The monster under my bed

My short story, ‘The monster under my bed’, is in Aurealis # 79 now.
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/535645

 

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InDaily: Country Skies

I have a poem called ‘Country Skies’ currently posted at InDaily Poets Corner.

http://indaily.com.au/arts-and-culture/2015/01/21/poem-country-skies/

Story posted at Daily Science Fiction

My latest “story” is currently up at Daily Science Fiction.

Found some good news in my inbox while stuck in hospital

My tiny poem, ‘The night-time visitor’ is in issue 67 of Apex Magazine; and my story ‘Attrition of the soul’ received an Honourable Mention in the Writers of the Future Contest!

Good news hat trick

It has been a good week. My short story ‘The long shadow’ has been published in issue 76 of Aurealis:

My tanks ‘Night-time visitor has been accepted for publication in Apex and my short story ‘Permutations of the soul’ has bee accepted by Plasma Frequency Magazine.

Alas my NaNoWriMo project isn’t doing as well 😦

Happy dancing: Apex publication and Aurealis sale

My short poem ‘Sentience is watching a sunset‘ is now up at Apex Magazine, and I sold my short story ‘The Long Shadow’ to Aurealis.

Infinitas Newsletter now out

Little story published at Infinitas Newsletter today.

http://www.infinitas.com.au/Newsletters/InfinitasNewsletter2014May.pdf

AntiSF

I have a little quirky tale up at AntiopodeanSF.

http://www.antisf.com.au/the-stories/shifting

Every day poets

I have a poem up at Every day poets at the moment.  http://www.everydaypoets.com/the-river-murray-awakes-%E2%80%A2-by-melanie-rees/

New Year cheer.

I’m Excited to say I’ve kicked off the new year with a story accepted at Antipodean SF and I was a Runner-up in the Journal of Unlikely Story Acceptances. This was for intentionally bad writing, so not sure I should brag about that. 🙂

AmazonSmile supporting charity

AmazonSmile has been around for a couple of weeks but I only just stumbled upon it. You can buy your books or other Amazon purchases in the same way as you do on the regular Amazon site, except a portion of profits go to charity.

A great way to buy your Christmas presents this year.

https://smile.amazon.com

Countdown to NaNoWriMo

I am attempting the craziness that is NaNo again this year. I have yet to “win” but even if I don’t reach my word count, here are some great reasons why I like to participate:

– it helps train myself to write everyday

– I get a substantial amount of my work in progress completed

– I have a valid excuse not to do the housework for a month 🙂

 

 

Happy dance!!!

My short story ‘Virtually Human’ is now online at Daily Science Fiction.

And I recently sold my first Sci Fi story for children to The School Magazine.

Goodreads, but bad culture?

This latest incident – in a long line of reported bullying on Goodreads – involves alleged rape threats to a debut author.

http://www.salon.com/2013/08/21/debut_author_allegedly_got_rape_threats_on_goodreads/ 

http://www.stopthegrbullies.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Shelves2.png

Such maturity!

Stand up to Goodreads bullies!

Writers of the Future contest

I just received my first honourable mention in the Writers of the Future contest 🙂

RIP M. Yunupingu

It is a sad day in the music world with the news that M. Yunupingu of Yothu Yindi has passed away while waiting for a kidney transplant. For me, as a writer, M. Yunupingu was an inspiration for the way he used words to change the world. But he has also inspired me to follow his footsteps and share my experiences with renal failure, especially given that I’m about to go back on dialysis in a few weeks.

Great news

My flash fiction ‘Rochelle’ is now online at Perihelion

And to add to the excitement, my short story ‘Virtually Human’ has been accepted by Daily Science Fiction.

Here’s a special happy dance to celebrate the occasion.

Happy dance!

No, this isn’t an April Fool’s joke, my flash fiction ‘Two to the Power of One’ has been published in Penumbra.

Beware of the writers’ wrath

This week, I saw someone trolling a writing site masquerading as an author. They later revealed they were a psychology student conducting social experiments. I’ve heard of this kind of thing happening on social networking sites, where students pose fake questions or situations and see what people’s responses are, but not on professional writing sites.

