Category Archives: Writing Career
I’m getting a quite a few publication credits and I have actual books coming out this year. I know a lot of people rush into getting websites before they have anything to offer, and I never wanted to be one of them. However, I am at a point where people might start looking for me online (maybe?).
The thing with a website is that it can make or break your ‘brand’. My problem … I do a heck of a lot of different things! I write both fiction and nonfiction, articles, short stories, and books, in different genres, and I write for children and adults! Once upon a time, it would have been Steampunk aesthetic all the way! I’m still tempted by that – but then it overshadows everything else I do.
Thinking about a website means getting someone to design it for me (I know my limitations!) and set it up. It means getting a domain name and an email for the site. It means opening myself up more to possible fans – and critics. Do I want to be that vulnerable?
Then I remember how much I was encouraged when I first got business cards that stated I was a writer …
What to do, what to do.
I live in the Greater Brisbane region, and we have just started a three day lockdown. This created a sudden rush of hysteria in the panic buyers, who spent Friday depleting supermarket shelves of milk, bread, eggs, and other items (lockdown commencing at 6pm). I know that some people feel that having a fully stocked pantry gives them a sense of control. However, I still have to wonder why … after all, the cows won’t stop providing milk and the bakers won’t stop baking.
My biggest disappointment is that I will now be cancelling a trip into the Queensland Writers Centre, and that out first writing group meeting of the year has to be postponed. It is the second event that rips at me like dragon claws. The best of us is dying of cancer, and this was probably our last chance to see her – ever. She can’t risk socialising with her immune system at its lowest point.
It seems so unfair that Covid is stripping even these small pleasures away from her.
I know a lot of people thought 2021 was going to be a better year than 2020. The truth is that every year brings new challenges to be overcome. We have to learn to live with the hand we’ve been dealt. I’m so lucky to have my family and my books and a career that involves staying home and in isolation. There is food in my fridge and pantry. My husband has a job. Thanks to social media, I’m not even isolated from my tribe. And yet … I miss hugs. I miss being able to plan an outing without the fear of infection of Covid.
Back in 2017, I didn’t know how lucky I was. Now I do. Maybe this is the lesson we all needed to learn.
This year has started out very well, career wise. Daily Science Fiction has just notified me that they have accepted a third submission. On the very same day, I was advised the first book in my Summerbrook Besties series – which I refer to as my farm books – is now up for pre-order. Fate decided to keep me grounded by having maggots invade my kitchen bin – EWWWW! Nothing says ‘down to earth’ as much as cleaning up crawlies.
Still, the horror of invading crawlies is good inspiration for my Gothic themed project. Everything is grist for the mill!
I’m not making New Year resolutions as such for 2021. I have my five year career goals, I have my short term career goals, and I have my personal goals (be kind), and they aren’t just to make me feel better about starting a new year. They make me feel better about myself on a continuous basis. If that makes me sound like a grind, so be it. I’ve hit the combination that is working for me and I’m not fiddling with the magic.
I hope you had a safe and happy holiday season, and I look forward to chatting with you all throughout the coming months.
I am currently writing books aimed at middle-grade readers around ten years of age. Ten is an interesting age. Before a child is eight, they are still in the ‘dreamtime’ of their youth where fantasy concepts can seem as true as reality. Many younger children are either completely fearless or very fearful, depending on their nature, because everything is still ‘unknown’. A ten year old is still much smaller than an adult, but the world is no longer unknown territory. A ten year old has a pretty good grasp of the rules of the world.
Then puberty hits and messes up the world view again. But that’s another issue.
This makes writing for this audience tricky. They can tell if you’re talking down to them. They can certain sense insincerity. And they can most definitely tell if the writing and story telling is bad. So, it means you have to write with your heart as well as your mind; which is how we should write all the time, really.
I’m lucky. I still like many of the same things I liked as a ten year old: animals, comics, cartoons, fairy tales. It makes writing for this age group easier, because I can remember how it felt to be ten.
So, what do you so with those dead darlings? If you’re like me, you tend to put them into ‘edited out of the WiP’ folders. Sometimes they languish and die, unloved, unforgotten. However, as I am a lazy individual at heart, I tend to try and recycle EVERYTHING. Failed ideas. The dozens of rejected stories from DailySF and Furious Fiction and the like.
Sometimes they get completely rewritten until they are unrecognisable; sometimes a bunch of stuff will get mashed together. Sometimes the attempt fails and that story is stuffed into an ‘Edited until I killed it’ folder.
Except, sometimes it works. I make something new and shiny. It gets accepted by another market.
If there is one thing I’ve learnt, it is that you should NEVER give up … on an idea, on writing, on a dead darling. I’m a necromancer, making the dead live again! I’m the new Doctor Frankenstein, and my monsters LIVE! Watch me turn a dead darling into a zombie story …