Hello and Welcome to the New HG!

Hello Dear Readers.  Personal post ahead!

Thanks so much for still sticking around with me.  It’s been a doozy of a time, a real top-notch shitshow for me personally.  The past 2 years have been awful.  But things are great now.  The Coles’ Notes: I was with my husband for 14 years, and now we’re getting divorced.  I had a home and two cats, now I no longer have a home or cats.  I was in Canada, now I’m in New Zealand.  I was awesome, now I am EVEN MORE FRICKIN’ AWESOME.

(Here’s me at my own private “Polar Bear Swim” at Tahunanui Beach in Nelson, January 1st, 2017!)

I love life.  I have had the best time of my life the past few months.  It’s hard to go through something as disruptive as a divorce, but I’m doing well, and have a new improved outlook on life, the universe, and everything.

I wanted to share some things about me and keep you in the loop.  As this blog is primarily about my writing career, you’ll be pleased to hear that my novel, Sleep Over, is coming out soon!  I am beyond excited that I’ve come this far and will finally get to see one of my books in print, from an amazing publisher.  (More updates to follow of course!)

(Here’s me in the shuttle being driven further into New Zealand to the Wangapeka.)

As you can see, I have opted for a new name.  H.G. Bells reporting for duty!  I picked a new name that I think will be easy to 1) pronounce 2) spell and 3) remember.  I hope to hit the ground running when Sleep Over comes out, and my new name will hopefully at least not completely hobble me when it comes to being the new kid on the block.

And it has the added benefit of being similar to one of the ‘fathers of sci-fi’, H.G. Wells.  I hope to follow in his footsteps and contribute to sci-fi as he did (ambitious much Heidi?  Baby you know it!).

So my next few posts will be about me in New Zealand.  It’s so beautiful here, and it’s been an incredible place to begin healing my poor broken heart, meet amazing people, and generally expand my horizons.

(Me up at Omahu at the Wangapeka… the most beautiful place.)

Writing-wise, I will say that going through a divorce was incredibly disruptive, surprising no one.  What did surprise me, was my ability to complete a major set of revisions for my publisher during the worst time of my life.  I have to tell you, when I got the email that my draft had been accepted it was such a huge weight off my back.  It made me realise that I have spent so much time and effort honing my craft that it was still functional while my whole world was being burnt to the ground around me.  I can still perform as a writer while my world is on fire.  I honestly didn’t think I could do it, and, while I was struggling to get the final draft done during those dark times, I thought for sure it was the end of my writing life.  But I have emerged from that process with a deeper appreciation and confidence in my work, my process, and in myself.  I built the foundation of my craft strong, and I built it to last.  Thanks Past Heidi, you did a real good job there.  (Future Heidi if you’re reading this: hi!  I love you!)

Also, I am strong as fuck.  If there’s a thing on this earth that can break me, I sure as hell don’t know what it is.  (ATTN gods of fate: this is not a challenge, pls leave Heidi alone for a while k thanks bye.)

But, while I am strong, I am tired as hell.  I would love it if Sleep Over could come out and do well so I can breathe a little easier.  I know it’s not easy establishing oneself on the world stage of authordom (and realistically I expect to need several published books before I can count myself as successful), but hopefully Sleep Over will be a good start.  And then I can really shine.  Because, while I can keep up with the process while going through hell, my best work has been while I’ve had a stable and happy life.  I hope to get back to something approximating that some day, and can continue on with a vague life trajectory.

We make all these plans, and then life happens.  We assume we will be the same, but we’re all changing all the time.  Things change, we change, and here I am surfing a big change.  Yeehaa!!!

So that’s me.  Thanks for reading my most personal update yet.  I truly cannot express how grateful I am to still have you with me, for your kind words, your support, your love.  As I’m rising from the ashes of my former life I can see so much to be grateful for, so much to love, so much to feel.  And through it all, be it from the sidelines or holding my hand, is you.

