I’ve been writing these every month, but I’ve been forgetting to cross-post them here. Oops ;p well, I’ll get back on track again now.

Writing Prompt: First Line Fun


cat-typingIt’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, maybe that’s why I suddenly feel like I’m this cat ;p

This past month I wrote the entire first draft of Charming Rivals (16,300 words), did a revision of Glass Slippers, and also wrote, edited, and submitted Hanabi to Kitsune (5,700 words). That’s 22,000Β  brand new words (there’s a reasonable number of new words in revision, but it’s much harder to track).

After several months and only really scraping together a couple of thousand words and almost the only editing I did was with professional editors for stories I’d already sold, to suddenly slam out 22,000 words and then some in one month feels like powering through.

Now to see if I can maintain the momentum.

For October I’d like to:

  • Revise Charming Rivals and start getting feedback on it.
  • Take the feedback from my writers group for the first 5,000 words of Glass Slippers and use it
  • After the above get feedback on Glass Slippers as a whole and revise
  • Assuming the above is completed hire an editor and begin the process of professionally editing Glass Slippers
  • Write the first draft of Nix, Naught, Nothing (the third Charming For Hire story from the Retailored Fairy Tales world

I also hope to find the time to tinker with the new My Book Table 3 plugin which I backed on Kickstarter. I want to check out this ‘beautiful page’ mode and see how sexy it is πŸ˜€



me with myriad lands
not the greatest photo ever taken of me, but too happy to care

Guess what I received in the mail today?

My contributors copies of Myriad Lands volumes 1 and 2!

Myriad Lands volume 1 contains my latest short story The Beauty of the Dance.

The Beauty of the Dance is set in a world where music and dance are the source of magic and power. In such a world what must being tone deaf and uncoordinated be like? Sune can tell you. Despite being an embarrassment to her talented, prominent parents Sune is smitten with one of the court’s finest dancers, Avalessa. When the object of her affections life is threatened by political intrigue and magical danger what can Sune do to help her beloved?

An Honorable Mention in the Writers Of The Future contest Q1 2015, this is one of those stories I had a marvelous time writing(I almost always do though ;p ) but also had a great time rewriting and editing (less common) with help from my fabulous writers group, Vision Writers, and the editors at Guardbridge Books.

I can’t wait to read the other stories in the anthology and I hope you’ll check it out too.



Over on the Vision Writers website you can check out yesterday’s meeting takeaway post on ‘War and Commerce’ and the most recent writing prompt, ‘Weak Sauce’, too. Head over and give them a look through.


scrunched paperThis last three months – bleh! Scrunch them up and toss them in the bin!

Not only the loss of this time but a long term plan I sat down and worked out with a friend mean I need to do some goal reassessment. I know it’s not really mid-year, but shh ;p

So, most of my goals are remaining the same:

Goal #2 – Be the best president I can be of my writers group, Vision Writers.

Goal #6 – Work with as many editors as I can.

Goal #7 – Find some dedicated beta readers.

Goal #8 – Keep Learning.

A couple of goals are changing slightly, becoming more specific to fit my more accurate long-term plan:

Goal #3 – Work on my several novellas will remain basically the same, just more specific, with a set list of titles to focus on.

Goal #4 – Keep writing and selling short fiction. Same as above, I have a set list and order, though there is a tiny amount of wiggle room with this one should inspiration strike.

And a few goals have been tossed out for now while I focus on ‘the plan’. There is one new goal:

Goal #1 – Stick to the plan. Which essentially is, while I will continue to traditionally publish some of my short stories I will also be releasing several novellas and longer short stories set in my Retailored Fairy Tales world.

So keep an eye out, I’ve got a few more stories coming out this year (keep an eye out for the Kickstarter for the anthology which will hold Glass Bones next month), so if you’re keen to be updated don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter.



4576127693_94c35d2ae4_zI did so well in April I worry it might be hard to follow. I can’t help but wonder, I set less goals for April, then got more done than expected. Should I follow that model?


  • Finish Charming Rivals
  • Using Vision Writers feedback clean up (working title) Kitsune In Space, give it an actual title, and submit to the anthology I wrote it for
  • Tinker with the possibility of a print edition of The Troll’s Toll. I worry it’s too short to be worth making into a paperback, but I’d like to try and see, even if I end up wasting a couple of days learning the software only to discover it is a futile effort, I’ll still have learned how to wrangle the software for future endeavors
  • Set up a submission for the Richelle Prize
  • Sit my ass down and really try to nut out the ending of (working title) Skeleton Romance so I can finish it
  • Start, ideally finish, first draft of Naught For Charming

Stretch goal:

  • Work on one of those NaNo novels I never finished (at the moment I lean far more towards Tucca of the Tides, but we’ll see)

I’m probably setting myself up a bit for failure considering this first week and a half of May is filled with social events (autism seminars, a destination wedding, packing for extended holidaying around aforementioned wedding) but hey, aim high πŸ™‚


TTT3D - zoomed inApril was a good month for me, with some great achievements. (Can’t remember the yearly goals? Check them out here)

Goal #3 (working on my novellas) took a good jump forward as I published The Troll’s Toll (my first venture into self publishing(not counting flash fiction here on my site). This means I’ve met my requirement of publishing ‘at least one of them’.

