• end of summer round-up

    Golden Blasters

    I’ve never had such a long gap between blog posts before, I guess that means I’ve been busy. Time to herd some news stories across the prairies. I sold my sf-horror story, “Empty Mind Came Back With the Pearl”, to M-Brane SF a while ago. It will appear in issue 9. I’m delighted this story will get to an audience. I wrote it at Clarion West, during the week Nalo Hopkinson was our teacher. She described it as the love child of Clive Barker and Brian Aldiss I believe. I’m co-writing a three-issue comic book, called Róisín Dubh, with Rob Curley of Atomic Diner publications, and the fabulous Sub City…

  • forward

    Last week was busy with travel, a Tom Waits concert (awesome), and a family wedding (fun), and this week is catch-up. In the meantime, the Clarion West Write-a-thon has wrapped up, and thanks to those of you who sponsored me (it’s not too late if anyone wants to throw cash into the kitty). Alas, I have to report a huge fail in my goal. There is no screenplay except for where it resides in my head. There are notes, and research, but it is not the time for this script to be written. I hate starting something if I don’t think I can end it, and eventually I had to…

  • goals and weather

    It’s June 22nd, which means it’s the start of Clarion West in Seattle, the annual six-week residential writing workshop, where up-and-coming writers learn the joys of composing short stories to deadline while sleep deprived and caffeinated. Therefore it’s also the start of the Clarion West fund raising Write-a-thon, and I’m participating. So, sponsor me in my aim to write a complete feature film screenplay during the coming six weeks. I’m in research mode at the moment, and will be plotting and outlining soon. I already have the opening and closing scene in my head, along with the guts of what’s going to happen. Hopefully, it will be fun and entertaining…

  • restoration

    “If you want to gowhere the rainbows endyou’ll have to say goodbyeall our dreams come truebaby up aheadand it’s out where your memories lie” Well, the marathon CD-rip has begun. My laptop and desktop are currently humming as they convert our music library back into mp3 format. Soon I’ll press-gang another couple machines into service and we’ll be zipping through the job at a fast pace. When I retold our tale of musical massacre to friends and family they all uniformly responded with horrified gasps, a thick silence, and the whispered admission: “I don’t know what I’d do without my music”. One of the reasons I didn’t meltdown was because…

  • good job

    My fellow inmates from Clarion West ’06 have been doing really well lately. It makes me proud and extremely happy to see such talented people make sales and win competitions. Ben Burgis currently has a story up on Atom Jack called Of Rum, Madness, Thunderstorms and Prayer”. Tina Connolly’s story “Moon at the Starry Diner”, is up at Heliotrope at the moment. Tina wrote that story during Clarion West and it was one of my favourites. Gord Sellar bagged a sale to the fabulous Interzone for a story he wrote while at the workshop, and my antipodean clansbrother, Ian McHugh, won the April-June quarter at Writers of the Future for…

  • wrap-up

    Clarion West is over for another year, and so is the Write-a-thon. Over the course of the last six weeks my goals were revamped as I went along, mainly because the novel needed a longer gestation period than I expected. So I kept up the research and note-taking, and returned to short stories. Changing my schedule like that isn’t always a simple decision, especially in this case as there is a sense of backing down on my sponsors. However, at this point in the game I know better than to push on a project until it’s ready to go, and the novel isn’t ready. I try to work on a…

  • agog

    Thanks to my friend Tina for pointing me towards the Publishers Weekly review of Fantasy (« now available to buy on Amazom.com). Unfortunately, the anthology as a whole didn’t score with the reviewer, but several stories were singled out for praise, mine included: … while Maura McHugh’s “Bone Mother” brilliantly blends Slavic folklore with the vampire mythos to create a speculative gem of a tale. It’s Publishers freaking Weekly! Let me tug the tether tied to my ankle so I won’t float off into the clouds… In Write-a-thon news, I’m busy rewriting a short story, which isn’t part of the weekly goal, but is one of my on-going writing chores.…

  • on your mark

    Tomorrow is the official start of the 2007 Clarion West Writers Workshop. Clarion West is a non-profit literary organisation, which runs an annual six-week workshop for writers preparing for professional careers in science fiction and fantasy in Seattle, USA. It has been held continuously since 1984. Each year 18 writers are selected from an international field based on the merits of their work, and during the workshop they must write a short story every week, critique the work of their fellow classmates, and attend classes every morning (Monday – Friday) under the tutelage of established authors and editors. It’s expensive to take six weeks off work, and pay for the…

  • review

    Clarion West Writers Workshop

    Last night I received feedback on my script from my screenwriting group, which contained plenty of useful advice and tips. I had gone in with a somewhat resigned attitude, expecting the worst. It was cheering to hear that many of them thought the script was a fast read, despite being a character-focused piece, and that they were surprised that it was a first draft. Still, there’s plenty of work to do. I think I’ll need an agent to flog this script, after I’ve polished it to a higher standard. It’s unlikely to attract a big budget, and it needs someone to push it so it will attract the right champion…

  • a grey day for voting

    Not much to report other than life goes on, as does the writing and pondering. It’s election day today, and I’ve kept the radio off so thus far I’ve remained blissfully unaware of the predictions and political shenanigans going on. Later on Martin and I will cast our vote, and participate in the democratic process. Over the past few weeks we’ve had a steady stream of political canvassers turning up at our door, which whips our dog Minnie into a barking frenzy. Normally, we don’t encourage her too much in her territorial alarms, but we’ve been lenient about her reaction to the politicians. They tend to be happy to hand…