Much love,

Continually Yours,

Heidi Grace Bells

 

P.S. You can email me at my snazzy new email address:  heidi {at} hgbells {dot} com  And as you may notice, my website has changed to match!  hgbells {dot} com is the new me!

Posted in Diary, New Zealand, Sleep Over, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A good week!

It feels really good to be deep into working on Sleep Over again. It also feels good to have a timeline nailed down. I didn’t put events in order because I wanted the narrative to mirror the confusion of the insomnia apocalypse, where time gets distorted and it’s really hard to tell when things happened or how long anything has been happening. Now that I’ve done it both ways (no timeline and now a solid timeline for revisions) I think I can have the best of both worlds.

I still don’t want my readers to know how long anything in the book takes, or even how long the insomnia lasts; I want it to truly feel like time has no meaning, and confusion casts doubt on any times given.

But now at least my publisher will have a better idea of the timeline, and they can better ask me for specific things they’d like to hear more of for the next round of revisions.

Hurrah!

Here’s some pictures for stopping by. In case you don’t know, if there’s a large version I will make them clickable! My site can only handle images so big. Cheers!



London police officer proposes during Pride:

And a video of some Irish fans serenading a baby on the tube.

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Getting it square

This week I worked on putting together a fictional timeline of the insomnia apocalypse for my publisher. I’ll see what sort of revisions they have in mind once they see a blow-by-blow of world events during Sleep Over!

Here’s some stuff I’ve enjoyed recently. Cheers!





That’s all for now folks.
Oh, except that Witness continues to be amazing- Aaron and I discovered something last night that opened up a whole new world of puzzles to solve. Puzzles, puzzles everywhere!!!

Cheerio,
Heidi out.

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Another round of revisions!

Well, my editor at Skyhorse has come back with comments on my revised MS, and they would like another round of revisions. We’ll see how much work it’s going to end up being, but I know in the end it will make for a more marketable book. I’m on board!

In the mean time, what else have I got for you?

I just got the new Dominion expansion and it is amazing! If you like Dominion, or haven’t played it but are interested in deck building games, this is a very neat expansion. It has some interesting new mechanics, like having different cards in a single supply pile. And castles! I can’t wait to use castles to win.

Oh and another thing! Check out this comic anthology: Dirty Diamonds Vol.7 is on Kickstarter! It looks like it will be amazing. I backed Vol.6 and was very happy with it! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dirtydiamonds/dirty-diamonds-7-imagination-an-all-girl-comic-ant?ref=user_menu

Here’s some neat pics to leave off. Cheerio!

Thanks for stopping by. Heidi out.

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NO to The Huffington Post, YES to These Sites That Pay Writers

Hear, hear!

Just Alyssa

Since I don't have anyone on staff to choose photos and write captions, you'll just have to picture me as Leia and Arianna as Jabba. (I do own the slave bikini, FWIW.) Since I don’t have anyone on staff to choose photos and write captions, you’ll just have to picture me as Leia and Arianna as Jabba. (I do own the slave bikini, FWIW.)

If I had one wish for today – besides stopping the wild fires, world peace, an end to hunger and poverty and climate change, and maybe the Republican Clown Car driving off a cliff – it would be that everyone stop reading The Huffington Post. Even just for one day, imagine if no one went there, and we made clear on social media that it’s because THEY DON’T PAY WRITERS! They rake in hundreds of millions of dollars, and do not pay writers. Not only does that suck as profoundly as nibbling on Jabba The Hut’s slimy big toe while he strokes your head and calls you “lovey” and jerks your chain (unless you’re in to that,) it has…

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Mango Nightmares!

OK so I don’t know if I’m alone in this.  Maybe I am, or maybe somewhere out there in my readership is another person who also gets Mango Nightmares.  How do you tell if you have Mango Nightmares?  It is not, in fact, having nightmares about mangos, but the other way, where you get nightmares after eating mangos.

So here’s the thing.  Every year, usually in the summer, I go crazy over one type of fruit.  It changes from year to year, but whatever fruit it is that year, I eat dozens and dozens of pounds of it until my thirst for that particular fruit is slaked.  One year I had dozens of pineapples.  Another, golden kiwis (far superior to regular kiwis, try them!).

