Wednesday, June 7, 2023

 g'day gentle reader

I'm in my seventy fifth year. That's 3/4 gone should I be lucky enough to live to 100.  If you consider 100 a year beginning with spring then I've passed from autumn to the winter of years. So I better get  on with it.

Time to publish the damn trilogy one way or another. As a subscriber to Authors Publish, they send me reviews of publishers 'now accepting' with links to the publishers web sites, often straight to the the submission guidelines. 

The first to intrigue me was CamCat,  so I browsed the quite extensive advice to authors, one of which was  7 Things to do to Your Manuscript Before Submission, 

1. Put your manuscript away
2. Reread your manuscript. Start to finish. Out loud.

I went no further. My magnificent octopus had been sitting in the bottom file of my PC for 3 years. Strike 1,  

I began re-reading out loud - well not exactly - I had word read it aloud to me. I took over 6 months. strike 2.  

Meanwhile  I continued to a short story to WotF each quarter but with less alacrity and it showed; after 8 consecutive successes I missed 2.  I had become re-engaged in the world of my novel. 

After filling in their incredibly detailed application form (which, I have to say was one of the most useful writing exercises I have ever done, I now know what my story is about) I find my book is too big for them. Strike 3 your out.  

So in the end I after 20 plus years in the making and 20 plus rejection I've published my magnificent octopus, 

now available for pre-order.

ooroo Rob

until my next post

Thursday, November 24, 2022

gday gentle reader

Here's another writing project that occupies my time. Writing biographies for long dead ancestors on WikiTree is both rewarding and fascinating. 

  embeddable family tree updated live from WikiTree

One of my next stories will use material discovered in a family closet. The things the people did to their children in "the good old days" would today get them arrested. One of my venerable ancestors shipped a couple his sons to sea for wagging school to attend their sister’s funeral. On of them though twice shipwrecked not only survived but made it Australia where fortunately he thrived. I might ot ever have been born otherwise, a scary thought - for me at least.

As you can see my tree goes back a way. The recently added  ( Siminis / Simonis / Simianis / Simionis BLAKEY) is tenuously linked as my Simon's father  because he had a son Simon Blakey  baptised about the right estimated  DOB. Records in the 1600's often lack detail. 

I hesitate to voice the thought, but like Charles Darwin it appears 
I at least have a Simian ancestor   

Up unto Thomas Bleckly/ BLEAKLY  the record is clear and verifiable as are the next two generation back - as individuals. It's the Links between that are tenuous. They remain in place however until further evidence refutes their presence. It's a work in progress.

Unlike some other online genealogical programs that I shall not mention, they're  unmentionable, who charge annual fees, and then get you to do all the work putting all your ancestor online have the temerity to effectively re-sell your contributions.

WikiTree is FREE.

I love my WikiTree. ( 

ooroo until my next post 


Monday, December 27, 2021

The Persistence of Submitting

gday gentle reader

 A story I wrote way back in the last millennium (1993) under the working title Time Loop won an Honorable Mention in L Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future contest in 4th quarter 2021.  This is a significant in a couple of ways.


First of all, it means I have won and Honorable Mention in every quarter of 2021. It also makes it the 6th Honorable Mention in a row, 7 out of the last 8. (3 out of  4 in 2020 - 4 out of 4 in 2021) This was also my 18th consecutive quarterly submission and the 12th award BUT three of the 18 are repeat submissions (reedited of course) so in fact I have only sent 15 original stories for 12 awards. 

You may be right in thinking the Covid pandemic has improved my writing/editing. For it certainly the bum's been on the seat for hours longer.

Second of all, this is at least the fourth time I've submitted the story. In the early days I didn’t keep good records of what I sent where, only how much I wrote, trying to fulfil Hemmingway's idea that the first million words are practice. Persistence is everything.

Bear with me gentle reader while I begin at the beginning, a very good place to start I'm told. In 1993 I wrote Time Loop longhand, then typed up my scribble on a portable typewriter and submitted a paper copy, except this never happened. I never submitted a single story before I had a computer able to print a perfect copy, that’s not to say to a perfect story, but a perfect copy of whatever story I had written.

My first 1980 computer, a TRS-80 Model-1, even after expansion from cassette tape storage to 5 ¼ floppy discs couldn’t cope. It wasn’t until 1996 when I opened "Books with Connections" an internet cafĂ© bookshop in Blackwood with 2 computers I had built to my specification, that I felt it at last worthwhile transcribing Time Loop and my full-filing-cabinet's worth of handwritten stories.

Now let's cut back to the chase. Some current members of the Blackwood Writers Group, (formed in the bookshop that same year, 1996), with long memories will know the story. It was workshopped under the title, The Persistence of Memory. I sent the workshopped story to Eidolon and Altair, probably in 2000, but didn't make the cut.

After my first success submitting to WotF in 2017, I reworked Persistence (it's short title) changing the protagonist source of overnight wealth from shares to crypto currency and sent it to WotF for the 2nd Qtr. 2018. It didn’t rate a mention, honourable or otherwise.

Once more into the breech. The contest coordinator had once suggested previously submitted could be resubmitted. The first time I tried this produced an Honorable Mention and so I did it again with Persistence now retitled Days of Future Passed (from a Dali painting to a Moody Blues album) for the 4th Qtr. 2021 and you know the result, another Honorable Mention.

It sort of validates Robert A. Heinlein’s Rule 5. "You must keep the work on the market until it's sold." (Or wins something)

Ooroo until my next post.  I hope you had a Merry Christmas and lets all hope 2022 is a better new year

PS One may think that because all my posts are about the WotF contest, I don't do anything else. you'd be wrong. but that's another story.