Fabulously Creative Workshop with Walter Mason


Another write up about the fabulously creative Walter Mason.

High Fantasy Addict

Walter Mason

Today, I had the pleasure to attend a 3-hour workshop with Walter Mason, aptly named ‘Fabulously Creative.’ Part writing workshop and part inspiration session, Walter and his course were both, indeed, fabulous!

I’m generally wary of free classes, mostly because I’m not sure how much I’ll get out of them, and I hate to waste the time I could have spent writing. I’d heard a lot of great things about Walter though and was looking forward to getting a few kernels or ideas that I could take with me into my current projects. I was really impressed just how much I got out of this short workshop – definitely more than just a few ideas!

Walter is a dynamic teacher and his enthusiasm for writing is infectious. After introductions, he began with his own list of inspirational historical writers (writers who were often scandalous, but always noteworthy), and asked…

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Fabulously Creative With Walter Mason ( @walterm )



I love attending Walter Mason workshops because he is the writing equivalent of viagra. We writers can be a terribly insecure and depressive bunch, much inclined to wallowing and procrastination. Walter Mason is the antidote. An encounter with Walter never fails to send blood rushing to the brain and joy spurting from the fingertips to splatter words onto paper.

Those closest to me know that at the moment I’m not exactly winning my battles with depression. Hey, it’s a war, so I’m sure I’ll get there, but right now I’m just flat, tired, and not winning. These flat times make not only eating and moving hard, but also writing. These glorious notions of depression creating exquisite pain to tap into emotional brilliance aren’t entirely true. Sure, you need light and shade to truly feel and you want that in your writing but being in a depressed state isn’t really conducive of writing. It’s grey, not fifty shades of grey, just one shade of grey. And hard to climb out of or write from. Writing once out of it is easy. The stereotypes ring true, once out of the pit, not so much in it. So a pick me up is vital.

So if you need some inspiration or an extra dose of fabulous, I do urge you to attend a Walter Mason event or read either of his travel memoirs, Destination Saigon and Destination Cambodia. Everybody needs a pick me up every now and then.  Especially creative types.

For more information please visit:

P.S. when is a travel show going to pick Walter Mason up? Getaway, Sydney Weekender, I’m not fussy, but this man needs to be on television.

#ImACelebrityAU Ep. 3…


… I didn’t watch it. My daughter was having trouble sleeping so I was with her. But I suspect the nonproduced parts where the people interacted were the best parts and that the scripted stunts where horrible things were done to the celebrities the required little skill were pretty pointless. Just a hunch…


#ImACelebrityAU Ep. 2: Something About Smarties, Vodka, and #MKR



Full disclosure,  I have almost no clue what happened, I watched MKR instead. I caught a few pieces here and there in the ads so here’s the 7 things I took away from it:

1. Julia Morris is looking amazing. Has she gotten a new PT? Is she wearing a waist shrinker? Can I get one? Her breasts are defying gravity, they possibly have their own post code. There will be no Susan Sarandon sag type complaints about our JM.

2. The camera people have the worst sense of humour. The WORST! They laugh at weirdly positioned moments very loudly. I am growing to hate them.

3. Brendan Fevola spoke about his time in rehab. Probably the most interesting part. Either that or the fact that Paul Harrigan is a vegetarian. Everyone was shocked. So Fevola and Harrigan can have tie point 3 because they were equally interesting. Way more interesting than point 4.

4. Shane Warne entered the jungle and no fucks were given. He got made leader and still no fucks were given. I do wonder how long before ge starts hitting on the younger women. Admittedly he does his best work via text after a skin full, so he may hold out a bit, but hey, he did say he was keen for people to see the real him…

5. Joel and Heather probably outhost the hosts…

6. Gross stuff was done to Warney and Fevola… why do people want to see horrible things being done to people? If they had to build huts, or create fishing lines, I could get it. But just making them suffer totally pointless, artificial horrors, just seems awful.

7. I think the show would actually be better with less produced stunts and less comments from the hosts… so in short, if it actually was reality TV and not painful commercialism that just isn’t working… Although, one more production element would be useful,  constantly flash up names. Seriously, I still have no clue who half of them are.


… but seriously, how good was MKR? I would be the worst contestant ever. The inevitable kitchen fire during a hail storm would happen. My MKR partner would look me deep in the eyes and give a stirring speech about how we can still pull everything together and the viewers would be sure we were about to be those wild- underdog-mavericks, who just pull it out of the bag, and I’d say… “Fuck that, let’s just put out smarties and vodka, I’m too old for this shit.” Meals would be out on time, they’d be delicious, the guests would be hammered and ver happy, but I think we’d be marked down on our prep, presentation, and whatever factors are in there. So here’s a bonus seven points, this time for MKR

1. I love how excited and positive Monique and Sarah were. They saw their aprons and cheered, they saw Manu and their loins cheered. They were just so happy. I also love that they served chips. I mean they only put three out which was total bullshit. I would have literally flipped the table and stormed out if I was served up three chips, but I loved that chips were on the menu… but only three… the three was bad. Chips good, three bad. But hooray for chips. Non of this waft of artichoke, massaged over a bed of olive mist, gently caressed with beetroot feelings. They served chips, and they wore thongs. Thank you.

