Monday, August 31, 2009

Eye Of Fire e-zine

From the dedicated people who brought you BLACK: Australian Dark Culture magazine, Eye of Fire e-zine is now available to whet your appetite while the online version awaits the webmaster's skilful suturing.

Issue #1 (Aug 09) brings you the same great content you came to expect from the print magazine, with subjects as varied as:

- Black Magazine Update

- The Zombie Invasion of mainstream literature!

- Interviews with paranormal fiction superstar Charlaine Harris and steampunk sensation Richard Harland.

- Pulp Horror! Australia’s lurid literary past

- Publishing, Awards, and Convention news.

- The latest book and movie reviews.

- Win free DVDs, movie tickets, and books!

- Free fiction from Shane Jiraiya Cummings’ new book Shards.

- Dark and Alternative Business Directory

- Brimstone Press Catalogue

and can be downloaded as a free .pdf (~4.2mb) from

We hope you enjoy our interim offering and invite you to provide feedback or request specific topics by emailing


In a word, that would be me.

Since last weeks WIP Wednesday where I was holed up in a hotel room in Melbourne, till now, I've done nothing writing related. I've not read anything and I've not written word one on my current manuscript.

I blame the insidious nature of Pokemon, of which I've managed to catch a great number, and, of which, I'm in danger of becoming a Master trainer of.

So I've updated my currently reading picture and will complete that over the next night or two. I then have a slew of things I need to read:

This Is Not A Game by Walter Jon Williams
Necrotic Tissue Issue 7 (yep, still haven't gotten around to it)
The Sour Aftertaste of Olive Lemon by Cate Gardner (been sitting on my desk for nearly a week)
Shadows by Joan De La Haye
The Unwanted by Brett Battles
Creating Short Fiction by Damon Knight
Shards by Shane Jiraiya Cummings

and I'm expecting another slew of books to arrive before the end of September so these need to be done now! The good thing is only three of the above are actual novel length works (not epic fantasy size either which is a plus after the last two). The rest should be easy to digest quickly although I'm hoping Cate's doesn't live up to it's name...okay, sorry about that lame attempt at humour. :c(

But tonight, I want to get some writing done. So I'm swearing off Pokemon until I've done some reading and writing each night.

Now I'm off to get a chunk of This Is Not A Game out of the way before I make my world famous Spag Bog.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Awards x 2

There is a conspiracy afoot. Women of the web have decided male blogs are crying out for their feminine touch, their certain flair, to make them a little more female friendly.

Or maybe some women I know have decided to be very nice and just award me with a very much needed ego boost.

Either way, the result is more pink on a decidedly unpink blog.

Now, I'm not against a man wearing pink - as long as he stays way over there on the other side of the room. Just kidding. I once owned a pink shirt and know some trendy individuals who actually wear one in public. I'm not against snags, or Korean boyband members, I just don't want to be 'against' one. ;c) I'm just not built that way.

As for the knew I'd get there eventually - right?

The beautiful and wonderfully talented Ms Danielle Ferries awarded me the 'One Lovely Blog Award, pictured right.

Aspersions of me doing strange and wonderful things to the award badge have been cast (and to be honest, considered), but I have come to the conclusion it would down play the thoughtfulness of those who have bestowed it on me - and that just wouldn't do.

So here is the badge in all it's pink glory with tea cup intact.

And now, as these things inevitably go, I must pass the torch (or tea cup in this case) to another worthy recipient. As I have in times gone past, I look for somebody who hasn't received many awards, someone whose star needs to be acknowledged and brought to the attention of others. And preferably someone who has never had a tea cup on their blog before. I give you L. R Bonehill. You think a pretty pink cup looks out of place on my blog, let's see what the Bonehill does with it ;c)

Next cab off the rank is from the talented, and strangely feline looking, Laura Eno with yet another wonderfully pink award, but this one has a bit of work attached to it. I'm guessing it also inspired her latest #FridayFlash piece titled The Teacup.

First, I'm supposed to nominate the next seven recipients of the award, so, in no particular order:

Talie Helene; Jodi Lee; Jason Fischer; K V Taylor; K C Shaw; Alan Baxter - hang on, how many is that? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 - I need to pick one more...

And the final recipient can be none other than Anton Gully! You didn't really think you'd get away with that excuse on Laura's blog...did you? ;c)

As I said, this award takes some work as there is also a second bit which I'm going to admit to struggling with, which may sound strange coming from a writer and someone who reviews all sorts of books. My problem is I rarely remember author's names or the titles of books. I know, throw stones and other hard and sharp objects as you see fit. Anyway, the second part requires me to list seven favourite mystery writers. Naturally, I'm going with mainly dark mystery type titles. In no particular order:

David Wellington; Alexandra Sokoloff; John Saul; Thomas Harris; William Peter Blatty; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; Alfred Hitchcock.

Not a bad list of old, not so old, and fairly new authors.

