About MysticAlchemist

Writer of Fantasies, that’s how I describe myself. Not a fantasy writer, because that immediately brings to mind stories where dark cloaked heroes wield long swords high assisted by mystical crystals and ancient rites. Not to say I don’t write a little of that, but I cast my fantasy web much wider. Alone, I free my mind to enter a world beyond the everyday. A world where nothing is forbidden and anything is possible. That is the fantasy I write.

As I type the world of my imagination on the page I need to add moments of the real to anchor my tale in this world. Moments that everyone can recognise. Moments that make the fantasy seem real.

Writer of fantasies. A profession I never expected, but one that I certainly enjoy.

Early morning view from my office in Alice Springs

We're now in Alice Springs, in Central Australia, and this is the early morning view outside my work space.

When I work, my text is written into Scrivener® using either a desktop running Windows 8.1® or a notebook running Linux Mint 19, with Scrivener® running Linux through Wine®. Files are stored on a portable hard disk for easy swapping.

I find a Text-to-Voice program a vital necessity for error checking and hearing the pattern of language. For that I use Balabolka® with Microsoft Hazel Desktop (English (UK))® as my preferred voice, and clipboard watch enabled so any text I highlight can be read aloud by copying it with control C

(Changes from Oct 2020.) I fully shifted my computers to Linux Mint 20 and retired Scrivener for Libre Writer. I still use Balabolka through Wine and it works well, but there were constant issues getting the current version of Scrivener to work properly with Wine. I do miss some of the features of Scrivener, and would return to using it when they release a native Linux version.

The full change to Linux took some months, but as I became more confident using it, I found Windows a pain to use. There is no way back for me now.

My writing companion is called Maisie. A rescue cat that needs little but a warm spot nearby to watch me from. This is just as well since her typing ability is much worse than mine, although when she does attack the keyboard, she seems to know secret key shortcuts that take me ages to undo.

Mysticalchemist's cat, Maisie, resting on the bed.