The Writing Desk


Welcome to my Writing Desk!

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Writing Blog Posts

This is a blog feed for everything writing-related.

You can also find specific blog feeds for my short fiction and work-in-progress novels, an Amerindian fantasy and a Norse fantasy.

My Publications are here


Unnatural Order Anthology Release

I’m delighted to announce the release on 31st December, 2020 of speculative fiction anthology Unnatural Order by CSFG. This is a fascinating collection of stories inspired by the monstrous, unnatural and the fantastic. Featuring my own story “The Bargain”, a tale of Fae guardians and the bargains struck to assure the equilibrium between the nature,… Continue reading Unnatural Order Anthology Release

Greed Anthology Release

I’m excited to announce the release on December 27th, 2020 of Greed (Seven Deadly Sins, #5) published by Black Hare Press featuring my story “A Handful of Dead Leaves.” This dark speculative fiction anthology on the theme of greed, a desire for material wealth or gain, ignoring the realm of the spiritual. Featuring my short… Continue reading Greed Anthology Release

The Wendigo & Psychological Horror

Another of my recent work-in-progress short fiction pieces, has been a psychological horror story inspired by wendigo psychosis an unusual form of ‘cultural psychosis’ specific to First Nations peoples of Canadian-North American Great Lakes regions where belief in a supernatural being, the wendigo, provides a unique cultural framework for a psychosis. This psychosis has specific… Continue reading The Wendigo & Psychological Horror

Psychological Horror & Demonology

I have recently finished writing a psychological horror short story inspired by the theme of wrath. My recent story focused on an unlikely suspect for a violent crime spree to explore the intersection between modern and past perspectives of criminal theory, such as aberrant psychology currently explaining what past eras accredited to demonic possession. The… Continue reading Psychological Horror & Demonology

Forthcoming: Dark Fantasy Anthology

I am pleased to announce the acceptance of another flash fiction piece in a forthcoming dark fantasy anthology from Black Hare Press. My story “Poisoned Fruit, Poisoned Reign” will feature in Reign (500 Word Fiction Series, #7 inspired by poisoned apple folklore exploring betrayal and a cursed reign. You can read more about the inspiration… Continue reading Forthcoming: Dark Fantasy Anthology

Poisoned Fruit & Cursed Futures

I recently finished writing a short fiction piece inspired by poisoned apple folklore and legends, the most familiar being the story “Little Snow-White” published by Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm in Children’s’ and Household Tales (commonly known as Grimm’s Fairy Tales) between 1812-1814 . There are, of course, countless folklore and folktales surrounding betrayals and murder… Continue reading Poisoned Fruit & Cursed Futures

Standing Stones & Time

I recently finished writing a flash fiction story inspired by European Neolithic stone circles and folklore. Common to the folklore of standing stones is an aspect of temporal planes, the shifting of time connecting the Fae to disappearances, madness and re-appearances many years later. In my own short fiction, a liminal temporal plane joins Europe… Continue reading Standing Stones & Time

Gothic Fiction & Victorian Science

I recently finished writing a short story continuing my fascination with Victorian science. I focused on the anatomical sciences that inspired many gothic and urban folklore of the Victorian era. Some of the most classic Victorian era gothic tales including Frankenstein and Dracula involve the unease in Victorian society about the dead, superstition, burial practices… Continue reading Gothic Fiction & Victorian Science

Writing for Leo (Zodiac Series, #8)

In July 2020, my Gaslamp fantasy “The Golden Lion-Monkey” was published in short story anthology Leo (The Zodiac Series, #8) by Deadset Press. When not exploring myth and history, I am pursuing a PhD in human and primate evolution. When writing “The Golden Lion-Monkey”, I’ve combined my interests in history and fantasy fiction with my… Continue reading Writing for Leo (Zodiac Series, #8)

Gaslamp Fantasy & Victorian Science

I have been interested by several different stories recently in the Alternate History subgenres of Steampunk and Gaslamp Fantasy. My latest short story draws on my academic knowledge of the Victorian era expansion in science and natural history. Gaslamp Fantasy is a subgenre I really enjoy and was inspired to write an alternate history exploring… Continue reading Gaslamp Fantasy & Victorian Science

