Inside the writer’s mind – library cutbacks

Comic strip about writing and library cutbacks.

Shameful Cutbacks For Libraries

Last Friday, I was shocked to learn my local council intends to close two of the three libraries in my region. That will mean I’ll have to travel thirty minutes to the remaining one, which is something I won’t do, even though I love reading. It’s just not practical for me to travel so far. Instead, I’ll be forced to buy every book that I want to read, which will severely limit what I choose because I don’t have an infinite budget. I won’t discover any new authors by casually browsing until I find something new and exciting. I won’t learn obscure facts from giant reference books. I won’t try something different because it was free to borrow. Instead, my reading will be limited to only those books I can afford to buy.

Unfortunately, libraries are closing all over the country – in vast numbers. The government are slashing the number to save cash – allegedly.

When I was little, my dad used to take me to the local library so I could borrow loads of books on every subject under the sun. I love books today because I was exposed to so many when I was younger. If those books had not been free to read, I would not have read them and learnt to expand my imagination.

It’s incomprehensible to me any civilised society would close libraries when the benefits of keeping them open are so obvious. Libraries are a vital resource. Reading books develops critical thinking. It educates children. It provides pleasure and stimulates the mind.

Without libraries, future generations will be less educated than the current one, creating more problems than it solves, so it makes no sense to close them, no matter how bad the state of the economy. Employers always complain about the poor level of education of graduates unable to spell basic words and form grammatical sentences. Investing more in libraries will help solve that problem. The government needs to invest more in libraries – much, much more – if they want to reduce crime and poverty and improve society. Cutting back the number of libraries to save money costs more money in the long term. It’s insane. No libraries should be closed to “save” money.

It’s a false economy.

A big, ugly lie.

Closing libraries closes minds.

Does anyone want that?

We need to keep libraries OPEN.

We’ll be far worse off if they close.

 

 

Writing to Sell – Notes from a Workshop

Useful advice about writing and selling science fiction.

omearaartandwords

In April 2013, I attended a “Writing to Sell” workshop at the 52nd Natcon Convention in Canberra. This workshop focused on factors to think about when writing short-form fiction for the professional speculative fiction market. The following contains some of the tips I gleaned and, while most of them are familiar and self-explanatory (writer 101 stuff), there were a couple of pointers I hadn’t thought of so I thought I’d share.

Obviously, the usual rules apply. There is no one way to get published and no ‘formula’ per se to writing fiction (after all, if there was, everyone would be doing it). There is also hard work involved. Like any of the arts, writing is a skill that takes time and practice to master.

1) Your work should come across as professional (fail to do this and you won’t get a look in)

– Make sure your grammar and spelling…

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New Release: Visions VI: Galaxies – science fiction anthology

New Release: Visions VI: Galaxies

Visions VI book cover
Includes “Canyon Falls”

The sixth anthology in Lillicat Publisher’s series of science fiction books is now available to buy on Amazon and other major retailers. Visions VI: Galaxies contains thirteen short stories, including my story Canyon Falls.

Visions VI: Galaxies is the latest anthology from Lillicat Publishers edited by Carrol Fix – a collection of thirteen science-fiction stories. They include Forecasts by Bridges DelPonte, involving a research station beset by the psychic trauma released by a genocidal event. It’s an interesting story with some great ideas. There’s also an alien abduction story called Shidee by W.A. Fix, which reveals the disturbing activities of the so-called Grays. I also enjoyed reading an intriguing aliens-meet-humans first contact story called Cloud Marathon by Gustavo Bondoni.

Visions VI contains a diverse selection of SF – a mix of hard and soft SF, some space opera, some military SF, some dystopian, some not.

From the publisher:

Edited by Carrol Fix, the sixth anthology of the Visions Series features: Bruce C. Davis, W. A. Fix, J. Richard Jacobs, John Moralee, Sharon Kraftchak, Gustavo Bondoni, Mary Madigan, Al Onia, Thomas Olbert, Sidney Blaylock, Jr., Bridges DelPonte, Doug C. Souza, and Amos Parker.

You can check out Visions VI: Galaxies on Amazon via these links:

Amazon US: Paperback/Kindle version

Amazon UK: Paperback/Kindle version

or at Smashwords