calissa: (Default)
20161206_120714

The railing behind the sculpture overlooks the platypus pond at Tidbinbilla's wetland sanctuary.

The hot weather continues unabated. The aircon has been getting a work out and I've been tearing through the ice. I really need to get organised and make myself a proper batch of iced tea. But despite my complaining, I'm managing fairly well. I've had a few aches today which may suggest a storm might arrive tomorrow. A quick look at the weather bureau seems to confirm this theory. The rain will make it muggy, but the garden will welcome the water. The vegetable patch is looking a little wilted.





Work continues. After complaining how difficult I'd found writing my first review of the year, I was a little amused to discover it took me half the time to write my second review of the year. This was despite them being of comparable length. I really should learn to cut myself some slack.

Today I actually managed to wrangle a little spare time to deal with some non-urgent admin-type stuff. And promptly found that I was making more work for myself. One of my tasks was to voted in the GUFF race. GUFF is a fan fund that will be sending an Australian fan to Helsinki for WorldCon later this year. There are four nominees. I was talking with one of them on Twitter around the same time I was voting. It was about another matter entirely, but I found myself thinking about the time I ran for NAFF (which is basically the same thing, but to AussieCon rather than WorldCon). I'd offered the other nominees a chance to guest post on my blog. I figured the same thing might be useful for GUFF. So, I contacted all the nominees about being interviewed and they agreed.

On one hand I wonder why I do this to myself. It's not like I don't have enough on my plate. On the other hand, I think this is something that will be of interest to the community.

The drawback to all this work is that I've been skimping on time for my own writing again.
calissa: (Default)
20150905_160459_Richtone(HDR)

Macro of a prostrate grevillea 'Bronze Rambler' in flower.

What are you doing/thinking/wondering/making/reading/etc. that you don't normally post about?

Doing: I actually managed to get out yesterday and take some photos, as you can see from above. I've been stricter with myself about not working on weekends, making it a little easier to find time for these sorts of things.

Watching: My sweetheart and I have been juggling a few different shows. He was inspired to start rewatching Supernatural. I'm not quite sure why. We only made it to the 5th or 6th season the first time around, so it will be interesting to see how we do this time around. So far, we're a few episodes into the second season.

We're also rewatching an anime called Yakitate Japan. It's a shounen anime about making bread, is light-hearted and filled with puns.

On the roleplaying end, we continue to stalk Adam Koebel. He's got a Burning Wheel campaign going for Roll20. One of the things I disliked about the games on the RollPlay channel is that some of the players had a propensity towards murder and chaos, perhaps to make things more entertaining or to stir things up. It had the opposite effect for me, making me bored and irritated. I find the players on the Roll20 channel to be much more interesting. They make things difficult for their characters without wanton destruction.

Finally, we're watching a Russian drama called Night Swallows which is, unsurprisingly, based on the very same piece of history as our Night Witches RPG. We're finding some great inspiration and have already learned that we've been pronouncing one of the names incorrectly.

Thinking: There's something about September that triggers my "holy crap, the year is almost over" button. I've been looking over the goals I had for this year to see whether I can realistically achieve them or whether they need to be revised. I've also been thinking a little bit about what I might like to achieve in 2016.

Reading: I'm between books at the moment and I'm not quite sure what I'll pick up next. It will depend a bit on how quickly I get to writing a review of Equilibrium because I don't like to try keeping two review books of similar genres or styles in my head at the same time. So if I want to get started on reading something today, it will be Stormbringer by Alis Franklin because it will be fun and I won't be reviewing it. However, if I don't get any reading time until tomorrow afternoon, I'll read my next review book, which will be Aurora: Eden by Amanda Bridgeman.

Writing: I'm still struggling with making time for my own writing. I'm doing a bit better than I was, but that may simply be because work is quieter at the moment. Anyway, I'm back to plugging holes in Siren Songs.

Wondering: Related to the above, I've been wondering a bit whether writing is something I want to continue with. Editing and reviewing keeps me pretty busy and I've been enjoying it a lot. Whereas I really struggle to convince myself to sit down and so some more writing. And if I do want to continue with writing, what do I want to be working on? Do I want to focus on short stories or novels? Do I want to give fanfic a go?

