Christmas, Midnight Echo 6, Reading and Writing

Be warned this might be the worst (or best) blog ever, because I’m gunna jump from Christmas to Midnight Echo to Work In Progress to Reading to Talking about Your Writing and then to The End.


I’m dreading Christmas. Firstly, we need to change the name. We should change it to Give the Kids Too Many Presents, Give the Adults Useless Shit They Don’t Want and then Eat Until You Vomit Day. We can abbreviate that to GKTMPGAUSTDWEUYVD. That’s the hashtag, folks. #GKTMPGAUSTDWEUYVD   … Hey cool! I got Aust in there without even trying. Here’s to not trying.


My ideal Christmas: I get to sleep in. Someone makes me a coffee and brings it to me in bed. Eventually we all slither out to the Christmas Tree (wow, it survived in my fantasy!) and open a small present or two; exactly what each of us wants, because we can read each other’s minds (this could be problematic at other times). Some friends/family drop in. No one expects to be fed a dripping messy feast. There’s some swimming; idyllic splashing and tittering of children. Semi-clad well-muscled man-servants deliver salad sandwiches on multigrain while I recline by the pool sipping lychee martinis and chatting with friends. And maybe family, so long as no one mentions Julia Gillard. And when night comes the children fall asleep in our arms as we sing old favourites around a camp fire. I don’t know if that’s perfect, but it would be a darn sight better than the usual hoo-haa. Is that a thing? A darn sight?



Midnight Echo Six is here!

Here is the link. You can read an interview with me (I probably sound very silly) and the beginning of my story Surgeon Scalpelfingers. You can buy a copy of Midnight Echo for the bargain price of $10 plus pottage or postage or whatever. I can’t wait until my contributor’s copy arrives in the mail.


In writing I’ve been working on short stories for Dark Faith 2 and Bloodstones. I’ve been trying to come up with a great sci-fi story to submit to Cosmos, as I told Cat Sparks I’d send her one, though I’m fairly confident she’s not checking her inbox going, ‘Where’s the story that lovely young Helen promised me?’ I’ve tried out a few concepts but nothing good enough has materialised. I’ve considered doing a maths degree but that might be an extreme course of action.


I’ve been doing a lot of reading. I’ve read the Time Traveller’s Wife, The Courier’s New Bicycle, A Song of Fire and Ice, all of which were great in different ways. I’d love to get stuck into writing a novel, too, but I don’t feel I have enough time to throw at it at the moment. Short stories are more achievable. I’ll see how mothering commitments pan out next year, and if it looks like I have sufficient chunks of time I’ll get stuck into it.

My favourite character in A Song of Fire and Ice was Daenerys. She’s sweet, tough, human and she suffers but just rolls with the blows. What a girl/woman/whatever.


Isn’t it hard? I love to talk about my writing, but I usually have something planned to say. It might be what I have coming out, or the name of the anthology I’m writing for, or the premise I’m working with, if I’m really chuffed with it or I’d like to test the waters to see if the person I’m talking to likes the sound of it or if their eyes glaze over and they nod off. Or I might talk about a writer’s meeting I’ve just attended or a convention I’m going to and the crazy goings on there.

Sometimes my brain stalls … maybe because I go into my writing zone, which is all to do with my fingers and not my mouth.

Writers need to be able to talk about their writing, if they are writing for others and not just themselves. It’s an important way of connecting with people, both seeking an audience and to develop ideas. I feel most comfortable talking to The Splinter Group about what I’m working on, as they really seem interested and make great suggestions in a supportive way. They’re used to my far-fetching imagination.

I think it’s easy to be scared that someone will think your idea is stupid. I really admire authors who can make completely bizarre storylines and creatures seem entirely real. What reads well on the page might not sound good coming out of your mouth when you’re still forming your story. No idea is stupid.

Another concern I have when talking about my writing is giving away too much, and so ruining the story were the person to read it. I never worry about people stealing my ideas, because ideas appeal to different people, and everyone executes ideas in an individual style.


I’ve seen two movies this weekend, Attack the Block and the Ides of March. They were both good but I liked the action and aliens of Attack the Block better. Drama feels too grown up for me. I go to the movies (and read) to escape to more exciting worlds. Attack the Block was more of a feel good movie, too. The character relationships and growth were much more positive. It left me with a warm fuzzy feeling. I got free tickets from the Australian Horror Writers Association, but I don’t think that’s biased me.

THE END is coming

You were warned. This blog was all over the place. I can’t believe you read it all. You deserve a medal. Great work! Excellent. Ten out of Ten. Times like this, I miss school.




3 thoughts on “Christmas, Midnight Echo 6, Reading and Writing

  1. Hey there Helen – merry #GKTMPGAUSTWEUYVD to you also!! Hope all is going well – all I write is drivel at the moment (oh, and Christmas cards – email me your address please as you are on my list)

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