January 29, 2011

It’s not often I blog personal thoughts, but I’m going to share this, as much as a record for me as for you.

I had an intense working week where every day seemed simultaneously an eon, yet not long enough to get my work done. Every phone call I received required a half dozen calls or emails in response.  By Friday I was shattered.

Then I came home. Our kids were at their grandparents. It was about six o’clock.

I made myself a drink and went outside, where the heat of the day had had the edge taken off it, so it was warm but not uncomfortable. I sat in our cold water spa and looked west. The sun was just beginning to descend towards the coastline. It shone through the beautiful gum trees of the houses behind me, turning them green and brown and yellow.

There was no breeze. Everything, including me, seemed frozen in time.

There was no noise: no cars, no neighbours.

I drained my drink and put my head under the water.


It was just me. By myself. Quiet.


Another 2010 reading list!

January 19, 2011

This list is from one of my long time writing buddies, Anthony Panegyres. Anthony has recently been published in dotdotdash, and will have a piece in the 50th edition of Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine. He posts here on his shiny new blog!

Ranked in order of preference:

The Oxford History Of Scotland

The Quiet American G. Greene

161 W.Self (novella)

Memoirs of My Melancholy Whores (novella) Marquez

How the Dead Live W. Self

Grand Central Winter by L. Stringer

The Tenth Man G. Greene

Arabian Nights and Days Mahfouz

The Names Delilo

Horn (novella) Ball

Ruined Earth S. Donaldson

The Third Man (novella) G. Greene

The Left Hand of Darkness Le Guin

Queensland Flood Relief

January 13, 2011

Here’s a chance to get some great Aussie Spec Fiction, and donate to the Queensland Flood Relief Flood.

Tehani Wessely of Fablecroft has a new anthology of original speculative fiction coming out in April, entitled After The Rain.

This theme and title was chosen last year, but seems a bit scary now when looking at the devastation in Queensland.

To raise money for the relief fund, Tehani has quickly put together an eBook of the anthology. By her own admission not all the stories were able to be included, but she does have some accounts of the Queensland floods from writers in the area.

She is asking for donations in exchange for downloads of the book, and has (as of right now!) raised about $400.00 in the first few hours of it being available.

If you want to get a taste of what I’m sure will be a major Aussie Spec Fic anthology, and want to help the people of Queensland, you can find out more here.

Photo or Painting?

January 12, 2011

Dan Simpson – a work in progress

January 11, 2011

As a writer trying to make headway it’s not often I take the time to take stock of where I am up to: what I’ve achieved, what I’ve failed to achieve, or where I should be directing my energies in the future.

The last few years I’ve been living by the motto “Just Keep Writing.”

To some degree this has validity. I felt it was important to get writing fitness up – to develop the ability to churn out the words when I have to. I think I have achieved this.

But going forward, my next task is to focus. To pick a large project and bury myself in it. I’ve decided to take a novella I drafted for a NaNoWriMo a few years back and try and get it to publication quality.

Recently a unique opportunity came up for me: a good friend (and founding member of my writing group) Mark Welker asked if I would be interviewed for a “Work In Progress” series he is doing on his website, looking at newbie writers trying to make a name for themselves.

It couldn’t have come at a better time for me – I used the process to distill my thoughts about my efforts to date, and my goals for 2011 were formed as a direct result of talking these things through, both with Mark, and myself.*

Head to Mark’s excellent website to read up on where I think I’m at as an emerging writer by clicking here.


* Admittedly conversations with Mark are far more intelligent than those I have with myself