Change is a Multicoloured Thing

It’s already March and I’m sitting inside listening to non-stop soft, relentless rain and about to make a coffee. My writing achievements since last blog have been varied. For accepted publication I’ve written vampire and ancient myths drabbles, longer dark fantasy stories about mermaids, envious witches and dying queens. A favourite piece was for children (family friendly) which was a delight to write; The Chocolate Cake Elves.

In the world of social media and writing groups and connections there have been comings and goings, new publishers stepping out boldly with a range of interesting calls for super-short and longer-long work. As usual my best writing time has been around 5am, and on those mornings where I have been free to write, I’ve notched up some words, sometimes 1k plus which is an achievement for me.

My five favourite publishers are currently Black Ink Fiction, Raven and Drake, Black Hare Press, Paper Djinn Press and Breaking Rules Europe. This is where I am sending most of my work.

It’s a time of change in the world, and on a personal level. And I am getting shrewder as to where I want to spend my online socials time, and what I want to write about. I feel a novel stirring inside, although can’t just yet get cracking on it, as a few other things need to fall into place. Mysterious? Yes I know.

Interviewing 3 Authors on Writing & Welcoming a Year of Possibility

We’re getting into the beginning of February 2021 already, and it’s a timely time to write a blog post. I’ve been quite proactive with drabbles this month, having three each accepted by Insignia Stories on the theme of Asian Mythical Beasts, four accepted by Breaking Rules Europe, and two by new indie press, Raven and Drake, on a themes of European folklore, legend and mythology. Wonderful stuff to write about, and greatly enjoyed the research, from one side of the planet to another. Am loving writing myth and legend; well it’s really rewriting isn’t it? Revisionism. Those Norse legends have intrigued me the most, having never delved into that area much at all in the past.

I pitched an idea to my Black Hare Press publisher revolving around a speculative take on Alice, the heroine of Wonderland. It was accepted and now there’s quite a buzz flowing with a range of genres where Alice is led to her latest very interesting adventures. This is a challenge for 13 exciting authors (including myself), and will be out in 2022, possibly earlier perhaps. Stay tuned. 🐰

Dawn DeBraal is highly prolific, writing numerous short stories in the couple of years since she has been professionally writing. You can catch her work in a large range of press including Paper Djinn Press, Kandisha Press, Black Hare Press and numerous others. She writes first drafts of 5k words in a day. So she’s that kind of committed to her writing.

Twitter: @DawnDebraal

Ximena Escobar recently relocated to Sydney Australia from the UK. She’s originally from Chile. She writes and publishes short fiction and poetry. She has also written for numerous indie press. She recently featured in Zero Hour, a cyberpunk anthology from Black Hare Press. She also greatly enjoys the Sydney beach out-of-town coastline for family get-aways.

Twitter: @laximenin

D. Kershaw is the co-founder of Black Hare Press.As well as having stories accepted by WPC Press, Paramour Ink, Breaking Rules Europe and Blood Song Books, he moonlights as a minion of the hell hare, Captain Woundwort, in the dark hours.

Website : https://linktr.ee/dkershaw

Authors – Dawn DeBraal, Ximena Ecobar and D. Kershaw.

Authors on writing ideas

In a recent discussion, indie author Dawn DeBraal said to me, “If I can come up with an idea, I can write,” after having just written the first draft of an over-5000 word story in just one day. As I was quite impressed by her writing speed, I posed the following questions about writing to Dawn, as well as two Australian authors, Ximena Escobar and D. Kershaw.

How long have you been writing seriously?

DDB: I sent my first story out in November 2018. It was accepted! I have been addicted to that feeling since.

XE: Thanks for having me! Dawn is definitely a writing machine. Me, not so much. I could write articles and essays fast—- get an idea, as Dawn says, and write it. But the way I write fiction is tied to form and this slows me down. I reread and edit as I go; even if it’s a casual dialogue, nothing pretentious or poetic. Because I usually don’t know what’s going to happen next, so what I wrote before shows me the way forward, gives me the ideas.