WIP Wednesday...On Friday

I'm back! Miss me? No? Then why has everyone decided to add pink to my blog? More on that in posts to follow...

Thank you to everyone for the nice thoughts and comments (and sudden influx of awards).

As for my WIP, aka Nathan Steele, Book 1, (there will be a catchy subtitle here but I haven't found it yet - you're writers, use you're imagination ;c)).

Tuesday night I flew out to Melbourne for work. At least, I eventually flew out to Melbourne after my flight was delayed twice due to unusually high winds at my destination. Strangely the flight was very smooth and my stay was punctuated with only the occasional light breeze while on other sides of the city trees were being uprooted - very strange.

Still, I didn't get to the hotel until midnight on my first night in so my premonition that I'd not get any writing done that night proved correct and I practically fell into the hotel bed. The actual course I went there for was very good and the instructor was exceptional as well as being a nice guy - in short, it was one of the only courses I've been on, for work, in the recent past that I actually learned anything.

Night two arrived and I walked down to the nearest Subway for dinner, walked back to the hotel and setup my laptop on the nice little work table in the hotel room. It was terrible. It was the wrong height to work comfortably. My shoulders were killing me in no time. So I moved to the large comfortable chairs - better for my back and shoulders but the arm rests were too close to my body and trying to keep my elbows locked in grew old very quickly - I'm not a particularly lean fellow. So I moved to the floor - that lasted about 10 seconds. On to the bed, but the power cord didn't reach that far so I was on battery power with built in smoko breaks to ensure I didn't run out. Unfortunately the hotel is smoke free so smoko meant putting the laptop on charge and riding the elevator down and going outside into the cold night air.

In the end, I managed a paltry 1489 words, about 3K short of what I was hoping for. I just couldn't get comfortable or into the right frame of mind. I saved it and watched Angels & Demons from the inhouse movie menu (work was paying after all). The total for the week ended up being 3212 words. A little short of Cate's brilliant effort, but not too bad for me. I'm happy with it.

I'll stick to writing at home or at work from now on where the desk is the right height, the chairs are comfortable, and having a smoke doesn't involve descending four floors and having dodgy looking taxi drivers stare at you.

It's wonderful to be home.

Cue the Bean:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Writer's Life

My writing time has diminished significantly over the last month or so. Work has gone nuts and filled my seven and a half hours a day! As I sit here writing this blog post I'm actually working on a server in another state (and I have another half dozen servers to work on before I leave today) - crazy.

I'm trying to be fair and reasonable with usage of the computer at home. I usually hog the study where our only Internet connection resides, so the wife and kids don't get much chance. Now I'm in there only a couple of times a week, and usually only for an extended period, when other family members are home, once a week. I really need to move my laptop out of the study completely and worry about logging onto the 'Net only to download my email. If nothing else, it should facilitate more writing.

This week, WIP Wednesday will be late in being posted as I won't actually be in the state. Tonight I fly out for a couple of days to attend a (work related) course. This will give me two nights (although I get in to the hotel fairly late tonight so really only one night) where I will be in a hotel room with no distractions and no excuses. That night will be Wednesday night and therefore to be included in this weeks WIP Wednesday tally (which currently stands at a little over 1.7K). It will be an interesting exercise.

Although time is extremely tight at the moment, I'm still managing to crawl forward in putting this manuscript together - and forward at any speed is good.

In other writing-related news, 'Worth the Wait' scored its third vaguely good rejection. Everything from the premise to the dialogue has now been complimented on somewhere along the line. I'll find that one market that likes all the bits that end, I've done a read through and edit (cut a further 6 whole words!), and sent it back out the door.

Okay, I've been writing this post for nearly an hour now, continually stopping to go back and do some real work, and now another server in another state is calling for my attention. Still haven't had anyone tell what this weeks lotto numbers are...I'm willing to share!

Good luck with your writing.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Review: The Grave Thief by Tom Lloyd

New review has been posted over at HorrorScope. I finally got around to finishing Tom Lloyd's 'The Grave Thief' - has anyone else read it?

It's a huge read and a very complex story, but told with amazingly detailed and descriptive prowess. On the BT Scale of book goodness, I give it a 3.7 - slightly higher than the last fantasy epic I read.


Your Thoughts

It's nice when a throw away line of mine prompts comments from you, which then leads to a topic I can post about.

So - using a Pseudonym to create a break between two, or more, different areas of work. Some are for it, some against. I want to know what you think.

I've written only for adults to this point in time but I'm now working on the first book in what I see as a possible YA series.

When I started writing fiction I was told that as soon as I moved into writing erotica I should use a Pseudonym to separate that work from anything else I'd done.

The reasoning behind it was straight forward enough - some minorities would look down on an author who dabbled on the wilder side of things and a writer can do without any smudges hampering an already difficult career choice.

I ignored that advice and still sent out all my work under my name.

Some people go further still and write horror under one name, sci-fi under another, fantasy under another and erotica under still yet another. And then they use something else again to write anything for younger markets. I think I'd forget who I was if I tried that.

