Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

I am going to try to get and keep caught up with my projects and paperwork this year. What about you?

Coming up from the House of Odgers... two more titles in the Jack Russell Dog Dectective series, "Fowl Play" and "The Blue Stealer", two books in the Pet Vet series, "Cranky Paws" and "The Mare's Tale". (Scholastic Australia.) Two books by Tiffany Mandrake, provisionally called "Flax" and "Mal" (Little Hare), and a novel called "O'Connor's Last Stand" from Eternal Press.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Just when you thought it was safe to go out in the garden...

The dogrose bloometh!

Sally O.
The models are a rose called "Smooth Buttercup" and Tilly-Trump, our smallest Jack Russell. She looks very delicate, but is in fact a feisty little thing.

Writing Guides from Sally Odgers

As a manuscript assessor, I know a lot of first time (and tenth time) writers make mistakes. Some of these are basic mistakes that are obvious, once pointed out. Unfortunately, they're obvious only to someone who already knows the score.

Since the same problems pop up over and over in manuscripts from widely differing authors, I coralled some of them in writing guides which I self-published through .

Self-publishing let me get the guides out right away. It gives me the right to sell tem directly, and also to revise them whenever I choose. They are available as PDFs or as paperback books. Titles include "Writing a Picturebook Text" (what to do and, even more importantly, what NOT to do), "20 Top Tips - the Unwritten Rules of Writing", which is a distilation of all those errors I've met, and made, in nearly 40 years of writing, "Writing Metrical Verse", "Creating a Fantasy Setting", "Writing a Manuscript Proposal" - and five guides that cover Ideas, Plots, Characters, Style and Dialogue.

These guides are available from the Affordable Manuscript Assessment site at or directly from .

Monday, December 17, 2007

5 Things about me

I got tagged by

Rules:Link to the tagger and post these rules on your blog. Share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird. Tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. I really hate it when people put "your" when they mean "you're".
2. I really hate it when people put "it's" when they mean "its".
3. I really hate it when people bestow an apostrophe on every s.
4. I detest jazz.
5. I do not like tinned spaghetti.
6. (Can you tell I am felling a little sour today?)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Serial Thriller!

Professor Julia Eternity is smart, curious, and sociable, so what drives her latest house party to flee through the London fog in a horse-drawn cab? Her old friend Martin knows, but how can he tell the fashionable guests about the Thing in the laboratory? Follow Julia, Martin and their friends through an adventure that owes a little to HG Wells, a jot to Saturday Serials, and
a whole lot to the mad imaginations of Team Eternity!

Julia Eternity, the Thing and Me is a free serial thriller available at the Eternal Press Website. Click on the url below for an instant fix.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Pony Game Virtual Blog Tour

Welcome to Robyn Opie, author of The Pony Game.
Robyn has agreed to answer some inquisitive questions.

1. Was the title for this story always "The Pony Game", or was it a changed or last-minute choice?
The title was always "The Pony Game". I decided on it at the time of developing the idea, shortly after writing my non-fiction book "Looking After a Pony". I've had very few titles changed from my original ones.

2. Do you think the popularity of pony stories has changed since its heydey in the 1960s?

No. The books and stories have obviously changed with the times, but not the love of ponies/horses. I think children have the same interests, though technology has introduced many new ones. However, when I queried Era Publications with this story line, it was rejected as unsuitable for the US market. Apparently we have to write for urban US children and keeping ponies/horses is not for them. I was a little surprised as I thought the fascination with ponies/horses was universal. I think this rejection stemmed from the fact that the US publisher Era Publications works with wouldn't purchase my non-fiction book "Looking After a Pony". Therefore Era Publications were avoiding pony stories.

3. Part of "The Pony Game" is role-playing... Black Beauty is inserted into the role of "pony". This role/substitution is a surprisingly common habit with real-life children, but is not often addressed in children's books. Do you think your protagonist is a writer-to-be?

Yes, I think my protagonist is a writer-to-be. Me! After writing the story, I realised how much of my childhood was reflected in the story. I grew up in Port Pirie, a regional city in South Australia. Behind my house was a horse stable. I used to walk the long way home from school so I could visit the horses. I used to climb my back fence so I could look at the horses. For most of my life, I've had a dog - different ones, of course. When I was young, I played games with my dog "Boots". I even played the pony game. My favourite animal has always been the dog. My best friend at primary school was mad about horses. Put it all together and you have "The Pony Game". In a lot of ways the protagonist is me, growing up in Port Pirie.

