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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
Discovery of Lost Early Medieval Kingdom in Galloway - Archaeological research has just been published which reveals the location of a hitherto lost early medieval kingdom that was once pre-eminent in Scotland ...4 hours ago
A woman, a dog, and a walnut tree.. by Leslie Wilson - This advertisement appeared in 1903, and I hope that to all my readers it will seem as shocking as to myself. What is equally shocking is that in fact it...4 hours ago
The best medical advice from ancient Greece and Rome - As a highly revered and extensively-studied field, medicine today has certainly evolved from its origins in ancient times. However, to fully appreciate h...17 hours ago
How to Keep Readers Happy When Your Character’s Unlikeable - Please welcome Holly Brown as our guest today. Holly is the author of Don’t Try to Find Me, A Necessary End, and—just this month!—This is Not Over. In addi...19 hours ago
Writing Prompt: The Story Starter: A Shocking Betrayal - *By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy * This week’s prompt is a story starter, so take the element provided and turn it into a story of any length you choose. I...19 hours ago
How to Sell Your Book, No Matter Who Published It (3) - Continue reading →1 day ago
Technological responses to Climate Change (number 352 in a series) - ‘Heatwave-friendly’ Theremin gearstick and steering for cars parked outside.1 day ago
PRECIOUS THINGS TWOFER: GREG CHAPMAN AND MICHAEL ROBOTHAM - Time for another *Precious Thing* to be revealed, and for reasons soon to be revealed, today we have no less than two examples for your education, entertai...1 day ago
The Continuing Decline of "Assisted-Self-Publishing" Giant Author Solutions - *Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware* A little less than two years ago, I wrote a blog post that focused, in part, on Author Solutions' declining...4 days ago
For the book business, VMI in warehouses might happen before VMI in stores - The sales-and-returns convention by which most books are sold by most publishers to their retail and wholesale accounts is too often described as “consignm...6 days ago
Born from Fire: Permafree release of Episode 1 of Tales from the Longview - When love is a crime, who will save the guilty? That’s the question at the heart of the first story in my Tales from THE LONGVIEW series. I’m releasing the...6 days ago
Story in The Year's Best Australian Fantasy & Horror 2015 Ed. Liz Gryzb & Talie Helene - It's a privilege to have a story in the latest volume of *The Year's Best Australian Fantasy & Horror *Ed. Liz Grzyb & Talie Helene. Love the cover illustr...1 week ago
Rev. Cornelius Marshall (1770-1854) and Margaret Brydge (d.1847) - A detailed family history for the Rev. Cornelius Marshall (1770-1854) and Margaret Brydge (d.1847) has been uploaded to *Arborealis*. This work, comprisi...1 week ago
California! Arizona! Seattle! Bard! Spend an Evening With Me. - I took 2016 off from all public engagements, in order to get a novel written. I did a lot of things last year. I finished writing the *Norse Mythology* bo...2 weeks ago
#WEP winners - UTOPIAN DREAMS and 2017 Challenges! - *Hello Everyone! Sorry for being late with the WEP round up, but let me use Christmas celebrations as an excuse. My goal was to get this post up before the...3 weeks ago
Think back to 2016. Was it one of your better years? - OMG I’m joining the millions adding billions of words to the internet every minute about this truly crappy year. Yup, it sure has been; everyone knows that...3 weeks ago
Review: Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: The Ultimate Visual History - It might surprise some readers to learn that Jim Henson’s extraordinary fantasy vision, Labyrinth, was a box office bomb. Released in 1986, it was the last...5 weeks ago
2017 Potential Bee Calendar – & ladybirds and butterflies - Bees on flowers – all sorts of flowers (& bees) – and lady birds and butterflies. There were hundreds (literally) of photos to choose from. This is a small...1 month ago
Thing I wrote in Japan - hoped to get it published, but nope - Tokyo is Train City by Adam Browne (1100 words) (email@example.com) It wasn’t until after I’d arrived in Tokyo that I realized why I’d wanted to go ...1 month ago
GD Magic … Rosicrucian or not? … a review of Sam’s Review :) - A little while ago I reviewed a review of the Golden Dawn from a ‘Rosicrucian’ perspective by Sam Robinson, Sam has continued with his review, here Examini...1 month ago
There's a lawyer who's sure, all that glitters is gold..." Led Zeppelin On Trial: Part Three - Jimmy Page Answers The Same Question Many, Many Times - For decades the rumours had been doing the rounds and the evidence was damning. One listen to Taurus by the band Spirit and you’ll swear black and blue th...2 months ago
News Roundup - The 950th Anniversary of the Battle of Hastings - How the anniversary celebrations and the re-enactment of the Battle of Hastings at Battle Abbey was reported in the media... [View the story "News Roundup ...3 months ago
And Father Dragon said "let there be a planet...." - *Lo and behold, Dragon made a planet!!* Oh, I'm so very proud of myself so forgive me if I brag a little bit - way too much. I'm in the process of learni...4 months ago
Moving to a new site - visit Dive into Worldbuilding, the Blog! - New Blog Address: http://dive-into-worldbuilding.blogspot.com/ Friends, I've now been running Dive into Worldbuilding as a show for five years (!), and f...7 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...1 year 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
- ► 2016 (15)
- ► 2015 (22)
- ► 2014 (41)
- ► 2013 (32)
- ► 2012 (21)
- ► 2011 (13)
- ► 2010 (21)
- ► 2009 (47)
- ▼ 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!