I'm quite proud to be a writer and very happy to point to the work I've had accepted around the place, regardless of the genre, market or anything else, but age is something I'm willing to take into account.

I don't want kids, or teens for that matter, reading some of my racier stories. Obviously I don't want them reading erotica. My story 'Dreaming' has quite an intense sex scene in the middle of it that I'd rather nobody under 18 was reading (no, I'm not a prude, nor was I a total innocent as a teen - far from it - but I wouldn't want my kids reading it so I wouldn't want any other kids reading it).

And yet the selfish part of me who wants to put my name, the one given to me by my parents, to my work, is still strong.

So I'm throwing it open for discussion, but it needs to be more than a yes or no answer here. I like to make a final decision after informed discussion, and your opinion matters to me.

If you're in the yes camp, then how does one come up with a suitable replacement name? If you're a no, then how do I keep kids from searching for my name once I've sold more books than JK, and finding the more adult content I've written?

I look forward to reading your suggestions.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Happy Birthday

Musings of an Aussie Writer has turned two!

I had a reminder pop up letting me know this auspicious occasion had arrived once more so I went back and looked at how I'd celebrated the first arrival of this milestone (which you can refresh your own memory of by going here).

Major points picked out include:

Amy Treadwell's birthday is in a few days time - and knowing the way my memory works, I'll forget - so here's an early happy birthday to you, Amy. I hope you have a great one.

4000 visitors in the first year and I was hoping to reach 8000 in year two. At over 13,000 on the counter now, I guess we can safely assume we managed that. Lets aim for 25,000 next year.

How's my year passed? I'm glad you asked.

It's been pretty good. Highlights include:

More acceptances have rolled in this year to the point where I'm no longer chasing them. If they happen, great, but I'm not counting them or using them as a goal any more. I'm not getting swamped with them, but I'm slowly growing my publication credits and that's okay with me for now.

Expanding my writing friends across cyberspace. I've met some amazing people and have had a chance to work with some extremely talented individuals. I'd count myself as very lucky. One day I'll make it a real convention and even meet a few of them in real life.

Writing 50-odd thousand words on A Kookaburra's Laugh. I still think this novel will fly and one day I will complete it. It needs a concentrated effort and I just didn't have that to give at the time, but I did learn a lot from the process and I think my writing moved forward from the participating in the experience - and that's all any of us can really ask for.

Finding a character, and possible series, I'm seriously enjoying writing about. Nathan Steele is a boy I'm getting to know really well. If it takes off, I'll have to rework my blog appearance a little, or maybe start a second one. I'll probably always write dark stuff for adults, but Nathan is neither (dark or for adults - regardless of what he says). I'm a third of the way through the first draft of the first book with plenty of ideas on future installations.

Inclusion in The Blackness Within Anthology, edited by Gill Ainsworth and to be published by Apex (2010). This is my biggest sale to date in regards to market. Apex usually only do antho's for invited authors so to get a gig in a rare open call antho was an honour. Working with Gill was amazing, eye-opening and totally rewarding. I've learned so much from her in the month we sent emails back and forward that it will take me two months of sitting down to catalogue it - but I intend to do just that as soon as I finish the first draft of the Nathan Steele book.

I passed my first year of the Advanced Diploma of Art in Professional Writing with one pass and three credits from the four subjects. I also passed the first half of the second year with another two credits. And then I pulled the pin. To gain the piece of paper at the end would be nice, but I'm learning more in other ways and not spreading myself so thin (don't laugh).

I've managed to read m0re than ever and have increased the number of reviews I've posted on HorrorScope. This led to an unexpected Ditmar nomination, which was nice.

The blog was named in the top 50 Australian Blogs about Writing which was totally unexpected and a nice ego boost. Since the original list was published and the methods used to qualify have been made public, many other blogs have come into contention or moved up the rankings. I'm happy to say I've just kept doing what I'm doing and I've managed to stay pretty steady on the chart. Yay, blog!

So (I really need to stop starting sentences like this), life has moved forward another step and I'd like to think my writing has advanced a pace or two as well. The road is long (I promise I won't break into song but it was a close thing), and there are plenty of winding turns ahead (sorry), but I'm still happy with the path I've chosen to tread and ecstatic that you have chosen to share it with me.

Here's to an even better year ahead!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Ground Breaking New Trend

It seems my Nathan Steele series will be the first in the new trend to sweep once more over YA and middle grade readers the world over.

How do I know this?

Back in the 1970s and 80s, kids and teens from 7-17 were reading teen detective, teen thriller, and teen mystery books. I know because I was one of them. Couldn't get enough of The Famous Five, The Hardy Boys, or what about Nancy Drew or The Three Investigators.

As I grew, I wanted my fiction a little more sophisticated and moved into King, Koontz, Straub, Saul, etc. I also tried to read as many of the 'classics' as possible - Shelly, Stoker, Poe, The Bible, etc.

