Mutant Monsters, Creepy Cooking, The Perfect Home and More: A Poetry Collection



Meet the licker

As he licks your lips

Lips sick, sickly sweet

Teat on lip, garish feat

Such a feat with such big feet

Huge clawed feet fit for stinking streets

Stink, pink, colour of kids

Kids, just one kid, she’s a prig

She’s eating her feast

Fast beast eats fast

His lips on their tips

Suck of the children they sip,

Licking its lips


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Why Blogging Isn’t The Key to Success


If you’ve started a blog to become the Next Big Author or Creative, then you should give up right now.

Despite what the myriad of bloggers on your WordPress Reader or Twitter are telling you—amidst their epic cries of Buy my book! Buy my booook!—you will not become famous by virtue of tapping your fingers onto the keyboard and blurting word vomit onto your professional writer’s blog. You’d have a better chance writing a letter in blood to the devil (The Big Five publishers) or begging for a short story journal to not pay you in exposure and love.

If you’re an unknown, the majority of your followers will be other writers and creatives. Sure, a percentage of these people may be interested enough to buy your book or watch your YouTube channel or like your social media accounts, they’re nowhere near the majority. If you’re a virtual unknown with a newly minted blog, your comments—if any—will read something like this:

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5 Foolproof Ways to Get Writer’s Block

garbage-3259455_960_720You’ve been far too creative for your own good.

Ten days ago, you started Novel3_Draft_Notes.docx in preparation for NaNoWriMo, and BAM! you accidentally morphed into Stephen King and you’re ready to hit the publish button on Amazon Self-Publishing. You’ve written fifty-four blog posts in the last week and now you don’t need to think of another idea ever again.

Your brain is in creative overdrive, you dream only about your keyboard while pretending your pillow is your laptop, and the ideas are exploding everywhere, including that presentation you’re showing for work. Now your workmates are questioning why the latest Gone Girl-esque thriller is apparently the best way to improve your company’s budget.

You need a quick solution. You need writer’s block and you need it fast before your overwhelming creativity ruins your life. Every Google search is about How to Stop Writer’s Block in its Tracks, and you really don’t need anymore of that all-controlling block written away. You need to be less creative.

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A Writer’s Guide to Avoiding the Social Media Timesuck


Social media is the antagonist of the modern creative’s life story, and writers are no exception.

Have you ever logged onto your laptop, computer or even mobile/cell phone with the definite intention of putting your fingers to the keyboard and writing out that epic saga you’ve had planned in your mind for so, so long it feels like the characters have become a part of you? You’re inspired. Your idea about thirty-something Gillian Rachelson accidentally uncovering a murder plot where the killer turns out to be the only somewhat likeable man needs to be put down into words on your writing program of choice. Your YA fantasy about the teenage assassin struggling to choose whether she should romance the man she’s fated to kill or her fellow rogue assassin, feels like it’s ready for teenagers to devour and is definitely an original idea.

You log onto your device of choice. You open up Microsoft Word. Or Scrivener. The notes app on your iPhone? Maybe you’re one of those adventurous devils who writes out your story in notes on your TI-Inspire calculator (Note: Definitely not something I did back in high school). Then you realise you forgot to name Gillian Rachelson’s antagonist. Michael? Marcus? Maybe you should head onto that baby name generator site. Click on the link “Most popular baby girl names of the 1980s”. Then what about Mary Sue Assassin? She needs a name too. Randomise. Randomise. There we go. A name. Nah. That’s a bit boring. Then it occurs to you: “What about Facebook?” You probably have some friends—or even mutuals—with names to randomly pick and mix for your latest masterpiece.

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No Zombies in the Real World: A Short Story


Liquor Barn, Saturday, 9:08pm

The shift went on and on like any other.

Groups of bulked-up tradies in stained wife beaters and plaid jackets with fluoro vests ordered slabs of VB to juice up a hundred; barely-legal teenagers making the switch from a four-pack of Smirnoff Ice to the mid-shelf moscato just to look mature; regulars enthusing about their daughter’s sweet sixteenth and the latest Federal budget cuts with disarming irregularity; regulars who just took their Winnie Gold 25s and left with barely a whisper escaping their tar-stained lips: It all happened, and she took it with that insider’s knowledge. Not that she’d been in the business too long, but she knew what to look out for.

