Yearly Archives: 2014

Why Australian editors should get used to the singular ‘they’.

The below post is the oral presentation I gave for Editing Principles and Practice on the 16th of October 2014. It was very well received and earned an HD (High Distinction). Our assignment was to choose any editing-related topic, interview someone relevant to the topic (I spoke to two people), and give a six minute presentation with at least three references. I stuck to the overall theme of transgender representation in the media from semester one and focused on one of my favourite topics: pronouns.

(Yes, I am aware I am an immense geek.)

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Changing goals

I’ve had a horrendous November healthwise. I got diagnosed with bilateral ulnar nerve entrapment at Guyon’s canal, which basically means both my wrists are stuffed. I’m wearing a splint on my left hand to help ease the pressure, since it’s worse. I can’t quite type as fast as usual, but I’m getting there. Then last week I had a horrible back day (I have a lumbar hernia) and I couldn’t get up, at least until I sneezed and my nose started gushing blood, which meant I struggled to the bathroom to bleed in the basin instead of on the sheets. And then at 1.30 AM on Wednesday I woke up coughing and threw up so much I ended up having to go to hospital, since I was staying at a friend’s place and thus nowhere near my own GP (as if he’d be up at 1.30 AM anyway).

So instead of aiming for 50K for NaNoWriMo this year (I’m currently at 27,303 words), I’m aiming to a) hit 30K and b) finish the current chapter I’ve just started. Then my game plan for next November is to write 50K across four different projects, namely the four unfinished works in the Sharehouse series, to get as many of those to completed first draft stage as I can.

The other big goal that’s changing relates to my Masters. I had a whole course structure planned, and I have pretty much stuck to it so far, except that I dropped Electronic Publishing as it didn’t quite fit in with my plans after all. Unfortunately not all the subjects I wanted to do in the second year are on offer. In fact, only one of them — Law and Regulation — will be going ahead in 2015. So I’m looking at subjects from the Master of Media, since that was suggested to me by one of the MComm admin people (Carey, who has been all kinds of helpful).

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NaNoWriMo 2014

Word war widget - Lauren vs Vix

More to come, but war has been declared on me. Or something.

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MComm update – July 2014

I got a Credit for Story, Genre, and Medium — I nearly got a Distinction, but my non-fiction screenplay wasn’t quite as amazing and wonderful as my fiction screenplay, which is only to be expected because I’m a fiction writer, not a non-fiction writer.

Except maybe not, because I got a High Distinction for Professional Research and Evaluation, and that’s the non-fictioniest non-fiction you can get, really. I blame it on my passion for proper media representation of GSMs — that’s Gender and Sexual Minorities and is the quickest way of saying trans and bi and asexual and intersex and lesbian and gay and… well, you get the idea. (My preferred term is QUILTBAG or just queer, but I’m toying with GSM as a more academic-sounding term. Although writing a paper on ‘giblets’ would be fabulous.)

I really have to commend Dr. Jonathan Smith as a lecturer and tutor for this subject. He referred to us all as ‘researchers’ throughout the semester, and by the end of the semester I felt I’d earned the title with his guidance and suggestions for how to take my personal interests and tighten the focus on them to make the basis for a research paper.

I’m two weeks into second semester now. My two subjects are Electronic Publishing and Editing Principles and Practice. Both are nice small classes (I think the enrolment cap was 30?). I’m enjoying Editing immensely as a refresher for skills I learned when I did the Grad Dip in Editing and Publishing; I was glad to see that my copyediting skills haven’t declined too much. (I love Track Changes in MS Word, but boy oh boy is it not the same as pen and paper editing!) Electronic Publishing is interesting and one assignment involves website creation, so my vague ideas of learning CSS ‘one day’ might need to get kicked up a notch.

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Continuum X: Sunday Night Awards Ceremony


I knew why I was supposed to be dressing up; I was in the top three finalists for the ASFF Amateur Short Story Award. I’d worked on this short story, emailed it off, and waited — with a bit of nail-nibbling — to see how I went, and I’d received an email back saying to dress nicely for the awards ceremony because I’d be accepting one of the awards.

Shiny, I thought, and made sure my little black dress still fit.