I think today's kids are a mix of that. They still like to read their thriller and mystery books, but it has to be a little more sophisticated: Harry Potter, Twilight, etc. But Potter started for younger audiences and kind of grew up with them. Twilight is even more finely targeted at teen girls. Enter Nathan Steele!

According to a recent poll over on Nathan Bransford's Blog I may be the only person currently writing something which has a teen trying to solve a mystery, while having to use his nous to create electronic aids, and dealing with the trials of getting his first girlfriend (without any paranormal tropes being used). In other words. I'm the only person writing a teen mystery action book. My vote didn't even register enough interest to allow the category of YA Mystery to tick over to 1%! So, me and possibly six other people (if I assume that over 0.05% would be rounded up) are heading the charge to the good old days.

I'm going to ask around at the local libraries and find out if kids are still borrowing teen mystery novels. My guess is they are, but want something new to reinvigorate the genre and get them all excited about reading again. I can dream...

So how did you measure up in the poll? Care to join me on the front of the wave?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

WIP Wednesday

God knows at the moment.

My day off has turned out to be anything but. The better half and I ran around doing stuff for most of the day. We planned some future reno improvements, did some shopping, sorted out the tax (by the way, it cost me over 2k in my efforts to be a writer in the last financial year! Glad we're not in this for the money...).

After picking up the kids from school, I got a phone call from work. Something had gone belly up and nobody else knew how to fix things. They say if you're irreplaceable, you're also not able to be promoted. Not good.

So I reluctantly arrived at work at 4:00 in the afternoon (my normal knock off time). It has just gone 7PM and I'm still here trying to fix things and look like being here for sometime to come.

In an earlier post I waxed lyrical how life would be wonderful if I could just work at night...need to be careful about what I wish for in future. How about 'Wouldn't it be wonderful to win lotto and gain a book deal!' - we shall see!

So, I've added a little over 4k this week, which brings me somewhere over the 35, maybe 38% mark. I can't remember exactly and will have to update tomorrow so if you're hanging out for the Bean - sorry - later.

Just waiting on a server to finish rebooting and I'm back into it.

Hope your evening has been better than mine.


I'm finally home and in front of the laptop. Things are still a mess at work but it can wait till tomorrow. I work to live, not the other way round.

This week I added a total of 4038 words. I'd hoped to do a lot more than this as the total is the result of one really good writing session. One or two more would have been nice. It seems I didn't quite make the 35% I stated earlier although my spreadsheet begs to differ - doesn't matter.

So, without further ado, for all of you who have waited with baited breath, here's the legume you've all come to love:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Little Bit More

Last night I did my slush reading which was an interesting return to normality. Again I didn't recommend anything but at least one of the offerings was close. Maybe next month.

Today I managed a couple of things. I trimmed down the number of blogs in my Google Reader to an even 50. Many of the industry blogs I only skim anyway so I figure I can live without them until I start to look at peddling my manuscript around the place. Speaking of which, I added another 1200 or so words to that tonight.

You'll be happy to know our boy has progressed and actually kissed our girl on the top of the head as they consoled each other after witnessing two murders (via a type of CCTV link my boy genius rigged up, but two teens seeing anyone shot would be traumatic I think). I just couldn't see him not doing it, but then that may be a little too much of me coming through. We'll see if it makes it past the next round of edits.

I've got a flex day off work tomorrow. The better half and I have some things to do but I might get a chance to do a little bit more before I post this weeks WIP Wednesday update. A smidgen over 4k added this week so I'm happy either way.

Lastly, I had to work back late tonight to tie up a few loose ends (which didn't happen as everything turned to Shite) and on the drive home I had a strange circular patch of fog appear on my windscreen, right in my line of sight. Driving home, after sunset, pitch black outside, a car a little way behind me shining its headlights into my interior and lighting up this tennis ball size patch of fogged up window set off the muse.

I've added a new story idea to the idea file and this one has some legs. I've jotted down the premise and must say I kind of like it. It's dark, has tension, but I'm not sure if it will be a happy ending yet. I don't even know what sort of length I'm looking at, but I know I can't work on a long piece at the same time as anything else. I've tried it in the past and it doesn't mesh well for me so into park within the ideas file it goes - for now.

I'm just happy to know the muse isn't totally stuck in one gear.

Monday, August 17, 2009

52 Stitches

The first advanced review of the 52 Stitches anthology is up at Horror Drive-in. Mark Sieber has some nice things to say about it.

You can pre-order your own copy at The 52 Stitches website. If you've been keeping tabs as each new story is released each week, then you'll know how much of a treat you're in for and I don't have to do any selling what-so-ever, but if you're a little late to the dinner party, or if you want to have your own copy of all these flashes of horror all to yourself, then go and stake a claim to a copy (or two) now.

Go on - you know you want to...