Icelandic Waterfalls Part 2

I visited Iceland in September 2019 as part of my writing research for novel-in-progress Ragnarok Dreaming. Part of my Icelandic experience was the National Museum of Iceland, riding tour outside Reykjavik on the iconic Icelandic horse, exploring glaciers, black sand beaches, glacial lakes which influenced the Viking and Icelandic culture. Gljúfurárfoss Gljúfurárfoss is also known… Continue reading Icelandic Waterfalls Part 2

Icelandic Waterfalls Part 1

I visited Iceland in September 2019 as part of my writing research for novel-in-progress Ragnarok Dreaming. Part of my Icelandic experience was the National Museum of Iceland, riding tour outside Reykjavik on the iconic Icelandic horse, exploring glaciers, black sand beaches, glacial lakes which influenced the Viking and Icelandic culture. Írárfoss (Irish River Waterfalls) The… Continue reading Icelandic Waterfalls Part 1

Prehistory, Battle and Sacrifices

I have just finished writing a new story concept I have been exploring. The story is inspired from my museum research in Europe in 2019. I was very interested by the prehistoric sections of museums. Before societies became larger civilisations, the bonds between communities were used to forge alliances. As these societies expanded under Chieftains… Continue reading Prehistory, Battle and Sacrifices

Historical Fantasy & Sagittarius

Very recently I finished writing a story inspired by the Zodiac sign Sagittarius. I was intrigued when learning the the astrological sign, of Sagittarius is representative of prophecy and fate, among other things. The story is a historical fantasy but set in a hypothetical Renaissance-style Italian city similar to Venice. In this world which is… Continue reading Historical Fantasy & Sagittarius

Latest: Ragnarok Dreaming

I am very pleased to announce my current work-in-progress fantasy novel, Ragnarok Dreaming is very nearing the finishing line. I have just finished writing the third Part of the novel, the draft has already expanded beyond my anticipated length with the new word count expected to be around 130,000 words. Of course, there’s a lot… Continue reading Latest: Ragnarok Dreaming

Loki and Angrboda

A few weeks ago, I finished writing a series of scenes for my work-in-progress Ragnarok Dreaming inspired by events described in the Norse Prose Edda and Poetic Edda. These involve the mysterious character of Angrboda, the “Hag of the Ironwood” who dwells in jotunheim, is alluded to as a witch and mother of many werewolves… Continue reading Loki and Angrboda

Virtual Plotting & Planning

I’ve been investigating new ways to develop my world-building for my novel-in-progress Ragnarok Dreaming, inspired by Norse mythology. I am a highly visual person and my imagination (and writing) has become increasingly taxed by trying to remember my mental images and plans for complex landscapes, cities and worlds in my latest work-in-progress. I was keen… Continue reading Virtual Plotting & Planning

Sweden: Gotland Museum

I visited the Gotland Museum in Visby, Gotland Island, Sweden in early September 2019. You can read more about my research visit to the Uppsala Viking Age burial mounds, the History Museum in Stockholm and the medieval city of Visby on Gotland Island. Gotland Museum contains an amazing variety of prehistoric Swedish and Viking Age… Continue reading Sweden: Gotland Museum

Salvador Dali Illustrated Alice in Wonderland

I just discovered the 150th Anniversary edition of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carol published by Princeton University Press is an illustrated version by artist Salvador Dali. Absolutely stunning illustrations that are pure magic! You can buy hardback and paperback copies of this gorgeous edition through most bookstores and online stores at affordable prices.

