Saturday, June 29, 2013

Published story - Centre of Attention

My first "official" published story!!

So I didn't post this before, but I got a story published through an Australian (/NZ) short story competition. .  Some of the other stories are pretty good but I wouldn't blame you if you turned straight to page 72.

Buy a hardcopy or download the free (!!) pdf via

I spent a solid few days on this one.  It was fairly easy to write plot-wise as a lot of this is linked to public health emergency planning, which I am well up to speed on.

The hard part was thinking about how to present it.  Writing it as a feature magazine article was a bit of a cop-out in that it removes the emotional impact, which is why I lean heavily on the "mad mullah" topic and also try to get the reader to feel some of the vicarious emotion via the wife.

It would have worked easier as a straight third-person story but I wanted to show the passage of time which is difficult in third-person in a short story, and I think by hinting at things that - in the future after the events of the story - the reader "should" know, it's a shorthand trick to make the world in the story a lot larger.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Idealism is for hippies

Good quote I heard yesterday, related to Buddhist thought.  "The definition of happiness is not having what you want.  It is wanting what you have."

Yes, very Christmas card or fortune cookie type statement, but there is a lot of truth to it.  Good old Tony Robbins recommends a daily walk matched with some time spent thinking of what you're thankful for.  That's a bit too woo for me but I have to admit that at least once every day at the moment I stop in my tracks and laugh at how charmed everything seems to be at the moment.

Time to get back on the horse for the novel writing.  I have outlined Book 1 and figured out the chapters that need adding before I get to Draft 2.  I have also outlined Book 2 and will pound out a first draft of most of this for the July Camp NaNoWriMo.

Camp NaNoWriMo handle - "Perpetual idealist clawing back an essential thirst for life after a long period of self-serving introspection and apprehensive equivocation thinly masked as cynicism."  A pretty wanky I know, but things are looking pretty on track right now.  Now I just have to start chipping away at those new years resolutions...