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“It all just disappears, doesn’t it? Everything you are, gone in a moment, like breath on a mirror. … We all change. When you think about it, we’re all different people, all through our lives, and that’s okay, that’s good. You gotta keep moving, so long as you remember all the people that you used to be. I will not forget one line of this. Not one day. I swear. I will always remember when the Doctor was me.”

Episode: The Time of the Doctor, December 2013
(Notable posts about Matt’s Doctor here and here.)… Read more.

I met Markus Zusak last week. And while he will probably not remember me, I felt I found a kindred spirit. Writing can be a very lonely and often alienating job. Most commonly, I hear that you’re not a writer if you’re not doing A, B and C.

I don’t do A, B and C.

I don’t work on more than one piece of writing at a time. I don’t spend time writing short stories, poetry or creative non-fiction. I don’t submit to journals. Nor do I win competitions. I don’t read widely. I repeat books often, sometimes more than twice a month, but I don’t read widely.

All of these things are the opposite of what writers “should” do, according to almost every writer, university lecturer and blogger I’ve ever read/talked to on the subject of ‘being a writer’.

But you know what? Markus Zusak doesn’t do these things either.

Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded that you’re a writer if you believe you’re a writer.… Read more.

…and why I hate it so much.

Gosh, that was a hard sentence to write. Let’s be clear: I didn’t help kickstart this movie. And I have lived vicariously through my sister watching the seasons during university. I understand what happened in most episodes–I didn’t miss the in-jokes in the movie. However, I have not watched every single episode of this show. In fact, I can only attest to watching season one from beginning to finish.

I consider myself a marshmallow. … Without actually being one, I guess.

I adore Veronica. I loved the fact they were making a movie. This is a brilliant show and I wanted to see what they could pull off. But sadly, I’ve been disappointed.

The beginning was brilliant. Veronica had achieved what she wanted: she was out of Neptune. She was living a life free of drama (except from the courtroom she now found herself in). She was dating someone not famous. She wasn’t a private investigator. She got out.

But of course, she was pulled back in. And that’s when we start to slide. Because with talks of sequel movies and books, they need Veronica back in the drama-arena. So, with … Read more.

On doing less

January 27th, 2014 | Posted by Elle in Life & Stuff - (0 Comments)

(photo credit: pierofix via photopin cc)

This year, I have one goal and one goal only.

Do less.

It’s not exactly the New Year’s resolution that most people make. The list of resolutions you usually hear are ones where people make grand plans for their year. They are going to get fit (do more exercise, eat at home more and thus cook more), they are going to get a new job (urgh, job searching), they are going to take that Europe trip finally, they’ll move out of home, they’ll do this and do that and do MORE than what they have been doing. And this is probably why New Year’s resolutions fail, because it’s about doing more with the time you don’t have.

This goal was inspired by a tweet I saw some months ago.

Even if you (or I) can condense our lives in three distinct ‘life categories’ it doesn’t only mean you (or I) will be only doing three things.

I believe I have the first … Read more.

(photo credit: torremountain via photopin cc)

I miss blogging. I won’t lie.

Blogging allows me to be creative when all other energy is put into the actual work part of writing: editing. But when I’m not writing a novel, I just STOP. It’s not that I don’t want to be writing, but all my energy is into this other task. Editing and writing (for me) do not mesh well.

Of course, writing and editing are two very different things. A writer is not an editor and an editor is not a writer. I can not wear both hats on the same project. But as with all first works yet-to-be-published, I must.

I’m an editor at the moment, so all writing has gone out the window. This includes blogging, because writing and blogging ARE the same thing.

I miss blogging–I have so many words I need to get down. I want to talk about my little sister (who’s actually a real grown-up and travelling BY HERSELF in Europe), I want to talk about gay main characters (because it began as a twitter comment and became something so much more), I want to talk about Charlie & Cub (the children’s series … Read more.

