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Trope-farming (or, Clichés and why they work)

Hi there! April was a heck of a month with four weekends out of town including ten days in Australia. Lovely time catching up with friends and family. As you can imagine, not so much writing time, but I'm back in Auckland now, feet under desk, ready to work.

Hugo said "You Go" (or, the perils of democratic awards)

"The Hugo Awards are a set of awards given annually for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year". That's the first sentence on their Wikipedia page (which illustrates the depth of my research: hey, I'm busy with meeting two book deadlines!).

Status Update!!! (but no selfies)

So, it's the new year, and the weather's been lovely so we've had a few barbeques and dinner parties. At one of them, someone asked me whether being a writer was like in the movies, which she characterised as follows:

Teenage Intensity (or, New Year: new procrastination method)

So, it's now 2015 - Happy New Year to you, reader! - and I'm reloading most of my CDs onto iTunes. Before you condemn this as some kind of new procrastination activity (now that I've deleted Minesweeper from my computer), I have valid reasons: I originally uploaded my CD collection on 128 bitrate which has led to some thin sounding reproduction when my ipod is hooked to the stereo, which (here's the clincher) annoys my good wife. I'm doing it for her. That's not procrastinating, not in the slightest...

Last versus First (or, the Post-Deadline Blues)

It's THAT time of year: I finished the manuscript for Ascendant's Rite (Book Four of the Moontide Quartet), right on deadline day - 30th November 2014 - and sent it off to Jo Fletcher, my Publisher-Editor-Goddess. Job done . . . sort of. Now comes the waiting!

Feeding the Muse (or, "Topping up on India")

When I had just arrived in India in 2007, my plan was to complete a financial planning diploma, to try and stay current in financial services (though I'd just sent a manuscript to a publisher and didn't know it then but it was soon to be accepted and change my priorities). I was sitting at the computer one morning, my wife Kerry on whose ticket we were in India was at her office (which happened to be 100 yards away on the same compound), and I was checking the news before knuckling down to do some study.


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