A Very if:book Week

I highlighted the exciting work of if:book Australia in my Snap Shots interview last month. This week I’ve been lucky enough to be part of two of their projects.

The n00bz

In July the word was put out on Twitter for digital innovators to blog their projects and have a chance to be part of the revised edition of The N00bz: New Adventures in Literature. This coincided with the opening weeks of the #6in6 weeks challenge and I was encouraged to write about it as an example of establishing digital communities. It didn’t seem terribly revolutionary to me, as I’ve been doing it since 2009 but this was the first time a community spontaneously sprung to life.

My tiny snippet of an article ‘#6in6: A Look at Accidental Community’ made it in and I can now claim (rather sheepishly) to share a table of contents with authors the likes of Sean Williams, Carmel Bird, and Benjamin Law.

From Simon’s preface:

… The intersection of technology and publishing is full of contradiction, competition, and conflict. Technology today exists in a kind of attention-deficit hyperspeed: products inspire anticipation, passion, adoption, familiarity, and finally boredom in an increasingly fast cycle. The book is drawn into this amped up environment—write, publish, write more—even as it clings to an authoritarian and timeless gravitas that may or may not still be relevant.

For writers in such an environment, the possibilities are as intoxicating as they are bewildering. Telling stories is a craft that adapts and changes to meet the technology of its time and writers are a generally curious bunch.

It was with such thoughts in mind that if:book and Editia pitched the idea for The N00bz to the writers collected in this volume.

We challenged twelve Australian writers[1] to step outside their comfort zone and try a new professional experience – something related to their craft that they had never tried before, whether it was a tool or a technique at the cutting edge or whether it had been around for centuries. It only had to be new to the writer.

The n00bz launched on Tuesday in Sydney and is available here as an eBook ($9.99) or paperback ($23.99).

Open Changes


Open Changes is a flash-fiction/remix project from open to all writers, artists, musicians and film makers and is part of the Lost in Track Changes project for 2014.

This week my story ‘Poppies Grew Scarlet From Her Tears’ is one of four stories up for remixing as part of week three of the project. I was inspired by the line: Somewhere in there lay her true name, buried beneath the rubble she’d left behind a long time ago from Omar Sakr’s story ‘Redback. Tiny. Queen Of Spades. Deserter.’ I threw ideas around with Dave Versace until his comment about a ‘sin eater’ filled me with the dark delight of what I could create.

Here is a little snippet of Poppies…

Somewhere beneath the rubble her true name lies, the syllables torn from each other and buried in the foundations millennia ago. All attachments to herself severed to step from the shadows of personhood into immortality. To abide forever in a delicious nothingness, freed from pain and disappointment. From longing, grief and uncertainty.

And the anticipation builds as to whether any of lines or imagery grab the next round of remixes, and what might come of it.

The deadline for the next round of remixes is this midnight this Sunday, AEST. Get to it!

PS: If you are a fan of Tiny Owl Workshop, the very lovely Sue Wright has a story, ‘Tulips’ in the Week Two remixes.

A Short News Update

Crescent moon Wallpaper - Download The Free Crescent moon WallpaperOutside the moon reclines in a starless sky. Inside here it is anything but laid back. GenreCon is only a few days away and suddenly everything has got not just a little bit busy, but quite a bit serious and very busy.

Aside from the usual rounds to the hairdresser and beautician, there’s actual work to be done.

I’m chairing my first ever panel on Sunday afternoon (Beyond the Cover) with Narrelle Harris, Sue Wright (Tiny Owl Workshop) and Kevin Powe. If you are at the Con and looking to explore narratives beyond books, with three people who know their stuff, we’re on at 2:30. I’m forcing myself to forget that I have seen panels destroyed by an inept chair or an overly intrusive one so as not to freak myself out. I keep telling myself it will be ‘all right on the night’.

And now there is something to out trump the pending panel chair freak out.

Adam and I have secured a pitching session for Post Marked: Piper’s Reach with Hachette’s commissioning editor Robert Watkins on Saturday morning. The pitch is written and half learned thanks to a burst of inspiration yesterday and Monday. My nerves are all over the place though. I’m grateful for all the experience public speaking and debating at high school empowered me with. And I remember that I managed to wow an audience at the First Year Psychology debate with a speech I wrote and prepared in three days when I was a last minute replacement.

It is a little crazy to think Adam and I are here, with Piper’s Reach, ready to find a home, at just the right time. That the humble quirky side project that found legs (outside of a bunch of handwritten letters) and hearts has a chance of finding many more in the big wide world.

And in amongst all of this, (and the homeschool lessons) there have been words. New words mostly in the school holidays and revised words since school started back this week. But… I have almost strung together 21 mornings at my desk, with my head stuck in writing. I am pretty sure this is a first and getting pretty close to now being a habit! I believe I only missed three days total last month.

When the whirlwind that is GenreCon is over, I’ll be back with more news and hopefully regular blog posts as I begin the process of re-purposing three years of blogging with Write Anything.