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Thursday, 12 December 2013

Thursday Theology




Sola Scriptura: by Scripture Alone

It’s been a while and I’ve not keep to my goal of posting three times a week. If at first you don’t succeed…

Anyway, in keeping with my Theology Thursday theme (of just one blog so far) here is my take on the first of the five Solae, Sola Scriptura or by Scripture alone.

By Scripture alone is usually the first Sola listed (but not always) and it is a good place to start. Basically, if you don’t believe the Bible* you have no reason to believe in God. It is from Scripture that one learns of God, which one learns of our sin before God and its consequences, that one learns of one’s salvation through Christ given by God and how one can have a relationship with God, experience the holiness of God and know the greatness of God’s love.

That is quite a lot.

The Bible does this not by being a rule book, how to manual, science book, history book, story book, essay from God or a book written directly by God. The Bible does contain all these as bits (and more), but it is a book that should be read and read some more. It was written by Godly men for many different reasons over hundreds of years. The one unifying thing about the whole is the infusion of the Spirit of God. A good summery of this come from Scripture itself (2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness).

It is this collaboration of God and man that makes the Bible a book that just should be read and read. The benefits of reading and reading Scripture are found in Psalm 19.

Psalm 19:7-11

The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
and all of them are righteous.

They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb.
By them your servant is warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.

Sadly, too many (both Christians and non) do not take time to just read Scripture and miss the point. This leads to wrong criticism by those who do not believe and misuse by those who do.

It does not matter if the description a pillar fits mathematically with Pie, or how many women who actually visited the tomb. Believing the Bible does not require you to stone your children for disobedience. Jesus is not the product of earlier myths.

The Bible should not be seen as inerrant in all the small details, this just misunderstand Scripture. The Bible should not be used as hammer to push one’s personal ‘whatever’. Particularly disturbing for me are those who use Scripture as a money making tool.

It is in the reading Scripture that one is raised to a better and more holy place. The Bible does not say, ‘slaver is wrong’, but by reading about the value of humanity in it leads one to know that it is. The Bible does not say explicitly that marriage should only be between one man and one woman, but in reading of the marriage between Christ and the Church leads one to understand how it is truly the best model.

It is truly by reading Scripture alone we know God and His love.

If you liked (or disliked) this post please leave a comment. You could also like my page on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter.


*I’m using Scripture and Bible interchangeably throughout this whole blog.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Blog Post 100: Am I a writer?


Recently a friend did a very good blog on comparison. He talked about comparing our creative output with others can kill our creativity. He made an example of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and the possible down side of the event. I’d never heard of NaNoWriMo (which, according to another blog I read, means I’m not a serious writer) before I saw another friend blogging about her participation. But, watching her progress, I can see how it could be bad for some people’s self-esteem.

I do, quite often, take part in a Wednesday night Writing Race on Facebook. There, I’m just happy to get a solid hour of writing in, and everyone there is encouraging. So the people who have written more than 2,000 words (even more than 3,000) tell me it’s wonderful that I’ve written 450, and it is. 

The other week, one of the writers posted that they had only written 750 words and commented that they were really slow. Everyone, including me, instantly replied that it wasn’t slow (I’ve never written that many words in an hour, probably never will.) and that it wasn’t the number that counted. But, it was clear, to me, that this writer had felt the pressure of the much larger word counts being posted.

However, word count is not the only way to feel insecure about your writing. Here are some of the things that have left me asking: Am I a writer?

I don’t like writing: Some writers talk about their love of writing, their joy of putting pen to page or finger to keyboard. They may have times when it’s hard to write, even painful, when the words just will not flow and the blanks page or screen becomes the enemy. However, it seems to me that, most writers like the physical process of writing. I just don’t. I love to create stories, build worlds, develop unique characters and see how it all comes out, but, only when I’m doing in my head. When it comes to writing it down, it is always painful. I do have times when the words flow and I can look at what’s on the screen and be genuinely pleased with the result. But, I still find even that painful.

I’m not compelled to write: This is closely related to the above. Again, some writers talk about being compelled to write, if they don’t write they’ll die. That is just not me. I have to compel myself to write. The stories come to my head easy, I couldn’t stop them if I tried, but I I find it very easy stop writing at any time.

