Awards and Best Of’s

Right, I admit that I have been quite slack at keeping this blog up to date over the last 6 months or so. Lack of time and commitment to keeping it up to date.

To kick things off, the first semester for the TAFE course went well, with both subjects (Edit and Present Manuscripts, and Introduce Writing Styles, Techniques & Conventions) resulted with Credits. Very happy with those results and I really enjoyed doing the Edit and Present Manuscripts subject. I certainly learnt from that one and have started to use those skills in helping editing written works. The second semester kicked off a few weeks ago, the subjects this time being Write Articles for Publication 1 and Write Fiction 1 – The Short Story. By the end of the semester there will be another short story written that will be ready to send it to a publisher for submission. I have chosen an idea that I have had floating around for a while to write, albeit merged in with another idea.

And now onto the topic for today, I submitted my story in the From Out of the Dark anthology to both the Aurealis Awards and The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror 2015. I was approached by Talie Helene via Facebook about The Year’s Best for 2014 but as I didn’t have anything eligible to enter for it, I passed on that opportunity then but kept it in mind that I could submit for the 2015 edition. As the story was published in January of this year, it is eligible to be submitted for this anthology.

The Aurealis Awards are the top awards for genre fiction written in Australia. I previously submitted the Endgame story for the 2010 Awards. It is a tough competition, but it is worth a shot entering it in. I don’t think it will get to the point of being short-listed, but happy just to try.

My actual time for writing has been few and far between but have managed to do some more plotting and writing down of ideas for various projects. I have made some progress on the Flannery: Agent of the Empire Steampunk series, where most of the plotting and ideas has been done, as well as increasing the word count on the first story to just over 4,000 words. The short story turned into a novella is slowly making progress. I recently purchased the Kindle version of this book and have found it a great read so far for building the foundation of my own little Steampunk universe. The idea for 3 novellas has now expanded beyond that and will be similar to the Bernard Cornwell Sharpe series of novels in that they can be read in any order (although the exception would be books 1 and 2 as book 1 will end on a cliff-hanger). This expansion allows me a chance to really play around with the characters and mix up a lot of the tropes featured in Steampunk stories.


GISHWHES – 2014 Story

Some good friends of mine were participating in GISHWHES again this year and one of the items was to get a previously published SF author to write a story featuring Misha, The Queen of England and an Elopus. The story had to no more than 140 words total. This is what I came up with.


Misha caressed the near empty glass of brandy, reminiscing about the day he visited the Queen of England.
The ceremony of Knighthood was a long winded affair, all Misha could think about was his post-ceremony plans.
It was his time. He knelt before Her Majesty, head bowed low. As the sword was raised by the Queen, a voice rang out from across the hall. “Stop! This man must not be knighted.”
“Who dares?” the Queen asked.
The Elopus stood out from the crowd. “I did,” it said, munching on a peanut.
The Queen was ashamed and knelt before the Elopus. “King Misha, I abdicate the throne to its rightful owner,” she said.
Misha sat on the throne and smiled.


Latest Developments

Last week I completed the story for the From Out of the Dark anthology. The finished story was submitted and the editor is having a read and will let me know ASAP. Can’t wait to find out how it goes.

Also, this month, my writer’s group has another Word Art Exhibition coming. See the poster below. Looking forward to this one a lot, if I finish my story in time!


Poster A

Still Alive

My blog has been neglected a bit of late, what with the crazy period of late last year and this last month having had 2 huge Oz Comic-Cons and a wedding over Easter.

On the writing front, I’ve been busy working slowly on the short to submit to the Out of the Darkness anthology, plus looking at developing another one for the All the King’s Men anthology. Hoping to have the first short story finished by the end of May before I do the rewrite.

The Writer’s group has shrunk a little since late last year with 2 people moving on from the area. Next month on the 22nd we are running a session at the local Berri Library from 5PM for the Library & Information Week Celebrations. We will be running an information session about the group as well as exercises on Poetry and our Word Blurt stories, which are a lot of fun to spurn creativity.

November = NaNoWriMo Time

So been neglecting the blog a little bit lately, but now it is November, that means NaNoWriMo is now upon us again. I have decided to give it another go and finish off last year’s zombie novel attempt. After a slow start of nothing for the first 3 days, have no managed to get to nearly 3000 words. Had a very good session during our writer’s group night, which has helped a great deal. Will keep this updated every few days with my progress.

Some Pointers

Been reading up on some other author’s blogs and have come across some great posts over the last week.

First off is one from Devin Madson regarding “Writing a story is easy – writing a book is hard“. It covers the idea that most writers can knock out a story easily, but turning it into a book is the hard part. Go have a read and then come back. This is something that I do find hard to do, editing my own work to make it better. Thankfully I have a small group of writers that I see weekly plus also have another friend that I know I can rely on for some pointers.

The other is courtesy from the Just Add Story blog. Wade is another writer that I have made contact through twitter. He is doing a small series on World Building, with some excellent pointers. I will have to show them to Karl in the Riverland Creative Writing Group this week, particularly with his fantasy world he has been working on.

Until next time.