Hemingway Said Write the Truest Sentence That You Know

Howcome I can’t tell you 

in simple, direct words 

the meaning of everything 

without you staring blankfaced 

or rolling your eyes? 


The meaning of your life is this: 

find meaning & live it. That’s it. 

Prance a little before you corpse. 

Life is sentience & sensation. 

Nothing more. 

Nothing less. 


As to everything else 

cosmos & the void— 

we don’t know enough yet 

to ask the right questions. 

But note: We keep probing. 


In the meantime—

indulge in the ecstasies of art 

good food, drink 

a friend, mentor or lover who is fully present 

the steadying, stalwart companionship  

of dogs.  



what more could you want? 


Notable and Noted

The Writers Co-op and Sci-Fi Lampoon Magazine each began as an idea posted in a talented Internet group. As Curtis Bausse noted in the first Co-op blog, “Here We Are,” five of us ‘met’ on Book Country, a Penguin Books website where writers posted their work for peer review and critiques. That was April of 2016 and here we have posted blogs by writers every week since. Sci-Fi Lampoon Magazine began with a suggestion posted in the Sci-Fi Roundtable group on Facebook in 2019, and last week it took third place in an old, respected, literary poll as the best fiction magazine. Internet groups are the best thing to happen for networking since speech.

Not to McLuhanize this, but the learned gentleman long ago pointed out that electronic media not only speeds up communication but it also breaks populations down into smaller groups. Finding writers by their genre is easy in a world where Facebook has a group dedicated to collectors of garage door openers.

As a writer, what groups have you found to be helpful in your writing life?


The Silk Thief – Cover Reveal

By Claire Buss

I am delighted to be invited by GD Deckard to post here at Writer Co-Op – thank you! I am a fantasy and sci-fi writer who enjoys a good book and a slice of cake. For my first post here, I’d love to share the details of my upcoming book, The Silk Thief.

Cover design by Ian Bristow

A humorous urban fantasy novel, The Silk Thief is the second book in my Roshaven Series. Here’s the blurb:

Fourteen, heir to the Empire of Roshaven, must find a new name before Theo, Lord of neighbouring Fidelia, brings his schemes to fruition.

Not only has he stolen Roshaven’s trade, but he plans to make Fourteen his own and take her empire in the bargain.

Her protector, Ned Spinks, is plagued with supernatural nightmares whilst his assistant, Jenni the sprite, has lost her magick.

Can they figure out how to thwart Theo’s dastardly plan before it’s too late for his city and her empire?

PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY: mybook.to/SilkThief

Release date: 4th June 2021

The Silk Thief is the second quirky magical mystery adventure set in the Roshaven series of humorous fantasy novels. If you like the wit and humour of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, then you’ll love The Silk Thief.

More about the Roshaven books.

The Rose Thief, The Roshaven Series book 1

Someone is stealing the Emperor’s roses and if they take the magical red rose then love will be lost, to everyone, forever.

It’s up to Ned Spinks, Chief Thief Catcher, and his band of motely catchers to apprehend the thief and save the day.

But the thief isn’t exactly who they seem to be. Neither is the Emperor.

Ned and his team will have to go on a quest; defeating vampire mermaids, illusionists, estranged family members and an evil sorcerer in order to win the day. What could possibly go wrong?

Available in paperback and ebook everywhere: https://books2read.com/u/bQaxw6


The Interspecies Poker Tournament, Prequel Novella to The Rose Thief

Ned Spinks, Chief Thief-Catcher, has a new case. A murderous moustache-wearing cult is killing off members of Roshaven’s fae community. At least that’s what he’s been led to believe by his not-so-trusty sidekick, Jenni the sprite. She has information she’s not sharing but plans to get her boss into the Interspecies Poker Tournament so he can catch the bad guy and save the day. If only Ned knew how to play!

Available in paperback and ebook everywhere: https://books2read.com/u/m2Vk0R


Ye Olde Magick Shoppe, a Roshaven short story

Join Ned Spinks, Chief Thief-Catcher, and his sidekick Jenni the sprite in this short story about an unwanted magick shoppe.

