Archive for category Fiction

Fiction Vs Non-Fiction: What’s your fancy?

Hanging BooksMy reading pattern lately has included reading fiction and non-fiction book simultaneously. It’s something I’ve never done before. I’ve always been a one book at a time reader, but the last ten or twelve books I’ve read have been six non-fiction with six fiction. Oh and an audio book being thrown into the mix for good measure, now I’ve signed up to Audible (more on that in a later post).

To qualify non-fiction for a second. What I’m referring to here is a non-fiction book. Newspapers, journals, editorials, etc. all count but they tend to be pieces of writing with a smaller amount of dedicated reading time.

In the past, I’ve attempted to read multiple fiction books and found it a little distracting and at times even a bit frustrating. Distracting, because I find I’m thinking of one story while trying to read another and at times frustrating because if one story trumps (sorry to use that awful word guys!) another story, then I’ll want only to read the better of the two. I hate leaving a book unread. This is why I read through Birdsong… just wasn’t my cup of tea, sorry (o;

These are the reasons I’ve lived the one book at a time motto. Non-fiction books have been making their way into my book collection and onto my kindle. When I had a look at what I had, I thought I better start reading them, so I cracked one open and began. During this initial break away from fiction, I realised I needed something imaginative to peruse so I grabbed a fiction book from my to be read pile and began that also. What I found was a surprise. I found reading a non-fiction book, something related to facts, knowledge, and learning made me focus, think deeper and enjoy more of my fiction book of choice.

Right and Left BrainMy thinking is that this is feeding the right side of my brain what it needs with non-fiction given that it is the logical, rational and ordered thinking side while the left side of my brain enjoys art, free and random thinking and imagination. It would make sense until I found a report regarding a research study that has started the ball rolling on debunking this theory.

Anyway, I’ve found benefits to reading both simultaneously as opposed to reading multiple fiction books or multiple non-fiction books at the same time.

Let me know what you think or if you have a preference?

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Something that made me chuckle (o:

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Online Book Marketing

30-Day-BRHM-Marketing-Challenge-with-Logo_Twitter-ShareableThe last few weeks has been pretty deep troughs but quite nice peaks.

To get to to the peaky part I’ve been working on a 30 day book marketing challenge through Bad Red Head Media (it was a recommendation from the fantastic author and person Sue Colleta, please head on over to http://www.suecoletta.com/)
It’s a week into the challenge and there is still time to jump on board the challenge at http://badredheadmedia.com/services/the-30-day-badredheadmedia-book-marketing-challenge/ but so far it has been really great to work through twitter and the many tools available to manage it. I’ve learned a lot in regards to sharing content efficiently, managing follows and unfollows, using twitter to promote my fiction without the dreadful ‘PLEASE BUY MY BOOK’ tweets that fill most of our feeds. One of the main aspects I’ve likes about this has been the focus on building relationships on social media that not only highlight my fiction but lead to better and more meaningful interaction online.
I would highly recommend following the link above and checking it out.

Now, the word count. It’s been okay-ish. Managed 7,300 this week with a zero word count on Sunday. Would like to get to 10k this week or even double the number but we’ll see how it goes.

Recently I’ve had a longing to write short stories again. There is something about the format that really interests me and keeps me coming back to it time and time again. If you’ve been following me for a while you’ll know this how my writing journey started. Reading Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’, he really advocate for the format and this struck a cord in me. The problem is I suppose is that the format does not earn much money and magazines are so inundated with submissions the likelihood of being published is slim… still something I like about the idea of writing them though!

Book 2 of my Dean Cornell series is coming along nicely. Have managed to write the ending already. One of those moments that simply came to me as I was day dreaming about something completely unrelated. I’m pretty happy with the results though. My Science Fiction story has stagnated a little. I familiar with the genre to read but writing it can be a tough one. Either way, the challenge is well underway so all that it left to do it continue until there is something worthwhile to show for it.

So, it’s back to my scrivener file and time to get that 10k down.

Let me know how you are going and as always thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings.

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Merry Christmas

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MERRY CHRISTMAS…. HOPE YOU’RE RELAXING AND HAVING A GREAT DAY WHEREVER YOU ARE IN THE WORLD (o;

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An Evening with Neil Gaiman #neilgaiman #writer

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Last night I attended an Evening with Neil Gaiman in Sydney. I had not read something by Neil in a long long time but thought seeing as he was in town why no go! I wasn’t disappointed. Listening to him read, sing and tell stories was wonderful. You know you are fully immersed in the goings on on stage when you have to physically relax the small muscles around your body.

I had no idea he sang and wrote songs but he does and performed several with a four string quartet called ‘FourPlay‘ who deserve a special mention because they were great as well. FourPlay are a contemporary yet classical four piece and from the performance last night I’ve become a fan.

