Skip to content

Posts from the ‘WRITING: LIFE’ Category

The Rising Tide

I had one of those interesting days today, at least, in the ancient Chinese curse sense. In part, anyway. It’s the start of national book week here in Oz, and, I may be trifle biased but a love of reading is greatest gift we can give to children, to the future.

Now, for me, crowds are a hardship. I am very sound and movement sensitive, maybe because I am kind of proof of this whole evolution thing, as in I’m a little primitive. Both little and primitive, that is. Being an urban-dweller requires coping well with a sea of noise and movement, ignoring most of it, and shutting out peripheral stimulus. Your little hunter-gatherer who does this ends up either very hungry, or very dead, or, mostly, both. I was raised in hunter-gatherer tradition, and there’s a lot of it my family history, in my genes, I suspect. I guess I am one of yesterday’s people, to the modern world. But I still have to live in it, a little. Read more

Anthologies and oddities

Anthologies are a funny thing, for someone who started as indie: you write a short story, to a mandated length instead of “until it’s done”, and on a deadline. Sometimes, it has to be on a theme, sometimes in a particular universe. And then there’s the contracts: they range from life-of-copyright (an unthinkable contract for your own work… but what if you’re playing with someone else’s IP?) to reversion after a year just like a magazine. How do you decide to be in one?
Read more

Seeing through a glass, darkly

Unhurried imagination.

That phrase occurred in a passage Amanda quoted in her Tuesday column, and it… so to speak… caught my imagination. Because that’s not how my imagination – or Amanda’s, to judge from her comments – works. Ha! Imagination should only be so polite as to present itself in long, leisurely segments that fit my typing speed! It tends more to arrive with the speed and finesse of a runaway train!

A long time ago Diana Gabaldon told me something about her writing process that exactly described my own (Yeah, I know, too bad my results aren’t as wildly successful as hers). I’ll try to paraphrase from memory: Read more

Some thoughts on Apollo 11, and the American landing on the moon.

It’s been 50 years (and a few days) since the Apollo 11 mission took the first two men to the moon. I remember clearly (and I was rather young) the black and white grainy images and the US flag flying proudly on the moon, and hearing the crackly ‘One small step…’

I’m sure I was only one of millions of little kids who saw that and dreamed of going out there one day. I was already reading sf (and most of it was mediocre to bad science, but great entertainment, great dreams) so this helped my suspension of disbelief, as well filling me with awe, hero-worship and a life-long support for space exploration. Read more

The Successful Writer

Detail from a ceiling. Author Photo.

Ah, that legendary beast of misty lore, the creature that haunts authors’ dreams, whispering in the dark of night, then disappearing in the harsh light of dawn…

OK, sorry, that’s the neighborhood cat that gets Athena all riled up by perching on the windowsill.

These days, depending on which news stories you read, it is easier than ever to become a successful author, or you are doooooomed by the lack of government support (UK) and the enormous numbers of independently published books of dubious quality. Either you can make lots and lots of money, or the pie slices are shrinking faster than an ice-cube on the hood of a black car in Phoenix, Arizona in mid-August.

What is success? It depends on the author’s goals. How do you get there? It depends on your goals. Read more

All is Chaos, Situation Normal…

To all outward appearances, Caer Dave is doing better than ever. We have a plane for the future, which we’re working. The Wee Horde have a regular sitter who’s quite fond of them, and vice versa. Mrs. Dave is facing some significant changes at work, but all for the positive, with the possibility of even greater things in the immediate-to-near term future. (My apologies for the vague-blog, there, but it’s not my news.) Personally, I’m working up several new projects, both writing and more corporeal. I’m taking the time to get my beloved Valkyrie running and happy, again. I’m building my building skills, with the prospect of new tools and new tricks to come. Through all of this, we’re getting the house more organized, and I’m getting my thinking more organized.
Read more

Random Musing on Writing: Something Completely Different

From one of Maximilian’s childhood textbooks. Author photo.

Celebrity books are not new. Nor are people angling for endorsements from celebrities in order to sell more books. It’s just that the quantity has increased since the mid-1400s.

I was intrigued and amused to discover that Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I Habsburg (1459-1519) wrote and published epic poems and novels. One of the poems, Theuerdank, is a fictionalized account of Maximilian’s trip to meet and marry his first wife, Mary of Burgundy. It falls somewhere between the literary allegory pattern of things like the drama “Everyman” (Jederman) and adventure stories. Theuerdank was originally released in a collectors’ edition in 1517 and given only to nobles. Then a revised popular edition came out for the general market two years later. Both had lavish illustrations via woodcuts. It is one of the early books printed in German, and in fact a special type-face had to be designed for the work.
Read more