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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Writing with a partner

I'v always wanted to collaborate on a writing project, and my friends Amie and Meg are doing just that!

Over on Amie's blog, Amie Kaufman | Writer, buccaneer, etc., they COLLABORATIVELY explain the do's and don'ts on writing with a partner. All good things to think about and something I'm totally going to go back to when I finally, one day, write a book with someone else.

I shouldn't be blogging right now. I need to leave for work in 20 minutes. But I just wanted to share the awesome with you first. Check it out. Check it out RIGHT NOW.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Back to the real world

Alas, the long weekend is over and it's back to the real world. Did everybody have a good long weekend? How did the Easter Bunny treat you, or did you double your haul with the after-Easter sales?

And Happy Zombie Jesus Day! I hadn't heard that one before and you gotta admit, if you think about it, he DID rise from the dead, right?

I was going to add an image of Zombie Jesus but all the ones I found were all kinds of icky, so I decided to spare you.

How hard has it been to get back into the swing of things for you? Me? It has been TRES HARD. But I have. All that sleep while I was away was a godsend.

I finished that assignment I'd totes forgotten was due over Easter (ha...oops), I'm back into the writing every day habit, upping my word count each day and working out those plot problems that have been plaguing me for the last couple of weeks, and today I've been applying for a couple of Fellowships in order to go to pretty surroundings with the sole intention got it...WRITING.

The real world is busy, am I right? I study at University part time, I have a part time job and a casual job, I've been going to the gym, editing, formatting, designing covers for and uploading my ebooks as well as doing some freelance editorial. Oh yeah, and writing when it's possible. So a Fellowship sounds like heaven to me.

Do you find that life gets in the way of what you REALLY want to do (whatever it may be), sometimes? Have you ever been on a retreat? Was it awesome? Tell me tell me tell me.

Keep it real my peeps,

Love Sairz

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter and enjoy your noms!

Happy Easter everybunny!

I hope the Easter Bunny finds you at your house and delivers lots of sugar-coma inducing noms.

The Easter Bunny looks tired so if you see him around perhaps offer him some coffee.

One year when I was a kid, the Easter Bunny hid all our eggs and bunnies (weird to be giving people replicas of yourself to EAT, right?) outside, so all my sister and I found were the tinfoil wrappers. Birds, possums and our dogs had a VERY good easter that year.

Hope you take some time off from whatever you're doing and enjoy your break. I'm planning on sleeping for three days! Maybe then I'll have caught up. Maybe.

Be safe on the roads!



Sunday, April 17, 2011

A small (but significant) change

You MAY have noticed that the blog has a new name. It's no longer about Sairz That Writer Chick, but is The Sarah Billington Blog.

'Why?' you ask? Or maybe you're thinking more along the lines of 'Yo dawg, wassup wit' dat?'

Well let me break it down for you homie, I used to be Sarah the writer. I was aiming for publication and that was that, really.

But nowadays, I believe I have a lot more to offer. As countless writers are, I'm a bit of an introvert in real life. I find it hard telling people how brilliant I am, that I'm good at what I do. I cringed just writing that, actually.

But aside from being Sairz that writer chick, I am also a freelance editor, having worked on sales copy, academic journals, novels and short stories. I am an eBook formatter. I formatted my own and have the skills and know-how to do it for you too.
Do you like my ebook covers? I designed them myself and had a whole lot more fun than I thought I would in doing so.

I am a multi-skilled multi-tasker.

Though not as multi-tasking as this chick.

I still identify myself first and foremost as a writer. That's who I am. I am thrilled to be testing the shiny new publishing opportunities available through eBookstores with some works, while others, my agent and I are finding the puuuurfect home for with traditional publishing houses.

But eBook formatting, cover designing and editorial are all things I can DO. And do well.

And it's about time I acknowledge that I, Sarah Billington, gots me some skillz.

Email me at SairzBillington at gmail dot com with details of your project for a quote.



Friday, April 15, 2011

Resistance is futile: Bookstore sales and eBook updates

 So I tried really hard not to go to any bookshop sales. A bunch of them are closing down and selling their stock for ridiculously awesome prices but I was NOT GOING. I don't need more books, I don't have the money to justify buying more books. I will not succumb!

Until this morning, I did.

I gotta say, I didn't do too badly. Since the sale's been on for awhile now, most of the stuff on my list of must reads were gone, but I got a couple of promising titles, including this one which I've had my eye on for awhile now:

It totally looks like a zom com. I'm currently writing a zombie comedy myself so, naturally, it caught my attention.

Though I gotta say, the ultimate zom com is most definitely this:

If you have not watched Shaun of the Dead then you are missing out on something magic. For realz.

Moving on.

There is still time to grab my award winning short story eBook Life Was Easier When Boys Were Stupid for FREE from Smashwords with the coupon code TB47A. You can read it online through HTML or Javascript or download the Kindle, ePub, PDF, LRF or PDB versions, depending on how you want to read it. Coupon code ends Sunday!

