Welcome, Year of the Horse

We are a week into the Year of the Green Horse and I am only now returning to this half written blog post to complete it (before there is a total grid lock of blog ideas and posts lined up behind it). This time last week I was running around preparing the fire for the backyard and writing out all the things I was ready to let go off. The pile was impressive in breadth and in stature, and didn’t just focus on the Year of the Snake. It was an act of complete shedding.

The Year of the Green (Wood) Horse

The Chinese have a brilliant take on the horse. It is strong and magical. The magical elements include the ability to fly. In Chinese mythology Kwan Yin, goddess of compassion, flew through the heavens upon a cloud horse to bring peace and blessings.

The year of the Horse is a time of victory, adventure, exciting activities and surprising romances. Decisive action brings results. Energy is high and production is rewarded. Under Horse’s strong influence, there is no middle ground. ~ SUSAN LEVITT

The Horse Year is also the middle of the 12-brand cycle and is the culmination of the preceding six years.

The Year of Audacious

godivaEvery year I purchase a medallion to wear around my neck. I’m not much of a horse fan (I was never that little girl who dreamed of owning a pony, who wanted nothing more than to speed across the countryside on a horse. In fact, if I am honest, horses scare the shit out of me!) So the idea of wearing a horse around my neck all year… I was a bit meh about it. A thorough trawl of Etsy turned up a locket that gave me the final hint for what the theme would be.

With Lady Godiva around my neck, the theme for the year had to be: audacious. (No, not naked!)

A quick flick through the dictionary turns up the following definitions:

  • Showing a willingness to take surprisingly bold risks
  • Extremely daring, fearless and brazen
  • Extremely original or inventive; unrestrained by existing ideas, conventions or propriety

After a year of being pulled inward, both by thematic intent and every day circumstances, I feel the need to break out. **cue Swing Out Sister** Given two of the definitions include the word ‘extremely’ and Levitt says there is no middle ground, I’m preparing for one hell of a ride on the back of my words this year.

In Essence

I’m steeling my resolve to push the boundaries of my writing and myself, to be open to take risks small and large. In action it means chasing down the dream in reality: writing and submitting like a professional, securing an agent, promoting, communicating, getting books into the hands of readers (whether they be my books or those of my friends). I am committing to being brave and present and accountable for what I do (and for what I’m not doing). For the first time, I am giving myself an entire entire year to take my writing seriously. I will not allow my best efforts to be undermined by fear [insert any number of them here]. I am busting through everything that stands in the way of what I want to achieve.

In Business

It will be another year of hiatus for eMergent, (although there are two more books scheduled for release, but no new eP generated projects). While there is an itch to return to editing, it’s not strong and there remains a lot of uncertainty in the family realm. What extra time I do have at my disposal will be invested (at least in the next few months) in securing some freelance typesetting/ebook design work to help cover the cost of Mr D’s new schooling arrangements.

Slated Projects

A list of projects/goals is always a good start. While I know goals need to be SMART, for now I’m not attaching time frames on them other than to have Post Marked: Piper’s Reach ready for submission by the end of February and to have the second draft of my novel done by April, in time to swap with Dan.

  • Complete, ready for submission, (still unnamed) gothic horror novel — including adjunct projects.
  • Brainstorm stage play adaptation of novel.
  • Shop Post Marked: Piper’s Reach to agents and publishers.
  • Complete radio script and record the Piper’s Reach chapbook
  • Complete, ready for submission, Encursion and first drafts of another two birthpunk novellas.
  • Write and sub one short story and one poem every month.
  • Make a pro short story sale.
  • Get my first poem published.
  • Complete first draft of Elyora screen play.

And the Year of Audacious begins with an invite to read at the Queensland Writer’s Centre’s first Whispers salon this weekend at the State Library. If you are looking for something to do Saturday afternoon, swing on by and listen to a bunch of super talented Queensland authors read. I’m sharing the stage and the theme of ‘false starts’ with Emily Craven, Lee McGowan, Kim Wilkins and Robert Morton. The event kicks off at 3pm at the State Library Café.


or how a new plan usurped the pity party of The Year of the Snake

The moon slid into her new robes late last night, in the sign of Virgo. Kim Falconer wrote in her New Moon newsletter:

The New Moon in Virgo is perfect to bring more ritual into the daily routine, amping up both ‘heart’ and ‘production’. Virgo is about skill development, and the rituals in life that are constantly creating and re-creating our experience of reality. You start creating habits that make life better.

