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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?


Or like this?
.Yes. .
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

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.