Archive for December, 2012

Goodbye, 2012And hello, 2013.

Realistic Imaginations: Christian Inspirational Artwork and Collectibles

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from me to you :)

Christmas bow

It has been 30 weeks since I started my blog, and in that time my blog site has had more than 3,600 hits.

Thank you for your support and encouragement. And thank you for all the lovely (and sometimes funny) comments that have been left.

Blogging has certainly been a learning curve and in the early days I spent hours agonizing over what to write. At times I sat looking at a blank screen just willing something to come… Other times I wrote, deleted, wrote again and deleted again, then sat looking at the empty screen. Yet at other times I had so many ideas they were sitting in calendar just waiting for post time. I have really enjoyed blogging, and have made some lasting friendships. Next time we go to Texas, we will be calling in on a new friend, and I have an invitation to stay from Italy and the UK if I ever end up there. 

Blogging has opened up a whole new world for me. Through the eyes of other bloggers, I have seen whales frolic off the coast, I’ve driven down lonely highways through Kansas. I’ve looked out over a bay in Italy and packed up a house in Seattle :) I know more Texas history than I did a year ago, and I’ve collected more recipes than I have a hope of making. It’s been a wonderful ride.

 Next year I may have to drop down to one post a week as I face more medical appointments and surgery while keeping up with my Tate Publishing commitments and my local school activities. 

Thank you one and all, for being part of my blog family, and I’ll see you in 2013.

A thought to end the year: It is choice, not chance, that determines our destiny.


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Time for a writing update :)

The US version of Operation Foxtrot Five is on sale. So is Operation Delta Bravo, and so is my picture book, It Doesn’t Matter.

Operation Alpha Papa has been edited and is ready for print. Operation Tango Two-Two and Operation Uniform Echo are with the Tate editor. Cover design hasn’t started with these books.

My Book Trailer for Operation Foxtrot Five has had over 200 hits at last count :)


The Australian version of the Operation series (all 5 books) continues to sell in Australia. Sales are slow, but at least orders are still coming in. http://www.bushytailbooks.com/books.html

On the home front, special thanks go to Margaret and Kate – two editors I have not had the pleasure of meeting in person – for all the work they did when I was so sick and unable to fulfill my contractual commitments with Tate Publishing. They stepped up and took over the corrections and final edits on two books. Their friendship, support and wonderful work gave me a chance to recover without the stress of trying to keep up with the writing side of things.

My Social Media following is growing surprisingly fast. The Facebook Fan page has had over 200 ‘likes’, and my Twitter following keeps growing by the day. How does that happen?

For those who are interested, my networking sites are listed below. Some are still in the development stage, but most are up and running.


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authordjstutley

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/profile/edit?trk=hb_tab_pro_top

Blog: https://stutleytales.wordpress.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DJStutley


Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/djstutley/

YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/embed/yEgWgHAkCZ4

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00A2CMB8A

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Good Monday Morning to you all :) Something thought-provoking to start the week.

Do less

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Here’s another Dr Lee story…

He stopped suddenly, pen poised ready to write. Then completely out of the blue, he asked, ‘Do you think change is good, or bad?’

I thought for a moment then said, ‘Bad.’


‘Because if nothing changed, everything would go along the same. Everyone would know where they stood at all times. Nothing would be a shock. If life was predictable, you’d know what to expect.’ I nodded, confirming what I’d voiced. ‘Change is bad.’

Dr Lee was silent for a moment, just looking at me. Finally he said, ‘Well I happen to think that change is good.’ He continued drawing up the chart he wanted me to fill in over the next week, tore the page off and handed it to me.

I was stunned. I don’t remember much of what we discussed after that, but all the way home I went over and over his words. If he thought change was good, then he must be right. But why would he think change is good? What was I missing?

Over the next week, I tried really hard to see how change could be good. At first I applied it to myself, and could see for the first time that I was changing. That was a shock. My whole thought process was changing. And it was good. I was doing things I never thought I would do. Going places that I never dreamed I would drive to. Wearing different colours. The more I thought about it, the more good I could see.

By being willing to change, I began substituting one behaviour/belief for another. I became less afraid, and more courageous. I became less timid and more bold. I became less inward looking and more outward focused.

