Category Archives: Uncategorized

In the cutting

I’ve been following Station Stories for a while because she writes well and the stories resonate with images of ‘home’. Today though, Softsenta’s post touched my heart. Sitting in my middle class world, it’s too easy to believe we don’t /really/ have a homeless problem. And then reality hits, and so does the shame.
We could do better. A lot better. 😦

Station Stories

With permission from

Feeling rather small and ashamed today.  A member of the track cleaning crew dropped by and told me that while the trains were stopped for maintenance last night they’d taken the opportunity to clear up the couches in the cutting.  Ever since I saw those young men carrying couches up the cutting back in May I’ve been agitating to have them cleared away.  That’s because I was assuming this was a cubby house for young thugs or what we in the railways call a “shag garden”.  So I was horrified to discover that when the track crew went down there at 1.00 in the morning they found instead people sleeping in a homeless camp.  Now I hate myself for being just another authority figure persecuting the homeless who have enough problems as it is.

The Track Man told me that the homeless would probably come back. …

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To all my friends in Florida – stay safe!

I’ve only just realised how many of my online friends live in Florida and have been sorely affected by these hurricanes.

Please stay safe and don’t do anything macho – that’s you guys, right? Let us know you’re okay when you can.

-massive hugs-


Dear Mr Turnbull – India is leaving us behind

Originally posted on Climate Denial Crock of the Week: India charging ahead on renewables. Vying with China for global leadership in the growth industry of the new century. Meanwhile, Washington looks longingly to the 19th century. Watch for new video on this topic coming very soon. Meanwhile, Denmark has decided to offload oil interests, and…

via As US Dithers, World Charges Ahead to Renewables — Die Erste Eslarner Zeitung – Aus und über Eslarn, sowie die bayerisch-tschechische Region!

India is surging ahead with renewables because the India government recognizes that renewables will be cheaper in the long run than fossil fuels. China is doing the same, and both countries are positioned to become the power houses of industry in the coming decades.

But where does that leave Australia? Fumbling in the dark, that’s where. We could have become world leaders in solar technology, but the lack of political vision and will sent our innovative companies offshore, and now we import the technology from…China.

All that potential, wasted, because our politicians are ‘scared’ of upsetting the apple cart. So instead of leading, we follow, and in the process, we get left further and further behind.

Ten years ago, the Australia people voted with their wallets when they installed record numbers of rooftop solar panels. But instead of rewarding us, successive governments have tried to slow or stop small scale solar altogether.

And then there’s Adani…taxpayer dollars to fund the hope of short term gain. Pathetic.


Fossil of Tassie Devil-like marsupial in Turkey

Originally posted on Dear Kitty. Some blog: From the University of Salford in England: ‘Euro Devil’: Fossil of carnivorous marsupial relative discovered in E Europe August 17, 2017 Scientists have discovered fossil remains of a new carnivorous mammal in Turkey, one of the biggest marsupial relatives ever discovered in the northern hemisphere. The findings, by…

via Tasmanian devil-like fossil marsupial discovery in Turkey — Die Erste Eslarner Zeitung – Aus und über Eslarn, sowie die bayerisch-tschechische Region!

For some reason I always thought that Australian marsupials – such as the kangaroo and Tasmanian Devil – were unique to Australia, but apparently not. The discovery of this marsupial fossil in Turkey indicates that marsupials were much more widespread than originally thought.

I hope the efforts to save the Tassie Devil succeed and it doesn’t join its ancient relative in the extinction record.

100 Great Songs to Publish a Book to, #96: The Moody Blues, The Swallow

Chris James is my sci-fi writing buddy, and I had the great pleasure of being a beta reader for his latest book – Onslaught.

Sorry, it’s not out yet, but you can pre-order it already. Well worth it!


Chris James's blog

Feeling wrung out, run down, fed up, or just plain done in?  Then this is a track for you.  The Moodies will feature more than once on this list, and The Swallow is the perfect accompaniment to soothe feelings of failure, frustration, resentment, anger and bitterness.  Of course, self-publishing authors don’t have any of those feelings, ever, oh no.  (Subs pls check: Does James have sufficient meds to get through this list?  Ed.)

Onslaught is available for pre-order at the special introductory price of $2.99 in the US here, and in the UK here.

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Vibrant Mushroom Arrangements Photographed

I’ve always loved beautiful things, but these photographs of /mushrooms/ are so lovely and so unusual, they literally made my jaw drop.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Have a wonder Sunday, Australia.


Artist and educator Jill Bliss lives on a small island in the Salish Sea, an intricate network of coastal waterways that stretches from British Columbia to the Pacific Northwest.

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An embarrassed apology….

To all the people who’ve gone to some effort to find the Follow button on my blog – I really do apologise. I had no idea it’d been pushed so far down the page.

Now that I do know [thank you Gradmama2011] I have to thank each and every one of you for persisting and following me anyway.

I’ve fixed the Follow button now, and it’s up where it should have been all along, at the top of the page.

Thanks again, much love,


Is anyone using Word 2007, 2003 or earlier?

I’m currently writing a how-to on Styles in Word, and I need to know if text written using a particular style is automatically updated when that style is modified.

For example, let’s say I write a page of something in Word using the stock standard ‘Normal’ style. If I then go into the ‘Normal’ style and change the font – say from 11 point to 40 point – when I click OK, will the page of typing update to 40 point automatically?

I know what happens in Word 10, 13 and 16, but I can’t remember what happens in earlier versions. If anyone can help, I’d be eternally grateful!




The Only Rule Amazon Truly Cares About

I don’t post a great deal about self-publishing, but David Gaughran’s experience with Amazon sent a real chill down my spine. David is very well known in self-publishing circles and has been a tireless champion of self-published authors for a long time. For this to happen to someone like him highlights the precariousness that we all face. All Indies that is.

If you have self-published anything at all, this is an article you cannot afford to miss. And if you feel as worried by it as I do, you might want to spread the news to other Indies.

We have the power to make Amazon listen, but only if we work together.

David Gaughran

On Monday, I found out that some bug hit a German e-book site causing the reactivation of long-dead listings, including one of mine, putting myself and some other authors in breach of KDP Select’s exclusivity rule.

Amazon pounced into action and cancelled my Countdown deal which was scheduled for this week, screwing up a carefully planned promotion. And despite pledging to resolve the matter and restore the promo, Amazon has not done so.

I’m going to go through what happened in detail so you can be sure that I acted correctly at all points – because there is a lot of shadiness going on at the moment – but feel free to skim some of the details if you wish.

Let’s Get Digital and Let’s Get Visible had never been in Select, so I decided to throw them in for one term as an experiment at the start of July…

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3 hours to enter a great sci-fi competition

I don’t normally enter competitions because I never win anything. No, seriously. Nevertheless, the thought of winning a new Kindle as well as a stack of new books made me change my mind.


Click the link below to go to the competition page being promoted by Andy McKell, one of the sci-fi authors participating in the competition:

Best of luck everyone!


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