A Mixed Bag Lift-Off! Whacky Words, IWSG, Snapshots & Afri-Scape!

Welcome to my new blogging schedule!

As promised, there's a little bit of this and a little bit of that. But not too much, I hope… I don't want to overwhelm you.

All artists seek validation. But who provides the validation? Who decides whether a writer has "made it" or when a writer has "made it"? Where does your sense of worth as a writer come from? Today I'm over at the Insecure Writer's Support Group Website, with the topic Seeking Validation As A Writer. Pop over to join in the conversation.

                                         *          *          *          *          *

First up – let's play! It's time for WHACKY WORDS! Remember, this is supposed to be FUN! Today's word is


This refers to a case of mass shock! Like a collective gasp of disbelief!

Imagine the following: a sea of faces + a mexican wave type of technique + a shock registering .8 on the Shochter Scale?

SOMETHING LIKE THIS?                        Crazy Royalty Free Stock Photos - Image: 22198048

That's my definition. (The word does have a meaning, but you are invited to play along by providing your own original meaning. No cheating and looking up the word. I'll post the meaning next week) So do you wanna play along? Leave your definition in the comment section below. From time to time, there may be a prize. I'm still working on that.


Here's my attempt at photography… not too bad for a novice, hey? I even experimented with reducing the size of the photos. I'll be honest, I had NO IDEA what I was doing, I just pressed a button here and pressed a button there… googled a bit… but it seemed to work… to some degree. But how do I get the pics side by side? I'll have to experiment more… (I just hope that I don't forget what I've already learned…)

The Botanic Gardens is a 3 minute drive from my home. It is the city's oldest public institution and Africa's oldest surviving botanical gardens. The gardens cover an area of 15 hectares in a subtropical climate.

The Sunken Garden and The Garden Of The Senses is a unique setting which won the Best Garden of the Year Award for 2003, from the South African Landscape Institute. The area has access to electricity and is beautifully paved, making it an ideal venu for more formal functions. Actually, lots of bridal couples use this venue for their wedding photos.

The Sunken Garden



Patricia Lynne has relaunched her novel Snapshots.

 photo SnapshotsRelaunchBlitz.jpg
Add to your Goodreads shelf

It's said the eyes are the windows to the soul, but that's a lie. They are snapshots of a time yet to come–the future of the person to which they belong.

Cyclop Blaine stands out in a crowd with his pale skin and mismatched eyes, but it’s his ability to see the future that really sets him apart. The unusual gift makes him an invaluable asset to Tyler, his adoptive father and leader of the Victory Street Gang. It also means Cyclop must hide what he can do from others. Once, a man he knew only as Master controlled him, using him for experiments. Cyclop has no desire to return to that life.

But he may have no choice. A man claiming ownership over him haunts his dreams and waking moments, leaving him no choice but to go back to the past he thought he had escaped. Cyclop must face this man, along with his past, if he wants to reveal his own future.

About the Author

 photo PatriciaLynneAuthorwithbook.jpg
Patricia Lynne never set out to become a writer. In fact, she never considered it an option during high school and college. But some stories are meant to be told and this one chose her. Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo and has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow.
Follow Patricia on Twitter | Goodreads | Google+ | Author Blog
So that's it for today. Tell me, where does your sense of worth as a writer come from? Are you going to play along with my whacky words? Enjoyed my attempts at photography? Do you know Patricia? (Phew, this does take some work…)
See you next week Monday!


  1. Alex J. Cavanaugh on August 25, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    I like your definition.

    Pretty gardens. I can see them beign used for weddings.

    And congratulations to Patricia.

    • Michelle Wallace on September 1, 2014 at 5:34 pm

      There are lots of wedding entourages at the gardens, especially on Saturdays!

  2. Patricia Lynne on August 25, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    The pictures are lovely. The last one especially, the shadows and light is captured beautifully.

    Thanks for featuring my book too. =D

    • Michelle Wallace on September 1, 2014 at 5:36 pm

      I just snapped the picture… didn't take too much notice of the shadow/light so I'm pleased with the result… and good luck with the book!

  3. Carol Kilgore on August 25, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Amazia – The title of a new reality show on MTV.

    Your photos are beautiful! I'd love to visit those gardens.

    Good luck with your new book, Patricia.

    • Michelle Wallace on September 1, 2014 at 5:37 pm

      Well, as time goes on, the reality shows are becoming 'unbelievably amazing'… so that fits, hey? 🙂

  4. krystal jane on August 25, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    Those gardens are beautiful! 

    Happy Re-Launching to Patricia! 

