There’s a new monthly SF writing group at the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writer’s Centre, chaired by the excellent writer Dave Luckett. Luscious Lyn and I went to the meeting in December and found it an interesting mix of newcomers and established writers like ourselves. There are few, if any, better teachers of SF around than Dave. Just being in his presence is a guarantee of picking up enough tips and ideas to keep you going for weeks.

We came back for more yesterday. This time we managed to bring Lyn’s daughter Cassie along for the experience. Cassie, at 12 years of age, is a fabulously talented young writer: she was awarded a Commended in the Junior section of this year’s KSP Science Fiction & Fantasy competition, an achievement made all the more commendable by the knowledge that the winner of the section was her senior by a clear 6 years. She’s a keen writer, but like all kids, needs encouragement and belief in herself to consistently make a go of her hobby, something she gets in a house with 2 writers in it (duh!) more than anywhere else.

Cassie had a good time, enjoying the presence of other writers who treated her like a peer and not just a kid. One of the great things about the writing community is that it considers talent an important commodity, and will respect someone with talent no matter their age. It was great to see an excited youngster like Cassie talking with a seasoned pro like Dave, and gaining more encouragement, knowledge, and desire from the experience than a month of English classes. She wants to come again next month, with a new story in hand to be critiqued, and we can’t wait.

Hell, if the Partridge’s can play in a band, we can all be writers 🙂


A good morning for living up to New Year’s resolutions. Completed the second draft of The Dark Ages, a story about immortals, toddlers, and medical history, adding 380 words and creating a much stronger opening. Then added 712 words to the first draft of Mikal, a rather odd little thing about clones living together in a house. I’m having fun with this one: I normally go the pen and paper route with my first drafts, but I decided to work straight into the computer this time in an effort to shake off a bit of a dry spell. It’s worked: 1100 words in two days, and as I generally have no idea how stories are going to end when I start them I’m enjoying the journey to boot.

Started researching for Napoleon last night, a strange and interesting book called The Mechanical Turk, about a chess playing automaton of the late 18th Century. Trust me, it’s relevant… honest… really…