…Side note, why are we calling Pineapples Pineapples?! ?

Anyway! So one year, my glut of fruit was mangoes. And not the red and green kind like I thought were mangos. I mean, they are mangoes, but they are not the best mangoes.

I’ve gotta say, Haden mangoes have got nothing on Ataulfo mangoes!

Once I discovered how good these were I bought them by the bagfull. I learned a quick way to peel them using a glass:

And from there I was processing them and freezing them, then bagging them up in individual portions for smoothies! But always I was eating them straight up, sometimes having four or five for a meal.

…That’s when the nightmares started. I noticed a dramatic shift in my dreams on nights where I’d had a ton of mangoes during the day. I began having vivid and distressing nightmares. I did some experiments and found that they were directly correlated to having a bunch of mangoes.

So, the Year Of Mangoes ended and I eventually went back to a sane equilibrium with them, having one every now and then when they looked good. Then, at a games night at a friend’s last week, a bunch of fresh, ripe mangoes were brought out. I gleefully showed them the glass-hack and prepped them in no time. We feasted on the delicious golden flesh. One of my friends joked that it probably wasn’t enough to bring on The Mango Nightmares. I laughed. That time it wasn’t. But now…

A couple of days ago, I only had one mango. And that night: vivid nightmares. It could have just been regular nightmares. I like to have more data before I make a hypothesis…

Yesterday I only had one mango, I swear. It was good as hell. But my nightmares last night… Lordy lordy! Awful! Here’s what my sleep looked like (I use Sleep Cycle to track my sleep quality!):

I didn’t wait for the alarm to rise me and I alighted right quick to try and shake the dream of an old Asian lady coming for me with an AK while I ran upstairs (NO YOU FOOL! What are you thinking, UPstairs!!! Your friends are in the basement and she’s going to KILL THEM AHHHHHH). So yeah I got up.

And I will try another experiment. One mango today. I’ll see how I fare.

So, dear readers, am I alone? Are Mango Nightmares a thing of my own personal physiology? Or do I have friends out there who know the struggle between choosing to taste the delicious golden sweet honey flesh of a glorious Drupe, or having a peaceful sleep?

I will keep you posted!

Heidi out.

Posted in Food, sleep | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

“Sleep loss boosts hunger, unhealthy food choices”

http://sciencebulletin.org/archives/1366.html

It’s fascinating to see just how much sleep (quality and amount) effects our life!

And now for some pictures:




…That’s gotta be the best Tina Belcher cosplay I’ve ever seen.

Toodles!
Heidi out.

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Maybe soon we’ll get to Mars!

For today:
A sobering look at being an author and getting published: from Ian Irvine.
And, on a happier or perhaps more optimistic note, here’s what we’d need to Mars to make it habitable!  

That’s all for now.  Thanks for stopping by!

Heidi out.

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Mayhaps I’ve Found Some Delights

Here are some nice things I’ve found to share with you:

This video made me laugh- what a joy!
https://vid.me/e/5WoZ?stats=1&tools=1
This dog has been separated from his owner for a while.  Watch as he realises something wonderful is about to happen:

And here’s author Maurice Sendak on the best complement he ever received from a reader:

I’ve been watching a lot of wildlife documentaries lately.  (Sidenote: my cat Lemon has been enjoying them too- so far her favourite animals have been polar bears, meerkats, and foxes.)  I have learned of many amazing things through the BBC Life series (it’s on Netflix here if you want to check it out!)

If you’ve ever wondered what stuff would look like if you crushed it with a hydraulic press, wonder no more!  The Hydraulic Press Channel just got its one millionth subscriber!  Here’s their recent video, crushing a diamond.  It’s great fun!

That’s all for now.  Thanks for reading.

Heidi out.