    Amazia: Too amazing to be contained in a single word. 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on September 1, 2014 at 5:38 pm

      … almost like a collection of amazing things all summed up…? If that makes sense…?  🙂

  5. Jemi Fraser on August 25, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    Love those pics! Wedding pictures would be gorgeous there! 🙂

    Amazia – a magical spell to cause others to look upon your creations with amazement and joy

    • Michelle Wallace on September 1, 2014 at 5:39 pm

      Writers could do with this kind of magic. Wouldn't it be wonderful to cast this spell on everybody who buys your book…?  🙂

  6. Gisele LeBlanc on August 25, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    I loved the botanical garden pictures! Seems like a wonderful place to get married. 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on September 1, 2014 at 5:40 pm

      It's an idyllic spot! Really beautiful and quite peaceful too!  🙂

  7. J.L. Campbell (@JL_Campbell) on August 25, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    Hey, Michelle, 

    Nice pictures. The grass look so well manicured. 

    Other than your meaning, I'd go with the illness you get when you're lost in a maze and manage to find our way out after several days. 

    Mismatched eyes? That's an intriguing look. Hope Patricia's relaunch in going well. 


    • Michelle Wallace on September 1, 2014 at 5:42 pm

      The grass IS well kept. The idea of mismatched eyes… mmm… does sound like an intriguing character quirk…

  8. Lynda R Young on August 26, 2014 at 12:13 am

    Beautiful pics! I can see why it won best garden.

    Congrats to Patricia

    • Michelle Wallace on September 1, 2014 at 5:43 pm

      You've got to see it first hand… really beautiful!

  9. Shell Flower on August 26, 2014 at 12:39 am

    How cool to live 3 minutes away from the world's oldest surviving botanical garden. I love your photos–great contrast. Patricia Lynne's book looks fascinating, too. I like your new blog style. As for Amazia, I'm going to define it as the feeling you get when your child cleans their room, gets good grades, and doesn't even ask for anything in return 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on September 1, 2014 at 5:45 pm

      I wonder how often moms are 'struck' by Amazia… probably a rare experience…?  🙂

  10. Elise Fallson on August 26, 2014 at 7:57 am

    Yeah! Great pictures. Random button-pressing is a great way to learn via trial and error. That's the method I used to write my first book. ;P No seriously, I love the pictures, the gardens look beautiful and calming, wish I could have been there with you. Congratulations to Patricia and good luck on the re-launch! Amazia can only be the name of a world where people live in harmony with each other and there is no war, hate, poverty or disease. 

    • Michelle Wallace on September 1, 2014 at 5:48 pm

      Random button-pressing to write your first book? *bursts out laughing* You are too funny, Elise. Thanks for the laughs.

      Wouldn't it be wonderful if the universe were struck by Amazia! Even for one day…? (I'm trying to wrap my mind around it…)

  11. L. Diane Wolfe on August 26, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Pretty pictures. I love exploring gardens. And if there's a water feature, I'm in Heaven.

    • Michelle Wallace on September 1, 2014 at 5:49 pm

      There are plenty of water features this end of the globe… especially where I live… (watch this space for 'water-feature' pics…)

  12. Denise on August 26, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    You are amping it up Michelle…love the pics. All the best to Patricia. Hope all is well with you.


    • Michelle Wallace on September 1, 2014 at 5:51 pm

      I'm well Denise! Thanks for enquiring.

      I'm trying to infuse some life/excitement/variety/innovation (pick a word… 🙂  ) into my blog posts!

      • Michelle Wallace on September 1, 2014 at 5:51 pm

        My smiley didn't form properly…  here's another…   🙂

  13. Stephanie Faris on August 26, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Such BEAUTIFUL landscaping. I'm in awe! Best of luck to Patricia on her relaunch.

    • Michelle Wallace on September 1, 2014 at 5:52 pm

      Let your eyes feast upon our well manicured gardens!   🙂

  14. Chrys Fey on August 26, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    I'm going to say Amazia is when someone gets lost in a maze and goes insane. 😉

    I loved your photographs! Especially the first one.

    Congratualtions to Patricia! 🙂


    • Michelle Wallace on September 1, 2014 at 5:53 pm

      I think that's what I'm experiencing at the moment with my Facebook troubles… I'll spare you the gory details…  🙂

  15. Lynda Dietz on August 26, 2014 at 11:46 pm

    Amazia: the place where the most easily impressed people go to live.

    I loved your IWSG post. I’m sure it speaks to many who seek outside validation.

    • Michelle Wallace on September 1, 2014 at 5:57 pm

      Thanks Lynda! The topic is one that EVERY writer wrestles with, at some stage or the other. There are some great responses over at the site.

  16. Julie K Pick on August 27, 2014 at 5:33 am

    Lovely photos of the Botanical Gardens! Good luck to Patricia on her re-launch! Amazia is the land of Ageless Amazon Warrior Women who tower above their adoring fans.

