Wednesday, June 16, 2010

This is just funny

From a male POV...

As is my want, I have continued to read other writer's blogs which has led me to find a very funny passage in a very old book - which persuaded me to break my silence and post it here for all of you to enjoy.

Over on Aaron's blog, he talks about KV Taylor's The Red Penny Papers, so I followed the link and read the submission guidelines. Being a closet writer, I sought out some old Penny Dreadfuls to refresh my imagination on the type of thing Katey is after and to see if any synapses misfired and caused an idea to come into being.

This led me to find Wikipedia's reference to The Monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis as an example of pulp fiction in the tradition of the Penny Dreadful.

Within this whimsical, and somewhat over-written rehash of Romeo and Juliet (this is how it is coming across to me at the moment, I'm only working my way through chapter one), I found this priceless paragraph:

Now Antonia had observed the air, with which Don Christoval had kissed this same hand; But as She drew conclusions from it somewhat different from her Aunt's, She was wise enough to hold her tongue. As this is the only instance known of a Woman's ever having done so, it was judged worthy to be recorded here.

I laughed out loud bringing strange looks from my fellow work colleagues. Can anybody imagine getting away with such a remark in today's publishing world - but it works in this story. All the characters are full of their own importance and station within society that it only seems natural that the occasionally intrusive narrator would also be somewhat chauvinistic.

Well, I thought it was interesting.

Don't forget that The Red Penny Papers will also be the place to find Aaron's serialised novella (or will find shortly) 'Black Medicine Thunder and the Sons of Chaos' described in the authors own words as containing:

undead buffalo
deals with the devil
all manner of facial scars
dental jewelry
and a very mean ol' bastard named Reaver

Can't wait!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Where I'm At

So Bumping didn't go to well - not a single comment. Scratch that idea.

In fact, scratch a lot of things.

I haven't sat my bum in the chair to do some serious writing in 6 months and it's not because I don't want to or because I have writer's block. I've not sat down and worked on the craft because I haven't had the enthusiasm to do so - I couldn't give a rats ass about taking the time.

I still think about my stories. I still mull over possible scenarios to improve Works Once In Progress (WOIP - like VOIP, neither cost anything and without a web cam you can still remain anonymous). I still read research material as if formulating a great plan inside my head which will one day spew forth in a great tide of amazing writing.

I'm over it.

If, and it's a big if, I ever return to writing, then good on me, but if I don't, and this doesn't seem such a big if at the moment, then so be it. I've edited an anthology, ran the market hive for AHWA, been published in an APEX anthology, had over a dozen other short pieces published, learned a lot and made some great friends. Not a very big measure of success, but without that driving need to write, I'm not sure any further successes in this field are likely to come my way.

Dreaming is to be published in the Blackness Within anthology from APEX very soon. Wamphryi will be published in Night to Dawn, October issue. I'm sorry, but both are print publications so you'll have to purchase them if you want to read either - please purchase them (I'm really quite proud of Dreaming - and I've been told the sex scene I wrote is something else...).

After these two have come out, I'll have nothing else coming up. I currently have nothing out on submission. Maybe I'll repost some of my older, already published stuff up here as reprints, but the point is, once October comes and goes, I'll have nothing to post about (unless I start writing again).

So announcements will be very rare from now on.

Good luck with your writing endeavours and may all your submissions find a home.

Best of luck


Thursday, June 3, 2010


I've been amazed over recent months that I've still attracted a trickle of new cult followers (waves at Ceri, Ms Pooh, Lyy, Collette, Miriah, & Bonnie Heather) and a steady stream of new visitors who usually don't return as witnessed by a fairly steady return visitor count - still, it's nice for people to drop by.

But why do new people arrive? Usually it's all about writers who have taken the first steps into creating a web presence and or have started researching the wider world involving the craft. And that's a good thing, but it's been a while since I posted anything that a new comer would find useful, so I'm going to go back through my own archives and bump some of the earlier topics people might, or have, found interesting in the past to refresh my memory and hopefully educate some of our slightly lesser informed brothers and sisters.

Bump 1

Not long after the Almighty said let there be a blog called 'Musings of an Aussie Writer', I posted a couple entries titled The Good and The Bad - of which some points are still very relevant and could be useful to go over again. Go read the old posts, there are some interesting things there I'm not going to rehash here but some, particularly newer writers, might find useful.