4. I read somewhere that pony stories are the precursers (sp?) of light romance, with Pony in place of Handsome Hero. Comment?

I guess I can see that. Ponies/horses usually have that "handsome" look to them. And, of course, our Prince Charmings are supposed to ride on horseback and whisk us away to some glamorous life. I wasn't thinking of any of this when I wrote "The Pony Game". A confession - I tried writing romance many years ago. I prefer children's stories. So I'll stick to ponies/horses as the handsome heroes.

5. You did quite a lot of rewriting and restructuring on "The Pony Game". Did you feel this improved the story, or did you do it because that's what others wanted or suggested?

The story itself didn't change much. But I rewrote and restructured for different publishers. The first series I submitted to was Puffin's Aussie Nibbles and the word count had to be between 1,500 and 2,000. My second submission to Walker Books was a long short as I suspected the story would be too short for them. Third time is the charm, so they say. I rewrote the story up to around 2,500 for Lothian Books' Giggles series and it was accepted and released twelve months later. I believe this is the best version of the story. That may be because it's the version I'm most familiar with now. But I think the extra 600-700 words added to the depth and characterisation.

6. How do you classify The Pony Game's genre? It's certainly not the classical pony story, but would you call it "family", "animal", "problem" or just plain "story"?

The first time I saw "The Pony Game" in a bookstore it was under the heading "Classics". Great, I thought. It's a classic in its first month of release. "The Pony Game" was shelved with other horse stories under this general heading. If I was to classify "The Pony Game" I'd call it "animal". The protagonist's dog, Black Beauty, was the main focus for me, being a big dog lover. I was more interested in Lucy's relationship with her dog because, again, the story reflects me as a child.

Follow the tour!
For Day 1- Mon 10 Dec - visit Tina Marie Clark's What is Happening in my Office?
Day 2 - Tuesday 11 Dec, was with Claire at
Day 3 - here at Spinning Pearls.
Day 4 - Thu 13 Dec - Jacqui Grantford at
Day 5 - Fri 14 Dec - Sally Murphy's Scribblings
Day 6 - Sat 15 Dec - Bren MacDibble's Beast of Moogill

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Book Tour! Witch's Brew, by Tabitha Shay

I'm delighted to welcome author Tabitha Shay to Spinning Pearls. Tabitha is the author of the hot new romance Witch's Brew, published by Eternal Press.
Q 1. Tabitha, all readers are fascinated by the writing process. I'd love to know what came first for Witch's Brew. Did you envisage the plot, or did it start with a character? If so, who or what?
A tiny bit of the plot came to my mind first, then I developed the character, Saylym Winslow, from there the entire plot began to take form in my mind.

Q.2. The image I carry in my mind is of Saylym's hairbrush behaving in a very weird way. How on earth did you get the notion for a talking hairbrush?
A2. I wanted things she used every day to suddenly come to life. Just imagine how shocking that would be for someone. A hairbrush is such a personal item and one of the first things we use of a morning and I wanted the action to start fast, so I thought this was good beginning.

Q.3. You use the term "waken" for a male witch, and "warlock" for a bad male witch. Did you invent the first term, and if not, where did you find it?
A3. Yes, I made up the word "waken"because I'd learned that some editors felt like a male witch was still a male witch and warlocks were considered evil. But for my story, I wanted readers to have a way to distinguish the female witch from the male witch, so I came up with the word, "waken" to represent the male and left the word "witch" to represent the female of the species.

Q.4. How did you come up with the names of the characters? Does Saylym's name echo the place called Saylem?
A4. Actually, I have a niece named Saylem...and I always thought is was a cute name and would sort of fit a witch story and have my lead character named after Salem Village as well, so I changed the spelling a little to make it more unique. Thanks, Tabitha.

You're very welcome and it's been my pleasure. Thank you.
The Witch's Brew Book tour continues!
On Wednesday visit for another interview. On Thursday, it's Sloane Taylor's blog at .
To buy Witch's Brew, visit

Friday, December 7, 2007

New Author Promo List

There's a new author promo list at
Anyone is welcome, as long as the books are suited to general readers (there's also an adults-only list at )
Rules are simple.
Books must be promoted by author, editor or co-author.
Each book can be promoted once a month.
Books and publishers are given a level playing field. Everything, from self-published books to Harry Potter 8 (well...) is given equal value.
The only books excluded are those designed to spread or create hatred, and those for 18+ readership (but see above).
Book covers may be uploaded at the group site.
Contests are welcome.
Come and STRUT!


