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I am a writer, editor and reviewer based in Perth, Western Australia: my first novel, The Dagger of Dresnia (Book 1 of The Talismans) is published by Satalyte and available from their website as well as Amazon.com and other online outlets. As both writer and editor, I specialise in historical and high or epic fantasy. If you have a manuscript in preparation, don't waste money on editing too early. Instead, let me help with a mini-assessment of your work, based on careful reading of your synopsis and first 20 pages. Then, when you've worked on the manuscript in line with our discussions, I will be happy to do a full edit before you send it off into the big wide world. My fees are very reasonable - for more about my editing work, CLICK HERE

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Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

Places I've lived: Geelong, Australia

Places I've lived: Geelong,  Australia

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've Lived - Sydney

Places I've Lived - Sydney
Sydney Conservatorium - my old school

Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier

Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier
Blue Lake

Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

Places I've Lived: Perth by Day

Places I've Lived: Perth by Day
From Kings Park

Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've Lived: Perth by Night

Places I've Lived: Perth by Night
From Kings Park

Inner Peace Blog

Inner Peace Blog
Awarded by Joanna Fay. Click on the image to visit her lovely website!

Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile Blogger Award
Awarded by Kim Falconer. Click on the pic to check out her Quantum Astrology blog!

Fabulous Blog Award

Fabulous Blog Award
Awarded by Kathryn Warner. Click on the pic to check out her Edward II blog!

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Monday, 28 July 2008

Good things happening on the SF front

This is an easy post! I filched details of both these exciting events from LJ buddies:-)

First, check this competition out (closes 4 September 2008) -
Make sure you read terms and conditions before entry.
http://www.aboygoesonajourney.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=212&Itemid=122

Writers gifts

* 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
Monday, 21 July 2008

It 's working now

The video in my last post is working this morning - hurrah! I took it with my far-from-adequate camera to try to show you the distinctive trotting action Gretel has. She's mainly Miniature Pincher by blood and apparently it's typical of that breed. She moves so fast I couldn't keep up with her and keep the camera on her legs, but if you look closely at the last bit you might see what I mean.

I'm flat out with packing and house cleaning to be ready for Juliet's homecoming this afternoon. Pan-ic!
Sunday, 20 July 2008

Moving on again

Tomorrow Juliet comes home so I will be moving to my son's place for a few days before taking up the next house sit. I'm looking forward to hearing all about Juliet's trip but I'm feeling very sad at the prospect of leaving the pets. It's a long time since I've had any animal friends and I've become very attached to these little guys. Here is a pic of Sonia and Gretel on a bed-takeover-bid. Aren't they cute?

video
This is a video of Outlaw and Gretel at the oval.
Monday, 14 July 2008

The Camelot Test

Ok, so I'm a sucker for Quizzes!

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!)

Take The Camelot Test at HelloQuizzy

Sunday, 13 July 2008

New SF sites

I have found two rather new Speculative Fiction web sites this week. I've been wishing there was a Fantasy web site - just fantasy, not hard SF or horror - and thanks to Simon Haynes's eagle eye I've found one, It's new, and it's British, and it's called Wonderlands. You sign up just like Facebook or My Space and have your own page. You can join in discussions and exchange messages with other members. Check it out here.

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.
Sunday, 6 July 2008

If winter come...

Spring is never far behind winter in these latitudes. In fact, it's almost as if autumn, winter and spring take it in turns to run the weather between May and October. Most of the time, the temperatures are pretty mild. There is rain-and heaven knows we need plenty of that-but, at least along the coastline, frosts are rare.

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";-)
Wednesday, 2 July 2008

A new issue of The Specusphere is online!

A lot of blood, sweat and tears goes into getting an e-zine on line, but the doughty team at The Specusphere has come through once again. Here's a list of the latest offerings. If you can't access anything from the Table of Contents on the front page, try the menu on the right for individual sections.

Editorial
SF Rules OK on TV by Stephen Thompson

Feature
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

People
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

Fiction
The Flying Banana by James Hansen
One Last Time by Bill Youatt-Pine
All the Stage is a World by Damien Kane

Poetry
Traitors All by Warren Bernard

Book Reviews
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

Film Reviews
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!
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