2015 – The Year Ahead

So 2015 is upon us well and truly. It’s already 11 days in and I’ve received two awesome pieces of news. More on that shortly. With 2015 comes a new year with many changes ahead.

First off, my family and I are moving back to Adelaide this month, so it’s been a mad rush of packing the house to move in the next few weeks. Writing time has been almost non-existent. It has meant that I am leaving a job to unemployment for hopefully a short while. If no work does come up, at least after doing job applications each day I can spend some more time writing!

I have decided to set myself some goals for this year. My biggest goal is to completed the first draft for the zombie novel which I started in 2012. Last Thursday night, I did crack the 50,000 words of the planned 75,000. Now this novel is aimed at the Late Young Adult range, it does have some swearing and graphic scenes.

My second goal is to complete several short stories (aiming for a minimum of 5) and send them off for submission. I completed another short story for consideration for another anthology late last year that got rejected. Have decided to expand it, adding more to it and then send on to another market.

My third goal is to read 20 books this year. I’ve gone back to using Goodreads to keep track of which books I have and set the goal through the iPhone app. So far I have completed 2 books (admittedly, the first one I started in September last year). The most recently finished is Bound (Alex Caine #1) by Alan Baxter. Was a brilliant read.

Now onto the news. I received an email that my application for the Advanced Diploma in Professional Writing has turned into an offer of acceptance. I should hear from the TAFE in a few days.

fromoutofthedarkThe second piece of news is that the story I sold last year has been publication and is now available! The paperback edition is available through Amazon whilst the ebook is available through Smashwords. When I saw the list of other authors appearing in the anthology, I was pretty excited. The contents are:

  • Gene Stewart – Eschaton’s Fate
  • Tony Shillitoe – Hope
  • James O’Keefe – Light in the Darkness
  • Alexander Zelenyi – In a Room Empty For You
  • Rob Bleckly – The Grim
  • L.E. Bodillo – The Dead Kind
  • Mark Rookyard – Between the World
  • Victoria Dylan – Out in the Dark
  • Jason Andrew – Fading Light From a Dying Star
  • Gregory L. Norris – Fleeing into the Darkness of Disaster

Having my own story appearing right after Tony Shillitoe is something to be very proud of as he is quite a well known Australian author.

With many thanks to Robert N Stephenson for publishing this piece. I have known him for quite a few years now. He has a new book coming out this month, which I am really looking forward to reading. It will be available through Satalyte Publishing from January 30th 2015.

So some great news to kick the new year off and some goals set to achieve. Let’s see what the rest of the year brings.


2014 – A Year in Review

I have seen a few other authors do this on their own sites, so thought I would do the same. 2014 has been a productive year. I have managed to write something every month, with a rough estimate or around 50,000 or so total words over that period. Most of the year was spent working on my eventual submission to the From Out of the Dark anthology. The hard work paid off with it being accepted for publication. It should see it out for sale sometime early this year. There was also a very late submission for another anthology that closed on the 31st December. I am yet to hear back on it, as at last count there were nearly 1,200 submissions. Hopefully my story will stand out from the rest and be accepted.

The Writers Group has grown in membership, plus joining forces with the local ABC Open Project representative. Daniel has been great with this, giving us some great tips on writing not only fiction, but also on writing for real world and online. We put on another Word Art exhibition, this time at the Berri Library. The number of hits on our blog went up considerably with the use of QR codes on each artwork and respective written piece.

This year I plan to finally finish off my first novel plus a horror novella. In the mean time, I am currently packing to move back to Adelaide, which means I will be saying farewell to the Riverland Creative Writing Group at some stage. Hopefully, I will also be accepted into the TAFE course that I applied for in November.

On the reading front, to aid with being familiar with horror tropes, I have started to gather a small collection of horror novels, particularly works by Stephen King. A total of 9 books were completed, also nearly finished The Stand by King. The total was less than the previous year of 13 but as most of them this time were quite lengthy, it balances out.

All in all, a good year and hopefully 2015 will be bigger and better.