Drinking: A mix of different teas, but mostly alternating between Earl Grey and Chocolate chai.
calissa: (Default)
20150126 01 Passionfruit

It has been ages since I last did one of these, so I thought it was time I revisited.

Doing: I've mostly been concentrating on editing. However, I managed to attend the Aurealis Awards on Saturday and had a lovely brunch with friends on Sunday. Tomorrow night I'm off to see Bell Shakespeare's As You Like It.

Watching: I seem to be going through a phase of watching shows. I recently caught up on Forever (Ioan Gruffudd *swoon*) and Agent Carter (only eight episodes? Come on!) and am currently making my way through season 2 of Agents of SHIELD.

Reading: This has finally slowed up, probably thanks to the influx of editing work. However, I just started Kaleidoscope edited by Alisa Krasnostein and Julia Rios. It's an anthology of YA speculative fiction with a focus on diversity.

Wondering: The most recent batch of editing has highlighted for me how dreadful I am at the whole work/life balance thing. Being a freelancer means I work when there is work. However, I need a healthier way of doing that rather than working myself into the ground. Still wondering just how to do that.

Writing: I've not had much energy leftover for writing and so have been concentrating on poetry, using the excuse that April is Poetry Month. I've written so much of it lately that I think I'm starting to improve, which makes me happy.

Drinking: I'm making my way through a lovely batch of French Earl Grey that a friend brought me back from Thailand as a souvenir. With the mornings getting colder, I really need to pick up some Russian Caravan soon.
calissa: (Default)
20140529 Callistamon bud 3 HDR

(New growth on a Callistemon 'Little John')

What are you doing/thinking/wondering/making/reading/etc. that you don't normally post about? It has been a while since I have done one of these and I thought it would be a good way to post about non-holiday stuff

Doing: I recently acquired six boxes of second-hand books from an acquaintance who was otherwise going to throw them away. Such books would normally be donated to the local crisis-counselling telephone service for their bi-annual fundraising book fair. However, my acquaintance tells me they're no longer accepting paperbacks. I'll be seeking to confirm this once my friends, family and writing groups have had a chance to pick through them. My sweetheart very kindly waded his way through the boxes to my computer and spent a morning helping me to catalogue what was there. My acquaintance is threatening to send another four boxes. I don't mind rescuing the books but I didn't properly consider the imposition on my time, energy and space this would take.

Watching: While down with a cold late last month, I started rewatching the TV show Castle featuring Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic. It has long been comfort viewing for me. I've also got the fifth of "Richard Castle's" Nikki Heat books to read and so I have been rereading the series in conjunction with rewatching the show. I've just finished Season 3 and have therefore just started on the third book.

Thinking: I'm still processing my thoughts on the return of Doctor Who but it left me prickly. I'm not entirely sure the new doctor was behaving any differently from the last two doctors but the way it came across definitely had resonances of dementia (at least to begin with). Considering how ham-handed they were with Clara (and with Madam Vastra) I'm not sure I can bring myself to think it clever.

Reading: As mentioned above, I just started reading the third of the Nikki Heat books, Heat Rises. I had a review to write for the second book, but have managed to misplace my notes. Suffice to say it doesn't hang together well as a series, since they seem to use a different ghostwriter for each book. I find that makes it hard to settle into the story to start with.

Wondering: September is known around here as "cake month" thanks to all the birthdays. It is truly a month of madness for me and the most stressful part of my year. A couple of years ago I began the practice of not accepting any social engagements other than birthday parties during September. I'll admit that I'm not always very good at sticking to that. I also tend to turn down any editing jobs taking place in September. This year, I'm wondering if there are any other self-care practices I should be engaging in to help make my life a bit easier. I suspect making sure I get enough sleep should be on there. I've not been getting quite enough lately and as a consequence am not quite at my sharpest.

Writing: Still working on Heartwood. Slow and steady wins the race, right? But only if you really are working steadily.

