Writing process

What we’ve been doing

The Handmaid’s Sisters panel. From left to right: Margaret Morgan, Simone Corletto, Melissa Ferguson

Continuum 15

I spent the week before last off work sick. I recovered just in time for our local speculative fiction convention here in Melbourne, Continuum. It was good, and I was over the bug, but everything passed in a haze.

I was so exhausted post-bug, post-convention that I couldn’t even get the energy to post a late blog.

Standouts that I remember include keynote addresses by both guests of honour, Kate Elliot and Ken Tan. Some interesting deep dives—Sherylyn especially liked Stephanie Lai’s deep dive into sand (Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Sand).

The Regency SFF panel chaired by Kathleen Jennings was a lot of fun and an affectionate look at Georgette Heyer and her impact on speculative fiction and the whole genre of regency romance. Did you know that once Heyer realised people were imitating her work she started to make up facts for her novels? People imitated that, so she’s one of two people in spec fic (and in romance) who has made up a world. The other is Tolkien.

One panel I enjoyed a lot, which I wasn’t truly expecting to, was The Handmaid’s Sisters, with Melissa Ferguson, Simone Corletto and Margaret Morgan. It was at 9:00pm on Saturday night, and to be honest, I only went because Sherylyn had volunteered to do desk duty then, but I don’t love dystopia, and the Handmaid’s Tale and stories of their ilk are a little too factual right now to be anything but downright scary. There were only four of us in the audience (one left early, but they packed the desk up early so Sherylyn made a second fourth). It was a good panel. Very enjoyable.


We received the copy edits for Stars Beyond on Thursday. We have two weeks to get them back to the publisher.

Sherylyn does this part, so I’m relaxing by writing a new book.

I must say, a copy editor’s style guide is a beautiful thing for a writer. It’s the kind of document you want about two, three, edits before the final one you send off to the editor. So you can make the story consistent. It has a list of words and how they’re spelt, proper nouns, descriptions of characters, and so on. Everything you put in your book is in the copy editor’s style guide. Including, if it’s part of a series, everything you put in the prior books, too.

Love it.

I just wish we could do the same thing about four drafts before.


We booked our tickets for CoNZealand, Worldcon 2020. If any of you are coming, see you there.

Fun fact, did you know Melbourne and Sydney are closer to cities in New Zealand, than they are to Perth, Australia?

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