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Archive for May, 2010

… comes courtesy of the very talented L.L. Hannett.

This is  mock-up of the cover for my collection with the awesome Ticonderoga Publications, The Girl With No Hands & Other Tales.

Made of win. *Snoopy dance*

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FableCroft’s upcoming anthology, Worlds Next Door, comes with access to teaching materials – which makes sense seeing as it’s an anthology for school-age children. Details are here: http://worldsnextdoor.wordpress.com/

A brilliant new collection of speculative fiction stories for 9-13 year olds. Worlds Next Door has its own website containing lesson plans and ideas, free downloads of individual stories, podcasts and lots of other great material for use in the classroom.

There are worlds where ships take travellers through space like taxis. Worlds where your worst nightmare destroys your greatest dreams. Worlds where magic makes the rules.
What you have here is not a book, but a key to worlds that exist under your bed, in your cupboard, in the dark of night when you’re sure you’re being watched. what you have is a passport to the worlds next door.

Containing 25 bite-sized stories by Australian authors including Paul Collins, Michael Pryor, Pamela Freeman, Dirk Flinthart, Tansy Rayner Roberts and Jenny Blackford, Worlds Next Door is perfect for the budding reader. For more information, visit the Worlds Next Door.

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I was interested to see this post over at Twelfth Planet Press http://twelfthplanet.livejournal.com/12338.html on author bios (via Bibliophile Stalker).

Last week I was teaching this in my class, trying to emphasise the importance of having a few standard bios handy – because, trust me, you will be asked for one. Newbie authors say “Oh, but I haven’t had anything published/accepted – what’s the point?” Well, the point is that you will be asked, then you will go “Gak! Argh! What the hell do I say?”

I have author bios up to my ears and I still say “Gak! Argh! What the hell do I say?”

I reckon all authors should have three basic ones upon which one can build – a 10 worder, a 25’er, and a decent 100 worder. Once you get the basic info down, you can add and subtract and update as and when required. Be prepared and that way you won’t find yourself maundering on about how many cats you have …

Not that there’s anything wrong with cats … but unless they do your writing for you, a reader doesn’t necessarily need to know … and if your cat is doing your writing, then you’ve got a whole other series of problems. I’m just saying.

funny pictures of cats with captions

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The Queen herself, Kim Wilkins, is teaching for QWC again. All hail!

There’s the Express Year of the Novel, the Year of the Edit and the Year of the Novel Online (YONline 3). The first two are members only courses, but the third can be done by anyone, anywhere, with access to t’internet.

Go here for a look-see http://www.qwc.asn.au/Shop/List/1.aspx

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… by Maggie Stiefvater (via Tansy Rayner Roberts). I like this post because it’s sensible and it puts responsibility for the writing, or lack thereof, squarely where it belongs – with the writer. Even if you don’t have kids, you can still find ways to waste time and make excuses for not writing (“Mmmmm, what’s that? Oh, yes, I will get to that chapter in a mo, but the bathroom desperately needs to be decorated with a mosaic referencing those of the baths of Herculaneun. Oh, yes, it must be done.”)

So back when I asked people what they’d like to hear me post about, I got a ton of a requests for a post about time management. The thing is, I feel a little weird about posting about it, because I don’t feel like an expert. An expert is someone who knows how to do something well, who makes it look effortless, and me. . . well, I could’ve had this post finished twenty minutes ago, but I got distracted watching Sponge Bob Square Pants while drinking my breakfast tea.
The rest lives here http://m-stiefvater.livejournal.com/159357.html

So basically, this: I don’t feel qualified as an expert. Time management is still something that I constantly have to work at — it’s not like washing dishes, which I’m perfectly certain I can accomplish. It’s more like writing, where each day is a new project I’m not sure I can pull off.

I think I get a lot done. But I don’t think it’s easy for me. I think that’s the best way to put it. I can joke about it being about caffeine and cookie dough or an inability to sit still, but what it comes down to is: it’s hard. I have to work at it. Anyone who thinks otherwise will be let down.

With that said, here are my basic principles of time management.

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I am so proud to be able to show this off – this will be the cover illustration for Sourdough & Other Stories. Rosalie and Ray from Tartarus Press approached Stephen Clark (http://www.thesinginggarden.co.uk/) about doing this and I’m pleased to say that I am both delighted and completely creeped out by the result:

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… or, as we call it, cupcake o’clock, was a Kobo …

And yes, it’s pretty. It’s cute. It’s slim and attractive. I might even be tempted to take it out for a drink if it could hold forth intelligently on matters of re-loading fairytales and shoe purchasing.

But, as I whispered to it just before I handed it back to its mother, “I’m sorry, but you don’t feel right. You don’t smell right either … no eau de paper or ink.”

Then again, I suppose the scribe who stylused Hammurabi’s Code would have looked at a paper-based manuscript from the Middle Ages, hugged his clay tablet to his chest and muttered “It’ll never take – paper? Honestly, it’s sooooo Egyptian. Why, papyrus has only one use that’s wiping one’s …”

Well, you get the picture.

*Luddite*

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