Four generations of women, linked by blood, parted by fate.
Eva Kawolska - the Polish war widow. Eva escapes the devastation of occupied Poland and brings her child to the promised land of Australia.
Terenza Rhodes - the deserted child. Raped by her uncle, Terenza flees her home town and journeys across Australia during the heady days of rock 'n' roll.
Emma West - the good girl. Brought up to believe herself an orphan, Emma is shocked to discover her mother may still be alive.
Philippa Freedom Darcy - the lucky one. The legal barriers are down… but can she mend the links and reunite her family?

Freedom was published by Eternal Press on Dec 7, 2007.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Bone Box Blues

Dogs. One of ours is gnawing a bone in the bone box right now.
What's a bone box?
Well, our dogs love great big bones from the butcher. Since they're JRTs, the bones are half their size, but they still drag them about. Their one ambition was to fetch the bones into the house. We wouldn't allow this, but then we started having a problem with wasps. Rather than end up with Damaged Dogs, my husband built a special wooden pen that allows a JRT in and out, but which keeps large bones IN. The wooden walls magnify the gnawing sounds to an unholy degree...

Monday, December 3, 2007

Read My Back

In the old days, publicising books was the province of the publisher. That's still so in many cases, but these days most authors feel obliged to do a bit of self-promotion.

My writing partner and I have found one good and relatively cheap way to advertise the Jack Russell: Dog Detective series. We had tee-shirts printed with an advertisement. Instead of using a cover image, we used a big photo of OUR JR on the front, with the series title above him. On the back, we have the website and a simple slogan. If I wear my shirt in public, not many people react. If we BOTH wear our shirts, people do. They know, because there are two, that it's not just a random dog picture. All kinds of people comment, which means one of us will turn to reveal the slogan. People read the slogan in queues, too. If anyone smiles, comments or even gives us a second glance, we whip out a business card with the picture and slogan and website on it, and tell them they can read the story behind the story right there.
Granted, the dog angle is easier to "use" than some other works would be. For example, if I had my GOLD'S BRIDE slogan, "WIFE FOR SALE" on a tee-shirt, and wore it in public, it might cause a rather weird reaction. I am, after all, a wife. I am also 50 years old.
Come to think of it.....

Thursday, November 29, 2007


One of my recent jobs was to write a short book about Pompeii. This was a bit of a coincidence as there is a poem addressing Pompeii, Herculaneum (and Atlantis!) in my most recent book, "Spinning Pearls".

Atlantis Fading

When misty-halled Atlantis
Trembles to the doleful sounds
Of Pompeii’s passing from the worlds of men;
Then legends start to gather
As Vesuvius resounds
Herculaneum is lost and sinks again.

But how can Pompeii’s going touch the shattered halls of yore?
Atlantis faded many moons before.

When jasper-walled Atlantis
Shudders to the dreadful beat
Of Troy’s despoiling at the vengeful hands;
See companioned shades appear
As spirits in retreat
Shall Flock about in melancholy bands.

But how can Troy’s a’reaving strike the sunken walls a blow?
Atlantis faded many miles below.

When coral-shawled Atlantis
Quivers to the deathful groan
Of cities burst asunder in her sight;
The elders of the cenotaphs
Awake with grieving moan
That resonates beyond the fall of night.

Yet how can cities’ dying stir the rests of coral’d dead?
Atlantis faded and its folk are fled-
But while the heartbeat lies within a million dreamers strong
Atlantis fades but never shall be gone
Yes, Atlantis fades but never shall be gone.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Being in Sydney yesterday, I hopped on a train to Town Hall Station and walked to Galleries Victoria to visit the biggest bookshop in Sydney; Books Kinokuniya. This plac is massive. Looking out through a window, one sees what seems to be another bookshop a hundred metres away across the gallery, only to find it is more of the same one. Books Kinokuniya has vast departments for categories of books lucky to merit a quarter shelf in most shops. There are catalogue kiosks scattered throughout, and also Help Desks. These can be necessary as the kiosks tell you how many copies of a book are stocked, and in which department, but not their position on the multiple shelves. For example, having gone through about ten shelves of picturebooks (and that's spine-outwards, with just two or three copies maximum of each), a Help Desk person walked to the Character Books shelves. Evidently Books Kinokuniya calls Australian picture books "character books".