DK: I had my first story, a drabble, published in 2019—”Hungry Restrain” in Blood Song Books’ Forest of Fear 1 which was a fill in for a post-production dropout (and I may have been a little drunk when I wrote it…don’t judge me, I was camping…).
I didn’t really write anything seriously before that. It hasn’t been a big part of my life—bar the editorial bits—until now.

It’s taken a while to feel confident in myself. And I’m an introvert, so I don’t like to share anything of my personal life. And when you’ve been closed for such a long time, it’s hard to let people see what’s inside.

Do you get lots of ideas just like that, or do you get inspired by particular themes?

DDB: I work well with prompts, so a lot of my writing is toward a call for a particular submission. But life and memories give prompts everyday if we are open to them.

XE: Both… Certain themes inspire me more than others, though. Ancient cultures, philosophy, women, misogyny, heart ache, intimacy, friendship. Visuals too. An image will often get those juices flowing, providing that extra ingredient to the above themes. But never the story. A situation yes, but my stories are not usually plot driven. When they are, such as in the case of collaborations where several authors write a chapter of the same cohesive story, I still need something else to get me going. Zero Hour, for example. I had the plot premise, but it was the question of how would your mind cope with sound and vision augs, the idea of that intensified stimuli /experience, that got me writing. It birthed a character which was totally outside of the main storyline, and trying to fit her into it gave my story shape. Also channelled Blade Runner and picked up elements from the only two other chapters I read before writing mine… I love it. Love everything about writing.

DK: I write to themes. I see a call I like; I try to write for it. But I don’t have much time, due to my commitments with Black Hare Press.

Or if I have a special someone who I know likes to read.

I can’t really just write, I need an end goal.

What has been your fastest to publication story you ever wrote?

DDB: Sometimes I write it in the morning and send it in the afternoon. Then you are at the mercy of the publisher. I am not a long-distance writer, yet. I hope to get there someday. 3000 is my sweet spot.

XE: Probably Gluttony, for Black Hare Press’s Seven Deadly Sins Series. It’s short, no more than 1k, but I wrote it in one sitting just before the deadline, and I received my acceptance soon after.

DK: I’m not sure. Maybe Forest of Fear 2? That was an invite only and I had to beg to be in it—I know, right? Me??

How many short stories did you write last year (2020)?

DDB: I submitted 274 stories, poems and drabbles, I received 128 acceptances in 2020.

XE: About 45, not including poems. Less drabbles than the previous year so I upped my word count.

DK: Not so many—I’ve been a reluctant writer.

“Quota” for Blood Song Books’ Harvest, “Heaven Scent” for Paramour Ink’s Happy Howlidays. I was invited to the tribe by author David Green for Black Hare Press’ Route 13 (which comes out later this year) and had five drabbles as a fill-in for a dropout in Quietus 13.  

How many have you written to date? (Include drabbles or micro-fiction separately if you want to include them too.)

DDB: I’ve submitted 647 stories in the two years I’ve been writing which includes short stories, drabbles, and poem. With this morning’s acceptance, I am at 298 acceptances excited to be hitting that 300 mark.

XE:   I’ve had about 150 stories published all up, including reprints, drabbles and poems. But I have more, unpublished, and several wips. I’m too lazy to count! 

DK: My first was a drabble for Forest of Fear 1 in 2019…then eight more in 2020…plus seven this year…that’s…sixteen! (Twelve of those were drabbles.). All were accepted. Some are still pending publication.

Have particular quotes or pictures/images given you ideas?

DDB: As I stated earlier, everything in life is a story, you just have to see it. So yes. Everything is an idea.

XE: Yes. A Haiku by Pina Leyland inspired my story “The Making of a Star”, first published by Black Hare Press and then reprinted by Literally Stories. My story “Self-Portrait in a Velvet Dress” was inspired by Frida Kahlo’s painting and the story behind it.  My story “Return of Dragons”, at least the first line of the first draft, was inspired by the cover of the anthology in question.

DK: No, I write for calls, so whatever ideas the call gives.

How do you create your story? Characters first? Main character first? Something else comes first?

DDB: It’s a strange process. When I was a songwriter, someone would be speaking and something they said “sang” in my head. It’s similar to my writing. When I see something or hear a name I love, I have the story, right there. As I am writing it will take twists and turns.

