Saturday, April 28, 2007

A Big Thanks

Hi all,

Just been Googling myself (oh, come on, like you haven't!) and found out that Chuck McKenzie TM (dude, you trademarked your name? I only thought people like Jamie Durie did that) has constructed a nice list of links to web pages of fellow Australian Horror Writers Association (AHWA) members. Thanks for the great amount of effort Chuck - not even the AHWA has something like this (hint, hint). And I hope I was allowed to put your name on this post.

This list can be found at:

And seriously, support the AHWA simply by voicing your love for stories that give you gooseflesh - we need to start taking the word of fans to the publishers to show them demand really does exist!

- Craig.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

I'm ba-ack

Hello everyone,

My parents have left today - have spent the last 10 days with us in Melbourne (from Perth). To put it simply, they spoilt my daughter rotten, and I like that! Though now we have to remind her that not everything she picks from the store's shelves will be bought just because she flashes a smile and asks 'P-p-please pay?'.
Yesterday we did something different and hired a car, taking it for a drive to the Werribee Open Range Zoo (as close as you can get to Africa and without the 2x4 cages of a normal zoo), and then across the coast along the Great Ocean Rd. I say different because for the entire time we've been in Melbourne we've hardly strayed from the suburbs that surround the CBD. So yesterday I learnt that Torquay is not just the name of a water bottle, that Bells Beach may look like an idyllic surfing spot but must first be navigated through a high series of cliffs, sans a beach (you can rest on the rocks you wash up on), that Lorne is somewhere I picture myself relaxing in another ten years (in one block there were 3 bookstores, though they were all shut by the time we arrived), and that Anglesea made a dream come true.

You see, I have a list. We have been in Melbourne for a year and a quarter now, and I have started to write a list of things we miss from our home city (Perth) - believe it or not, they are simple things. One of them is a large helping of traditional, greasy, cooked in an old-fashioned shop that reeks of the 80s, posters on the walls of catches they wouldn't actually sell in the store, fish and chips. Thank you guys in Anglesea for providing such an establishment, and such food. I bought and ate so much I couldn't move, so it was lucky we were sitting in the car.

Unfortunately I didn't take a business card. I have a habit of taking business cards from most places we visit - I could probably fill a shoe box by now. Writers, you might want to take note of this, because I find business cards are great, not necessarily to write about an exact location (lawsuit, anyone?), but to jog your memories of it - allowing food, smells, decor, and other general points of atmosphere to creep through so you can write about a place that you may not be able to visit again.

I've written enough for now, but at least have more material to regale you with over the next few weeks.

Enjoy your reading,

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The e-zine cometh

Man, my dictionary is so worn from years of writing that after starting to post this message I've decided it finally needs replacing. I wanted to see if anyone actually used the word 'cometh' anymore. It's listed as archaic, so generally no, but I had to look up an internet dictionary to find that out. My dictionary is exclusionist - it only has modern words in it. I think I could have added another quarter-size to it with the words it didn't contain that I used for my novel. And no, the language in the novel is not archaic, though one of the Vampires speaks with a mixed palette. It's just that my dictionary is roughly Stephen King-novel size. I guess I need one of those doozies that weigh 5kg and take up half the writing desk.
I lost track of the point of my post. Ah, well, my wife had the last two days of work off so we were able to enjoy part of the easter break like a 'normal' family. On Thursday my parents are visiting us from Perth, Western Australia, because they miss their granddaughter (and not me, no, never), so the level of postings may diminsh over the next two weeks. In the meantime, I will let you know the e-zine I'm editing will be put onto the web soon - well, the information for it anyway. First issue should come out July 07 - still looking for writers, artists and musicians to submit. Here's the banner (but no link yet):

Will do my best to get some rants going soon.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Added new lists


You may notice that on the side column I have added two lists.

Now, every self-respecting author will tell you that to be a good writer you must also be an avid reader. So these lists are some my personal recommendations. You will note that many are not in my writing genre - life wouldn't be too interesting if you stuck to the one predilection.

Hope you check them out - they are all deserving of your time (well, some of the non-fiction is more specific).


Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Links added to my site


As much as I selfishly want you to enjoy my site alone, there's another universe of great sites out there. I have added several lists at the bottom of the page that pertain to what I enjoy. More lists will be added in the future - stay in touch. Oh, and let me know if a link is down and/or out.


Monday, April 2, 2007

Thank God and City Planning for parks and playgrounds

Hi all,

For the last couple of weeks I have tried to write whilst my daughter is at the playground. It didn't start out too well at first, most of my subconscious having me dart my eyes continuously from the page to make sure my daughter hadn't jumped off the top of the pyramid-like slide feature. But after a while I quickly found how to make use of the brief intervals in which she was intrigued by a sandpit (even bought her a shovel and bucket) or a never-ending line of ants cutting across the swings. In this time I have written two short stories and now a growing chunk of my next novel.

I love Melbourne for this. The city is basically surrounded by parks, which makes for both beautiful and practical locations to take my daughter (and hey, nature is free and you gotta love that!). A friend from playgroup tried to start a correspondence script-writing course but found they had no time to fit the writing time around the children. When asked, I realised that I previously only had the night to claim as my own, but now I've opened up this new avenue and think more writers should embrace it. Koji Suzuki wrote Ring whilst bouncing his child on his lap - that's dedication to the craft!

So if you come my way and see a man absorbed in his writing, twirling his LAMY pen in the sunlight whilst pondering his next paragraph, and a child ten metres away dangling precariously from a swing, you'll know the deal. I have to make use of the only chances I get until I'm a full-time writer.