Goal #4 (writing and selling short fiction) proceeded with my writing a new short story (working title ‘Kitsune In Space’) and starting Charming‘s first sequel, Charming Rivals.

As far as goal #8 (learning) I did plenty. I learned how to format an ebook (Guido Henkel’s guide is super handy, but I needed a few other bits and pieces and some special formatting for my ‘about’ page so it’s an effective starter (and intermediate) but doesn’t have everything. Also, it’s free.). I also learned no matter how perfect an image is in the author’s mind for the book, sometimes it just doesn’t work out and you have to let go. And on top of that I discovered the Writing Excuses podcast and binged an entire three seasons of the thing. I need to take a break before delving deeper into the back list as I’ve been podcast listening for nearly two months now. Back to audiobooks!

And now, my goals specifically for April:

  • Revamp of website: Mostly done. I updated the look of this, the main part of the site, and I did a cool new books section. It took a lot of work though, making a subdomain, setting up a separate install of WordPress on there so it could have its own theme and using MyBookTable to make it all pretty. Considering my only website before this was an old Geocities Sailor Moon fansite I think I did a pretty good job with all the technical stuff ;p That’s probably why I’m waiting a little longer before I update my ‘free fiction’ section. I’ll try getting to that later this year.
  • Release The Troll’s Toll: done, though by the skin of my teeth really as I uploaded it late at night on the 28th. So late I didn’t have time to do all my release/out now promotion.
  • Help with the promotion of the releases of ASIM #63 (which contains my story Gaps) and Leading Edge #68 (which contains my story Charming): I had heaps of fun with this, I got to send out my first ever newsletter(and second), make book pages on my site and I even (after checking the publisher didn’t mind) put the magazines on Goodreads. I only hope my sales copy wasn’t too sales-y in my newsletters.

Stretch goal:

  • Write first draft of (very loose working title) Kitsune In Space: YES! Yes I finally completed on of my stretch goals. I even found the time to revise it and submit the first 2/3rds to my writers’ group for critique. I hope to submit it to a specific anthology at the end of May.

I also found the time to sit down and flesh out the entire Charming For Hire series, the full outlines of all the sequels to Charming, (Charming Rivals, Naught for Charming, The Glass Witch, The Handrell War, A Charming Child). I’ve even written a good portion of Charming Rivals‘ first draft. I found this time as I was waiting for my proofreader to send me back The Troll’s Toll.

So over all, I’m pretty happy with the results for April.


As usual on the first Sunday of the month I’ve made a blog post about what I thought was the best piece of advice given at the Vision Writers Group Meeting.

I always feel a little bad when I pick feedback that was given to a newbie for the blog post, but sometimes that advice really was the best advice that week (other times the other good advice has already been blogged about), so there’s no other option really.

So for the second month in a row let’s look at some advice our newbies copped.

Character Overload


The Troll's Toll coverThe Troll’s Toll is a Retailored Fairy Tales novella following Princess Lilly, the ultimate middle child. She’s lost in the crowd with nine siblings and her father struggles to even remember her name.

Her father’s disregard goes far deeper than that though. She discovers how unimportant she is to him when there isn’t enough money for the bridge toll, so he pays the toll with her – giving her over to the troll that runs the bridge.

From princess to housemaid, Lilly’s got a lot to deal with, and she even has to learn how to do the chores that are now her job. When your boss is known for grinding peoples bones to make his flour you sure don’t want to keep him waiting for dinner. And yet, the troll is not the most dangerous thing in the forest.

Set in the same world as Charming (readers of Charming will get to enjoy a few cross over moments), The Troll’s Toll is slightly more a ‘cozy’ adventure, as compared to Charming‘s galavanting around the countryside style adventure, but there’s just as much fantasy, wonder, and adversity.

Grab it for cheap at 99c(USD)(or $1.29 (AUD)), or if you’re hunting for an even better deal join my newsletter to receive an email when I do promotions.


Game_of_Thrones_title_cardBlogging again over on the Vision Writers website today while riding the high of watching the first episode of the new season of Game of Thrones. What I’m blogging about however is one of those ‘filler’ shows the networks put on before and after to try and rope in the viewers and how that filler show might actually prove helpful to writers (both myself and others).

Understanding Powerful Scenes with Game of Thrones