My Very Very Short Story Inspired By Australia

The Daintree Rainforest, a tropical rainforest and UNESCO World Heritage Site along the coast of Queensland, Australia.

The Daintree Rainforest, a tropical rainforest and UNESCO World Heritage Site along the coast of Queensland, Australia.

I didn’t expect to do any writing while here in Australia.

That is, not after I overcame my last-minute fervor to do lots of writing while in Australia – to write during as much of the flight as I remained awake for; to even finish my novel while abroad, if possible, and return home like a conquering hero.

In preparation for this, I scanned and PDF’ed an entire chapter of a reference book (since my WIP is historical fiction and thus research-dependant).

I also downloaded Evernote on both my iPad and phone so that I’d have two methods of inputting my deathless prose that would automatically sync as well as keep a backup in the cloud.

Continue reading

Tunes to Get You (and Me) in the Mood To Travel

Like many music lovers, I often play songs whose meanings corresponds to important or special events in my life.

Ready for Oz

Kangaroos, here I come!

A personal soundtrack of sorts, curated by yours truly.

November is an important month for me.  Why, you may ask.  Is it because of NaNoWriMo?

Hell no.  I already waxed poetic on my feelings about NaNo (and Daylight Savings Time too, for that matter last November).

Is it because my birthday is in November?

We’re getting warmer.

Continue reading

Replaying Xena: Season 1 – The adventure (and my binge-watching adventure) begins

Xena - Sins of the Past

One season down, five more to go!

My decision to re-watch all six seasons of the show Xena Warrior Princess – which is set in Ancient Greece – corresponded with my decision to someday rewrite my shelved first fantasy novel as historical fiction, also set in Ancient Greece.

That and because Xena is such a thrilling character – my favourite fictional character, in truth – whom I hadn’t watched since the show ended in 2001.

Continue reading

On Female Ghostbusters, Gimmicks, and the Nature of Storytelling

Ghostbusters original cast(1984).

Ghostbusters original cast (1984).

By now, most people have heard about the plan to reboot the movie Ghostbusters with an all-female cast.

Some people are really excited about it.

Others are really upset.

Like really upset, to the point of borderline self-righteousness, with words like “gimmick” and “pandering” receiving a thorough workout.

Maybe I’m just splitting hairs over semantics, but in and of itself, I don’t consider a gimmick to be a negative thing.

All marketing and media uses gimmicks or “hooks” to attract a target audience, in this case the hook being the casting women where previously there’d only been men, ostensibly to attract – at least in part – a target audience of female viewers.

Which right there may well be the real issue.

Continue reading

Everybody Has a Favourite (Quote)

Just like chocolate, everyone has a favourite quote as well. (Image from the 2000 movie Chocolat.)

Just like chocolate, everyone has a favourite quotation as well. (Image from the movie Chocolat, 2000.)

Quotations, it can be argued, second only to cats, are the foundation of the internet.

For they are found everywhere online: in status updates; in tweets; as part of social media bios; within blog posts.  Sometimes an individual blog post will be nothing but a quotation.

I too enjoy a good quote.  Back in 2010, I did the 12-week self-help, self-directed artistic rediscovery course known as The Artist’s Way, which is the subject of screenwriter Julia Cameron’s book by the same name.

It took me 11 months to complete the program.

Continue reading

Planning the Perfect Vacation: A (Don’t-Ask-Me) How-To

Vacation plane

Some people are awesome at planning vacations.

These are the people who research their destinations exhaustively to discover the hottest sites to visit.  The people who book things months in advance to ensure they don’t miss out on those activities that always fill up and sell out.

These are the people who know ahead of time exactly the type of vacation experience they want, and make a near part-time job of scouring tour guides and soliciting knowledgeable friends and colleagues to transform the trip of their dreams into reality.

I’m not one of those people.  Not even close.

Continue reading

Work or Leisure: How Do You Perceive Your Writing?

All work and no play

Like many writers, I am balancing my as-yet unpaid writing efforts with my paid day job.

At certain times of the year, my job requires me to work overtime.  One such occasion recently occurred, and at the end of my protracted work day, I found myself riding the elevator down with my boss, who is also an up-and-coming writer.

We got to chatting about how we would spend the rest of our respective evenings, or what remained of them.  This morphed into talk of how we usually spend our evenings, in particular as related to our writing.

Continue reading