Drinking: I'm currently drinking the Jane Austen blend from Gillards of Bath. A very thoughtful friend brought it back from England as a gift several months ago and it is quite possibly the nicest tea I've ever had the pleasure of drinking.
calissa: Photo of Swarovski crystal & gold figurine of inkpot and quill sitting on a page that says 'create every day' (Writing)
The ever-lovely Helen Stubbs has interviewed me as part of the 2014 Australian Speculative Fiction Snapshot. I share some of my thoughts on editing, community and the role of the natural environment in my writing.
calissa: (Default)
20140520 Sky 9 HDR


What are you doing/thinking/wondering/making/reading/etc. that you don't normally post about? It has been a while since I have done one of these and I thought it would be a good way to post about non-holiday stuff

Doing: I'm back to swimming after a break of about a month. It wasn't intentional--a few different things were conspiring against me. My shoulder had started playing up again during the break, so I'm glad to be back to it (though I overdid things a little on the first time back).

Watching: On the anime front, I've been watching Sailor Moon Crystal on Crunchyroll. I was never into the original when it aired during my years at high school, but I have become a lot more interested in anime since then.

I am also watching a new anime called Glasslip. It is produced by P.A. Works who turn out the most gorgeous-looking animes and I have enjoyed most of the stuff they have released. This particular show is about the daughter of a family of glass artisans. When she stares into glass she has visions of the future. It is also about the changing relationships between her group of friends in their last year of high school.

On more of a RPG theme, RollPlay have just started up a sci-fi campaign called Swan Song. Utilising the Stars Are Infinite system, the campaign is being run by Adam Koebel. I totally have a new GM crush. He co-wrote the Dungeon World system and his style of game-running clearly speaks of intelligence, passion and long experience.

He and my other major GM crush, Steve Lumpkin, have also just started posting up a segment on GMing they're calling Playing Everyone Else. If you're interested in tabletop RPGs at all--as player or GM--it is well worth checking out.

Thinking: An acquaintance of mine has been getting on my nerves a lot lately. Ze does a lot of complaining about suffering from writer's block but seems to feel that in order to be published, ze needs to write in certain kinds of ways and in certain formats. This single-minded focus on publication seems to press a button of mine. I recently came across this wonderful article from Australian horror writer Peter Ball on why you don't really want to be published--it is simply shorthand for another goal. I'm wondering whether this person's reason for wanting to be published is fundamentally different from mine or whether it is simply our manner of getting there. Or perhaps we have different levels of patience with the process.

Reading: I'm in a weird in-between place with my reading at the moment. I'm slowly making my way through a gardening book put out by the local horticultural society and have been for months. However, I don't have a primary book that I'm reading because I can't decide on what I want to read. My sweetheart has made off with my Kindle in order to read some out-of-print Warhammer books and everything I kind of want to read is on that. Which is ridiculous--I have a zillion print books on Mt TBR, surely I should be able to find something I want to read. If anyone wants to make suggestions, you can check Mt TBR and my 2014 acquisitions list for what I have currently available.

Wondering: A while back, I began studying the AODA Candidate curriculum. I am almost finished--just some loose, time-consuming ends to tie up--but I have been pondering whether this is something I really want to do. While I think their curriculum is great, I'm not sure their philosophy and cosmology is really something that works for me.

Writing: Still going on Heartwood. I originally started writing the story a year or two ago and then shelved it for some unremembered reason. I'd only written two scenes and a bit. When I came back to it this year, I felt it needed rewriting and I bashed my head repeatedly against the first scene, trying different things. I finally got something to work and have been concentrating on getting the words for this new version down on the page without worrying too much about what still needs fixing. I have now caught up to where I was when I first shelved the story and am looking forward to breaking new territory.

Drinking: My mother-almost-in-law recently gifted me with some rose-scented tea that she wasn't fond of. I have zero problem with this because I absolutely adore rose-scented teas.

Earl Grey is generally my default tea (unless it is Twinings which I find way too harsh). I've been drinking much less of it over the last few months but I find myself starting to come back to it.
calissa: Macro photo of a clover leaf covered in frost (Winter)
20140707 Frost Macro 4 HDR

[personal profile] kaberett's 10 Good Things post reminded me that it has been way too long since I did something similar myself. I don't want to only update this journal when I have something to grumble about. So, some things.

