Tara Calaby

writer, editor & phd candidate

Tag: my writing (page 2 of 4)

Year in Review – 2013

I’ve been awfully bad at updating my blog this year, due to all manner of health issues taking up all of my physical and mental energy. For the same reason, it hasn’t been a great year for writing.

Pieces Completed in 2013:

  • Scrap Metal (approx 5k, science fiction/gothic horror) 
  • Ashes (approx 4k, dark fairy tale) 
  • Liberty (one act play, science fiction) 
  • Women’s Work (approx 5k, dystopian fiction) 
  • Breath (approx 2k, historical ghost story) 

Published in 2013:

  • Wound (flash, magic realism) 
  • The Silver Witch (flash, fantasy) 

Additional Sales in 2013:

  • Icarus (approx 5k, science fiction) – to Aurealis  
  • Breath (as above) – to Undertow (a print anthology of stories about the Gold Coast, due out in May 2014)  

I’ve also completed the first of two years working on my Master of Letters (Creative Writing). I’ve been very pleased with my marks and have enjoyed the process of looking at my own writing through a different, more academic lens. Next year, I’ll be working on the thesis aspect of the course, which means writing a longer piece and an accompanying longer exegesis.

Writing Update – August

I’ve had some health stuff going on this past month, so there hasn’t been a lot of writing happening. I did, however, manage to finish a Australian ghost story, of around 2.5k words, so I was pleased about that, given everything that’s been happening.

My short story and play for my M.Litt are currently with my supervisor, so here’s hoping he’ll like them and I’ll be able to focus on the critical essays about them, instead of lots of re-drafting!

The biggest news this month is that my short story ‘Icarus’ was accepted for publication in Aurealis. I’ll update with an expected publication date once one is available.

Writing Update – July

It’s officially August, by just over eight hours, but I’m writing about July, so I think the headline still counts!

This past month, I’ve mostly been busy with writing first drafts for my two writing submissions for my second semester of my Master of Letters (Creative Writing). I wrote short stories for my first two units, which both received good marks (yay!) and are now out doing the submission rounds. This time around, it’s another short story – and a short play to mix things up a little. Because it’s all about word count, the play is going to be a most unhelpful length for production: probably about twenty minutes, which will rule it out for all the 10 minute play festivals, while it’ll still be way too short for a stand-alone play. The short story (Women’s Work) takes a first century AD Roman event and sends it into outer space, while the play (Liberty) is about a man who falls for an AI program. I think it’s safe to say that I’m all about the spec fic these days.

Both my partner and I have had a spate of stories get past slush and to the short-listed stage of things recently. It’s funny, but a rejection at that stage of things always seems to feel worse than getting the standard form reject after a couple of weeks. Logically, I know that it means I’m doing something right, and that the decision was about publication fit and editor tastes, instead of writing quality, but it still smarts a little. I have three submissions at that long-term stage at the moment, and I’m just hoping they don’t all decide to send rejections through on the one day 😉

I did, however, get a lovely and very helpful personal rejection from Shimmer last month. I think that Shimmer is one of the best publications out there at the moment, so it was particularly great to get some feedback from them.

August will be all about Women’s Work and Liberty for me. I have a lot of re-drafting to do on Women’s Work and Liberty is still quite a way from a finished first draft. Hopefully, next time I blog I’ll be able to say that both are in the polished draft stage, awaiting feedback from my lecturer.

The Silver Witch

bookcase‘The Silver Witch’ is now available up at the Daily Science Fiction website. If you’re interested, check it out – and take a look at all the other great stories while you’re there 🙂

The Silver Witch

bookcaseNext week, my first pro-rate sale will be going live at Daily Science Fiction. It’s a short piece called “The Silver Witch” and it’s a bit of a departure from my usual style and genre. If you want to read it when it’s first available on the 18th, you’ll have to sign up for the email – which is well worth doing anyway. Otherwise, it’ll be available online a week later, and I shall try to remember to post a link soon after that!

I’ve not been doing a lot of writing lately, because I’ve been focussing on being ill 😉 My creativity has been directed towards sewing projects instead. I’m hoping to get back to it soon, though, because I find that the longer I take a break from writing, the harder it is to get back to it, because the need to be perfect takes over entirely.


bookcaseI have been extremely tardy in posting this link, alas! I’ve been up to my neck in moving house and all that it entails, and now have very limited internet access. Thank goodness for personal hotspots and iPhones!

Finally, however, I can point you over to Every Day Fiction to read my story, “Wound”. It’s one that was initially inspired by something that happened in my own childhood, although it’s been reworked and refined a lot since its first incarnation. It was my first time playing with magic realism, and I’m really glad it’s found a good home 🙂

An Update

bookcaseI’m afraid I’ve been neglecting this site rather dreadfully over the past half year or so. I’ve been in something of a transition period, but have come out the other side more focussed and inspired.

Quite a few things have been happening, but here are just a few snippets by way of an update.

  • ‘Speed Dating’ had a very successful season in Sydney, polling well with both the judges and the audiences. We just missed out on the Gala Final, but that didn’t do anything to dull my enjoyment of the process. Glen was a great director to work with, and I loved what he and the actors did with my words. I didn’t get up to see the production, but I was able to watch it on DVD, and it was a strange, but exciting, experience watching my play being performed.
  • My short piece ‘Wound’ was accepted for publication by Every Day Fiction. It’ll be up on the site on the 18th of April (almost in time for my birthday) and I’ll update when it’s available to be read.
  • I’m moving to Melbourne! I’m still a country person at heart, but my partner and so many of my people are in Melbourne, so I’m headed back there myself.
  • I’ve started studying towards a Master of Letters (Creative Writing) with CQUniversity. As of today, I’ve completed the first draft on two short stories, one for each of my first two units. I’ll probably talk more about those pieces in the coming months as I move through the editing process and eventually seek homes for them.
  • I’ve done a minor site update, taking the focus away from other people’s writing and placing it upon my own.

Speed Dating (Still)

The Sydney Short + Sweet season of ‘Speed Dating’ begins tomorrow night. This is the end of the play’s Short + Sweet experience, but it’s been a very fun ride. It was accepted into four festivals in two countries, and will be performed in three of those four festivals. For a novice theatre writer such as myself, it’s been an excellent experience, and one which I hope won’t be my last encounter with having my work performed.

Chookas to my Sydney director and cast!

Speed Dating: Sydney Style

Short and SweetI was excited to find out recently that “Speed Dating” has been accepted into the original and biggest Short + Sweet festival in Sydney. It’s been chosen as a Top 80 play, which means multiple performances, and I’m hoping to be able to fly up there to finally see a production myself!

The director is Glen Pead, and the cast for the production is as follows:

Kate: Alannah Robertson
Megan: Lisa Hassens
Jill: Orlena Steele-Prior
Alicia: Karina Bracken

I look forward to seeing what they do with the script!

More Reviews

Short and SweetTwo more reviews of the Auckland production of “Speed Dating” came through today. One is more of a review of omission, although “highly observational” is the kind of comment that is great because it makes you think about what you’ve written.

The second was a lovely review to receive. I am always happy to have the words “excellently written” attributed to something I’ve created. I’m also interested that two of the three reviews have spoken of the majority of the piece being very cynical. It shows you that the outlook of the writer really does slip into their work, even when it’s not intended!

Thanks to all of the reviewers and everyone who has taken the time to see some or all of the plays involved in the festival!

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