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God has become a woman.

God has become a woman.

It is my strong satirical belief that God has become a woman… or, if the transition hasn’t fully taken place, She is well on her way to becoming so.

And why do I think this amazing event is taking place? Well simply because it seems to be the strong belief of most people today that women finally deserve a spot in the big chair of running things. It’s kind of like being the token ethnically diverse person in the work place… but on a grander scale.

Besides, how do we know God hasn’t always been a woman? Yes I know there is all that Lord and Father stuff mentioned in the Bible and similar holy texts but in this day and age things like Lord and Father are merely gender neutral titles, aren’t they? I mean, I’ve seen Lord being used on women before so the precedent is there. And who’s to say the original texts were translated correctly? I mean, is it REALLY Father? Maybe it’s just ‘Parent’. When you look at it, which parent does the majority of the thinking, decision making, wish granting and argument ending? Which parent knows all about the weather and tells you when you need to go our wearing a winter coat or a sun hat? These are some sound theories here people!

Add to that, isn’t it about time we saw a female deity take pride and place in all our homes? I mean, since when have we had such a strong female ethereal presence within religion to inspire and encourage young women of this world?

Oh sure, you may bring up other deities like Isis, Horus and Parvati, but come on! They’ve never truly held the centre stage. And besides, what have they done for us lately? Buddha and Shiva gender swap or go gender neutral all the time and they aren’t even the main attraction like God!

Mother Nature? Now surely that is more a state of mind or a thing scientist fight to disprove than an actual deity we can pray to for guidance and support. No, no, no! There is not meant to be any god before The God – So none of these chappies really count as valid points to this argument.

Let’s face it, God being a male is just so OUTDATED and last century. Surely this mainstream religion needs to get with the times, connect with the youth of today and embrace their diversity by adapting and showing that although the almighty may wear the pants in this universe, She also wears the matching blouse and pant suit jacket, with the milky way galaxy as a power suit accessory of pearls around her neck.

I really don’t know WHO would complain about such a great change. It’s a positive step to affirmation that we are all equal and great. Plus, if God has decided on this gender change – who are we to argue? If we trust in God, we surely need to trust that what She is doing is for the greater good. So let’s not all start complaining about it and just sit down, shut up and get on with the Hail Marys and what not.

How can I make such radical theories when I am not even a Christian? Well, you know, I’ve dabbled in Christianity now and then all my life. That new Pope had me show a bit more interest in what goes on in church too. So I’ve not been following it faithfully all my life, but hey, that doesn’t matter! I am just trying to keep the religion real and up to date with what the fans want. And I am pretty sure there are a LOT of Christians out there cheering on the fact God has slipped out of that beard and toga and slipped into a skirt with sensible flats – though I’m pretty sure a vengeful God would be loving a sharp pair of stilettos – just saying.

So, in summary, God is now a woman – or possibly was all along but kept it under wraps as people were more accepting of men in the main roles back in say the 1960’s. God changed Her gender (or soon will be, maybe around Christmas to keep with the Holy Spirit) simply because it is something that She has always wanted to do. She is moving with the times, helping raise the awareness and give the girls of today a much needed religious role model and – all in all – simply giving the masses what they want. She has thrown aside the old scriptures – which may have been incorrectly read in the first place – and is rebooting Her career to ensure Her holy masses keep the faith and keep her in their prayers.

How can you not all see this?

Until next time,

Janis.

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2017 in Writing

 

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Why I am saying goodbye to Doctor Who, and how that doesn’t make me sexist.

Why I am saying goodbye to Doctor Who, and how that doesn’t make me sexist.

Okay, so it’s been a while since I’ve posted as, quite honestly, child rearing, studying a degree and running a reviewing site have been taking up my time.

But with my next book out soon you may see more activity. But today I am here to set the record straight.

As you would know, if you’ve read my other posts, I am a lifelong Doctor Who fan. Not one of those Johnny come lately who only know the new Who… I am a LIFELONG fan. I grew up with it, the REAL Doctor Who where special effects were not letting the zipper show on the alien and 101 uses of bubble wrap by painting it green.

I own nearly all of the original Doctor Who stories as books in their original publications. I own almost all of the first 300 Doctor Who Magazines. Knowing Old Who (and some new Who) is the savant part of my idiot!

So, being annoyed by all old Who Lore being ignored and suddenly making it okay that Time Lords can change genders… that’s not me being sexist. And anyone who thinks it does, really doesn’t know me nor want to say it to my face and expect to keep all their teeth. Just saying.

