Category Archives: Humour
I am currently writing a middle grade book series about living on Australian farms. No horror, no fantasy, no Science Fiction themes … SHOCKING! Just the reality of farm living and some of the agricultural science behind farming practices.
There was a point in my life when I was doing a degree in agriculture, and then swapped into zoology. I love farms, because I spent holidays on farms as a child, and I love animals. My experiences with farms makes it easy to give my farm books plenty of real life incidents and so plenty of verisimilitude.
My biggest problem was finding my writing voice. Once I managed to tap into the mind of a preteen girl, it all started happening. I really like this character, because she is open to the lifestyle changes that come with living on a farm. All the conflict comes from the animals and the character missing her friends & family lift behind when her family moved to the farm.
She is going to have fun over the next four books.
Persistence pays off. After two years of submitting to DailySF, I have had a story accepted!
My story, currently titled ‘Cherry Ripe’, made the grade. I did have one other story make it to the second level of reading, but it didn’t get accepted. For DailySF, appears I get better results with humour than with any other writing style.
In Queensland, Australia, we have started the long hot season of Spring/Summer/Autumn. Winter was a flop; one cold week does not a winter make.
With that in mind, let’s look at how a writer can avoid a bad burn.
Using Sunscreen: There are many sorts of sunscreen for all levels of protection. For the newbie, I suggest the strongest protection levels, and learn to avoid the pitfalls of spell check, use a style guide like ‘Strunk and White’, and use a good dictionary to prevent embarrassing burns. Ask for help. Don’t let a bad burn put you off trying again. For more experienced writers, I suggest a writing group or a writing buddy for protection against the harsher weather conditions.
Wearing a Hat and/or a Shirt: Sometimes, even the toughest skin is going to get a stinging burn if left unprotected. Prevention is easier than cure. Read the submission guidelines before submitting your work. Be a belt-and-suspenders type of writer and do your research before making a submission, and polish your submission to your best ability.
Moisturize: If you do get a burn, don’t neglect it in the hopes it will go away if you ignore it. Be proactive! Slather yourself with encouragement. Selfcare is important. Good friends will help you with those places that are hard to reach; go out for coffee with a writing buddy.
Getting a Safe Tan: The only way to become a published writer is to send stuff off. You have to risk exposure to reach that goal.
I run a Facebook site called Steampunk Sunday, for all things related to Steampunk. It’s been going since 2013. I’ve watched other sites come and go, while I just pottered away. I post whatever attracts my attention. It’s become a habit to update it.
This past week, over 100,000 people read my posts. This is a new high for me. Facebook has now implemented a two tier level of security for my sites.
I never know what is going to catch the attention of my Constant Companions (my nickname for the longterm followers of the site). They get excited over anything teapot related – as do I. They like gadgets. But the post that caught the attention this week is this one:
As an Australian, I’ve had problems when I search online for anything Victorian. I’ve learnt to use ‘Victorian-era’. However, I’m guessing this was a new concept for all those overseas Steampunk Enthusiasts. I was amused at this … I’m glad I’m not the only one!
Are you a lurker?
I have been a lurker in the past. I lurked around the Voyager Online comments board for about six months before I started joining in the conversations. I spent about two months lurking around the Writing Race before I joined in. These days, I tend to jump right in, because I wasted so much time in the past.
I remember well why I was a lurker. I didn’t want to be seen as a newbie or ignorant. Now days, I don’t have the time to linger. I jump in – and sometimes I jump right back out. Most of the time, I find new friends and amazing writing resources.
So, I’ve crawled out of the shadows and into the light. However, I do not sit in judgement of anyone else who preferes to be a lurker. It’s a risk to step out where people can see you and make you into a target. If you feel safer lurking, lurk away!
Ice, Ice, Baby…
The new fashion in diets is the “Chill Diet”. Its inventor, Elynn Neger, theorises that our primate ancestors didn’t know fire, and so didn’t cook their food. So it is more natural – and healthy – for humans to eat raw foods, and drink nothing but water. As well, it is a fact that the human body has to work harder to warm up cold foods, so that kilojoules are burnt as the body converts the cold or cool food to body temperature. If you plan to follow Dr Neger’s diet, then all food should be consumed at room temperature, or better yet, chilled.
Dr Neger also recommends cold baths, and in cold climates, short walks in the snow whilst naked or lightly dressed. Her goal is have her converts burn their extra weight away by making their bodies work hard at temperature regulation.
As always, you should use your commonsense before commencing a new diet. I know for a fact that Dr Neger is a fraud and a quack.
Dr Elynn Neger was born in the Sixties, and can remember a time when ‘Star Trek’ was Prime Time television. She managed to survive both the “My Little Pony” and “Cabbage Patch Kid” fads by being too old. She is not dead yet.
She is a profession troublemaker.
At university, she had a reputation for supporting causes simply to join in the heated debate. Since obtaining her questionable doctorate in Science (in S.F.A.), she has developed several diets which I would pause to recommend. Her most current diet is the “Chill Diet”, as mentioned above.
Concept of the Month
The April Fool
All Fool’s Day developed as a celebration of the first day of Spring. Once upon a time, the New Year started on the first day of the European spring. When the Gregorian Calendar was introduced, changing the date to the first of January. Poor communications meant that that some places were still celebrating the unofficial date for many years, and were considered ‘fools’ the general public. This evolved into the tradition festival of playing pranks or practical jokes.
 Please consider this name carefully, taking into account the time of year.
Update from 2005: Weight management is a huge industry worldwide, there are going to be scammers and snake oil salesmen trying to make a quick buck as well. Many years ago, I wrote this ‘quack’ diet up as an April Fool’s joke for my Science Page. About 18 months later, I found it on a ‘serious’ diet page, listed as a proper diet! I contacted the page administrators immediately, and they did take it down. However, it did give me an insight into how easily some people can be fooled by pseudo-scientific language.
However, since I wrote this article, the Ice Diet has become an actual thing!
Kirk and Spock were the original shipping couple. It is easy to understand why this was the case when you see photos like the ones below.
There was a real homoerotic overtone to their relationship. This didn’t stop Spock being the fantasy fuel for millions of women. After all, everyone likes the idea of a romantic partner who is also their best friend.
However, these days, just about any intense friendship seems to be an excuse to ship a couple. Sometimes, this can add a certain mystique to the couple. Sometimes it interferes with the concept of platonic friendship. A good friend is just as important as a romantic partner, and can be just as much fun.
I do a bit of shipping myself, but I tend to keep it to myself. However, sometimes it seems a shame that best friends don’t take that final step until it is too late. What are your feelings towards this topic? To ship, or not to ship?