XE: It will be a character, an image, an emotion or a situation. I find the story as I go.

DK: I have a basic plot in my head…what I think I want to happen. Then I start writing. Then it morphs into something completely different. 😊

If I’m comfortable with the genre—such as horror or dystopian—I find it easier to write.

My Happy Howlidays story was way out of my comfort zone—no horror, and fade-to-black romance. I had to fully plot that one, and it gave me so much anxiety to get it out of my head and onto paper. I see that reflected in the writing.

Are you a plotter? A strategic writer with a plan?  Or are you a pantser? Run with it as it evolves in your head? (By the seat of your pants).

DDB: Since my main genre is short stories you don’t need much plotting. You start with the idea and it unfolds as you write. And yes, most definitely a “pantser.” I will start with an idea. Sometimes I will put a break under me and write the next idea I just came up with and head toward that goal in the story.

XE: Not a planner all! I don’t even think my characters through. I just know them intimately, back to front, but I don’t necessarily know what they do for a job for example, unless it’s important.

DK: Plantser.

What advice would you give to other newer writers about writing a fast short story based on one idea?

DDB: Advice. Make sure you have checked and rechecked for errors. Sloppy writing of a good story could get you a rejection because an editor doesn’t want to have to take a lot of time to go over your story. Also submit. If you don’t submit it’s a no, if you do submit, it’s a maybe. Thank you, Gopi for asking!

XE: Don’t think I’d give any advice about writing fast… But it would be to not doubt yourself. Write what you want to write, the way you want to write it. Be true to yourself. Then listen to any feedback you receive, understand the editor or beta reader’s perspective before deciding to ignore their suggestions. They usually have a valid point. 

DK: Have an idea of how your story will go. I find it easier to have an end point in mind. What’s going to be your final scene? What does your character need to achieve? Then work out where it can start. And go from there. Easy, huh?

Because I don’t plot, I start where I start, and it goes where it goes. More often than not, I don’t end up with the story I first thought of in the beginning.

My “Watch Over You” for Love in the Dark (WPC Press, out 7th February 2021) is a good example of that. It was supposed to be a chilling stalker-type tale, but…well, it didn’t turn out anything close to that…

Also…research. Make sure you have an idea of what your mythological creature looks like, where they live, the name of the lakes around there, etc.

So Ends 2020

Endings and Beginnings

In November I aligned myself to NaNoWriMo and was inspired to write 1k words daily for over 2 weeks. It was a new kind of challenge and in that time I was consistent and productive. Mid-month I got distracted with editing for the several pieces of work I’d created. Then life got busy in other ways and I couldn’t continue with the daily 1k discipline.

The benefit of all this was that now I know I can write 1k (or more) words a day which could make a novella happening in one month seem way less daunting. Get to it, girl…

December release
Coming in February 2021
Coming soon

Since writing the above in the past fortnight a strong voice in my head has put it to me that in 2021 I should focus some consistent ideas I’ve had on creating an 80,000k novel. And why not? The task seems a lot less daunting since I got in the run with NaNo this year.

Keeping that in mind, I will still be following up a pitch that’s on the verge of emerging, as well as more lovely poetry, short stories and drabbles. The way to go.

Coming soon from Black Hare Press

Congratulations to those writers accepted for this pirates anthology ⚔🎈🗡♠️🎈

Ending on a short note. I don’t doubt that 2021 will be full of surprises. There’s benefit in everything – even though it may not seem that way whilst in the thick of it. Time to reassess, re-evaluate, and not throw out the baby with the bathwater. It’s not the time to give oneself pain at somebody else’s mistakes. Breathe, stand back, and head in your chosen direction. This makes sense to me. Enjoy time with friends and fam at Christmas. Keep smelling the roses. 💜🌿💎🎈🌲🎈💎🌿💜

Some October and November Highlights

This time of year is flying along so fast that my attention is really only going to the essentials. In Melbourne we have recently emerged from stage #4 lockdown with all its limitations. Our household continues to adjust and be savvy with time, space, energy and so on….especially energy. It’s not the time to be wasting time on unproductive pursuits, whatever they may be. And from this writers’ viewpoint, that means being really certain about time going into projects and submissions that may be over-consuming of my precious time and energy.

