Sunday, October 23, 2016

Progress Report: Week ending October 22, 2016

Changed my routine, this week. This cost me in walking, but profited in writing. It’s not a good trade-off as a week of very much reduced walking is showing adverse effects. Note to self: find a middle ground.
On the up-side, I laid down a lot of words, and hit some admin that needed doing. Now, I have a better idea of how this game works. When I’m a bit more sure of my facts, I’ll blog how this crazy business works for me. Maybe there’ll be something in there that will work for others.


  • New words produced: 32,504
  • Old words revised: 0
  • Outlines and Notes: 0
  • Works completed: 20 (17 short for inclusion in longer collections, 3 short to be published stand-alone, as well);
  • Works revised: 0
  • Covers created: 0
  • Works published: 0
  • Works submitted: 0
  • Competitions Entered: 2 (4 and 3 entries respectively)
  • Bloggery: 0
  • University Prep and Assignments: 0

Story-A-Week Catch-Up Challenge Update

The following short stories were completed for the challenge:
  • This Year’s Starfish was a fantasy short story started on July 22, 2015, as part of the 2015 Story Match Challenge. It was not finished until October 17, 2016. It is 8,878 words long. This Year’s Starfish is scheduled for release on June 16, 2017.
  • Just a Dinosaur was started on October 17, 2016, and completed the next day. It is a dark rural urban fantasy set in Australia, that ended up being 8,429 words long. Just a Dinosaur is scheduled for release on June 30, 2017.
  • The Years of Voyage is a science fiction short story started on July24, 2015, as part of the 2015 Story Match Challenge. It was not finished until October 17, 2016, when it reached 5,931 words in length. The Years of Voyage is scheduled for release on July 14, 2017.

Stepping Up Challenge Update

  • Languages: Russian continues at a slow pace.
  • Non-Fiction Reading: has continued for classes only.

Ingress Updates (and Pokemon Go, too)

  • No new challenges for me, but  a new badge turned up this week:

The following badges turned up for Pokemon Go, too:

Publishing Tasks

  • Created 0 blog posts for this blog;
  • Updated royalty records
  • Updated tax records
  • Updated sales and platform records, and began rudimentary analysis of trends
  • Released Melerom Leads the Dance on all platforms:

When Melerom escapes the aftermath of his people’s massacre of the humans on Jehornak, he sets himself up as a wealthy wanderer on the Odyssey luxury liners, and acquires the one thing every gentleman needs—a valet—but when his valet begins showing unusually perceptive spurts of initiative, Melerom realises the man is not everything he seems. The only question is, can the man be trusted to help him survive multi-billionaire, Frederico Coleman’s, next party, or betray him?

New Arrivals

The following pieces arrived last week and were completed:
  • FF596—Harrum Scarum: a science fiction piece about finding a partner in the colonies;
  • FF597—Interview with a Dragon: a fantasy piece about seeking sanctuary;
  • FF598—When the Trees Speak: a rural urban fantasy piece about unexpected sanctuary;
  • FF599—Jantani and the Swirl: a science fiction piece about a crashing starship;
  • FF600—Troll Rot Fever: a post-apocalyptic piece inspired by zombies and plague and surviving;
  • FF601—An Unexpected Adventure: a rural urban fantasy piece of flash set in the Australian bush and the world of pixie dust;
  • FF602—Wolf Pact: a piece of science fiction flash set in the universe of the Lunar Wolves;
  • FF603—The Not-So-New Recruit: a piece of science fiction about recruiting in a future force;
  • Poem823—From the Starship to the Spaceport: a science fiction poem about journeys and discovery;
  • Poem824—The Masked: a science fiction poem about the reasons we keep our natures hidden;
  • Poem825—When the Mountains Cry: a science fiction-fantasy blend about seasonal trading;
  • Poem826—The Guardian Flags: a fantasy poem about enchanted flags;
  • Poem827—Dark Stars’ Lure: a science fiction poem dealing with supernatural forces;
  • Poem828—Star-Lit Salvation: a science fiction poem that traces the path of a conflict and its survivors;
  • Poem829—The Scent of Home: a fantasy poem that looks at a territorial misunderstanding;
  • Poem830—The Escape Clause: a science fiction poem about a long war, a defeat, and hope;
  • Poem831—Beneath the Full Moon: a fantasy poem in the form of a rondeau about a werewolf;
  • ShortStory73—This Year’s Starfish: a fantasy short story about fish, and a journey to achieve a dream;
  • ShortStory74—Just a Dinosaur: a dark urban fantasy blending science fiction with legend and an Australian bush setting;
  • ShortStory75—The Years of Voyage: a dark science fiction story to do with colonisation, the plague and legacies left by the past

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Writer Fitness: Ingress Walking – Lap Around the Lake Banner

Last week, I used Ingress to incentivise my walking, completing two banner missions two singles, and 6 of the Canberra Mission Day missions. I was able to stop and take pictures for the first two banners, but the week got a bit busy after that. The first banner mission and pictures taken on the day, are below:

Lap Around the Lake Banner

Designed by Enlightened agent, SuperTuttle, this walk, from the Commonwealth Avenue bridge to the Kings Avenue bridge and back, took about 2 hours to complete. I caught a 300-series bus from the city interchange to the Albert Hall stop (the first stop after the Commonwealth Avenue bridge) and walked back to the bridge and down to the back of Questacon to start, but you could also catch a #3 bus and get off outside the National Library. It just depends on how much of a walk you'd like.

