons

Drongo is a typical Australian insult. While gardening, a job I loathed, my mother would frequently point out the weeds left behind. “Hey, drongo,” she would call out, “You missed another one.”

In fact, my horse-mad mother called me drongo so often when I was younger that you could be forgiven for thinking it was my name. It wasn’t such a far stretch. The front runner during my mother’s pregnancy was Pertain, after a horse she was fond of.

But I digress…back to drongo. The polite interpretation of a drongo is a “no-hoper,” a “loser,” or a bit of a…


Control the narrative, don't let others drive your Goodreads profile

Green toy reading a book
Green toy reading a book
Image by Hêzaro Viana Hêzaro from Pixabay

Goodreads is notorious for its mixed bag of reviews. Some love it, and others loathe the platform. Despite competition from other book lover apps, Goodreads is still rated number one — and has the highest reader reach.

Even if you’re in the haters' camp, you shouldn't ignore the benefits and marketing you can claim as an author, especially the free ones.

Take control of your profile

Any Goodreads user can add a book they have read. Once a book is listed, Goodreads automatically creates an author profile. It’s free marketing space you can use to your advantage.

You can flesh your Goodreads profile out completely…


What makes BookTok so attractive?

Screenshot of the BookTok hashtag taken within TikTok

Books have an uncanny knack for taking over social media. There two dedicated platforms for book lovers, Goodreads and Litsy, which both have vibrant communities. Despite this, over on social media, the book chatter continues:

  • Authors wax lyrical on Twitter
  • Facebook abounds with book-focused groups and recommendations
  • #Bookstagram references are littered all over Instagram
  • YouTube is bursting at the seams with both readings and recommendations

… and now added into the mix, there’s BookTok.

What is BookTok?

Like #Bookstagram on Instagram, Booktok is a space carved out on an existing platform, in this case, TikTok, using hashtags. Popular hashtags include BookTok, BookTokRecomendations &…


Saving my life was her choice

A deck of tarot cards laid out
A deck of tarot cards laid out
Image by Glegle from Pixabay

“I’ve never seen a reading quite like this.”

Moments before the man doing my tarot card reading had casually flipped over the last card. Now his frown lines were out in full force.
I caught my breath and swallowed hard. What does that mean?

He looked up at me, then peered back at the six cards. Was he trying to change them using the power of his mind? Long seconds dragged by before he spoke again, “I think perhaps, you should reshuffle the cards.”

He gathered the cards and passed the deck back to me. After a quick shuffle, I…


Ease the process with online tools

Red Word Art cloud
Red Word Art cloud
Word cloud created using Word Art

Words are innocuous, easy to use, and even easier to overuse. Repetition is fine when it’s intentional and written for effect. But when you overuse a word, it has the potential to weaken your prose.

Fortunately, there are tools to help identify your problem words besides sitting down and manually counting through your manuscript.

Scrivener

Scrivener has a handy little feature aptly called “Text Statistics.”

  1. Highlight which chapter (or chapters) you’d like to check.
  2. Click on Project.
  3. Click on Text Statistics.
  4. Click on the dropdown arrow next to Word Frequency.

Sandi Parsons

Sandi Parsons lives and breathes stories as a reader, writer, and storyteller. Newsletter subscribers receive my free ebook The Last Walk → bit.ly/3t0ZaG8

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