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

Friday, October 29, 2010

I ♥ Democracy (2)

If you recall, back in August I tried to do my political duty and vote in the federal election, and despite having done all the correct paperwork, when I rocked up at the polling booths on the day, I was sternly told that I wasn’t on the electoral roll for the Division of Bendigo. I then had to do much mucking around with more paperwork, and ended up filling in ballot papers for the Division of Port Melbourne instead. It was most disheartening.

Well, now I’ve received a letter from Australian Electoral Commission chastising me for voting in the wrong division (and hinting that I’m a fool / a vote rigger / unAustralian?). So despite all my civic eagerness, my Senate vote was counted, but unfortunately my House of Representatives vote was not.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

A study in tent-airing, with cats

I also got in 4.5 hours of flat out writing on a new story. It was a good day :-)

Saturday, October 23, 2010


My story 'Blame Games' will also appear in Antipodean SF, Issue 152, in February 2011, so it will eventually be available both online and in a book.

In honour of its admirable work ethic, it shall henceforth be known here at home as 'The Little Story that Could'.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Enough already with the faffing around - it's time to tauten those creative muscles and get a serious writing routine back up and running. It's amazing how one minute you're putting in Olympic style training hours, then you let it slide a bit, and a bit more, and then suddenly not much is happening, and you're just shoving words around, jotting insipid notes, Googling too much to see how other writers are faring, and rereading old stories and wondering how you managed to get so much done back then.

Back then, of course, you sat down every morning and wrote, idiot!

So I got in 3 hours of good writing today, and plan to do the same tomorrow and Wednesday morning. The should work off some of the brain flab that's been accumulating and reset my habits.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Let Me Think

This was good - atmospheric, scary, and respectful of the original though it explained more of the stuff that we enjoyed figuring out for ourselves,


this was better, mostly because the secondary characters around the children were more fleshed out and sympathetic, and provided a more textured community setting for the kids' actions. There was also more dark humour.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Monster Mash

I was going to bang on about me and my day, but this is so much better:

A Monstrous Manifesto
by Catherynne M Valente

If you are a monster, stand up.
If you are a monster, a trickster, a fiend,
If you’ve built a steam-powered wishing machine
If you have a secret, a dark past, a scheme,
If you kidnap maidens or dabble in dreams
Come stand by me.

If you have been broken, stand up.
If you have been broken, abandoned, alone
If you have been starving, a creature of bone
If you live in a tower, a dungeon, a throne
If you weep for wanting, to be held, to be known,
Come stand by me.

If you are a savage, stand up.
If you are a witch, a dark queen, a black knight,
If you are a mummer, a pixie, a sprite,
If you are a pirate, a tomcat, a wright,
If you swear by the moon and you fight the hard fight,
Come stand by me.

If you are a devil, stand up.
If you are a villain, a madman, a beast,
If you are a strowler, a prowler, a priest,
If you are a dragon come sit at our feast,
For we all have stripes, and we all have horns,
We all have scales, tails, manes, claws and thorns
And here in the dark is where new worlds are born.
Come stand by me.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Electric dreams

Living in a country town means you get to trial new technologies before they hit the big city.

So now, after months of receiving letters very firmly telling me to ready the house for the arrival of men with screwdrivers interspersed with letters profusely apologising for the non-show of said tradies ( 'It's not out fault', these letters wailed, 'That part of the process is outsourced to another, less competent than us, company.' ) my electricity Smart Meter, which I was not allowed to forcefully or politely decline and am absolutely forbidden to fiddle with, has finally been installed.

Here's hoping that the PTB's definition of the word smart and mine come from the same dictionary.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Spot the foal

So I went horse riding in the Wombat Forest with my sister today, and there were 2 foals* at the place where we go, both only a couple of weeks old, so I was going to take some excruciatingly cute baby pics of them to post here, but I ran out of time to traipse across the paddock, so instead I tried zooming in on them, which requires a very steady hand...

The result? I got lots of photos of grass and this:

Adorable, eh?

*Addendum: these were not planned pregnancies. Butch, the stallion, jumped the fence and made a night of it.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Lovely as

So the long, long days at the Arvo Job are finally over, and last night I saw The Tree.

Now it's time to get back to my bleak love story, a possible vamp tale (I've never written one before), the clash of alien cultures drama, and a big, messy SF saga that needs disciplining. Nice.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Silent Sunday

Today was quiet too. So perhaps ... maybe... dare I tentatively hope that my trials by doof-doof are over?

Seizing the [quiet] day, I got some writing done, and submitted 3 short stories and a poem. While looking around for new markets, I came across this advice in the submission guidelines for Theaker’s Quartely’:

Note also that if your story is published in TQF (or any other non-paying or low-paying magazine, for that matter) that will probably preclude it being sold at full price to any professional market later on. If you are making a career of writing, sometimes it's best to keep your work in the drawer. Even if it isn't in fashion right now, there may be a market for it ten years down the line.

A few of my stories are accumulating a serious number of rejections, and I’m running out of places to send them. They’re good stories (or so the rejecting editors have told me) all of which have been held for final consideration a number of times, some by pro publications, but they just can’t seem to find homes. I suppose this is what happens when you build up a large stable of stories. So perhaps I need to just relax and stash them away in a drawer, wait until the right opportunities come along and whip 'em out then.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

You just never know

Contrary to yesterday's extremely pessimistic expectations, today turned out to be a most productive and enjoyable day.

It was as quiet as, so I fired up the computer, did a few hours of so-so writing (a few hundred words of a sad (bleak?) love story and the overhauling of an amusing (?) poem that I'll send off tomorrow), made deadline plans for the rest of the month (finish four stories that possibly suit upcoming anthologies), and also fitted in a nice walk, reading (The Selected Works of TS Spivet by Reif Larsen - far too awkward a book to read while commuting) and domestic stuff like washing (still loving that I get to hang bedclothes out in the fresh air), baking (buttermilk scones, prune and walnut bread) cooking (a huge bean and vegie bake for portion freezing), and bonding with cats who are seriously cranky about me being away at the Arvo Job so much this fortnight.

Now to finish off with a spot of DVD watching. Dare I dream that I might get to write tomorrow too?


And the doof-doof goes on and on and on and on. Obviously officially complaining really helped.

I was hoping to get in a good weekend of writing to finish a few stories with impending deadlines, but it ain't looking good.

Friday, October 1, 2010

End of the Month Report: September

Submissions: 5
Rejections: 7
Acceptances: 2 (Hard Rubbish (SF) & Blame Games (SF))
Published: 0
Stories presently out: 5
Mood: Much WorldConning and Arvo Jobbing and horse riding do not a productive writer make.