As it turns out, I was already leading myself to that very place. I like to think of writing as recreating the experience of reality and I was ready to start writing. Properly. Again. I jokingly said, when my serpent medallion arrived last week, that the Year of the Snake could now begin for me. Better late than never!


Weedy Typewriter

(c) Jodi Cleghorn 2013

This week, in a closed writer’s group I belong to, the topic of goals was bandied around. My first instinct was to comment it is all too hard at the moment, with home schooling still in flux, my health only just on the mend (after being slammed with glandular fever for three weeks) and a puppy who is still fitting into the family. The idea of trying to shoe horn anything in, seemed mad. Destined to fail. The best I could do was try and find time to write and to continue editing Post Marked: Piper’s Reach. That was an almost goal, right?

That afternoon I ended up in a cafe without my computer and without my phone. I had my Sony and a notebook. I started to flick through what was written in my notebook. That was enough to inspire me to reconsider my whiny comment.

There are four months left until the end of my creative year, I said to myself. What could I achieve in that time, rather than bemoan all the missed opportunities that have already passed.


One thing about goals is they need to be specific. The other is to attach a time frame to them.

A piece of mousse cake and a pot of tea later I had two pages of possibilities downloaded into purple ink under a variety of sub-headings: everything from the short stories in progress or pitched, to novella possibilities, the editing and submission process for Piper’s Reach broken down. The stories had markets and deadlines attached to them. So did the novellas, along with possible windows for writing. The editing schedule went month by month.

On the start of the second page I wrote down some new habits (albeit, new rituals!) I wanted to foster.


The three most obvious for the readers here are:

1. sit at my desk five mornings a week for one hour

2. blog reguarly

3. submit every month

I think the new habits will go a long way to helping facilitate success. If I achieve a quarter of what is on that list, then I will be happy. If I manage to sit at my desk five mornings a week, I’ll consider the entire goal setting initiative a win!

Watch this space!

What new goals are you willing to kickstart this new moon.

Welcome, the Serpent!


Ox starts a new lucky life cycle in 2013. Finally your hard work is rewarded. ~ Susan Levitt

I wrote a few weeks ago how it was hard to let go of the Year of the Dragon and here I find myself almost a month into the new year hanging back on the welcome. Well here goes, welcome year of the water serpent!

Like the dragon, the serpent is not demonised in eastern traditions. The serpent is a goddess, heroine and healer in the ancient myths of China. The year of the Serpent is a powerful year for rebirth and transformation in all areas of life. I’m an Ox and the Serpent Year comes with auspicious tidings, melding effortlessly with what is set for the Sagittarius, Aries and Virgo triad in my chart.


My theme for this year is: consolidate.

A quick flick through the dictionary turns up the following definitions:

  • to strengthen, solidify
  • bring together separate parts into a single unified form
  • to discard unused or unwanted items and organise the remaining

This year I’m setting aside business to concentrate on writing*. It’s time! The conversations I had in the lead up to the making this decision, and several things I’ve read since, all point to this being the right time (especially to bite the bullet and develop my idea for the sub-genre of birthpunk) to do so.

It’s the year to bring together all the skills, experience, lessons and connections I’ve made in the last five year and put them to work for me. Time to shed one skin and grow a new one.

Breaking Down Consolidation, The Year Ahead

Last year I just wanted to fall in love with writing. This year I want my writing to:

  • continue to push boundaries
  • reach a larger audience and,
  • begin to reap financial rewards for the creative investments.

It’s where the early blush of romance gives way to the practicalities of sharing your life with someone, for life! Where you take stock of your individuals lives and see what needs to be done to bring those two lives together in a permanent way.

With this in mind I’m focusing on these key projects/areas:

  • complete Post Marked: Piper’s Reach and do what is required to sub it to a publisher
  • repackage ELYORA for submission to a new publisher, as well as develop a feature-length script for it.
  • write the first draft of six interlocking #birthpunk novellas (aprox 180,000 words)
  • write at least one short story a month (with a view to overseas submission)
  • make one pro sale
  • strengthen and extend my network (including keeping in regular contact with my close writing colleagues)

In addition to writing I have con and festival panels in April (IronFest and NatCon), I’m presenting an editing and critiquing IQ seminar in May, am listed as a mentor with the QWC and have a podcast with Devin Watson in the works.