Nor am I condemning Doctor Who for “moving with the times” or keeping up with the expectations of the tweeny millennials it now caters to (thanks SO MUCH Moffat you idiot). I am merely stepping away from my lifelong fandom to let this new generation – who only knows of reboots and the like and doesn’t give two hoots for the history or Lore of a show – and letting them have their turn in the sun. May they love and look after this show for the next 50 odd years. But me? I am out.

To give Moffat credit, he has been doing an excellent job in weening me off Doctor Who ever since he took over. And, despite my belief that Peter Capaldi would have been as great a Doctor as Tom Baker himself, Moffat ensured he wasn’t as he caters to the tweeny world where nothing bad happens. Companions don’t die – giving their lives to save the world anymore – they merely go off having adventures without the Doctor. Gosh I bet Katarina, Sara Kingdom, Adric and even Ace are a little annoyed that this option was available. Hey companions – you don’t need to die, just let the Moffinator give you the HEA tweens of today need! Stay strong – don’t die! In the tweeny world people don’t die, they merely have adventures without you… and vampires sparkle and can be good. Oh yay for this new golden era of life!

Note sarcasm. :-/

So yes, offer me potentially the best Doctor Who actor since the series was rebooted – but then write total rubbish stories so his potential is lost and the show dies a slow, sad death within my interest.

Good way to ween me off it all. Which is for the best, as I will not go with the reboot of Who suddenly allowing Time Lords to swap gender. It was bad enough when Missy was “somehow” made. Moffat totally missed a trick there by not making it Romana returned and in a bad mood – read the books of the series if you don’t know what I mean. Yes some of them spun off in a totally weird and insane direction (see Patience the TARDIS) but there are some gems out there and some bloody good ones about how Romana could almost be the Rani…. Think about it. Oh wait, Moffat doesn’t know about them as he wasn’t really that big a fan, merely did it for the money? My mistake.

As said, not wanting the Doctor to become female is NOT me being a sexist old prude. It is me sticking to the original stories and comments made within them. I mean yes, alright, Douglas Adams had his fun with Romana when Mary Tamm wanted to leave the series and was replace by Lalla Ward. He took Terry Nation’s story concept and added that typical Adams whimsical nature to it. Time Lords can’t change on whim, but Time Ladies can? And they can try on new bodies like trying on new outfits? Brought to you by the man who ensures I know where my towel is at all times. But that is different – and jarred with me back when I first saw those episodes (as repeats) as a child. There you go, I’ve been that pedantic and traditionalist since back then!

Time Lords/ Ladies do not swap genders. This is not true Who, this is a reboot. And, as with most reboots – see Star Trek and Ghostbusters – I refuse to acknowledge them as they don’t appeal to me. This does not make them wrong, it just means they are not for me and so I stepped away from them. As I will now with Doctor Who. After the Christmas special my kids are aware it won’t be allowed in my house. Simple. When they are old enough to rebel, get iview on their tablets and watch it – let them. But it is not my Who and not welcome here. Though may those who are embracing this new concept (reboot) of Who enjoy it without me. Seriously. If this is what needs to be done to keep it alive – then make it so… oh Trek got in there somehow. 😉

And speaking of Trek, look to it before you make your dumb arse comments about it being about time a sci-fi show allowed the dominant lead to be a woman. I love this meme and did indeed read it in Janeway’s droll tones.

Captain Janeway

But let’s not forget Captain (then General) Samantha Carter of Stargate. Kira Nerys of Deep Space Nine? And many others… Not the MAIN role? Puh-lease…. Don’t get me started on that as you won’t like where I stick it.

So, yes I am saying goodbye to Doctor Who. No I am not condemning it, wishing it fails and fall flat on its face or anything negative. It is just time it and I break up. I will keep my books and magazines and remember the good old days, but won’t be keeping in touch after Christmas. As I have said, let the new generation have their turn to care for and love what it has become. It is no longer Doctor Who to me, but that doesn’t mean it is wrong (well to me it does but I’m not in charge so meh), it merely means we’re not the BFF we once were.

Peter Capaldi – and I’m not just saying this as we’ve both hugged that wonderful writer Ann – you were a brilliant Doctor. You were what the Doctor needed to be. But you needed a writer who would do your talent and passion for the role justice… and you did not get this. I do hope this hasn’t ruined your lifelong love of Who too.

And so, goodbye Doctor Who. I will remember how you were fondly and prey this is not your death knell. But from here, the Cloister Bell is tolling and it’s time for me to leave. ❤

Until next time,

Janis.

