emerging writers festival + continuum con

hey friends, I’m doing some things soon and it’d be real nice if people came. First up is Continuum 13, a fan-run convention for all things nerdy and SFF.

It goes for four days, 9-12 of June. I’ll be there on the 11&12th, on Sunday I’ll be doing a panel about how pronouns other than he and she are used in spec fic. It’s gonna be great. On Monday I’m doing two panels, one on ZINES and another on queers in space. I mean. My favourite things. I’m super thrilled??!??!

For Emerging Writers fest I am doing a couple of things. The first is part of the YA Masterclass on the 15th. Look!!! at!!! my!!! company!!!!! I’m doing a session in the morning about the ~hows and whys~ of YA fiction. (The why is because it’s fucken GREAT)

And on the 17th, it’s school formal time babey!!!! (Again, look @ my company????!) We’re all going to read out some letters to our teenage selves and it’s going to be really embarassing and fun. Pls come and dance with us!

reading matters

The Centre for Youth Literature run a conference called Reading Matters, which is all about children’s literature. It’s a biannual conference and it ran over the past four days. I was invited to speak there and it was The Best. (I could only attend on the Friday, which makes me eternally sad).

There were SO MANY cool people there and I had a blast, so here’s some word vomit.

Continue reading

handy links for writing

OK so one of the things I’m very bad at is thinking of names for stuff. There is a cafe in my short story Wolfskin that is a central location in the story, the River and Wheel.

I got the name from this hipster business name generator. Basically it takes two random words and puts an “and” in the middle, gives you a nice font, it even generates a logo. And then you’ve got a business. This saves me a lot of time because I will spend AGES trying to name stuff, so if you see a “x and y” business in any of my stories, it’s probably from that website.

There’s also a floor plan generator that I have been meaning to use. I had previously been using the Sims, but then I’d get too distracted and would just play the game until 4am. Both are pretty useful in their own ways. Usually I try and sketch out rooms and places but then my sense of space can be pretty poor.

I don’t really have any stories (at the moment) planned that need a map, BUT if you needed some inspiration, there’s this fantasy world generator. You can choose your specs, like what percentage of water do you want, cities or no cities, how many rivers.

And if you need to find (and listen to) music from a certain time period, Radioooo is where you can go. You pick your country and pick your decade, as long as it’s between 1900 and now. You can also pick your mood: slow, fast, or weird. I feel like it works, cause I just picked Australia and 1990 and got AC/DC!!!

concrete queers #2

I co-edit a zine called Concrete Queers and our second issue is being launched on Saturday the 8th! Issue #2 is the comedy issue so it’s got has got comedians talking about their craft, people talking about what comedy means to them, as well as queers just bein’ plain darn funny and producing fabulous artwork.

cq2For the first issue, we asked our friends to help us out with submissions and it was amazing. This issue, we opened up a general submissions call and we got some AMAZING stuff from people we haven’t met!!! and now we get to show it all off.

The launch is at the ever-perfect Sticky Institute in the Degraves Subway in Melbourne on the 8th of August from 3-5pm. The Facebook event is here.

Cover image by Mitucami Mituca, design by Tiffany Street.

Long macchiatos and monsters

geekoutSo I have a book coming out today! how neat! It’s part of a collection by Less Than Three Press called Geek Out. Every story is about geeky trans people so naturally it is literally the best collection ever probably.

My story, Long Macchiatos and Monsters, is about Jalen, who is a cute non-binary person who really really likes bad sci-fi movies and is our narrator. They meet P, a too-attractive-for-his-own-good trans man, in a cafe one day after deciding whether or not to skip uni.

The whole story is secretly a love letter to Melbourne.

Melbourne is basically one giant cafe. You leave one cafe and then after a few minutes walking, you stumble into another one. This is why my two main characters meet in a cafe, because there are legit no other places in Melbourne. Everything is a cafe.

lmmb8We in Melbourne are obsessed with coffee for reasons I don’t quite understand, but I am very thankful because it means the coffee is generally great. Even if you don’t drink coffee, you are probably an expert if you live in Melbourne.

A long macchiato here is two shots of espresso with a circle of frothed milk on the top. I also work as a barista, and this is my least favourite kind of coffee to make.

P’s coffee order is a long macchiato because he is a pretentious asshole (In a good way. I do love him). Jalen’s order is a plain an’ simple latte, because they’re not a jerk.

“Can I try it?” I ask.

He raises an eyebrow, grins. “If you’re brave enough.”

We swap coffees and I smell his. Bitter, warm. I take a
sip and oh, god, this was a mistake. It barely touches my tongue before the taste is everywhere. I scrunch up my mouth and we swap back.

“You’re disgusting,” I choke out beforeΒ  drinking some of mine to wash down the taste.

“You can talk, you milk-drinking pleb.”

We are very serious about coffee here.

You can buy Long Macchiatos and Monsters right [here] if you would like! Less than three dollary dos for a story about super cute hilarious trans cuties kissing that is all secretly about my love of coffee and Melbourne.

ps. Cecil Wilde’s story in the collection, Defying Convention is legit super cute.

