Sunday, September 26, 2010

Words, Words, Words.

What a fantastic week it's been.

I completed two rewrites, submitted two stories, and completed another that I started a while ago but wasn't sure where to head with it. This week it all came together and the words just poured out. Not only is it the longest story I've ever written, but it's the most complex. And I'm really happy with it.

I've really enjoyed spending most of the week writing. I enjoyed the proofreading and editing, the search for just the right word, the challenge to describe situations and places, and the time spent reading my own work and seeing how it flowed. Of course I'll put this work aside for a few days and have another read with fresh eyes.

When I originally re-read the bits of the story I started writing six months ago, I was pleasantly surprised by the words I'd written. They were better than I'd imagined, and I found at one point I even recognised the influence of one of my favourite authors poking its way through my own style.

Cool. Especially since it was unmistakably my own style.

But I was thrilled how it all came together so quickly - all the ideas I'd had, thrown around, mashed up just poured out onto the paper. (or technically the screen, I suppose)

And hopefully, one day soon, you'll be able to read these words too.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Time For Writing.

Parent teacher interviews have once again come and gone, as has all the hard marking at the end of Term 3. And now I'm on holidays for two weeks.

I've got lots of writing to get on with since I've been neglecting it a little recently. I did a major rewrite last week for Paul Haines, my mentor, and had another read of it this morning before submitting it. Amazing how many times you can read and re-read something and still discover errors at the last minute.

One of my favourite tricks, and one I've been advising my students to do, is to read it out loud. That's when you really notice mistakes, lack of flow or even places where the rhythm doesn't work.

I have two rewrites to do this week, a story to complete, and about three to start.  My head is swimming with ideas at the moment (and yes, I've been writing them down) - and I'm especially keen to try and sell another story. By the end of the week I should have another three stories out on submission.

I'm really looking forward to this week.  Gotta love them words.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Turn Me On, Dead Man...

I love conspiracy theories.  Not that I actually believe them, but I find them a lot of fun. And my favourite one would have to be the whole 'Paul is Dead' one.  You know, Paul McCartney supposedly died in a car crash on 9th November, 1966 and was replaced by Williams Campbell (Billy Shear - Billy's Here - geddit?) so that thousands of fans worldwide wouldn't kill themselves.  Of course, the remaining three (as well as all those others who would have to know about it) kept quiet about it forever, and even went so far as filling their albums and songs with clues for us.

It makes no sense at all, but it sure is fun.

I watched a DVD yesterday, in which a tape purporting to be George Harrison (but actually sounded like a talentless American actor doing an impression of what he thought a Liverpudlian should sound like) confesses to his involvement in the cover-up. It even went so far as to claim the only witness to the accident was a woman named Rita who was bought off.  Later, she survived an assassination attempt by MI5, but lost her leg. She blackmailed McCartney into marrying her or she was going to reveal the whole story.  Somehow the producers didn't figure out that Heather Mills wasn't even born in 1966 when the accident supposedly took place.

Oh yeah, ignore that one at all costs - but do check out the books and webpages surrounding the story. And if you're interested, check out The Beatle zombie retelling, Paul is Undead.

Festive Fear 2 will soon be released by Tasmaniac Publications, and I have my story, Ghost of the Heart, included.  What you don't know is that my story includes a good dose of the whole Paul is Dead theory. And boy, was that fun to write.  Keep an eye out for it, and find a copy if you can.  I believe it's already sold out.

Just finished rewriting another story of mine. My mentor, Paul Haines, (under the Australian Horror Writers Association) made a number of recommendations which I spent a few weeks considering. A few ideas finally fermented and ended up on paper.  I've just sent the rewrite back, so I'll have to wait and see what Guru Paul thinks of it.

And apart from that? Life goes on and work is busy.  My friend and colleague even announced my forthcoming publication at work last week. I plan to kill him for that at some point.

Maybe I'll replace him with a double named William Campbell.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

And Now It's All Over.

So Worldcon/Aussiecon has come to an end. And some questions remain.

Who was Dave, and why did he have his own ribbon?

What did I have to do to get more ribbons? (I only had one)

Who is the mysterious financier behind the London bid that allows them to have parties with so many free drinks?

How could I spend 5 days in the building, and yet only bump into an old friend as I was literally walking out the door?

How did some people ever get onto a panel?

When is the next Worldcon to be held in Australia? (Roughly every 10-12 years, it seems)

Anyway, it was fabulous and now I'm tired and back at work.It was great to catch up with heaps of people I knew and great to finally meet people I'd only had been in contact with by email. I got to meet Shaun Tan and Robert Silverberg (two of my favourites) as well as a bunch of people I'd never heard of but impressed me greatly. I guess I could compile a list of names, but I'm afraid it would look like namedropping.

Thanks to the organisers, volunteers, and all those who made it work.