Monthly Archives: October 2013

An email wake up call

So yesterday I got an email out of the blue that has kicked me into gear a bit.

I got an email from my novel. Really I did. Photographic evidence here:



Well if that aint a sign to get myself moving what is??



Insert catchy headline here

No, the headline is not a sub editing snafu – rather one of the random ramblings I’ve been thinking about.



There is no doubting the importance of a catchy headline, particularly in this electronic age when an entire story can be conveyed in just 144 characters. In fact one of the most often clicked-on posts in this blog is most likely found through a Google search by Metallica fans, the post title is Ride the Lightning aka Unintended Meanings . The post content is more about how once art is in the world you have lost the ability to control how it is interpreted, however I get so many hits from what I assume are Metallica fans googling the record title.

The other day I was reading the newspaper online and one of the articles I could have clicked on in the lifestyle-type section was headlined ’10 unusual things to do with breast milk’ – sorry peeps, I’m not providing a clickable link for that one! Apart from feeding an infant I would have thought any other use would be considered unusual. However, the point is, the headline was certainly not enticing me to click through!

A second slightly related rambling – As I was sitting in the library waiting for the annoying windows updates on my netbook to happen I glanced around at my fellow bibliophiles, as you do. There was a sweet older gentleman, probably a retiree, sitting in a sunny corner, absorbed in a book. I envied him the luxury of having an afternoon with nothing more pressing to do than sit and enjoy a read in a comfy chair. He suddenly exclaimed under his breath ‘sh1t!’ and flicked forwards pages in his book, flicked back again, read some more. And immediately I thought – how fantastic to be able to elicit such a response from a reader. I tried to spy the book he was reading when he stood up suddenly and headed back into the shelves. I was able to glimpse the title as he disappeared, re-emerging from the shelves empty-handed and then he left the library. I’m not quite sure what he was expecting when he picked up Benjamin Law’s book Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East – but I would have thought that title was a fair indication of what you were letting yourself in for!

And a third, somewhat sad side note – Tom Clancy died last week, I still enjoy watching and reading Clear and Present Danger and The Hunt for Red October. He still has a book to come out, Command Authority is due for release on 3 December.

Dancing fingers

I’ve been a bit stuck lately, competing priorities but oh so gradually I’m getting the hang of balancing/juggling them all, so here I am, back again, thanks, nice to be here.

I’d heard fantastic things about The Writing Book by Kate Grenville for some time now, that it was a writing book for writers (as well as non writers), no nonsense and straight forward.

So I picked up a copy at my local library and have managed to storm my way through to the end of Chapter 1 (massive achievement of 10 pages, seriously – competing interests folks!). At the end of the chapter she has a group of exercises to try out, which I was determined to get to this afternoon (laundry be damned!).

So now I have a little vignette of a character that I want to use in my novel that includes cruise ships in the late 1930s. To be honest I don’t know if I actually met the brief of the exercise at all, but it was all about improvisations and this was certainly that.

Also I needed to shake out the cobwebs and this felt good. I set a timer on my phone and allowed myself 15 minutes (plus just a smidge) and edited a little as I went. It gives me some ideas, and I’ll hopefully move onto some of the other exercises with this in mind tonight (after family time with BMan and Little Man and the gym, and probably some laundry, and…)

Nevertheless click here to meet Joe, a 19 year old trumpet player on the cruise ship The Ocean Empress.