For your reading pleasure…

My story Birth Rights is now live at Comets and Criminals!

This was the first short story I wrote, that I actually felt like I got what makes a short story work. It was the first time I had written one and thought that I would get it published. So in many ways, it was a very important piece of writing for me.

It was first published in A Foreign Country last year, and I was thrilled to find a second home for it with Comets and Criminals. It’s a quick read, but not necessarily an easy one. I hope that if you take the time to have a look, you enjoy it.

There is also a poem now available, The Museum of Incipient Flight, by Sharon Mock.


Comets & Criminals #1 now available!

The first issue of this new zine was released yesterday! Woo! I have my copy and it looks good 🙂

On the website, you’ll find the first story,By the Time I Get to Phoenix, by Suzanne Palmer as well as the editorial, outlining the other stories in the issue. 

Each week, new bits of the zine will be released online – my story, Birth Rights, will be available next weekend – but you can purchase the entire issue right now for the small sum of $2.99!





Multiple pen-names?

How common is this? Is it something you’ve considered?

Until now, it hadn’t really crossed my mind. I wasn’t concerned because pretty much everything I wrote was speculative in nature, until I decided to revise Mocha Nihilism and publish it…

I am still waiting on feedback from my critique buddies, but one of them said something about it being different to what he expected. He’s read a bunch of my short stories, so it would be fair for him to assume he’d have a rough idea of what he was getting. His comment made me think about how different from my other stuff it is.

I may be taking what he said completely the wrong way (and, I have no idea if it was a good thing or a bad thing – he’s being a hold out until he gets his comments together [I had to write that just in case you’re reading :-P]) but when I compare a story like Birth Rights to Mocha Nihilism – well, they have very little in common!

I do want to write more light stuff, more fun stuff, more stuff set in the real world with no speculative elements. Stories free of killers, and crazies, weird stuff, magic, science, wonder and fantasy (which I totally love, and will continue to write forever).

In your opinion, would it be a good idea to keep the two separate? I would hate to build an expectation with one name, only to frustrate and annoy (and no doubt confuse/lose) readers, because they have found stories that are of a completely different nature.

That said, would that mean I need to build two platforms? Or should I just stop being a genre slut and narrow down my field of focus?

Thoughts welcomed! What would you do?


Newbie writer nerves

As next weekend approaches, I find myself becoming nervous.

SO excited, but also, very nervous.

You see the anthology release is next week at Au Contraire in Wellington. A Foreign Country. A book with my story in it. A story I think is great.

That said, I am well aware of the fact that it is not an easy story, certainly not a comfortable story for some. I’m well aware of the kinds of thoughts it might bring to peoples minds. It’s not a story that people are going to love, even if it is a fairly well written story. Even if I love it (while still, after all this time, feeling somewhat uncomfortable about the fact I wrote it), even though I am proud of it. Even though after the first draft I knew it was a story I’d see in print.

It’s simply not an easy story to read, or love.

I’m repeating to myself that someone else saw the merit in it. Someone else thought it was worthy of inclusion. I wholeheartedly believe it is as well.

But my parents are getting copies of the book. My in laws. Friends, other family members.

For the first time I’m stopping to think about how they will respond to it.

I have no idea what they might expect from a story I wrote – I’m certainly not sure that Birth Rights is it! lol many of my family who are going to read it have read other stories I’ve written, but to be perfectly honest, I write quite differently now than I did 3 years ago when I was just starting to get serious about this writing thing. The content is different, the style is different. I’m a different person in so many ways, and my writing reflects that.

And that’s not even thinking about what the people who don’t know me personally might think…

It’s going to be interesting!

I do have to wonder though – will I still get this nervous feeling about how the audience will respond to my work 5 stories down the track? 10? 20? Any thoughts on that?


Coolest thing ever

Well, this week anyway.

I received the proof of my story Birth Rights in my inbox today and I have to say that it’s an awesome thing to see it as it will appear in the Anthology.


You know, it makes me feel like a writer, something I haven’t much had the time to feel like lately. A real writer. I want more of this, more of seeing my work making it’s way into the world. More knowing that people will read it. I actually had a ‘shivers down my spine’ moment. The anticipation is sweet!

And now I want to watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show….


Birth Rights

I got notice a couple of days ago that my short story ‘Birth Rights’ is going to be included in the upcoming anthology ‘A Foreign Country: New Zealand Speculative Fiction’, which is due for release in August.


The Anthology is being put together by Random Static, in conjunction with Au Contraire – I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!

Birth Rights was the first short story I thought I would get published, and one that was a massive turning point for me in the way I feel about shorts. I can easily say that it helped me cross the barrier from feeling ‘so-so’ about them to actually enjoying them (maybe even loving them…). So to have it be included in a print anthology, being produced within my own country and full of other wonderful New Zealand writers is just amazing.