Not all changes are good, I know that. But, yes… change can be good.


(c) DJ Stutley

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NaNoWriMo is over, thank goodness! Did I enjoy it? No. Do I regret doing it? No. Will I do it again? No. At least I don’t think I will :)

Winner-120x240I always wondered what it would be like to be a part of National November Writer’s Month, and now I know. This year instead of sitting back and reading everyone’s up-and-down stress and triumph stories, I decided it was time to try it out. I launched in with much enthusiasm and at about the half way mark, desperation kicked in. That’s when my writing went from readable to rubbish. By the end on NaNoWriMo, I hated the way I was writing. It made me feel terrible that I was churning out such rubbish just to make a word count target. 

The good thing about this last month, was that I wrote a number of scenes that belong in future books. The total word count for each of my YA fiction books is about 36,000. So I knew when I started the project that I would have a chance to start on some other ideas that have been tucked away for future use. This was a good way of making sure I reached my 50,000 word count for the month of November. So, God willing, I will have another two books in the Operation series in the coming years.

So, thank you NaNoWriMo for the experience.


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Good Monday Morning to you all :)

Last week I felt as though I was running on empty.  So far this year, I have had one operation and had another postponed till next year. I have seen a Doctor, Dentist, Orthodontist, Periodontist, Prosthodontist, Anesthetist, a Podiatrist Surgeon,  Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon, Neurosurgeon, Urological Surgeon, Haematologist, Neurologist, Naturopath and a Clinical Psychologist.  I’ve had an Ultra sound, Xray, MRI and a CT scan. I have successfully undergone EMDR therapy, had a malignant tumor removed and chemo treatment. 

It’s been quite a year. And as the end of 2012 approached, I was tired and down-hearted. I thought about giving up on many things. And then, out of the blue comes a pick-me-up from friends on the other side of the country…

photo-24I ducked out for a few minutes on Friday evening at about 7 pm, and returned home to find that a beautiful potted rose with a new bloom and a bud ready to open had been delivered. Something so simple had a profound affect on me. It was like being infused with encouragement and enthusiasm. I believe I can keep going. 

Thank you, my friends at Sunset Publishing: Darryl, Sue and Jean. 

No matter how bad things are, there is always some good to be found. And no matter how good things are, there is always something bad that must be faced. God has blessed me, and I feel like a winner!


(c) DJ Stutley

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Traditions passed down.

Having no extended family to share Christmas with, my mother set about creating our own Christmas traditions. Every year she filled our Christmas stockings with all kinds of goodies, trinkets and not-so-useful stuff. And always an apple in the top of the stocking.

This is something that I carried over with my own family. Every year I fill their stockings with some basics, like bodywash, toothbrush and toothpaste, chocolates, wooden spoons or other kitchen goodies for the girls, tape measures or something for the guys. And always in the top of the stocking was the best red apples that I painstakingly polished till I could see my face in them.

And every year, I heard the same complaints about having an apple in the top of the stocking.

So one year, I decided to give them an orange instead. Oh, boy… did that ever stir up a storm on Christmas morning! There was shocked exclamations of disbelief, and a chorus of ‘but where’s our apple?’

‘I thought you didn’t want apples,’ I said indignantly. ‘You always complained about them, so this year I gave you oranges.’

‘But that’s half the fun of getting an apple,’ I was told. I had totally misunderstood the grizzles and groans regarding the apples.

Christmas stockingSo I guess there are some family traditions that you just don’t mess with. And in our house, it’s the apples. Now everyone gets their apple on Christmas day, even the grandchildren. And if the little ones are too young for fresh apples, they have a jar of apple puree.

Now my children are scattered and have taken or will be taking their Christmas stockings with them, and we probably won’t have any more Christmas Day’s with everyone all together, but I can make a pretty good guess as to what will be in the top of their Christmas stockings where ever they are. My mother’s tradition of an apple in the top of the stocking will live on.


(c) DJ Stutley 2012

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My cute little picture book, It Doesn’t Matter, has now been made into a colouring book.

If anyone needs a Christmas stocking filler, the picture book is on sale in the US (and through me) for $10, and the colouring book is available through me for $5 plus postage.

colouring book

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Good Monday Morning to you all :)Accomplish your purpose

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