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For Readers, Writers & Editors
- A dilemma about characters
- Adelaide Writers Week, 2009
- Adjectives, commas and confusion
- An artist's conflict
- An editor's role
- Authorial voice, passive writing and the passive voice
- Common misuses: common expressions
- Common misuses: confusing words
- Common misuses: pronouns - subject and object
- Conversations with a character
- Critiquing Groups
- Does length matter?
- Dont sweat the small stuff: formatting
- Free help for writers
- How much magic is too much?
- Know your characters via astrology
- Like to be an editor?
- Modern Writing Techniques
- My best reads of 2007
- My best reads of 2008
- My favourite dead authors
- My favourite modern authors
- My influential authors
- Planning and Flimmering
- Planning vs Flimmering again
- Psychological Spec-Fic
- Readers' pet hates
- Reading, 2009
- Reality check: so you want to be a writer?
- Sensory detail is important!
- Speculative Fiction - what is it?
- Spelling reform?
- Substantive or linking verbs
- The creative cycle
- The promiscuous artist
- The revenge of omni rampant
- The value of "how-to" lists for writers
- Write a decent synopsis
- Write a review worth reading
- Writers block 1
- Writers block 2
- Writers block 3
- Writers need editors!
- Writers, Depression and Addiction
- Writing in dialect, accent or register
- Writing it Right: notes for apprentice authors
Interviews with authors
My Blog List
Unifinshed Perfection - Beaumaris Castle in Wales: The Architecture - When work on Beaumaris Castle was finally abandoned in 1330, the curtain walls had been completed and all towers raised to battlement level at least. The ...8 hours ago
Moominreview 9: Moominvalley in November, by Tove Jansson - Two months since I began this set of reviews, I’ve reached the end. Moominvalley in November is Tove Jansson’s final Moomin novel. On a first reading, it’s...16 hours ago
Real Life Diagnostics: Is This Opening Flashback Working? - *Critique By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy* Real Life Diagnostics is a weekly column that studies a snippet of a work in progress for specific issues. Reade...1 day ago
Family resources – Folkestone Festival of the Brain - I’m in Folkestone today – after a very early start, so I hope my brain is working well – for an event for families about teenage brains, stress and wellbei...1 day ago
Flogometer for Shifu—are you compelled to turn the page? - Submissions Invited. If you’d like a fresh look at your opening chapter or prologue, please email your submission to me re the directions at the bottom of th...2 days ago
Courtroom drama: video records from the Supreme Court - Making video records available via our streaming service is a major evolution in how we present our collections…2 days ago
PB118: How to Find Time to Create Your Blog’s First Product - Note: this episode can be listened to in the player above or on iTunes or Stitcher Seven Ways to Find Time to Create Your Blog’s First Product Today I a...3 days ago
Things are calmer than they were in the book business, but change is a constant - Among the shifts that have been taking place in publishing houses over the past decade is an increase in the head count dedicated to marketing and a decrea...4 days ago
Thomas of Lancaster Seizes Some Yorkshire Castles, 1317 - Edward II's relations with his wealthy and powerful cousin Thomas, earl of Lancaster, reached the lowest of all low points in 1317. That year, Thomas accus...4 days ago
Nighteyes Painting by Jackie Morris. Auction for Charity - All details here In a lovely essay by Jackie Morris on her own website. (Remember, I am NOT the Robin referred to in the first few paragraphs! I know tha...5 days ago
L’Oréal Paris is ripping off consumers. I am making noise about it. - Only problem with L’Oréal’s Visible Lift makeup? It doesn’t come out of the bottle. I recently read an article in the National Post entitled, “How silent...1 week ago
Review: At The Edge by Dan Rabarts and Lee Murray, eds. - Australia and New Zealand are home to some of the greatest dark fiction writers the world has to offer — disturbed minds firing out shots of madness into t...1 week ago
From island prison to island prisons: White Australia and other stories - Originally posted on oecomuse: This week the highest court in Papua New Guinea unanimously ruled that the detention camps established by Australia on Manus...1 week ago
So, about that other news I’ve been waiting to tell you… - More information to follow…1 week ago
TRUMBO AND THE TRUTH IN BLOGGING: OVER TO YOU, PEEPS - Spent last night watching the dramatised documentary *Trumbo*, which is based, to a large extent, upon letters written by Dalton Trumbo during the period o...2 weeks ago
Published Projects: Where To Buy My Words These Days - Here's a quick run down of what I've had published recently and where you can get it all, if such is your desire. All of these publications are print editio...2 weeks ago
MtLawleyShire: Photo Challenge: Earth - The daily Post Challenge: Earth http://Earth</a> the beauties of the earth are many an...3 weeks ago