2. Although Gianni and Zana have been advertised to be the villains of the piece I think Rosie and Paige are probably the dark horses to become the true biatches. They had snarky things to say about everyone… I obviously want to go drinking with them immediately. They would be hilarious. More Rosie and Paige. Sarcastic snarks unite. I shall definitely be having wine with future viewings so we can be gossipy besties having a laugh…. and occasionally I’ll need a giant gulp because they go from funny to just plain nasty.

3. Jordan and Anna are my favourite because I also have twin boys. That’s all it takes. I am betraying my state and loving the twins instead… even if only one is depicted. (Anna, please crack out the baby photos.)

4. Despite the very obvious eyeliner wings on Zana I’m not inspired to try it. The red lips were divine though. I’ll definitely be redding my lips for April again… I’m probably not going to try flaring my nostrils and pursing my lips every time somebody gives me food either.

5. Zana is trying to out Manu in sauce love… she’s not trying to out Manu him in food love manners. So Manu still wins. Hooray.

6. I really need to use more goats cheese. So do Monique and Sarah (burn).

7. I did find the whole making a big deal about the “cougar” angle a bit distasteful. They’re all consenting adults so making it into something tawdry didn’t sit well with me. But apart from that, I’m super excited to see more and get more cooking ideas. And to see if the next team beats 68 points.

#ImACelebrityAU Ep. 1: 7 Things You Must Know



Okay, here’s the 7 things you need to know about I’m Desperate For Cash Because My Career Has Mercilessly Stalled – Australia:

1. No celebrities are in it.

2. One of the non celebrities hit themself in the head with an oar and then was traumatised for the rest of the show.

3. One of the “celebrities” has the Shane Warne Foundation as their charity, which is awkward because it’s been deregistered… because of corruption. So much corruption.

4. Shane Warne is apparently the massive celebrity everyone is meant to be excited about… yeah, that guy. The one who makes sleazy phone calls to women about drinking wine off their body, somehow managed to date Liz Hurley (here’s a tip, she actually is a celebrity, guess you missed it by one), and takes the medical advice of his mother over actual medical professionals… Apparently she loves diarrhea and speed. Must have been a fun childhood.

5. Paul Harrigan is on there. He’ll possibly be the only one not to annoy you because he won’t whinge nonstop nor will he call the women “chicks.”

6. Anthony Callea is in there. It is a galactic surprise because who would have thought his career had stalled that badly.

7. They have to pick up their own poop. You read it. Poop. Pick it up.

That’s it. I suspect that will be it for the whole series. Oar related PTSD, Warnie looking plastic, more questionning over exactly what has befallen Anthon Callea (is he being blackmailed), and poop.

Open Submissions: Last Call!


Listen to High Fantasy Addict. She knows what’s what.

High Fantasy Addict

January is a good month if you’ve got an unsolicited SF/F manuscript you’d like to get in front of a publisher, with two major publishing houses opening their doors to unsolicited manuscripts this month:

Submissions are open for a brief period at the following publishers:

download 2.jpegAngry Robot Books

Seeking: Complete manuscripts between 70-150,000k in the genres of science fiction or fantasy (incl. steampunk, dark fantasy, alternate history, military SF, modern fantasy, horror, space opera, dieselpunk, cyberpunk)

Electronic submissions only

Submissions close 31st January 2016

You can read all about how to apply here.

download2 2.pngGollancz 

Seeking: Complete manuscripts over 80,000 words in the genres of SF, Fantasy, Horror and YA Crossover.

Hard copies only

Submissions close 22nd January 2016 (so throw you m/s in a courier bag today!)

You can read all about how to apply here. 

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My New Year’s Resolution Is To Be More Me



Gandhi once said something akin to – happiness is when your actions and ideas are in harmony. I’d like a slice of that happiness. The happiness of living to your own moral code, to be in harmony with myself. That’s my aim this year, to be me, to respect my own choices, to back my own choices, and to be happy about it.

Everyday we make judgements and it’s important to do so. I judge pedophilia as wrong, I judge child abuse as wrong, I judge domestic violence as wrong, I judge hate crimes as wrong. I judge the beginnings of these things as wrong – sexism, racism, homophobia, ableism, etc. My aim for this year is to stand firm in my moral judgements, to speak up about them, support those who likewise speak out, and not to be shamed into silence by those who would prefer bigotry to go unquestioned.

We all make our own judgements, it’s time we owned them. If you find your standards tell you something about yourself that you don’t like then change them don’t deny them.

I’m not saying this will be easy. And I am not saying that the attacks (ranging from passive agressive to flat out vitriolic) won’t leave me shaken at times. But in the long term I hope to get there, to that happy place of living my own authentic life. In the meantime I’ll just have to keep reminding myself of the great mantra from the movie Labyrinth – You have no power over me. Any time I feel shaken by someone attempting to silence or shame me I’ll simply whisper – You have no power over me.


Who wants to try it with me?