For a while now, I've been wanting to replace my seasonal icons with photographs I've taken. Winter was the very last one because it is hard to find something quintessentially wintery while still capturing the feel of the place I live. Well, at the beginning of the week there was a thick frost in the morning. The light was perfect enough to convince me to get dressed and brave the cold for some macro photos. I was pretty pleased with how they turned out.

There was more photography on Tuesday. I went on an excursion with my sister and dad to one of the national parks. We had a picnic lunch, then walked the lyrebird trail. We were lucky to hear a couple of male lyrebirds perform their mating call, mimicking the calls of a dozen other bird species. No sight of the birds themselves, but just that much was amazing. I hope to post some photos later--after I've snaffled some of my sister's awesome shots to share with you.

Writing is coming along slowly but steadily. I'm still not managing much in terms of word count, but I have noticed that it is slowly increasing. And the fact I'm sitting down consistently is starting to have a cumulative effect. I am a very long way off finishing the story, but I am happy with the progress I am making.

My grandma is currently in town for her 90th birthday. She came to visit yesterday and it was lovely to spend a little bit of time together. There will be a family lunch tomorrow, which I am looking forward to.

Also: doggie cuddles (one up side of winter), gorgeously sunny days, rose-scented tea, time in the garden.

And this amazing mash-up by Vienna Teng.

Grumbles

Jul. 1st, 2014 02:04 pm
calissa: (Default)
20140520 Sky 8 HDR

The weather outside this afternoon is absolutely gorgeous: the sun is shining and even though there is snow on the hills the temperature is reasonably warm. It would be the perfect day to do some gardening but I am down and out with a cold. I'm finding it difficult to be gracious about this--my To-Do list is rather long but my body refuses to have a bar of it. I've already had one nap today and am starting to feel in need of a second one.

After several difficult weeks, I seem to have settled into a writing routine. It probably helps that my gaming schedule has quietened down somewhat, with the Robin Hood campaign wrapping up and Cenotaph set to shortly. I'm not managing much in terms of word count, but just stringing together a couple of writing sessions has helped improve my outlook.

If you follow me on social media, you're probably aware of my outrage over the closure of one of my favourite tea stores. Adore Tea is a local business that first opened up at a village of boutique stores over the far side of town. They did so well for themselves that they were able to open up stalls at two shopping centres owned by Westfield. One was over my side of town and it was extra special because not only did it sell looseleaf tea but it also did take-away tea using specially modified coffee machines. Although the shopping centre was still a bit of a drive from my place, it was where my mum and I would go whenever we wanted an outing out and another friend and I would order their special of the week to take into the cinema whenever we were off to watch a movie.

The stall at the other shopping centre closed some time ago and yesterday I came across an announcement that the stall at the local shopping mall was closing too. T2 (a big chain selling packaged tea and accessories--but no take-away tea) had recently been installed quite close to the Adore Tea stall. Westfield raised Adore's rent, then terminated their lease, giving them just 24 hours to move out.

Adore had a sale where I picked up the following:

Tea haul )

I am totally disgusted by Westfield's treatment of Adore Tea and will no longer be shopping at their malls. This isn't a hardship because I rarely go there and I find T2's tea to be of inferior quality. However, it does mean that I'll have to travel quite a distance to the nearest decent tea shop (the Tea Centre) and further afield if I want visit Adore Tea.
calissa: (Default)
What are you doing/thinking/wondering/making/reading/etc. that you don't normally post about? It has been a while since I have done one of these and I thought it would be a good way to post about non-holiday stuff

Doing: I recently ran my first RPG in what is probably a decade. The setting is called Monsterhearts and the idea is that players are supernatural teenagers attending high school. It takes a lot of inspiration from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, though of course it can fit in with just about any paranormal YA setting that's out these days. The exact manifestation very much depends on the players. I had planned to run it as a one-off session but we just didn't manage to wrap everything up and it seems to be the sort of game that works best with a couple of sessions. I'll be running the next one on Saturday.