The Year of the Serpent is a slower paced year and I can already feel it. The list of things I’m setting out to do may seem huge, but in comparison to other years, it feels rather short! There is less pressure, I’m not working for others, I’m working for myself.

I’m shedding the skin that helped to nurture and develop many new writers and launch and grow a publishing house. This new writerly skin feels a tight, but I’ll suck in my stomach and not fling my arms around too much…until it feels and moves like a second skin.

What skin are you willing to shed this year, so a new one may grow?

* eP will go into moth balls for between six and twelve months to undergo it’s own metamorphosis. More on the eP website shortly about this

The End is Nigh – Good Bye Year of the Tiger

I’m embarrassed to admit I have been so busy the last month that I got the date for the start of the New Chinese Year wrong. I was working towards a start on Friday, only to discover it is today… in just a few short hours.

Where has the time gone? I say it every year, but it seems as though time is speeding up.

Looking back I can say there are many triumphs from the past year, some things which didn’t get accomplished (mainly writing) and some things I guess, I would prefer to forget. But you live and learn.

On the celebration front – because that’s all I’m really going to focus on, there were:

not one, not two, but three anthologies published

You’d think I was an over achiever… or perhaps, more to the point, someone hell-bent on making her mark in the publishing arena. eMergent Publishing put out the Yin and Yang Book. I edited the Yang, and Paul the Yin. And after tredipations about the do-ability of the sliding doors-meets spiderwb concept (sounds like the potential for a sticky, annoying mess) we discovered it could be done. It involved more time than either Paul and I anticipated but the end product was definitely worth it. The paperbacks will be release in March some time.

All the guys who shared the workspace and creative space with me for those six months, they taught me more about editing, than I think I’d learnt to date. They brought characters into my life I loved, loathed and feared (Chris Chartrand…you will never live it down!) It was the ten of them, who bought the Y&Y concept alive, to not just exist on the page, but to dazzle (and occassionaly horrify!)

And the third was a bolt out of the blue. I missed out on Jim Bronyaur’s 12 Days of Christmas (we were in Malaysia on holiday at the time) and decided to put together my own… and Literary Mix Tapes was born. A stand alone, solo project of mine (we always seem to keep coming back to the bands analogies when we talk about eMergent and Chinese Whisperings!) which got legs and went from a few stumbles to long graceful strides in a very short period of time. I published Deck the Halls on Christmas Eve… and as I write, am finalising Nothing But Flowers, the Valentines Collection.

eMergent’s first signing

It was a simple DM on twitter the first weekend of November. I’d put aside the entire month to ‘just write’ – after all, it was NaNo. The DM changed the month, and the year. The DM was from Emma Newman. I’d had the pleasure to work with Em on The Red Book in 2009, and was sorry to miss the chance to work with her again, given she was on the Yin side of the anthology in 2010.

I bought From Dark Places early in the year as part of my failed short story a day for a year quest, and couldn’t help but love the diversity of the stories, the twists, the writing, but felt it could have done with an edit to make those stories shine… for them to go from being 98% brilliant to 100% awesome.

So, when she offered me the opportunity to edit her extended anthology  I gave it all of two seconds consideration… and most of those two seconds were taken up wondering if it could wait until the end of November, rather than did I want to.

We started the following Monday and four months down the track we’re almost at the end. eMergent weren’t looking to sign any authors, but when Em’s project fell in my lap, it made so much sense, to both Em and I, to put it under the eMergent label.

It has been such a pleasure working with Em, who is not only an incredibly talented writer and has become a much loved friend, she’s also a visionary, a go-getter and has her head screwed on the right way when it comes to business. She’s set the bar high for all the other authors who come after her. I only said to her 10 days ago how sad I was going to be, not to be working with her on such a close daily basis. Well that quickly changed… but that’s another of those hush, hush projects for now.