I don’t love words: Many writers seem to just be in love with words. I read what they have to say and feel like telling them to get a room! Their gushes of appreciation for words border on the erotic. I like words, but I don’t love them. I love the stories that they create. It’s all about the story for, the words are just tools. This does not mean I don’t enjoy a good use of words, a well done turn of phrase, I do. It’s just that, in the end, it’s the story that really matters to me.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m not a writer, but a story teller. That writing is just one means of being a story teller. But I want to be a writer, have done since I was a child. Now, some 40+ years later, I’ve realised that I don’t have to want to be a writer; I can just be a writer.

Being a writer is a choice, and an action. I don’t have to be like any other writer, and they don’t have to be like me. I’m a writer because I say I’m a writer, and I write stuff.

I have stories in my heart and, somehow, I’m going to write them. This makes me a writer.

What makes you a writer is up to you.


If you liked (or disliked) this post please leave a comment. You could also like my page on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Thursday Theology


Hi,

One thing that matters to me which has not had much space on this blog is my faith and beliefs as a follower of Jesus Christ. To address this I'm going to devote and Thursday blogs I do the my faith and theology. Hence the name, Thursday Theology. I'll always make it clear in the title, so you can skip it if you wish.

I'm starting off with a brief introduction of the "Five Solas".

When I'm asked what I believe, what I really want to say is, 'The Bible', but we live in a world where can be understood in far to many different ways. So, over the years, I've looked at many different creeds and statements of faith, and not been fully happy with any of them. However, I really like the Five Solas (or Five Solae).

They are the only thing that I've found that match up what I believe.

I'm not going to go into any detail about them in this post, the pic outlines what they are. However, over the coming Thursdays I intend to post about each one in some detail. I explain what I think they mean and why I think they are important.

I understand that this may only be of interest to me, but hopefully there will be something of interest others who read this.

I'm happy for friendly debates about this, but please don't waste your time flaming me you won't enjoy it.

Next Thursday: Sola Scripture.

If you liked (or disliked) this post please leave a comment. You could also like my page on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Really Lazy Blog


I need to read more.

My story did not get past the first round of the Story Quest Contest.

I got a very nice rejection from the anthology I submitted a short story to.

The YA short story I am writing is not looking like a YA short story. I'm going to finish it anyway.

I'd like to finish my first novel, just so I've finished my first novel.

I have a children's story I should submit somewhere.

I have a short, short story about first contact and chess, that I'm going to submit somewhere.

I feel sad for people who don't read.

This is a very lazy blog, I need to do better.

If you liked (or disliked) this post please leave a comment. You could also like my page on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Book Review: Aurora: Darwin



I first encountered Amanda Bridgeman at the new authors show case at Conflux 8 back in April. This got me interested enough to buy her newly published book, Aurora: Darwin. It took be a while to read it, but I’m glad I did.


Aurora: Darwin is a good book.


As it is clearly the first book in a series it spends a fair chunk of the book establishing the characters and setting the scene. This was done very well, I almost never got bored or tempted to skip a bit. I wanted to know about them. There was just one thing I found odd. This was the incredible tension causes by the women being introduced to the military space ship. I did not ring true to me that there would still be such incredible prejudice against women in the military in the future. Perhaps I’m just a bit to idealistic.


Things really ramp up when the story reaches the Darwin space station; lots of great tension and plenty of well written action scenes. There were just a few times when I had to pause in an action sense, and reread a bit, to get a clear picture of what was happening.

Over all, Aurora: Darwin is a great read, well worth consideration by every Scifi reader.

Book two in the series, Aurora: Pegasus, is coming out on the 1st of December and really looking forward to reading it.


If you liked (or disliked) this post please leave a comment. You could also like my page on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Radar Love Journal Entry 6


Way back in April I started on the journey to Write Radar Love. A Steam Punk Romance short story.

I mapped out a plan for how I was going to write it. You can see the plane here. I came no where close to following it. I did, however, mange to submit the story in time.

It's now the wait to hear if my story gets accepted. I submitted the story here.

My main worry is whether I did enough. The final rewrite was rushed, because of my procrastination, and I didn't have anyone look a the final product. I don't think the story is the best it could be and I'm sad about that. However, I believe in the story and I hope they will see what I see.

Others being able to see your vision is what writing is all about.

If you liked (or disliked) this post please leave a comment. You could also like my page on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter.


Saturday, 2 November 2013

Back on the Story train

Time flies when you're changing your life.

In July, my family and I moved to Woy Woy and I changed jobs. My new Job required me to drive to Sydney each day leading to twelve hour days. This gave me just enough excuse to stop bogging, almost stop writing and spend much less time online (the last may be a good thing).