The shop has a cafe attached, so the punchdrunk bookbuyer can stay in there for hours at a time, refuelling at intervals...

Picture from

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Prioritising 101

I am not very good at prioritising. I always have a series of lists of Most Urgent jobs... but which is the most urgent?
One job has a deadline set a few days ahead. That's urgent, but I have a contract and might be forgiven a few days more.
One job has a deadline set a few days ahead. It is contracted, but won't bring in much money.
One job has no special deadline. It isn't contracted, but an editor expressed an interest. It needs to be done before she forgets our discussion.
One job has no deadline. It isn't contracted. An editor expressed a vague interest, but has now left the company. I need to track her down.
One job is more of a possible market. I'd have to start fom scratch.
One job is a new market I just spotted... Hmm...

One job is a bread-and-butter commission. It has to be done today. Oh! That's the one I just finished.
Then there's the short piece half done, that an editor wants to see, and... and...

AGHHHHH! If you were me, which would you prioritise?

Friday, November 16, 2007

7 Random Facts About Me...

I've been tagged by Sally Murphy at Scribblings .
Here’s how it works:Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs. Let each person know that they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.So here we go - 7 random and/or weird facts about me:

1. My internal clock is so weird that for years I was tagged "insomniac". I later realised that I wasn't, and never had been. I sleep perfectly well when I follow my clock.
2. I used to collect magic stones. I'd hold up pebbles to my ear, and if they spoke, I kept them.
3. I am a pack rat. Until my son came home on leave and tossed it out, I had a tin of curry powder dating from 1984.
4. I am not tee-total, but I have never been drunk.
5. I have spent fruitless hours trying to prove the existence of Grapefruit chocolate, Checkmate chocolate and Mini-melon icecreams. No one else seems to remember them.
6. I have off-kilter taste. If any book by a writer is universally admired more than his/her others, that is probably the only one I dislike.
7. I never quite fit my clothes. This is because I have one shoulder higher than the other, and uneven ribs. It took me many years to realise this.

I want to know about the weirdnesses/random facts of the following bloggers, but I won't mind at all if they can't find the time:
callmemadam , Satima Flavell , Kylie , Tarja , Tooticky , Jack Russell and Patrick .

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Day 7 of the Squeezy Tour

I'm delighted to welcome Jacqui Grantford, illustrator of "Squeezy Cuddle Dangly Legs" on this, Day 7 of her blog book tour. Here are some of the questions I really wanted answered!

Me: Squeezy Cuddle Dangly Legs is an intriguing book title. When you are approached to illustrate, do you react more to the title, the concept or the writing style? To clarify, what "triggers" you?

J: It's a combination. All of them need to work to make a great book. I guess I react in order of appearance which is normally - title, concept and then writing style - but to me the most important of all three is concept. The idea and message need to be worthwhile and relevant to kids.

Me: Do you need to roll a concept around to get an "angle" before you can start,or do you read it through and start straight out?

J: There's definitely a lot of rolling around. I like to sit with a text for a while before doing anything to get a feel for it (deadline willing). I then do very rough thumbnails and a lot of talking to my family. Their input is crucial and quite often a lot of the ideas I get are as much theirs as mine. It all gets reworked a lot before I'm happy with the end result.

Me: Writers always hate it when illustrators nick off on holiday or are inconsiderate enough to get sick or move house halfway through a job. What do authors do that annoys illustrators?

J: I think authors are Fabulous!!! (Especially the ones on this blog tour.)Illustrators don't often have contact with the authors, so they don't get much of an opportunity to be annoyed. I'm pretty sure, however, if authors were involved the illustration process it would be very frustrating as we would undoubtedly see things differently to their original imaginings. I'm always incredibly nervous before the author sees the illustrations for the first time. It's so important for me that they love the pics.

Me: Being a writer yourself, do you ever get an itch to reword the things you illustrate?