 

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2017 in Writing

 

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Happy Birthday Star Trek.

Happy Birthday Star Trek.

Happy 50th birthday Star Trek. You might be the younger sibling in this house of Who… but we do our best not to play favourites and so here is a blog post just for you.

Although I didn’t get into Star Trek until I was a teen… that does still mean I’ve been a Trekkie for *cough* twenty plus years now.

Yes I cut my teeth on The Next Generation – you can blame Data and Wesley for that – but I soon decided I needed to go to the source and see where it all came from. I still own all the TIME LIFE Star Trek Original series videos I simply begged my parents to buy for me… watched pretty much all of them too. I don’t actually OWN a video player these days, and can’t see myself getting another one any time soon… but I still own those videos. I simply do not have the heart to bin them… though I do doubt any of them are even playable anymore as they did live in the tropics for quite some years and all Who videos I tried to watch from back then well… snapped. Humidity seems to fuse them all together. That is, when the bugs aren’t turning them into nests.

Gosh I love DVDs.

But anyhow, yes I am a Trekkie! Surprise! I used to also be a mad keen Star Wars fan, but when you tinker with perfection for too long its arse tends to fall off… and that is now my opinion of that particular… franchise.

Blake 7, Goodies, Mel Brooks, Monty Python, old and new Who… What can I say? My mind was moulded by some of the best. And most of them are timeless and can never age. Except The Next Generation…. Yeah, that got old real quick and is now one of the only Trek I can’t watch without cringing. Sorry Wes and Data. Still love you loads. 😉

And that is hard now that I am passing these sage tomes of visual wisdom onto my next generation… as do I allow them to be tainted by TNG? Middle Horde is my main partner in crime for all things sci-fi and has been my constant companion here 5pm on a week night where they’ve been showing Voyager. That was until yesterday, where to celebrate Star Trek, they started showing the Original Series from the first episode (not the pilot mind you, but from Where no Man has gone before). Middle Horde loved it… kept going on about all the simply amazing and so spacey and realistic special effects, far better than all the modern CGI stuff. Me… I sat there looking at the 50 year old special effects with my best pout on and wanting my 20 year old special effects back as Voyager hadn’t even made it home yet before they ripped it off the screen to do this. DELAYED SPOILER: Yeah, they make it home… did so 20 years or so ago now. Ooops.

I am not one known to enjoy change to my routine but, as Seven often says: “I will adapt.” There’s only, what? 79 episodes of the Original Series right? Then we might get back to Voyager. Hopefully? Let’s not run through them all and do Next Gen next. Deep Space Nine I can handle (hellloooo Julian!) but not even watching Wes grow up without me being the same age at the time can make me want to sit through Next Gen again. Sorry Jean Luc, love you loads too.

All the same, happy birthday Star Trek! Doctor Who might be my heart and soul – and by introducing Middle Horde to it first she is easier able to adapt to the concept of Original Series vs Enterprise (not that she’s seen it yet). We will deal with the reboots of Trek and her later… she’s not even cut her teeth on the original movies yet. And, yeah, we might just skip the motion picture and go right on in with Khan. Sorry, but true Trekkies know why.

Let us all take a moment to look back and realise exactly how much a love of Trek has created the technology we see today. I use my PADD and communicators all the time. Sadly I can’t talk into my mouse and have my computer know what I’m saying… but there is software that allows me to talk via a dragon. 😉 The blue whales are still safe (I have a model one on my writing desk to prove it), we have tribbles rather than dust bunnies under the couch and I still even own (not so much wear anymore) my Bajoran ear ring. I watched the shows, played the games, wore the t-shirts (still own them and a few other things), and even cut my teeth in writing with an online Trek fan group. My sarcasm needed a home even back then and so if anyone out there knows and remembers Counsellor Lasha Palpatine (you can take a girl away from Star Wars… and all that), or her lovable sidekick Daffyd, Kavin Tamlor or even the Bagheerena twins on Star Base Omega – yup… I’m still writing! I just went old school. 😉

You have been a part of my existence and imagination for over half my life. You have shaped the world around me in ways no other TV show has and I thank you for helping my real life technology get its act together and be as high tech as my standards expected it to be as a child. Reading about Vulcan’s in Homer’s Odyssey and Jem-Hadar (jamadar) and ferengi in Conan Doyle’s work as a teen has always made me smile as they may be older and talking about different things, but the cross over is still funny. 😉

To all those who have been a part of Star Trek from the beginning (helped create it and first fans alike) to those keeping it alive today – I Vulcan salute you.

