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I’ve got two weeks off work coming up, so  you’d think that at some point in there I’ll be able to come up with some sort of substantive post, yes?   We’ll see.  In the meantime a few writing-related bits and pieces.

Game-design guru and Black Library stablemate Robin Laws puts down some thoughts on Where Bad Writing Advice Comes From.  I particularly like the remarks about switching between creative and critical mindsets, and how it can mess up your work when you mis-time those switches.

The table of contents for the latest Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror have been announced.  Congratulations to all whose work was selected, but I shall single out fellow CSFG members Kaaron Warren, R J Astruc and Gillian Polack whose Baggage anthology has three of its stories selected for inclusion; congrats also to FWOR colleague Alan Baxter and to Dirk Flinthart, con acquaintance and sometime commenter here.  There are many other excellent names in the ToC and I’m looking forward to reading the collection.

Contests!  This one’s more for the artists than the writers, but I can’t pass up the chance to show around this amazing cover for Nathan Long’s latest novel:

He’s looking for the best fan art, either in the form of 2-d art or an actual converted and painted 28mm miniature, representing the character of Ulrika, with a bunch of prizes.  Click the link above to go through to his blog and get the details – you’ve got until the end of May.

If you’re more into steam and springs than snow and fangs, check out the Angry Robot steampunk contest.  They’re after the coolest steampunk thing you can send them (it has to be something of yours, no snurching other peoples’ creations), with the best gadget/model/costume/haiku/whatever winning a steampunkified Kindle with a bunch of AR steam-themed books loaded onto it.

That will have to do you for the moment.  It’s time for me to enter a digestive torpor while I deal with entirely too much chicken panang curry.