April 1 2021
Well, it’s been a while…
So… the last couple of years have been a wild ride, globally and personally. Before COVID-19, I was already at a point where I couldn’t continue at my job, even part-time. I was mentally and emotionally exhausted and I simply could not do it anymore. Being there was making me hollow. Then the world became the first ten minutes of an apocalyptic horror movie.
I am now focussing on my writing, my health and my life. This being said, I am very excited to announce my new book ‘Blue Moons and Unicorns’ is now available. I had planned that the next book would be a follow up to ‘Last Loose End’ but my brain wasn’t able to deliver on that. Instead, we have the beginning of a new series with new characters. It is available in multiple formats of ebook through Smashwords and paperback through Amazon. See the links here. Please use the code UL57Y at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1077375 to purchase it for free or through Amazon.com. If you like the book, please leave it a many starred review wherever you bought it.
February 24 2019
Recently I read an article (https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-02-19/purist-or-revolutionist-language-you-grumble-about-reveals-which/10776766?section=analysis) about how people view language. On one side you have the purists who want language to stay static, keeping forever as they learned it and on the other, the evolutionists who see changes to language as proof it’s alive. While on a handful of matters I’m probably more in the purist camp, generally I’m all for the language being fluid. Not Terminator T-1000 levels of fluid because that was all kinds of bad but more of a river moving and changing to accommodate new times.
Particularly in written communication I love the way that emojis and asterisks and other formatting are actually making written text clearer. There is so much scope for something to be misconstrued when you are just looking at the words, with no tone, no real emotional context. As much as the rough spelling may make me wince at times, I think it’s a great thing to be able to imbue what you are writing with sarcasm or a light-heartedness that might not be clear in just the words alone. Language is all about communication after all and if a face palm emoji makes the message clearer then I am fully on board.
I find this in fiction and often poetry too, not so much the emojis, but the use of something that may not make complete literal sense being used to describe a situation or a mood. If the expression makes you feel the right thing then it doesn’t matter how it’s spelled or whether it has documentary standard accuracy. So wherever you are on the language spectrum, just remember what it is there for and if that purpose is still being met then
January 4 2019
Here’s to 2019 and Beyond
While I’m not a New Year’s resolution type person there is something about a fresh new calendar that gives me the feel of possibilities and hope. I doubt I’ll be getting fit and healthy any time soon nor will I be taking up a new language or similarly bettering myself but I do plan to commit more to my writing. This means a solid chance of Reason’s Alibi being released this year which is the next book in the Cole and Sean story. I intend to add to my Short Stories page so there’s, you know, more than one. Basically I’m just going to do more writing and share more of it.
Also I’ll be looking to lift my game in the marketing department so that can only be fun to come. Fridge magnets, anyone? This seems to be the go to approach for the real estate agents in my area for some reason. As though the day you decide to sell your house you’re going to look to your fridge rather than Google. I mean, sure, whatever works I guess. For me the selling your work thing is the hardest part of being an author and I know I’m not alone in that. However, as my husband keeps telling me ‘you can’t sell a secret’ so here goes. And to you all, whatever your 2019 and beyond looks like I hope it includes things or at least the possibility of things that have you excited about the future.
November 24 2018
1000 Shocking Reasons Clickbait Titles Are The Worst
You know the type of thing, ‘Something wildly misleading followed by the fact you’ll be shocked or won’t believe what happened next.’ Clickbait headings and titles drive me nuts and I don’t understand how it works for anyone long term. I’ve clicked on these, of course I have I’m a curious human, but it’s a shortlived outcome surely? After the fifth time you click on it and the story bears only a passing connection to the title, are you really going to go back for the sixth time? I now ignore anything that sounds overblown or melodramatic wherever I see it and I can’t see how that helps the advertising revenue of those websites. I mean, if I am actively giving your content a swerve then how are you benefiting from that exactly?
Here’s the really shocking thing. If you provided interesting content, I and plenty of other people would want to read it, ridiculous title not required. And maybe your advertisers would actually see an increase in traffic.
November 23 2018
Meeting your heroes – it’s not always a disappointment
I am a big fan of Lee Child and the Jack Reacher book series (can’t say the same for the Tom Cruise fronted movies though) and so when I saw he was doing an author talk nearby I was excited, concerned and then cautiously excited again. The issue is that I had an idea in my head of what Lee Child would be like and I desperately didn’t want that tainted with any sort of reality that didn’t line up with that. You know the drill, you finally hear someone you admire speak or meet them and they turn out to be a prat. I’ve met a few actors/celebrities over the years and have been sorely disappointed that the characters they played in no way reflected their actual personalities. I sucked it up though and went along. Luckily Lee Child turned out to be entertaining and forthright and finding out more about him didn’t mess with my past or future enjoyment of his books.
