Archive for August, 2022

Sometimes you hear the pitch for an anthology and you have to draw blood to come up with a story for it. Other times, the story appears fully formed in your brain, the title written in cursive, and you just have to transcribe it.

This was the case with The Art of Being Human. Here’s the description from the Kickstarter page:

“Co-edited by Tehani Croft and Stephanie Lai, this anthology seeks to remind readers of the hope and beauty of the Arts, and the way our engagement with writing, music, film, theatre, artworks in all media, and craft of all kinds are at the core of our humanity.”

While I don’t often write stories that carry this kind of hope, a paragraph presented itself to me:

“Everything was so slow and quiet. The waves, and the way the air hummed in the heat, and the rustling of the Coastal Tea Trees (and their glorious camphorous smell) and the shifting of the sand; she could even hear that.”

And once I’d written that down, the rest of the story played out accordingly. It’s wondrous when this happens.

The feeling of the story came from that bizarre time between the bushfires of 2019/2020 and the pandemic. Those few months of quiet. My parents lost their large shed full of possessions (memories, photos, books, a family heirloom sewing machine, and, worst of all, a lot of my mother’s paintings). Their house was damaged so they had to live elsewhere for six months while it was being repaired, and the beach they lived by was quiet and almost always empty. Every now and then strange things would wash up to shore, as well as burnt wood and other destroyed things. It gave me such an odd sense of dispossession I knew I would write about it one day. And putting this to paper I realise it is the loss of my mother’s artwork that runs through the story. The loss of beauty but also the belief that there is more; that we can refill, redo and find new beauty around us.

Weird thing found on the beach!

The kickstarter is almost done but still time to support this wonderful anthology.

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Ditmar Awards 2022

The Australian Ditmar Awards close in a week! If you had a fave story, novel, collection, novella, etc, please do jump in and vote. The more voters, the greater the field!

This is a list of lots of eligible work. There was stuff published that isn’t on the list! So if it was published in 2021 and you loved it, vote for that.

This is my eligible stuff:

Short story collection:

Tool Tales (with Ellen Datlow), IFWG

Short stories:

  • “The Steering Wheel Club”, Giving the Devil His Due, Running Wild Press.
  • “Exurbia”,  Out of the Ruins, Titan Books.
  • “The King in Yella” Under Twin Suns: Alternate Histories of the Yellow Sign, Hippocampus Press.
  • “The Red Shrine (Fingerless and Double-mouthed)” Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth And Babies, IFWG Publishing Australia.
  • “Winter Sweet, Winter Grieve” Grimdark Magazine 25.
  • “Corners” Weird Fiction Review 11

And here’s the form to vote!

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