The awards night was Sunday night. I was simultaneously wired on caffeine, sleep deprived, and my own usual brand of slightly loopy. I sat near the front for ease of access to the stage. My friend Narrelle was one of the presenters, so it was super fun watching her banter with her co-host, George Ivanoff. They presented the Chronos Awards first. I was expecting the Ditmars to be next, and then everyone to wander off to the bar while this short story award, which I had very inaccurately thought was the equivalent of Emmy for Best Dog Toenail Polish in a Postmodern Drama, was presented.

They did not.

There was a speech from Rose Mitchell (no relation) of the ASFF about how winners of this award have often gone on to win other, bigger awards. (No pressure, I thought.) There was the announcement of third place, and it was not me. I turned around and looked at my friend Figgy, who was there with me, and possibly raised an eyebrow in a that narrows it down way. I can’t be sure because I don’t think I can actually do that.

Then they announced second place, which was also not me. Despite the caffeine-sleeplessness-loopiness combo, I was able to do the maths. I turned around and looked at Figgy again with my mouth ever so slightly ajar. Her facial expression was the physical equivalent of the sound of squealing.

Then they announced first place and it was me and I had to figure out how walking worked. I wanted badly to look at the audience, to see those of my friends who weren’t manning the registration desk, and the new friends I had made, to see their reactions. I physically couldn’t, because if I looked anywhere but at Narrelle and Rose, I was going to fall over. I was in actual tears.

I made it to the stage, I got my certificate (and cheque! Woohoo!), I then made it back to my seat and collapsed into Figgy’s arms. I picked up my phone to tweet, because internet, and it wouldn’t work because the results were being livetweeted and as a result I had so many notifications already that the app crashed.

I wasn’t so out of it that I couldn’t applaud the rest of the awards, and make delighted noises when Tansy won things, but a lot of what I did was sit there being gobsmacked.

Then after the awards were done I had a bazillion people congratulate me. Tansy hugged me. Jim Hines hugged me, which was awesome. Sharon Moseley hugged me. I had handshakes.

And then I had Stephen of Satalyte Publishing (and his gorgeous baby girl Elizabeth) pull me aside and ask to catch up on Monday in the Dealer’s Den… but that’s just the beginning of that story, a story that I hope will unfold more over the coming months.

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Continuum X and MComm update

I got an email. It says to dress nicely for the Awards Night part of the Continuum X convention.

No, I didn’t secretly pull a Beyoncé and publish something and then get awarded a Ditmar without telling you all. (As if I could.) It’s rather lower-key than that. But it’s a thing. A good thing. I will post less mysteriously about it after the night.

As far as Continuum X goes, I’m a panelist on four panels covering a range of topics: The Big Bang Theory, Writing Fanfic, Othered Sexuality, and the Gets Personal panel at which I’ll be talking about my experiences with mental illness and queer sexuality. (As two separate topics, I must stress!) I also plan to be all over the place in between those things. If you want to find me, it’s probably safer to tweet at me or something, because I have over two thousand spam comments on this blog and no idea how to filter the fuckers.

And as far as uni goes, I’m nearly done with the first semester of the MComm. So far I’ve had a mixture of marks for the Research subject but also the feedback that my project topic (how the media represent transgender people and how they could do it better) will make a great Masters final project (there was mention of it being PhD material; I tried not to hide under a table). My fiction screenplay treatment was well received (Distinction!) and I got told I was gifted, so my ego is now offering early morning hot-air balloon rides over the city.

It’s still only the start of what will be a long journey, but I’m feeling pretty good.

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Complexly inferior

I have my first class for Story, Genre, and Medium tomorrow (yeah, I am sticking to the subject plan I made months ago, as far as possible). It’s actually a two-day intensive workshop. At which, I fear, I will be unmasked as the total fraud that I am.

There’s a discussion board for what people want to achieve with their storytelling, what message they want to send out. Other people have said things about capitalism, asylum seekers, and other big important topics.

My post on there basically boils down to ‘um duh hi I write book’.

I shall continue to hope that there will be other people who are just out to tell a story in the subject, since not everyone who is in the subject has posted to this discussion board (I know this because more people have posted in the intros thread than in this other thread and I can still manage basic mathematics even if I can’t break my stories down into political soundbites).

Or I could turn up tomorrow in my Bazinga t-shirt and earnestly tell everyone why Chuck Lorre needs a punch in the junk.

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