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The stories Neil read came from ‘Trigger Warning’ a collection of essays and short stories. As he read it was amazing to hear his interpretation of each character as well as becoming caught up in the short itself.

Neil and FourPlay gave an eclectic performance of fiction and poetry reading, music, Q & A, stories from his vast career and insight on what it’s like to be the man himself.

If you see him coming to town I would recommend buying a ticket. It’s a treat to see such an amazing talent give you a small window into himself as a true artist.

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The week that was: Writing and Reading Review

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The last week has been a good writing week. Much better then my previous couple of months.

I’ve finally committed words to screen once again. My goal has been to complete a couple of short stories which I have in my ‘short stories in progress’ section. They are both horror as I’d like to slot them into a horror anthology or magazine at some stage… hopefully anyway. I’ve put the finishing touches to the first draft of one called ‘Christmas Tree’. It’s far too long, at over 9 thousands words but I plan to whittle it down to under 7 over the next week. My second short story ‘New Species’ is coming alone nicely. Its the first time I’ve tried to write scenes similar to ‘Aliens’. Soldiers facing unimaginable odds, a healthy dash of testosterone with a lot of guns and fighting. It’s fun to write but difficult to know for sure if what I write will translate the way I imagine. I suppose that’s writing all over (o:

I’ve also been thinking about competitions. Short story competitions specifically. I wrote a 1500 word story (not horror, much to my amazement) called ‘A moment to change all’ which I’d like to place in the running for a competition somewhere. I was looking at the Reader’s digest short story competition but I figure it’ll be bursting with applicants. Really amazing writers too going on previous winners. I think a little more research is needed before I enter one but I’m excited to see what happens.

On the reading front, it’s also been a good week. I still have a bit of time off before I start my new job so I plowed through books I started whilst away on holiday but never finished. First was the second season of ‘Yesterdays Gone’. It’s a brilliant read and if you are into apocalyptic stories that is heavily character driven then you’ll love this. The self published authors Sean Platt and David Wright have a really good grasp on easy reading, easy to follow story lines but just enough mystery and suspense to keep you turning those pages. The other book I’ve been reading is Usain Bolt’s autobiography. The man really is a legend. He’s funny, humble and a dedicated athlete. Reading it makes you want to be the man’s buddy, as I’m sure many people around the world want to be. If your a fan of running or athletics then you’ve got to read about the current fastest man in the world.

I’ve received a few recommendations for writing craft books which I’ve added to the ever growing list of things to read. It’s going to be like ‘skynet’ soon and gain self awareness if it keeps growing (I apologize for the attempt at terminator humor here). One book is ‘Eats, shoots and leaves; by Lynn Truss and another is ‘Write Tight’ by William Brohaugh. Both books will benefit me greatly as I have issues with my writing in regards to nailing punctuation as well as overwriting. Blathering on too much is an issue in written and spoken work for me.

Another book comes from a lady named Dorothy Davies. She has a craft book on the market called ‘How many miles to Babylon?’. It’s a guide for writers, so again something I’ll benefit from at this early stage in my writing career.

I recently submitted a short story to Dorothy but unfortunately I completely messed up. I either didn’t edit my story properly, throwing spelling or grammar to the wind or I submitted the wrong file. When I went to find a cleaner copy of my short story I came up blank?? Well, I was embarrassed when I received an email back from Dorothy pointing out how rough my story was but she’d let me fix it up and resubmit. I was delighted and very grateful so I went about the task of tearing it apart and putting it back together, a lot more carefully this time. I resubmitted and it was accepted. There were still issues but Dorothy was kind enough to give me some invaluable feedback and the craft book recommendations you see above.

Anyway, that was my busy week of writing. Next week will be a shorter post I’m sure as a new job beckons but I’ve tasked myself to get through 1000 to 2000 words a day. Half new words for a new stories and the other half editing old works.

I’ll let you know how I go with it.

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Off to Oz Comic-Con

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I’ve only found out that Oz Comic-Con is happening this weekend. Not only is it happening this weekend but it’s happening 15 minutes away from where I live so needless to say I’m pretty excited. Now comics and graphic novels aren’t my thing but TV shows like Walking Dead, Game of Thrones and Falling Skies are. Although my main reason for going is to listen to a panel discussion with author Kylie Chan, possibly even get an autograph. I’ve been a fan of Kylie’s Dark Heavens trilogy, Journey to Wudang trilogy and an currently reading her new trilogy Celestial Battle of which book 1 and 2 have been released. If you haven’t come across them then I would thoroughly recommend them. Great fantasy story lines involving Gods, demons and martial arts. There’s even an ongoing love story in there for good measure.

Anyway, I’ll post my shenanigans at Oz Comic-Con up here in a few days and hopefully have some stories to tell.

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