So when the three freckled youths walked into the store to the beeping acknowledgement of the sliding doors, she knew exactly what to do. She walked tentatively around the counter, her eyes fixated on their awkward movements. One of the boys, a stocky blond kid, held up a hand to wave to her. She opened her mouth to speak, but nothing came out. She moved her hand towards him, but still, nothing.

“Can you believe what that thot at Skydeck was saying?” the boy next to him said in a deep voice that belied his thin figure and oversized singlet.

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Having a Dialogue About Writing Realistic Dialogue


For the past couple of weeks, I have been reading a book that I have tentatively dubbed The Room of novels. I’m just over sixty pages into this 400-page behemoth of a novel with no substance, but that doesn’t mean it’s not interesting to read. No, of course it’s interesting. Despite its unnecessary textbook size, egregious spelling and grammatical mistakes, and gaping plot holes, this as-yet-unnamed book really does have a gripping plot, if not for the so-bad-it’s-good writing style. However, the dialogue is another problem altogether.

Writing good, engaging dialogue takes effort. As someone who has been told she writes effective, down-pat dialogue, I can tell you bad dialogue is glaringly obvious, and it really detracts from the effectiveness of the novel. While similar to real-life conversation, it is not the same. If you recreate a real-life conversation in your work of fiction, it’s going to sound awkward, clunky, and downright unreadable. For example, here’s a scene from my novel Reunion ’92 (its placeholder title):

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How to Blog When the Blogging Gets Tough

It’s amazing how many free stock images exist on the internet. Here’s one of someone writing a blog post.

Last month I set myself up for the impossible task of blogging every day. Guess what? Forty days later, and I’m still going strong. You know, I don’t think it’s something everyone should do. Thinking of a different idea every single day can be exhausting, time-consuming, but it’s also great to keep your creative brain alive especially when you feel like you’ve lost your zest for writing.

I’ve had a major case of writer’s block for the last couple of months. I’m not talking about the sort of writer’s block that can be fixed by staring at your laptop screen for an hour with Resident Evil save room music playing in the background, but the sort where you can’t pump out even a paragraph. I have no problem with ideas; that’s the easiest part, but putting them down into words is much harder. Earlier this year, I started my second serious novel (as mentioned before, I’ve previously written another two absolutely awful pieces of crap back in 2009 and 2010), and found myself just over 7,000 words in before I became stuck. Since I couldn’t continue with that story, I decided to turn my hand to blogging. Blogging means you can get your words out to people, and can interact with others on the world wide web. I decide to write about politics, because it’s difficult to escape from the world of politics, but you can write about just about anything. Because of that, I decided to separate my writing and other related posts to this blog, and talk about politics on my new site, The Fifty Percent Review.

Since I’ve seen a lot of people talk about the slog of blogging, and how so many give up after a few short months, I thought I should offer a few tips on how you can blog regularly. Keep in mind this is coming from someone who struggled one blog every couple of months when I first started in 2012. In 2013, I did one post in February, and then took a huuge break until June, and then only did two more posts between September and December. Lucky for me, I’ve managed to find a good cycle for posting on Gut Instinct (one post per month) that’s realistic to maintain. But you want to know how to write regularly, don’t you? Well, let’s get crack-a-lacking:

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The Wrong Sort of Writer – Writing as a Woman in the Current Year

What do authors Enid Blyton, Muriel Barbery, J.K Rowling, K.A Applegate, Suzanne Collins, Kim Harrison, Christine Harris, Aimee Friedman, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Eleanor H. Porter, Daphne DuMaurier, Fiona Barton, Harper Lee, Sue Townsend, Anne Frank, Louisa May Alcott and Natalie Babbitt, have in common? Other than being among the authors that hugely inspired my own writing, they have one thing in common. They’re women.

But there’s a problem. These women are white women. Despite being writers with diverse life situations—with situations as varied as Anne Frank, a Dutch-German journal-writer who died of typhus in a concentration camp in 1945, to timeless children’s authors like Blyton, Montgomery and Porter, to writers of riveting suspense fiction like duMaurier and satirists like Townsend. There are more than just these authors. You’ve got the classics like Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, and Mary Shelley. You’ve got contemporary lit that my mum enjoys, like Sheila O’Flanagan, Maeve Binchy, and Rachael Johns. You’ve got so many successful women throughout modern literature, but that’s not enough for those who reside in social justice circles.

