Toll signs global union agreement

Transport and logistics company, Toll Group, has signed a unique agreement with the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and its affiliated unions, underlining its commitment to safety and fair working standards across its 1,200 sites in 50 countries.

Read more.


NaNoFailMo 2017

We’re a week in and it looks like I’ll abandon this November’s writing experiment. There’s just too much going on. Between changing nappies and working odd hours, this body needs rest. Who knows, when the Christmas break arrives I might be able to spew the words out but it’s not happening at the moment. Ah well.

NaNoWriMo 2017: Day Five

Wow. November 5. So, it’s the long weekend and I’m being a good daddy, letting the daughter watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens as well as multiple sessions of My Little Pony: The Movie.

Today I got some words in for the prologue. The inciting incident in the novel, so far, is kind of lame (Ness rips a neural package out of a kid’s face). This is all headed for fun times in a bar with holosuites and other fancy SF things.

Total word count is 2517. Chapter two should be big so I expect a surge in the total words to happen in the next 48 hours.

I need to try to keep up daily contributions otherwise this project will spiral out of control. Writing without interruption is only possible in the evenings, at the moment, so I am sacrificing sleep. Who needs sleep, right?

I’m tired, my eyes need rest …

NaNoWriMo 2017: Day One

Hey there. It’s a Wednesday, and it’s also the first day of that crazy challenge to write a novel in a month. Well, Ness Nocturne is off to a good start with 1,230 words. Not bad considering I’m knackered from full-time work and daddy duties.

Initially. I had this grand scheme to follow up on a contemporary Lovecraftian concept, and then after being subjected to My Little Pony: The Movie, I was inspired to write a kids story with a dark twist. But, of course, my natural writing style defaults to SF so that’s where this year’s experiment is headed.

The antique myki machine behind the bar was the colour of fish, floundering in acid.

The opening line from the current draft of Ness Nocturne pays homage to a classic slice of literature. Can you guess which story I blatantly ripped off?




NaNoWriMo 2017

Just signed up for this year’s National November Writing Month challenge. Are you going to write a 50,000-word novel in a month? This busy dude is going to try, again.

Here’s a mock of the front cover.


Ness Nocturne.png

Freelance copywriting sucks

Word Tweak is a failed business where the sole trader has never recovered the costs associated with officially registering, purchasing the domain names, printing the cards, emailing the hack frauds or setting up the website. There have been some small wins here and there, but a lot of time has been squandered chasing leads and repeatedly asking legacy clients for overdue payment. So, fuck it. If you’re a freelance copywriter, just stop. Get a real job.

Was it all for naught? No. Through professional experience elsewhere and downright exploitation at the expense of this salty operator, there is a folio that is half-decent. At least the body of works, and the piffle to accompany it, was ok enough to open up more lucrative and sustainable full-time opportunities for an entrepreneur who was spinning words for virtual cents. So yeah, it padded out the good ol’ CV and helped this aspiring capitalist learn a thing or two about humanity.

Online marketing, the horror.

But that’s not the point. It should never be acceptable for a professional freelance copywriter to work for free when payment via legal tender was agreed upon in writing. Fast food chains won’t wait a year for you to pay for that litre of cola that you quaffed. Myki doesn’t give a shit if you fare evade because you forgot to top up (well, from what I’ve seen, V/Line conductors are weak on the matter) but you get the point, right? Engage a professional for a service and then pay them promptly. If the job was terrible or needs fixing, it gets resolved.

There are a few problems when dealing with copywriting contracts.

  1. Trust. This word tweaker should’ve encrypted files and done all sorts of Mr Robot shenanigans to ensure payment for services rendered. In almost every situation where payment for copywriting is pending, it’s because the contact has established trust and their tardiness was never anticipated. It is difficult to withhold copy when it is being submitted via .docx or text format. Fuck people.
  2. Priorities. Businesses focus on core business. It’s what businesses do. When a business engages a copywriting business to do business, its business is more important than your business. So don’t be surprised when you do all the work and then wait an eternity for a response. By the time the other business get back to you, they’ll probably back out or have a change in priorities that will call for a complete re-write, with the expectation that you can do it for free. Cheap bastards.
  3. Protection. No, this isn’t a contraception spiel. wait, maybe it is … You see, freelancers are often at the mercy of their customers. There’s endless negotiation and compromise because freelancers want happy, paying customers. Sadly, people will play every dirty trick to squeeze all the value out of your juicy noggin. This means that the copywriter often completes the job but the other party will attempt to get away with paying only a fraction or zilch. When you’re just a small-town writer, livin in a lonely world, you’ll take the midnight train goin anywhere.

TL;DR: People exploit people. Get your shit together. If you freelance, fuckin don’t.

Let this video ram it home for ya.


3D printed terrain with Wargaming STLs

Do you own a 3D printer or know someone who likes to churn out all kinds of plastic crack for tabletop wargaming? When you have access to a machine that can turn a digital design into a physical copy, that’s incredible. With the right equipment, you could make just about anything.

Two decades ago, I used to dig holes in the backyard and fill them with plaster for natural-looking scale hills and mounds. When we had a surplus of cardboard, polystyrene and foam board, me and my siblings would craft small buildings, forts and all sorts of tabletop wargaming terrain. While we had a lot of fun making crap out of crap and using those amateur models for Warhammer 40K and other indie games, the plaster mounds were brittle and crumbled while the little houses bowed at their bases and ended up in the bin. We needed better stuff.

3D printed terrain is the next best thing. Punters on a budget will no doubt scour Thingiverse for all the free STL files. Funny thing about free stuff, though, is that quality is often hit and miss – ok, more misses than hits.

So, what do you do? Learn how to design and splice your own bunkers and barricades? Well, you could. Nothin stopping you. Wouldn’t it be more convenient, though, for someone else to do it for you? Spend your time playing games rather than wasting hours printing something disappointing.


Did the almighty Dice Gods hear our pleas for better 3D prints? A new Australian online store has popped up and it’s full of quality STL files for 3D printed terrain. Wargaming STLs aims to release new models every week, and currently has an impressive catalogue that includes barrels, vehicles, ruins as well as some awesome set pieces like the crashed aeroplane and the highway road kit. These premium and unique designs are better than anything I can mould from the dirt outside and look superior to the average STL files that you can pluck from the interwebs.


Join the Wargaming STLs Facebook page today. Subscribe to the mailing list for exclusive coupon codes and new release details.

What kind of 3D printed terrain would you like to see?