"I'm just going to write because I can't help it."- Charlotte Brontë

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

End of the Month Report: June

Submissions: 2 , both BIG fantasy stories.
Rejections: 4
Acceptances: 0
Published: 0
Stories presently out: 10
Mood: Resigned to the usual mid-year slump and glad it is almost time to temporarily abandon the Arvo Job and partake of my Annual July Winter Writing Holiday, for my creative batteries are sorely in need of recharging.

Monday, June 28, 2010


I'm still #1 in the footy tips at the Arvo Job. Not only that, but the gap between my closest rival and myself has widened to 4 points.

And I still don't know what I'm doing!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Lots of lists

Once more exploring the Goldfields Region of Central Victoria and intrepidly heading off in a new direction, today’s journey took us past horses and sheep and paddocks and spectacular trees until we arrived at the town of Shepparton.

Of particular genre interest in Shep was the art exhibition Moooving Art which includes these examples of psychedelic livestock influenced by speculative fiction. Behold Moomaid, Spidercow and Shrekcow.

On a different journey, after cruising the spec fic sites and blogs, I've discovered that I’m on another eligible-for-the-Ditmars list. Alas, however, I did not make it onto this definitive list of Aussie speculative fiction writers, so I suppose I’d better send them the email equivalent of me in lady-of-the-night streetwalking gear waving my arms and shouting “Yoo-hoo, I’m over here.” This business does not favour shrinking violets.

I did, however, love this list over on Ben Payne’s blog last week:

Catching up on my small press reading for the year.
Here's my list of what's come out so far:

Antipodean SF Jan-June
The Tangled Bank anthology
Scary Kisses anthology
Belong anthology
ASIM #43
Aurealis #43
Legends of Australian Fantasy (not small press but should be on the list- only just realised this was new stories! How exciting!
Ticonderoga Online January
Moonlight Tuber #1
Simon Petrie's collection - Rare Unsigned Copy (any new stories in this?)
Rjurik Davidson collection - The Library of Forgotten Books (PS Publishing)

Why do I love this particular list? Because this is a list that finally makes me look good. I have a total of four stories stashed away amongst those publications (Useful Stuff / Paradigm Shift / Nullipara / A Sweet Story).

And that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Feast or famine

So an email notified me that as an AHWA member, my free PDF copy of Midnight Echo #4 was ready for downloading.

Then, in my letterbox, I found Aurealis #43.

So I'm right for Aussie short stories at the moment.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Yay, Julia!

That I should live to see an unmarried, childless, feminist, atheist, red-headed woman become the Prime Minister of Blokesland no matter what the circumstances … well, I’m gob smacked. Congratulations, Ms Julia Gillard. You go, girl!

Of less amazingness is the news that editormum has used the 2009 Aurealis nominations to create a list of stories eligible for Ditmar nominations , and that two of my stories - The Six Solvers and the Mystery of the Sad Boy and Traitor - are on it.

The words snowball and Hell come to mind, but it’s nice to be included.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Nice Day in the City

Some days just come together nicely. Yesterday, we arrived 15.45 at the Melbourne Museum for Titanic: The Artefact Exhibition, more or less reconciled to the fact that we might not get in (it’s a timed-ticket show), but despite the crowds, we got places for the 16.30 slot.

So we sauntered amongst the museum’s dinosaurs for half an hour before picking up our boarding passes – I was Mrs Thomas Potter, Jr. (Lily Alexenia Wilson) from Pennsylvania, a first class passenger, aged 56, accompanied by my daughter Olive and Olive’s school friend Margaret Hays. At the end of the exhibition, everyone was encouraged to ascertain whether they had survived or not. The exhibition quite effectively recreated another age and a more genteel way of life (for the rich, at least) then capped it with the terrible tragedy and somber displays about the recovery of the sunken liner, all of which made turning the final corner and stepping into the bright glare and acquisitive bustle of the gift shop a dreadful experience. Perhaps it’s just me, but I’d rather not see novelty ice cube shapes and Titanic together on a product label.