I have nothing against equality and diversity. I’m libertarian/centre-left on the political scale, and support most left-leaning causes, with a tiny fraction of right-leaning ones. My problem, as I’ve blogged before, are the radical communists and anarchofeminists on my side of politics—more commonly known as intersectional feminists. I love to read books by all sorts of different authors—as long as they have an intriguing plot—and enjoy books by the likes of authors like my current #amreading, Marie Kondo, and if you have any book recommendations, please leave me some in the comments. I’m always looking to increase my TBR List!

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5 Ways to Start Writing Instead of Sitting Around Twiddling Your Thumbs


Above: Writing. Below: Your word processor right now.

Sometimes, writing sucks. No, I don’t mean the end result, because that’s glorious—O so glorious blah blah—and it feels like you’re on top of a mountain. I don’t mean the act of writing itself when you’re in the zone, letting out your inner Stephen King, pounding text to the pavement a million miles a second like a jumbled cliche. I don’t mean the hustle and bustle of creativity that runs through your mind, plotting characters, creating universes, sending said characters out on dire missions and destroying their carefully-crafted lives. Those are all awesome.

I mean writing slumps. Not to be confused with writer’s block, which is just a brief old moment of exhaustion and a lack of putting words to the page for only a few hours, or a few days. A writing slump is different. It’s more like a writing dead end. A no-go zone. Where, sure, you can put pen to the paper, or text to the .docx, but the enjoyment, the love that got you into this thing…well, it’s gone. I mean, sometimes it makes brief appearances, spurts of excitement that make you realise why you do this, and then…poof!

So, how do you get this, for lack of a better word, mojo back? How do you find your passion again? Do you just uninstall all your word-processing documents—Word and Scrivener and the Apple equivalents? Deleting word-processing programs is an incredibly stupid idea—no, don’t delete them. If you own Writing the Next Bestseller Abuse Erotica/16 Year Old Teen Girl Dystopian/Vampire Teen Romance/Suspicious [Ex] Partner Crime Novel a la ‘Gone Girl’ or ‘Girl on the Train’ or ‘The Widow’ or ‘The Missing Wife’ or Whatever, just throw that bullcrap away anyway. It’s not doing you any good. You can’t just “learn” to write. You can improve a little, like what Stephen King says in On Writing, but those books aren’t doing you any good, other than wasting space for better books in your bookshelf/bookshelves. So, what do you do? Well, like me, you Google your problem and see what other people have to say to help solve your crippling writer’s blank.

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4 (Or More) Reasons Why You Should Be Blogging Right Now


It’s not really blogging. Just a Word document with the words “blogging”.

There. Now that you’ve read the utterly clickbaity headline, it’s time for the blog post!

When I first started this blog, way back in the golden olden days of 2012, I had big wide-eyed dreams for what I would do now I was a blogger. A Blogger was a mystical, ethereal internet person; someone who wrote catchy online versions of personal diaries, albeit better edited and with a little less of the constant Does he/she like me? and the boring analysis of how much you hated P.E/Gym. I can’t really talk about that from experience: I was one of the diarists who started off January 1 expecting to become the next Adrian Mole—at least until I discovered no-one should aspire to be Adrian “Lo, The Flat Hills of my Homeland” Mole. By June or July, about the time where we’re at now, I’d be making up diary entries days afterward, trying to guess if I read K-Zone or played Sims 2 on PS2 all day. It didn’t really matter. I wasn’t meant to be a diarist.

But, back to that magical word: blogging. I first started on Webs and then moved over to WordPress due to its overall simplicity. I sat around for a while and thought of what to write before deciding on the topic of the day: Political Correctness Gone Mad. It wasn’t about writing—it was after that I turned to the generic writer blog posts about writer’s block, inspiration and the like. It was nice to write about stuff on the internet, even if people didn’t really read it. I didn’t expect lots of views; after all, the internet superhighway is full of so many people trying to get their words out, trying to tell us the same thing, and I expected moderate success. But I kept doing it because I enjoyed it. When writer’s block (funnily enough) set in, I was still able to open up my WordPress reader and belt out a post for you guys to peruse, like and enjoy. Four years later, and I’ve stuck to my New Year’s Resolution for 2014 and still write a blog post a month.

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