The Good

  • New Friends
Getting onto the net and creating a blog or a site helps all new writers find like-minded individuals - most of them more than willing to share their experiences to help you avoid the pitfalls and grow within the craft. Treasure them but do not allow socialising to overtake the main priority - writing. And don't be afraid to ask questions. If nothing else, it gives us fodder for the next post and helps you out at the same time.
  • Critique Groups
Whether it be a formalised online group with a thousand members, a small online community with twenty members, or a local physical group with four members, getting your work in front of others is important. Be open to suggestions and critical comment. Learn how to critique the work of others and it will also improve your own. Take no suggestion as gospel unless the person making it has a seven figure book deal. In the end, it's your work and you will stand or fall with it. Crit groups are also a great way to get over submission nerves. Once you've been through the wringer a couple of times, submitting to editors is easy. Lastly, family are not critique groups. Your non-writer family and friends will tell you how great anything you write is - that's their job - the truth is optional.
  • Set Priorities
At first, you should set small goals you can obtain: read insert title of novel/anthology here over the next week/month; write for 1 hour everyday; research only every second day and never for more than an hour (it's easy to get lost in the detail); during writing time I will disconnect the Internet; once a month I will take my significant other out or show them in some way that I love them and thank them for their support, etc. Soon enough you will be writing longer, researching harder, trying to maintain social networks, and squeezing in time with loved ones - and then you'll begin to reassess things - but to start with, start small.
  • The first acceptance
You write because it's a calling. You write because you have to. You write because if you didn't, all the characters inside your head would drive you nuts. Whatever the reason, you will surprise yourself with the bubbling of emotion preparing to swamp you when your first acceptance rolls in. Paid or unpaid, you will feel pride, joy, and be close to tears if not actually reaching for the tissues. It's a special thing.

The Bad
  • Ignorance
It still amazes me that some writers get taken by scams. Rule One: Money always flows to the writer. You do not have to pay for anything - it's all available on the net for free. Anything and everything you ever wanted to know about writing is out there, you only need to search for it. Eventually you'll want to take some writing course to improve your mastery of grammar or punctuation, to get a better grip on characterisation, to make you a more seasoned and better crafted writer - but nothing will ever beat practise and friends. Some books are good, ask around, your friends will be able to recommend some - I can recommend some, and some courses will help (you will never be too good at grammar (unless your name is Pharo)), but nearly all of it can be found on the net for free! Stay clear of ebooks unless recommended by at least two writer friends who have no vested interest in its sale.
  • Self Doubt
Get used to this one. Regardless of how successful you deem yourself to have become (and only you can judge this to begin with), you will always find times where you're not sure what you have produced is good enough, makes sense, or isn't the rantings of a raving lunatic. Only your trusted friends and crit group will be able to change that perspective, and even then, sometimes you just have to shove it out the door and hope for the best.
  • Time
When in the first glow of any new passion, you will want to immerse yourself in it permanently. Think back to high school and you first love (or any love for that matter) - you wanted to be with them all the time. Think back to meeting your significant other - how much time did you spend apart in the first year? Same goes with the craft. It will fill you with wonder. It will become addictive as you work through a story and want to get to the next bit just as much as you imagine your readers will want to. But there will not be enough time to write and do everything else. Something will need to give. Remember your loved ones (the physical ones, not the writing). Regardless of anything else, they should always come first.

Good luck with your submissions!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Market Closure

Fear & Trembling has closed. It's always a little sad when one of the kind people who took on one of my original short stories closes shop.

F&T was the home for my Winged Shepherd of Innocence, a tale with a long story of its own. It began as an entry to PARSEC, it was run through the mill at Authors by Design. It has been picked apart by a number of individuals from The Teacher (Amy) to Pharoah (I seem to attract people with interesting aliases). It gained a rejection from F&T's sister mag, MindFlights - with a suggestion that I remove a couple of swear words and clothe my image of an angel (this is a Christian market, which I didn't know at the time. My market research wasn't all it should have been), and then submit it to F&T.

I think it took me all of ten minutes to make the changes and sub. It took only slightly longer for it to gain an acceptance.

I was over the moon. F&T was my first (and only) Christian sale, my first US sale, and my first horror sale - quite a combination.

So, thank you, F&T, you will always hold a special place on my emotional bookshelf.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Horses For Courses

The quite smoking campaign continues - slowly...very slowly...somewhat mule-like if I may say. I'm still partaking of single figures each day and seem somewhat stuck around the 8 or 9 mark. It's getting later each day before I really feel a need to light up but I tend to make up for it in the evening.


The best way to overcome this is to get busy. One decision I've been waiting on has now been made and a clearer path can now be determined. It wasn't the result we wanted but there's no point in stressing over that so we'll move on. Baby steps to get to where we want to where as a more positive result would have allowed us to take bigger leaps. In the end, we'll get there, rather like a stayer as opposed to a sprinter.

A new idea for a story came to me today. Well, it's a new visit from an old idea. I've outlined it but I'm still yet to nail down the central question and exactly how much, if any, paranormal I want involved. It involves a form of possession so it has a paranormal link already, but I'm not decided on how far down that path I want my main characters to go, or should they just to be affected by it. I'm not explaining this well (which doesn't bode well for a writer), but hopefully it will become clearer once I've made all the connections. As soon as I know more I'll let you know ;c) It's kind of like a colt you saw in the paddock which looked good from a distance but when it came to the buyers ring, you arrived without knowledge of bloodlines and it needs further clarification before you commit. (Are we tired of the horse analogies yet?)

Still, it's an outline, a 300 word rough idea for a novel length story. Unfortunately it has nothing to do with the Nathan Steele series, or YA, and I'm yet to pin down if it will be just a thriller or more a mystery thriller with a new investigative main character...lots still left to decide.

I'll send out a thanks to everyone's blogs I visit, and Danielle's in particular, as it has been the reading of how industrious you have all been which forced me to do this much. I will get back on this horse if it takes weeks/months or years (hopefully not years).

Time to get to the starter's gate...again.