Archive for October, 2009


Some people have asked “Do you really just sit around and write?” Well, yes, we do. And here it is documented below. Result of the evening: Pete = one novella finished; Angela = a 6000 word first draft, taking the collection up to 73k. Huzzah.



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This evening, I head to Write-Club at Pete’s place http://www.petermball.com/ – the real place, not the virtual one.

I am charged with the bringing of the essential choclit items (aka brain food – the literary equivalent of Thing Rings, making writers more productive and more able to either defeat or perpetrate evil, as is one’s wont). Pete is cooking, which is good – for I am lazy.

Today was one of my Friday writing at home days; I cleared about 1500 new words. Then I lay on the couch for about 3 hours and did research reading. I woke up last Saturday with this story idea in my head; I had a fairly srawny-looking skeleton, but I knew I liked the idea and I could flesh it out (feed it some carbs). I’ve typed up my notes, made more notes and scribbled a preliminary scene breakdown … I feel comfortable that the story, “Lavender and Lychgates”, will come out in the end.

But it’s this strange and frustrating place I’m in at the moment, where I’m still feeling my way, knocking on the doors and windows of the narrative, trying to find the best ways in and out; tapping on the walls and floor to see if there are any hollow spaces where words and story might hide. And the thing of which I keep reminding myself, the thing that keeps me grounded when I’m feeling lost, is this one question: what does this character want. The more I write, the more I become convinced that for a story to work properly, it must be grounded in an exploration of desire, want and need. Maybe that’s just me … it often is, let’s be honest.

But the coooooool thing about today is that tonight, I will crack the 70K mark on the short story collection, Sourdough and Other Stories. “Lavender and Lychgates”, is the second last one for the book. Then I just need to finalise a re-write of “Under the Mountain” and getthe whole schmeer off to my four beta-readers. And then it will be ready to go out into the world and make its fortune. I will, of course, be equipping it with all the traditional tools for this endeavour: a swag tied to a pole, a red cape with a hood, and magic beans. What could possibly go wrong?

Onward and upward.

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Opposite_coverCharlaine Harris (she of True Blood, etc – do I really need to write more?) has totally blogged Narelle M Harris’s The Opposite of Life in a very positive light:

An Australian publisher handed THE OPPOSITE OF LIFE to me at Bouchercon, and I began it with great interest. It’s certainly a most unusual vampire novel. Lissa Wilson, librarian, geek, and young woman about town, has a horrendous evening in a club when she opens a restroom door to find two dead girls. But that’s just the beginning of Lissa’s trials and tribulations. She seems to be the magnet for trouble. Even her attraction to a new man, Daniel, comes to an abrupt end when Daniel vanishes. Along the road of discovery about the underworld of her city, Lissa learns a lot about the people around her, and even more about herself. She’s a wonderful character; not because she’s an heroic supergirl, but because she rings true. If you can get this book, do. It’s really a refreshing take on a common theme. (http://www.charlaineharris.com/bb/bb_current.html)

Squeeeeeeeeeeeeee! The Opposite of Life was one of the first books out of lovely Brisbane independent Pulp Fiction Press, so this is a fantastic result. I know precisely how much work goes into their books – Ron and Diane produce books to be proud of and are wonderful editors and crafters of the fiction they take on – and I don’t just say this coz I’m one of their ‘flensers’. Writers are very, very lucky to get taken on by a small press with such high values and with editors who damn well know their stuff – especially considering how many of the bigger publishers seem to be regarding the editing and proofreading phases of their job as “optional”. Oooops, did I slip into a rant? Well, it happens.


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Overheard from one area of the office not five minutes ago: “Okay, we finish writing this and then we give it to the Eviscerator over there” (accompanied by a thumb-jerked-in-my-general-direction gesture).

This makes me kind of proud … but, no, I do not get to wear a cape and top hat while giving an evil “Bwahahahahaha” laugh as I go about editing and twirling my moustache. Although …

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For me it’s Dracula – Bram Stoker’s original book, unabridged.

Some people far more talented and scary than I confess their fears here at The Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/27/AR2009102703745.html

Anne Rice: I would say M.R. James’s story “Count Magnus.” That evil could be so easily roused and so relentless in its pursuit of the innocent who stumbled on to it, that terrifies me. But then many of James’s stories are terrifying.

China Miéville: “Sredni Vashtar,” by Saki (H.H. Munro), is a remorseless depiction of stifling, brutal familial cruelty, with a resolution simultaneously satisfying, horrifying, restrainedly implied and overtly macabre. It’s a quite brilliant and terrifying piece of work.

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There are always casualties … this pair caused most of them.brains







Do not render aid.

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From Chuck Wendig over at TERRIBLEMINDS – on writer’s block, bullshit and slugabeds. I loves me a good rant.

Writer’s Block Is For Hippies And Slugabeds

Fun with Phrenology One simply cannot have enough opportunities to use the word “slugabed.”


Theory: Writer’s Block is bullshit.

Go ahead. Pickle in that for a few minutes. Let the brine seep into all your holes. All of ‘em.

Read the rest here http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2009/10/28/writers-block-is-for-hippies-and-slugabeds/

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