Reflections on Mars Rx

Janette Dalgliesh:

Mars Rx wisdom from Kim Falconer.

Originally posted on The 11th House:

Loving in Reflection by Rave250 Loving in Reflection by Rave250

Mars is about to ‘stop’ in the sky (metaphorically)  and turn retrograde, just before hitting the exact conjunction with the North Lunar Node.

Even though we like to initiate new things on the new moon (March 1), think of it as a reflecting time in your journey, a chance to go back over anything set in motions late last year when Mars entered the sign of Libra.

Libra is an idealistic, objective AIR sign, interested in collaboration, union and partnerships of all kinds. Aries linked Mars, on the other hand, is all about leading, directing and being the independent contractor.

Libra by HOUSE is an area of life where we need to share our ideals, socialize, experience beauty and refinement and accommodate to the needs of others so we may have ongoing relationships and unions. You can imagine how Mars will stir…

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My latest story, online now!

Today’s excitement is for my short story “The Gods Are Just”, which is part of the new anthology, From Stage Door Shadows, from wonderful speculative fiction imprint Literary Mix Tapes.

You can read it right now, for free, for 48 hours only.

I love being part of such a fabulous and eclectic collection of short stories.

Here’s the official blurb, which explains the concept behind the anthology far better than I could.

Cover, From Stage Door ShadowsTwenty-six authors trade Tiny Dancer’s California- blessed lyrics for the shadowed recesses of stages large and small in From Stage Door Shadows, a speculative fiction homage to the darkness just beyond the limelight of the entertainment industry.

The stories re-introduce the women Bernie Taupin wrote about and Elton John sang about: blue jean baby, LA lady, the band’s seamstress, the music man’s wife and the girl dancing in the sand, along with a stellar cast of musicians, singers, thespians, fans, managers, dancers, DJs, magicians, talent show contestants, stars and has-beens.

From vaudeville to opera, piano bar and street corner, hotel suite and beauty pageant, From Stage Door Shadows is a backstage pass to where dreams of fame, fortune and fulfillment live and die in a heartbeat.

Perhaps the biggest thrill was the opportunity to revisit a character I first created for last year’s speculative fiction anthology Hope, which was published in order to raise funds for suicide prevention. When we last saw Jontah the technobard, at the end of my Hope story “Burned in the Black”, he was aiming to escape the darkness of his past. In my line of work as an LOA coach, I know that’s not a permanent solution, so this new story is my exploration of what happened next for Jontah.

While you can of course read my story and many others online for free over the next 48 hours – I encourage you to support the fab authors of this new anthology, the independent publishing industry in Australia, and of course our wonderful, award-winning publisher/fellow-author/editor/all-round-good-egg Jodi Cleghorn … and buy the whole book!

Christmas is less than 100 days away, not to mention all the other end-of-year celebrations. Stock up now with a few copies, and grab one for yourself while you’re at it. Every paperback comes with a free e-book, or you could simply buy the e-book edition on its own.


From Stage Door Shadows

Cover, From Stage Door ShadowsI’m excited!

My story “The Gods Are Just” is coming out at the end of the month, in eMergent’s fabulous new anthology From Stage Door Shadows

This is another of Jodi Cleghorn’s brilliant crowd-sourced Literary Mix Tapes anthologies, this time inspired by Bernie Taupin’s classic lyrics from Tiny Dancer.

If you look carefully, you can probably tell which lyric line was the writing prompt for each story, but to be honest who cares?

“The Gods Are Just” was an especially fun story for me to write, because not only did I get to revisit a character I’d created for a different anthology; I got to resolve his story in an unexpected direction.

Jontah, the burned out technobard, first appeared in the Hope anthology created by Kayelle Press, in my long short story “Burned in the Black”.

I always wondered what happened to him in the immediate aftermath of those events; so when Jodi suggested it might be interesting to explore his tale a little further, I jumped at the chance.

And how much fun it is, to have Jontah’s story sitting alongside some wonderful excursions into the performance world by so many brilliant authors!

The paperback is available for pre-order now, and comes bundled with a free e-book edition. Launch date is 29 September, and as usual with these great anthologies, the stories will be available live online for free for a limited time only.

Can’t wait!

We have lift off!

i’m thrilled that the Hope anthology has launched – and that I am today’s “featured author”!

Being a part of this anthology has been a huge honour, especially when I look around at my fellow authors. Sharing these pages alongside luminaries such as Sean Williams and Pamela Freeman is sending me into dizzying spirals of fangirl swoons.

In particular I’m stunned and overwhelmed with gratitude for the kindness and generosity of Rowena Corey Daniells and Jodi Cleghorn, who each got me across the line in different ways, without credit (except here!). And of course, huge thanks to Karen Lee Field, publisher, and Sasha Beattie, editor, without whom I would never have had this opportunity. All four of these amazing women are also contributing authors to Hope. And of course, I’m super excited to be sharing the pages with my Orbiteer mates Graham Storrs and Joanne Anderton.