This free short story is available in ebook everywhere: https://books2read.com/u/4XXPw1

What Readers Say

“Loved the quirky banter!”

“Entirely delightful and captivating.”

“A wonderful tribute to the Late Great Sir Terry.”

“If you are a fan of the discworld you will love this book.”

“A hilariously thrilling fantasy mystery.”

About the Author

Claire Buss is a multi-genre author and poet based in the UK. She wanted to be Lois Lane when she grew up but work experience at her local paper was eye-opening. Instead, Claire went on to work in a variety of admin roles for over a decade but never felt quite at home. An avid reader, baker and Pinterest addict Claire won second place in the Barking and Dagenham Pen to Print writing competition in 2015 with her debut novel, The Gaia Effect, setting her writing career in motion. She continues to write passionately and is hopelessly addicted to cake.

Social Media Links

Facebook: www.facebook.com/busswriter

FB Group: www.facebook.com/groups/BussBookStop

Twitter: www.twitter.com/grasshopper2407

Instagram: www.instagram.com/grasshopper2407

Website: www.cbvisions.co.uk

Blog: https://www.butidontlikesalad.blogspot.co.uk


A New Year, A Clean Sweep, All That.

It’s a new year. I’m in a mood to organize my life. I’m cleaning the kitchen as I rarely do. A few poor spiders have had an unpleasant time of it today. They’ve wobbled off in a panic. They can return to a clean home when they’re ready.

We don’t kill spiders in this house. My husband is very pro-spider. They kill other bugs, other good things. Can’t think of what they are right now, but I’ve had that drummed into my head.

I’ll cleaning up my desktop, trying to weed out duplicate files and move my many projects to two 64-GB sticks that will hold all or most of my data. I have all but the latest Maisie stuff saved on eight or nine lesser-capacity thumb drives, but I want my files ganged, easier to locate.

I’ve having problems moving them. I keep getting an error message: Error 10006. The transfer stops dead in its tracks. I don’t know what 10006 is. I’ve googled it and I still don’t understand. But I find that if I do a few files at a time, I mostly manage.

My major time periods that I write about are the late sixteenth century and nineteen-twenties/thirties Broadway and Hollywood. I have gobs of files dealing with both eras. I’m forever grabbing interesting bits of information. Only yesterday I found this:

“When we did a scene together, we forgot about technique, camera angles, and microphones. We weren’t acting. We were just two people in perfect harmony.” – William Powell on working with Myrna Loy.

Isn’t that marvelous? Maisie works with William Powell on several films. They had a special relationship (according to her). I can see Powell saying that about my mouse, who adored him, by the way.

In terms of research, sometimes I have a specific goal in mind. Other times I just grab, sure I’ll find a use for it sooner or later. I have a file on the history of shoulder pads. I’d like to get at it. I added it into something else and failed to resave and rename it.

Wallace Beery, I have a file on him. He and Maisie were also good friends. Beery was Gloria Swanson’s first husband. How did that ugly mug win goddess Swanson? She was just starting out. He was already a huge star. Swanson may have seen it as a smart career move, who knows?

The problem with gathering new information is that I have ‘Maisie in Hollywood’ built as a 48-page book. I have art laid in, and areas set aside for art-to-come. The type is tightly structured with wrap-arounds and section breaks at strategic spots. I’d like to add recently discovered material, but I don’t dare. To mess with it may be big trouble.

I can’t see reducing the art. I have a lot of type and I want to break it up with a major image on every double-page spread. I am trying to trick the reader into thinking there isn’t so terribly much text. I don’t know if I can slip that by, so I want to make it as much fun to look at as I can. The story is my usual arch nonsense, not remotely for children, although it’s about a mouse, her tale told in prose . . . and in paper dolls.

I’m down at the moment. Not because of the above, because of a bad back and bad knees. And there’s the political climate, and the Covid. But mostly because of the back and knees. I’m over the hill, I’m afraid. I used to look forward to a new gardening season. Now I dread it. In the garden last summer is how I hurt my back.

Who’s optimistic for the new year? Tell me about it.