How to Balance Writing, Family, Work, and Life: An Unhelpful Guide for the Perplexed

One of my favourite finds in netreads lately. Via David James Poissant –

How to Balance Writing, Family, Work, and Life: An Unhelpful Guide for the Perplexed

  1. Resolve to balance work, family, writing, and everything else in your life.
  2. Understand that you will never be able to balance work, family, writing, and everything else in your life.

Read the other 28 points at Glimmertrain here.

NaNoWriMo 2015 is Live


The NaNoWriMo website is now live for 2015.

As usual, I am half-passioned for NaNo this year. NaNo works for me, but for a lot of writers who join up, simply doesn’t. Maybe this year I won’t be successful in typing out 50K of words, but I’ll take the preparation work I’m doing currently and any words I do manage in the month as my elixir reward for my own mini-hero’s journey any day.

Good luck to you also, if you are participating this year.

For more prep talk – I’m collating all the best I am personally finding across the web, via the #nanoprep tag at Everything for Writers.

Companion 2 (Accidental Writing Companions)

Turkey and the Parrot

Being spring, my writing has lately been accompanied by frequent visits from the local Australian birdlife, all demanding seed off the balcony outside my study window. A couple of times a day I am visited by the enticing song of some pairs of red rosella parrots, who are mostly pushed out by any golden crested cockatoos always waiting – who are much bigger, raucous, and destructive in their demands. Occasionally a flock of rainbow lorikeets will arrive, feisty enough to fight off a dozen cockatoos.

But today, a red rosella arrived with a seemingly more acceptable eating companion, an Australian Brush Turkey. For some reason, it’s spelt like brush, but pronounced like ‘bush’ – don’t ask me why Aussies have the silent R. This one is a big local boy – sporting a large yellow wattle of the mating season. I believe I know him from chickhood – he survived the perils of having been born out the back of our section, surrounded by many cats. Now he’s back to build his own large compost mound for the females to lay their eggs into. Hence the state of our local gardens, which have provided much of the mulch and leaves he’s carted down there.

Having shared the seeds I put out for them, the big and small birds left happily, leaving meager pickings for the cockatoos now squawking along the railings as I write this.

Sometimes distractions are worth it.

Free Autumn/Spring MOOC Courses of Interest to Writers

How to study a MOOC has recently published the Lifehacker University Fall 2015 Programme, which in essence is a roundup list of links to free university and MOOC online courses available at this time.

Of interest, I chose several which pique my own writer within (although some of the computer programming ones are also of interest). My choice for some interesting online courses (quoted from Lifehacker University) for fiction writers after the cut.

But if you want others, read the Lifehacker post. And at the bottom the post lists many other resources for MOOC courses you can find.

Continue reading Free Autumn/Spring MOOC Courses of Interest to Writers

Companion 1

Dougy JuneI still have little of any thoughts to blog about. Most of my writing work is done offside at the moment, whilst anything I read of interest can be found as daily editions on my curation tumblr blog, Everything for Writers.

But occasionally I browse across to read Dean Wesley Smith’s blog, and would recommend his current sometimes series now winding up – Stages of a Fiction Writer. It makes for interesting analysis of our own writing processes and belief systems.

The series is interspersed with DWS’s regular (heading across year two now) writing in public series, in which he shares daily word count and thoughts. I don’t read those many posts, but have noticed lately he’s featuring a lot of photographs of his pet cat.

So here I am, using an excuse to feature (and finally post a few more blogs) my own menagerie of pets, starting with my regular writing companions.

The first is constant buddy, infinite puppy-hood, Dougy. Dougy is coming up to being a year old now, and in today’s photo taken in my study as I write, Douglas is in obvious need of a good grooming.(His regular groomer has gone MIA, and my own attempts with scissors have not been well received).

When Doug goes out in public – which is most days, he draws a great lot of attention because his breed is a new one around here. Australia has a plethora of the new age dog breeds, specifically poodle crosses. We previously had a Cavoodle – cavalier king charles crossed with poodle. Cavoodles are plentiful around here, and easily recognised.

But Dougy is a new cross, and one that a lot of people inquire about. He’s a border collie cross with a poodle, which in local terms is known as a Bordoodle. With this cross, you have an extremely intelligent dog mixed with an extremely playful one. In my forty years of dog ownership I can without a doubt say that Douglas is both the naughtiest and funnest dog I’ve ever had. And with his smarts on, he’s also one easily trained out of bad habits – once you catch him at it, which is the problem.

Thankfully he also makes a brilliant writing companion, and considers a sleep surrounded by shelves of books and accompanying tapping of keyboards just perfect in any morning.

All Quiet

Apparently, I don’t blog much anymore. Who woulda thought?

Well,  the spammers started noticing, which forced me back on. So – here’s a quick update.

  1. I’m still alive (save for an Autumnal visit of the flu/cold lurgy) and writing.
  2. I’m still working daily on a series of YA superhero fiction – it’s getting very complicated. I’m intending daisy chaining the release schedule when three-four are completed (including pro-editing).
  3. I’m still taking the occasional online course to progress my writing experience and networks. The latest is on short stories – which have always flummoxed me, but I’m going to give them another go.
  4. I still read a lot and try to keep abreast of writing and theory – everything I find is shared across at my E4W tumblr site. Which has 1100 followers, so I must be doing something right.  Occasionally I put up masterposts which point to the best links and resources on certain topics like structure, plotting etc. BUT I don’t spend time on answer boxes – I want to write (and plan, and edit) not write about writing much anymore. I don’t consider myself an expert, just a curator.
  5. I am spending too much time (and doughnut money) on the addictive game Simpsons Tapped Out.
  6. My study renovation is done. I have an entire office of pleasure. And I’m currently typing this out while overlooking the golden leaves of some native trees outside. It’s cold and windy, with a sharp taste of winter coming here in Sydney today.

Such is life for me. How is everyone else going?

exploring the writing world


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