Welcome to Always Looking Up


Always looking up, eyes on the skies, head in the clouds, I’m an #actuallyautistic SFF author-in-progress.

newmel1With regard to that, I’m a mild-mannered instructional designer by day. I was a corporate trainer for 12 years and I still retain my learning blog category, “Breaking open the mind,” but, to be honest, my heart isn’t really there anymore. “The Learning Mutt” has just shifted her energy and attention to writing, where it should have been all along.

I’ve always been a writer. Before I learned printing and cursive, I was telling tall tales. I’ve known for years that I’d be writing until the day age and infirmity (it’s going to take both of them–I’m not going down without a fight) rob me of the ability. Recently, though, I’ve decided to put sincere effort into writing as a career.

I’ve made money from my writing, but not enough to achieve my dream of earning a living wage from my creative efforts.

So this site is my documentary of those efforts, but it’s also a place where you’ll find lots of interesting links and resources.

On Tuesdays, I curate my favourite writing-related posts, podcasts, and videos of the week. I call it Tipsday. That’s where you’ll find all manner of informal writerly learnings.

Thursdays are thoughty around here, and I curate posts, videos, and anything else I find on the interwebz that makes me go hmmmm …

The point of Thoughty Thursday is to provide inspirational fuel for your creative fire. I think of it as popping the mental corn 😉

Once a month, I’ll offer up an update of what I’ve been up to, including my writing and/or revision progress, any events of writerly interest, the books I’ve read and the movies or series I’ve seen.

In May of 2021, I was diagnosed as autistic at the age of 51. It was a blessing after thinking I was bad, or wrong, or defective for most of my life. Autism explains SO MUCH. And I’m learning to reconceptualise my life in light of my autism. It’s a sea-change that’s having an effect on all aspects of my life and it’s taking some time to adjust.

My categories:

  • Alchemy Ink: this is where I post Tipsday, and Thoughty Thursday.
  • Authorial name dropping: interviews, workshops, conferences, retreats, and other places I’ve gone in the past, the authors I’ve met, and what became of it all. Current events are included in my monthly updates. I used to blog the conferences and conventions I attended. Feel free to review the archives.
  • My history as a so-called writer: how my creative life began and where it got me. This isn’t purely confessional, though it is sometimes be agonized. You have been warned 🙂 I haven’t posted anything new to this category in recent years. Mostly, my monthly updates cover my current thoughts and feelings. The archives remain available.
  • Work in progress: this is where I post my monthly updates. In the past, it’s been about the writing of my novel(s) and what that practice has taught me. I don’t excerpt from my work, but I have delved into aspects such as character development, world building, outlining, and revision strategies.
  • This writer’s life: This is a place to put in all those bits and pieces that don’t fit anywhere else. Most of my posts about gardening, renovations, and other things that are part of this writer’s life, but may not be directly connected to my writing, per se, may be found here. Most of this random stuff is now also rolled up into my monthly updates, but you can peruse the archives.
  • Breaking open the mind: my day job and the things I learned as a result of, or in spite of, it. This is a defunct category. I’m no longer actively posting here, but you’re welcome to look at the archives.

So feel free to like, comment, share, or subscribe by email. I’m moderating (I have to approve any comments), so it’s all good.

Other places you can get hold of me:

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