Issue #1 of Plunge Magazine

Plunge magazine is a new e-zine that publishes short genre fiction and poetry about queer women. Issue one’s theme is Women and Mythology. It’s available online for free, and you can find it here:

plungemagazine.com

This is the magazine that I won the competition for! My piece is in the flash fiction section and is called The Keepers.

My prize for winning the competition was the piece of art that’s on the same page as my story and isn’t it PRETTY. It’s the coolest thing to have someone read your work and then create something. I am still swooning.

Productivity and exciting things

I love editing. I really love editing. I would like to take editing out for dinner and then raise two beautiful children with editing. For me, it’s just a really nice feeling to be able to print out something, get out a red pen and then scribble all over the page, cackling ‘AHAHA, PAST ALISON, YOU ARE A FOOL AND I CAN WRITE BETTER THAN YOU NOW’. Or, if I can’t write better than my past self, I can at least fix some of her mistakes.

For NaNoWriMo last year, I completed the third draft of my novel that I started in 2011. It started off as a fifteen minute short film script that I’d written for a uni assessment and now it’s more of a novella than a novel. I don’t really know what the point of this post is, but I guess it’s just funny how things change. My MC is a lot happier than she was in the first draft, she has a different name and a different mother. She’s more lost in her life than she was, but that’s okay. Her story is about the unknown, I guess, and it fits that she can’t find her direction. When she’s confronted by other versions of herself (parallel universes and science fiction ahoy!), they sort of become the antagonists and it does scare me a little bit. These doppelgangers weren’t as scary in the first version of the draft (they weren’t even in the film script) and I think the worst thing is that they’re just different versions of my main character. They’re all biologically the same, just my MC has made different choices in her life and, as she makes those choices, she creates the doppelgangers. She’d made them this way and she doesn’t even realise it.

Anyway, not sure if that made sense without any more context and that would be a bit too complicated to shove into one blog post, so I am sorry for my ramblings.

So, onto the exciting things!

1. In my last post, I talked about how I was in a competition. And guess who won it! For the prize, I get an illustration to go with my story, and it will also be published in the journal. I do believe it comes out in February, and I will probably spam a link at some point.

2. I have this friend who is super amazing at drawing (amongst other things) and next year we are going to attempt to create a graphic novel. I’ve no idea what it’s going to be about, but it’s going to be awesome because we are awesome. I’ve never really done anything creative with anyone else before. Writing for me is a super-private thing and so I’m not sure how this is going to go, but, onwards!

Here is a thing that I wrote

Plunge Magazine (genre fiction starring queer ladies! Get on it!) had a flash fiction contest not too long ago and I entered it. The prompt was:

Write a myth for the unnamed and many-named goddess/unaging being of transitions, between seasons, death and rebirth, child to adult. She walks among us, without consorts or lovers, but not without friends. Write a story, poem, or faux-meta up to 500 words about this goddess/being.

And now the entries are in the newsletter and you can read them all and vote here. There will be two winners (and I would like to be one of them).

So you should all go forth and read some cool stories (there are only five, so it’s not a lot of reading) and choose the best one which is mine! Not that you know which one is mine, but it would be cool if you voted!

NaNoWriMo so far, also zombies

So it’s day 16 here in Melbourne and I’ve been having the MOST fun, you guys. I’ve never really been into the social side of NaNo things, I went to a couple of things last year but didn’t meet a lot of people.

Everyone that I’ve met in the past couple of weeks is super lovely and it’s hard to believe that it’s only been 16 days. I kind of don’t want NaNo to end because the community is just amazing. (But then, it would be nice for it to end because I need sleep.)

I’m currently sitting on 43,081 words. The novel that I’m writing is a re-write and I’d planned for it to be about 60k, but I don’t know if I’ll even get 50. I guess it’s more of a novella than I’d thought. Some more plot tinkering needs to be done but I’m going to leave it for now before I get sick of it.

Here’s an excerpt on my NaNo page: [linky link]. I think it’s pretty funny but maybe I just have a terrible sense of humour.

Anyway, as I’m almost finished the first NaNo novel, I thought I might start writing something else. I’ve been watching a lot of The Walking Dead and I had a thought that has inspired a new novel idea: what do the survivors do when they have periods?

Because, seriously now, the zombies would able to smell the blood, right? And tampons and pads won’t be made anymore. And it would just be so inconvenient, oh my goodness.

And another thing I was interested in was a zombie apocalypse in Australia. We don’t have guns, or at least we don’t have a lot of them. No one I know knows how to use a gun, even they were to get their hands on one.

So that is my writing planned out for now!

NaNoWriMo

So NaNo is almost here again! How exciting.

This year I completed Camp NaNo in August and wrote 70k (plus 58 words!) and had a ball. I didn’t plan it at all, which is something I now realise I should never ever do because everything goes to shit and I’m left scrambling about for any kind of direction. It was terribly fun, but not something I want to repeat any time soon.

For November’s NaNo I’m going to redraft last year’s NaNo. Which is kind of cheating but I am super hardcore like that, yo.

My story features parallel universes and lesbians! It’s pretty fun to write but there are some spooky things in there. When I write at night time I get too scared to go to the toilet because I will clearly be eaten by DEMONS.

Here’s my profile. We should probably be friends!

I also took the liberty of making a super-terrific cover for this year’s novel. I was thinking maybe desktop publishing could be my back-up career.