💕💜💕 Key statement: Is it really worth it? 💕💜💕

Not much to speak of for this month so far, other than it’s NaNoWriMo time being November and many writers, myself included, are squeezing out thousands of extra words this month, including starting novellas and novels. I’m finding it a great time to complete a range of short stories for several calls I got my eye on. So it’s day 5 today and I’m up to 5k words which makes me happy and feeling productive. The plan is to do 1k words daily for the month, finish the works in progress and set up a trait of writing longer and more often. Sounds good to me.

A couple of other recent achievements are publication of a poem about boredom called “The Dreaded Blue-Grey” thanks to Dagmara at Spillwords, publication of the book, “Nation” from Jesu at Barrio Blues Press; microfiction and a short story, “Halloween Spirit” and “The Wedding” being published by Paper Djinn Press, thanks to Umair editor-in-chief. Iron Faerie Publishing also released “Hexed” this month, and accepted my future work, “The Queen Mother Saw” for their Hawthorn and Ash anthology coming later this year; an acceptance for my essay about being a writer to Sweetycat Press, “To Be or Not To Be a Writer” collection, thanks to the prolific writer and publisher, Steven Lester Carr.

Full book: https://bit.ly329oeyA

Spring News and The Horror Writers ♠️

Today is September 1st and it’s feeling like a mammoth occasion because Spring is here. You know; all the birds buzzing around, and bees lapping up honey in our blossomed white tree in the backyard. It has a nice fresh feeling about it even though we are still in lockdown and the days of the week are blurring, morphing into each other.

Spring and spooky

For some time now I have contemplated the writing of horror and what is unique to this particular sub-genre of speculative fiction. My written horror micro-fiction usually has irony or humour ingrained in it. I can’t write it too sublimely gruesome as my preferences lay with fantasy, sci-fi or the paranormal. So I asked three writers, who I know especially through Black Hare Press, their own slant on it. Here’s what they had to say. Thanks to Hari Navarro based in Italy, Dawn De Braal from the US and Jasmine Jarvis from Australia. Their links are also below as they are all worth following up on social media, especially if you are a horror story fan. Each one has their own talent, uniqueness and appeal.

What is it about writing horror that appeals to you? 

Hari: To me it’s a very honest genre. Whereas other tropes might allude to the dark things that prod us to do and think the way that we do, horror is a far more direct examination. I know certain victims of violence find solace in extreme forms of horror. It affords chance to safely peer through the eyes of our daemons and ponder just what makes them tick.

Dawn: I love psychological horror over blood and guts, plots that twist in the end unexpectedly. Horror gives you freedom, a “no holds barred” liberty that is invigorating.

Jasmine:  In my teens I was heavily into reading horror, but it never truly sunk in just how scary it could actually be until my epiphany one night in September 1997. I was going through my Anne Rice phase and was eyeballs deep in her vampire series. Up until this moment I was like “meh! Bitey monsters, no biggie!” (thanks Hollywood!) but that night after reading a few chapters of The Vampire Lestat, I stopped and actually thought about it. About being hunted by a creature that was strong, fast, driven by hunger and volatile. How would I, a then 15 year old be able to escape a vampire? Then I began to think just how horrible living forever would actually be. The more I thought about it I realised that immortality was a frightening concept too.

So I mulled over this epiphany in my room in the dead of a hot and steamy Townsville night. Outside I could hear the fruit bats fighting in my neighbours mango tree. The realisation of just how scary these things (vampires, not fruit bats) could be was sinking in, but not enough to deter me from leaving my room to go to the bathroom. Unbeknownst to me, my mum, who was tired of constantly fighting to get me to not read at night, had heard me get up and she snuck into my bedroom where she hid behind the door and waited for my return. I walked back into my room, still occupied by the thoughts of vampires, when I closed the door and my mum lunged at me, hissing and gurgling. Her frizzy blonde hair sticking out in all directions, the sliver of streetlight that came in through the crack of my blinds made her look absolutely terrifying. I dropped on the spot, screaming and boxing the air – if I was going to die, I would do so fighting.  