It may seem ridiculous that the two interlinked for me but I see the same things in movies, television and music. I enjoy the efforts of some artist until I find they’ve done something I can’t back. That’s why I have actually avoided my favourite authors, musicians and actors on Twitter. I have no doubt I’m missing out on some fantastic interactions but at the same time ignorance could very much be bliss. Time to take the blinkers off perhaps and be open to learning more about other heroes of mine, in case there are more Lees and less prats out there.
September 25 2018
Let your fingers do the hiking
A dear friend of mine Gail Jessup is walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain. Again. And she is documenting the whole experience for everyone’s vicarious pleasure. I can assure you that is the only way I will be seeing the Camino! If you are unaware of what the Camino is, the tl;dr version is it’s an ancient pilgrim trail almost 800 kilometres long very popular with travellers from all over the world. It’s not an easy walk but from most reports, a very rewarding experience with many friendships being forged over days and days (and weeks and weeks) of hiking. It sounds like an amazing thing to do particularly with Gail’s entertaining commentary but I am way too lazy to hike for days, glorious views and profound encounters notwithstanding. Gail has a great turn of phrase so get along to https://wanderingaussies.com/category/camino-de-santiago-2018/ and enjoy the whole journey, I recommend starting right at the beginning for full immersion.
September 23 2018
Recently I rediscovered a couple of non-fiction gems. I’m not a big reader of non-fiction as I find I get plenty of reality in my day to day life but these two books are ones that had a real impact on me when I first read them.
One is the exceptional ‘Like Color to the Blind’ by Donna Williams published in 1996. It is her story of navigating the world and an intimate relationship with the complex lens of autism. The day to day barriers the condition brought to her life sound exhausting but she is resilient and eager to be an ‘anybody anywhere’ where she can just be. It’s an intriguing look at how different autism is for different people and what it meant for her to be finally able to understand herself and her wants rather than sticking with patterns of behaviour she had learned over time.
The other is ‘Ghost Wife’ by Michelle Dicinoski published in 2013. Michelle’s story is of meeting her love and having the ability to be married stymied by ignorance and discrimination in Australia. It’s a sweet love story made so frustrating by their situation. They ended up getting married in Canada and coming back to an Australia that still didn’t recognise their official relationship.
Both books are fundamentally about people just wanting to be themselves in the world and having hurdles to deal with that many of us don’t ever experience. I highly recommend them.
July 28 2018
Why I write what I do
I write what I love to read. My favourite authors – JRR Tolkien, Devon Monk, Lee Childs, John Le Carre, David and Leigh Eddings, Barbara Hambly, Josh Lanyon – all immerse me in their worlds even though they have vastly different styles. In my writing I try to do the same thing so that me as the writer, and hopefully, the reader is fully part of that world. I also write screen plays. Some years ago I made it to the Top 8 of Project Greenlight Australia II on the strength of a feature length drama script I had written in three weeks. The three weeks was because I found out about the competition at the last minute. I have a number of film length and television show script in various states of completeness and plan to spend more time on this during the year. Having seen some of my work performed by actors (when I was doing Project Greenlight) I know the buzz of seeing your dialogue and actions come to life.
July 31 2018
If it’s not enough to repeatedly binge watch that show on Netflix, fan fiction might be the stop gap you until the next season.
One of the many, many things I love about the Internet is that it gives so much access to so many writers who would never have otherwise had the opportunity to be published. Not all of it is gold – much like the stuff that is formally published – but some of it is absolutely brilliant. I reread stories over and over and derive the same enjoyment of them as I would any traditionally published book by a much loved author. Yes, they are basing their stories on other people’s characters and no, they don’t profit in a monetary way.
The thing with fan fiction is that there is so much character background and history that can be taken as read without having to establish everything from scratch. The writers take things in all sorts of directions but as a reader you usually have a fairly firm basis to start from. There are some shows I’ve stopped watching because I don’t like where the show writers are taking the characters but I’ve continued to stay connected through fan fiction stories.
There are many sites that carry fan fiction and a simple browser search will get you there.