Eriovixia Gryffindori

Here’s a new castle-in-the-air goal. Have a newly discovered species named after a character in one of my stories.

Meet Eriovixia Gryffindori, the spider named after the Hogwarts Sorting Hat.

 Eriovixia gryffindori spider has a pronounced abdomen, resembling the shape of the sorting hat from Harry Potter.

Discovered by Harry Potter geeks (and, as it happens, research scientists) in Western Ghat, a mountain range in south-west India. On a slightly more disturbing note, apparently they’re hanging out to find a species they can name after Aragog. O_o

Busy Brewing Community…and a surprise!

Well, it’s been a while. Almost exactly a month! I haven’t been being slack, just busy. In fact here’s me over at Earl Grey Tea Editing explaining just exactly what I’ve been busy doing.

This has meant I’ve not done an enormous amount of writing lately, which always leaves me feeling a little flat. But, today came with a lovely surprise. My story Music For An Ivory Violin from Aurealis #74 has appeared on Ellen Datlow’s recommended horror reading longlist! I’m over the moon!

That’s an actual castle-in-the-air goal I can tick off my list.

Aurealis #74
Aurealis #74

Don’t let this calm demeanour fool you. It’s baby goat time again.

giphy goat

Reflections on 2014

Happy new year! I hope 2014 was a good year for you, or at least had good bits. And here’s to 2015 being even better.

Here’s what I achieved in 2014:

I made 15 story submissions (which didn’t meet my target of 25, but I have a good excuse for that.)

I sold 5 stories! This beat my previous pattern of selling one per year, so I’m pretty chuffed. Three of them sold to the first place I subbed them to, which I’m also pretty chuffed about. And that’s my excuse for not making my target of 25 submissions. I ran out of stories to submit.

I made my first sale to a pro market.

I also got my first review! (And my second, and my third.)

I got an Honourable Mention for one of the stories I subbed to the Writers of the Future Competition.

I finally got Novel Project #1 into a state to start sending out to agents, and I wrote a synopsis (which I consider equivalent to having gained a new skill).

So what’s on the cards for 2015?

Find an agent for Novel Project #1.

Write (and sell!!) more short stories. I’m going to aim for 15 submissions this year. That’s a bit low, but my trunk is basically empty at the moment, so I’m going to have to write some before I can submit them. I think 15 is probably going to be a stretch.

Let’s aim high: I’d like to finish a first draft of Novel Project #3 or #4, and do substantial work on the other one.

Finish and polish up a few half-written stories and first drafts of novellas I have sitting in the trunk.

And here’s a couple of castle-in-the-air goals:

Win a writing competition.

Make another pro sale.

I’m also going to have a stab at learning another language. I’m going to try French!

Here’s hoping that 2015 will be a good year! I wish you every happiness and success with all your goals in the coming months.

Happy New Year 2015 by franky242, courtesy of
Happy New Year 2015 by franky242, courtesy of


New writing goal #2

On Wednesday, Fiona McIntosh posted this photo to her Facebook page:

Fiona Macintosh the Tailor's GirlIn case it’s not immediately obvious, it’s a character called Jenny from an Australian TV show, Winners and Losers, reading one of Fiona’s latest books, The Tailor’s Girl. 

Everyone who writes knows about the dream of sitting next to someone on a plane who’s reading your book. Well, I reckon this is a step up.

I now have a new castle-in-the-air writing goal.



Parsley tongue

So today I went to add “parsley” to the shopping list on my phone, and autocorrect (or “Auto Percy” as it apparently likes to be called – another autocorrect, um, correction) changed it to “parseltongue”.

So now I have another castle-in-the-air writing goal: to one day have one of my made up words enter popular usage to the point where it is added to a mobile phone autocorrect (sorry, Auto Percy) dictionary.

Image courtesy of Simon Howden/