So fear. Fear is what appeals to me about writing horror stories.

What has been your best horror story/drabble and why?

Hari: “Pieces of Grace”, a short I based on the video for Slipknots – Vermilion Pt. 2. It involves the body of a beautiful woman who mysteriously appears from the sky and unconsciously floats the earth swirling and dancing upon the breeze. Initial fascination is replaced with greed as mankind literally tears her apart for souvenirs.

Dawn: Usually it’s the latest baby I gave birth too. One of my favorites is “Prelude to Murder,” a story about a young woman who leaves her alcoholic mother days before her 21st birthday, and hitchhikes from Illinois to Florida with a man she doesn’t know after meeting him at a truck stop.

Jasmine: My favourite drabble is one I wrote last year – The Tech Age Apocalypse (in Black Hare Press Apocalypse anthology) – because now it is even more terrifying given what is going on at the moment with the pandemic.

Which writers have inspired your writing horror & why? 

Hari: I recently discovered Lucas Mangum via his book “Saint Sadist”. Not strictly horror though certainly horrific in theme it taught me to be indelibly true to my ideas. 

Dawn: I grew up on Steven King and Dean Koontz. I was always amazed at how well they could tell a story, and scare you with words, not violence.

Jasmine: When I was in high school, I was an avid reader of Stephen King, Anne Rice, Christopher Pike. I was sixteen when I got my hands on a copy of the true account that The Exorcist was based on. Now that book kept me awake all night! Anything paranormal and I am like a moth to a flame! Now I mainly read autobiographies, history, crime (currently re-reading The Complete and Essential Jack the Ripper by Paul Begg and John Bennett), political, environmental and social science books. My fiction collection is across multiple genres. Basically I am happy to read anything I can get my hands on. I love reading, I love stories. I draw my inspiration for my horror stories from what is around me. My upcoming story The Rise of the Great Old One came about while listening to clips of unexplained underwater sounds with my kids one afternoon. We then began to talk about Cthulhu and what if the creatures Lovecraft wrote about in his stories actually exist here and now; and that he saw them and knew we were going to be wiped out, but instead of saying outright “hey guys, don’t want to alarm you but have you seen these monsters? Like, the person standing next to you, the one with fish eyes, yeah that is one of Cthulhu’s buddies. Oh, and by the way, we are doomed!” (which would have seen him locked up in an institution). He instead tried to impart these warnings of our demise at the hands (tentacles) of these monsters in his stories, and we lapped it up as fiction. From that, my story took shape. I have always had an active imagination, and the authors of the stories I read in my teens I think have had the biggest influence and have set the foundation for my horror writing today.

Hari Navarro:
https://harinavarro.tumblr.com/

https://www.facebook.com/hari.navarro

Jasmine Jarvis:

Twitter: @jjarvisauthor

Dawn de Braal

https://www.facebook.com/All-The-Clever-Names-Were-Taken-114783950248991

POETS – I’m over the moon about acceptance of my poem ‘Ask Your Mum’ to the Penned in the City’s charity chapbook, NATION. My first ever poem to get published and for a really good cause too. Thanks to Jesu Estrada and Ximena Escobar. Boom! That requires as much celebration as this Melbourne lockdown can provide.

♦️😷♦️

A new forthcoming book from Sweetycat Press with stories from a range of emerging and otherwise writers’ journey to their current spot in the literary scheme of things. This looks to be an insightful, interesting and popular read. A big shout-out to author and publisher Steve Carr for providing the opportunity. 📚Hoping to send mine before tomorrow. 🔴

And just for some ambience my friend Patricia in Tahiti took these wonderful tropical beach photos. The doggos look a bit anxious, but the water is totally chilled. 💜

Tahiti blue sea ocean got my heart wanting..

This is a submission call for speculative poetry from the new Paper Djinn Press from Umair and Shawn. Love the cover and hoping to be part of this.

What Else Do Writers Do?

Sometimes one has to step back and take an inventory of the direction of one’s writing activities. Note that I don’t say writing ‘career’ as it doesn’t feel like I have one. Does whether I am being paid for writing or not have anything to do with that? Time will tell.

