The loss of a little friend and the new poem

I would put last week as one of the lowest I experienced.

I had to watch as a little feathered friend of mine fade away and finally on the morning of the 22nd of August 2014 he died.

Some might think that why is she going on about a bird? A mere animal?

Well, he might have been an animal, might have been a bird, but he was my best little friend. He never judged me, never hated me and only had laughter, sunshine and happiness to share.

Now, every time I enter the room where I kept him with his fellow feathered friends during the winter months, I won’t be greeted by the bobbing little head, the off key whistling (he was horrible at that! made up his own tunes) and dancing. I would never be able to scratch his head or look into his eyes again…that’s what I will miss. The silence all that’s left after his departure from this world is palatable.

I still cry, I still feel raw at every thought and just talking about him.

I had him since he was 2 weeks old, abandoned by his own kind and close to starvation. I stayed up at night giving midnight feeds, worried he wasn’t warm enough, getting out of bed every few minutes when all goes quiet. As a fledgling, he terrorized me while I worked on the computer, owning the keyboard and trying to distract me into doing more important things like feeding his constant hunger and helping him groom himself.

for 7 and a half years he was my joy, my best little friend, the oldest of my animal children.

I think I will miss him the most and no other cockatiel would ever replace the memories, the love and the fun times Peanut and I shared.

I wrote a poem – just for him. Think it foolish or think whatever you would like. To me he was worth every single word. Rest in Peace, Peanut.



I said my goodbyes,

I had one last cry.

Holding you in my hands,

I felt your little life slowly slip away.

I whispered that you should just let it go,

and not suffer so.

If the burden of this life is too much for you.

While secretly I hoped that you would get better

and stay with me.

But the pain was too much for you,

I could see it in your eyes,

as you looked up to me.

And at midnight you just let it go

and gave up on life.

Leaving this world for another I am sure.

Silently I would cry for you,

as I remember the day our paths first crossed.

Half starved, still a baby bird you were,

I loved you right then and there.

I cared, I raised you,

and what a happy, crazy little boy you turned out to be!

Seven and a half years have come and gone,

our bond were stronger still.

You were merely not just a bird,

but the best friend I have ever had!


2014 – T. Vermaak


The Horrors of Writing or Just Poor Planning and Ideas?

No one said it would be easy. I know that from the get go. I accept and embrace it in my humble quest to become a writer of emotional and touching poetry, of intriguing historic and contemporary romance novels (yes, I do still believe in true love, though I live the single life and had one too many heartbreaks to try and attempt my own love story anytime soon – that in its own is another boring story), a creator of fantasy worlds in both the paranormal and everyday worlds of fantasy created by the imagination – my overly so one in particular!
Characters you love and hate or just love to hate or hate to admit that you actually love. Journeys of self discovery, of the good vanquishing evil or the bad set out for total world domination and epic adventures that will sweep you into their depths and carry you away with them.

Not too much to wish for where one’s writing is concerned…or is it?
As can be seen from the above, I chose Romance, Paranormal and other forms of Fantasy(High, Epic and Myth) as well as poetry are my escapes from this crazy world. I cannot close my eyes and go: ‘Eeny…meeny…miney…moh!’ and blindly choose just one. They are what I’m interested in and I’m afraid the genre’s I have the most interest and a vast collection of books of. I know my limits and won’t attempt a crime fiction with forensic elements within it – even though I like reading them, I won’t, for the greater good of this world, attempt them.
Variety, they say, is the spice of life. And variety is what a Gemini child like myself requires to function, not to get bored and wither away into nothingness.

As I have mentioned in the groups before, I’m currently reading and studying my chosen genre’s via the very informative (and someone expensive) books I purchased a few months back. I need an in depth look at Paranormal, Romance and Fantasy fiction to make my writings the best they possibly can be without making myself out to look the fool.
A thing it seems that have given rise to a new set of doubts within me. The deeper I dwell into these books, the more I learn and the more I see the boo boo’s I make.
Reading what a true Paranormal novel entails, the various choices you have concerning the romance world is eye opening and daunting all at the same time.