And, as I do like this play on words…

Live long and prosper, resistance is futile. ❤

Until next time,

Janis.

Blue whale.jpg

My blue whale… and other clutter. 

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2016 in Writing

 

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Another story idea niggling away at my brain I thought I would share.

Hello readers! Yes, I am possibly being overzealous by saying that as a plural – but I live in hope! 😉

I have had a busy year adjusting to online university and adding it to my juggle of house, hordes, health and husbane… but I think I’m getting there at last. And no, that is not a typo… it is meant to read husbane – he understands the humour in my turning him into the bane of my life. It’s a term of endearment, just like calling my children demonic hordes. Honest.

So anyway, university is going well… I’m still awaiting the final grades for my first study period, but rumour has it I’ve passed with some reasonably good marks. Let’s hope that rumour is true or BOY am I going to look an idiot on here when I have to retract that later!

I’m, unfortunately, not learning a heck of a lot of new stuff from my units yet (possibly why I am achieving such a good grade) as these core units are just rehashing stuff I already know but couldn’t prove I knew so that I could skip it and get on with the degree. I’m sure my grades will plummet as soon as I hit a unit that isn’t all about writing… which these ones are. I will admit know I really suck at argumentative essays. Yes I can write and yes I can argue (in the critical thinking sense of the word as well as in the ‘losing my cool’ sense of the word) but I can’t seem to write and argue in an analytical manner. The positive to this is I chose a rather interesting topic (to me) to research and argue upon… so I gained something from it all the same.

And, can I just say, letting an Author – who loves to research – loose on a universities databases is like letting a kid loose in a lolly shop! Or giving me carte blanche at Red Cacao. 😉 Wow! I freely admit to being side tracked on numerous occasions during my research hour and wandering off to find things more beneficial to my Other World series than to my essay on creating a zero waste clothing and textile consumer.

Seriously, if you’re an Author and love to research – get thee to a university database! It links you to libraries and documents all over the world for FREE and boy is it a load of fun! For those not able to do this, Google Scholar is passable, but Trove here in Australia is waaaay better! Heck, even I’m in their database!

But I digress, I was here to post about my latest story idea I would love to see fellow Writers and Authors play with. Heck, if I could organise myself more I would turn it into some sort of little online festival thingy. But as I have nothing to offer as a reward, who is seriously going to attend? And cue the crickets loudly chirping in a big old empty room…. Now!

This story idea was, as usual, fuelled by a recent news article I happen to catch on the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Commission) News. There is going to be some kind of scientific get together here in Australia (yes, I am so good with the technical words, I know!) And, so, this science gathering will be here to talk about the issues we are having regarding a lot of junk littering space within the Earth’s orbit. Loads of smashed satellites and all sorts of other things and it’s growing larger and more dangerous simply because the more things we put up there, the more likely they are to be smashed up by the space junk already up there… and therefore create more space junk. You know? The whole cascade effect thingy.

It’s gotten so bad that the folk on the International Space Station have frequent alerts where they have to go seal themselves off in a heavily protected area of the station and wait out an imminent collision with some junk and then assess the damage it has made and ensure their station is still intact.

Please note – this is all true and I’ve not even started on the fiction side yet!

The reasons the science boffins are gathering here is to try and figure out a way to clean up the space junk as it’s gotten so bad our international astronauts can’t do space walks anymore as the risk of being whacked by orbiting satellite bits is just too great. It was predicted that in only a very short space of time (I think they said several years but my mind goes fuzzy on dates) we won’t be able to use the space around our planet as it will be so filled with junk nothing can be up there and not be hit. Say goodbye to all our satellites boys and girls, this is how serious it is.

Won’t someone think of the Enterprise?!

Okay… with me so far? All of that is true and the facts as gleamed from this news interview.

What did I then immediately think of? A nano-technological plague of course!!! Duh!

Who else can’t imagine a story where they fix the space junk issue by sending all these metal eating nanobots into space to clear away the junk? They were supposedly programmed to only eat the space junk but… dun dun daaaaaaa…. Something goes wrong and anything made of metal up there is on their menu.

So we won’t be getting satellites back anytime soon, we start to technologically de-evolve and all thought of space travel is currently on hold until we find a new building material. Paper? Plastic? Ceramic? Oh the ship designs could be glorious!

And cue the international disaster that means the planet is quickly becoming uninhabitable and the only place we can go is up and….. there’s the story idea.

