Nieces and snail mail magic

EPSON MFP imageThese both arrived in the letterbox yesterday – my first letter from my nine-year-old niece, and roughly my 900th letter from my 90-year-old aunt.

Snail mail is one of my greatest treasures and I’m delighted my niece and nephew have discovered the same joy of letters that my aunt shared with me from a very young age.




Di’s 16 in 2016

Happy Birthday, Di Wills! What a fabulous day to share your 16 goals for 2016 with the rest of the world. Um, make that the GalaxyCheryse Durrant, Di Wills and Sandy Curtis at WriteFest 2012.. Um, actually the Multiverse.

To let my readers in on the not-so-secret: On January 2, Miss Diabolical (Di, for short) took a road trip with her brother and his girlfriend where she found herself setting a list of new year resolutions which were all about FINISHING projects she’d never finished previously. “I just want to finish a heap of things I’ve started or achieve other things that I’ve always wanted to do but never got around to,” Di said last month.

Here is Di’s 16 in ’16:  callig

  1. Write more
  2. Practise driving a manual car
  3. Outrun the zombies
  4. Get a dog
  5. Make cheese from scratchmake cheese
  6. Write a letter in Calligraphy
  7. Learn to crochet a doily
  8. Learn to shoot a gun (in a controlled environment)
  9. Lose another 10kg
  10. Take up tap dancing (again)
  11. Learn a song on my harmonica
  12. Find the ukulele and play it
  13. Learn to juggle
  14. Finish the baby blanket
  15. Finish two separate diplomas
  16. Go hiking up Mt Walsh

“Each of these projects have their own mini-story and, unfortunately, show how great I am at starting a project, but weak on the long-term execution,” Di said.

“I did the numbers and realised I needed to achieve an average of one goal every three weeks. It’s been almost five weeks and I can’t say with any confidence that I have done any of them. “I’ve been getting in the way of my own goals and feel like I’m behind in my timeline, but here’s the updated list for February:

  1. Write more – booked a screenwriting course in Sydney… No writing but more incentive achieved.
  2. Practise driving a manual car. Nope
  3. Outrun the zombies (it’s a running app on my phone.) Got caught last week.
  4. Get a dog. Nope
  5. Make cheese from scratch. Nope
  6. Write a letter in Calligraphy. Nope
  7. Learn to crochet a doily. Borrowed a book from a friend. So, nope.
  8. Learn to shoot a gun (in a controlled environment). Nope.
  9. Lose another 10 kilos. At 4kg and happy with that so far.
  10. Take up tap dancing (again). I went to my first class! Was so much fun I am building a small tap floor to practice at home. So have steered perfectly good energy into a different direction. WIP definitely.
  11. Learn a song on my harmonica. Nope
  12. Find the ukulele and play it. Found it. Have not played. Nope.
  13. Find juggling balls and learn to juggle. Found balls. Practiced a little. WIP.
  14. Finish baby blanket. Getting really close!!
  15. Finish two separate diplomas. Nope
  16. Go hiking up Mt Walsh. Nope.

“Excuses are for sissies. I will check back in a month and let you know how it’s going. Perhaps Cher can help me keep on track!” Di said.

“Have you got things you have started and not finished? Please pick one and join me and try finishing something you started.
Just be sure to tell Cher so she can keep us all honest!”

Happy Birthday, Di, and good luck with your 16 for 2016. xox

Norma K Hemming 2016 shortlist

fire sermonJudges have released the shortlist for the 2016 Norma K Hemming Award for race, gender, sexuality, class and disability in Australian speculative fiction.

Here are the shortlisted novels:

  • The Hush’ by Skye Melki-Wegner, published by Penguin Random House on 2 March 2015
  • The Fire Sermon’ by Francesca Haig, published by HarperVoyager on 1 March 2015
  • ‘Theophilus Grey And the Demon Thief’ by Catherine Jinks, published by Allen & Unwin in October 2015
  • The Orchid Nursery’ by Louise Katz, published by Lacuna Publishing on 1 October 2015
  • Welcome to Orphancorp’ by Marlee Jane Ward, published by Seizure Books on 17 August 2015

Here are the shortlisted novellas:

  • The Pyramids of London’ by Andrea K Höst, self published in February 2015
  • Formaldehyde’ by Jane Rawson, published by Seizure Books in August 2015

Congratulations to all the nominees.

More information about the Norma K Hemming Award can be found on the Aust SF Foundation website