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Posts by davefreer


A couple of months back I was diving with my usual partner, when we hit on some productive ground for spiny lobster. Now, contrary to perceptions, to find a place twice underwater, especially if the visibility is not great, is actually rather difficult. We’re diving on Hookah (compressed air from the surface) so much less constrained with time – but also, as it were, on a leash to the boat. That limits your range to a 100 yard radius circle around the boat, but does mean you can follow the hose – or haul on it – to get back to the boat. As we often dive in very strong currents this means you can dive where SCUBA would be suicidal. You’d never get back to the boat, and the next stop might be South America. Read more

Financial exclusion

Chuckle. You know those delightful situations where some twit sets out to insult you, and falls over their own ignorance? Calls you stupendous under the mistaken impression that it is a fancy word for stupid and will make them look so superior? Or howls how racist you are for describing a payment as niggardly? Or claims that describing Chinese Communists by the US State Dept shortening of ‘Chicom’ is ‘racist’?

One of the fans sent me a hilarious puppy-kicker comment about Mad Genius Club — MGC, which any analysis of past posts would show is where a bunch of writers of various ages, stages, sexes, ethnicities, national origins, differing social and political views and backgrounds all coming together to help and support their fellow writers. To help people with the profession of writing.

The profession of writing.

Not the hobby, or self-fulfilment, or getting in touch with your inner self, or getting in touch with your outer self, or virtue signaling, or artistic merit, of writing. Read more

Dedicated to Commissar Fredski, our beloved Leader (and Larder)

Image Pixabay

Writing as profession…

I was amused to read a would-be-author in New Zealand bemoaning just how HARD it was in his local paper. I’ll spare you his missive (and him the embarrassment) but he was moaning how unfair it was that living away from the big city/University scene he was unable to afford to attend the courses and meet the right people to get him ‘in’. And getting bought on merit was just too hard, because the public had such appalling taste, and the market for books written by native New Zealanders was too small.

His answer, was, like Norway (which has a fair amount of spare cash) the Government should intervene, and buy copies of books by citizens to give as gifts to the ambassadorial staff of all foreign embassies and visiting dignitaries.

I did stop laughing before I actually died of anoxia, but it was close. Read more

A day short and a dollar late

Image by 7854 on Pixabay

The short story, once the absolute heart of the sf writer’s career has long since dwindled off to become so irrelevant that many a successful author never writes one, and certainly many (me included) never sold one prior to selling a novel.

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So is this what burnout looks like?

Image: Pixabay

Back in the dark ages, I joined the other tiny handful of fish-nutters who had made it into what was reputed to be the toughest post-grad in South Africa (we started a full month before anyone else, had no vacations – and that one year is now a three year course) with the kind of subject fanatics who thought eating on your dissection table saved time. Besides, if you couldn’t find your mouth while staring through a dissecting microscope, you deserved to starve. It was a glorious, intense year, fueled on caffeine and a peer group who basically did almost nothing else, seven days a week.  No-one left before midnight, 2 AM was common by the end of the year.  We were driven, inspired and pushing ourselves to our limits.

And one of the previous year’s graduates, engaged the bludgeoning edge of science that was to produce the first artificial abalone feed (and a lot of dead abalone) paving the way for a billion dollar aquaculture industry, said to us on of last days when we were looking to him for advice on that great future we all thought was there: “Ichthy Honours? Oh, well done. That proves to everyone you could work hard, once. You’ll be f…all good to anyone for six months, and never ever work that hard again.” Read more

The last thing you wrote




I’ve written about 4K (of 2K – yes. It’s gruesome) today on the end to this book.  I love you all dearly and all that sort of thing, but… Needs must.

The end to this book – which has more tangled threads than Heyer’s ‘worst’, BATH TANGLE – needs me to press on just that little more. Because I finally am in the zone of tying off ends – and without just killing all of the protagonists. It’s a focus area that really I find disastrous to break. Read more

Fanfic, derivative writing, plagiarism, copyright infringement

Images Pixabay

Somewhere, someone wrote these words before. Somewhere someone had these thoughts before.

And not just once.

Look, ALL writing is derivative. Even the most breath-takingly-original-to-you piece of pure unique-horn, is… derived. In the beginning was the Word. But the bloke who wrote as near an approximation of what it was as he could manage, using terms and words he had derived from others. They were not created de novo, but derived. Og’s three grunts back in the cave in Africa may be original but that’s about where it stops. Read more