Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Free stories!

Koala challenge reporting post below!

If you're all written out, then it must be time for a reading break. How about some freebies?

This Tuesday, January 31, you can download the Extinct Anthology from Amazon's Kindle store, for free! Here's the blurb for this most excellent anthology: "Echoes of yesterday touch the lives of ordinary people in extraordinary ways in 18 provocative stories by some of the best up-and-coming authors of mainstream and speculative fiction around the world."

Or pick an individual story from Extinct - free, on Tuesday and Wednesday. You'd like to read mine? Why, thank you for asking. You'll find Blood Fruit right here. It's a bloodthirsty little sci-fi number about Levo, one of the last survivors of a pampered world that loses the technology it depends on.

You can check out some more of the writers and their stories at their blogs - if you go to Phoenix's you will see a montage of all the covers - they look fantastic all together. 

Phoenix Sullivan: Extinct Doesn't Mean Forever
 Chrystalla Thoma: "The Angel Genome"
Peter Dudley: "Distractions"
Kenneth Burstall: "Connect"
Scott Thomas Smith: "In Ring"

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Are we ready? Reporting in for January!

The Koala is smugly preening her fur after a fab January. 15,000 words and three, count 'em, three short story submissions. One of which got tossed out immediately, because it would have been a reprint and the publication had changed its policy on that. Whoops. But I tried. And I start the year on nine pristine points at the top of the eucalypt.

Read the full story of Koala pointage here, and report in below! (And the 2011 awards post is below this one if anybody missed it.)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The 2011 Koala Awards

Ah, I do love this. I look back over the year and check out all the scores and the excuses... Here we go for 2011...there are some new awards this year, just for fun...

Most Sympathetic Bystander aka Loudest Gloating for Having the Sense to Not Actually Get Involved: Fairyhedgehog

Person who Talked the Most about Reporting In, but Never Did: Travis

Award for the Best Manners: not sure if I'm awarding this one this year. I think everybody sassed me at some point. Although Angie, Sempra, Stevie, PD, Stacy and Jenna were pretty nice to me mostly. Tell you what, split this one six ways. The rest of you Must Try Harder.

The 'I Know It's Nothing to be Proud of but I got There First' Smackdown Award: Writtenwyrdd

Most Humiliating Smackdown: Me. Again. I'm an embarrassment to myself.

Award for Best Excuse for Not Accruing Pointage: Iasa "I spent two weeks in a cave" (that's the best I got this year. No, it's not up there with "I got married" or "I got flooded" – come on you lot, Must Try Harder)

Worst Excuse: Whirl for: "A chimpanzee ate my homework"

Worst Poetry Award: (yes, last year this was a Best Poetry Award) Whirl for
How he cruised
in the slipstream
of a koala's laxness
Now his corpse lies strewn
upon the floor,

Award for the Most Points in a Single Month: Angie (30 - she admits it was the goad of Nano that got her there, but who cares. Impressive!)

Most Graphic Description of a Koala Attack: Merry (I won't put you through it again, but she mentioned intestines and surgery)

High Five Award (for most achieving a high score after months' of dedication to low scoring): this year it's the High Fifteen Award and it goes to…. Iasa

In and Out Award for Most Inconsistent Reporting: well, this is humiliating, one year she won the top award, the next she came third overall, but this year… due to international moves and other such shabby excuses the winner of this one is… Robin!

And now for the big one…McKoala's Most Consistent Writer and Submitter for 2011
This was really hard fought this year, with many people consistently producing high numbers, well above the nine points needed for Approved.
Third: Jenna
Equal second: Angie and Stevie

And the winner is…

PD Singer!!!! (Once she let us call her Pam, but that was before she got all famous and everything)

Congrats to PeeDeePam - and to everybody else who survived the year!

An amazing number of people fell by the wayside this year. Let's take a moment to remember Those Who Couldn't Hack It for a Whole Year (some of them confessed…most just hid behind the sofa)
Lauren K
Julia B

Bid Merry, Aniket and Phoenix a fond farewell, because they have confessed to needing at least a year off to lick their wounds. I'm mentioning them, because they had the courage to tell me, so I only scratched them gently. As for the others who attempted to slide off behind my back...well, let's just say, we may not see them for some time…

Sunday, January 08, 2012

The 2012 Koala Challenge

Have you got it in you to keep writing in 2012? Or have the scars from 2011 not yet healed?

This year's challenge will work the same way as last year's, which I think had a good balance between writing and marketing. Let me know in the comments if you are participating so I know where to take my slashy claws when you fail me.

Here's the structure:

Every month we start on zero and gain points by meeting Koala targets. Each point will raise you up a notch in The Koala's estimation and take you up a challenge level. Depending on the number of points, you earn a badge, created by The Koala's semi-tame goblin, JJ de Benedictis, to display on your blog.

This is how the points are earned (this is almost the same as last year, wit ha few minor changes):

One point for every short story, poem or other short fiction submission to a competition or magazine. This is one point per publication, so check out the ones that allow multiples, and race up the Koala Love charts. Your blog does not count as a submission. However, blog competitions such as Jason Evans' Clarity of Night do count as a submission, as do guest articles of 500 words plus on other people's blogs. 

One point for every article submitted to print or online magazine.

One point for achieving The Koala's perfectly reasonable writing/editing target of 4000 words a month.

One point for each 2000 words of original writing (not editing) over and above the basic 4000.

One point for each 5000 words of editing over and above the basic 4000.

One point for beta reading a fellow writer's novel and providing feedback. (Nothing shorter than a novel is eligible for this category).

One point for completing and publishing a new author website, or making significant changes/updates to a web site - as a rule of thumb, this means completely redesigning/rewriting four or more pages - not just adding a new picture or short story.

One point for writing a query (one-off point for each novel)

One point for writing your synopsis (again, a one-off point for each novel)

One point for a novel submission

Bonus points may be awarded for impressive marketing initatives or entering selected flash story competitions.

Report in at the end of every month, with your point totals and what you did to get there - as you have been. Points cannot be held over for a following month. The Koala wants consistent effort. The Koala is always right.

Each person is allowed one month off in the year - you decide if you want a summer holiday or a Christmas break or to have a baby or get your appendix out.

Go, go, go - January counts!

Remember to support one another in your attempts to avoid a Koala Shredding.

Spread the word, all welcome! 

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Do-do-do-do da-da-da-da

So how was December for you? 6000 words here, but good 'uns every one. Tantalisingly close to the end of the first draft I've been working on for a while. Well, the first draft of the first draft. You know how it is.

Report in here! And, coming soon... the 2011 McKoala Awards... no guts no glory... and some of you have no guts thanks to me... I'm expecting some changes this year, with some of my most reliable Koalings failing me and some others clawing their way closer to Being Goodness.