J: Oooh, good question. I have to say I do. I've hinted at it a couple of times with the publisher, but figure that it's the editor's job and that if I'm sensible I'll just but out. Usually anything I notice ends up getting changed through the natural editing process. Gotta love a good editor.

Me: New Frontier, the publisher of "Squeezy Cuddle" produces visually-delightful books. How much of the design comes from you and other illustrators, and how much is decreed in-house?

J: New Frontier are gives lots of creative freedom which is fantastic. They always let you come with the whole design and only step in if they think something isn't quite working. It's a good level of involvement. I heard Ann James saying that with one of her latest books she had an art director working with her in much the same way as an editor does with the author. This is done more commonly in the US. I think that's a great idea.

Me: How does your illustrating style, which is positive, fluid and joyful, reflect your character?

J: I guess I'm positive, fluid and joyful? I'm having to do a little soul searching to answer this one. I do like to find joy in things and I especially love showing a bond and connection between characters. I don't feel that my character is fluid. I sometimes focus too much on details. But maybe in our art we sometimes try to express what we haven't quite let out yet. It's always much safer to express it in creative pursuits before applying it to our lives.

Thanks so much for inviting me to your blog, Sally. I've had an absolute hoot.

Thank you Jacqui!

So, there you have it... Jacqui's view of illustrating "Squeezy Cuddle Dangly Legs" by Peter Whitfield, published by New Frontier. Of course, if you're an author, you're probably already hoping (like me) that one day you'll get the chance to work with Jacqui. Maybe you already have! To see where Jacqui has been, follow the trail!

Day 1 - Sat 10 Nov -- Bren MacDibble's "Beast of Moogill" Day 2 - Sun 11 Nov - Sally Murphy's "Scribblings" Day 3 - Mon 12 Nov - Robyn Opie's "Writing Children's Books" Day 4 - Tue 13 Nov - Pemberthy Bear's "Pemberthy's Ponderings"Day 5 - Wed 14 Nov - Claire Saxby's "Let's Have Words" Day 6 - Thu 15 Nov - Tina Marie Clark's "What's Happening in my Office?"

Breeding in the Computer

I'm sure jobs breed in the computer. I finished one rewrite today, and am about to start another. Meanwhile, I need to proofread a short story, run through a round of edits for a novel called "Freedom" (coming soon from Eternal Press), write a short commission work before Monday and finish a book called "The Quicksilver Files"... I also need to catch up on editing and assessments for other people.
As I said... jobs breed.
"Freedom" is a change of pace for me, as it is neither fantasy nor science fiction. Here's the blurb...
Four generations of women, linked by blood, parted by fate.
Eva Kawolska - the Polish war widow. Eva escapes the devastation of occupied Poland and brings her child to the promised land of Australia.
Terenza Rhodes - the deserted child. Raped by her uncle, Terenza flees her home town and journeys across Australia during the heady days of rock 'n' roll.
Emma West - the good girl. Brought up to believe herself an orphan, Emma is shocked to discover her mother may still be alive.
Philippa Freedom Darcy - the lucky one. The legal barriers are down… but can she mend the links and reunite her family.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Crackers with Animals...

Writers with animals are never short of subject matter, but on the flip side, they are sometimes short of time.

Together, our dogs have earned us thousands of dollars in royalties, not because they write themselves, but because they inspire characters and plots, and even concepts.

Yesterday, they helped us out in the back yard, playing soccer with a large ball and digging in the newly exposed earth. Today, Trump needed a bath because she's shedding hair. She intimated that she was being tortured, and couldn't even fancy a liver treat guilt offering. That is, until Preacher came into the bathroom. Then Jeanie shot in, all muddy paws and flying tail and ears, and needed a bath as well. Tess, meanwhile, is out on the front lawn, revelling in her status of Senior Dog, and the only one Trusted in the front yard unattended.

In the midst of it all, I had to feed Jake, our daughter's lorikeet. He bit me.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Floral Motif: Have camera, will click it.

I love flowers, especially those growing in gardens, on hillsides, by the river, among old gravestones... you get the picture. This is probably an inheritance from my grandmother, Elsie Florence May, who was a great gardener. Whether it is in the blood or simply childhood conditioning, I don't know, but I love them.

Quite a lot of my books have a floral motif. My w.i.p., Garlands of Thorn and May, has a hawthorn motif. Translations in Celadon, (HarperCollins 1998), had willow. A long short story, published under one of my pen-names, has roses. Replay has oak leaves. Two other books, to date unpublished, had roses and heath. Another w.i.p. has flax.