However, I am now determined to get back on the 'horse', or 'train', or something like that. Before I go into my 'plans' for the future, I'm going to outline the little I have done.


  • I have two short stories our there in submission land right now. One in the IFWG Story Quest Contest, my first story, Bounty, which has not found a home. The other for an anthology called, 'Kisses By Clockwork', with Ticonderoga Publications. I wrote this story, 'Radar Love', in a burst of inspiration back in May. It then mostly sat and stewed until I submitted it at the last minute on the 14th of October. I'm hopping I've done enough.
  • I've written about a 1,000 words of my novel, 'Lonely Susan'. 1,000 words in 3 months, I write like lighting!
  • I've written a short short story (500 words) about chess and First Contact called 'Earth's Grand Master'. I actually wrote the whole story in one hour during at Writing Race on Facebook.
So that's what I've done; here is what I'm hoping to do.
  • Write every day.
  • Blog at least three time a week.
  • Do a better job of connecting with others in writing and SpecFic community.
Right now I have started on a story idea for the Twelfth Planet Press Anthology Kaleidoscope called 'Ved'. It's about an Indian boy who cannot help but describe everything in detail. 

I'm looking for other themed anthologies as I seem to find inspiration for story by reading their guidelines. That is where both Radar Love and Ved came from.

If you liked (or disliked) this post please leave a comment. You could also like my page on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter.



Thursday, 27 June 2013

The Constancy of Change


There has always been change, in my life.

As a child my school, dad, house, dog, church, friends and hair length all changed, most of them more than once.

Got a job as a Junior Station Assistant on the Railway when I was 16. Worked for the railway for seven years and changed position seven times.

Went to Bible College for two years to become a youth pastor, 
graduated five years later and became a children’s worker.

Joined WEC for life, left seven years later.
Created my own ministry, ended it three years later.
Joined CEF for life, left seven years later.
Became a Church Pastor, quit three years later.

Got married and had three children along the way.

Have lived in 12 houses, owned 12 cars and 12 computers.

This was just the highlights.

About to, start a new job, move to a new house, turn fifty and start a writing career.


“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
Hebrews 13:8

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Writing Journal 20/06/2013


My writing and blogging has been slow of late, but I do have a reason. I’m in the process of moving house and changing jobs. I’m going to blog on this in detail soon.

However, for anyone interested, this is how my writing stands and what I’m hoping to achieve in the future.

Now:

My only completed short story, ‘Bounty’, has been rejected by another magazine, but it was a good rejection. I regard as good for a number of reasons, but the best that the rejection included, ‘…hope that you'll keep us in mind in the future’. I’m going to submit this story to another magazine in the next few days.

 I’m still working very slowly on my first novel, currently titled, ‘Lonely Susan’, mostly just writing on Wednesday night during the Facebook writing race hosted by the Australian Writers Marketplace. This is a lot of fun, if you’re free on a Wednesday night and write please come and join in.

My short story, ‘Radar Love’ is currently being read by my Thursday night writers group. I will be looking for beta readers next week. More details about this in a separate blog soon.

Future:

·         I’m aiming to complete the first draft of Lonely Susan by the end of the year. I most likely have to read about 60 000 more words to achieve this.

·         From August, I want to write five short stories, one a month, by the end of the year. I have all the stories in mind. One or two of them might end up as novelettes or novellas. One is for a younger audience, so it will be short story length, but a whole book in its age group.

·         I turn fifty at the end of the year and have been thinking about how long I should give to become a successful enough writer to keep going. My plan is to give it until I’m sixty.

I’m planning to get back to blogging regularly again after my move. I’ve also been putting thought into what I will blog about and when. Come back soon and see what I’m up to.


Please leave a comment if you can.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Radar Love Journal Entry 5



Right now the story is, slowly going through its editing and proofreading stage with not much to report.

There is, however, one thing I’m a bit hung up on. I’m not sure how important it is, but it’s something I’d like to resolve. If there is anyone with some insight on this please let me know.

Is there a correct way to write a Morse code message in a story? That is the translated message, not the original code; I know what the code looks like. A sample of how I have it right now is below, but I have thought of a number of different ways it could be done, tow of them are also below:

This is how I currently have it in the story:

< Are you on The Coventry? >
< Yes. >
< This is not allowed. >
< Please don’t tell. >
< I won’t. >
< Good, let’s talk. >

But could it be better like this?

