Happy Saturday

Hi all,

…Who at this stage is just me.

Still too scared to create a new facebook page to advertise this though? How many people do I really think will read this? Ever? I have to believe that things will change. That I will gain confidence, that my writing will always improve and one day sell. I have to because why else would I do it? hmmm Maybe just cause I have to, just because it is an energy and a passion that rises up inside me and I just have to get it out. Purging, poetic catharsis, a continual effusing of mental magma that stills my mind – preventing me from  having that devastating eruption, that is ever lurking in the subconscious.

Oh I cant wait for that day though, when the pressure is so high that it becomes inevitable that I will blow!!! Kaboom! What a pretty sight it will be…the walls of my life painted with the red raw artistry.

I had a good day yesterday, reworking some sections of my book and I really must get back to it today before I head out to work.

Currently listening to the soundtrack to ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ – possibly one of the best tracks to write to, just magical, I’m not sure how it works really, but I find it inspires the mind without ever distracting, and the main theme threads through almost every song on the score without ever becoming repetitive. Alexandre Desplat is truly a magician of musical tonality.

And while we are on the topic of Genius’s here is my quote for the day from a man who spans the gap between science and spirituality without effort or conceit. Beautiful Mr. Carl Sagan

Happy Saturday everyone and happy Australia day to those back home!

Long live science and magic!

Music for Thursday

Ahhh Thursday, what have we done?

Well, today my goal was to see if I could reshape this section of the book that had been bothering me for a while now. It’s one of the buildup sequences to a rather large climax and it wasn’t doing enough for my character – wasn’t giving enough depth and intensity. So how did I choose to work on this matter now? By listening to the Alien/Aliens/Alien3 soundtracks of course. There is no better way to write fear than to listen to it in its purest form. And fear in space – even more appropriate.

Jerry Goldsmith…you are the man! James Horner…OK so it sounds like some of it might have borrowed ideas from the soundtrack to 2001 A.S.O, but hey, its still possibly the most amazing thing Horner has ever done and kills me every time i hear it! (Also possibly my favourite film theme ever.??) And who could forget Elliot Goldenthal – Alien3, this score is possibly the main reason I like that movie, a heart wrenching journey though orchestral sound, stunningly beautiful. Thank you ALIEN!

As a person who works in film sound, sound and music play a key role in my writing process, both the presence of it and the absence of it. Sometimes I need quiet to write, but most of the time, if I’m at home, i have my juicy Genelec speakers blaring away some music to set the mood. Most of the time its film scores, especially since (lets face it) writing to someone singing is just distracting.

So for this book, I would say i have rotated around 200 different film scores to fit the sections I’m working on. Sadly, some of the best soundtracks are just too short and I need to listen to them on repeat…other times i find a series of films can fill many hours of fresh music (see the extended Lord of the Rings trilogy for a tasty 17 hours of running time music)

Yes, living in Wellington, this kind of music is heard on every street corner, I can’t go for a run in this landscape without feeling like I’m running away from Orcs. No…there are no Orcs in my book, well…maybe Orc-like aliens. Still, this music is so epic it is appropriate to write to no matter what genre I’m writing.

OK, now I feel like listening to it, since my action sequence take place in a cave, khazad-dûm here we come!!

Hmm yes, new blog good blog

This is very better… yes, i could actually be moderately productive. Maybe I’ll blog more than once a month if I don’t have to stomach the bothersome, loathsome process that is navigating my archaic host site.

So, news for today? I just had sushi!

I would say that is one of the greatest victories I could hope for in a day.

Working on what is officially titled draft 5, although its more like draft 8. I’m up to chapter 30 out of 43, sitting somewhere around 70,000 out of 97,000 and although this draft started out as being a project of elimination where I would cut out unnecessary sections and tidy up any lose threads, it has become instead a processof reducing needless adjectives. Sadly, (Yes I know that is an adjective) this process is one that increases my word count so I have slowly gained a few thousand words.

I feel like the person who starts going to the gym and then uses this achievement to justify increasing her ice-cream consumption. (Yes, even though Wellington is much colder than Sydney, I find that ice-cream is an ever increasing trend in my diet. But Kapiti…oh Kapiti, why is your boysenberry and vanilla ever so creamy?!)

In addition to this reduction-expansion approach to my 5th draft, I’m also going to try and punch some more energy into my intro and climax sequences. Lord help me stay under 100,000 words because I just don’t want to chop those sections that are already swimming with comment flags and question marks.

Hold on brave sections, don’t die yet. Not till I’m sure I have something better to replace you with.


Why do I avoid blogging?

Well it’s not that I avoid it, but I guess more that I’m not very good at it yet/ that I’m scared of it/ and I’m so busy doing other work that it fails as a priority to me.

Moreover, I never liked the idea of blogging. Its something I think is more suited to those people that have to say every little thought that pops into their heads. I have always thought of bloggers as being mindless blabber mouths who clog up their lives, houses, pantries, cyberspaces with pictures of their everyday meals, thoughts about what they might do after breakfast and lists of their most hated condiments.

They are the people with collections of bread tags and bottle tops in boxes under their beds. Blogging is for people with no real insight and too much noise rambling through their heads. People who think ‘quiet’ is having the TV turned down low.

As a sound editor I know that the world is never quiet. As long as there are ears to hear and a medium through which vibrations can move then there will always be noise. Out in a quiet field there are the birds, the crickets, the wind, the distant traffic, the planes that cross the sky every 3.5 minutes. There is the deep unknown hum of something mechanical that you cant identify, but are not at all bothered by because deep miscellaneous hums and mechanical interference is just a part of the life we have grown accustomed to here on Earth.

So why did I start a blog then? Simply because someone said that it is expected that authors blog. And they are right. Authors do blog and some of them say great things.

I think the idea that authors should blog has to do with the need to constantly compete with the entire planet to have fresh cyber-trash for the search engines to find us. So that every day, there is a chance that someone will click on our little pages and say;

“Oooo I like that, let me commit my love to it by subscribing.”

The truth is, I haven’t been ready to blog properly. I am so unused to having my opinions reviewed by strangers or friends for that matter. I hate even changing my facebook status.

I mean really. All I have done so far is complain about things or think I should drink more coffee. (I’m drinking coffee right now actually, big surprise!)

Yet, I must get better at this blogging. Maybe if it wasn’t called blogging, I’d be more interested. A Blog sounds like some monster from an old horror film.

Well, it is what it is.

So, here it goes, here I am trying harder.

Look at me go.


To begin with I think I have to admit that I did this because I’m writing a book and that I don’t want this to be just a hobby, I want it to sell. I have to take it as serious as any other job I do. So that in mind I can consider that now I must think of myself as an author.

My first book, Wandering Stars, though unpublished is near completion. I have done so a number of draft, but it feels more like one draft that has never really ended.

Why sci-fi? It’s not a real sci-fi. Sure there are sci-fi elements, like how it is set in space and most of the characters are aliens.


However, I never meant it to be a classical sci-fi, like in the model of the Prometheus myth where man pushes science too far and is destroyed by his own creation – the Frankenstein effect. I think when it comes to classifying this work, my book reads more like a traditional fantasy with two heroes setting out on a quest. So, is it science and sword then? Like Edgar Rice Burrows princess of Mars epics? Possibly.

I think I want to give to young readers a sci-fi that did what Star Wars or Star Trek did for our generation. Simply that it inspired a new generation to take an interest in space and science. I believe that we need a resurgence of interest in space exploration and I want to do that in a way that is both informative as well as emotionally engaging.

So, my blogging is now going to be more about journaling my books progress and less about ranting, hopefully.