Flowers turn up, time and time again, even in the illustrations. Since I've had a digital camera, I can take pot-shots at any flowers that please me, which helps when I'm writing out of season. Yesterday, I potted buttercups by the river, river rose, and hawthorn and guelder rose.

Of course, I usually have no influence on my book covers, but for Replay, I designed the cover myself. Flowers again! I have no particular talent in design, but I was quite pleased with the way this one turned out. For the record, the daisies are from a photo of our lawn, under the plum trees, the oak leaves are from the oak that hangs over our fence, the girl is our daughter, Tegan, and the schnauzer is a chance-met charmer named Zac. I encountered him with his human friend outside the post office once, and asked permission to capture his image for a book cover... I wonder if the owner believed me?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Rewriting with Attending Dogs

I quite like rewriting. There's a sense of security over having the initial run of words done, and now refining the story. Editing is not rewriting. Editing is that finetuning that can be done with one eye on the clock. Rewriting engages the same gear as writing, except that it's perhaps more like darning, as one has to blend the patch of new fabric seamlessly into what exists of the first run.

Sometimes, rewriting works as a result of a decision made to change direction. Often something didn't quite work first time around, and a new idea or device will oil the works. Usually I would never advocate authorial intervention, but since I'm writing pseudonymously at present the writer-persona is legitimately one of the characters.

I am typing this with one dog on my head, (perched on the back of the chair) one under my left elbow, and a third sprawled half across the computer. I'm not sure where the fourth one is, but, much as I love him, I trust he won't join the rest of us in the chair just now. Mind you... I owe them all. Without our dogs, the Jack Russell series would not exist.

Friday, November 9, 2007

A Positive Spin on Rejection...

Here, in part, is the reply I made on a publishing list in response to the concern about having no guarantee of acceptance for works after a first publication...

Having no guaranteed acceptance of our works down the line is a huge advantage to us, as well as to EP and the readership. I can't tell you how strongly I feel about this. In the writing world, full time pro mid-listers run on a 70% acceptance of commissioned work, and maybe a 30% acceptance of spec work. Sometimes it's lower. These are people who live on their writing income. Does it mean that only their very best work is accepted? Not necessarily, but on the whole it means that, 90% of the time, their most sellable work is accepted.

For every Harry Potter, rejected over and over and becoming a runaway success afterwards, there are countless titles rejected over and over, finally published... and sinking without trace. No one can predict the shooting stars, but most experienced editors can predict the sellers, the cut-and-come-again titles that will build an authorial rep and a happy readership.

Sure, some gems slip through the cracks. I self-published two books very dear to my heart because my regular publishers (all of them) didn't see enough sales potential in them. My 30+ years in the business, with 20 of those spent making my entire living from writing, were not enough to outweigh their doubts and persuade them to take a risk.

Some publishers are more likely to take risks. If so, I hope they will take a risk only on the beloved end of the scale, in that they may take the odd-ball gems. They will never, I hope and trust, take a risk on the mediocre or the sloppy.

Yes, rejection hurts, but where is the thrill of success without the knowledge of failure? What is life without the flipside of death?

Here endeth my spiel...

To see my beloved titles, and buy them, should you be so inclined, go to Sally's Favourites and scroll down to REPLAY and PRIDE: BRIDGEOVER SUNDOWN.

Spinning Pearls

I'm Sally Odgers, Tasmanian author and manuscript assessor. I've been writing ever since I can remember... and I still love it. My attitude is a blend of practical and commercial concerns (since I write for a living) and impractical romanticism (since I am in love with the English language). In the posts that follow, you will probably spot numerous examples of this strange blend.

Maybe I am a cross-genre w.i.p.

So... spinning pearls... or, turning words into garments.

If you write in as many genres and forms as I do, you develop all kinds of acquired styles to suit different clients. Now and then, when I write something to please myself, I remember what my natural style is like.

It is allusive and elusive, spinning metaphors and weaving in threads of myth. These days I use it mostly in poetry, although it does get an airing now and again when I write fantasy.

It's most recent public airing was in the publication, by Eternal Press, of my second book of poetry. "Spinning Pearls" follows "Fernseed for Fairysight".

Click here to find out how to win some poetic prizes