(copyright: Lian Hearn’s website; font: Beth’s handwriting.)

The Harsh Cry of the Heron is the final book in the Tales of the Otori series. The series wasn’t written exactly linearly. The original trilogy was written first, then Harsh Cry (a sequel, set sixteen years after the trilogy finishes) and finally Heaven’s Net (a prequel, beginning sixteen years prior to the opening of the trilogy, but ends at the very same moment that the trilogy opens).

Note: this post can be said to contain spoilers for the Tales of the Otori series.

Recently, I have been reading so many new books and authors, that returning to the Otori was like having a dream about someone that had passed away. The Otori tales really had finished for me after the trilogy. I didn’t particularly like the first book when I originally read it–I couldn’t see what my parents and sister saw it in. Then I studied it in school two years later; I finally got it. I saw what the pull and the attraction was.

I didn’t put the books down until I finished the entire trilogy. (I even wrote a beautiful essay about it. I particularly like the metaphor … Read more.

The #actbookbake check-in post!

May 5th, 2013 | Posted by Elle in Life & Stuff - (0 Comments)

(photo credit: edwardkimuk via photopin cc)

Once there was a young girl who loved to bake and loved to share her baked goods and loved to talk about books. This girl then asked if people would come and eat her baked goods and talk about books with her. What happened was that EVERYONE brought baked goods, brought friends, brought bookish things to talk about and had a grand old afternoon.* Very modernly called #bookbake, this now happens in Sydney fairly regularly.

* This may or may not be a true story.

This lovely girl is Rose, whom I met via NaNo one year and has coordinated the Australian Best Blogs Competition for the past two years. She’s coming to Canberra for a weekend and wants to meet us all!

Therefore, #actbookbake was born! (I can not lie, this may become a recurring event. I love books, I love baked goods, I love writerly folk.)

The first #actbookbake will be held on the lawn between the National Library and the lake at 10.30am, Sunday 2 June. So, if you’re coming along, let us know below in the comments! And if you know what you’re baking to bring, let us … Read more.

We all need to be mocked from time to time, lest we start to take ourselves too seriously.Read more.

(copyright, sort-of: alibi_factory)

It’s started to crop up again: “A Partial Map to Your TARDIS” is making the rounds on the internet. I am quietly pleased when I can say, you haven’t seen that before!? and also a little saddened by it. The internet has become so huge and sprawling (quite like a TARDIS in its own right) that these wonderful things get lost in the cyberspace.

The fanfic/fanart mash-up has regained prominence because the latest episode of Doctor Who took us further into the TARDIS, exploring rooms, technology and even the engine. Of course, the writers will not need to keep these rooms as the official rooms–the TARDIS changes so often that there is no guarantee that a room that was there before will still be there nor that it will look the same as it did earlier. (See, the console room and its desktop themes.)

I first came across the project as a link from Sam’s blog. (Sam writes unbelievable fanfic of all fandoms.) This was a really long time ago. I tend to tweet about the mash-up at least once a year because how can you not when something so beautiful, elegant … Read more.

(photo copyright: me; illustration copyright: sister)

But fate – or was it us? – had other plans for her.

This week, I’ve been editing Charlie & Cub. I’ve put myself on a tight schedule that I am already failing to live up to–but despite this failure, I feel the editing is going quite well. Each day, I put a chapter in my bag and head to a a cafe (usually a different cafe every day, just to spice things up) and edit that chapter. It’s currently taking me an hour per chapter, but this will change as the chapters start to become longer.

I have feared, sort-of but not exactly, starting my serious editing on the series. The main reason was that I knew what the first question I needed to tackle was. I needed to answer the question of voice.

In C&C, the story starts as a pseudo-prologue. A prologue that sits at the beginning of and part of Chapter 1. The prologue uses a very different voice* to the rest of the story.

The prologue is insanely important to the rest of the story. It needs to be in there. But it is told by a … Read more.