‘kissed by the sun’

This has to be the story which I’ve worked hardest and longest at. In all, I think I wrote 12,000 words for what ended up being a 4400 words story. It underwent three massive rewrites and towards the end I lost faith in it being a story with legs. Russell at Ticonderoga obviously begged to differ, when he offered to include it in the Dead Red Heart antholoyg, slated for release this coming April. I’m ecstatic to be published with so many authors I admire. It feels like the next big stepping stone for me.

jason coggins

He’ll most probably be surprised to see his name mentioned here. Jason’s friendship and his investment in my writing were probably the two most unexpected highlights of the past year. For one, up until May we’d only ever exchanged emails based on Chinese Whisperings projects. Meeting him in person was a revelation on many levels – the main one being, just what Chinese Whisperings meant to him, and to a lot of the other writers involved on the project.

He tagged along to Byron Bay, he put me up when I scored the free ticket to go to WorldCon, we went to the Hugo Awards together, we hung out at the Sunshine Coast in November and he took the task of weekly compiling the fiction round up from me – allowing me the first step towards trusting others in business. It’s been such a long time since I’ve had the joy of a new friend, whose world is far removed from my own, and who can stand the idea of me talking a million miles an hour about writing and reading. And both the stories he helped me with ‘The Man Who Would’ (published in 50 Stories for Pakistan) and ‘Kissed by the Sun’ were published… not to mention the snappy, grittier version of ‘The Prologue’ for The Yin and Yang Book and the assurance it was fine to have a full on sex scene on the first page of the book!

100 stories for queensland

This has occupied the last month of the year… and will exist into the first month of the year, with publication slated for 8th March. Thank you to Trevor Belshaw for considering it, for assembling the team, for keeping me honest and accountable (to myself… he suggests every so often that I sleep) I have met so many wonderful writers through this, and also editors that I am a changed person for the experience. It also helps keep the nightmares away at night… knowing I’m doing something to assist and have helped other across the world to assist with the rebuilding effort here in Queensland.


I went to more festivals and conferences last year than I could poke a stick at. It started with the Emerging Writers Festival in May. Had a ball, even though we were sad to have missed out on a talking place. Then came Byron Bay… always my favourite, and spent in the company of two of my closest writing friends, ensuring there was beer aplenty, burriots aplenty and more than a spot of dancing to be had. I thought that was it… I’m rather terrible at getting to the Brisbane Writers Festival. But no – there were two more to go.

There was WorldCon, the Science-Fiction Convention due to the generosity of Kim Falconer. It was there, I sealed my path as a spec-fic writer. It felt like coming home to a place I hadn’t even realised existed. No more faffing about, not sure what genre I write in. I’ve been forever asking the questions ‘what if?’ Yes, I know how slow I can be.

Last but certainly, not least, was Logan Writers’ Week under the guiding hand of Karen Tyrrell. Not only did I have my first opportunity to speak as a writer, I found my other home in the classroom. Years ago the Registar in the school I worked in, told me I had missed my calling as a teacher (and I’d scoffed at it – I was employed in as the behaviour management officer there!) and I have to agree with her. I ran a very successful workshop, teaching the skills for critiquing fiction work. The buzz was so great I wanted to do it again.

list of goals

While I was poor on my writing goals (lets not list the very long collection of failures there), I made my book count (28 over 13 cycles… I’ll post up the list tomorrow) including seven books off the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list; I attended more seminars, workshops and courses than I intended to; I maintained my weekly articles at Write Anything; beta read and line edited for friends on a regular basis; published the first of eMergent’s non-fiction books – Gnarly Planning by Dr Jane Stanley and successfully completed NaNo for the fourth year in a row.

the year of adventure – a final reflection

This was the theme I gave last year… I really wanted to step out of the sqaure and really see what could happen. I guess adventurous is a better channel for energy than ‘reckless’. While the year wasn’t marked by lots of adventures – there were some memorable ones, including my couch-surfing escapades across Melbourne in May bringing back some of the joie de vive and thrill of independence from my life before Mr D (both of them). I also went on my first overseas trip and among other things, rode an elephant, danced in a long house, saw fireflies on a river at night, rode old ‘shakies’ between towns that didn’t feature on the Lonely Planet map, watched the early morning mist hang over tea plantations and had my first ever devonshire tea – oh and survived internation travel with a six year old in tow!

the year ahead

I really haven’t given it a whole heap of thought… but probably time to do some plotting. Oh but that’s right, I’m on record for being a pantser. Perhaps that’s where my overly thoughtout business plan went wrong last year?


