OH, THE THINGS YOU’LL SEE… WELL, READ… AND BE A PART OF… THE $1-A-MONTH EDITION.

With Ghost Tracks finished, I’m turning my attention towards 2 new projects: a short story and a novel for adults. And only my Patreon patrons will get a sneak preview of both works.

No pressure, but the May patron journal drops on the 1st, with exclusive extracts from both works. There’s still time to be one of the cool kids…

Check out my Patreon site here for all the cool goodies you can receive.

5 FOR FRIDAY CALLS BULLSHIT ON YOUR WRITING MYTHS

Every month, patrons of my Patreon account who pledge $3 or more have the opportunity to choose the topic of a 5 for Friday post. This month, thanks to the generosity of patrons Narrelle M Harris and Andrew McKiernan, I’m looking at five myths about the writing process that make my teeth itch.

We all know the myths the general community believe about writers and writing: anyone can do it; we must all be rich from those sweet, sweet publishing dollars; yet somehow we’re all willing to do anything for free because exposure…… Sure, it’s risible, but at least the general community has the excuse of ignorance. We actually do the business, and yet, somehow, we manage to perpetuate just as many harmful myths about the process amongst ourselves.

Perhaps it’s because, deep down, we know that the only true secret to writing is to sit our arse on the chair and keep doing it until we get better. And because it really is just that simple, we have to build up an air of mystique  to prove to ourselves that we’re really magical, mysterious artistes. Here are five lines of bullshit you hear authors spinning to each other while we all nod sagely as if we believe it, even though we damn well know better.

5 FOR FRIDAY: HONEST, WE’RE SPECIAL.

Continue reading “5 FOR FRIDAY CALLS BULLSHIT ON YOUR WRITING MYTHS”

5 FOR FRIDAY WILL, 5 FOR FRIDAY WILL, ROCK YOU.

We’re still in the midst of Battcon, and while the focus is on the inevitable writerly pursuits– writing, drinking, bitching about the successes of others, drinking, hanging around the pool, complaining that my career is over, drinking, watching TV and drinking, with the occasional bout of writing and self-hatred– it’s important that it all be done to the correct soundtrack, because, you know, generation that grew up on The Breakfast Club.

Queen is the first band for whom I ever felt a fannish attraction, predating even my all-encompassing and lifelong Madness love. Outside of Bohemian Rhapsody (the only song to realistically challenge Stairway to Heaven for the unofficial Greatest Song Ever Recorded title), their catalogue up until the demise of their hypnotic genius front man Freddie Mercury is a wall to wall layer of brilliance and bona fide superhits. I have owned their Greatest Hits Volume 1 album in at least 4 different media, and worn it through in each one.

Between Mercury’s voice, guitar god Brian May’s soaring riffs, and the joyous flip-flopping between whimsical Victoriana and tear-your-balls-off rock and roll, they are unforgettable, and simply impossible to recreate. What we can do, however, is take a moment to step outside the long list of radio staples we still teach our children (boom boom, CLAP, boom boom CLAP…) and highlight five works that haven’t stuck in the general consciousness, despite their brilliance.

Here, then, are five of my favourites from outside the long, long list of giant monster hits we all know and sing regularly wherever there’s an outdoor event with a taped soundtrack (boom boom, CLAP, boom boom CLAP…)……

 

5 for FRIDAY: KILLER QUEEN

 

Continue reading “5 FOR FRIDAY WILL, 5 FOR FRIDAY WILL, ROCK YOU.”

THUMBNAIL THURSDAY DEMANDS YOUR SWEET THINGS

Of all the delightful traditions that Americans have introduced to the world– turning up late for wars; gunning down their own children for the crime of going to school; friendly fire– teaching your kids that you can go door to door in disguise, demanding gifts to ward off the physical destruction of your home is surely one of the quaintest.

It only takes one evil genius with a taste of chocolate and an understanding of the classics……

 

0039

“Granted, Madam. Physically, he is nothing like a child. Still, I’d recommend giving him

all your candy, unless you want him to throw that lovely daughter of yours into

the nearest lake.”

 

 

5 FOR FRIDAY: A MATHOM OF OPENINGS

The longer you write, the more you begin. The more you begin, the more you accumulate false starts, mis-steps, and generally unusable fragments.

Writers are hoarders, at least of ideas: a good writer never throws anything away, and it can be years between writing a false start and finding the one perfect moment, idea, or circumstance that allows us to finish the story. My personal record is 11 years between abandoning an opening, and completing– and selling– the finished story (At The End There Was a Man, which appeared in the Coeur De Lion anthology Anywhere But Earth). I know of other authors who have gone more than 20 years between beginning and finishing a story. Ask around: we’ve all got one.

So, for your entertainment and education, here are five openings I’ve been carrying around for over 5 years, waiting for that spark to see them through to completion.

 

Continue reading “5 FOR FRIDAY: A MATHOM OF OPENINGS”

THUMBNAIL THURSDAY HAS BEEN IN ONE TOO MANY TEAM MEETING

To say I have never enjoyed working in the various levels of Government service to which I was sentenced is an understatement. In a quarter of century, I found less than half a dozen colleagues with whom I wished to have any contact outside of the workplace, and countless hundreds I would welcome alien abduction in order to avoid acknowledging them in the street.

Let’s be honest: this cartoon isn’t funny. It’s just true.

 

 

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“I think you underestimate my achievement in refraining

from gunning you all down like dogs.”