Author Archives: Kirstie Olley

About Kirstie Olley

A mother of an adorable and energetic baby boy, an enthusiastic JRPG gamer, a prolific writer with more ideas than she knows what to do with and a loving wife. Dreams of seeing at least one of her stories published.

It Will Never Be Over

Long time readers are already well aware of my obsession with the screaming woman bird, proper name: Bush-stone curlew. For those less familiar check out this post, this one, this one, and this one . I even found one in Sydney.

I love the haunting cry and there’s something I find visually appealing about them too.

botanic garden BSCTo get on with the story, our family went to the Brisbane Botanic Gardens on Sunday afternoon for a friend’s farewell party. We’d barely walked through the  gates when I spotted these two lovelies.

While we walked around we saw three others too. Being in the CBD they were a little more tolerant of people and didn’t run before I managed to get a few quick snaps with my phone. Well, actually they didn’t run at all, but that’s because I didn’t try to get so close as to disturb them – just close enough for a good shot!

Why is it that I never actually have my good camera on me when I find these guys! (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

And no, you will never hear the end of me talking about and sharing my photos of bush-stone curlews, not until I stop finding them :)

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Writing Prompt On The Vision Writers Site

Today I’m blogging over on the Vision Writers website. I’ve posted a writing prompt and I’d love it if you’re inspired by it.

Check it out.

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Duct-Taped Laptop Saga Finale

a salute to the dearly departed DTL

a salute to the dearly departed DTL

Some of you have been following (probably not with much interest) my posts about my duct-taped together laptop. I got a few messages expressing surprise that it was still working even a year later!

Unfortunately around the time of my anniversary poor old DTL(Duct Taped Laptop) decided that was it, he’d limped across the finish line at long last and could sleep in heavenly peace.

And he was promptly replaced with SNL(Shiny New Laptop) as an anniversary present.

There were discussions before the purchase of SNL about what to get. We’d been keeping our eyes out for quite a while, knowing DTL could pass away any day. My husband was convinced a tablet was the best idea, but a lack of storage (anything less that 500gb is just, pffft, right?) and my weird issue about typing without a real keyboard made that unappealing to me.

We compromised and bought a laptop with a flip around screen so it can be a tablet, then transform back into a laptop. My storage, my keyboard, his desire for a tablet (BTW, he has his own tablet, so I have no idea why he was trying to ‘bowling ball for Marge’ me). Everyone’s happy.

But let us all shed a tear for the passing of DTL.

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Getting Onto Goals Already

Most of you know I’m the kind of person who gets straight to it – and you’re right.

You can see me blogging as the new president of Vision Writers over on their official site! The copy is a teeny bit cheesy, but hey, I’m a gouda kinda gal ;p

Keep an eye on that blog for writing prompts and meeting recaps. I hope you’ll subscribe to see what the group’s doing.

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2014 Rounded Up + 2015 Goals

P12200052014 has been a bit of a turbulent year, my vertigo returned(and fortunately left as well), our family went on it’s first fly-away trip, I took off a fabulous birthday weekend to go to Canberra for the Aurealis Awards ceremony, I’m pregnant and had a rough first trimester. More good than bad, but certainly life did it’s best to get in the way of my dreams ;p Never forget, good things can get in the way as much as bad.

I wrote a reasonable amount of short fiction this year, some of it sold, some of it is out looking for homes and a few are still in need of a bit more TLC before making their way out into the world. For those curious my 2014 stories were: Look Skyward (11,000), God’s Chosen(5,000), Princess Paladin(not quite finished and in need of a solid revision, currently written 8,500), Motherhood(900), The Ashes(1,700), Gaps(5,000), Anything To Fit In(500), Back To Work(400) and a couple more which at this stage will probably never see the light of day (some stories are great ideas, but don’t quite live up to your expectations when they make it to the page). I’ve totaled about 45,100 new words in short fiction for this year.

I was published twice this year, Anything To Fit In on the website 365 Tomorrows, and Nightfall in 18. I also have received an acceptance letter for a story that will be published next year(assuming all goes well, you will be reading Gaps in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine this June), and one of my unpublished stories (Charming) received an honourable mention in the Q4 Writers Of The Future contest(as soon as I receive the certificate you can be sure I’ll show it off ;p ).

In regards to Key, Clocks, Quests I only scraped in a few thousand extra words, I kept prioritising other work because this was my stretch goal.

I decided to give NaNoWriMo a go again, so have 51,900 words in a new novel: Tuuca of the Tides. It wasn’t one of my original goals, but I do have the first third/half of a new novel at least. I enjoyed it, but sometimes wonder if I shouldn’t have directed that energy towards Key, Clocks, Quests instead.