After, as we made our way towards the Arts Centre, we had no sooner decided that we should grab something to eat than a brochure wielding girl skipped up to us and ushered us down a narrow arcade to a small restaurant full of Asian students, cheap tables, plastic cups, great service and Szechwan food so delicious that I’m still regretting that I couldn’t eat all of mine. I would have shamelessly asked for a doggy bag if I’d had something besides a handbag to stow it in.
Then it was time for the ballet. Earlier in the week, I was lucky enough to secure tickets in the stalls for Coppélia. As is usual with the fairytale classics, there were lots of rapt little girls in the audience, most wearing sparkly headbands and flouncy dresses, each one a potential tiara wearing ballerina of the future.

The only blot on the day was the World Cup racket from roving bands of vuvuzela "players" that we ran into afterwards as we headed back to the car. For the record, I heartily endorse any efforts to rid the world of vuvuzelas. If there’s a petition somewhere that I can sign, just let me know.

Friday, June 18, 2010

I'm Number One ...

... in the footy tips at the Arvo Job.

I don't have a clue how it happened as I don't follow the footy (or the World Cup or golf or [insert sport of choice]) or even vaguely know what I'm doing (my technique is based on patterns and gut feelings). I'm in it because it's a free to enter, workplace morale booster and there are cash prizes at the end. Something for nothing (possibly) is a pretty good investment.

Anyway, I just thought I'd report this fact before I plummet from the heady heights of footy grace back down to the temporal plane below.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Galton revisited

I came home to some good writing news - but more about that when (if) it pans out.

Apart from that, my life was made easier today by the totally scientific discovery that, among other things:
-having high cheekbones means you're ambitious and commanding.
-a narrow nose means you're witty and engaging.
-a protruding breastbone means you desire to gain recognition.

Add that kind of information to the data extracted from a person's star sign and you have some pretty powerful knowledge about them at your disposal. HR departments all over the country are probably scrambling to incorporate these insights into their personnel assessments even as I write this.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Decorous dragons and daring deeds

I pray, ladies and gentlemen, do not endeavour to tempt me with volumes that feature hordes of undisciplined undead slaying the landed gentry in their country estates, for I will coolly rebuff you. I consider lady writers such as Miss Austen and the assorted Brontë sisters, if the qualities of their creations in any way reflect the temperaments of those who so skillfully shaped them, to be women of subtle wit and stout character, and so I cherish their literary efforts too much to risk sullying any future readings of Jane Eyre or Pride and Prejudice with unbidden images of fanged fiends and woolly werewolves leaping out at me from between their most well-constructed lines.

That said, I am not in the least averse to a spot of speculative fiction that is liberally salted with Regency manners and peppered with scathing indictments against Napoleon. Indeed, as proof of my pro-Georgian leanings, I submit that I have just finished Empire of Ivory, another novel by that highly esteemed lady writer Naomi Novik, featuring Temeraire, a most remarkable dragon, and his dear captain, William Laurence. This time, the well-mannered and wide-ranging pair journeyed to Africa. Suffice to say, along the way, they encountered ethical dilemmas, endured all manner of physical hardships, bravely battled fearsome foes, and resisted the common prejudices of their times, all whilst keeping themselves impeccably groomed and verbally decorous.

Alas, however, this particular adventure is now over, and I can but metaphorically clasp the closed book to my bosom (for I have already returned said tome to the library from whence it came) and pray that I shall soon be reunited with Captain Laurence and Temeraire, for I fear for their safety and would know their further fates.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Castles and Computers

There was nowhere I had to be this weekend, so once the domestic stuff was done, I pulled up the drawbridge, loaded the trebuchet, baked a cake to keep me fortified, cranked up ye olde medieval computer and pulled out a couple of dusty files (a.k.a. Big Projects, one of which is my YOSF&F novel) and set to work.

It was nice.

Now I have to get my head back into the "Real World" because I've got an early start at the Arvo Job tomorrow.