Bullet point theatre

Folks, you know what we haven’t had here for the longest time? A good old-fashioned roundup of links to other things on the internet!

Other things are great, aren’t they? They’re useful, they’re interesting, they distract you from the inevitability of your own mortality… why deny you such a vital necessity any longer?

(Also, I don’t have the time/energy for another superlong post (that no-one comments on, sob sob), and the thing I wanted to write about this week hasn’t materialised yet.)

And so, to celebrate (checks Wikipedia) Quirinalia – sure, why not – and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s birthday, here’s a bunch of things you should go poke at until the TAB key comes off your keyboard.

  • Kate Cuthbert, lead editor for Harlequin Australia’s digital imprint Escape Publishing, talks about digital publishing and the Australian romance writing scene. I met Kate at GenreCon and she’s awesome, as well as someone who appreciates my karaoke stylings.
  • Did you know that RPG designer Greg Stolze also writes fiction? And that, after kickstartering stories, he gives them away for free? If you didn’t before, you do now, so go download some crazy surreal horror-fantasy from him now.
  • How much does it cost to hire a hitman in Bosnia? What’s the price of meth in Australia? How many prostitutes are there in the United Kingdom? If you need to answer questions like this for your modern crime/crime-related novel – and I think that’s the only reason any of us would want to know that, right? Right? – then check out Havocscope, a site that crowdsources data from a variety of places to build a picture of the global black market and its prices and services.
  • “It’s been like five years since the last video game about rubbing all over the bodies of underage girls to find out if they’re witches.” Just one of the signs that there’s probably no more misogyny in the video games industry. (Note: sarcasm sarcasm so much bitter sarcasm)
  • Have you heard about Storium, the online storytelling platform that’s a kind of hybrid writing/roleplaying/collaboration tool? They’re doing a second round of playtesting ahead of a Kickstarter, and everyone’s favourite beardgoblin Chuck Wendig is part of their team, so maybe you should sign up. (I did. It’s pretty neat.)
  • And speaking of El Wendigo, the Beard That Walks Like a Man, he’s been talking a lot about regular publishing vs self-publishing lately, and a bunch of people have been picking sides and virtually glassing each other about it. I’m not. But I will direct you to his last (for now) word on the subject, ‘Self Publishing Truism Bingo’, which is a smart read and that thankfully has comments turned off.
  • Do you have babies? Have you considered getting one? Absolutely everyone’s doing it. But few of them are as fun or funny as my friend Scepticmum, whose blog is fecking (her term, she’s Irish) hilarious.
  • You know what’s not fun or funny or hilarious? This online comic by a former Serco employee talking about working in Australia’s refugee detention centres. But you should read it nonetheless, because it’s fucking important.
  • If you live in Darebin Council and you’re a writer, then a) we should get together for a shut-up-and-write session, and b) check out the inaugural Mayor’s Writing Award, which is running until the end of April. Mentorships, publication, book vouchers and sweet sweet cash for both adult and teenage writers!
  • And speaking of awards, the Australian Horror Writers Association’s Short/Flash Fiction competition is open, and entries close at the end of May. Will this be the year I finally win a prize? Probably not, since I have no ideas for a story to submit – but if you enter and win I can cruise in a haze of vicarious victory!
  • And speaking even more about awards, the 2013 Aurealis Awards finalists have been announced! Big ups to all those nominated!
  • And speaking of totally different things to awards, here is CHVRCHES doing a cover of ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’, and it is even cooler than you might have wished.

Happy birthday, JGL. This one’s been for you.

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