I hope you will buy this book. Not just because it’s raising money for a good cause, but because it’s a corker of a collection of stories by fabulous writers. I can’t wait to read all the stories I haven’t yet read!

“Hope” is now available from the Kayelle Press website, in both paperback and digital editions. I hope you’ll buy lots (Christmas is near!) and tell all your friends. Thank you.


And if you enjoyed the story of Rhyllis and Jontah – find out what Jontah did next, in the forthcoming story “The Gods Are Just”, part of the From Stage Door Shadows” anthology from eMergent. Woohoo!

Writing news

Hope Launch

Cover of Hope Anthology

The wonderful Hope anthology will be launched on the weekend of 7 October 2011.

My story “Burned in the Black” is alongside stories by some of Australia’s leading SF writers and it’s a huge thrill!

This great initiative provides some fabulous reading AND will raise funds to aid suicide prevention, so it’s a win-win.

To get info about the launch and enter the draw for some great giveaways, click here to go to the Event page on Facebook.


My friend and fellow Orbiteer, Jo Anderton (also a contributor to Hope!) will be part of the Angry Robot Hour at Conflux in Canberra, on 30 September…. but the good news is, copies of her debut novel Debris have been spotted in the wild at bookshops already.

Woohoo!! If you’re going to Conflux, be sure to check out this event and show your support for a great Aussie publishing company and not one, not two, but THREE fabulous writers!

Angel Arias

And finally, much excitement for the countdown to the launch of Marianne de Pierres’Angel Arias, the second volume in her Burn Bright series. I love these books, some of the best YA fiction coming out of Australia in my opinion.

Details at Marianne’s Burn Bright site!

Peacemaker revealed at last!


The new webcomic from author Marianne de Pierres and artist Brigitte Sutherland is out at last!

And you can find it here.

I LOVE this new cross-genre venture into Western/SF.  Even more, I LOVE that it’s from Aussie creative women, who both lead their respective packs!

Kickass heroine (we expect nothing less from MDP, of course), great story, gorgeous settings (Australia, where else?) and fab artwork & design.

As a relative newbie to graphic novels – I don’t count the Superman comics I devoured as a teen, back in the Jurassic – I’m enthralled. The artwork and text line up beautifully, to flow a narrative that is fast-paced, rich and complex. Each element in every panel serves at least three purposes; it’s a masterful crafting and creates a seamless whole. Plus, it’s a damn fine yarn.

My only gripe? ONE EPISODE to begin with!  I’m assuming many more are on their way, and I’ll be sitting patiently at my browser waiting, like a horse by his manger.

Highly recommended. Try a sample or buy it here. Yeehaw!!

Reflections on an Anniversary

So much for my “post every day” plan!

Turns out that I didn’t  need to revisit the last week of Dad’s life in detail after all.  The actual anniversary was in the small hours of this morning – and yes, I woke briefly. No significant dreams to report, rather a gentle sense of comfort and connection, and floating off again into deep and restful sleep.

For Dad

Beyond these final days, I said to you,
I know there will be joy for each of us;
though you may find it sooner than I do.

And so, I said to you,
I’ll do my best to choose joy now;
though I reserve the right to weep.

You smiled, and nodded certainty,
then said goodnight and slipped away,
your rumpled flesh like party clothes
discarded on the bed.

And now I feel you dancing.
No decorous foxtrot for you,
but rather heel-kicking jive and twist,
whirling, exuberant, in the music of the stars.

My blood hears the echo of that beat
and my heart lifts high and wide,
beyond the tears.

If such a thing as time existed where you are
you’d fill each glorious second
with undoubting bliss.

I will catch up soon.
You have become joy;
how could I be less?

Ballarat Botanical Gardens


A year on, I have caught up. Joy is my default position, though of course there are days when anger or grief or frustration appear. But I honour those feelings when they emerge, let them flow, and then return to that dancing joy which is my birthright.

There are still some things I want to say. I talked about the experience in depth on another blogsite; and I’ve acknowledged Sue and Sandi. Now it’s time to do the same for the rest of the family.

Love you, guys!!

To Alistair – thank you for finding a way to keep your business going, spend every hour possible by Dad’s bedside and still be conscious of your family’s needs. You were probably stretched the most thinly of all of us, and that didn’t go unnoticed. And thank you for sharing the big secret confession – I still smile thinking about that moment ;-)

To Andrew – thank you for taking so much responsibility on those broad shoulders. Not just the administrative minutiae from which I thankfully ran like the wind; but all the tiny details of making sure everyone had what they needed, all the time. That got noticed, too.

Olivia, Jeremy, Mackenzie, Callum, Riley and Baxter – you guys were AWESOME. Each of you brought the blessing of your presence and your unique personality, and because of you that weekend party rocked!

To my beautiful hubby – thank you for your quiet strength, your mad sense of humour and your wisdom in knowing which was needed at any given moment.

And to Mum – thank you. For everything.


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