So my word count for the year comes in at 97,000. Not bad, but compared to last year’s 146,400 and 2012’s 159,800 a drop in new words (though a lot more editing and revision happened this year – not to mention vertigo – so I’m not beating myself up over it).

My goals for 2015 may seem a little on the light side, but considering the due date for baby #2 is in June and anyone who has had an infant knows nothing is really going to get done in that first three months or so, I’m going a bit light on myself.

In 2015 I’ll be president of Vision Writers too, so I’ll be losing a small amount of my writing energy to helping the group. I’ve got a few things up my sleeve, but that’s for the group to hear, so if you want to know, you need to come to our meetings ;p

I am determined to try and get both Storybook Perfect and Written By The Stars completely revised and ready to go out to a short list of agents before my due date. Depending on how busy life is I’m not certain this can be achieved, but it won’t be for a lack of trying.

So goals are:

#1 Be a great President of my critique group Vision Writers (this will help new writers as well as myself)

#2 Complete final revision of Storybook Perfect

#3 Complete final revision of Written By The Stars

#4 Continue to write and publish short fiction

#5 Start a mailing list

#6 Keep learning

Really, keep learning is pretty easy, and will be easily bolstered by #1 and #4(4 because good rejections come back with feedback you can learn from), but if needs to be in there because I’m not a master yet ;p

Anyway, got any big (or little) goals for 2015? Who’s ready to muck up written dates by still putting down ’14’ instead of ’15’ for the next four weeks or so?

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Spotlight On Me

My apologies. When I first got news of this spotlight I prepared this post, saved it as a draft and then – like the genius I am – forgot to actually publish it when this article was posted on Allan Walsh’s A Writer’s Journey.

So, delayed by a month and a week, I hope you enjoy reading this sweet ‘Spotlight On the Author’ about me.

Thank you for all the kind words Allan :)

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Filed under About My Books, All Write!

The Good News About Why I Haven’t Been Posting

goodnewsIt’s not like me to post so little. I’ve mentioned in a few of my more recent posts that the lack is due to illness. Don’t panic it’s not my vertigo, it’s a good kind if illness. Not that being sick is good, just the cause of the illness is good.

Xander is going to have a younger sibling soon!

It’s been a very rough first trimester. Way worse than when Xander was the belly bean. I’ve still been doing some writing, editing and submitting, but all my author-energy has gone there not posting here. My priority will always be my actual writing, not blogging, but I hope to return to a regular schedule soon. Almost as fervently as I hope my morning sickness(which is certainly not restricted to only the morning) will end soon.

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Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

Winner-2014-Web-Banner

Finished just in time for the weekend ;p

And yes, I probably will have chicken for dinner tonight. Most likely chicken schnitzel.

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NaNoWriMo Update

I made this meme back for my first NaNo and I just love using it ;p

I made this meme back for my first NaNo and I just love using it ;p

Just a quick post to let you all know I passed the 30,000 word point in NaNo today.

If you’re interested in what I’m writing this NaNo, check out the description on my NaNo page. If you like the sound of it feel free to cheer me on in the comments (I’m sick at the moment so every word I type feels like a miracle and I’m not so proud as to not ask for help – and by help I mean shamelessly asking of praise ;p )

I’m also trying to get some flash fiction typed out for an end of year rush to see if I can’t get one more publication credit before New Years (not likely but it definitely won’t happen if i don’t try at all ;p )

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Guilt and Unsubscribing

As some of you know I have three email addresses which I refer to as my ‘spam email’ (for whenever you fill out a form and it asks for an email, it was made in computer class when I was fourteen and flies my Sailor Moon loving flag embarrassingly high), my ‘professional email'(for those signups which my embarrassing email address is not suitable as well as the newsletters I want to receive and more professional contacts such as doctors, therapists, schools ect) and my ‘writing email'(for submissions, competitions and this website).

Unfortunately of late I’ve been getting more and more spam that my spam filter isn’t catching, not to mention that the number of newsletters I’m subscribed to is getting crazy.

A lot of those newsletters used to give me great information, but after a year or more of subscription were either diverting from the information I wanted or were just repackaging the same info. This meant I kept avoiding reading them. Then I started avoiding checking my emails, which made a bigger back log and today I knew I had to take a stand.

I needed to unsubscribe.

But I felt (feel even) guilty unsubscribing from what used to be a great source of information, newsletters that have taught me so much. Yet my time is precious, particularly during the hectic fun of NaNoWriMo. So I had to say goodbye to these old friends. A fond farewell, acknowledging how much they had taught me over the years alongside a mental promise to keep reading the blogs that most of them originated from.

I can’t say for sure how much time this will have freed up for me in the long run, but at least my inboxes won’t be such a daunting prospect from now on.

the TL;DR lesson from this post is don’t feel guilty unsubscribing if newsletters are clogging up your time.

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