This week’s writing challenge revolves around a photo I took of a Variable Oystercatcher (Haematopus unicolor) on Paraparaumu beach near Wellington, New Zealand. Use the photo to inspire a 150-200 word super-short story – a proper one, with beginning, middle, end and punchline (all super-short stories gotta have a punchline) – and post it on your blog, with… More This week’s short-story challenge
I went into a coffee shop the other day intending to buy scones – which they make and sell on the premises. The place was filled with techno-elevator music at shattering volume. I asked for the scones. And then the fun began. Music: THOP THOP THOP THOP Counter goon: Worb blurb wob with your coffee?… More The dangers of talking around loud music
There are a million individual words in English. Most of them are quite obscure and deserve better attention than they get. This week’s word is… Gonfalon – a noun meaning a pennant hung on a crossbar. Thought to be of sixteenth century Italian origin. Your challenge? Write a sentence (or two) in the comments using… More The obscure word of the week is gonfalon
I saw a small storm on Facebook the other day over intellectual property. It involved people who’d invented a variety of techniques for a particular craft and were selling the method in seminars. And so they should. It’s their intellectual property and it’s fair to get a return on it; people gotta eat. The problem… More Paying people for use of their intellectual property is fair – isn’t it?
This week’s writing challenge revolves around a photo I took of an ‘art deco’ bus in Napier, New Zealand. Use the photo to inspire a 150-200 word super-short story – a proper one, with beginning, middle, end and punchline (all super-short stories gotta have a punchline) – and post it on your blog, with the prompt photo… More This week’s short story challenge
Despite all kinds of speculation – both serious and in sci-fi – the scientific fact about alien life is that we haven’t actually found any yet. So if anybody asks whether it exists, all that can be said scientifically is ‘nobody knows’. That said, it’s highly likely that it does. There’s still a chance that… More I’m convinced that the first aliens we find will be bacteria…
A documentary series I featured in has re-run on TV this past few weeks, with the result that I’ve ended up fielding cheerful comments from people I know only vaguely. ‘Saw you on TV.’ I didn’t even know it was repeating. I don’t watch TV these days. Will the exposure help sell my books? Probably… More The tricky challenge for writers – discovery by social media