    • Michelle Wallace on September 1, 2014 at 5:58 pm

      I love the idea of Ageless Amazon Warrior Women… sounds like a fantasy story waiting to unfold, in a land called Amazia…

  17. Mina B. on August 27, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Great pictures and I love your cover.  Thanks for sharing!  🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on September 1, 2014 at 5:59 pm

      Good to see you here. Hope you're well, Mina! *waving*   🙂

  18. Quanie Miller on August 27, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    Love those pics! Like some have already said I think this would be a great place for weddings. And congrats to Patricia on relaunching her novel! 

    • Michelle Wallace on September 1, 2014 at 6:00 pm

      Thanks Quanie. It's the ideal 'wedding photo spot'!

  19. Southpaw on August 27, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    I like the birds in that first photo.

    I was just over at M.Pax's blog so to me AMAZIA is what those gangsta cows say.

    • Michelle Wallace on September 1, 2014 at 6:02 pm

      I can hear the gangsta cows bellowing the word… dragging it out in their distinct voices  🙂

  20. Sherry Ellis on August 27, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    Love the garden pictures!  I wish I could just jump in them and experience all that beauty in person!

    • Michelle Wallace on September 1, 2014 at 6:03 pm

       Just let me know when you're here and I'll join you in 'soaking it all up'…  🙂

  21. Emily R King on August 27, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    That’s one beautiful garden! And just minutes from your house? Score!

    • Michelle Wallace on September 1, 2014 at 6:04 pm

      Plus imagine sitting there and 'breathing in' that atmosphere… with a book and pen in hand… double-score!!

  22. Tyrean on August 27, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    Love your definition for Amazia, and those are beautiful pics.
    Patricia's book sounds awesome.

    If I were to define Amazia . . . um, I would go with Amazia – a beautiful flower with unique mazelike petals. 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on September 1, 2014 at 6:06 pm

      Sounds like the flower belongs in Julie's world, the one filled with Ageless Amazon Warrior Women   🙂

  23. Anna Simpson on August 27, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    Afriscape — I'm picturing an landscape in africa. There's probably a few animals or people to prove the location.

    Love the pics.

    Anna from Shout with Emaginette

    • Michelle Wallace on September 1, 2014 at 6:10 pm

      The animal pics are on their way… just watch this space…

      (I'm using the word Afri-Scape to showcase my attempt at photography… but not restricted to animals only…)  

  24. Mary on August 27, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    What a beautiful garden! We rarely see such green here in the desert. 

    I like your definition of Amazia. Maybe it's someone afflicted with the obession to turn everything into a maze.

    • Michelle Wallace on September 1, 2014 at 6:12 pm

      So you must be accustomed to the dry and dusty landscape…? But I'm sure the star-gazing makes up for the lack of greenery…

  25. Elizabeth Seckman on August 27, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    The validation question is a tough one, I'll have to check tha out. Hmmm amazia. I'm going to go with a condition caused by wild dreams; characterized by irrational hopes elation over seemingly trivial ocurrences like a personal rejection and tiny bi-lines. 

    • Michelle Wallace on September 1, 2014 at 6:15 pm

      Your definition sounds like something that writers suffer with?

  26. Crystal Collier on August 27, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    Wahoo for Patricia! Very beautiful pictures, Michelle. 

    Amazia… (Say it with an Italian accent): The title bestowed upon a favorite aunt. 

    • Michelle Wallace on September 1, 2014 at 6:17 pm

      Ah, I love the Italian spin on the word… wouldn't she be the well-endowed and buxom aunt who makes amazing pasta…?  🙂

  27. Loni Townsend on August 27, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    Beautiful photos and an ideal wedding spot. I like the gazebo. I also like the word gazebo. It's so fun to say. Kind of like amazia. Gazebo. Amazia. Yeah, amazia gazebo you have there. 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on September 1, 2014 at 6:19 pm

      It does have a certain ring to it…   🙂 like an aural appeal…

  28. C. Lee McKenzie on August 28, 2014 at 12:52 am

    Amazia rhymes with and is usually interchangeable with Adazia, a commonly used term to explain why eyes glaze over and people walk stiff-legged. Writers are most frequently afflicted by both. It has to do with, well, words, usually the ones that fail them–frequently or over and over again and again. Repetazia soon follows, follows and then, and then they're gone. Really gone. Terrible. Terrible. 

    Before I go to the clinic I'd like to say I loved the pictures, pictures.


    • Michelle Wallace on September 1, 2014 at 6:22 pm

      *bursts into hearty laughter* Thank you Queen Of Glibness!