I’m going to say this once, I think I must… writing genre specific fiction, whether it be Horror, Fantasy, Romance, Crime, and so forth, it is wise to invest in a book or books that gives you the in’s and out’s of it all. Know what and what not to do – to be the best at the type of writing you do. It is after all a life long thing, a life time investment in what you love.
I know most might not be able to afford these books, but there are other options. Google about your genre, read and devour all you can lay your hands on. There are lots of free articles for writers to use.
That would be my advice to any new writers or any person thinking about writing or writing already.

The main aim of this blog is that at this very moment, I feel a bit hopeless…really not in the mood to continue with the rewrite of Immortal Remains, a paranormal novel about a girl rediscovering her past, searching for answers while being hunted by evil. Evil she needs to eliminate for good and for the continued existence of her immortal bloodline.
I’m currently studying “Writing the Paranormal Novel” and I just finished chapter 2 “Elements and Elementals” which deals with ideas, where you get them, various paranormal / supernatural elements, creatures and characters, what to do and what not to do, etc. And I have realized yet again, with a flash of nausea threatening to overpower me, that I have WAY TOO MANY of these supernatural / paranormal characters running around in the story. As the chapter said; “Rather have one or two paranormal elements than having too many. The more you have the less you have to write about each one of them.”

This is just to give you all an idea of how ridiculous my book is starting to seem to me right now. How many characters (though all interesting they may be) there currently is:

2 x Immortals: one being my lead character Ahrian and the other is the first of their kind, her ancestor.
2 x Lycan (werewolf) packs – One is under the comand of the Lycan Prince, Beltran Cerveaux (Ahrian’s brother is also a werewolf) and the other follows the charming Pietro Zarobetti.
1 x renegade group of Lycans under the command of Barius Cerveaux – yeah, he’s Beltran’s not all that friendly or nice twin.
1 x pshycopathic shape shifter who is the lapdog of the villain
1 x deranged and sadistic vampire called Nathanael.
1 x Witch (though she doesn’t do much in the story)
The Gorgoi – a horde of ruthless, mindless, semi blind and blood thirsty minions that hunts the main character and works for the vampire
The Collectors – half serpent and half man, they are the spawn of hell itself. fighters and killers for hire to one who pays the hefty price and controlled by a Necromancer.

YEAH, I REALLY DON’T KNOW EITHER. This is where the poor planning and ideas part of my title comes into play.
This is one of those ‘I didnt plan, just wrote as it gushed forth from me.’ types. And I have read somewhere some writers sometimes write without planning…though I now see the need of planning. IT MAKES IT ALL SO MUCH EASIER MINUS THE GREY HAIRS, WRINKLES AND PARANOIA.

If I do finish my rewrite (I did finish the first draft of the book and now I’m rewriting it all as it sounded so bland with the exact same characters).
Do I take a deep and calming breath, finish the last chapters of rewrite and shove it in the deepest, darkest drawer of my desk, lock it and hide the key and forget about it while I work on my other ideas (this time with proper planing and development) and then after a decade (maybe not so long but at least a month) come back, analize and swoop in like the grim reaper with scythe and eliminate one or two that I can use in maybe Anthony’s (immortal ancestor) or Quinn’s (her werewolf brother) story. The latter seems ideal as he has no love for the renegades or their leader.

The main thing that is bothering me in my book is that the villain gets very little exposure. Nathanael Blackmoore is such a character you love to hate, a vampire vain and evil and who deserves more than a mention or two or a scene here and there. It’s not right!

This is not another Sookie Stackhouse mystery (True Blood for those of you who don’t know the books it originates from) that’s got vampires, werewolves, fairies, shifters and what not all jammed into it. huh uh!
I will from now on follow the example of one of my favorite series, The Originals and use only two to three supernatural elements (they have vampires, werewolves and witches). Oh, and by the way…Elijah Mikkelson is by far the BEST EVER vampire. An example of how all vampires should be like…*drooly face*

It is sad, but true, my plan of finally finishing and getting Immortal Remains out there by the end of August 2014 is a no go. Cutting those characters means I have to fill the gaps they leave and carefully re-stitch the whole fabric of my book. *sigh*

Sometimes in life, this whole thing…this journey makes me wonder why I ever chose writing in the first place. I know the reason, or parts of it, but one thing I know for a fact is that this sometimes dull and gloom filled live would be very predictably boring without the means to escape from it – even for a while.