My life as a writer seems to be 'on the down low' at the moment. Hence a really long blog post filled with my ramblings :c)

I don't have Writers' Block', as I can (and do) sit down with my current WIP with no issue at all and while doing so, I still have lots of ideas and make changes and add twists, etc without too much thought. The creative juices are still there. I'm just not doing it as often. My nightly slog of three or more hours at the keyboard has reduced to a couple of sessions a week. Maybe winter has just worn me down and I'm fed up waiting for the warmer weather...or I could just be being slack.

I've not looked at writing any new short stories for a while now - hence the final product of not having written a new one for some time - but I'm working on the YA book so that's kind of okay as well. Ideas pop into my head, but I tend to let them pass through (lots of space in there). Nothing is demanding to be written other than scenarios for the WIP which are more than happy to keep me awake at nights.

I'm not really enjoying my reading at the moment either. I think the addition of the Dexter Omnibus has thrown me off kilter. I'd planned to read six books in two months and than had the Omnibus added to my list, which increased my required reading from 6 to 9 novels in eight weeks. Burn out was inevitable. I have two books left out of those nine and I'm struggling to find the enthusiasm to get to them. The deadline passed last week. I've negotiated an extension till the end of this month but even that will be hard to meet.

Slush reading has commenced once more so I have four stories I need to get to (hopefully tonight). This gives me yet another excuse for not writing.

I'm also suffering from a weekend with not enough sleep (on top of my constantly seeming to be tired anyway) so sudden bursts of energy are fleeting and infrequent. Reading of epic fantasy sagas are more likely to put me into an unsatisfying doze, and leave a negative impression - not really fair on the author so it gives me another reason to abstain (like I needed another one).

Add all this up, and I'm not full of the joys of writing or anything related to it at the moment, which naturally leads to a drop off in output. Discipline is required to get back into a routine where work will be produced, but a level of enthusiasm is required to put that discipline in place and I just don't have that currently.

I have a case of the blahs.

This is dangerous as I have been known in the past to throw my hands up and say things like 'why bother?", and drop whatever it is I was doing and move on. I can't see myself dropping writing as I enjoy it so much, but I need to get things sorted into some sort of order.

If simmering is where my writing has to currently be, then so be it, but I need to own that situation, not just allow it to be and shrug my shoulders, or I could be in danger of that slipping further, and writing once or twice a month would just be depressing and would lead ever closer to me saying 'why bother'.

Writing is full of ups and downs and as a writer, we need to deal with them. Personally I need to take ownership of the situation and admit my failings, expose the whys and wherefores into the harsh light of day, and then implement a solution, otherwise things drift and usually become worse.

We've talked in the past about where you find inspiration, but what do you do when you're off finding inspiration, aka living life, and not writing? What do you do when that situation becomes all the time?

Most of us would say something like 'make myself sit down in the chair and just write', JA Konrath would remind us to 'treat it like a job - be disciplined', which is all well and good, but other writing advice to: not coop yourself up, get out into the world and experience it, watch movies, read books, do courses, but don't neglect your day job as writing is highly unlikely to replace it as the major source of income - leaves very little time left to devote to writing. Oh, and don't forget squeezing in a normal family life with all that.

I guess, in the end, we need to decide, with the input of our significant others, exactly how much time we can put into writing. Influencing this is the perceived correct amount a writer, particularly the new (unpublished - as in no book deal) writer, should be allocating.

I've heard these mantras a lot:
You must write every day.
You must try to write at least 'x' amount of words every day/week
If you have really tried to make a go of your writing, you should have at least one agent interested in your work within five years!

And lots of other extraneous types of things littered about the place in the guise of solid gold writing advice and thank you very much for praying at my alter of wisdom.

Lots of writing advice out there is good, but many people are repeating the same stuff over and over again (I unashamedly put my hand up in this category) - worse, some people are charging people for the privilege of hearing it! Two things to remember here: (1) Money should always flow towards the writer (so check the Internet, and/or ask your online writing friends before paying for anything) and (2) there is nothing new in writing. Getting over that second little gem is a big step to moving forward.

So let's blow the myths out of the water. Don't be shy. If you write 10 words, or 10,000 words a day. Whether you write once a month, crafting a paragraph at a time with an intended first draft completion date of your 75th birthday in 2050 (as long as December 2012 passes in much the same manner as the Y2K bug did), tell me.

What are your writing habits and how strict are you in keeping to them. How is your significant other about this writing time? What do you do when life starts to get in the way?

Or am I asking these questions because I'm not a real, dyed-in-the-wool, can't breathe without it, writer?

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Good Writing Day

Little one has been home with a cold this week (just for something different), so I stayed home with her Wednesday and again today. Mum stayed with her yesterday allowing me to go to work.

Anyway, today we created two Pokemon card decks for her to have a go with at school (when she returns). And I also managed to get some writing done.

I went back to the beginning and went through a couple of things, adding in plants for things to make sense a chapter or two later, caught a misdirection in regards to where a bedroom was in a house (it was upstairs in one chapter and downstairs a couple of chapters later).