ARE YOU ON THE COVENTRY?
YES.
THIS IS NOT ALLOWED.
PLEASE DON’T TELL.
I WON’T.
GOOD, LET’S TALK.

Or like this?

.Are.you.on.The.Coventry?.
.Yes. .
.This.is.not.allowed..
.Please.don’t.tell..
.I.won’t..
.Good,.let’s.talk..
Or some combination of the above? Maybe it should be done a different way all together. In the end it only matters that the reader can easily identify the Morse code from other dialogue, but I would still like to know if there is a right way to do it.

If anyone knows, or has a suggestion, please let me know.

Monday, 20 May 2013

At the Aurealis Awards



Other bloggers have already produced very good blogs about the 2012 Aurealis Awards (held 18 May 2013 at the Independent, North Sydney) listing all the winners. Two examples the blogs of Zena Shapter and Alan Baxter, check them both out. All I’m going to do is share a little about the experience of being at my first Aurealis Awards night and show a few of my, not to good, pictures.

First, it was a very well-run night. Everyone was brief, interesting and, sometimes, very funny. The SpecFic community in Australia seems to have struck a good balance of fun and professionalism in their official gathering. I found this a Conflux, and the Ditmars, in Canberra, and at the Aurealis awards Saturday night.

One of the few male winners,
Pat Grant, Best Graphic Novel.
Second, Australia has an incredible pool of talented women writers. Eight of the 14 general awards went to women, including; Margo Lanagan (who won four awards on the night, and a Ditmar a few weeks earlier), Kaaron Warren (who’s short story, ‘Sky’ also won a Ditmar and Shadow award this year) Kristyn McDermott (who’s novel, ‘Perfections’. also won a Shadow award and she won a Ditmar in another category) and Thoraiya Dyer (whos’ short story, ‘The Wisdom of Ants’, also won a Ditmar). A very impressive performance by the ladies.

Last, Australian Specfic people are very social. They were social before the awards started, during the awards and, I’m given to understand, incredibly social after as well. I couldn’t go to the after party because I had to catch a bus home and be home in time to get some sleep so I could preach at my church in the morning.
Thoraiya Dyer and Kaaron Warren
holding their awards.

You can see more of my pictures from the back row at my new writer’s page on Facebook.


Kirstyn McDermott accepting
her award with Margo Lanagan
being the Grim Reaper in the
background.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Book Review: Light Touch Paper, Stand Clear



I think book reviews are a great idea, but writing them still scares me. I finished the anthology, ‘Light Touch Paper, Stand Clear’, by Peggy Bright Books more than two weeks ago and building up the courage to write this review since.

Light Touch Paper, Stand Clear is a great book full of interesting and entertaining stories. The title interested me right off. I pictured the idea of the light of our eyes touching the written page and having a life changing impact on the reader. I’m not sure if this was meant, but it’s what I got out of it. It’s good to have a great title, but it is the stories that really count.

As I’ve already said, the stories are great. Every one of them are worthy of positive comment, but I’m going to pick just few that stood out for me.

The Bone Chime Song by Joanne Anderton: I deeply thoughtful story of regret, consequences and loss.

The Travelling Salesman and the Farmer’s Daughter by Katherine Cummings: An entertaining space story with a fun twist that I still enjoyed even though I saw it coming.

The Subjunctive Case by Robert Porteous: What you get when quantum physics is used to solve murder mysteries.

Mary and the Unicorn by Ripley Patton: A story that is incredible true to life while being fantasy.

The Godbreaker and Unggubudh the Mountian by Ian McHugh: A story set in a fully realised world that is both familiar and very different at the same time.

These are just five of the thirteen worthy stories in this book. Want stories that will have an impact on you as you read and beyond? Light Touch Paper, Stand Clear is such a book.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

My writing bits and pieces




Going to Conflux 9 did a number of things for me, one of which was to get me thinking about the state of my writing. It’s kind of in bits and pieces, but in a good way. Here are some of the bits:

Bit one: I’ve got another story accepted for publication. It’s a little story called ‘mouse’ and it will be
appearing in issue 181 the webzine AntipodeanSF (out in July). It’s a very short story, less than 100 words,most likely the shortest story I’ll ever write. My wife Jane, and her reaction to mice, was the inspiration for the story.