I will leave you all now…my rant over and feeling a tiny minuscule smudge better. Time to pull up my stockings (lol) and cull out the darlings and maybe give them a 2nd chance in a tale that is more worthy of their expertise.

Now I need a cup of strong coffee and a bit of a break to face this rising mountain in front of me…

Camp Nanowrimo is here and it gave me new hope

It’s been a while…

yeah, I know. Depression and lack of encouragement and self belief had a hold on me again. And not for the first time either. This time, however, were the worst. I felt hopeless – empty – a failure and a fake. I was no longer the writer but the dreamer who only have dreams of writing. I fought against it, struggled to get to my knees then fell down again as soon as a fresh onslaught of doubt assailed me. 

I almost slid down the hill completely. Down into that dark abyss where words were a mere myth, where my worlds – my characters and my stories didn’t exist.  I felt like my stories were not worth telling.

just thinking about giving up writing for good makes me shudder. How could I sink that low? And how am I going to get out of this one?

I almost forgot about these camp nanowrimo’s and up until I saw the facebook post about it being that time again I was oblivious to everything. Until I saw those words…”Camp nanowrimo starts next Tuesday! Are you ready..?”  I didn’t have to think too hard on it as I’ve already decided (back in April when I tried the camp nano but failed) that I would do this one. I stuck to my word and without much hesitation I started preparing what I would do for my nanowrimo. This also seemed to be the sign I needed. That encouraging factor to get me writing again – to finish my rewrite and focus on a new project. There now…I had my answer! I had my opportunity to bounce back and get back into what I love most in this life -writing!

Sharing with everyone that I was about to do two projects – a combination of 60, 000 words in 31 days would force me to write everyday, not to show them I’m all mouth and no action. I have to step up and do it no matter what. 

And here it is…

The first day of nanowrimo and the first day of getting back up, climbing that ladder and getting back the writer I was – the writer I’m meant to be.



Poetry Jam #3 – Tears

Hello everyone 🙂

Here I am yet again with another new poem to share with you all.

Wrote this one last night after listening to a Daughtry song.  I can’t remember the exact title of the song though, but one word stuck with me throughout and inspired this poem, and that word was – tears.

Now, I do get my inspiration for my poems from everywhere and this one is no exception. It is however very rare for me to be inspired by a song, especially one from one of my favorite bands in the world.

Unlike my previous two poems that just magically jumped from my mind without much thought, this one needed a bit of extra gentle nudging in the right direction.

So here it is, simply titled ‘Tears’. Enjoy!



Tears are all that is left within.

The remains of a broken heart,

a battered spirit wronged.

Tears are all that lingers.

In an empty shell,

a human being that once longed.

Tears are all that comes forth.

The only emotion shown,

the only feeling known.

Tears the only means of release,

of the pain and emptiness

reflected by eyes haunted

by sadness and despair.

Tears trailing down cheek,

wiped away in haste

to hide from the world,

the broken down soul within.


(c) T. Vermaak – 2014


Poetry Jam #2 – The Life

I’m back….. 🙂

the following poem came to me suddenly and out of the blue, in a bit if a depressed state. With the passing of my only brother so many years ago still haunting me and a touchy subject, this poem sprung forth when I glanced at a picture I had of him. A mere thought of him and the following line popped into my head ‘Heaven called out your name’ and soon the rest followed.

I call this poem The Life.


The Life

Heaven called out your name,
in a hushed whisper.
Your time on earth
very close to an end.
The angels watched
from way up above,
as you made your way
through the remaining days.
As the grains in your hourglass
slipped by in silence.
And the unsuspecting hour
shadowed closer,
As the reaper comes
to collect the soul
in that human vessel

Your last breath,
eyes focused on the distance,
a hushed whisper,
your final words they held.
As you bid this world,
this mortal life a last farewell.


(c) T. Vermaak 2014

First Poetry Jam – Release

Welcome to Poetry Jam, a new idea I got where I could share a new poem or two with the world. Of course I had to create a category to keep this and my other normal posts apart and Poetry Jam popped into mind. please know that these poems are copyrighted and belongs to the author – that’s me. 😛

I hope you all like my poems. They are a special part of me brought forth in those hazy moments when reality is pushed aside and another mystical, unexplored realm comes forth.