…and a kiss good night and a kiss good-bye to the Year of the White Tiger.

Month Five Goals

Last month I didn’t bother setting any goals as I was due to depart for Victoria for two weeks. What I really wanted was a break from everything and to catch up with some writing friends in the flesh. I did have a wonderful break and caught up with Ben, Jason and Amanda, as well as Claire Halliday. It was just what the creative doctor ordered and although suffering through a rather sever post-holiday funk, I’ve come out of it bigger, brighter and more creative.

I wrote one [Fiction] Friday while I was away (Greenman Ridge), wrote one before I left (Mrs Simpson), wrote another when I returned (Clutch) and gestated an idea which I started writing last week (Parasite – which was meant as the 3rd FF for the month). With all the train travel between Ballarat and Melbourne I caught up on reading – ploughing through three and a half books (Secret Life of Bees, Lord of the Flies, Brave New World and Brave New World Revisited which I’m still reading) and a score of short stories in the Thieves and Scoundrels anthology.

While the two weeks away were great it generally put me even further behind on all my writing and projects. So this coming month is going to be a big one.


My projected reading this month is:

  • Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
  • RealmShift – Alan Baxter
  • MageSign – Alan Baxter
  • Clock in with 29 short stories read


  • Fourth Fiction novella – complete the final two sections and finally name it.
  • Parasite (sci-fi/erotica short story) – complete first draft
  • [Fiction] Friday prompts – Participate in 4/4
  • Writing Races – Participate in 4/4
  • Word count –  minimumof 3500 words per week.
  • Hartog -2 new episodes
  • Light Years – new draft


  • Writing in Black and White – 1 blog post per week & put up four old WA ones.
  • Follow Anne Whitaker up on the offer of a guest spot on her blog.
  • Write Anything – Organise four guest columns so I can have a break during August

– Complete Know Your Process series


Mrs Simpson – next draft and then out for beta read. Consider where to sub it.

Light Years – redraft and farm out to beta readers.

Hartog – edit 4 episodes

Beta reading – four stories


  • Graceville (Meanjin?)
  • Pearls of Wisdom (Island?)
  • Don’t Tell, Alice (Wet Ink)
  • List competitions for July and August

eMergent Publishing Projects

Gnarly Planning

  • Finalise website by 18th June.
  • Meet up with Jane to discuss future projects.

Captain Juan

  • Prepare to launch new site
  • Get two month’s (16 episodes) edited up and scheduled.

Chinese Whisperings

  • Finalise first five stories by 30th June
  • Finalise stories #6 and #7 by 11th July
  • Finalise artwork licensing agreement and have final version of front cover of Red Book.
  • Update website
  • Timeline for promo

Choose Your Own CW Adventure

  • Organise 3 podleaders
  • Organise a team of writers
  • Being tossing around ideas and scenarios

Other Projects

Reclaim Sex After Birth

  • July Newsletter
  • Start looking at the site revamp

2010 Month in Review: 3rd Month

What I planned for last month was promptly revised in the wake of a Mercury Retrograde inspired back to basics epiphany. This meant less time on eMergent projects, including Chinese Whisperings but more time for writing and beta reading.

This is how the month panned out for me.


Goals from last month

1. Mists of Avalon – Marion Zimmer Bradley

2. Snow Crash – Neal Stephenson

3. 36 :the collected short stories – Jeffrey Archer

4. Thieves and Scoundrels – Absolute Xpress’s FFC #3 winners

As it was Mercury Retrograde I chose to go back and read some favourite novels, something I have done over the last three Retrograde Periods and really enjoyed. It ended up being a failure, with me completing no books – the first time in 2 ½ year which was rather disappointing. I was unable to get into Mists and didn’t even open Snow Crash. Fed up I started The Secret Life of Bees.

On the other hand the short story reading found feet again and I’m on track to complete Jeffrey Archer’s 36:the collected short stories. Problems with my wifi connection with my iPhone has prevented me from shifting the eBooks I was planning on reading as short story catch up.