Recently I caught myself out procrastinating, and I’m glad I did. As I hovered in the backroom of a particular social media platform waiting for someone else to be making something happen, (to suit me), I remembered the reviews I have wanted to do. That’s currently at least three books, and a fourth counting an August uni assessment. It also requires reading the books first!

Writing isn’t just about anticipating acceptances. It’s about writing reviews, whether for other writers, blogs or publishers. We indie authors all help each other, right?

So I need to sort my writing activity out. Currently I have several bits of work on the go, ie: short stories. Is this wise? Should I work on one thing at a time, or dive into a  multi-tasking of writing projects? Like reading, I have about six books on the go, and that’s not including kindle. Is there a writer who just sits down and does one thing at a time? Maybe there is, and they are writing a novel? Something I am decidedly not doing as I’m happy with writing short stories, microfiction and poetry.

So keeping to the theme here, what do writers do when they are not actually writing? And I’m talking about writing-related tasks, not eating, sleeping etc..            Apart from actual writing, writers do a lot of other necessary things to keep their productivity afloat. This includes:

1) Engaging with other writers and publishers on social media. This needs discernment or time is lost.

2) Preparing work to submit. This includes finding beta readers, editing and layout, and sending submissions off to a publisher. Can take up quite some time.

3) Research. I am currently researching ideas for a poem which is something I’ve not done for poetry before.

4) Keeping notes and notebooks, preferably in a well-organised manner.

5) Writing the blog. Say no more…

6) Reading. This is an absolute requirement, not just for escape and sanity, but for ideas, comparisons and refreshment.

7) Reflecting on rejections and learning to tolerate them as part of the process. It can be a bitter pill, (disappointment), but it’s silver lining is that it moderates ego (ouch!) and so whilst learning new ways to improve one’s writing, it also helps you become a better person.

8) Doing interviews or interviewing other writers.

As from tonight Melbourne goes into stage four lockdown, so I’ve found that the best coping mechanism is to get really creative with my time. Some friends are doing it with food, as in making new dishes, bread, etc. It’s good to make friends with your mind, and do some meditation or mindfulness. Lots of Zoom calls and some interesting webinars are available too. (Writers festivals etc..)  Make it easier. 💟🕯🔥😊🔥🕯💕

Time for the Mask

Here’s July already and Melbourne has again gone into lockdown, masks are being encouraged, and I have ceased my day a week of health care work with intentions of more paid writing work coming to me. (With some effort of course, Rome wasn’t built in a day).

Masking up in pandemic pandemonium

Am continuing to challenge myself by delving into new areas of writing world. This has meant 1) seeking out or being sent to publishers with whom I have not previously submitted my work, 2) plotting out some short stories and microfiction in new (for me) genres, eg: crime fiction and 3) THE most exciting, reigniting the flame of writing poetry.

YES! I wrote poetry for years and no,  I treated it badly, and therefore didn’t keep much if it. Now, however it seems so special, easy and…..appropriate to write. So I’ve been doing that and have submitted a few so far. 

June and July have also been a time of attending some online writers festivals and other writer-learning sessions. Doing one on crime fiction this weekend with Dave Warner, and another on ghostwriting in a few weeks. Always more to learn….

Shout-out to Paper Djinn Press, and Umair for moving this venture foward. Looks like a breath of fresh air for fantasy and sci-fi writers. Good luck! And another 💜 to the generous and prolific Black Hare Press, most happy to know that Dean is back and smoothly cranking it up. I was so pleased to receive my contract from Fantasia Divinity for the Earth of Oblivion anthology, which includes two short short pieces I wrote, Mudwitch and Grounded. Coming soon. Such a great cover! 💚

Really enjoyed writing a couple of micro stories for this (above) anthology too. Thanks for accepting,  Kelly Matsuura. 💜 When I spent about nine months travelling around SE Asia, it changed my life in many ways, and this is the beginning of writing about it. These two were inspired by a Buddhist temple in south Thailand and staying on Nusa Lembongen near Bali.