Writers tend to share information with each other because we’re in the business of writing about character’s (and hence people’s) motivations, desires and reactions to different situations.

While this event didn’t affect me directly, this trolling still disgusts me. My next work in progress may just include an antagonist who is a psychology student that becomes infected by an alien parasite, turns into a grotesque creature and causes havoc on the city streets.

To any internet trolls lurking on writing forums, go infect the social playground that is Facebook and leave professional sites alone.  Writers aren’t the kind of people you want to mess with.

NaNoWriMo procrastination: thoughts on killing off characters

November madness has encroached upon my blog writing time with the start of NaNoWriMo and my race to write 50K in a month. However, the last few days I stumbled upon a roadblock when I realised the character’s deaths I had planned wouldn’t work. I had plotted my character’s deaths perfectly except when the time came for my first character to die she just wouldn’t do it. She threatened me with her spear and insisted her character arc wasn’t complete. Stubborn bitch just won’t do what she’s told.

After starting to write my novel I’ve also worked in ways to show the threat of the world I’ve created without killing off so many characters. So I’ve been spending the past few days reworking my outline and reconsidering my character deaths and it got me thinking about the character death’s in stories that I love and hate. Here are a few that have resonated with me (warning may be spoilers).

Star Wars
In the original Star Wars, Obi-wan and Darth Vader were perfect  examples of meaningful and symbolic deaths that were essential to the plot.

As for Star Wars I –III, Meesa thinks a few characters could’ve said good bye. You bought the rights Disney, now do your job.

Serenity
I have many friends who lamented the death of Wash and some who were even angry at Josh Weddon for killing him off because Wash was the most loveable character. I also hated this death, not because Wash was likable, but because I felt Zoe’s reaction was the total opposite of what it should have been. In the series, the only thing that ever threatened to break her tough persona was when Wash was in danger. Wash’s death wouldn’t have made her tough and determined, it would have made her an emotional wreck. Everyone has a breaking point and I have no doubt that Wash was hers.

Game of Thrones
Ned Starks death was executed (excuse the pun) perfectly.  Not only did the unexpectedness of it work, but also the loss of knowledge that occurred when he died and how this completely changed the direction of the plot. Also Ned didn’t really have a role in the story anymore and Jon Snow began to take on the story’s theme of honour and loyalty. As for the rest of the series… All the deaths have lost their impact as there is a chance George may bring them back to life again. And for the reasons above, the end of A Dance with Dragons just pissed me off. It’s almost enough for me to put down the series. Okay, not really. I’m still hanging out for The Winds of Winter. Hurry up George. Who am I to talk? I can’t even write a 50K word draft in a month. It’d probably take me several years to finish a book that large and complex too.

Anyway, that’s enough procrastination, back to my novel. Now I’ve reworked my plot, my characters will probably act like lemmings and all want to jump off a cliff.

What character’s deaths have inspired you or pissed you off?

Story published in Cosmos!

Exciting news! My story, The Dragon, is now online at Cosmos.

http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/fiction/6060/the-dragon

Scribophile contest

I just won a small flash fiction contest over at Scribophile. The contest prompt was to write a 500 word memoir about the most significant push someone has ever given you, but write it from the POV of the person giving your the push.

http://www.scribophile.com/contests/flash-500-push-challenge/

The link is only displayed in a member area, so you need to sign up to Scribophile if you want to read it. Otherwise, I might post it here sometime soon.

Social networking: an author’s best friend or evil distraction?

Wikis, writing forums, weblogs, microblogs, Facebook, Reddit, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Google+, MySpace…the list of social networking platforms is endless.

As a self-confessed luddite, I have enough difficulty understanding what these things are let alone having a presence across all of  them. But everywhere I turn there is an agent, publisher or professional author reaffirming that it is a “necessity” for writers. Only the other day, an author was telling me (via a social media site no less) that a clause in her book contract stipulated she had Facebook, Twitter and weblog accounts.

Even though I have an author page on Facebook, I hate wading through some of the tripe that people regurgitate. Does anyone really care that their friend took a photo of their breakfast, found a video of a cute animal or rounded up twenty sheep on FarmVille?