Zodiac Themed Anthology Series

I’m currently reading the second volume in a 12 part series, a Zodiac themed anthology produced by Aussie Speculative Fiction. Each month, a new anthology featuring that month’s zodiac sign will be released. This January-February, I’m reading Aquarius and because it’s also my own star sign. The Aquarius anthology features many unique interpretations of the… Continue reading Zodiac Themed Anthology Series

Sweden: Visby

Visby is a medieval city on the Swedish Island of Gotland. I visited Visby in early September 2019 to see the famous medieval charm of the harbour city and the many prehistoric and early Viking Age artefacts in the Gotland Museum. You can read more about my visits to Stockholm Historiska Museum here, the Viking… Continue reading Sweden: Visby

Sweden: History Museum

In late September 2019, I visited the Historika Museet (National History Museum) in Stockholm, Sweden. I only had a few days in Stockholm but I the Historiksa Museet is located in the central part of Stockholm city and is easily accessible by tram, bicycle or on foot. I visited the museum for the detailed exhibitions… Continue reading Sweden: History Museum

NaNoWriMo 2019

I am participating in this year’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). After completing my first NaNoWriMo last year, I found it was a great motivational tool. This year, my goal is to write 30 thousand words and, from October to December, I plan to finish my novel-in-progress Ragnarok Dreaming. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook or… Continue reading NaNoWriMo 2019

Spain: Las Alpujarras

In late August 2019, I visited the western Alpujarras, in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia, where I traveled from the city of Granada to the small town of Lanjarón, about 50km southwest of Granada. Lanjarón is famous throughout Spain for the local spring that is historically purported to have healing properties and which provides… Continue reading Spain: Las Alpujarras

Spain: Madrid

My European writing holiday and research gathering adventure began in Madrid in mid-August 2019. Madrid is the capital city of modern Spain but has also been the historical capital of Spanish kingdom and it is where the Royal Palace is still located today. You can read more about my visit to the Real Palacio de… Continue reading Spain: Madrid

Folklore & Nature

Human survival has always been dependent on the natural environment and many mythologies show links between folklore and human fear of environmental instability. I was curious to explore folklore dealing with how past and present cultures attempt to explain and avoid disastrous environmental fluctuations. As human survival is so clearly linked to a stable environment,… Continue reading Folklore & Nature

Loki & Idunn

I have been working hard writing a large scene over several chapters in my novel-in-progress, Ragnarok Dreaming. The scene is based on a significant section in Norse mythology recorded in The Prose Edda, called the Skaldskaparmal, where Loki is portrayed for the first time as a more malicious being. The Skaldskaparmal describes Loki’s deliberate deception… Continue reading Loki & Idunn

Taurus, the Zodiac & Mesopotamian Myth

Ancient history and mythology have always been favorite topics for me. Recently, I found an interesting article on newly discovered sections of ancient Mesopotamian poem, The Epic of Gilgamesh, detailing the legendary feats of a historical king. The Epic of Gilgamesh was inscribed on cuneiform tablets which continue to baffle scholars as to the purpose… Continue reading Taurus, the Zodiac & Mesopotamian Myth

Ragnarok Dreaming: Characters

During the writing my latest Fantasy novel-in-progress, Ragnarok Dreaming, I created character collages for the central characters. These are useful visual aids representing important character aspects and themes. Ragnarok Dreaming is inspired by Norse myths and incorporates aspects of Australian legends. Loki: The shape-shifting trickster from Norse mythology, Loki is a giant from Muspelheim but… Continue reading Ragnarok Dreaming: Characters

Continuum 15, 2019

I attended Continuum15/NatCon 58 convention in Melbourne from June 7-10, 2019. The convention is an annual event for the Australian speculative fiction community. This was my first Continuum convention and I was looking forward to the many expert panels, workshops, Markets, the Maskbalao, Ditmar Awards, Shadows Awards & Norma K Hemming Awards.  Ticket pricing was very generous with… Continue reading Continuum 15, 2019

Continuum 2019

I will be at Melbourne’s annual speculative fiction event, the Continuum Convention from June 7-10. I’ll be speaking on two panels during the convention. You can read about these and more events here

Bone Arrow: Character Collages

In re-working of my Amerindian inspired Fantasy novel, Bone Arrow, I’ve created character collages that visually represent aspects of the central characters and surrounding themes. Sunktokeca: Protagonist and warrior-shaman, sent to defeat Ska-Sicanagi, destructive spirit released by the antagonist, Khangithanka. Khangithanka: The raven god and bestower of power to shamans. Antagonist to Sunktokeca based on… Continue reading Bone Arrow: Character Collages