Bit two: Radar Love is in its second stage and will be that way for about a month, look out for an update in June. The stages of my plan for this Steampunk romance are in an earlier post. A workshop at Conflux showed me a whole new level of story self-editing. I always love more work.L

Bit Three: My first novel (in progress) has the working title of ‘Lonely Susan’. This started out as a short story that just grew into something bigger. Lonely Susan really worked as the name for the short story, but for the longer version it’s not feeling right.
The protagonist, Susan, is a person who finds herself kind of lost in time. She left earth in the late 21st century on a sleeper ship out to colonise a distant planet. However, she wakes up more than two thousand years after the colony is established, and things are not what she expected. I’m going to blog some more about the novel in the future. One of the things I learnt I need at Conflux is a one sentence statement that sums up the book. I’ll be getting into that at some point. Right now I’m into the tenth chapter with maybe between thirty or forty to go. I always love more work.L

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Radar Love Journal Entry 4


It's done! I'm finished! Well, part one anyway. I have completed the first draft of Radar Love, the last word is on the page. 

So, what is next?

Here is a reminder of the plan


First: Finish the first draft by the 24th of April, the day before I go the Conflux 9.

Second: Take it to my writing group for their feedback, this will most likely be just after Conflux 9, and edit accordingly. As my gut is telling me that the story is going to be about 4000 words, the group will most likely read it over two weeks.

Third: Let it sit until the end of May, and then edit again.

Fourth: Send to some beta-readers. I have a couple of people who beta read for me, I need more. Edit accordingly.

Fifth: Let it sit for two more weeks and go through it again, reading it out loud and letting my wife give it the once over.

Sixth: Submit, hopefully, sometime in July. The cut-off date is 15 October, so I’ve got a buffer if more time/work is needed.

Now here is the revision

First: Got first draft finished by the 1st of May.

Second: Take it to my writers group over three weeks, I went over the estimated 4000 words by a few hundred, so I need to break it up into three parts to have enough time for plenty of feedback in the time allowed.

The rest of the steps are unchanged, so far.

It feels real good to have completed another story (in a sense, there's still some work to do) and at 4000+ words it's the longest story I've ever completed.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Conflux Day 4


Yes, this is a day late. I was just exhausted after the train trip back to Sydney, and today I've been catching up with family.

So, just quickly, day 4 of Conflux 9 was just as great as the others, maybe better.

First, I went to a workshop on writing children's books run by Dawn Meredith. I almost didn't go (8am Sunday start time), but I'm very glad I did. I was brilliant and I learnt far more than I would ever had thought I needed to learn about children's book writing.

After that I went to a very nice panel on mentoring and wonderful stories of how well it works from a panel who had been on both sides of the relationship.

Then it was the big event. For me anyway. The launch of the paper back version of In fabula-divino. The book was launch by Peter Ball, of the Australian Writers Marketplace, who had to stand in at the last minute, and did a wonderful job. It was a great launch, Nicole Murphy, the editor, spoke, I spoke, we sold some books and I faced my, deep seeded, fear of signing autographs and over came it. Remember, you can buy In Fabula-divino online right now, and as a paper back very soon.

I then went to the Natcon Business Meeting and found out that Spec Fic business meeting are just like all other business meetings, but I put my hand up anyway.

The last panel a attended was a showcase of new authors. there were three authors with new or soon to be released books and they were all nice.

I then had to leave early to catch my train, so I missed the closing ceremony.

Finally, Cat Sparks has once again taken my picture while aiming for someone else. To see it follow this link http://flic.kr/p/eeuYZG

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Conflux Day 3


An other great day at Conflux 9 over, here are some of today's high lights:

A great workshop about creating vivid characters with author Karren Miller. I also had a coffee with her, and some other ladies, and learnt some interesting things.

An informative panel on writing communities.

Richard Harland reading from
his new book
Song of the Sums
The book launch of Richard Harland's latest novel, "Song of the Slums". There is a great video trailer for the book on You Tube.

Another informative panel, this time about fantasy world building.

The Ditmar awards, which is the Australian, popular vote, awards for Spec Fic writing and some other stuff. I won't go into all the awards, but i will mention one. the best new talent award was won by David McDonald. I mention this one because David's a friend and I'm very happy for him.Ii'm very happy for all the other winners as well, I just don't really know, only know them a little.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Conflux Day 2


I have survived the second day of Conflux, just. I'm wondering how I'm going to do two more days. the conference is really good, but I'm so tired.

