Tag Archives: writing

Looking Towards 2013

I’m still getting the hang of what I want my writing/professional goals to be this coming year. I’m pretty sure I need some because 2012 was such a scattered year for me, but I want to keep that flexibility that I had to respond to new projects, and I also don’t want to heap too much pressure on myself instead of enjoying the last year with Jem properly at home – she starts kindergarten three days a week in 2014 and while that isn’t going to make a massive difference to now when she has 2 full daycare days a week, it means a lot psychologically. She will be a SCHOOL GIRL.

So, what does 2013 hold?

At least one novel deadline, which is good. I need to get the revised manuscript of Drowned Vanilla, the second Livia Day novel, to Twelfth Planet Press by May. Have I mentioned how much I adore having deadlines?

I also have one for a solicited short story, which always makes me happy. But apart from that…

Continue reading →

The Shape of 2012 (how it was)

It’s been an odd sort of year, and one in which I have tended to forget to stop and count my successes. I planned for many things in my writing career, few of which came to fruition, and I ended up with a bunch of words written, but nothing (major) new and finished, for the first time in several years.

On the other hand, some massive personal achievements surely help to balance that out. In particular I have seen Raeli grow from being very timid and panicky child into a far more relaxed, confident and brave young person. She has conquered her terror (and I don’t use the word lightly) of cats, managed her even more extreme fear of dogs, as well as getting over the hurdles of learning to swim and to turn somersaults. It’s been a big year!

Jem meanwhile has stopped being the baby (she is a BIG GIRL), and it’s quite extraordinary to see our three-year-old become herself, taking on an at times stroppy but quite original personality. (she can be a thug but she’s cute with it) And boy, can she talk. You may all pause your reading to faint from surprise.

They’re really good at being sisters, which makes me very happy. And we’re only a year away from Jem starting school now which feels… exciting and terrible, all at once. But by gods, it’s going to be cheaper. And those tiny windows of writing time are shrinking and shrinking between then and now. Somehow, she manages to fill every available space, which is what children are best at.

What other milestones did I/we manage to clear this year? Well, there’s that little thing of Galactic Suburbia getting its first Hugo nomination, which was extraordinary, and means that we will always look upon the Best Fancast category with great fondness. Galactic Suburbia also received the Peter McNamara Convenor’s Award for Excellence at the Aurealis Awards this year which was an amazing honour and really made us feel like we have made a mark in the Australian SF community. And of course we produced 23 new episodes, bringing us up to 73. We’ll be soooo close to 100 by the end of next year!

Continue reading →

On Not Writing a Book – What Else is There?

Sometimes blogging about not writing feels like the most subversive thing I can possibly do. I had my annual meltdown last week as I faced what I was and wasn’t going to be able to achieve this year, and my brain exploded messily all over the house. Only JUST metaphorically, I might add.

Now I am breathing calmly, having accepted that, you know, that novel I was working on is not going to be finished by the end of the school holidays, so I don’t have to kill myself in order to get it “done” before my next deadline window (for the second Livia Day novel) takes over.

Not when I have proofs to correct and much-closer-to-finished projects to edit, and submissions to make. And a house to clean up for Christmas and a tree to decorate and an insane number of end of year assemblies/concerts to attend.

Breathe, Tansy, breathe!

Continue reading →

Nano No (sigh)

I’m not doing NaNoWriMo this year, which feels very strange indeed. I’ve delved into the passionate obsessive NaNo mindset with such glee in previous years, even when deadlines and other commitments have made it tricky for me.

There will be writing, have no fear of that. But as I discovered back when I was working on this particular novel-in-progress for the Clarion Write-a-thon, this particular project (yes, still the steampunk YA) is not one that benefits from being written fast. I could do something completely new for NaNo, of course, but that would mean giving up on the hope that I could finish my novel this year.

There are a bunch of other excuses of course, such as GENRECON! and one of my twice yearly “fortnights of gainful employment” at the university, but those things wouldn’t actually matter if I was in a writing-my-fingers-off frame of mind. And I’m not. This has been a year of stopping and starting, of career decisions, and of taking every weird and wonderful opportunity tossed my way, regardless of what my plans were before. Some of this will come to naught, and some may change my life. Eventually.

Continue reading →

Writing Comics, Comics Writing

I’ve been thinking a lot about comics lately. You might have noticed this!

The last two year or so have probably been the most solid and intense comics-reading period of my life, even including that year I discovered Platinum Grit and the Justice League at the same time. It’s hardly surprising that, having read so many, a writer’s fancy starts to turn to…

Yep, that’s right, I’m now writing the things. Or at least, I’m making a good go of it. Because that’s what I needed in my life, an entirely new writing format which requires a separate skills set, entirely different publishing rules, and basically starting from scratch as a writer.