The first poem I will be sharing is Release in its ‘infancy’ stage as it can be re written at any given day if it feels it needs to ‘talk’ to me some more.




I allow myself to dream,

to be in a state of the unknown.

I allow myself to wonder,

and to realize that I am all alone.

Walking in the shadows,

lingering in the past,

there is no way to know

how long this feeling will last.

I walk to find freedom,

a release from the chains

that binds me to this man made kingdom,

to free myself from pain.

A hard fought journey

never to be claimed,

and yet to remain unnamed.


(c) Tanja Vermaak 2014

all rights reserved

It’s been a long time…

I’ts been a few months since I decided to give a go at this blog thing again. This being my 2nd post this year…shameful!

oh, well. I do what I can when I feel like doing it.

We are already in April and it seems like 2014 is flying by faster than you can blink. It’s as though time itself is competing with Superman to see who can reach the end first. The air is getting colder too and early mornings a hassle if you need to get up at the crack of dawn to prepare for your work day. The trees already are changing their wardrobe, flashing their yellows and orange tints. Later on the reds and browns will appear and then you know, Autumn is in full swing. Not long after that they will be bare of any covering, gnarled branches reaching up as though seeking solace from the impending cold.

Winter in South-Africa, is just around the corner. Time for snuggling underneath the blankets, dressing up warmly and eating soup and drinking hot drinks to drive away the numbing cold eating away at your bones. A horrible time to be writing I think as your fingers don’t take kindly to their exposed surroundings while typing – thank goodness for those “Half” gloves, making typing more bearable.

I don’t have anything against winter, really. I was born in winter so naturally I am a winter baby and can handle it better. It’s only a mere 3 months over here and not all that bad.

The cold and looming winter aside, writing is going as it always does…slowly with a hint of frustration and a spark of that still flickering determination that has it’s good and bad days. I’m not complaining. I can still say I am writing, which is the important thing here. Though, not as productively or regularly as I claimed I would do in the beginning of this year (you just have to see my first blog post to know what I am talking about), but there is something which is better than nothing at all.

I’m busy with formatting and cover designs for my poetry books which I had published on Smashwords. Shadows from the soul and In swart op wit (In black on white) – now named Seisoen (Seasons). I have added extra bits of poetry I didn’t put in the first publication and made it all pretty to republish on Smashwords and to print a few copies for myself, family and some very special friends. And as always, my poetry – or at least my first two books will remain free for others, to hopefully, enjoy as much as I did writing it.

I have a third poetry book that is coming on nicely, Shattered Souls, with some new poems that I really like a lot. Unlike the previous two poetry books, this collection shows a bit more promise and with a bit more practice in writing them, I know I have grown since writing my first and still favorite poem, Immortal Beloved.  In the seven years I’ve been writing poetry, I’ve written over 110 poems (that includes three liners to a whopping 32 line poems).

As for my books, I have finished a mini last-minute-edit on a romance novel Vir nou en altyd (Now and Forever) which I hope to send off – the traditional way – soon. If that turns out to be an epic failure I will just do a self pub. One has to try the traditional route as you never know what might come of it unless you do.

Immortal Remains, my Paranormal fantasy/urban fantasy is also nearing the end of its rewrite and by the looks of things its going to lead to another! *groan inwardly* some characters think its hilarious to bombard me with new bits of conversation which alters certain parts of the story.

it was one of my characters, Quinn McLaughlin, brother of my leading lady Ahrian, who had a secret regarding their ancestor which he felt needed to be told. So that again needs to be worked in.

I also finally know what the cover must look like after months of debating and designing my own mock covers to see what works. I just need to get the images and then I’m set to design it myself. though some images are harder to come by, if I can’t get what I want, I do have an alternative cover idea (similar to first) in mind that might work the same.


and that for now is going to be my post.

not that anyone reads my blog posts anyway….
Its meant for the flies and the cyber ghosts out there.


Goodbye to the old and hello to the new

This post was originally intended for the 31st of December 2013…internet yet again acted up on me. Though, with internet as it is these days, today is a good day as any to get it out there. Also, to get going again with one of my new year’s resolutions – blogging (the list I will mention a bit later on in the post).