I also finished off the chapter I was writing last time I visited the WIP, and felt so much in the groove I just went ahead and wrote the next chapter as well.

All up, I've managed a respectable 2860 words today, and, more importantly, I'm quite happy with them.

And for those of you who want to know - a wink is not as good as a kiss...and now my main male character knows that as well...poor fella. Maybe one day he'll get there.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Musings Everywhere Update

I jumped the gun with saying Wordpress would automatically mirror the content I have here - it doesn't.

But there is a way to keep it up-to-date. It's a bit clunky, and manual, but it does work.

After logging into your Wordpress account, choose IMPORT from the the TOOLS menu from the drop down menus on the left side of the browser window.

Under the restart heading is a button titled RESET COUNTERS ONLY. By clicking on this, THE MAGIC BUTTON beside your already imported blog will change from SET AUTHOR to IMPORT. Keep clicking on the IMPORT button until the numbers all line up.

As you can see above, I have 658 posts in my blog, of which 657 have been imported into Wordpress. I know this as when I click on the RESET COUNTERS ONLY button, it recounts for me. You can also see that I've had 1503 comments - thank you.

The one post that hasn't been replicated is this one. Wordpress also counts the drafts you have, and as saves the posts while you're writing them, Wordpress picks that up and transfers it to the count. Cool.

So, once I've published this post onto, I need to go over to Wordpress and click on the IMPORT button and 'Hey-Presto-Magico!' - the blogs will have the same posts available.

Clunky, not as nice as the import features onto the other places I have around, but it works. Anyone have a more automated way?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Review: Dexter by Design

I've finished reading Dexter by Design and have posted my review of it on HorrorScope. A very good book and an excellent addition to the franchise - easily the best book out of the four I've read, although that could be because the third was the worst and I have been easily impressed by the return to normal programing that this one delivers.

Anyway, at the time of reading, I've given this book a rating of 4.0 - high praise from me.

Oh dear, The Grave Thief by Tom Lloyd - the third book in the Twilight Reign series. On it's own it stands at 488 pages! There is a Dramatis Personae Index at the back of the book which encompasses 7 and a half pages! A true cast of thousands.
No rest for the wicked...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

WIP Wednesday

It's Tuesday night - it'll be Wednesday in a little over an hour - close enough.

This week I've had two writing sessions on my WIP and managed to add a little under 2500 words. Pitiful, but 2500 words is a sizable step in a YA novel. Bringing down targets from 80-100k to less than 60k just seems to make the whole thing that much more achievable - not easier, just more within reach (if that makes sense).

On a side note: a great deal of this manuscript to this point has been dialogue. There have been descriptive narrative in places (obviously), but a lot happens with dialogue. I'm just about to move into a section where there is much less dialogue but much more interaction between my two main characters - ah, young love - how insecure and awkward we all once were - this should be fun. Not sure yet if I'm going to let my guy get a kiss or save that for much later. How many guys vote for him missing the signals and then just running out of time as the moment passes by them?

I still can't bring myself to throw up some examples. Call me insecure, but I need them to go through my normal vetting process before I let anyone read any part of them, and that won't happen until I've finished writing all of it and done my own revision. The process then involves my wife, then Pharo, and then my beta readers. Then I might reveal some snippets. Sorry.

Oh, I am getting closer to a title. Currently the WIP Title is 'Nathan Steele: Book One'. I'm considering titles which will play on his name, like 'Steele Trap', Steele Home', 'Steele Cap', and a number of other plays on it but nothing has quite hit the right spot. I know you have no idea on the plot or premise, but I'm thinking the ongoing series will continue this theme so any and all plays on the name may come in handy in the future. Remember it's a YA series so keep it clean, people ;c)

With nothing else to say - cue the bean...

Musings Everywhere

I like the Internet. I like the ease with which I can spread my words all over - I feel like a huge flock of pigeons circling over clean washing. Ready, Aim , Fire!

When I click on 'Publish Post', this small entry in my blog, hosted by, will zoom off to a number of different places.

Here at (aka Musings Of An Aussie Writer)
Over at Wordpress ( aka Musings Of An Aussie Writer)
On Darklands (BT's Page)
And Facebook (Brenton Tomlinson)

If you care to befriend me on any of these places, feel free. Go ahead and leave comments if such is your whim, join the communities if you haven't as of yet, or create a new presence to host your words of wisdom and further spread your fame (if not your fortune).

You would also be aware that pigeons are considered flying rats in many parts of the world...

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Sour Aftertaste of Olive Lemon

For only $6, you can order Catherine J. Gardner’s The Sour Aftertaste of Olive Lemon from Bucket O Guts Press.

Cate has been published in a huge variety of online zines and print publications to wide acclaim. She has a distinctive, mature, and immensely unique voice. But don't take my word for it. Read some of her online work here:

Trench Foot
A Blood-Splattered Letter from Mr. Grim
Insomniac Ink
Lonesome Pine
Uncle Eric's Leather Bound Tale
The Forest of Sepia Children

Now go buy 'The Sour Aftertaste of Olive Lemon' - you won't be disappointed.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Spoilt Rotten

Okay, call me stupid (waits with hand cupped behind ear) - thank you.