Maybe that *is* what I needed, actually.

I am still working on novels, short stories and other stuff, and completely in love with prose narrative, but diverting into a few comic script projects has been terribly fun. And no, I can’t say anything about those writing projects just yet.

Sequential art, baby!

Continue reading →

Friday Links is Also Not Married To Matt Fraction

I have a new story out! “Please Look After This Angel” is the piece that was read in the marvellous theatrical performance at MONA the other week – now Island Magazine have put in online for you to read. Yes, you. It’s my first ever angel story (I THINK) which does not include clockwork. Keep an eye out for the others – I particularly enjoyed Michael Blake’s “Breathless” on the night, and thought that Melissa Howard’s “The Watchers” felt very Margo Lanaganesque – I will be interested to see how reading the stories on the page changes my opinions after experiencing them for the first time as a dramatic reading!

Also, my littlest daughter turned 3 yesterday which has come as a shock to all of us but did mean I could finally find an owner for the Astronaut Barbie I found on sale nearly a year ago. She also received a Cupcake Kitchen, a Wonder Woman board book, and an Alice in Wonderland costume. Love you, Jem!

But you’re not here for me talking about me, you’re here for linky links. Let us proceed!

Continue reading →

Motherhood: the Ultimate Writing Accessory?

The Frisky pointed to an article in the Telegraph by Amanda Craig about Maeve Binchy’s career, and the difference between women writers who are mothers and those who are not.

At first, coming in on a wave of The Frisky’s outrage, I thought it wasn’t as bad as I had expected. After all, it did acknowledge a whole bunch of pros and cons for juggling writing and motherhood, and seemed to be balanced. But the more I read, the less balanced it seemed. Because it’s not as it turns out an article about how women are screwed no matter what they do (though that is the ultimate message). It’s an article about how women writers who are also mothers are simultaneously a suffering underclass, and a tribe representing superiority.

Continue reading →

The Art of Not Writing

Having reached the end if not a complete blitz then at least a consistent 6 weeks of hitting writing targets, my current plan is to hone my skills of not-writing.

It’s easy as a writer to get caught up in metrics – word count means progress, books only get written if you regularly put your bum in your seat and type, etc. etc. Those things are true. But it’s also important to recognise when you’re drained and need to refill the well – and particularly when you’re pushing too hard at a book.

For me, it becomes obvious when the writing is hard. Writing is not always easy for me, and writing every day is certainly not easy, with my intense time pressures. But while I am proud of a lot of the work I did over the last six weeks, both on my novel-in-progress and other projects, I can’t deny the fact that I never kicked into that stride, the beautiful momentum that usually fires up after a consistent month or so of writing.

Continue reading →

Clarion Write-A-Thon – the fourth 5000 – Intermediate MacGuffin Hunting

So, I set myself a challenge within a challenge this week: I not only had to write 5000 words, but they all had to be on the Steampunk Victoriana Fairies and Robots novel. Every single one of them.

When I’m tracking wordcount, it’s usually about making sure I make some kind of measurable progress, and I usually discount any other writing when I’m working on a novel. That’s why I so rarely get short stories written! By the time the weekend comes around, I’m done.

So this year my plan, since it’s the first year in a while with no specific deadlines, was to write a bunch of words (my crazy goal was 200K) and to count everything I wrote, as long as it was fiction. It’s been pretty great because I have been able to keep up work momentum by jumping from project to project – it’s a lot easier to write 1000 words each of 5 different projects than 5000 words on the same thing. Sort of. Mostly. Except I haven’t been doing that, I’ve been doing 300-500 words on 10-15 different projects. Per week.

Scattered, me?

Continue reading →

Voices and Angels – my night at MONA

Last night we got to attend “Angel Story,” one of the events as part of the current Festival of Voices, at MONA. I feel like a bad Tasmanian for this being my first time inside the swish high art museum since its revamp (I was hardly out of the place when it was a classics museum) several years ago – and was beginning to feel like we were the only people in the world who hadn’t been there!

We got as far as the grounds last summer, for my godson’s 4th birthday, but with a horde of tired and sticky children, didn’t quite feel adventurous enough to go inside.

So there I was last night, glammed up, walking around this bizarre structure, all glass and sandstone edifices, surrounded by a whole bunch of art patrons, and I didn’t manage to take a single photo. Sorry!

Continue reading →