Aurealis Awards 2018

On May 4 2019, I attended the 2018 Aurealis Awards in Melbourne, an annual awards ceremony for works published that year from members of the Australian speculative fiction community. This was my first Aurealis Awards and I was thrilled to be part of the iconic Australian Speculative Fiction Awards. My self-published Fantasy novel Bone Arrow was entered and… Continue reading Aurealis Awards 2018

Ragnarok Dreaming Update

A very brief post to share my news and excitement that Fantasy novel-in-progress, Ragnarok Dreaming is now beyond the 45,000 words boundary. Stay tuned for future updates!

Bone Arrow Update

From April 10 2019, paperback copies of Bone Arrow will no longer be available for purchase while I prepare a new release. I have learned much about the writing craft since Bone Arrow was released in October 2018. You can follow my writing journey over the next few months while I develop Bone Arrow further,… Continue reading Bone Arrow Update

Camp NaNoWriMo 2019

I’m participating another month-long writing event by the nonprofit organisation National Novel Writing Month. I began writing the draft of Ragnarok Dreaming during the November NaNoWriMo event. This April, I’m participating in CampNaNoWriMo, an virtual international writing retreat. I aim to write 10,000 words during April. You can follow my updates on Twitter, Facebook and… Continue reading Camp NaNoWriMo 2019

Update: Ragnarok Dreaming

I am delighted to announce I’ve just finished writing Part 2 of my work-in-progress novel, Ragnarok Dreaming ! Now that the halfway point has been reached, I’m ready to continue the story of Norse Trickster Loki, enjoying the interacting themes between ancient Norse mythologies and Australian legends and folktales. Onwards to Part 3 !

Norse Gods: The Vanir

Much of the information about Norse mythology is gleaned from the historical texts called the Eddas. As recounted in the Eddas, two separate hosts of deities initially existed, the Vanir and Aesir . These two hosts waged several unsuccessful wars against each other until they united as a single host, combining their strength against the… Continue reading Norse Gods: The Vanir

Norse Gods: The Aesir

Much of the information about Norse mythology is gleaned from the historical texts called the Eddas. As recounted in the Eddas, two separate hosts of deities initially existed, the Vanir and Aesir. These two hosts waged several unsuccessful wars against each other until they united as a single host, combining their strength against the giants.… Continue reading Norse Gods: The Aesir

2018: Year In Review

The last 6 months have been a whirlwind of activity and excitement for me. This inaugural but semi-regular post serves as part-reflection on recent events and part-update on current, unfolding projects. Curious to know more? Storytelling & More: The launch of this website coincided with the publication of my debut Fantasy novel Bone Arrow and… Continue reading 2018: Year In Review

Behind Bone Arrow: Cultural History

I am often asked what motivated me to write Bone Arrow, a Fantasy novel inspired by indigenous North American folktales and legends. My inspiration behind Bone Arrow is discussed in a first post, this second post explains the cultural inspiration and a final post details folklore inspiration. Bone Arrow includes many historic cultural elements from… Continue reading Behind Bone Arrow: Cultural History

Novel November (NaNoWriMo)

I’m taking part in the International NaNoWriMo 2018 challenge to write a “novel” of 50 thousand words during November. Perfect timing to begin my work-in-progress, Ragnarok Dreaming. Follow me on Twitter for updates throughout November as Ragnarok Dreaming takes shape!

Namarrgon: Lightning Spirit

Namarrgon is an indigenous Australian creation ancestor, a powerful spirit of the Arnhem Land plateau in the Kakadu region responsible for violent monsoon storms of Northern Australia. In the indigenous stories of Namarrgon, violent lightning and thunder storms each tropical summer are associated with the axes he throws, splitting the clouds to cause thunder and… Continue reading Namarrgon: Lightning Spirit

Bone Arrow Release

Excitement has been growing and finally, the announcement that debut Fantasy novel Bone Arrow is now available in eBook and paperback formats. I have enjoyed exploring Amerindian folktales and traditions which inspired me to re-imagine a Fantasy landscape where global fables and legends resonant in the constant shifting dominance of light and darkness.