I would dearly love to play with it myself, but I have my Other World series to finish, my murder mystery series to get going and my NA urban fantasy about global warming to get off the ground…. Add to that the kids stories my kids have been nagging me to write and, well, I just don’t have enough time in the day.

So I am handing yet another awesome story idea out into the interweb and want you Writers and Authors to do me proud! Write me a 5,000 word short story on it and I will publish the best one on my Author blog – full credit, ownership and rights to be kept by the Author. No plagiarism, no stealing others ideas and no selling my idea on. Remember, I do accept decent hot chocolate as payment if you can’t scrape together enough money to actually pay me when you turn it into a million dollar movie idea. 😉

Maybe one day I will sit down and write a story like this myself… sustainability, zero waste and how to make rocket ships… Oooh, that does sounds like an AWESOME title!!! Maybe we should do an anthology? Who’s with me? 😉

Okay, that’s it for now. Thanks for reading.

Until next time,

Janis.

 
 

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Easter, when you’ve been writing too much supernatural urban fantasy…

Easter, when you’ve been writing too much supernatural urban fantasy…

I was awoken this morning to excited chattering coming from my dining room. There, upon an almost clean table of pine sat some sort of summoning circle. Its four quadrants made up of spring time and fertility symbols such as duckling, chickens and rabbits. Within its centre was a jar of… bilbies? Possibly made of milk chocolate?

I believed it to be a summoning circle for around it now danced three demonic hordes of varying size and age. All of which deemed to address me as ‘Mum’.

To close the circle I commanded these hordes to eat the bilbies… I had to know whether they were of a benevolent or malevolent making.

It appears they were benevolent and I have it on good authority they came from a place known as ‘Red Cacao’ who only create premium creatures of chocolate.

Once this issue had been sorted and the bilby like objects demolished, I continued with my daily chores of creating ‘life spirals’ from a dairy and wheat free brioche like substance based on ritual conceived by the amazing Quirky Jo.

It is autumn after all and a time to create symbols of life and perseverance as we head into the bleakness of winter. Now is not the time for spring icons of buns with crosses… but spirals within buns of cinnamon, mixed spice and sultanas is another matter.

While these spirals rested upon a warmed hearth to double in size I received a cry for help from neighbouring family members. It seems some bright, foil covered Pagan icons of spring and fertility had appeared within their backyard and they were wondering if I had it within my powers to come remove them.

Upon arrival, I sensed this was a task too great for me so early in the morning and so despatched my hordes to vanquish these icons of spring. These canny hordes donned rabbit ears and other disguises to try and blend into the environment before seeking out the offending items and gathering them in small, pre-prepared baskets of holding. Again, they appeared to be made of chocolate. Upon my command, these items were checked by the Hordes to ensure they were of a safe nature. According to the one known as Eldest Horde, it appears this too was benevolent chocolate as it was ‘UTZ certified’ and therefore free of slavery as well as being fairly made. Good to know these Hordes can differentiate the good from the bad from such odd markings adorning strange foil wrapped icons.

Unusual for demonic hordes, they then proceeded to share their gathered bounty equally as well as check with the woman of the property to see if she felt further Pagan icons of spring still adorned her autumnal backyard. It appears all suspicious packages had indeed been collected and so I left them to it while I returned to my own home to finish baking the ‘life spirals’.

Once it was completed, while still warm from my hearth, we returned to this other family member’s home and partook in the breaking and eating of this hot, sweet, sticky and nut filled repast.

Then, as I continued with the rituals of gathering final minute items from a local shop and setting the dining table with an altar like precision, the men of the family dealt with the animal to fire sacrifices that often take place upon this day.

Once we were all seated, we enjoyed perfectly charred meat on sticks, the salad of potato, boiled eggs and gherkins and other delicacies that seem to be of cultural significance to such family gatherings.

The day ended well with the cutting of the bird’s nest style cake to symbolise spring, along with the breaking of more of the ‘life spiral’ pull apart symbolising autumn. We then all partook in various concoctions of dried leaves and hot water, or a strange dark bean and hot water.

Finally the day came to a close with the usual re-enforcement of family lore, tales, traditions and gossip before we parted ways.

The hordes were gathered, the remains of their mission to eradicate the world of Pagan icons collected and we were homeward bound.

After all, hubby has a sink to unblock and I had a load of cottons to put in the washing machine. As we were doing this we realised the magic of the day had departed for another year, we had chocolate coated children to bathe and felt left over brioche and a cuppa a great dinner tonight.

