I Am The King

I’m riding past the fibro houses linked like rosary beads, counting them as you would Hail Marys because only Mary understands housing commission. And everyone knows at least one teenage mum. I stole the bike from someone’s front yard but told mum I found it in a hard rubbish clean up. Gave it a coat of paint from a spray can. Maybe one day I’ll drop it back where it came from. Right now, I am king and priest.

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The Overripe Plum

I ate an overripe plum
on the afternoon
of my father’s funeral
eaten a day or two late
piercing the skin, tight and purple
the soft flesh a mushy pulp
first the sweetness
chased by the sharp, acid tang
digging the stone from the 
centre with my teeth
while the juice dribbled down
my fingers, a puddle in
my palm

 

Sometimes you have moments when an idea forms as a cohesive whole and coalesces like breath. You quickly capture the moment, preserve it and share it. This is one of those times. It’s not autobiographical, simply an idea sparked by something I was reading and afterwards reminded me of William Carlos Williams’ poem, “This Is Just To Say.”
It’s not summer in Australia (we’re heading into winter) but plums have always been one of my favourite summer stone fruits.

The Flood

Next, I take from the fridge door
the salvage of invitations and
newsletters and takeaway menus
and children’s artwork and
decade old photos; the gospel
of our relationship and spread
them out in the backyard
fashion a single sheet of paper
fold an origami boat for when
the next flood envelopes us and
we float on the drift water.
And when the dove returns
we will unfold the paper
smooth it out and put it back
on the fridge for the next time

Weekend Blackouts

No, not a weekend of debauchery but snaffling a few minutes for some creativity in the midst of a crazy busy week.

Meanwhile the novella lies neglected waiting for a brief respite from the chaos to get more words out and finish it. The end of it is so very close.

Anyway, blackout poetry is like little moments of clarity. Find the right words and erase the rest.

Book Launching – Arboretum

Last night I had the privilege of launching a friend’s debut science fiction novel, Arboretum. I’ve known Ian for almost twenty years, first as a lecturer, then as a minister and pastor. 

Back in 2012 he had taken some long service leave and in that time punched out a novel; one that would be the first of a trilogy. He sent me a message asking if I could have a look over it. I duly did. And sent back twelve pages of notes. Despite the honesty of the critique, he diligently went to work and sent me back another version for edits. Again, I took the Red Pen of Correction, Revision, Alteration and Punctuation (C.R.A.P. for short) and sent it back again for revisions and rewrites.

Long story very short, Arboretum was picked up by Stone Table Books (an imprint of Morning Star) and is now out into the world.

It is the second book I have my name in the Acknowledgements section (think I have a new aim here: get into as many Acknowledgements as I can) before my first novel comes out in 2019.

Ready to launch “Arboretum”.

Ian about to do a reading from “Arboretum.”

Ian (left) with Kevin (right) Kevin has been a supporter and coach for Ian for the past couple of years, getting this novel to publication amongst other non-fiction titles.

Check out the blurb:

Timothy Martin is a respected lecturer in Astronomy who has spent most of his life trying to put behind him the trauma of a childhood dominated by ‘visions’. But the visions have returned, more real than ever. Not only does he see other places, but he is now able to step into them. When he becomes fixated on the star Delta Crucis in the Southern Cross constellation, he sees a vision of a world orbiting it and impulsively takes a step – two hundred and forty-five light years into space. He did not expect to survive. Nor did he expect to land in the midst of an alien city. And he certainly did not expect to threaten the well-being of another world, one that he finds disturbingly – at peace. At stake is not only his own destiny, but that of an entire world.

Links below:

Ian Miller

Stone Table Books – Arboretum

Random Calligraphy

Below is a collection of sample sentences and ideas I’ve had, playing around with new markers and pens.

Publication News for Post Marked: Piper’s Reach

I am very very pleased to announce that my collaborative novel with Jodi Cleghorn, Post Marked: Piper’s Reach, has been accepted for publication by Vine Leaves Press.

This is how Jessica Bell, publisher of Vine Leaves, spoke about it, “They have co-written one of the most touching contemporary love stories I’ve ever read.” And it’s more than that; a darkness lies beneath the story of Jude and Ella-Louise.

It has been a long long journey from the first letter handwritten in January 2012 to now, and there’s still some time to wait. The scheduled publication is slated for July, 2019.

I am  totally wrapped and chuffed and excited about seeing our novel in print and can’t wait to share it with you. Stay tuned as the year progresses and I’ll keep you up to date. 

This is how we pitched it:

“Post Marked: Piper’s Reach” is set on the south coast of New South Wales, Australia, and follows the correspondences of Ella-Louise Wilson, a former narcotics undercover officer who left Piper’s Reach twenty years earlier to make a life for herself beyond the legacy of her mother’s heroin addiction and her high school best friend Jude Smith, a late-thirties marine biologist still living in his home town of Piper’s Reach with his wife and young family.

Consisting of 57 letters (originally hand-written and physically posted over 15 months), Post Marked: Piper’s Reach initially ran as a web serial from April 2012 to June 2013, gathering a diverse and engaged readership united by the yearning ache of the central theme of ‘the one left behind’. It explores the rekindling of old friendships, adolescent nostalgia, reconciliation of the past with the future, the guilt of wanting what you can’t have, the disparity of who you think someone is and who they actually are, and the consequences of a second chance.

Both Adam and Jodi were avid letter writers in their youth and the project evolved as a way of rekindling an intimate and forgotten mode of communication.

The novel is supported by several short stories, a chapbook of vignettes, and an extensive mix tape soundtrack.

If you’re keen you can read the chapbook HERE, and the first letter HERE.

Right now I’m working on a novella that is connected to the world of Piper’s Reach so keep an eye out for that too.

I’m doing my happy dance and getting stuck back into writing.