We said goodbye to 2013 a mere 3 days ago and welcomed 2014 – which funny enough is being dubbed ’20-4-me’ in South-Africa. Meaning that 2014 is the year you make your own. Where you put your own brand on it.  Together with the new year we embrace all the potential it holds, we hope that it may be a better year than the previous with a fresh new list of goals and a brand new outlook on life to keep us motivated. I know that it is on my mind and I’m sure many others feel the same way after the year they have had back in 2013.

Together with your new set of goals you have yet again had the privilege to witness a new year being born, you also have been given another chance, another moment longer on this earth. That is why I think new year’s resolutions are there for. A clean slate to make a worth wile difference in not only your life, but hopefully in other lives as well.

The start f 2014 saw something rarely seen on a new years day, a new moon. A clear sign that this year ought to be special in whichever direction you wish to take it to and what you make of it.

as mentioned above, one of my new year’s resolutions is to blog again. One of my previous resolutions I didn’t quite live up to. And if I didn’t see the articles about why it is good for a writer to have a blog, then I guess, it would have faded into the background. This year however I plan to give a bit more effort to it. So, I plan to blog at least once a week or once ever second week even.

here are the others:

* Learn to work with a proper schedule!

I need to do better planning and schedule all the things I intend to do this year. from a day to day and week to week basis. This is important if I plan on achieving most if not all of my goals.

* Finish my Creative Writing course!

I seriously need to go and renew my course and get going again. I WANT THAT DIPLOMA…no matter what.

* Write 7 more stories/novels this year…

This might seem like a tough one or biting off more than I can chew. Even I realize it! However, seeing as I have participated in the 2013 NaNoWriMo and completed it, I know I can achieve whatever I set my mind to. Two of the planned novels are 45,000 words in length (apply the Nano style here and I will get it), two are about 60,000 words and two are 80,00 +, the seventh one I couldn’t just leave out as I got the idea during nano. So, if time permits I will write it or replace one of the others with it.  The most important part here is getting the ideas on paper and writing the first draft.

* Be more patient and continue believing in myself

Having had issues with low self esteem for most of my life, last year I had many bouts of it which nearly caused me to pull out from the writing world completely. It got so bad I started scaring myself. So this year I will nurture my self belief and not back down and seek the easy way out. Also, learning to be a bit more patient at times – it will do me a world of good! 🙂

* Get back into my language studies

I might never be able to travel the world one day  (that’s the realist in me airing her opinion again), and even though the dream of myself living in Italy in my little villa overlooking the picturesque Tuscan landscape (I see this all the time in my head) one cannot give up hope or never say never right? (Optimist here…) I always loved languages and being able to understand and speak a few wouldn’t do any harm. I absolutely love languages and the more you understand the broader your horizons will be. So, take an hour or half an hour every day and just listen and learn.

* Venture out and test my boundaries on every level.

I won’t know what I am capable of if I don’t try. That little word TRY makes the difference.

* Send in my finished Romance novels for publication.

Hey, I have been told this before and I intend on doing it. Sending in to the local publishers and to Mills and Boon which I have been dreaming of seeing my name in print with them for the last ten years or so. This year it happens and if they reject, I will keep at it until my options have been spent and self publication my last resort in that genre.

* Lose weight, be more active and healthy.

This is the most important of new years resolutions as in the last two years my health and weight spun out of control. I am at my biggest now, uncomfortable, feeling like a 80 year old instead of the 30 year old that I am. So, my aim is to lose 20 kilograms (more would be amazing but I am setting a low target for now as saying 56 kg’s would be too daunting.  Cut the sugar, cut the fats and red meats as I aim to gradually ease myself into vegetarianism. Exercise more and just plain old working my backside off. This too will become a blog diary at some point.

There are many other goals, but sharing them will take forever. 🙂

I will leave you with the following:

“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” Oprah Winfrey

“Another fresh new year is here . . .
Another year to live!
To banish worry, doubt, and fear,
To love and laugh and give!

This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest . . .
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!

I have the opportunity
Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
And sing more joyful songs!”
― William Arthur Ward

may they inspire you as they do me. happy 2014 and may all your dreams, your goals and desires be fulfilled as we say goodbye to the old and hello to the new!