Watching: RollPlay R&D just started a new RPG campaign using the Numenera setting. A billion years into the future, Earth is scattered with the remnants of many great civilisations--not all of them human. Much knowledge has been lost and the line between science and magic blurred. It looks like a pretty good setting and one I wouldn't mind playing myself.

Thinking: Actually having to run my own RPG has had me thinking a great deal about what makes for a good game. However, I think I might have to save those thoughts for their own post.

I've also been doing a lot of thinking about energy levels. I've noticed that I've been wearing out a bit more quickly of late. My concentration hasn't been great and neither has my creativity or my productivity. It has been tempting to chalk this up to laziness... but that's not really logical. Laziness and limited energy levels are not the same thing at all, though I often find it difficult to see that.

In terms of what is actually going on, I think there are a number of things. I'm overdoing it, particularly on the weekends, and not giving myself enough time to rest and be an introvert. [personal profile] onewhitecrow also suggested I take a look at my iron levels and that was definitely an astute piece of advice.

Reading: I'm about halfway through What the Robin Knows by Jon Young. It's about interpreting bird calls and behaviour in order to gain a greater understanding of your surrounds. It is quite an interesting book but the tone suffers a little from being too smug at times. I put it down to read Raven Flight by Juliet Marillier (which was on loan from [personal profile] sidheblessed and haven't quite managed to pick it up again.

Wondering: Tonight I'm wondering whether it will snow. The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a blizzard warning for the city. This is practically unheard of because it rarely snows here--only on the mountains around us.

Writing: I spent last week pulling together a few things for the Monsterhearts campaign. The system emphasises the importance of not preparing plot, but instead allowing it to grow organically between the players and the Master of Ceremonies. So, no plot--just filling out the characters I'd established and working out their agendas so that I can react properly as the situation changes. Tonight I plan to get back to Heartwood.

Drinking: To help celebrate Yule, I picked up some tasty Christmas Tea. I love almond-flavoured teas and the orange sets it off nicely. I also picked up some Chocolate Mint, since my supplies of flavoured blacks were running low.
calissa: (Default)
What are you doing/thinking/wondering/making/reading/etc. that you don't normally post about? It has been a while since I have done one of these and I thought it would be a good way to post about non-holiday stuff

Doing: Mostly just easing back into routine. Yesterday I went swimming for what was the first time in probably a month and surprised myself by being able to swim a full kilometre. Tonight I'm heading off the the monthly meeting of the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild where we'll be having a guest talk on firearms. Could be useful for some of that post-apocalyptic stuff.

Watching: I'm making my way through an anime called No Game, No Life. It's about a brother and sister who are prodigiously talented gamers--to the point of being an urban legend. One day, they are transported to a world where all disputes are solved by playing games of all kinds. It's a fascinating setting and the story has a great premise. However, I find the extreme co-dependence of the main characters a bit disturbing and the fan service, while not as overwhelming as in other shows, is tiresome and unnecessary.

Thinking: I've been invited to sit on a guest panel on editing anthologies for the monthly meeting of the Canberra Society of Editors at the end of the month. It is a challenge to consciously articulate a process that has mostly been instinctive for me. I think it will be an interesting event. This won't be the first time I've sat on a panel about editing anthologies, but it will be the first time where the audience is primarily composed of other editors rather than writers. That should have a big impact on the feel of things, since writers are mostly concerned with what they should be doing to get published (or so has been my experience).

Reading: I'm currently reading (among other things) The Vinter's Luck in hopes of finally getting to [personal profile] lynnoconnacht and Memory Scarlett's review of the same. It is a fascinating story but I find I can only read a little bit of it at a time. Fortunately, it is nicely structured for small chunks.

Wondering: The last time I wrote one of these periodic ponderings I was contemplating starting up a poetry practice. That didn't happen. Now I am contemplating starting up a blog connected to my editing website. I wonder whether this is also something that is never actually going to eventuate.

Writing: Currently wrestling with Heartwood. The story just doesn't seem to want to let itself be written. I am determined to press on, regardless.