      (Hope you've since returned from the clinic and have recovered from undiagnosed RWD – Repetitive Word Disorder…)

      • C. Lee McKenzie on September 2, 2014 at 3:57 pm

        I'm baaack! Fully recovered and ready to write. 

        Bye for now.

        Bye for now.

        For now, Bye

  29. Damyanti on August 28, 2014 at 1:28 am

    Love those photos!

    Of course I know Patricia, and wish her well on this renewed adventure 🙂

  30. Leslie S. Rose on August 28, 2014 at 3:57 am

    Hi Michelle- It was so sweet of you to stop by. Hugs to you. I've been sucked into a vortex of disaster at school since July, and it has sidelined my blogging. Let's just say – when a principal quits without warning – chaos ensues. I want to melt into those gardens. Amazia sounds like an interjection my gay ex-husband would use when seeing a fabulous Broadway musical. xo 

    • Michelle Wallace on September 1, 2014 at 6:26 pm

      Oh dear, that sounds disastrous… a principal quitting suddenly…? And your gay ex sounds like a colourful character!  🙂

  31. Rekha on August 28, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    Hi Michelle, 

     The garden does havea charm of its own – off to the Sunken Garden when the thought of "I'm married" hasn't sunken in.

    Amazia – two guesses –

    The 24/7 lurker on Amazon.com looking for a good sale 

    The ice bucketchallengers' reaction when they realise their teeth haven't stopped chattering

    Take care, Sunshine.


    • Michelle Wallace on September 1, 2014 at 6:28 pm

      Rekha, I LOVE your definitions! They are priceless! Thanks for putting a smile on my dial (I can identify sometimes with that Amazon lurker…)   🙂

  32. Annalisa Crawford on August 29, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    Amazia is definitely a nervous disorder related to being lost in a maze. And I have definitely suffered 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on September 1, 2014 at 6:30 pm

      It's probably the 'writerly equivalent' to dementia… or something similar… hope you're over it… (well, for now anyway – I heard it comes and goes…)     🙂

  33. joylene on August 29, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    Excellent definitation and beautiful photos!

  34. Medeia Sharif on August 30, 2014 at 12:35 am

    I liked mixed bag posts. Great words and photos. I've been seeing Snapshots everywhere. 

    • Michelle Wallace on September 1, 2014 at 6:31 pm

      I'm trying to shake things up around here… 🙂

  35. Hilary on August 30, 2014 at 8:18 am

    Hi Michelle – I agree with Medeia .. though I battle with 'quizzes' .. and Amazia – can't think about this … 

    However I see the Gardens are in Durban .. I certainly never visited them ..though love Kirstenbosch … and good luck with the photographic touch ups .. I need to do that too .. I've got a snipping tool … and need to use it more often!

    Cheers Hilary

    • Michelle Wallace on September 1, 2014 at 6:35 pm

      Kirstenbosch Gardens are really something else Hilary!   🙂  I've visited the spot, although it was a l-o-n-g time ago. That means I'm overdue for a return visit… actually L-O-N-G overdue for a Cape Town visit.

      Well, with regards to the photos… time will tell… LOL I'm just moving along strictly by trial and error (with the emphasis on error…) so thanks for the good luck wishes!

  36. Nick Wilford on September 1, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    Amazia is the disorientation of being lost in a maze… I've definitely experienced it, some are very tricky!

    The photos look lovely. Doesn't look like the work of a novice. 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on September 2, 2014 at 3:57 pm

      I'm familiar with that experience… very tricky indeed!  🙂 Thanks for the vote of confidence in my amateur pics. It gives me courage to go out and 'snap away'!

  37. Robyn Campbell on September 2, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    I LOVE that word amazia. Such a cool word. I must work it into my novel. See? I learn stuff over here. Bodacious pics, Michelle. You have done well, my friend. 

    Love the cover of your book, Patricia. I must check into this. It sounds great.

    • Michelle Wallace on September 2, 2014 at 4:07 pm

      Hey pal, nice to see you here at my place! 🙂  I always associate the word ♦bodacious♦ with you!  **I love that word**

  38. Morgan Shamy on September 2, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    Yay for Patricia! And holy… LOVE the pics. Yes. And I'm fascinated by the validation topic… stoked to go read that! Lots of goodness here today, Michelle. Thanks!!! 

    • Michelle Wallace on September 2, 2014 at 4:09 pm

      Glad you like the pics Morgan! The validation topic drew lots of interesting responses – there's some great conversation over at the IWSG. Check it out. You'll enjoy it!   🙂

Leave a Comment

Notice: Undefined variable: user_ID in /home/writerintrans/public_html/wp-content/themes/bb-theme/comments.php on line 69

Notice: ob_end_flush(): failed to send buffer of zlib output compression (0) in /home/writerintrans/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 5420