And, in ending this little tale, I hope this Easter long weekend was everything your beliefs allowed it to be too. For me, it was simply the first Sunday since Mabon – the autumn equinox last Sunday. To others… it was slightly more important. Each to their own, so may it be.

Until next time,

Janis.

life spiral pull apart brioche

‘Life Spirals’ aka dairy and wheat free spiced pulled apart brioche.

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2016 in Update on my Writer Life, Writing

 

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So, where DO I get my ideas from?

So, where DO I get my ideas from?

Hi everyone, I’ve decided to share exactly what I mean when I say ‘Life inspires me’ when answering the question in the title of today’s blog post.

I personally feel this is the most common question set to Writer’s by those who don’t have an imagination so fierce it is crawling about in their brain like ants. Or maybe that’s just me and actually a scalp issue I need looking at? 😉

Some people simply appear perplexed I am able to make up stories out of seemingly nothing and I just want to set the record straight and give some examples of where I do get stories from to try and encourage others to have a go at writing them!

So, where do I get my stories from? I’m a watcher. I like to watch life go past, analyse it, pocket snippets and thoughts of it away for later. Yes, I am that introvert in the corner of a busy room simply watching and listening and storing data… And I would like to see a Writer who isn’t!

I remember taking a friend (and well known author I’m not about to name drop) for a wander through the Stirling markets here in the Adelaide Hills. The street we wandered was lined with oak trees and when I pointed out that the name of the street was Druids Avenue – I could see that data spark in her eyes, almost watch it being store away for use later… I could see it as this is how I see the world too. Everything has potential as a story idea.

Sometimes it’s a simple one liner – see my creations of ‘Dodo Radio’ in Bonnie’s Story (well, in the blog posts and possibly in any sequel I may write). I was just having a 140 character chat with another Author friend via a certain piece of social media and we were discussing the differences between radio in Australia versus the UK. I would kill to have radio like BBC4 here! Well, not literally kill, but strongly hug at the very least – and I am a big lady after all so kill… meh, I digress. 😉

Yes, Australian radio and it’s lack of a spectrum as vibrant as radio in the UK had it described as ‘Dodo Radio’… which then led me off on train of thought that had me create the Dodo radio explained in one of Bonnie’s blog posts. That’s the sort of thing I mean when I say life inspires me.

I also find news headlines inspire me. I can’t say the entire article does, and sometimes I don’t even bother reading that part… but a simple one line can spark that creative fire in my brain. Though in the case of the two examples I’m about to give, I did read the articles… and then turned them into things they weren’t meant to be.

Now, with these examples, I would dearly love to see some new and eager Writers take the story and run with it. I can’t publish it, I can’t pay you for it, but I can (hopefully) inspire you to use it… or at least see how easy it is to pluck a story idea from the normal every day.

And so, here we go. Where do I get my story ideas from? Well, this is where…

Recently, while browsing the ABC news on my phone (as I do first thing in the morning before getting up) I read through an interesting article about how they are thinking of introducing a fish herpes to the Murray River as a way to combat the horrible pest species of carp that has been destroying it for decades.

What really got my imagination cogs going was where they talked about all the testing they would need to do first. I thought, fair enough; don’t want to wipe out all fish in the Murray with this disease. But my little grey cells sparked into life when it was mentioned they were also testing what this disease might do to humans… not only those exposed to the water, but those who ate foods grown in the area and watered with this diseased water!

Yes, the italics symbolise how exciting this whole concept was to me. Why? Oh, come on, who else doesn’t think pandemic explosion from food contaminated by something in its water supply? Just think of the speculative fiction ‘what if’ you could make from this! It could be your common garden virus or Ebola like thing wiping out the country and causing a dystopian lifestyle for some Young Adult to explore… or it could cause mutations or, dare I say it, be the catalyst for that zombie invasion so many people are jokingly prepping for. The possibilities are endless!

Now, please note I am not saying that the actual fish herpes virus would cause this at all. Hell no, I’m pretty sure the scientists are going to thoroughly test it first… and half of it is just fiction in anyone’s book. But I hope you can see what I mean about how something harmless I read in the news can be turned into some pretty interesting reading for someone else. 😉

Another recent example is (again with the ABC news first thing in the morning) a giant supernova, brighter than anything they’ve ever seen has just caught the attention of scientists and has them re-writing some of the info they thought they knew on supernovas. Nothing too exciting for we non-scientists, right? But there is a line in the article where they say “perhaps it’s not a supernova at all” and, well, they may as well have waved a red cloak at a charging bull with that line.