I couldn’t be happier about it 🙂


Another day, another thing complete

After the really terrible nights sleep I had last night, I was pretty uncertain that I was going to get anything done at all today. I was so tired, frustrated and well, miserable (picture me vacuuming, in tears, while my almost 5 year old asks me if I need to go lie down and cuddle my blanket for a bit, which of course was only going to make me cry even harder due to the pride I felt at my compassionate wee girl).

But I pushed on, did all the cleaning, I even got some washing out on the line, and then finally got the baby to sleep and lunch made for Ivy, at which point, knowing that I would have no time to myself that afternoon, I opened Birth Rights again (I’d made some changes to it last night before bed), and tweaked things until I was happy.

And I was happy. I am happy. I think it’s better, despite my initial worries that the subtle changes I was making weren’t connecting in the ways I wanted them too. I even decided to actually send it into the Au Contraire short story competition after all because quite frankly, the end of the month is rapidly approaching, and I’m not feeling like I can do better before then.

It’s really struck me over the last few days that I have nothing to lose by sending stories places. A rejection is not a loss, it’s just an indicator that for any number of reasons the story wasn’t right for the place. There is no need to take that personally. In any case, a rejection can be a gain in the event that you get some helpful feedback.

So, nothing to lose.

Not sure what comes next, though it’s nice to see my list shortened by two stories in as many days. Nothing is really grabbing me, but I have a feeling that if I have the energy tomorrow, something will.

Happy writing folks.


Rewrite complete

Amazingly, I managed to finish rewriting the story last night – I was pretty floored that it happened because my track record has been terrible of late. All up I wrote around 2,000 words and while I haven’t read the whole thing yet, I’m feeling really pleased that I completed the rewrite, finally.

What will become of it now, I do not know. I guess that will have to wait for the read through 😉 In the meantime my brain has been ticking over the planned changes for Birth Rights and I think I’m ready to launch into that over the next few days. All desire to play WoW has dried up and I seem to be back on the writing band wagon. Here’s to productivity and a continued drive to write!

It feels good to be where I’m at. My head is clear, and the stories are all at my fingertips just waiting for me to dive into them.

I love it.


Veering off course

I’m not making any progress with Chasing Ascension at the moment, to be honest, I can’t even bring myself to read it through so I’m putting it in the ‘too hard for right now’ basket and moving on to something else for the time being (like, the next week or so).

Instead, I’m going to give some attention to a story which has languished for far too long! It needs a new title, a rewrite and polish, but I know exactly how to go about that so it doesn’t feel too daunting. The plan is to have it ready and posted here on the blog for Christmas – free fiction for Christmas, yay!

I’m also going to go through Birth Rights again, as I am considering entering it into a short story competition for Au Contraire. While I’m pretty sure that it won’t make the grade, I also think it’s a wonderful thing to support NZ stuff.

As for other stuff – everything is ticking along nicely.

I’ve succumbed and downloaded/activated the 10 day free trial of Wrath of the Lich King. Hubby and I have both decided that we’re going back to WoW on a casual basis at the end of the trial (hey, if you have ten days free play, why would you pay for it before then?? lol). I’m wasting a lot of time on it at the moment but then it’s just nice to be playing again and I know that my brain wouldn’t be working on the writing stuff at the moment anyways so there is no harm done. Now that I have a plan with the short story stuff I can move ahead with that and find a nice balance between work and play. I need my play, and I haven’t been getting a whole lot of it lately.

Anyways, that’s it from me for now! I’m going to let Chasing Ascension’s world tick over in my mind while I work on these shorts, and hopefully when I get back into it I can move ahead full steam. I’m still really keen on the idea, and the characters, but I really need to resolve the issues before I move ahead and I just don’t have the brain power for that right now. Only three weeks until I get upgraded to ‘second trimester’ and I am hoping that this funk I am in disappears along with the first trimester.


The end?

Well, I guess you could say that I am finished writing TCM, the first draft at least. I don’t feel like it’s ended quite the way it should have and I’m tempted to just keep playing with it but I may have to accept that I never get endings right the first time around and remind myself that it will get better on the rewrite.

I’m done…I guess, part of me feels thrilled about this and other parts of me are a little unbelieving that I could possibly be finished already.

The fantastic thing is that this leaves me lots of time this month to jump into some other bits and pieces. I have Birth Rights to actually email back to some people for further feedback, reviews to write, some more critiques to get through, and I’d like to draft out a couple more short stories in the next week or so as well.

Best get on with it while Lauren actually sleeps, I have a feeling she won’t be down for much longer.