Shameless Self Promotion – What Do You Think It Is, Bushweek!

Available as e-book or in print.

My second book, Long Jetty, Short Stories, Volume 1, is available online. Amazon have a FREE PREVIEW feature which allows you to get a decent taste of the writing contained within; which in this case is the beginning of the first story, Bush Week.

The book is a collection of 11 short stories which I have interspersed with blog posts I made during the period in which these stories were written. As the title suggests, and it it is true, the stories are all set in Long Jetty and its immediate surrounds.

Hope you enjoy the preview so much that you just have to purchase a copy!

IMPORTANT: Amazon is all over the shop with the prices it displays when you click on the link above. The print version of the book retails at $27.50 Australian Dollars and you shouldn’t pay more than that. So, if Amazon is not your thing, for price or other reasons, you can purchase print copies directly from the publisher, Ginninderra Press.

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE DIRECT FROM PUBLISHER

OR CONTACT ME TO PURCHASE A SIGNED COPY DIRECTLY FROM ME

Lift Off

Big thanks to all who attended the launch of ‘Long Jetty, Short Stories, Volume 1, Before the ‘Rus’. The Savoy at Long Jetty proved to be the perfect venue with rumours that a handful of revellers kicked on and ended up at The Long Jetty Hotel. For some it was a very dusty Sunday, trust me I know.

I am thrilled to have had some great feedback on the book already. When I was reading through the final proofs of the book, I must admit to suffering from some serious self doubt about the stories. It’s all part of the process, apparently. Incidentally, my publisher, Stephen Matthews at Ginninderra Press, has just sent me the first galley proofs for Volume 2. So here we go again.

Special thanks to my three daughters, Hannah, who read a piece from the book, Bethany, who made a fabulous cake, and Bronte, who nearly sold the whole box of books I took along just in case someone wanted one!

Of course, I must mention, Linda. Call her friend, lover, partner or muse, she is all of these and more. And as I said at the launch, she got me into this caper. Thank you.

Anyway, enough chit chat, below are some photos courtesy of Adam Kroenert, who is not only a brilliant photographer, but now, officially, destined to become my son-in-law.

The card table with the merchandise.
Punters arrive.
Counting down by recounting stuff.
Hannah reading ‘Life and Death Are Not Simple Matters’.
Bethany cutting the launch cake.
Signing away.

Book Launch

My second book, Long Jetty Short Stories Vol I, is out! Thanks to Ginninderra Press for its publication.

I am having a launch in Long Jetty, of course. Come along if you can.

I bought a box of books and will have copies for sale at a special launch price.

All the stories are set in the Long Jetty area where I live. I have interspersed the stories with blog entries I made over the period of writing these stories, which was essentially from January 2019, when Australia was on fire, up to February 2020, when the pandemic was just about to hit.

When the pandemic did hit, I felt that the world had changed and that anything created before the coronavirus spread across the continents would be obviously out-dated, perhaps no longer relevant. In essence, my stories were historical fiction. So, I shelved them. After I got over myself and looked back over them, I felt that they were perhaps still relevant and sent them off to Gininderra Press. And now, they have arrived.

I am having the launch at the Savoy. Here is a blurb from their website:

Long Jetty once housed the Central Coast’s biggest movie theatre – The Savoy. The Savoy first swung it’s doors open in 1956 as the Coast’s first and only CinemaScope screen. It was a post World War 2 entertainment complex. The Savoy was closed as a cinema in 1976 with mixed use since then on the ground floor with the mezzanine and projection room laying disused and dormant for 40 years. Until now. Rising out of the ashes from its glory days, The Savoy is reborn into a multi-purpose bar and restaurant venue! We will bring a variety of offerings to the community, The re-establishment of The Savoy as a hub will contribute to the ever-changing vibrant strip of Long Jetty.

https://www.thesavoylongjetty.com.au/

The Savoy is featured in two stories in the collection and therefore perfect for the launch.

If you can’t make it to the launch and would like to get a copy of Long Jetty Short Stories Vol I, you can purchase it online in paperback or e-book formats.

Here are some links:

Ginninderra Press

Booktopia

Amazon

Alternatively, you might like a signed copy. If so, contact me directly via this website.

Many thanks to all of you, my followers, for your continued support and encouragement.

Final Proofs

My second book, Long Jetty Short Stories, Volume 1, is being published by Ginninderra Press and will be out soon!

Below are some snaps of the final proofs I received in the mail.

Proof of front cover
Back Cover Blurb
Contents Page

So Long, Twenty One

Here we go again

We’re an impatient lot. One could hypothesise that the frantic race to get ahead in the game of modern capitalism has conditioned us that way. A once in a century pandemic comes along and we want it over with quick smart. Two years is way too long.

At the end of last year with fingers crossed we gladly farewelled 2020 and wishfully hoped that 2021 would return back to normal so we could go to work and to cafes and to sporting events without masks and without all the other rigmarole associated with disease control. But, the pesky ol’ epidemiologists were right, and along came delta, and now omicron.

Once again we are saying good riddance to bad rubbish. We are saying it to a year, a 365 day arbitrarily positioned measure of one lap of ol’ Earthy-poo around the good ol’ Sun.

