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Surf 'n Lava Writer's Retreat

Well, the dates (if not the title, hmmm) of the first Surf 'n Lava Writer's Retreat are now finalised. From the 6th - 20th November, my house and environs are open to writers who want to come along and knuckle down. Tom Crosshill will make an appearance for a week, and there have been rumours that a certain were-feline may deign to pass through for a weekend or two. Hope so.

Seriously, if you want to visit the isles, this is your chance. There is an apartment next door to which my wifi reaches, and which could be rented out for less than commercial rates. Or there are my guest beds, if the aforementioned writers are not occupying them.


Nanowrimo and writing breaks II

As Aliette pointed out - I needn't rely on my charm to persuade people to come. There's always this...

Nanowrimo and writing breaks

Now I’m plan­ning to do nanow­rimo and get a 50K novella under my belt. It so hap­pens that my mother hopes to go to India to do some kind of course for a cou­ple of weeks in Novem­ber, so the house will be empty. I think I’ll need a break from work then, so am plan­ning to take two weeks off and write.

This is just on the off-chance, but I’ll have two spare rooms, and wire­less inter­net. Does any­one want to come over for a writ­ing retreatish kind of thing? The sea is twenty min­utes away, the food is fresh, the coun­try­side is astound­ing and odd, the ameni­ties are BASIC but cozy enough. Or there are apart­ments and hotels nearby.

I doubt that any­one has time or money to travel so far, but the offer is there. :)

Oh, and there is red wine. :) Or white – made just down the road… :)

Hangin' Out, part II

Every Thursday and Sunday I host the Liberty Hall Writers hangouts, at 8pm GMT+1.

The Thursday hangout is open to all. We chat for fifteen minutes, write for 45, then repeat. The Sunday hangout is for Liberty Hall members and may be geared towards the Flash Challenge if anyone wishes. This means writing solidly for 90 minutes, no chat until after.

Any member of Liberty Hall can host an LH hangout whenever they are writing if they want. Contact me if you don't know how.

Wouldn't it be cool if there were enough members writing to keep an LH hangout going 24/7?

Hangin' out.

This Thursday, I shall be opening a Google+ hangout from 8pm (GMT+1). Anyone who wants to come and join me for a concentrated writing session, please feel free.

We'll try the 15 mins on the hour for chat and 45 mins writing method, but perhaps will find 15 mins too long. We shall see. I imagine doing a few rounds of this myself this Thurs, perhaps three if I can keep up the momentum. I want to get a good couple of thousand words done, and hopefully either a story finished, or very nearly.

Join in! It's fun and productive. I got 1500 words done on an LH flash Challenge, even with chatting and commenting gently throughout. I got to see Leeh's dog and it didn't put me off!

Hopefully see you there. :)

LH and Google+

Everyone (well every writer, it doesn't seem to have had huge impact anywhere else) is talking about the hangout feature of Google+. I'm not sure about having another mind-sucking social network to manage, but I have been impressed with how easy it is to set up and organise.

This Sunday, I'm planning to do the LH flash. Does anyone want to do it simultaneously, in a Google+ hangout? I imagine it would be best to turn up 15 mins early to say hello, and set up your WP apps etc. Then we simultaneously get the trigger, do a bit of mutual oohing and get down to it.

I have no idea if it will work or be productive, but I thought it might be fun.

So - 8pm here is:

8pm in the UK.
7pm in Greece (I think?)
3pm in NY.
4pm in Chicago.
I'm sure you can work out what time it is in your zone from that lot.

If I get any interest, we can finalise times later. perhaps we all meet at 8.15 and start at 8.30 so we finish on the hour? However is best for those participating is fine by me.


So today right, I made a roll, a crusty baguette, with cured ham, tomato and cheese. The tomato was in the middle. That is important. I popped out for a call of nature and when I waltzed back into the kitchen, I was both amused and bemused to find I couldn't remember where I had left the roll. Couldn't see it anywhere. Then I saw the empty plate and had those sudden, chilly, someone-is-in-my-house-eating-my-roll shivers. Then I saw the tomato slice on the floor, and followed the spoor to find my roll apparently perfect, in the middle of a newly washed rug in the sitting room. It was still closed and crispy, and only slightly wet.

From the corner of my eye, I noticed Leila the large dog trying to hide behind a very thin table leg, so I got shouty for a bit.

When I calmed down, I picked up the roll, wondering if I would eat it or not. But inside was only a perfect line of tomato slices. She had eaten the cheese off one side and the ham off the other, and closed the roll again by the time I got back from the loo. I think she only ran out of time to slip it back on to the plate...


I had an astounding time in the US. I met lovely people (sacredmime, Tom Crosshill, Mike Banker, fmwrites and others.) I met old freinds and made a couple of new ones. I smiled and was polite (as far as I am able) for two and a half weeks solid, and when I got home, I disappeared. I downloaded World of Warcraft and embarked, and have since been a Tauren Druid.

Around playing, I have listened to a good few audio novels. Down and Out in the Magical Kingdom, by Cory Doctorow, (great ideas, oddly unlikeable protagonist,) a couple of Mur Lafferty novels, (very easy listening, pretty sweet, but not earth shatteringly deep.) The site is Podiobooks.com. It seems great with some well known authors. It could do with a more easily searchable database, based on ratings or votes or critiques or something, as it is hard to tell whether a book is any good, without knowing the author already.

I joined the ranks of the podcasted the other day, when my horrid horror tale was released by The Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine. The production by Scott Pigg is amazing. He really got the tone of an old black and white film, and brought out a new tone. I'm very impressed by his dedication. The story is pretty dark and a lot more disturbing than I thought when I wrote it, especially with the sometimes wince-inducing sound effects by Scott. If you are up for being disturbed, go check out Whelp. It started as a Liberty Hall flash and was critted in other challenges along the route.

...“Whelp” tells the disturbing story of Ivan, who is forced to deal with a very strange and unsettling dog...

So, I'd like to say thanks to any of the people I met who read this, for being such fantastic hosts, and apologise to everyone for being so absent for so long. :)

My story, "The Beauty Garden," is the featured weekend story at Daily Science Fiction and comes out tomorrow. Still time to sign up to DSF if you haven't already, to get my scrumptious lump of wordage in your inbox. If you miss it, it will go up on their website in a week.

Many thanks to everyone who critted this tale, many people more than once in its different incarnations; Werecat, mime, PamL, kara and the many who deserve more than the fact I can't remember their names right now. ;)

AE Micro - Second

Well, blow me down. Second Contact, a 200 word tale has been selected for the new AE Micro minimag. Thanks to mime and werecat and others who critted over at LH.