This is only a 6-mission banner, so it takes up the top row of the scanner image below.

It was a windy day, threatening rain. I almost used the weather as an excuse not to walk, but decided to use it as part of the challenge, instead - just how much of the walk could I get done before rain stopped play? (I had completely forgotten the sandwich to put my phone it, so I could keep using it in the rain.) Anyway, I took some photos from both sides of the lake. It truly was a lovely walk. See?

Like I said, the weather was... interesting...

This was the view looking across Commonwealth Avenue, and away from the Australian National Library.

And it didn't get much better... matter which direction you looked.

The weather didn't let up on the lake side, either. This is the International Flag Display.

And some trees framed by flagpoles.

Even the buildings on the other side of the lake looked like mysterious castles when viewed in this light. You can see the Merchant Sailors Memorial in the bottom right by the lake.

I followed this path past the Australian National Gallery.

And saw the sculpture "Virginia" by Clement Meadmoore.

The trees were highlighted in the low light.

By this time, I was nearing the Kings Avenue bridge,

through the trees.

The path passed under the road leading back into the Parliamentary Triangle.

This is the National Carillon, as seen from the Kings Avenue bridge.

And here is the city.

That's Russell Offices and the Australian-American Memorial in the background; a group of walking mothers is in the foreground. There was room enough for all of us on the bridge footpath; it's not as crowded as it looked.

It was not a great day for being out on the lake, but there was this very colourful ferry...

Looking back the other way, I could see where the Old Bus Depot Markets is held every Sunday.

Even the National Carillon managed to look sombre.

Perhaps not as sombre as the National Library. Note the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge in the background. That's we're we'll be going to.

Here is a closer look at the Commonwealth Bridge. I'd walked past the Carillon by this stage, and was over half-way there!

Maybe... it still looked like a fair hike, and the weather was threatening to do more than merely try to blow me away. 

Another shot of the National Library (on the right), and the National Art Gallery (the white building on the left). The International Flag Display and Reconciliation Place are in between.

The birds were out. These two red-rumped parrots were feeding by the path-side. 

And this pair of swans was a mated pair - as the walker off-screen to the right was about to discover, when male swan started running towards him, wings spread wide.

This staid gentleman is the statue of Sir Robert Menzies, one of our prime ministers, and a famed figure around here.

This is the view back towards Floriade.

There was a seat placed so people could look out over the lake, and enjoy Captain Cook Fountain - when it's running.

 Soon afterwards, I was approaching the city end of the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge, and the last portal for the mission covering this leg. The next mission in the series started across the lake at the other end of the bridge. 

I couldn't help looking back at the Kings Avenue bridge. My, wasn't that a long way off.

The National Library looks quite forbidding... or, is that imposing... across the lake.

I climbed these stairs and headed back across the bridge for the last few portals of the mission series, before catching a #3 bus back to the city from outside the Australian National Library.

 It didn't start to rain, until after I'd reached the city and made it onto the bus home.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Progress Report: Week Ending October 15, 2016

Don’t ask me where this week has gone—but it has gone. Also, spring is half-gone, and summer is fast approaching. Better yet, but somewhat sadly, too, the university year is almost gone (just three assessments left!). All this means, of course, that the writing and publishing season is about start – and I am very excited!


  • New words produced: 2,436
  • Old words revised: 0
  • Outlines and Notes: 0
  • Works completed: 0
  • Works revised: 0
  • Covers created: 0
  • Works published: 0
  • Works submitted: 0
  • Competitions Entered: 0
  • Bloggery: 177
  • University Prep and Assignments: 2,953

Story-A-Week Catch-Up Challenge Update

  • Proceeding, the next short story should be finished this week.

Stepping Up Challenge Update

  • Languages: Going very slowly.
  • Non-Fiction Reading: Reading for classes only.

Ingress Updates

No new challenges for me, although I still have a lot of badges that aren’t black, yet, so I'll work towards those. Speaking of badges, though, I earned two more this week, as well as seeing the arrival of the Via Lux Adventure Medal on the scanner. They look very pretty:

I also completed another 26 missions all set around Canberra. They were easy to complete in the dead-time between the bus arrival and class commencement, so there are a few. I might blog about these later. In the meantime, the mission medals are as follows:

Lap Around the Lake Banner

ANZAC Prd and AWM Banner


Canberra Mission Day Missions (6 of 24)

Single Missions

Publishing Tasks

  • Created 2 blog posts for this blog

And that’s it, for this week. The coming week will be a little busier – although I still have an assignment to write, and tutorial prep. My science fiction short story The Taletellers’ Slumber releases in three days' time (November 18).

When Grey, the colony’s Head Botanist, disappears, Kiralee worries. When he has not returned after five months, she goes looking for him, for Grey is more than chief botanist, Grey is a storyteller at heart, a believer in the importance of the tale—and so was every single one of those who disappeared before him. Can Kiralee discover where they went, before the stories are lost forever?