Done with the last tongue surgery…plus, the contrary child and the sideways-thinking washcloths - Tweet Friday I was first in line in the outpatient OR. The folks were good, the surgery was brief (for me—I slept through the whole thing), and I came out ...3 weeks ago
Blood, Bone, and Marrow: A Biography of Harry Crews in Review - It was 2009 when I first picked up an old paperback with an intriguing cover depicting a snake, Ouroboros-style, eating its own tail. The book was A Feast ...3 weeks ago
Ratfan's Book Blog: North of the Dragonlands; by Stephen Dedman - Originally posted by *ratfan* at Book Blog: North of the Dragonlands by Stephen Dedman This book is YA, probably fine for reasonably literate childre...4 weeks ago
Celebrating Australian Short Spec Fic at Swancon; and Bloodlines ed. Amanda Pillar wins an Aurealis Award - *Australian short spec-fic panel: a celebration * *Where*: Swan Con Panel at the Pan Pacific Hotel *When:* 8:30 - 9:30 Easter Sunday *Panelists*: Anth...2 months ago
WEP wrap up and WINNERS of the Valentine's Day challenge! - *Hello Everyone!* *Thanks to all who participated during the 2016 Valentine's Day WEP challenge. It is amazing how different each entry was which made the ...2 months ago
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle manuscripts digitized and more medieval news - Our weekly roundup of medieval news starts with the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle... [View the story "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle manuscripts digitized and more medieva...3 months ago
Poem: On the Deaths of Alan Rickman and David Bowie - Close My Eyes. Then, Closetland. And of course Stardust was always there. Not sure when it entered my mental world. And yet, strangely, I am not devasta...4 months ago
How to Set the Stage for a Creative and Compassionate Life - Some years ago, I was shocked by young men in a diversion from incarceration program, who demonstrated no ability to imagine life beyond the narrative of ...5 months ago
Our Love is On the Right Track- Song & Video from my new "solo" project - *Our Love is on the Right Track**A great sentiment for Christmas, **but also a romantic song & video for you all, the first from my new "solo" music and v...5 months ago
- Andrew McKiernan
- Bren McDibble
- Celestine Lyons
- Guy Gavriel Kay
- Hal Spacejock (Simon Haynes)
- Jacqueline Carey
- Jennifer Fallon
- Jessica Rydill
- Jessica Vivien
- Joel Fagin
- Juliet Marillier
- KA Bedford
- KSP Writers Centre
- Karen Miller
- Lynn Flewelling
- Marianne de Pierres
- Phill Berrie
- Ryan Flavell
- SF Novelists' Blog
- SF Signal
- Satima's Professional Editing Services
- Shane Jiraiya Cummings
- Society of Editors, WA
- Stephen Thompson
- Yellow wallpaper
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- ▼ July (7)
- ► 2007 (55)
First, check this competition out (closes 4 September 2008) -
Make sure you read terms and conditions before entry.
* Your manuscript on the top of the consideration pile for Morrigan Books. Check out their website to see if your manuscript would fit their style. (Update 28 August 2008 - this prize has been withdrawn.)
* A professional and in-depth critique of up to 15,000 words of your manuscript by Phillip Berrie
* One seat in a 2 hr online writing course 'What not to do in your medieval setting 101'
Fantasy Book Pack
* Royal Exile by Fiona McIntosh
* The Accidental Sorcerer by K E Mills
* Winterbirth by Brian Ruckley
Dark Book Pack
* In Bad Dreams vol 1 edited by Mark Deniz and Sharyn Lilley
* The Painted Man by Peter V Brett
* The Scent of Shadows by Vicki Pettersson
Eclectic Book Pack
* Hal Spacejock - No Free Lunch by Simon Haynes SIGNED!
* Daikaiju Vol 1 edited by Robert Hood and Robin Pen
* Daikaiju Vol 3 edited by Robert Hood and Robin Pen
And don't forget the Conflux virtual mini-con this weekend. It's an online forum where various Conflux guests of honour (both current and past), workshop presenters, committee members and other worthies -- wits and raconteurs all -- get to chat with online visitors, answer questions and generally liven the day with sparkling banter and repartee.
Details of who'll be in the hot seat for each session are below.
To take part, just go the Conflux forum at the appropriate time, sign in and banter away! Hope to (virtually) see you there.
Saturday August 2
12pm – Glenda Larke
1pm – Chris Barnes
2pm – Gillian Polack
3pm – Bruce Gillespie
4pm – Phill Berrie
5pm – Stephen Hunt
6pm – Peter Strong
7pm – Karen Miller
8pm – Fiona McLennan
9pm – Maxine McArthur
10pm – Sharyn Lilley
11pm – Karen Herkes
12am – Ellen Datlow
1am to 6am – break
7am – Sherwood Smith
8am – Nicole R Murphy
9am – Jonathan Strahan
10am – Kaaron Warren
11am – Sean Williams
12pm – Kevin J Anderson
1pm – Cat Sparks
2pm – Jackie French
3pm – Jack Dann
4pm – Simon Haynes
5pm – Marianne de Pierres
I'm flat out with packing and house cleaning to be ready for Juliet's homecoming this afternoon. Pan-ic!
This is a video of Outlaw and Gretel at the oval.
My result for The Camelot Test...
Lady of the Lake
Mistress of the Enchanted Isle (Avalon), you are beautiful, poised and very powerful. You strike fear and love in the heart of your peers.
Hm. Pity I missed out on the good looks...