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Would You Rather / Hateful Ace / The Witness

Hello dear readers!  Things are going well; I am waiting on my editor at Skyhorse to have a look at the final draft of the MS.  From there it’s line and copy editing.  I can’t wait until I can share the cover with you!!

In the meantime, I wanted to share a few neat games with you.  For one you will need nothing but people, for the other you will need people and a deck of cards, and for one you’ll need the game itself and a thinking cap!

I played a game called Would You Rather on New Years Eve, and it is fascinating.  It’s a game where one person posits a question to the group, and each person has a go at picking the thing “they would rather”.  The devil’s in the details though; the best ones are the ones that divide the group in half.

Here are some of the “would you rathers” that stuck with me.

Would you rather: never have eggs again, OR never have berries again?  (To clarify, “berries” are things that are berries in common parlance, not any technical bullshit like “tomatoes are berries” or “strawberries aren’t berries, they’re aggregate accessory fruits”.  And never having eggs again includes anything that eggs are in.)

Would you rather: Whenever you encounter stairs, you don’t know what they are or understand what they work, and to use them someone must explain them to you, OR have every article of clothing you wear jingle like it’s full of a ton of loose pocket change?  (To clarify, you don’t remember you don’t understand stairs; every time you encounter them is like the first time, and you simply cannot use them until someone helps you grock what they are.)

Would you rather: Have your mind in a gorilla in a lab being experimented on, with the knowledge that you will eventually be retired to a sanctuary at the end of your life, OR have your mind as it was at 4 years old, in a horse, working as a trail-ride horse.  (To clarify: as a gorilla, you are you with all your experience and knowledge.  You may have a chance to communicate with your captors, or a chance to escape, but only after years of failed attempts.  As a horse, you are you as you were at 4 years old.)

It yielded some interesting discussions.

Another game you will need a deck of cards for.  It’s called Hateful Ace, and it’s a neat party game as well!

BTW there’s a huge market for collectable decks of cards right now; Kickstarter has been a boon for designers!

So, grab a deck of cards and shuffle it up.

The game is about trying to guess how good or how bad something is, according to the person talking about it.  Good things are red, not so good things are black.  High cards are more, low cards are less.  So a red ace is best, a black ace is worst.  A red 7 is pretty good.  A red 2 is just barely ok; black 2 barely not ok, and a black 7 pretty bad.

So someone goes first and draws a (secret) card.  They look at it and formulate something to say that will enable the other players to guess the card.

Say I draw a Jack of diamonds-

I’d have to think of something I thought was pretty good.  It could be something that happened to me, or something in general that I made up.  I might say something like “…When you see your book cover for the first time.”  And one by one, the other players guess what card I have.  If someone nails it bang on, guess stops, and they’re awarded the card as their point.  If no one gets it, it goes to whoever is closest.  In the event of a tie, you can do either carry the point over, or do a tie breaker question with another card.

When it’s someone else’s turn, I won’t know what card they have and have to guess it using their clue.  So if I said to you, “Seeing someone achieve their lifelong dream of becoming a published author, and you really dig their book,” what would you guess?  I’d have to guess

because to me that’s pretty damn good.  (By the way, that 10 of diamonds comes with 3D glasses; it’s a set of 3D playing cards!)

The last game I want to mention quickly is “The Witness“.  It’s a puzzle solving game where you wander around a beautiful island and solve puzzles.  I can’t say too much without it feeling like spoilers, so I’ll just show you some pictures, and then a link to a video review from one of my favourite content creators right now, Justin MacElroy.

So it’s pretty beautiful and beautifully pretty!  The puzzles are fun and challenging, and truly there are some innovative things to stump you until you have a lightbulb moment.  I really recommend this game if you like solving puzzles!

So that’s all for me for now.  I’ll keep you posted about the progress of my book, Sleep Over.  I hope to update here more regularly, even if it’s just to say hi and to show you neat stuff I’ve found, writing or otherwise.  🙂

Thanks for stopping by!

Heidi out.

Posted in Games, Reviews, Sleep Over, Uncategorized, Video Games | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment