Oct 10

Writers build the web: a back-end tech diary (3)

The Raspberry-Pi: a writer’s server



Completed Raspberry-Pi WordPress server

You can see the finished result up and running, next to a small Japanese coffee cup (designed by artist Akiko Ikeda, whose fantastic picture books taught me a lot of Japanese).
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Aug 27

Writers build the web: a back-end tech diary (2)

The Raspberry-Pi: a writer’s server

Shopping, and writing a disk image to an SD Card

SD Cards, Card reader, Wireless Adapter
Today I went shopping at two local tech supplies shops. The brands I chose are not especially significant, tech specs were the main issue.
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Aug 21

Writers build the web: a back-end tech diary (1)

The Raspberry-Pi: a writer’s server

My website was down again. I walked into the dark narrow server-room. There was a low whispery hum. Fans cooling hard drives—surely a good sign. I looked at the tiny blue, green and orange LEDs. Some were glowing in a relaxed fashion; some were flashing as though they might be awfully busy. Should they be? Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 30

Review of The Self Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide

The Self Publisher's Ultimate Resource Guide

The Self Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide

Joel Friedlander and Betty Kelly Sargent
Edition: first; e-pub viewed using Calibre
Publisher: Marin Bookworks
ISBN 978-0-936385-37-2

A useful directory of mainly US resources for anyone interested in indie writing and publishing

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Three Beauties of the Present Day

Kitagawa Utamaro - Toji san bijin (Three Beauties of the Present Day)From Bijin-ga (Pictures of Beautiful Women), published by Tsutaya Juzaburo - Google Art Project.jpg
Kitagawa Utamaro – Toji san bijin (Three Beauties of the Present Day)From Bijin-ga (Pictures of Beautiful Women), published by Tsutaya Juzaburo – Google Art Project” by UtamarocgH3Mn22MIBngA at Google Cultural Institute, zoom level maximum. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Jun 06

Indigenous Writing and Editing Project


Last Thursday, I went to a seminar on editing Australian Indigenous texts, held by the Indigenous editors of black&write! The editors, Ellen van Neerven-Currie and Linda McBride-Yuke, were the inaugural recipients of the Indigenous editing mentorships offered by the Queensland State Library. We participants were given a deadly* tour of the many indigenous languages, along with creoles, and local varieties of English – all presenting issues for the unwary or unaware.

They gave us a reading list and also a capacious book bag with the above picture on it. I plan to put both to good use.

There are a couple of free online highlights on the reading list:

The Little Red Yellow Black Book: An introduction to Indigenous Australia has an online gateway.

Writing Black: New Indigenous Writing from Australia is available as a free iBook.

Now for the ‘not free’.

If you would like to go book shopping, Magabala Books lists their black&write! prize winners here: http://www.magabala.com/books/black-write-winners.html Most of their books are available through the major e-book stores.

UQP also maintain a list of Black Australian Writing: http://www.uqp.uq.edu.au/CategoryBookList.aspx/62/Black%20Australian%20Writing
Their books can also be found in the major e-book stores.

If Australian Indigenous chick lit is your thing, then check out Anita Heiss – also available at an e-book store near you.

* ‘deadly’ means ‘excellent’ in Indigenous Australian English

Apr 24

Describing People 101

Miniature Horse

A miniature horse puts his best hoof forward.

Sometimes, for whatever reason, a writer can really put his hoof in it. Take, for example, Nathan Myer’s description of Otis Hope Carey, an indigenous Australian surfer:

‘With his apeish face and cowering hair-curtains, I expect little more than Cro-Magnon grunts from his mouth. I am caught off guard by the clarity and eloquence of his speech.’
From <http://stabmag.com/otis-carey-is-suing-nathan-myers-and-surfing-life/>

Astonishingly, this was published. Any editor worth her (or his) salt should have picked this one up and put a big red line through it. Just put the keywords together into these easy equations :

‘apeish face’+ likely to emit ‘Cro-Magnon grunts’=pretty insulting to anyone

‘apeish face’+ likely to emit ‘Cro-Magnon grunts’+indigenous Australian=Why don’t you just go poke a red, raw, angry nerve?

Even when the young man you have insulted seems pretty cool and has said elsewhere, ‘I don’t give a fuck what you say about me unless it’s positive.’ Everyone has their limits.

A single red line and a little thought would have prevented this from become a legal matter.* A moment’s empathy wouldn’t have been wasted either.

If people of indigenous descent take personally Australia’s history of putting Social Darwinism into bloody practice, then good on them. For those wondering about the extent of the cruel attacks made on Aboriginal communities, check out the measured and scholarly assessments made by Lyndall Ryan and Raymond Evans in Passionate Histories (2.8 MB and free!) for Tasmania and Queensland respectively. Or check out the Conniston Massacre (1928) for a brief snapshot.

History matters, and we live with the consequences long after the events.

And for the record, Otis Carey is actually quite good-looking. Well out of my age band though.

* ‘cowering’ needs a red line too, and ‘WW’ next to it; but that’s a side issue here.

Mar 10

Murder and the taste of limes

limebugs2With leather gloves, I seize these bugs, as they breed, as they eat tender leaves and buds. The air stinks and my skin sometimes burns with the acrid juice they spray in fear.

‘I’m amazed how quickly the desire for limes made me a murderer.’

‘No, you were already a murderer. What’s interesting is how quickly you became a mass murderer,’ remarks my husband, casting an analytical eye over the crushed bodies beneath my feet.

I do this so we can squeeze limes into our tea, our beer, our curry, and so we can eat death marmalade.



But enough about what I get up to in the weekends. There is much more intriguing  (and free) weekend reading online. SQ Mag, an ‘International Speculative Fiction eZine’, includes SF, bizarro, horror, fantasy and the supernatural. In the March 2013 issue, I lingered over ‘The Stills’ by Jeremy C. Shipp. The story makes my weekend activities look quite benign. I like that in a story.