(I think I'll do the test six more times, fudging my answers so I can collect all the lovely pictures!)
Another newish site is called A Boy Goes on a Journey and it also looks very promising. There are articles on writing, discussions and the opportunity to exchange critiques. My crit buddy Phill Berrie is one of a keen team of organisers. There's loads of potential here: it just needs a bit of support to see it turn into something really worthwhile.
We've had good rains this week. Down at the oval where I like to walk the dogs, one area became a temporary duck pond a few days ago. It's dried out now and the quackers have retraced their fifty-metre walk back to the river, although there are still plenty of shallow puddles.
But, depending what you're used to, you would not think it cold here; at least, not for winter. Today the sun shines down from a clear blue sky, so I took the dogs on an extra leg around the block before heading to the oval, checking out the gardens along the way. One household boasts what appears to be a single camellia bush with two kinds of flowers, some pale pink striped with a deeper pink; others self coloured in the darker shade. Whether caused by a sport reverting to type or a clever gardener's training of two bushes to look like one I don't know, but it is a lovely sight in the sunshine. A house or two farther down, Iceberg roses in full bloom, a full dozen bushes of them, all taller than I am, nod to us we pass, and I rejoice at how lucky I am to live in a place where roses and camellias both flower in mid-winter. Soon there will be spring bulbs, flowering fruit trees and magnolias, and gardeners will reluctantly remove the last of the rose blooms and prune the bushes in readiness for the early summer flush in November.
Back from the walk, my shoulders soften in the sunshine that pours in through the window, while my stiff hands, cold in their fingerless gloves, hit wrong keys more often than not. On a day like this, it's warmer outdoors than in. Most people here think it not worth the trouble and expense of central heating for our short ersatz winter; and besides, the government is now on our backs about climate change and the need for restraint when it comes to heating and cooling. So warm shoulders and cold hands are the order of the day. The dogs have the right idea: they move from one patch of sunshine to another as the sun circumnavigates the house. Here is Juliet's little fosterling, Sara, peering over the back of the couch. She is real, honestly, even though she looks like a teddy bear...
And here is Sonia the Cat, looking every bit her elegant, aristo-catic self. Actually, since Sara arrived, Sonia has made a dignified retreat to the front room. Discretion is definitely the better part of valour when you're an elderly cat and there are three dogs in the house. She cautiously comes to the kitchen at meal times, occasionally demanding that I escort her past the madding throng of canine peasants if they look like being too unruly for her refined tastes. She then allows me to lift her onto the laundry bench so she can enjoy her repast without interference from the lower orders.
Like Joscelin, Jacqueline Carey's hero in the Kushiel novels, I just "protect and serve";-)
SF Rules OK on TV by Stephen Thompson
Meet the Publishers (QWC Seminar Notes) by Amanda Greenslade
Up and Coming
New books from Orbit
New books from Voyager
BLACK Magazine exposes Australia’s Dark Side
Jack Dann in conversation with Satima Flavell
Alison Goodman in conversation with Satima Flavell
Edwina Harvey interviewed by Stephen Thompson
Glenda Larke in conversation with Satima Flavell
Alastair Reynolds in conversation with Simon Petrie
The Flying Banana by James Hansen
One Last Time by Bill Youatt-Pine
All the Stage is a World by Damien Kane
Traitors All by Warren Bernard
Belladonna by Anne Bishop
Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny
Fires Rising by Michael Laimo
Dreaming Again edited by Jack Dann
The Dragon Waiting by John M. Ford
The First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie
The Game by Diana Wynne Jones
The Healer by Sharon Sala
The Two Pearls of Wisdom by Alison Goodman
The Ice-cream Man by Jenny Mounfield
Wardragon by Paul Collins
Stargate SG-1: Do No Harm by Karen Miller
House of Suns by Alastair Reynolds
The Darkest Kiss by Keri Arthur
The Orphanage (El Orfanato)
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
Meet my fellow members of the Specusphere team: Stephen Thompson (editor), Amanda Greenslade (webmistress and writer) and Astrid Cooper (sub-editor and writer):
Since 1997, Stephen has pursued an interest in creative writing that he’d been nurturing for over 25 years. His publishing credits include poetry, radio drama, short fiction, non-fiction, music and screenwriting. He holds an industry recognised Diploma of Editing (Publishing) and works as a freelance editor, proofreader and publisher in Brisbane.
Amanda has a Bachelor of Communication majoring in writing and screen production. She fits her duties as Specusphere's web mistress around a full-time job as a graphic design/multimedia manager for a non-profit organisation. Her interests include animals, writing, reading fantasy and science fiction, gaming, website design, film, theatre and music.
A published fantasy-romance novelist, Astrid's work for The Specusphere focuses on author promotions, interviews and book reviews. She will also be writing the occasional “how-to” article, drawing upon her experience in the writing and publishing industry. When not working on her own books, she serves as an editor/manuscript assessor with an Australian agency.
I do hope you enjoy the fruits of our labours. The panic's over now for another two months, but we'll be back on 1 September with even more previews, reviews and interviews!