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

Writing Challenge – Flash Fiction

This last Writer’s Group session, it was another Shut Up and Write week. I am having a short break before I continue on with the Out of the Dark story, so went back to one of the unfinished Word Blurt stories we had done as a writing exercise one night. During the week I had read some blogs on Flash Fiction. Now Flash Fiction can range from less than 250 words to 1,000 words, there is no real set definition. I thought whilst reading these blogs, it would be a great idea to revist some of these works and finish them off.  The art of writing Flash Fiction is a tough one. You have to make very word count and get right to the point of the story.

Out of the five stories I had on my hard drive from these Word Blurts and Writing Prompt ideas, I chose one to finish off. It was already at around 300 words when I started and wrote to around 1,300. I then started the challenge of making every word count and cutting the number of words down to under 1,000. The story now sits at 995.

With having finished this story off, at least in a first draft mode. With that now completed, I have set myself a challenge to write a short story each month up to a maximum of 1,000 words for each one. The Shut Up and Write sessions will be the ideal time to undertake this challenge.

In other news, the Out of the Dark story has been sent out to some beta-readers. Hoping to hear back from them soon so I can continued with the rewrites and eventually submit the story for the anthology.

Benefits of Reading Aloud

Last Wednesday night I read out loud my story I have been working on for the Out of the Dark anthology at my local writer’s group. Came back with some fantastic feed back about the story, plus it showed me a few sentences and some parts that I have missed in the story to expand upon.

The opening of the story has some small issues that after discussion with those who had attended, and now have decided to rewrite the whole first half in a new direction, whilst still keeping the 2nd half. For those who want a taste of the story, it features usage of cyrogenics, virtual reality, sleeper ships. The first half features a lot of the virtual reality and being attached to an automaton monitoring and then heads into the physical world for the 2nd half. The first half is now going to really add more to show the juxtaposition between being connected to the VR and automaton at the same time.

So now begins the fun process of changing the first half of the story.

Out of the Dark – First Draft Completed

It is done! The first draft of my story for the Out of the Dark anthology is now done. Had a good session at writer’s group tonight plus did a lot more after that. Total word count on the first draft is nearly 5,900 words, so pretty happy with that. I had already excised a whole section as I felt it slowed the story down but gained enough ground to reach the 5,000 minimum.

So now begins the fun process of editing it until it’s in a publishable form!

Exhibition Launch

There is something about seeing your own work that inspires other artists out there. As part of the Riverland Creative Writing Group we decided to put on a small exhibition as part of the SALA Festival. The theme chosen was Secrets in the Open and we had 3 weeks to write up to 3 pieces of a maximum length of 800 words. Mine was about 600 odd, quite possibly the shortest piece I have ever written. I was very unsure how it would go to begin with but ended up with a small piece entitled ‘The Door’ that I was very happy with.

One night of the Writing Group, I read the piece out, picking up on a few minor errors, but it was very well received. That was the Wednesday before the piece had to be submitted. That week, the pieces were submitted and then a local visual artist was paired up with a story.  We had no idea who the artist was going to be at all.

It wasn’t until today that we got to see them at the launch of the Exhibition at the Renmark Paringa Council chambers in Renmark. It was a small gathering to see the works on display at last. When I saw my piece I was very excited to see how they had responded to it. It came out a bit darker than I was aiming for, but the more I look at the story the more it fits. It was meant more with a slight fantasy edge, but I can see how the artist has gone with it. I’ll leave that up to you to decide.


The Door

The Door artwork by Nic Tubb.


Only the Perfume Remains by Debbie Dionne, artwork by Charmaine Quinn.



The Veggie Patch by Jenny Semler, sculpture by Tim Baulderstone.



The Heart of the Rose by Jenny Semmler, artwork by Suzanne Macpherson (Zuska).



Forgery, Ponies and Photos by Shelly Green, artwork by  Esther Vanderveen.



The Lamp Lighter by Grizz Ball, artwork by Taylor Schramm.



Secrets in the Open by Jenny Semmler, artwork by Terry Marter.



Six Days by Karl Raams, artwork by Lorraine Marter.



Nic on the left and myself on the right.



The Writing Group and Artists that attended the event.

Thanks to Alysha for spearheading this initiative and everyone who took part.