Surely, 2022 has got to be better than 2021?

Oh dear. How poor and how short are our memories.

Take for example: 2016.

What do you mean? You ask. What about 2016?

We good riddanced that year. Don’t you remember? It was a shocker.

Terrorist attacks, mass shootings, and wild weather blacking out the whole of South Australia. Britain voting to leave the EU and the US electing the pussy grabbing Donald Trump as President. Had the world gone mad?

Then the deaths.

David Bowie died in January, and we didn’t even know he was sick! And thus a long string of musicians and other well loved celebs starting dropping off their lofty perches. Muhammad Ali, Prince, Leonard Cohen, George Michael, Carrie Fischer, Alan Rickman, Fidel Castro, and Gene Wilder to name but just a few. Our mortality, it appeared, had never been so evident.

So Long, 2016, we sang with optimism in our hearts.

Ditto 2017, 18 and 19. Remember when Australia burned, smoke everywhere?

Then 2020. Say no more.

Are we hard wired to view every year which is about to end as an annus horribilis [Lizzy Windsor, 1992]? Are we simply drama queens? Catastrophising, sensationalising, conspiracy-theorising animals? Never satisfied, forever wanting?

Will we ever get to the end of a December and say, ‘Wow this year’s been a cracker. We should be grateful if next year is as half as good as this one’s been!’?

Given the Conditions

Big thanks to Superlative Literary Journal for publishing my short story, Given the Conditions.

I wrote the story after a fellow member of the Long Jetty Short Story Writing Group requested I write a story about fishing.

https://www.superlativelitjournal.com/

2021 Journal Contributors

The Little Wild by Julian Grant

Dream by Liz Ainsbury

Given the Conditions by Sean Crawley

The Way of the Panda by Noah Guthrie

Ashes Rising by Michael W. Thomas

How To Play by David Hartley

The Highland Line by David McVey

Stoneheart by Lesley Evans

Diminishing Worlds by Karen Waldron

Short Listed

Some good news. For five days in September, Write Around the Murray (WAM) brings people together in Albury Wodonga for a festival of storytelling unlike anywhere else. They also run a short story competition. My story ‘The Consultant’ was shortlisted. Happy.

https://www.writearoundthemurray.org.au/competitions/alburycity-short-story-award/_nocache?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Shortlist%20announcement&utm_content=Shortlist%20announcement+CID_96fce8fe0e643182f30e4690fdfc3c0e&utm_source=Campaign%20Monitor&utm_term=SHORTLIST

Lockdown Flash Fiction

 

So Are the Days

Her breath sneaks out of the top of the mask and fogs up her reading glasses. She moulds the metal strip a little tighter over the bridge of her nose. The pubs are closed again. No income. Still casual after all these years. Another extension of lockdown is expected to be announced at 11am.

I’ll have to get online and apply for a payment.

At the shopping centre a man and his son are standing outside the pharmacy. Waiting? The father wears a football jersey and a long thin plait of hair runs down his back. He is mock fighting with his son. The boy jumps in trying to score a tap on his dad, then jumps back to avoid being slapped. The boy is not wearing a mask, neither is the father. Where is security?

Today, it is only ‘him’ she sees defying the health orders. Lockdowns are no longer novel. Compliance is up. Though, there are some who let their masks slip down below the nose. Mouth breathers?

Shopping is essential. Yoga isn’t. She is missing yoga.

Yesterday, she laid out the mat at home and set up the old CD player. Sissy, her nine-year-old daughter, looked at the strange machine. ‘This is how we used to play music,’ she explained without having to be asked. ‘Look. Here.’ She pulled a disc out from the zip-up denim covered pouch. ‘This is your CD, The Wiggles. Remember?’

I remember the Wiggles. I don’t remember CDs though. I thought music used to be played on record players, like the one Cherry has.’

The conversation went on, and on. She was sitting in Dandasana, Sissy firing questions.

CD stands for compact disc. Before CDs there were cassette tapes. C60 stands for a blank cassette tape that has sixty minutes of recording space on which one could make a mixed tape of your favourite songs from your record collection. There were C90s as well. Yes, a mixed tape is like a playlist on Spotify. Records are made of vinyl. LP stands for long playing record, EP, extended play. Singles were called 45s. RPM stands for revolutions per minute. Records came in seventy-eight, forty-five and thirty-three-and-a-third RPM.

She had no idea what MP3 stands for, but somehow could recall that HMV stood for His Masters Voice and the logo had a dog and a gramophone. When Sissy asked what year gramophones were invented, she sent her off to do her own research.

She pressed play. The CD started with the ring of a Tingsha bell. ‘Starting by sitting,’ said the calm voice of the yoga teacher. Then the CD stuck. Looping, grating. She hit stop. By this stage her hamstrings had had a good stretch so she got up and wrote, ‘A Short History of Recorded Music’ on Sissy’s Year 5 HBL register.

HBL stands for home based learning.

That was yesterday. Tomorrow, Centrelink.

Today, she walks past the man without a mask and pushes her trolley into Aldi.