Goals from last month

  • Just blog and enjoy doing it.
  • Put together some ideas on what I’d like the blog to look like – and do it!
  • Accept the two blog awards I have outstanding.
  • Read and comment on a blog a day.

The just blog and enjoy it lead me to the decision I needed to get back to basics… of which blogging is one important element. I haven’t been quite as organised as I would have liked but I’m getting there. I’m am getting around to more blogs though (still not one a day though) and I’m still to officially accept my blog awards.  My favourite blog at the moment is Tony Noland’s Landless – even if we beg to differ he’s actually made landfall and no longer adrift.

As for the redesign of the website – the creative investment in blog looks went to setting up the Hartog site – though I do have ideas for how I’d like to change my personal one.

I have been invited by Anne Whitaker to contribute a guest post for her blog about astrology and writing too. Put it out to the Universe and it will come back to you.

#blog posts (not short story posts) for this month: 3


Goals from last month

  • Four Fiction Fridays for the month – or four #fridayflash pieces
  • Finish novella… only two episodes to go
  • Submit Pearls of Wisdom
  • Write first draft of Dirty River (nee Summer Girl)
  • After Mercury Rx – send in Graceville
  • 4/4 for the Writing Races
  • First draft for FF#4

This month past was all about returning to writing. When I look at my goals I can see what I was straining to achieve – but it required a shift of priorities to make it happen. Without the shift back to a focus on writing there is no way I could have achieved what I was looking to do.

[Fiction] Friday is back in the forefront of my mind, and while I wrote to three prompts, I only successfully finished one – which was an outside story of the Captain Juan series.

I completed three pieces – “Pearls of Wisdom”, “Don’t Tell, Alice” and “In Their Own Good Time”. Pearls was a work in progress and I had my mind on submitting it to Australian Women Online and then got cold feet when I saw what was already up there – not wanting my story to end up in ‘contemporary romance’ – so time to find a new home for it. Don’t Tell, Alice was from the 2008 back catalogue, written to a FF prompt, later revised for my 2008 anthology and then forgotten!  It was polished up rather easily – with some tweaking of the narrator’s voice and a brand new ending.  In Their Own Good Time ended up as my entry for the 4th Flash Fiction Competition and was submitted, lost in transmission (literally) and then resubmitted. Phew! The Goddess was watching over me that day.

I got 4/4 writing races and enjoying interacting with the folk there. I haven’t been writing any Hartog – but the plan from here in is to use it for that. The last two weeks I utilized it to rewrite ITOGT.

With the emergence of a new hashtag search #TuesdaySerial Hartog has his own blog now and I’m itching to get writing – so Tuesday will from here on in, dedicated to Hartog as was my original intention (competition entries aside!)

Dirty River has been put on hold. I want to do a bit of research in to the band scene and into what Brisbane as like in the last 80s. And the plan is to use it as my submission for One Book, Many Brisbanes at the end of the year.

The novella is unfinished – but that’s OK. The creative vibe went in a different direction. With the desk cleared somewhat, I’m going to collect up all the episodes and have them printed out – and then see what fires from there.


  • Rewrite Pearls of Wisdom
  • Complete my editing duties for BOFF.
  • Rewrite the next four installments of Hartog
  • Edit my final installments of Captain Juan

The ending of Pearls, got rewrite after rewrite until it settled and the correct ending found its place. I completed over the ANZAC weekend my final BOFF story and found it to be a really rewarding experience. So much so – the writer in question emailed and telephoned me to say thank you.

Hartog hasn’t seen a rewrite or edit, though the final instalments of Captain Juan went up (finally – only a year after they were originally written.)

In the lead up to the closing date for the AXP’s 4th FFC the beta reading was falling from the sky. I beta read for Annie, Dan, Chris and Tony. In addition to that I had the honour of looking at Dan’s final piece for his Open University course and got to call him and chat “in real time” with him about it. While beta reading can be long and arduous – it binds communities of writers together and I’m glad to be doing it.

Professional Development

The only thing on the list last month was to book for the EWF – which I did. I have a Golden Ticket and looking forward to traversing Melbourne’s emerging literary scene under the cover of night with some good, old mates.