Today is August 7th. My story Spoilt Rotten has been available for download for a whole week and I didn't realise it - told you I was over tired and not thinking straight.

Go here and download the free PDF from Demonic Tome (or just click on the updated link in my sidebar). If you like, you can also let me know what you think of it. Throwing money instead of appreciation is encouraged but not strictly necessary ;c)

I hope you enjoy it.


It's been a couple of days since I last posted and I don't have a great deal to show for it.

No writing, no reading, no thinking about anything in particular. I've not been getting a lot of sleep so I'm over tired and tonight shall not help. There will still be no reading, no writing and definitely no peaceful moments to contemplate anything.

My little one turns 10 on the 10th of this month. As that's a Monday, and a school night, she will be having friends over for a slumber party tonight. My house shall be inundated with 8-10 year old girls (well, there will be six in total so it shall sound like it's been inundated...).

Wish me luck. If I survive the encounter I shall sleep a great portion of Sunday away and then hopefully read a large chunk of the fourth Dexter book which has been wallowing beside my bed. My only oasis of peace shall be while the girls are attending a netball game this evening. During this brief interlude I'm hoping to read and critique a story I've been very slow in getting around to (or you could read that as having been very slack - I won't be offended).

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

WIP Wednesday

Last Wednesday I was at 6559 words. This week I've bumped that a little to 10875. Nowhere near the 2-5k a day when I first wrote a novel length piece, but then most of that was dreck and not worth reading by sane individuals - hopefully a slightly more considered approach will produce something better.

This is a rolling WIP Wednesday total as it's only lunchtime here so there may well be more added to this before the day is out. My daughter is home with tonsillitis (again), so I'm home from work and enjoying some concerted writing time - which I've done over the last couple of hours. Now is time for a break.

Cue the bean...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

He's A Very Naughty Boy

Well, I may not be the Messiah, but I have been a naughty blogger. I've not been posting or commenting on other blogs for purely selfish reasons.

I've been reading and writing. Honestly, I have.

I've almost completed 20% of my YA novel and I finished reading the Barclay novel. I've moved immediately onto the fourth Dexter novel which I hope to complete this week, and then I'll have two left to do for HorrorScope - hopefully by the end of this month.

Then I've been lucky enough to be asked to read and review for another independently published author - cool.

I've also got a first chapter to read for another writer - it's hard to be this popular...

As if...

I've got tax stuff to sort out, cricket season looming large, the EPL starting up again, the Ashes and a warm fuzzy feeling about the YA thing I'm currently working on which needs a title. I'm playing around with a few but nothing has struck home yet. Maybe Jason had the right idea in calling his secret project Fred for the sake of having something to call it other than 'The Secret Project'! Any and all witty suggestions are welcome.

As for being naughty: I lurk in the background and read the new posts in the 80 or so blogs I follow and then get back to work (Google Reader is wonderful for keeping me organised). Very occasionally, I comment. I should do more, but then if it's a toss up between writing, reading, spending time doing stuff I enjoy off the computer, spending time with family or blogging - blogging loses - I'm becoming okay with that.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Review: Ravensoul by James Barclay

My review of James Barclay's Ravensoul is up at HorrorScope.

Personally, because I haven't been an avid follower of the series, I found the first third of the book to be less than worthy, but the last two thrids of the book were exceptional.

On my Review Scale Ravensoul gets a solid 3.6.

AHWA NEWS DIGEST [02.07.09-02.08.09]

The following digest of recent horror news is compiled from pieces published to HorrorScope and the Australian Horror Writers' Association website.

Dymocks Southland Bestselling Horror Titles for July ‘09
Dymocks Southland is a general bookshop in Cheltenham, Victoria, boasting an extensive range of genre stock. Click through for the top 10 bestselling horror titles for July 2009.

Eclecticism Issue 9
Eclecticism E-zine are celebrating their 2nd Anniversary with the release of Issue #9! Come and join the festivities by downloading the free online magazine.

Nameless bounty
The ‘Nameless’ competition has been extended until the 1st of September 2009, and a $500 winner’s cheque has been added to sweeten the already tasty prize pool. Read the story here. Come up with a conclusion and a title. Make your $10 donation and enter the competition here. Click through for more details!

Scribe launches the CAL Scribe Fiction Prize
Scribe is delighted to announce the launch of the CAL Scribe Fiction Prize. The prize is open for an unpublished manuscript by any Australian writer over 35, who may or may not have been published before. The winner of the CAL Scribe Fiction Prize will be awarded a book contract from Scribe and a prize of $12,000.

