March Arrives with an Update

Just a quick update. I’ve been missing from my blog over the past few months, for many reasons –

  • The long school holidays here in Sydney, accompanied by world record heat (if anyone doesn’t agree that faces dripping with sweat aren’t very conductive to writing with electronic devices, you owe me an air conditioner and payment of my energy bills)
  • My discovery of Netflix and binge watching. Not recommended, although I’ve watched 155 episodes of The Vampire Diaries and am impressed with the complicated threads of story structure the writers inpur to the series).
  • School returns with a hectic season of sports tournaments and grand finals, and the finding that my eyesight isn’t what it used to be.
  • And any other procrastination device I can excuse myself with.

However, I have been writing, and developing my huge story world bible towards the series I have partially written. And I’ve continued to pin and tumblr interesting articles on writing topics as I’ve gone.

For this blog, I have no large plans as yet. But I’m sure there will be a few more articles to come. Meanwhile – happy writing, everyone.

Link

New Resources Page

My old self-named author site is being shut down – I find this WordPress.com website ample for the now. In the process, and in preparation for next month’s NaNoWriMo, I’ve created a Free Resources page holding some free PDFs from previous post series, my own infographics, and of importance, the refound NaNoWriMo Checklist document.

You will find the Free Resources page from the top menu.

In the process I discovered that several posts from a few years back have somehow just gone missing off the blog here. If the resource page has some dead links, or errors, please leave me a comment and I will amend.

Ode to a Writing Companion

It is the Winter school holidays in these parts. My family spent a lovely and well-needed family holiday in Hawaii a couple of weeks ago. But I returned with some bad news and an extra bad cold, so it will take a little time to recover.

Update: The Character Archetypes series will have a little rest for a couple of weeks while I catch up and get back into the stream of writing.

But really, this is just a note and ode to my lost writing companion, Rocky.

Continue reading “Ode to a Writing Companion”

Manuskript looks promising

Manuskript is a new open source writing platform currently under heavy development. But the screenshots look promising, offering a Scrivener-like look and what gets me excited: a storyline graph tool, for tracking throughlines.

If interested, take a look here – http://www.theologeek.ch/manuskript/

Note – I haven’t tried the downloads, as the product currently needs a lot of support code, but my thanks to Oliver for pointing it out to me.

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.

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?

Coveting Writerly Things

For the first time in my life I sat through an Ebay bid war, and won something: This little red beauty, in working condition. She’s not one of those old solid black Remingtons of the 1940’s, and I won’t be sitting over her, snuggling a tumbler of whiskey under the manuscript.

But…she will do wonders as a display on my newly renovated study shelves, and she will also do wonders for my Writerly self – we all have a right to covet Writerly things after all.

And she will be given a workout by my daughter who’s never before appreciated the slowness and tap-tap thinking time of tangible keys and inky ribbons.

 

Who Needs an Excuse to Read a Comic? Scribd now does them.

“Writing’s for fun, Reading’s your JOB” – Holly Lisle

Who needs an excuse to read? Well, sometimes as a writer it’s difficult to put aside a manuscript for the chore that reading can sometimes feel. (Anything which you know you should be doing  takes the pleasure out).

Continue reading “Who Needs an Excuse to Read a Comic? Scribd now does them.”