Things you never think about: does a 20-cent coin make more sense than a 25-cent coin?

I noticed that I seemed to need less coins to make change in Malaysia than I did in Canada. Canada, like its counterpart the US, uses the following coins for values under $1: 5, 10, and 25 cent pieces (under $1, so not counting the loonie or twoonie). While Canada does technically have a 50-cent coin, it’s not widely circulated and can be hard to spend or receive as change. Malaysia has the following coins: 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents. Canada, like Malaysia, no longer has a one-cent co

The Value and Bane of Word Counts

Writers live an die by the words they write. Invariably, they die by word counts.

Lately I’ve been setting myself writing goals for a novel I’m working on, Tau Ceti. Each month I project where I want the story to be at both the end of that month and the next. Unfortunately, missing those targets can be incredibly deflating. In July I missed my word count goal, and again in August. My story got stuck around 73,000 words and didn’t seem to go anywhere.

Gupta-Gate: A failure in South African journalism

In May 2013, a scandal broke out in South Africa over a private jet landing at the top military base. At the time, none of the statements being made by the government made sense, and they often contradicted each other. I wrote the following to draw attention to them and to ask that some journalist step up and actually challenge these "facts." 

Tau Ceti - The evolution of a story

Once, in the 1980s, I started writing a story, called The Key to Alexandria, about angels, demons, magical crystals, time travel and a modern-day hero named Jeffery Kard. In this story, our protagonist gets slowly drawn into a mythical realm that overlays our reality. He learns of three crystals and a battle by two warring factions, angels and demons, each intent on unifying the crystals for their own purposes.