You can also get a story of unrequited love, The Ballerina & My Best Friend, which, like Life Was Easier, is available from Smashwords and Amazon.

Aaaand....Coming soon!

A completely free short by Edwina Ray.

More later,


Monday, April 11, 2011

Life Was Easier When Boys Were Stupid eBook Coupon!

It's an exciting time to be a writer, with digital publishing exploding and opening up new markets for selling your work.

Today, I uploaded my very first eBook for sale!

Jess is at a party and girls and boys around her are locked together at the lips and hips. When did everyone grow up so fast? She's not sure she wants to, but her girl friend Carla points out a boy across the room with eyes only for Jess. 

Life Was Easier When Boys Were Stupid won the Gippsland Award in 2009's Fellowship of Australian Writers Awards. 

And for this week only, you can download it FREE.

Go to 

Enter the Coupon Code TB47A before Sunday 17th April 

and the story is yours at no charge.

I hope you'll review or rate it if you enjoyed it. And spread the word! 
There is more to come,



The Bookstore That Deserves A Gloaty Face

For the last couple of years, I felt kind of sorry for the bookstore Dymocks in Camberwell.

It's a pretty small shop and a kind of expensive one. They have (if I remember correctly, I haven't been there in awhile since I moved) an ABC section filled with period movies and documentaries and an SBS section full of foreign DVDs and though they had your best sellers, it felt to me more like they were interested in literary quality over commercial appeal. 

In Camberwell, that could work. But then this happened:

They got a 2 storey Borders Superstore with cafe and everything move in as their neighbour. They already had an Angus & Robertson across the road. Surely a Borders as WELL was going to be the kiss of death. I was sure that the combined power of Angus & Robertson and Borders was going to shut Dymocks down in no time.

But it never happened.

And then the whole REDGroup collapse happened and they're closing Angus & Robertson in Camberwell. And as of this past week, I believe, Borders is holding a closing down sale of its own. (I have no first hand knowledge of this because I'm making a concerted effort to stay away from all the sales at the moment. I have a budget, dammit!)

But guess who's still standing? Yup. Dymocks.

I don't know what their finances are like, being a bookstore at the moment is a pretty trying thing to be, but my point is that the little specialty bookshop outlasted the Superstore AND their competitors across the road.

Goon onya, Dymocks. I'd be surprised if you didn't look like this:


Monday, April 4, 2011

Writing: Finding the time

I am one of those people who always wants to block out big chunks of time for writing.
For me, if I do this, I have learnt I have to block out a whole day. There's a bit of a ritual involved in settling in to write when you have a block of time.

First you check your email, and Twitter, and then you might cruise on over to some of those interesting sounding blog posts people have ReTweeted. And then you might hit FaceBook and your Google Reader (mine is permanantly at 1000+ unread blogs so I TRY not to go there TOO often because since you're all so awesome it's a massive, MASSIVE time suck) anyhoo I do all this with the intention of taking two seconds and then I'll get to writing.

But if I haven't left a whole day and have some afternoon activities scheduled I might miss the actual *cough* writing part of my writing session.

Is anyone else like this? I know some of you are. Okay, fine, PRETEND you don't know what I'm talking about. Whatever. Don't think I'm not onto you.

So anyway, even with that stupid stupid habit with the time blocking etc, I still get me some writing done. How is that, you ask?

Stop blocking time, y'all!

Pretend this is me:

Don't I look pretty?

I am often getting to work ten minutes early and instead of going in and starting my shift early I figure - hell, they don't know I'm here (okay so they MIGHT now if they read this blog. Hi guys!) so I park up the street and write.

And I get a whole lot done, too. Because I only have TEN MINUTES! There's no time for screwing around and checking Twitter and your awesome blogs. I gots me some writing to do!

Similarly, today I took the train in and out of the city. (I went to the Comedy Festival and it was OMG AMAZEBALLS but that's a different story) The ride was maybe fifteen minutes each way but with netbook on knee I got up to a really exciting, pivotal moment in my book. To not have been writing on that trip? Time wasted. That's all I'm saying. I'm NOT saying however, that sometimes eavesdropping to get some juicy dialogue or fun stories isn't necessary, or staring out the window just for a bit of peace or orientation of where you're going can be wonderful, but for a girl wanting to get her words down? Quick and easy and painless. Maybe not painless for my characters, one of whom just got bit by a zombie on my train ride home.

I know parent authors who take their netbooks to their kid's swimming lessons and though physically there in case something goes wrong, they're mentally with their characters. Maybe torturing them. Maybe killing someone (In front of children, I KNOW).

My netbook is one of the best purchases ever. Not only because just after I bought my netbook, my LAPTOP died which meant I would have had NO computer and I may have died, but because it's so light and compact I just slip it into my handbag and take it everywhere.

The moral to my story is you do NOT need to find big chunks of time to write in. For me, the more time I have to write, the less actual writing I do.

Does this happen to you?

What are your experiences? Do you like writing out IN THE WORLD?