WT&TT: In Praise of Epubs & Boutiques

In Praise of Epubs and Boutiques

by WordWitch

In light of some things that have happened in the last few days, I’m going to deviate from my Agent Hunt series and write instead about publishing. Specifically, smaller boutique presses. I will admit, I’ve been a snob when it comes to anything that might be classified outside of “traditional” publishing. I didn’t necessarily sneer at those houses, the little niche publishers or the writers that work with them, but I wasn’t interested in submitting to them, either. If I couldn’t make my story go through an agent to one of the Big Six, I wasn’t interested.

So here’s my change of heart story. It’s been a little bit of a journey over the years, culminating with this last weekend’s exciting news from a friend.

Read more by clicking on the linked title above.

Close the Camps & Bring Them Here. Now.

Tomorrow there are rallies across the country taking place in support of bringing the refugees languishing on Manus Island and Nauru to Australia. PNG’s Supreme Court decided in April that the detention on Manus is unlawful and that the detention centre would have to close. It’s been four months and still the issue is being treated like a political football between the PNG and Australian governments, not to mention the Australian Opposition and other parties. What’s more, the end of August marks fifteen years since the Tampa affair.

I hope something changes soon, though i’m not holding my breath. It gets tiring doing the same things over and over, just to try and shift the “decency levels”a little. Right now, the politics of fear dominate. But the politics of decency are rising in some quarters. Activists need to take heart and try not to burn out as we speak out again and again.

Politician need to have the political courage to generate the will to do more – to bring them here and let them stay.  Some do have that courage. Others are gaining it bit by bit, or are at least open to decency’s possibility. I’m not wasting my breath on the hard-hearted xenophobes who aren’t even that.

We can give support through signing the petition below and then turning up to a rally tomorrow. Come on Australia – let’s show the politicians how much we want the refugees (most of the men on Manus have been found to be genuine refugees). I’ll see you there.

Petition link from GetUp!: https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/refugees/bringthemhere/we-say-bringthemhere

Rally details:
Sydney: https://www.facebook.com/events/266932076997739/?ti=cl
Melbourne: https://www.facebook.com/events/521484394717053/?ti=cl
Brisbane: https://www.facebook.com/events/1813808322182387/?ti=cl
Perth: https://www.facebook.com/events/1735011373427628/?ti=cl
Newcastle: https://www.facebook.com/events/276908372691641/
Darwin (28th due to NT election)

London (26th): https://www.facebook.com/events/814326572002602/?ti=cl
Tokyo: https://www.facebook.com/events/1574975659473330/?ti=cl

The seasons are starting to change…

Not posting much because uni, though I hope to schedule a couple soon (beyond the regular scheduled WT&TT posts).

However, I saw something on the weekend that made me happy:


This is a pic of one of the “bird plum” trees in our backyard. As you can see, the first buds are out. The same thing is happening with the cherry-plum tree.

love the early-budders. 🙂
This winter has been colder but less rainy than other times, so I haven’t minded it. It’s given me nice scenes on the commute to uni. It’s also provided us with plenty of glorious sunsets and sunrises… The Humans in Melbourne page has some excellent examples.

Winter will still hang around for a while yet. Someone I know says that one shouldn’t really call it “spring” until at least mid-September. I agree that the more marked season changes are at the equinoxes and solstices.

But it’s almost here!




WT&TT: 5 Things to Organise Worldbuilding (reblogged)

Ah, world-building. I love it, but it can also be quite the bugbear.

Five Things: To Do to Organize Your Worldbuilding

by WordWitch

It’s Twin Thursday, so for my post with the lovely Rachel from Undivinelight, I’m talking about ways to keep track of your worldbuilding. When crafting a fantasy universe, it’s easy to let ideas run all over the place. Strange language, food, clothing, customs… You’re just one person; how do you keep track of it all?

Read more by clicking on the linked title.

50 Years since Wave Hill Walk-Off

Yesterday (16/08/16) was the forty-first anniversary of then-Prime Minister Gough Whitlam giving back land to the Gurindji people, pouring a handful of soil through Vincent Lingiari’s hand to symbolise that.

