Category Archives: Short Stories

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.

Advertisements

Handwritten Pages #30 Carapace

“Every time you slam the door a fairy loses its wings,” her mother yelled down the hallway.
She leant against the door, watching and waiting for the wings to float down; one onto her pillow and the other beside the laptop on her desk. Their thin, steel-like frames and metallic membranes were added like plates to the almost-finished coat on the dressmaker’s mannequin.
Slipping it off the mannequin and dressing herself in it, she confronted her image in the mirror, the light reflecting a kaleidoscope of colours on the carapace she wore.
I will not need to fly, she whispered, when I can wear armour.

Handwritten Pages #29 Conflagration

To scorch the earth
requires, firstly, a match
to spark the conflagration.
In it’s wake a monochrome
palette of ashes; the static
of a black and white television.
The white noise of silence
mistaken for a perpetual
round of applause.
Except you burned the memory
of why you did it in the first place.

Handwritten Pages #28 Mix Tape

We were two halves, each a side of a mix tape. Made up of songs that created us in our understanding of the other.
Yet your memory of me is a bootleg, a copy passed around by word of mouth. Continually copied until the reproduction was a new original you made of me in an act of collective forgetting; when the memory of the song was more powerful than the original.
How often did we have to respool the cassette when it caught in the tape deck; wind it back on with a pen jammed in the cogs? I doubt you’d recognise the original tune now that it’s stretched and warped.

I want you to press “Play” for old time’s sake. Would you?

Handwritten Pages #27 Origami Heart

We knew him as the boy who flew a kite from the classroom window on a very windy day. He said it was made from pages of the local newspaper pilfered off a random driveway on the way to school, straws from the canteen, and half-dried scraps of sticky tape. A loose thread pulled from the strap of his backpack anchored his flight of fancy. It gained altitude and we added our own strings to let it fly higher.
We asked him why he did it.
He said he had an origami heart.
The next day the wind was still and he did not return. At an assembly we found out he took his life.
The day after, we made kites. Some flew, however briefly; others smashed into the ground. I don’t think we truly understood why there’s no art to find the mind’s construction in an object.

Handwritten Pages #26 Knitting Fragments

After watching Disney on DVD as foreplay, they fall to playing at prince and princess. He murmurs refrains of lullabies as he pulses within her. She hums them back as incantations, weaving the fragments into a sonic mosaic as the template for the hagiography of the life they are trying to create.
They ponder what will knit in the darkened void of conception; if naïve belief in hopeful songs will tread lightly over the darker presence of evil in the harshness of the life to come. Concerned how to balance the dark and light.
The little death makes her shudder in fearful bliss.

Handwritten Pages #25 Grace

I hid half of you inside my womb; a secret you knowingly planted but wanted to forget.
Two halves made whole then multiplied by division along lines we drew down each other’s bodies.
Until the time I presented her to you and showed you who you were, who you are and who you could be.
And you had the audacity to ask for her to be called Grace.