Stay safe! And keep away from all peaceless situations, unless as you can help improve it. 🌹 Good luck! It’s more than half way through 2020 and a lot has been seen and understood. 🌳

May Mooching

Time for a blog post to share some news and views. May has almost ended and we’ve been in Lockdown now for 2-3 months. As has been suggested by many, this time of isolation is good for those who are naturally hermit-like and introvert. This is a part of me for sure, however not the full picture. I like being around people, I like to go out and I like choosing activities that take me into another environment for the newness and refreshment it brings.

Still, this enforced time of being at home has been useful and productive with my writing, finishing stories and submitting them, seeking out some new publishers and gaining further momentum which my main publisher, the fabulous, prolific Black Hare Press.

There’s also been the study of Narratology in this past few months, although not a favourite initially, has turned out to be useful as well as interesting. (Would the idea of analysing text previously caught my attention? No. But now it does.) Just need to plan and complete the 3000 word final essay now, and onto the next unit which is a look at short stories. Yes!

Here (above) are a few anthologies which are publishing one of my stories, or microfiction.

One of the most fun pieces I wrote lately was about a huge live-in robot called ‘The Magnificent General Vici Galactos’ This was accepted into BHPs Lockdown sci-fi series.

I will try and do a monthly blog. Promise. Take care and stay tuned in.

💜🔔💜🔔💜

Boredom isn’t my thing… Lately.

Actually I do recall being bored… I don’t like it. It’s a fed-up ‘let me out of this jail’ kind of feeling and I never came to terms with it. Maybe I should have honed in on it with the right mindfulness technique. Oh well, over with that one.

So why don’t I ever get bored in these past couple of years? I started to write more seriously. Yes, I’d always written, be it poetry or paragraphs or plot themes. Now it was becoming more substantial. I had a need to get published, and share what I write. Put it out there into the big world. And the best way, of course, online and independently. Welcome to the world of Indie Publishing – you will like it here and life will never be the same. So that put an end to any old strains of boredom that may have lurked menacingly on the horizon.

And now, with the sudden emergence of what they are calling Covid -19, I am finding myself working from home and also hardly leaving the house. A trip to the supermarket every few days brings new things to see, and the walk every 2 days is having significant advantages. I just made a mind map of my ‘Time Takers’- things I do which hold my time. Here it is.

Meditation routine – starts early each morning, then includes a Webinar at 6.30am, connecting with individuals or in groups on platforms like Zoom or Google Meet etc..ongoing throughout the day.

Uni work – currently studying a unit on Narratology in my post grad Cloud ‘Writing and Literature course. ‘ This keeps giving me fresh ideas on my second greatest love *WRITING.*

Writing – I write speculative fiction, poetry, dabble in crime/psychological fiction and the odd paranormal romance. Love it all. It’s not my full-time work so I’m a bit more low key on promotion on social media, but am part of several online writing groups and especially Black Hare Press which is full of interesting, unique, and ‘no flies on me’ writers. Love it!

That’s not all I do, but will hold it there as lunch is ready and this is getting a bit long and detailed. 😻

Out soon: Pre-release:
https://readerlinks.com/l/1066625

Rajastan Rocks

I’m here in India – Mount Abu Rajastan, doing my annual trip which is a time to get back to the real core me and tune into the deeper understanding of 1) Who am I? 2) What am I doing? and 3) Where am I going? (especially in 2020). Deep reflections indeed. Spiritual is necessary in these chaotic times. (Even if just to still the chaotic mind.) 💛

In the past 10 months I’ve had great success in getting my writing work published as well as branching out into other areas of Speculative Fiction that I may not have previously considered. A huge shout out to Black Hare Press for being an indie publisher with the strong ethic of encouraging and supporting emerging writers. 💜

So the year ahead looks fast, exciting and wrought with possibilities. However, I’m understanding the need for balance and even more, the required self discipline to keep the most important thing of all steady, stable and flourishing: My Inner State of Mind. Love to all. Some pics of Indian art at the meditation retreat I attend. 🐼

Rangoli artwork of a yogini
Powdered colours
Dining area lit up at night for Shiv Ratri
Wall mural art in dining area
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