Drinking: My ritual morning cup of tea is currently oolong, despite oolong being my least favourite tea to drink (not that I hate it, mind). The tea was brought back from Japan for me by my lovely uncle and aunt. It sounds like they will be visiting us again at Christmas.
calissa: Photo of Swarovski crystal & gold figurine of inkpot and quill sitting on a page that says 'create every day' (Writing)
For those interested and not already aware, I have started posting the warm-up drabbles I've been writing. They're on my writing filter, so if you are interested in being added, please let me know.

Swamped

Apr. 12th, 2014 04:51 pm
calissa: (Default)
20140403 Mushrooms 1

I've been feeling a bit swamped of late. None of it is at all serious. I just have a ton of posts I want to write and am falling behind with blog reading and commenting once again (apologies all). I had a massage on Wednesday which left me too sore to do much and on Thursday I spent some time with my family. All of which was very lovely but has left me feeling a bit scattered and needing to get back to routine. To compound matters, Daylight Savings ended last weekend and my body still hasn't quite adjusted to waking up and eating meals an hour later.

There is joy to be found, however. My nephew continues to charm and delight with his big blue eyes, cute dimples and ready smile. He has all the women in the family--my self included--wrapped around his little finger. It won't be long until he is crawling and then look out world!

Writing has been continuing reasonably well when I have been managing to sit down. [livejournal.com profile] saiena convinced me to try writing drabbles as a warm-up to a writing session and I have been find that to have worked so far. I'll probably post them once I have collected a few more.

We took Chippa to the vet today to check out a lump he had developed on his back. It is looking like a delayed vaccine reaction rather than cancer or anything alarming. He'll go back in a week to make sure but it does come as something of a relief.

Then this afternoon I headed out to have coffee with a friend who was struggling with feedback on his novel. It feels like ages since I last had a good face-to-face chat with someone about the craft of writing and I rather enjoyed it.

Now, off to do some more work!

Tiny steps

Apr. 3rd, 2014 07:28 pm
calissa: Photo of Swarovski crystal & gold figurine of inkpot and quill sitting on a page that says 'create every day' (Writing)
20140403 Mushrooms 4

This evening I managed to get words down on the page. Success! And, of course, since I have been telling myself just to write whatever I feel like, I have naturally gravitated back to working on the short story I have been struggling with.

I am not sure what momentum I will be able to maintain over the weekend, as it is set to be very busy. The Aurealis Awards are on Saturday night. Tomorrow night I will be out to dinner with a bunch of fellow writers, a goodly number of whom have come to town for the awards. Sunday morning will involve brunch with one of these out-of-town friends, the ever lovely [personal profile] sidheblessed and a non-writer friend. I suppose the key is not to give myself a hard time.
calissa: Photo of Swarovski crystal & gold figurine of inkpot and quill sitting on a page that says 'create every day' (Writing)
20140327 Moptop 2

I have recently started reading Terri Windling's blog Myth and Moor. This is partly for her gorgeous photos of Dartmoor and the lavish sprinkling of artwork (both hers and others') that accompany her posts. Often it is also for the wisdom--again, both hers and others'.

Great expectations )

I expect to forget this again at some point. With luck, it won't be for a good, long while.
calissa: (Autumn)
The clouds are starting to catch on the tops of the hills around here. There's mist on the slopes on certain mornings. Today was grey, with light rain coming down all afternoon. Unfortunately, it hasn't done the vegetable garden any good--you only have to dig down a centimetre or two and the dirt is bone dry. I think I am going to have to do some serious work on improving the soil over winter.

I feel more firmly on my feet this week. Last week's routine was rather disrupted but I was able to get back to it today and I feel like that has helped. This evening I also got a modicum of work done on the short story I have been working on. I have tentatively titled it A Roost to Call Home after a haiku of [personal profile] raze's. I hope to get it done by 1 April in time to meet a writing group deadline, but I will need to push it. Sometimes it seems like the only way I can find any motivation is to have a deadline breathing down my neck.