The first thing today was a workshop (starting at 8am!) on polishing your stories. It was a very partical workshop and I learnt so much. But the extra work I now think I've got to put into my stories leaves my lazy side in tears.

Next was a small press vs big press smack down panel, that wasn't a smack down. Everyone got alone and said that there's a place for both. But it was a good panel.

There was a book launch at morning tea.

After morning tea I went to a publishers shown case, where only two of the three publishers were there. the third had just had a book launch, so I guess they were busy. The time listening to the two who were there was extremely valuable.

I than went to a panel on, I thought, The politics of steampunk. as I only want to say good things, I'll say that my respect for author Richard Harland, while was already high, was greatly increased by the end of this panel.

After lunch there was an interview with Angry Robot (a publisher) boss Marc Gascoigne. He was funny and very interesting to listen to.

I then took part in a reading session from the anthology In Fabula-divino. I read my whole story from the book. We were on at the same time as a book launch, but we still had a small group come and listen. I will be part of the launch of the book on Sunday.

This was followed by to really great panels, Contracts and Copyright & The business of writing. They were so good that just going to them is enough to make the whole trip worth it.

The last thing, for me, was the launch of the csfg Publishing anthology, 'Next".
The book has thirty stories and about twenty of the authors were there. So, anyone who bought the book, like me, got to line up and have all the authors, and the editors, sign the book.

There were some more night session, but I'm just so Tired, I'm going to bed.

Good night.


Conflux day 1


I made it to Conflux, I got into my Steampunk costume, let the fun begin.

The first thing I attended was the Steampunk High Tea. There were lots of great costumes, (see examples below) far to much food and some friendly conversation.

I then went a panel on pitching stories and found out that it was like a job interview. I hate job interviews, what am I going to do?

Next was a book launch. i was right at the back and couldn't hear or see anything. I talked to some of the others in the same situation.

At the Opening Ceremony I learnt that my 'Evil Overlord' name is Daphne Bashisheadin. I like the name Daphne.

At the Cocktail party I drank water and had something to eat.

I went to a panel about life transitions in Specfic and learn about the rebirth rituals of Native Americans. It was interesting.

My last panel was about the importance of editing. I learnt at lot, but my editor has cut it from this blog.

My first attempt to take a picture of myself in a mirror.

Two people in great costumes.

The costume winner, the five runners up and a little girl dressed as a fairy.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Radar Love Journal Entry 3


Well, I failed to reach my first target, completing the first draft before I leave for Conflux 9. I've only written 2,500 words and I leave for Cunflux in just a few hours.

What do I do? Make a new first target, complete the first draft in time to start reading it to my writing group on the 2nd of May. This will put me back on target. You can read about my plan and targets here.

In the mean time I'm off to Conflux and I'm hoping to journal it here at the end of each day. There is a chance I might get to lazy, I mean tired to do it everyday. Sadly, I get there to late to make the first lot of workshops, so the first event I will be attending is the Steampunk High Tea. Below is a preview of my Steampunk outfit, It's my go at a Steampunk outfit, I hope it's okay.


Sunday, 21 April 2013

In Fabula-divino - the launch


In one week, 28 April 2013, I will be at Conflux 9 and helping to launch the paper back version of In Fabula-divino. It will be the first time that I do a public reading of my own work. Exciting!

Below are some details.


Take eight authors, work them like they’ve never been worked before and what do you get?

Working for the devil, running from zombies, talking your way out of a throat slashing…

The In Fabula-divino project – eight months of mentoring, editing and publishing.

Those eight stories are joined by four tales from some of the biggest names in speculative fiction: Kevin J Anderson & Rebecca Moesta, Trudi Canavan, Angela Slatter and Kaaron Warren.

You’ll be entranced, entertained and inspired.

And maybe even find your own halo…
With original stories by:
Holly Kench
Tony Owens
Lily Ariser
Joseph W Patterson
Janett L Grady
SG Larner
AE Decker
PJ Keuning

To be launched by Russell Kirkpatrick at 11am, Sunday April 28 at Conflux 9, Rydges Capital Hill, Canberra.

Lucky door prize on offer for someone, plus the opportunity to buy one of the prettiest books you’ll ever see.