And as for Twitter…
Even if I had a mobile phone (did I mention I was a luddite?), I’m not sure I could stomach microblogging. I have little interest in joining the denizens of Twitter-land who seem to deny the existence of punctuation, complete sentences and sometimes even real words. LOL  ; )

Oh, I long for the days when a semi-colon was a punctuation mark for linking clauses, rather than a pair of evil eyes winking at me.

As arrogant as it sounds, I blog because I’m proud of my publications and want people to read my stories. But at the same time, every time I post about my writing it feels like I’m standing on a roof top and shouting to the world ‘look at me, look at me’.

Especially in the wake of the recent cyber bullying of TV personality, Charlotte Dawson, I do worry about having a presence online. In real life, I live in a secluded valley in an undisclosed location emerging for sunshine as frequently as a sparkling vampire, but online I am everywhere for everyone and anyone to see and scrutinise.

I can see the benefit of spreading the word of publications as wide as possible, but some research suggests social media doesn’t equate to sales. I also don’t understand how people can contribute to all these social media outlets on a regular basis and still find time for their works in progress. I’ve found some articles that suggest if you use social media as much as the “experts” suggest you’d have almost no time to write.

So what are your thoughts: a necessity or distraction?

Either way, I guess I’ll continue to write pointless babble and pimp my stories.

So that was my pointless babble for the day and here is the pimping bit.
My flash fiction ‘Third time’s a charm’ is currently online at Daily Science Fiction ; )

P.S. I almost forgot the pictures of adorable animals. Well, here’s something for the 38 million people who “like” FarmVille.

Third time’s a charm now online

I’m excited to announce my story ‘Third time’s a charm’ is now up on the Daily Science Fiction website.

http://dailysciencefiction.com/fantasy/magic-and-wizardry/melanie-rees/third-times-a-charm

Character coming to life

I’ve often heard professional authors comment on how their characters end up taking on a life of their own and end up acting autonomously, but I’ve never really believed it until now.

With my NiP (novel in progress) I really wanted to avoid cussing as I’m not one to swear in real life, but my character, Walter, won’t let me cut out the swear words.

I had a long heated argument with him the other day where he told me in no uncertain terms that I was a bloody effing muppet for trying to make him censor his language. I told him he could try punching the table or slamming his fist into the wall instead of cursing, except he yelled back at me that if he did that he’d hurt his hand and effing swear his head off. Needless to say, I didn’t win that argument and he’s been effing and shitting all over my novel ever since.

Once he started talking to me, he just wouldn’t relent and now all I hear every time I write a scene with him it in, is ‘Bloody heck, woman. Is that really what you think I’d do in that situation?’ I could just kill him off and that would shut him up and stop him cursing at me, but them my plot wouldn’t work as well

Doing happy dances!

I’ve been getting my weekly exercise with all the happy dances I’ve been doing recently.

I’ve just heard that my story ‘Third time’s a charm’ will be published next week at Daily Science Fiction. I’ll provide a link soon.

Also last week I received an acceptance for my story ‘The Dragon’ from Cosmos online. More details soon.

Article in Link Disability Magazine

I recently contributed some information on my kidney transplant experience to an article in the August edition of Link Disability Magazine.

http://www.linkonline.com.au/Link/article/427

The article talks about the Australian Transplant Games, which are a fantastic event for promoting organ donation and giving thanks to donor families.

Procrastinating

I’m conflicted as to whether to watch the Olympics or keep writing. However, my monster of a cat has decided for me. He keeps attacking me every time I try to get my notebook.

Good kitty! Off to watch the games.

Do you enjoy the outdoors?

I just started writing blog posts for Snowys. If you like camping, hiking or anything to do with the outdoors, please come check out my blog posts, ask a question or leave a comment.
http://blog.snowys.com.au/author/melanie-rees/

Seven Sins now online

My story ‘Seven Sins’ is now online at DSF.

http://dailysciencefiction.com/fantasy/fairy-tales/melanie-rees/seven-sins

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