Legend of the Platypus

The platypus is an iconic Australian native semi-aquatic, burrowing, egg-laying mammal (monotreme) with an unusual soft-bill, webbed feet and a thick “beaver-like” tail covered in a soft fur pelt. An indigenous Australian legend details the origins of these eclectic physical features according to indigenous cultural heritage. The indigenous Australian legend retold in Aboriginal Stories by… Continue reading Legend of the Platypus

Yggdrasil & the Eddas

The texts in the Poetic Edda are considered older than those recorded in the Prose Edda. The Poetic Edda consists of ancient Norse poems, the mythologies and legends recounted in a specific style of stanzas found only in the Icelandic texts, a written version of ancient Nordic oral traditions. As such, the poems recorded in… Continue reading Yggdrasil & the Eddas

Yggdrasil

Yggdrasil, also known as the World Tree or The Great Ash, upholds the Nine Realms and is a prominent part of Norse Cosmology. Yggdrasil has three main roots which each connect to one of the three planes that support the Nine Realms. One of Yggdrasil’s roots is located in Nifelheim, the realm of the dead.… Continue reading Yggdrasil

Bangarra: Storytelling & Dance

Bangarra Dance is a premier Australian Dance company bringing the powerful, but often unfamiliar, indigenous Australian legends from the Dreaming to international audiences. Bangarra have developed a unique and celebrated style of contemporary dance, combining  powerful and evocative movements in indigenous Australian dance with the continuing traditions of indigenous Australia for storytelling through dance. In 2018, Bangarra… Continue reading Bangarra: Storytelling & Dance

Vikings in Australia

While the Northern Hemisphere celebrated MidSummer, the Southern Hemisphere filled with the sudden arrival of icy winter storms. I ventured to Melbourne, Victoria for a brief research trip and an amazing experience of Vikings in Australia. Not to mislead, it is not thought Vikings ventured into the Southern Ocean but an unmissable museum exhibition from… Continue reading Vikings in Australia

Norse Cosmology

In Norse mythology, the cosmos or universe was divided into nine realms on three planes held apart by a giant tree, Yggdrasil. The highest plane held the realm of Asgard, inhabited by the warrior gods, the Aesir. Located nearby were warriors slain honorably in battle who inhabited Valhalla, feasting while awaiting the final battle of Ragnarok.… Continue reading Norse Cosmology

Tariaksuq & Ijiraq

Amerindian cultures in the Arctic regions including the Inuit, mention in folktales, the “shadow people” or the Tariaksuq and Ijiraq, elusive, shape-shifting and malevolent spirits known for kidnapping children. These spirits, often mentioned in close association, can take the form of a humanoid-caribou like the Tariaksuq, or can lack consistent physical forms like the Ijiraq.… Continue reading Tariaksuq & Ijiraq

The Norse Myths

A clear and easily understood collection of retellings, The Penguin Book of Norse Myths by Kevin Crossley-Holland provides good foundations for later exploration into texts exploring the translations and topics from the Norse Poetic Eddas. The Introduction discusses some of the important elements of Norse cosmology and culture before detailing the different roles gods and… Continue reading The Norse Myths

Wakinyan

Wakinyan or the Thunderbird is an important and mythological figure in many North American folktales, stories and cultural traditions. Wakinyan is described as a giant bird, much like a raven in coloring but often with some aspects resembling an eagle. The Thunderbird of the Plains and mid-western Amerindian cultures is often associated with the months… Continue reading Wakinyan

Wendigo

The wendigo legend forms a central part of tales and lore from Amerindian tradition in the forested areas of the Great Lakes in Canada and the northern United States. Despite numerous indigenous cultures inhabiting this region, the legend of the wendigo remains consistent with only two main variations. The majority of tales describe the wendigo… Continue reading Wendigo


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