You can buy the eBook right now, go to here for details.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Radar Love Journal Entry 2


Once again I joined the writers race on Facebook; organized by 'The Australian Writer's Marketplace online'. I helped me to write another 500+ words for my story, Radar Love. All together, I am now just over 2,000 words into the story. Based on my original schedule (which can be found here) I'm half way into the story with one week to finish. That was based on my belief that the story would be 4,000 words long. However, my current estimate of it's length is more like 6,000+ words. If I'm right about this new estimate, I have 4,000 words to right in one week to make my first goal of finishing before I leave for Conflux 9. The last time I wrote that many words in a week was in college in the early 90's writing essays. Back then I would sometimes go for two days with sleep to get an essay finished in time. I was much younger, and did not have children back then.

Below in my favourite bit from the writing race:

'This is the first time I have ever changed from my uniform at work. I have memorised the way to Blue Eye’s rooms, but there is no need. His man is waiting for me; he escorts me from door to door. I almost do not notice the people sitting on lounges, the windows behind them are huge, from floor to ceiling, all I can see is blue sky. 
  ‘Chris, wonderful that you can make it.’ I notice Blue Eyes for the first time, as he stands and gives a slight bow. ‘May I introduce my mother, Lady Frothingham, and my sister Miss Isabelle Frothingham.’ They both nod in my direction, neither rise or speak. Lady Frothingham is the oldest looking woman I have ever seen. Not weak old, but old like steel. She sits perfectly straight, a magnificent head of grey hair, every strand in place. Her eyes meet mine, unwavering, I feel like she is examining my very soul. I quickly avert my eyes.'

Some of the other writers complemented me on the very visual language in the piece. Two of them sighted the phrase, 'old like steel' as being very visual. I like it as well.   


Sunday, 14 April 2013

In Fabula-divino Blog Hop



Welcome the In Fabula-divino blog hop.

In anticipation of the paper back launch of the anthology, ‘In Fabula-divino’ in two weeks at Conflux 9 the authors have got together to answer five In Fabula questions about the incredible experience that was the In Fabula-divino. (The eBook version has already been released; you can go to the ‘In Fabula-divino’ for the details.)

Today, I have Holly Kench the author of ‘The Secret Diary of a Zombie Fan’. (There is a sneak peak of her story after the interview.)

Welcome to The Rick Blog.

Great to be here Rick.

Are you ready to kill zombies...I mean...answer ‘Five In Fabula Questions’?

Ready for both, Rick.

1.         What was your inspiration for the story?
Like most zombie fans, I have spent a little too much time discussing and devising a zombie apocalypse survival plan. My sister and I have passed many a night huddled in front of zombie movies, assuring ourselves that we would handle an approaching wave of zombies with far more sense and success than any of the gun wielding war heroes, super human chicks, or ostensibly geeky body builders that wandered our screens. When I saw the In Fabula-divino call for submissions, I decided it was time I wrote a story about how two girls, like my sister and I, might actually manage if zombies turned up at their door.

2.         How different has the In Fabula-divino journey been from what you expected when you first submitted your story?
I didn’t expect my story to be accepted, so that was a surprise. Other than that I had very few expectations, but I was surprised by what a great time I had during the mentorship process. Nicole has a wicked sense of humour and understands my nerdy references, so we got along really well. I had a lot of fun bombarding her with questions and thrived on her answers.

3.         What is the best thing about having your story in this anthology?
It is always an amazing feeling to know that someone enjoys my writing. For Nicole to like The Secret Life of a Zombie Fan enough to include it in the In Fabula-divino anthology was incredibly exciting.

4.         Is there anything scary about having your story in the anthology?
There’s no room for fear when confronting the zombie apocalypse, I mean, when getting a story published!

5.         What was the most important thing you learnt during the In Fabula-divino process?
Definitely how to be a more conscious and reflective editor of my own work. Being able to look at someone else’s work and spot the flaws is one thing, but Nicole showed me how to do the same with my own writing. I used to be one of those people who would scribble out what they intended to be the final version on the first go. Now I still don’t particularly enjoy editing my own stories, but I value the drafting and editing process, and look forward to seeing how I can improve my work with each edit. Imagine that! Editing makes your work better – who knew?

Thanks Holly, it was great to have you drop by so I could eat...no, sorry...pick your brains.

Rick, are you a zombie?

Please continue the In Fabula-divino blog hop by hopping over to Holly’s blog, ‘Confessions of a Stuffed Olive’, where she interviews In Fabula-divino author S G Larner.