Date Night*

Iron Man 2*

Robin Hood


New Moon (again)

The Boys Are Back

Hallam Foe

I also saw the stage adaptation of Jane Eyre which was mind-blowing and have been devouring Torchwood series one when I’ve had the opportunity to visit annie.


Chinese Whisperings

Everything has sort of been put into a holding pattern with The Yang Book in terms of my editing – but stories continue to be written. I spent time with Dale trying to unearth his character and was sent through Jon’s story.

After weeks of missing each other for a live catch up, Paul and I finally got hold of each other and we’re not going to let ourselves be blocked any longer from getting the Red Book published –which means I’m in the market to get myself a credit card. How nice!

eMergent Publishing

Goals from last month

  • Finalise the website for GP – including the dial up version of the site
  • See the first of the money flow in and the downloads flow out.
  • Map marketing ideas
  • Get an eMergent website up (we finally got an URL which is more in keeping with what eMergent has become)
  • Become a legal entity (finally)

We haven’t yet managed to get the Gnarly Planning site completed. Dale’s got a job, and I’ve been focused on writing, but we do have a list of marketing ideas.

We also have ideas for the eMergent site and Paul’s organising the paperwork to become a Limited Liability Partnership.

Captain Juan

Is back! Spurred on by my back to basic approach, I knew it was time to revitalise CJ. We agreed to invite Chris Chartrand to join us. And a flurry of emails resulted. The entire scribblings are now compiled – an impressive 74,500 words! And there are big things to come. How exciting to finally be able to type that… and we’ve even managed to badger Paul into coming back to write.

Reclaim Sex After Birth

Three speaking engagements book. Well the Universe is telling us it is time to breathe some life back into this project. Funny how you decide to have a back to basic approach and the Universe comes to the party.

The Great Adventure

Staring at and conquering the blank page was adventure enough. I never thought I would say that. The theme of adventure seems to be a little misplaced I think… but perhaps I just haven’t sought out the opportunities. It feels good to be living the dream again.

Goals for this coming month to be posted shortly. Have a lot to think about in terms of the best utilisation of my time – spurred on by Benjamin and his weekly word count (and how he reminds me I haven’t set one every Monday via twitter) and Jim Wisneski’s guest post at Scribo Ergo Sum (online home of Jen Brubacher) today. The renovation of my creative life continues.

2010 Month in Review 2

The new moon was last Wednesday – just an hour or so after the launch of Gnarly Planning at the State Library. It has taken until now to get around to reflecting and plotting… and somehow it feels far further into the year than it actually is (well the creative year that is!)

Reading Goals

Last month:

1. HitchHikers Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

2. Cat’s Eyes – Margaret Atwood

3. Bluebeards Egg (Anth) Margaret Atwood

The short story reading is struggling to gain legs again, but I’m having a go. I’m intending to read some flash fiction to get me caught up (thanks Dan for the idea!) Bluebeards Egg was purchased as my attempt to climb back on the story a day for a year cart. I found it a bit hit and miss, even for a favourite author such as Attwood.

It made me realise I am

1) in a different era as a women, and

2) in a different era as a writer (how much I love short, short stories that get to the point!)

As it is Mercury Retrograde for a fair swath of the coming month I’m going back to revisit some favourites this coming month.

1. Mists of Avalon – Marion Zimmer Bradley

2. Snow Crash – Neal Stephenson

3. 36 :the collected short stories – Jeffrey Archer

4. Thieves and Scoundrels – Absolute Xpress’s FFC #3 winners


From last month:

  • Pre-post the old WA columns (no – going to try this month to get it happening)
  • Give the Photo Challenge a break (yes – and glad to be free of the guilt)
  • Follow up Abigail about the guest post (no – she’s more snowed under than I am)
  • Put down some thoughts for a blog make over (adding it to the list for this month)

Blogging remains a much maligned part of my writing life. I did get a couple of brand new posts up – to do with the launch of Thieves and Scoundrels and to track the fact I was keeping my head above water and not drowning (the power of positive thought).  I want to do some more as I aim to return to my roots as a writer this month.

For this month

  • Just blog and enjoy doing it.
  • Put together some ideas on what I’d like the blog to look like – and do it!
  • Accept the two blog awards I have outstanding.
  • Read and comment on a blog a day.