Yes, they did go on to say it might be a lot of other actual, real life sciencey stuff… but half my brain wasn’t listening any more. It was already off on another speculative fiction ‘what if’ journey with opening lines such as:

“At first they thought it was a new type of Supernova appearing in the night’s sky. But by the time they realised it was an invasion, it was too late…”

Yes, that is indeed how my mind works. I seriously can’t take it anywhere without that sort of thing happening.

And that boys and girls, is how I take life and get inspired to write what I write. Yes it’s not ‘True Crime’ or ‘Literary Fiction’, which most people say is what life inspires… no, life  – in the right set of hands or mind – can inspire any Writer of any genre to do what they do best: Write.

I guess it means Writer’s don’t see the world in the same way as others? Maybe another reason we need to wear badges so people realise we’re creating new worlds around us while walking down the street and watching a leaf casually blow across our path. We take in everything, we store everything, we feed everything into our imaginations and turn it into the most interesting compost in which we grow some pretty amazing things.

Heck, that paragraph alone could even be the start of a story too. What do you think? Have a go; I’d love to hear how it turns out. But you owe me a hot chocolate and brownie if you make it into a block buster novel. 😉

Until next time,

Janis. XXOO

 
4 Comments

Posted by on January 19, 2016 in More pep talk than writing, Writing

 

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Yes, I DO blog for free… but only for me!

Yes, I DO blog for free… but only for me!

Okay, so there was a little artistic license used on the grammar in the title of this post, but I’m hoping you get the gist?

I’ve decided to dedicate a blog post today to try and raise awareness for those clever writers new to the whole ‘contributing online’ thing.

Why? Well, because I used to be green and eager and willing to agree to some pretty stupid terms and conditions – as long as my work appeared online. It had meant I’d made it in some small way… right?

Well, in most cases – wrong!

If you find a site willing to allow you to ‘blog for them’ – beware! I get invites to such things a lot. More so in recent months since my reviewing site has started to get some hits. Blogging for other people can sometimes mean more negatives than positives.

Now, don’t get me wrong, sometimes blogging for someone else can be a good thing. I’ve done ‘Guest Blogger’ segments for places, and my reviews are often popping up on the social media sites of authors and publishers alike. But the big difference to that sort of blogging for others is the work is recognised as mine. Can you see how serious I am about possession? All that formatting for a four letter word – yes it does mean I have my serious face on!

When I am a guest blogger, a guest reviewer, a reviewer, etc. – the post and all rights to it still belongs to ME, the author. Most of the time I’m not paid when work is shared on someone else’s blog. Well, not in money. I get paid in other ways. If I’m being a guest blogger, it’s usually as a way to expose my work to a wider audience and encourage them to come visit my own blog or buy one of my books. If my reviews are shared, I’ve been paid by being given the item to review. Whether it be a book, block of chocolate, candle or a slow cooker. I get it, I read, eat, light or cook with it – I keep it. Sadly not all books I review are like this… but I’m working on that. 😉

What I’m trying to say is – in these cases – what I have written is acknowledged as being mine (whether it’s good or bad writing) and I have been rewarded for my efforts.

That is good blogging for free.

The bad blogging for free I’m trying to warn new Writers about is sites that invite you to come and post for them, but anything you post will belong to them and they can do with it, share it and use it for whatever they like and not have to share any of the money it may gain them with you. You’ve gotten nothing out of the deal. In most cases your name is even removed as they now legally own the work and so don’t have to even advertise who wrote it. It’s theirs, not yours. You might know it’s yours and show it off proudly to your friends and family… but if someone was to do an internet search on your name to see where you’d been published online – it wouldn’t show up. You would gain: no exposure as an author, no credit for work contributed, no financial gain – NOTHING!

Heck, if you’re okay with this as long as you know it’s your work – go do it, knock yourself out. Have fun with it.

Me, on the other hand, I’m past that part of my career. I’ve been writing for other people where my work has become their Intellectual Property as part of my contract to them. I did that for almost twenty years as an ITC Guru. Then again, I was paid for my work and even if it wasn’t mine to take with me when my contract ended… I’d still earnt cash in hand for the effort. I now work for myself and the only person I don’t expect to pay me for my writing is Myself.

 Now, I’m not trying to sound cocky or arrogant here, I’m trying to spell it out for Writers out there that their work is worth more than they realise. If you spend time out of your day writing something rather than going off and having a ‘real job’, you need to gain from that writing. Whether it be exposure, some kind of positive reward or even – shock horror – actual money, you still deserve it and people shouldn’t ask you do write for them for free.