Earlier this week, I bought my ticket to the Aurealis Awards which are being held on 5 April. I'm actually looking forward to it which surprises me. I'm usually shy and hate dressing up, so this is usually the sort of event that sends me screaming in the opposite direction. I think the fact that it is being held locally and the fact I will know people (organisers, nominees, judges, attendees) is helping. My dad is serving as the official photographer and will expect me to point people out and namedrop shamelessly--it's going to be a bit like playing a tour guide and I do enjoy doing that. Plus throughout the mess of my last editing job I had a lot of support from the industry who saw me as a professional and one of them... which has helped me feel ever so slightly like that might be true.

I shall leave you with one of my photos from today. The pin oaks are starting to get some red through.

Pin oak leaf )
calissa: (Autumn)
The sun has just set, leaving the sky looking pale and washed out. A little over twelve hours ago I was watching the full moon set while the sky turned the most glorious shades of pink and purple. The Autumn Equinox is in just a couple of days.

I've been feeling myself drifting a bit since quitting my last job. I suppose I have needed it to some extent but it has also been frustrating. I feel like there is so much to do--reviews and stories to write, books and blog posts to read, chores to catch up on and projects to move forward with. I know that I am probably being too hard on myself by expecting myself to move on quickly after such an extended period of stress and that just makes me more frustrated.

Perhaps it is just the way I'm feeling at the moment. A good night's sleep may have me feeling differently.

And truthfully, things are moving on at their own pace. I have now managed to dump all of Wolfwinter into Scrivener and am working on transferring the story bible into it as well. I am starting to get a feel for what the ending might look like but remain daunted by the extent of work to be done.

I mentioned back at the beginning of the month that I had been brainstorming ideas for the CSFG's new anthology. I had originally intended to spend a week working each one up and then decide which I liked best. However, my very first idea actually seemed to fit another market. The deadline for that market is April 14 and so I am concentrating on it for now. I have a vague outline which I am working on turning into a more detailed outline--my way of tricking myself into a first draft. I was supposed to be working on it tonight but just couldn't settle.

Blah, just going to go to bed now and be done with it. Before I go, I shall leave you with some seasonal colour.

Pin oak leaves )
calissa: Photo of Swarovski crystal & gold figurine of inkpot and quill sitting on a page that says 'create every day' (Writing)
As I have mentioned before, I have been brainstorming ideas for the new CSFG anthology. I think I have managed to narrow it down to six possibilities but am having trouble deciding between them. So I have decided to spend a week on each one--working out plots, writing snippets--and see what I'm liking by the end of that. Depending on how I go, I might share some bits and pieces under my story filter (if you're not on the filter and would like to be, just let me know).

This approach might turn out to be a bit of a challenge with all the extra stress that's going on. Any cheerleading, encouragement, poking or pestering will be very welcome :)
calissa: Photo of Swarovski crystal & gold figurine of inkpot and quill sitting on a page that says 'create every day' (Writing)
Current Projects
I don't tend to work on a whole lot of projects at once because I lack the head space and need to manage pain levels. However, I know that even when I'm a regular visitor to a journal (and more especially when I'm a new reader) I can sometimes find it really hard to keep track of the author's writing projects.

For the curious and confused, here's a list of my current projects:

Last updated: 2 August 2015

Wolfwinter )

Heartwood
A high-magic science-fantasy about a young mage's fight to protect the one person who accepts her for who she is.

Siren Songs
A low magic fantasy story about a woman in a village of outcasts whose life is turned upside down when a stranger comes seeking the source of the strange shrieks plaguing the village.


Past Projects
And then sometimes after you've gotten to know someone a bit through their journal you start getting interested in reading their stories. But where to start? Here's my answer. Please note that the stories are kept under a filter. If you'd like to be added, please let me know.

Children of the Crown Wars )


Phoenix Down )


Poetry )
calissa: (Default)
What are you doing/thinking/wondering/making/reading/etc. that you don't normally post about? I have added a few more categories this time to better reflect some of my interests :)

Doing: [personal profile] jjhunter recently brought to my attention a post from [personal profile] melannen on some exercises on the craft of writing. One of the things recommended in the post is "practice stupid language tricks" which covers things like doing crosswords. I have had a giant book of crosswords gathering dust on my shelf for quite some time now. Almost without meaning to, I picked it up and started working my way through it. I had forgotten how much fun it is. I rarely manage to completely solve them, but find that I don't really care since it is simply a way to exercise my language skills.