From last month:

  • Dedicate Tuesday night writing races to writing Hartog (where I could, I did)
  • Thursday is a CW free day… reserved for writing – looking to hit four Fiction Friday inclusions (no – didn’t do a single one and Thursdays got swallowed by more pressing projects )
  • Write and post 12.11 of Novella before the end of the lunar cycle (no)
  • Submit Pearls of Wisdom to Australian Women Online (no – though it did get a rewrite an two new critiques)
  • Submit Graceville to Meanjin (no)
  • April 1 – new Flash Fiction Challenge from Absolute Xpress… ideas for a story (yes – I have two!)

Thieves and Scoundrels which has my story “The Chameleon” in it was published at the start of the month and the virtual launch was on the 10th in which I was interviewed as part of the online marketing for it. I also wrote a dialogue only piece which was well received. The very first exploration of the novel noir I want to write later on in the year.

For this month:

I’m seeing a theme of making writing a priority emerging… listen to the Universe when it speaks to you!!!

1. Four Fiction Fridays for the month – or four #fridayflash pieces
2. Finish novella… only two episodes to go
3.  Submit Pearls of Wisdom
4. Write first draft of Dirty River (nee Summer Girl)
5. After Mercury Rx – send in Graceville
6. 4/4 for the Writing Races
7. First draft for FF#4


From last month:

  • Do a complete rewrite/make over on Summer Girl (I didn’t actually write it – but I got the hook and ideas on how to progress and a new name – Dirty River)
  • Fix the ending of Pearls of Wisdom. (I tried and it didn’t work)
  • Edit and refine each Hartog installment before posting. (At least one went up)

This coming month:

  • Rewrite Pearls of Wisdom
  • Complete my editing duties for BOFF.
  • Rewrite the next four installments of Hartog
  • Edit my final installments of Captain Juan

Professional Development

From last month

  • Investigate YONonline (did but decided it wasn’t the right time)

In a weird quirk of fate I ended up attending two workshops and a public talk. The workshops were on motivated characters and a second on editing. The public talk by Kate Eltham was on writing grant applications (with the 100 Years of IWD project in mind)

For the coming month

  • Book for EWF.


From last month:

1. Remember Me* (excellent)

2. Time Travellers Wife* (terrible – travesty!!)

3. The Rebound* (not too bad)

4. Love and Other Catastrophes (was almost as good the second time – 14 years on)

5. Lantana (finally – didn’t blow my socks off though kept me guessing )

6. Nanny McPhee (wonderful)

7. How To Train Your Dragon (excellent – though told it destroyed the book)

8. Brother Where Art Thou (brilliant)

Month Coming

1. Clash of the Titans

2. Date Night

3. Iron Man 2

4. Love Letter to Juliet

*designates those which were on last months to see list


Chinese Whisperings

Moving along well. My editorial duties were put on hold while I was away (picked up nicely between Tony Noland and Dan Powell who collaborated to fuse their stories while I was out of contact) We’re now at the midway point.

We’ve picked up an artist (Carrie Clevenger’s husband, Lucas) to do the book covers. With Paul back on board the work load has eased up a bit (not shouldering the pressure of both anthologies).

By the end of the month:

  • Have a physical copy of The Red Book
  • Finalise stories 1 – 5
  • Reset price and have it listed a various external bookstores

eMergent Publishing

We completed our first non-fiction project AND had our first non-fiction launch – at none other than the State Library of Queensland on 14th April. After saying we could do it, we did it, converting Dr Jane Stanley’s wonderful book “Gnarly Planning:tools for local and global action” into a digital format complete with downloadable chapters and a funky looking website.

By the end of the month:

  • Finalise the website for GP – including the dial up version of the site
  • See the first of the money flow in and the downloads flow out.
  • Map marketing ideas
  • Get an eMergent website up (we finally got an URL which is more in keeping with what eMergent has become)
  • Become a legal entity (finally)

Captain Juan

I am determined to have my bits for the current narrative stream up… I need to get back writing the good ‘old Captain and wondering if it is time to take on a new writers to inject some life back into the story?

The Great Adventure

This is my year of adventure – and last month I finally did something small. I took my first ever karate class and loved it. Looking forward to this becoming a regular part of my week and something to share with Dylan. Thanks Annie for sharing your wonderful karate school with us.