Even the sites that ‘allow’ you to keep your name on work you post for them… take a long hard look at what they’re getting out of the deal. Is getting an article online that has your name on it but gains you nothing else really worth it? What is that post now being used for? Are the people you posted it to now using it to gain site traffic and therefore ‘pays per click’ to their site? In most cases they are you know, and therefore they should be paying you a percentage.

Just because it’s a ‘mere thousand words’ on a website – you still deserve payment. Whether it is a one off payment, or an ongoing percentage fee as royalties, you should be getting it. And by a one off payment, I do expect to get a decent amount. You’d be surprised what the actual, legal, going rate for a Writer’s work is… Maybe go check it out over at the Australian Society of Authors (ASA) and see. You might be shocked at how much your work is really worth. As, according to ASA, you should get about $350!

And why is a writer’s work worth more than what people are willing to pay? Because the people offering to pay think writing is just putting words together. If they are even bothering to offer you money at all! But if you look at the time that goes into being a writer and put a per hour salary on it… it makes sense. I mean, it’s not as if most of us can write and be getting on with the rest of our allotted tasks. Me, I fit writing in around my Haus Frau duties… it’s why I’ve automated as much of my domestic duties as possible. I have a machine to wash the clothes, another to clean my dishes, yet others to bake and cook foods without my presence. Heck, I even have a robot to vacuum my floors. Basically, I do this to spend more time at my job. I used them when I was a contractor heading off to an office to earn a salary. And I use them now to give me the time to be sitting here and writing this before I have to go get my kids from school and continue on with my tasks as unpaid and underappreciated house drudge… erm, I mean Haus Frau. Sounds more posh when I say it in German and don’t spell it out for you, right? 😉

Basically, what I’m trying to say, is writing takes time. It takes time away from other things we could or even need to be doing… and so we deserve to be paid for that time.

As an author I get paid for the time I’ve spent writing a book by my Publisher doing their damnedest to then sell it. I get royalties. As my Publisher has put time and effort into my book, and also need to be paid, they get part of my royalties too. If I was to have an agent, they too would get part of the royalties as their payment. See, they expect to be paid for services rendered… why is it people don’t expect the same from a Writer?

I could go off on my usual rant about you don’t expect a hairdresser to cut your hair for free, or a café to hand over that hot chocolate and brownie for nothing… Why is a writer any different? We’ve put in time and effort to provide the service of ‘putting words together’, so pay us damn it!

Okay, if I go on I feel I would start repeating myself… plus it smells like the cake I’m baking for my Hordes as I’ve been writing this is about ready to come out of the oven. And as I’m yet to get a machine that will take the damned thing out of the oven and put it on a rack to cool, I’m going to have to go and do that. So it means I have run out of time to write. Still, I will be paid in cake for the services rendered so I’m not complaining. I make a pretty tasty cake.

But I do hope you, the new and still a little green around the ears Writer get what I’m trying to say? You are worth it. Your writing is yours to own and a service you are providing. Think about this before giving it away for free.

If you’re okay with giving it away for free, or for the exposure it brings, go for it. If you’re happy taking twenty dollars for a piece of your work to be published in a magazine, that’s your call too. But I would seriously look at that magazine first, see how much they sell for, how many people buy it and then decide whether they truly can’t afford more than the peanuts… or if they’re taking you for a ride. I’ve dealt with both. I’m more than happy to submit my work to a small time indie magazine for that amount… I’m really being paid in exposure and a few dollars. If it’s a large scale magazine, which take ownership of your work and pay a paltry sum (I’m looking at you Reader’s Digest) – I’d walk away now.

What I’m really trying to say is look into it all first. You’re clever (of course you are, you’re a Writer) so just take a look at the positives and negatives that may arise from giving away your work. Sometimes giving it away for free is a good stepping stone, but please PLEASE don’t turn it into your career.

Finally – yes cynical me is perfectly aware there are some places that will just take my blog posts off of my blogs and flog them as their own. It is copyright infringement; they do not have my permission and are often caught and dealt with. Those who aren’t… well I’m a strong believer in Karma and I know she’s an even bigger bitch than me and know one day she will ensure I get payment. 😉

Until next time,

Janis. XXOO

cake and DOR

My PA sprung trying to cut the cake I was baking. My cake, he didn’t write the blog post. 😉

 
2 Comments

Posted by on November 23, 2015 in More pep talk than writing, Writing

 

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