Watching: Still waiting for more R&D to be released. In the meantime, I have returned to anime. I got caught up on the most recent episodes of Naruto released on CrunchyRoll and have just started in on a new anime called Log Horizon. I heard about it through the excellent anime review blog of John Samuel, who I had the pleasure of meeting on the anime panel at the Australian Sci-fi Convention last year.

(As an aside, I highly recommend his blog. I find his reviews are always very astute).

The anime is about players who get caught in an MMORPG and can't escape; the virtual world effectively becomes their reality. This is the same premise as Sword Art Online which started out so well and then went terribly, terribly wrong (seriously, don't get me started on what they did to the female lead). I am assured that Log Horizon is much better but I haven't yet warmed to it. To be fair, I am only two episodes in.

Thinking: A conversation with a friend going through a tough time recently made me realise that some part of myself likes to think that I am a fierce warrior at heart. This amuses, baffles and pleases me by turns and I find myself wondering how this relates to my love of fantasy as a genre.

Reading: Weirdly, I am actually between books at the moment. I have been holding off a little on reading while I caught up on writing some reviews, though I think I shall resume again soon. A dear friend recently launched her first e-book and it is next on my list of things to read. It has been years since I first read this story and am excited to see what the final result is. If you like near-future fantasy featuring things with wings, you might be interested in checking it out.

Wondering: I have been pondering starting up a modest poetry practice but have been unsure where to start. There are so many possibilities! I think I am going to start with some of [personal profile] jjhunter's excellent advice and go from there. The sheer fact I am wondering bodes well for the return of my creative energy.

Writing: If you are an Australian writer, you may be interested to know that the CSFG have announced the theme of their next anthology. Despite the dreadful title, I am super excited about this opportunity to write some uniquely Australian speculative fiction--particularly because place is a preoccupation for me. Tonight I sat down and brainstormed some ideas. Tomorrow I shall look them over and try to pick a direction.

Drinking: Yesterday I had the opportunity to swing past my favourite tea shop yesterday and managed to stock up on the following:

20140225 Tea haul

The mornings are darker and cooler now, leading me to crave the Russian Caravan. It is very much a sign to me that Autumn is on its way.
calissa: Photo of Swarovski crystal & gold figurine of inkpot and quill sitting on a page that says 'create every day' (Writing)
December starts on Sunday. Which means that 2014 is just around the corner. I find myself contemplating what projects I want to focus on next year. This is probably not the wisest thing, considering I've been feeling overwhelmed by everything I already having going, but I'm a sucker for the possibilities inherent in a new year.

I do this to myself every year. It is hard to resist the urge to do All The Things.

I've been kicking around a number of possibilities. Some are very easy to identify. I'll be continuing to complete my AODA Candidate year. By my current estimates, I should be wrapping up with that mid-to-late March--around the time of the Autumn Equinox.

Work on the Gold Coast Anthology will also continue. I am just now entering the phase where the work really and truly begins. The first round of edits are underway and will be heading out to authors soon. A tentative launch date has been scheduled for early May.

Things become slightly more nebulous after that. Currently on top of my priorities list is Wolfwinter and I strongly feel that this needs to be my creative focus for next year. This will mean that I will be unable to participate in the quarterly short story challenges run by one of my writing groups. I am really disappointed to miss out but I know myself too well to think that I can juggle both. I am a slow writer at the best of times and don't deal well with splitting my focus--one story or another suffers. Lately, it has been Wolfwinter that has suffered and I feel that I owe it to myself and others not to keep doing that.

Which makes my next potential project possibly problematic. I have been considering starting a blog on my editing website. This is partly in the hope that it will generate more traffic to the site and thus net me more work. But also, I'd like a place where I can dialogue with a wider community than that at DW. I suppose social media offers that to a degree, depending on the platform, but nothing I'm entirely happy with. Of course, this would mean I'll need to work on generating content and I refer you to the paragraph above. I'd be interested in some perspectives from people who maintain a professional blog.

Good thing I've got another month to iron everything out.

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Calissa

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