Writing around challenges

Sarah spoke about one kind of challenge yesterday. I'm facing an entirely different kind - after many, many years with relatively unchecked access to the internet and my external brains (the - alas, finally deceased - PDA, the tablet, the cell phone, the kindle, the flash drive with all my writing files on it, the... Continue Reading →

Herding Ducks

Before we enter today’s scheduled ramble, let me point out for those of you tuning in from other continents and nations that we Americans have a weird relationship with ducks: we have all our ducks in a row, we take to things like a duck to water, we become sitting ducks, and things are as... Continue Reading →

My word I am battling with access to this blog. I'm away in Melbourne helping a friend pack his container for his retirement to the island. He's a nice guy but his way of packing is to  pack things into a container, and close the door and call it done. Which.... as many of the items he... Continue Reading →

The Return of Air-Breathing Engines

I was reading recently about the Skylon space plane. A pretty cool name, which reminds me of those robotic guys with the light bouncing back and forward where their eyes should be  - the vintage Cylons of Battlestar Galactica. The Skylon spaceplane is a concept for a Single Stage to Orbit (SSTO) plane, which has... Continue Reading →

Enriching the soil

A big part of SF and Fantasy writing is the world-building - creating the illusion of an entire culture out there that exists independently of the story you're telling. If the illusion is well done, the piece feels more solid and will often be much stronger even though the world-building doesn't directly impact the characters... Continue Reading →

The Element Of Surprise

When did we become convinced that what people want from books is, to quote a friend’s title “Free surprise in every box”? Yes, like the rest of you I love O’Henry and his surprise endings, and I became very fond of Jill McGown (who either has died or been sidelined as a writer, as her... Continue Reading →

Cow-Orcas and other mysteries

So there I was being normal wallflower while my elders and betters (well, um, as far as the industry is concerned. Most of them are young and female, actually. I'm not sure if that's really always better, but it is kind of obligatory to pretend.) were discussing the arcane matters of being a successful writer.... Continue Reading →


Did anyone manage to get a look at asteroid 2012 DA14 on its fly-by? I have been down with the flu so I did not manage the early viewing window here in Brisbane. You can check out coverage of the asteroid here. In the mean time, here is something to keep you amused. The heaviest element... Continue Reading →

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