Reading for (guilty) pleasure: An observation on re-reading

Guilty Pleasures

Guilty Pleasures

This post is (more or less) a continuance of my previous post ‘Reading with intent’, where I discussed my reading plans:

  1. to broaden my reading material in an effort to expand my exposure to different genre’s and hopefully challenge my self as a writer; and
  2. to read ‘like a writer’ – that is, to try and take in the specific tricks, tips, and tools used by other authors to make their writing more interesting, more compelling, and more readable.

So far I think this has gone pretty well (keeping in mind it has only been two months):

  • non-fiction; finished The Right Stuff and Strunk & White’s Elements of Style,
  • classics; Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Fahrenheit 451.
  • on-line literary magazines; Aurealis – Australia Fantasy & Sci-Fi & LampLight – a quarterly ‘Dark Fiction’, and
  • baby-steps into getting some gender balance into my reading; Lauren Beuke’s excellent Broken Monsters.

As to whether my writing has improved… I shall leave that observations to those who choose to read what I put here. 🙂 Continue reading


Anathema athenaeum

PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright – Randy Mazie

PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright – Randy Mazie

The sign was installed in a hurry, fastened directly on top of the election posters we had just come to remove.

Black. Orange.

Alarm. Fear.


“What’s this?”

“Dunno… some sort of leak?”


“It says… ‘public protection ordinance’,… yadda, yadda … ‘harmful materials’…. blah, blah… bugger me!”

“What is it? Asbestos? Lead?”

“Say’s ‘materials can have long term deleterious effects on human brains, particularly young children’‘developmental/behavioural issues’‘severe personality implications’… far out!”

“Lets get out of here.”

“Hells yeah!”

Behind the library, a curl of black smoke rose, joining other columns in the progressively darkening sky.

Continue reading

Fertile ground: Musing on a productive life


Right in the plums (double entendre intended)

Just a quick progress update…

What’s this? Another progress post…  Didn’t you do one a month ago? Why don’t you write something and show us the progress KT?

Wait a minute, this isn’t a writing progress update, this is more of a life progress update.

And its short.

Ok. You have five minutes.

Continue reading

Spit(e) Polished, or the Oyster’s Ode


I am happiest alone in my shell.

You are sand, grit, irritation, a foreign invader whose presence I detest but cannot ignore.

I vomit bile, seeking to dislodge this vexation, to repudiate and reject your very existence.

You remain, nay, you grow; my antagonism hardens on you like armour and you are unmoved.

And you grow ever more irritatingly beautiful. Continue reading

Just roll on


“Pricey, but they’re an investment.”

Michel nodded, not trusting himself to speak.

He had returned to the garage, to celebrate his success with his old workmates. But with his new hair, teeth, and body… no-one recognised him.

The dirty mechanic changed the Merc’s tyres, and Michel recalled the nagging to get out, to make something of his life…

Eventually he had.

I’m a fool.

I’ve nothing in common with them now.

“Good tyres are reliable, keep you on track, get you where you’re supposed to be. When they’re worn out, well, it’s time to change.”

A lot like good friends.

Continue reading

Go with your gut

photo credit: Double--M via photopin cc

photo credit: Double–M via photopin cc


Trying to write. Trying to find the right… things.


Shit. Writing is hard.

Each page is an agony. Each paragraph is a personal pain.

With each strained sentence I commit… seppuku.

Seppuku… that’s a good word.

A great word!

I’m good at this.

Hunting for that perfect word is an act of seppuku. A knife to the… gut.

GUT? GUT! F… I can’t even… gut.

Gut is such a freaking weak word. God I suck!

A blade through the belly?

A samurai sword across the stomach?

This is lame. Metaphors suck and words are hard.

Wait… is that a metaphor or a simile?


Searching, seeking, probing through my …innards? Looking for that perfect, golden… word.

Intestines? Offal? Organs?


The text taunts me with its timidness, and with one last pull I reach inside and…

   s    t    r    e    t    c    h

…out my vocabulary like glistening blue and red… viscera.


Viscera is a great word.

Damn. Im good at this.

Continue reading

Watching from the ground

I look up at those others; they soar above me.

Watching from the ground; I know my place.

I am cared for; I want for nothing.

I am valued; I know that I contribute.

But I see those others, and I envy their freedom. Continue reading