Speak Peak
THE SECRET LIFE OF A ZOMBIE FAN
Holly Kench

“Shit,” my sister muttered as she pulled her boyfriend through the front door and slammed it shut. “Grab the bags, Harper. It’s happening.”
“What’s happening?” I asked, irritated by her tone of voice. It was hardly the greeting I expected after she had been away for two weeks. I hadn’t seen another human for days, having decided to write off social contact in favour of getting some work done. I’d been looking forward to some sister bonding and a Resident Evil marathon on her return. Instead she turned up with bossy, cryptic orders.
“The apocalypse.” Ellie threw her arms in the air.
“Don’t be a dick,” I said.
In response, she pulled open the front blind. “Take a look, Harper, and then get a move on.”
She was right. Outside my window were four zombies, walking stiltedly yet determinedly towards my front door.
“What the—”
“Yes, exactly,” said Ellie. “So grab the f___ing bags and let’s go.”
Watching the zombies approach, I wasn’t surprised. I was horrified, even a little exhilarated; but I wasn’t surprised. Ellie and I had always suspected the zombie apocalypse would one day eventuate.
We’d never been convinced about vampires. The idea that a group of super-human anaemics were living in castle basements never seemed plausible. Zombies, on the other hand… We would have put money on someone, somewhere, messing around in a lab with a virus that would eventually lead to the downfall of the human race.

Author Bio:
Holly Kench is a writer and feminist, with a classics degree and a fear of spiders. She enjoys writing fantasy and humour, and is convinced we can change the world through popular culture. Holly writes about her life as a stuffed olive at www.stuffedolive.com.au and manages "Visibility Fiction" for the promotion and publication of inclusive young adult fiction at www.visibilityfiction.com.

More In Fabula-divino blog hop interviews can be seen at, Forgo Reality and SmallTriumphs. You can also buy ‘In Fabula-divino’ as an eBook right now at Amazon and Smashwords.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Radar Love Journal Entry 1


I'm aiming to finish the first draft of my new short story "Radar Love" by the 24th April, two weeks from now. I started it a week ago and have written 820 words so far. I'm expecting the story to be at least 4000 words, so I've still got a lot to write in the next two weeks. My full schedule for the completion of this story can be found here.

The story got a boost tonight when I took part in a writers race on Facebook. This was organized by 'The Australian Writer's Marketplace online'. Basically, a bunch of writers get on the Facebook page at the same time, tell each other what they will try to write in the next hour and go for it. It was a great experience and I wrote more than 500 in an hour. Something like a miracle for me.

Here is an extract of what I wrote tonight: "We are waiting for our guest. Mother has put me in her favourite dress of mine, the one I hate the most, white and fluffy, and covered in frills. The twins are in their suits, squirming under the restraints of a tie and suspenders. Mother and Father, as always, dressed in their Sunday best. We all stand in the hall and wait for the knock. It finally comes."

I know I will have to write a lot more than 500 words each Wednesday, but participating in the race really lifted me. I'm definitely going to give it another go. The race is on each Wednesday at 9 pm Australian Eastern Time. If you write, why not join in?

Monday, 8 April 2013

The Backworlds: A Review


I've been reading  scifi and fantasy (or spec fic) for about 40 years, but have mean basically ignorant of most of the genre until I started to write recently. For instance, I had no idea of self publishing and how much self published spec fic there is out there.

The Backworlds is the first self published book that I have ever read. I wan to say up front it was a good experience.

The Backworlds is the first in a series by M. Pax, who has a great blog which can be found here. You can get it for free as an ebook, which makes it a very good buy.

This is the blurb from the web site:


In the far future, humanity settles the stars, bioengineering its descendents to survive in a harsh universe.After the war with the Foreworlders, Backworlders scatter across the planets left. Competition is fierce and pickings are scant. Scant enough that Craze’s father decides to improve his fortunes by destroying his son.Cut off from family and friends with little money and even less knowledge of the worlds beyond his own, Craze heads into an uncertain future. Boarding the transport to Elstwhere, he vows to make his father regret this day.


As an intro book it's quite good. The plot line is a bit predicable at times, and some twists seemed to convenient, but I still enjoyed the story. The style makes me wonder if it's target is young adults. M. Pax does have another book out that is promoted as Young Adult, but there's nothing to say that The Backworlds is.

I found its simplicity is charming, and I'm interested enough in the characters, and their universe  that I'm going to buy the next book in the series. I would class The Backworlds as good light reading, enjoyably pleasant. The over all standard is the same, or in some cases better than, as a work from a main stream publisher. I'm looking forward to trying more self published stuff in the future.