The Best Horror of the Year, Volume One

Ellen Datlow has announced the contents of the forthcoming The Best Horror of the Year, Volume One, due out in October from Night Shade Books. The book features two Australian horror writers -

The Mother US edition
The US limited edition of Brett McBean's second novel The Mother is now up for pre-order from Thunderstorm Books. This is the uncut version, with two graphic scenes previously deemed too extreme, now restored back into the text.

First National Republican Short Story Competition
On 6 November 2009, it will be 10 years since the republican referendum was lost. To commemorate this event and to remind Australians of what they still don't have, the Australian Republican Movement is calling for speculative fiction short stories between 2000 and 4000 words that portray an Australian republican future in a positive light and demonstrate the absurdity of a hereditary monarch as the Australian Head of State in twenty-first century Australian society. Click through for more details.

'Family Demons' midnight screening
Ursula Dabrowsky, winner of the Best Australian Director award at the 2009 A Night of Horror International Film Festival for her eerie psychological feature film, Family Demons, is proud to be screening the film at the 2009 Melbourne Underground Film Festival. The event will be held on Saturday, 29 August 2009 at 11pm at the Embassy (formerly the Queensbridge Hotel), 1 Queensbridge St, South Melbourne.

Aeon Award 2009 2nd round shortlist
As recently announced on the Albedo One website, a number of stories have been added to the Aeon Award 2009 shortlist after the second round of consideration, which ran from April to the end of July. The competition directors would like to emphasize that the Aeon Award is still open for entries to the end of November '09. Click through for more details.

Quentin Tarantino & Popcorn Taxi present Dark Age
To celebrate the great Aussie genre films of the eighties, Inglourious Basterds director Quentin Tarantino presents his own personal 35mm print of Arch Nicholson's 1987 Ozploitation classic Dark Age for a phenomenal one-off Popcorn Taxi screening. Event Sold Out!

Award Winning Australian Writing 2009
The Australian Horror Writers Association (AHWA) congratulates Benjamin Hayes, winner of the AHWA Flash and Short Story Competition 2008 (Flash Fiction category), whose winning entry has been selected for inclusion in the 2009 edition of Award Winning Australian Writing, to be published by Melbourne Books. Other noteworthy Australian speculative authors to have work included are Cat Sparks and Simon Brown. The book launch will be held at this year's Melbourne Writers' Festival. 2:30pm, August 21, Festival Club, ACMI, Melbourne.

Terry Dowling Ticonderoga editions available for pre-order
The best work of Terry Dowling, Australia’s "master of fantasy", will be released in two volumes published by independent WA publisher Ticonderoga Publications. The two volumes, Basic Black: Tales of Appropriate Fear and Make Believe: A Terry Dowling Reader, collect thirty stories from Dowling’s almost 30-year career. These books are available for pre-order from Indie Books Online.

Damned By Dawn world premiere (FREE!)
Writer/director Brett Anstey invites horror affictionados to the world-premiere screening of his banshee/walking dead horror film, Damned By Dawn. The event is FREE - although management request RSVP by email to Wednesday August 12, 7:30pm, ACMI, Melbourne.

In The Dead Of Night
Australia’s first ‘choose your own adventure’ cabaret debuts in Melbourne… and it’s not for the faint of heart. After directing professional cabaret and theatre for nearly a decade, Play Right Theatre founder Kim Edwards has channelled her dark side and finally released a long-time pet project of her own on the stage. Edwards’ previous credits include children’s drama classes and Theatre In Education work, but it will be adults only when In The Dead Of Night: A Cult Show is let loose at The Butterfly Club in all its gothic, grotesque, and darkly funny glory.

2009 Chronos Award finalists
The Continuum Foundation has announced the ballot for the 2009 Chronos Awards, which honours the best works of science fiction, fantasy, and horror produced by Victorians in 2008 as recommended by Australian SF fans. The Chronos Award winners will be presented at Continuum 5. Click through for a list of nominees.

Submitting News

If you have news about Australian and New Zealand Horror publishing and film, or news of professional development opportunities in the field, feel free to submit news to Talie Helene, AHWA News Editor. Just visit HorrorScope, and click on the convenient email link. (International news is not unwelcome, although relevance to Antipodean literary arts practitioners is strongly preferred.)

For information on the Australian Horror Writers' Association, visit

This AHWA NEWS DIGEST has been compiled, written, and republished in select Australian horror haunts by Talie Helene. Currently archived at the
AHWA MySpace page, and Southern Horror; hosted at the social networking sites Darklands and A Writer Goes On A Journey; and hosted by AHWA members Felicity Dowker, Brenton Tomlinson, Scott Wilson, and Jeff Ritchie (Scary Minds: Horror's Last Colonial Outpost).

If you would like to support the AHWA News effort by hosting a copy of the AHWA News Digest on your blog or website,
contact Talie to receive a fully formatted HTML edition of the digest by email.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Attention Everyone

Pill Hill Press has new guidelines!

Now everyone can submit. The issue was apparently payment. They were not setup with Paypal?! Now they are - so let the submissions roll!

Good luck.