Next week, it’ll be the fiftieth anniversary of the event that started that: the Wave Hill Walk-Off.

For a brief overview, look here: http://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/article/2016/03/02/vincent-lingiari-gough-whitlam-story-behind-image

From the article:

“It was the unfair treatment of his fellow workers, his people and their families, that led Vincent Lingiari and other employees (some 200 hundred people), to stage a ‘walk-off’ at Wave Hill Station located approximately 600 kilometre’s south of Darwin, in the Northern Territory.

Wave Hill station was a cattle station run by Vesteys, a British pastoral company, which employed the local Aboriginal people from the area. Vincent Lingiari had noticed for quite some time that the working and living conditions for Aboriginal people were very bad, they were treated differently and were not paid equally compared to the non-Aboriginal employees.  Even Lingiari, who was a head stockman, initially received no cash payment. The first time he had received money was around 1953 when he lined up with the other stockmen at the Negri River races and was given £5 ‘pocket-money’.

Vincent Lingiari, who was the Gurindji spokesman, and his fellow 200-strong protesters – stockmen, house servants, and their families, walked along a fence line to Gordy Creek before setting up camp on the Victoria River near the Wave Hill Welfare Station. They camped on higher ground during the wet season and in early 1967 moved to Wattie Creek, where they established the community of Daguragu.

The protesters petitioned the Governor General in 1967 and the leaders toured Australia to raise awareness about their cause.

In 1973, Prime Minister Whitlam announced that funds would be made available for the purchase of properties that were not on reserves, and Lord Vestey, from Vesteys pastoral company, surrendered the land in question to the Gurindji people.”

The story was immortalised in song by Paul Kelly and Kev Carmody in “From Little Things, Big Things Grow”. That’s where I first heard the story, actually. I distinctly remember that the song was part of a research project in Year Eight which I credit as the start of my “awakening” so to speak around First Nations’ issues.

I couldn’t resist sharing the song. I found this clip on YouTube – hope it works.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_ndC07C2qw&w=420&h=315%5D



WT&TT: Birth vs. Battle (reblogged)

Contrary to popular belief, writing – like life, imo – is not all about conflict.

Birth vs. Battle

Let me kick things off with blasphemy: Conflict is not the engine of story.

Allow me to explain.

The longer I teach, the more writing texts I seem to read, if only to find out if someone else has a clearer, simpler, or more insightful way of presenting the material. (To my chagrin, that’s often case. Fortunately, I’m not too so old a dog that I’ve forsaken new tricks.)

In some of my recent reading, though, I’ve detected a bit of an uproar over the supposed centrality of conflict in our stories.

Read more by clicking on the linked title.

WT&TT: Improving Fight-Scenes (reblog)

I will be revising this. Very good points!

Five Things: To Improve Your Fight Scenes

by WordWitch

A lot of people in my writing circle have a hard time with action sequences, especially fight scenes. There’s a temptation, I feel, to go very cinematic with the way they’re structured; after all, that’s what anime and action movies have gotten us used to. But in general, things work very differently on the page, and what works great in your mind might lose a little something in translation to the written word.

Read more by clicking on the linked title above. 

Carla’s Facts To Consider Number Four: Yes, Race Is A Social Construct … But That Doesn’t Mean It Doesn’t Exist

I was taught in Yr 12 Sociology that “race didn’t exist”, so since then I’ve tried to use ethnicity instead. It’s only come to my attention recently that it’s more complicated then that. This explains it perfectly.


Race is a social construct. Seriously. While people may look physically different depending on where they were born or their parents’ birth of origin, biologically we are all the same. That’s a fac…

Source: Carla’s Facts To Consider Number Four: Yes, Race Is A Social Construct … But That Doesn’t Mean It Doesn’t Exist

The Politician’s Guide to Democracy: Part One – Five things Democracy is NOT (#ItsTime)

Ahem. Kate M nails it here.


Are you a Politician who can’t get his own way? Have you put forward perfectly reasonable policies to the people of your country – only to hear the whiny cries of your ungrateful consti…

Source: The Politician’s Guide to Democracy: Part One – Five things Democracy is NOT (#ItsTime)