How to define a writer? Writers are this:

I am making a recommendation here, to all of those people who I have met on this journey, who like me, feel that they are at the beginning. Still working out voice. Wondering if and when to make the move to publish your original story. Perhaps enjoying the accolades of fan fiction or having just shifted into blogging and wondering if you have the writing stamina to keep all of the authorial balls in the air. It is sites like this one that give me hope but also give me pause. When you find these little gems, these places where you can get answers to questions that you weren’t even certain you had, then they worth just hanging around in for a while. Fossick around under the rocks and see what you can learn about your craft. Hope you enjoy this as much as I did. I’m off to visit some of her friends; they look like fun too!


Creative Writing with the Crimson League

1090780_spell_checkAs I get “The King’s Sons” ready for publication at the end of the month (yikes!) and put together my writer’s handbook, “Writing for You: A Novelist’s Guide to the Craft of Fiction,” I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the things that define us as writers. As novelists. As wordsmiths.

I think most writers have a lot of characteristics in common. These traits are a part of who we are and a part of what drives us to write. That’s not to say every writer is the same, or that you aren’t a writer if you don’t fit the bill, because there’s always diversity in a category this broad. But I’m proud to think that, in general:

  • Writers are lifelong students. We are students of life, culture, and the world we inhabit. Though words and language are our forte, I know many writers like myself who are fascinated…

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Sasha Decodes: How Did We Get Here

Twilight movie poster.

Twilight movie poster. (Photo credit: …♥…Chicky Kawaii…♥…)


Sorry for the terrible play on words.  Nah! Suck it up.


Christmas was approaching, Mini-Me was 11 going on 12 years old and I was looking for advice on stocking fillers from friends with daughters who read, avidly.  The big craze that year was dah, dah, dah – no surpises – Twilight.  The movie had just come out but no one in my household was rushing to see it.  The books had been out for a while but when you live in the arse-end of the world (BIG disclaimer – Melbourne is still officially the world’s most liveable city!) – it is easy to miss the big trends, just through general apathy.  Besides, Slug Boy had skipped from Harry Potter straight to Stephen King by this stage and Mini Me looked on track to do a similar thing.  She was already reading Jodi Picoult.  In my naive brain I thought this Twilight thing will never last.


So I go to the discount book store – this is how long the books had been out – and bought the first two books.  I looked at the size of them and in my head went…’good economics, this should take her through the summer break’.  Gentle reminder for Northern Hemisphere readers that Xmas is in the summer here and sits firmly in the middle of the 5 week school holiday.  It is less about eggnog and turkey and more about beer and prawns.  No we don’t actually ‘throw shrimps on the barbie’, we do however, bbq the very large prawns.  I like to suck the juices out of something long and firm.


Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong about the books lasting her a few weeks.  She finished the first book on Boxing Day – didn’t come up from the swing seat in the back garden.  Then devoured the second book in time to beg us to take her out to the January sales to buy the third book with her xmas money.  I remember standing inside the house with my mother as we peered out at her lying in her chair flipping pages.  “Do you think she will want to eat any time soon.” says Mum.  “Mmm…I wouldn’t want to get my head bitten off asking her.”  says I.


Birthday Present


We sent her grandfather out to bother her instead.  It only took three days for the bruises to fade and the swelling to go down.


Less than 24 hours after she had finished book 3 the begging and whining started.  “Pleeeease…..can I pleeeeease have the last book.  I’ll clean my room, I’ll feed the dog, I’ll mow the lawns….pretty please Mummy, I love you!!”  In my wisdom as a mother I did the sensible thing, I made her wait three weeks.  Three whole weeks.  Interminably long,hot, whingey, whiny weeks!!!


Eventually I caved and we went off to Borders to get the next book which was, surprise, surprise, devoured within a couple of days.  Book vampire, that is what she had become.


What was all the fuss about!  I got concerned as she went into a second reading of all four books.  So I started to read….and read…..and read.  I have no idea what my life would have been like if these books had existed when I was her age.  I would never have gotten out of bed.  Oh, hang on a minute, I didn’t.  And once I  began reading about the sparkly vampire and his bumbling mate I wasn’t getting up for anyone.  Cos that is the kind of hard core chick I am.  Disney princess movies have nothing on me.  I cry at every sad and sappy ending (including when Leah gets thrown down the cracked abyss in the Breaking Dawn II fight sequence).  These books spoke to my eternal happy ending monster.


I just want to qualify the whole happy endings thing here by saying I believe in soul mates as being people (men or women) who you just connect with immediately on a deep level and know you want them to be in your life forever.  That is not the same thing as waiting for the perfect Prince Charming or Sparkly Bloodsucker to sweep you off your feet.  If you want to get swept off your feet you need to give a guy a hand.  After 20+ years of marriage to my best friend I can honestly say that you have to put effort into happily ever afters and be prepared to love and fight fairly but passionately.  Make up sex is definitely worth it!  Read More