Object (im)permanence


Photo Courtesy of RTVisions


Our time together is a poem scrawled on the beach; meaning is temporary, passion is passing.

We are words writ large in the sand, fearing the ocean.

I stare, trying to lock you in my world, afraid you will cease to exist if I cannot see you.

My eyes are watering.

I stare, but I cannot hold back the tide. Continue reading


Just dust

PHOTO PROMPT – © Dee Lovering


Buried by caustic red dust, recent storms had revealed the statue. The drones dug quickly; carapaces resistant to the radiation for hours at most.

It soon stood bare; grotesque; alien. Of its paltry four limbs one was cast out, pointing. My eyestalk swivelled in the direction.

Just dust. Shifting, deadly, dust.

<A monument?>I clicked my brood-sister, <To what?>

<Humph,> she trilled. <All monuments are shrines to the same thing. Death. Conquest. Murder.> Her eyes rolled behind their nictitating membranes cynically. <One civilisation’s monument is another’s headstone.>

Standing thorax deep in radioactive dust of a dead world, argument seemed futile. Continue reading

Too Many Names? A Tip for Cleaning Up Your Writing


I’ve read a few books over the years where characters don’t make an impact because they are lost in the crowd. It’s the classic X-Men problem, too many heroes mean nothing seems heroic. Don’t overwhelm us with faces.

Good advice (as always) from P.S.

P. S. Hoffman

“The Word of Wigaldir calls you!”

“Eternal life in Enga’s arms.”

“Fear not, sinners. Lether the Blessed will bring us to salvation!”

Like the mating calls of jungle birds, voices sailed over our heads, clamoring for our attention. Bristling with energy and humid with sweat, a forest of limbs and bodies slowed our passage through the bazaar. My guide, a woman half-hidden under a shawl, kept one hand tightly wrapped around my wrist as she pulled me through the Tangle. Bodies pressed in around us.

“What does any of this have to do with my stories?” I shouted over the din of people and prophets.

A girl with golden coins covering her eyes singled me out in the Tangle, writhing as she spoke,  “Come, and worship at the altar of Satina with me. The sensual tongue-”

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Holes in the sky

PHOTO PROMPT – © Douglas M. MacIlroy

Only astrophysicists noticed the first time a star went missing. Only astrophysicists cared. Conjecture and theories ignited in the scientific stratosphere, burning up before reaching the rest of us. Like removing a grain of sand from the beach; it was an invisible and irrelevant loss.

An inconsequential hole in the sky.

As the holes grew in number, we started watching, started caring. The night took on a worn, frayed appearance; our sparkling blanket unravelled in front of us. The universe steadily disappeared.

Devoured? Unmade?

We prayed. We cried. We fought.

Now? Now we watch. We wait.

We have little choice. Continue reading

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (2004) by Susanna Clarke

This is a great review (the ‘inside joke’ analysis is the sort of deep reading I want to develop myself).

A great book review blog for those of a sci-fi inclination. I don’t always agree with what’s said, but it’s always insightful (also I’m frequently wrong about many things – just ask my wife!).

From couch to moon

JonathanStrange2Nikki at Book Punks recently did an interesting post about books that break books. In other words, books that are so good that no other book can ever be enjoyed again. Book Breakers. Story Smashers. Reader Eradicators.

My book breaking moment—a definitive moment in my life— occurred a little over a decade ago. I came upon it during a, at the time, typical aimless dance of bookstore aisle gazing, common to the unobsessed lay readers of the book world. Usually dissatisfying results, but this time… there it was. Eggshell-colored cover. Black typewriter font. Simple. Minimal. Zero hot chicks with guns.

What can I say? It caught my eye. So I took it home with me.

I would love to say that I was immediately whisked into a world of wizardry and wonder, where I engorged myself on the text in a weekend, and then called in sick on…

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Book Review: The Godless (Children #1) – Ben Peek

‘This is how it begins,’ he said, rising. ‘People work on your sympathy and you are asked for favours. You are manipulated emotionally or intellectually, or that’s the intention; you can see when it’s happening most of the time. But even when you do it remains flattery, a tip to your ego, because you have more power than they. In the end you do it because of that. You solve their problem. But a new one arises, and another, and they ask again and again and eventually – because you tire of doing it for free all the time – you ask a small token from them to somehow even out the equation. It’s then that the relationship changes, that the power you have alters how you appear to them and they appear to you.

‘Some days, I imagine it is how the gods found themselves to be gods, to be worshiped, and why they became distant like they did.’

The Godless: Ben Peek

The Godless (Children #1) – 5 out of 5 stars

Damn I loved this book. Easily one of the best I’ve read this year – up there with Wool and the MaddAddam trilogy. This is a fantasy novel as it should be done. Engaging characters, amazing setting, great story…

Freaking good.

Seriously, forgetting my moderate expectations for this book, it was better than I even hoped it would be. I’ve only read one short story by Peek before, and whilst I liked the writing style… I didn’t really enjoy the story itself. This story though? I will be picking up the second and third books in this trilogy as soon as they are available; pre-ordering if possible. I’ll be checking out Peek’s back catalogue. I’ll be setting up camp outside Peek’s bathroom to take photos… ok, maybe not this last one. Maybe not.

So good.

I’m just over half way through my #AusReadingApril personal challenge, this is the fourth book by an Australian author I’ve finished, and this is easily the best so far. Depending on how two other books go (I’ve just cracked the binder on Unwrapped Sky by Rjurik Davidson and I have Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen to read by the 15th of May), this is a front runner for my Gemmell Award vote (Morningstar).

Did I say it was good yet?

It’s good. Continue reading

HOW To Finish Your Damn Book

There are some really good points here for ‘wannabe’ writers – I might have to try and implement some to get rid of that ‘wannabe’ tag!



At the beginning of this year I wrote a post for that treasure trove of writing and publishing information, Writing.ie, about why you should finish your damn book. You can read that post here. It proved really popular. So popular that it seems to me like a lot of you are in the same place I was until last summer: wanting nothing more than to have finished your book, but finding yourself doing everything but writing it.

It’s all well and good for me to tell you why you should finish your book (nutshell: a finished book is the one thing everyone who ever got published/successfully self-published has in common) but how do you do it? How do you overcome procrastination? How do you finish your damn book?

I only know what worked for me, but maybe you’ll find something in there that works for you. Let’s see…


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