Morva's Transdimensional Airways

A writing blog

I couldn't bring myself to kill the dog.

Actually, I can justify this choice because when I did a scrap bit of research I found that it would have been unlikely that a dog in motion and at the distance required in the story would have been killed by the shot. I am wondering if it would have caused her to lose the pups, though.

Plotwise, the dog's survival is good because the mc got to meet the vet. Meeting the vet is good because he knows about microchips, and he knows about genes and breeding, which is part of the SF/thriller strand that I'm trying to develope.

I'm looking forward to when I kill off the shooter.

Nano research
I'm being constantly surprised at how much research I have to stop and do at so many little moments in the story. So I have an action scene, and someone pulls out a gun. What sort of gun is it? How is it that they are able to have one? In Australia it's supposed to be very, very hard to get hold of a gun. Then I decide that this plot works psychologically if one of the characters is a PI. So what are a PIs rights and obligations in this country. Turns out, I've been watching too many US crime shows.


If it wasn't nanowrimo I'd have a lot of time to stop and do some research. If it wasn't nanowrimo the need for research would turn into an excuse for procrastination.

OK. Done venting now.

NaNo the 1st
Of course, I got none of those tasks in my last post done. The whole family got sick, which meant I wasn't taking my child to school and doing some work in the library there for a while. On top of the bronchitis I got conjunctivitus, so I didn't get much reading let alone writing done. Instead I did a bit of spring cleaning and the kids, who are not allowed to play on the computer when they take sickies from school, enjoyed playing games that have been packed away for a few years and came out again as I sorted through some boxes.

Now, suddenly, it's November 1st and in a few minutes I will find out which of my story ideas I have decided to use for Nanowrimo.

Wish me luck.

NaNoWriMo 2010
I've joined National Novel Writing Month again. This will be my third year of doing NaNoWriMo. Last year I wrote a story that I thought had potential but I haven't got around to turning it into a proper novel yet because of my short story projects.

Hmm. I need to give this some thought, but I won't have time to think until December. For the rest of October I need to make sure the volunteer work I do at my child's school library so that the kids can read all those new books. Oh. And get my next edition of Hold That Tiger ready for ANZAPA. I hate having to rush and get it done between the end of November and early December.

So that's my time sorted for the next three months.


Aussiecon 4
We're back to normal today, more or less, after communiting to the World SF convention, Aussiecon 4, for the last five days. My saner half is back at work, master 14 is back at school. Master 11 suddenly informed me that he had coughed up some blood, so it was off the doctor and get prescribed some antibiotics for him. I have to type this quick because he wants another turn at the computer, and I need to use it a while longer to help create some fliers for some upcoming school events.

Worldcon snippets: Laughed at the idea of Facebook being a mask.
Laughed harder at the idea of "Facebook: the movie".
Attended some panels to do with computer games as art, and some other panels concerning the rising role of e-books. I thought e-books would be a boon to small publishers, but apparently there are a lot of technical and copyright issues I don't understand. Nevertheless, some people are doing well with e-publishing, POD, and all sorts of creative ideas. Loved the idea of the writer who created an anthology and a range of prices for the resulting products from free to $10,000 for some kind of extra story including soft advertising. The session I enjoyed most would have been the one on APAs, such as ANZAPA and Stippleapa. This session was a fun and cosy one and, with the presence of fans from way back, felt more like the kind of thing I remember SF cons as being.

Master 14 was rapt when he got an autograph from Garth Nix.
I was rapt when we won a Shaun Tan print in a raffle.


What's with Penny?
I get a laugh out of Big Bang Theory (the TV sitcom), but there're two things I sometimes wonder about. One is, why haven't they finished developing the Leonard character? The other is, why is Penny so boring? By that I mean, where are her acting friends? Why is she never practicing what she learns at acting class? What's with her? Has she given up and decided to accept life in a cheesecake parlour?

Fan Funds
Science Fiction Fan funds, that is.

Once upon a time there was snail mail and lots of postage, but fans in different parts of the world could not get to meet each other very often because of the time and expense. Chats were slow because they could only go as fast as the letters could fly.

However, they wanted to get to know each other so they came up with the idea of the fan fund. Funds were raised so that representatives from different parts of the world could travel and meet others. Upon their return they were supposed to write about their trip. This was called the trip report, and it was an important part of the fanzines that published them.

The very erudite Bill Wright has written an overview and explanation of the different fan funds, the GUFF, (Get up and over) the DUFF(Down Under Fan Fund) and the TAFF (Transatlantic) and even mentions the CUFF (Canadian) in his fanzine IRS (Interstellar Ramjet Scoop).

I love IRS. I get it through ANZAPA, but it is also available at The article on Fan Funds is in the June 2010 edition, for PDF download, but another fun bit to look at is the regular Clerihew Corner, which, besides quoting amusing clerihews, provides interesting bits of historical trivia along with them.


Watchers at the gates of the slushpile
According to this article about the fall of the traditional publishing industry and the rise of digital self publication, readers are going to be swamped with all the truly awful fiction that slushpile readers have traditionally weeded out for them. Now we are going to have to wade through all the unreadable stuff in order to find the bits we actually want to read.

Laura Miller's article makes a couple of good points. The first is that the discussion of the digital age in publication does not talk about the plight of readers. It talks about the fall of big publishing houses, and the glee of the liberated authors, but not about the poor reader suddenly confronted with the resulting mess. Another good point is that these authors and readers, who have never been confronted with the slushpile before, can have no idea of the soul destroying journey they are about to be forced to embark on.
I  haven't read through a whole slush pile myself, but I have read enough bad stuff to know that that's a place I never want to go to.

My own feeling is that there will be a rise in the importance of the reviewer. It is the reviewer, who until now has had the luxury of critiquing only books that are already published, and only those they wish to review, who will have to wade through the slush and pull out the gems to hold up to public light. This is, of course, assuming that they simply ignore all the bad stuff and only bother to review at all the work they find to be worth it. It will be very tedious for readers to have to wade through 10,000 reviews saying "it's bad" before they get to the one that says, "this one's good."

If you are interested in slushpiles and such, here is a link to one grumpy old slush reader's hell, er - their blog: Slushpile Hell.

"Truth" Wins Miles Franklin
The Miles Franklin Award is one of those notoriously literary awards for laboriously literary works written by Australians. I'm not a big fan, myself, but I know perfectly nice people who are, and although I don't always like the books that win, I do, over the years, come to appreciate the awarded authors.

This time it's a bit different, though. This year the award has gone to a genre book. In fact, it has gone to a crime novel. I've only read one of Peter Temple's books, White Dog, which I didn't mind. Truth must be something pretty special, though, to have taken out the Miles Franklin. I'm looking forward to reading it once I find it in the library. Here is a link to an interview with Peter Temple about the book and the award.

Aussiecon Competition winners

I've just been reading the list of winners for the Aussiecon short story competition - Aussiecon being the world SF convention this year. I love the titles. I especially feel that I must read a story called "The Bicycle Rebellion", so I hope these stories will be published somewhere.


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