Category Archives: The Writer’s Life

Launching Post Marked Piper’s Reach

It is not too far away now that “Post Marked Piper’s Reach” is launched into the world.

If you’d like an autographed copy, click over to the Post Marked Piper’s Reach bookstore to get one: https://postmarkedpipersreach.wordpress.com/bookstore/

If you want a copy for your digital reader, then pop on over to the Vine Leaves Press site for options depending on your preference.

https://www.vineleavespress.com/postmarked-pipers-reach

 

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Post Marked Piper’s Reach Review

It is only a little over a month before “Post Marked Piper’s Reach” is released and  an early review is in.

Courtesy of Andrew Gillman, you can read his review HERE

Suffice to say, we are more than a little chuffed at his review because it encapsulates so much of the novel’s heart (of darkness).

Links for ordering copies can be found at the Vine Leaves Press page HERE in both paperback and ebook in a region best for you.

The JAR Writers’ Collective

I am very pleased to announce the launch of a new writing initiative I am involved in, The Jar Writers’ Collective.

It is the culmination of some thinking and brainstorming between myself, my collaborative co-conspirator, Jodi Cleghorn and another collaborative co-conspirator, Rus VanWestervelt.

Together, we are The Jar Writers’ Collective.

The three of us have been working together in some way, shape or form, for some years now, and its was decided to formalise our collaborative efforts, and individual works-in-progress, in a new writing venture. 

Our work ranges from novel, to novella, poetry, script, art and combinations of any of the above, and it excites us as to what we can produce individually and collectively.

This collaboration allows us to champion our own work, the work of our collaborators, and the work we do together. We are free from restrictions about what we publish, and how we publish it. We are treading a fine line between indie press and indie authors. Our first release is slated for June, 2019.

Our first post, Opening The Jar, lets you in to see who we are, what we are about and what we hope to achieve.

It’s not just about us as creatives; it’s also about giving permission and tools to others to explore their own creative practices.

Drop in to have a read, subscribe to our monthly newsletter, or our weekly blog posts and prompts.

You’ll also find us on Facebook (click on through and Like our page), Twitter and Instagram.

We’d love to hear from you and get to know you as part of the community.

 

after emily dickinson

after emily dickinson

the batteries in my torch died out early
in my teenage years when I tried to
illuminate myself so I fell to writing
epigraphical epithets in the moonlight
with a label maker, affixing them in lines
of chapter titles to catalogue myself
before others blacked out letters
leaving the white space like stars
new constellations to navigate the unknown

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

Three Words for the New Year

In the light of celebrating the changing of the Gregorian calendar into 2018, let’s acknowledge Greg’s dating nomenclature: Happy Greg’s Day!

But, another three words to define this changing of the calendar on the wall, the diary on the desk, the scraps of paper used as notes and the back of my hand useful for the writing of lists, is to refocus the directions, habits and purposes of what you wish to achieve.

These are my three words for 2018: Patience, Fortitude, Tenacity

They are defined by my theological outlook and perspective, and have connections to events and situations that have impacted, are impacting, and will impact me. The changing of a calendar date doesn’t mean that all the craptacular events that happened last year haven’t continued on this year; I still have to deal with them. They impact myself, my family, my creativity. 

To be honest, 2017 was a year of continuation of years of crapness that feels like someone having handed me a never-ending roll of toilet paper. It helps clean up the mess but the mess keeps on coming. I didn’t, and haven’t, dealt with some of it well and the effect compounds into multiple areas but especially my creativity. 

No new stories written. Nothing published. Ideas planted, germinated, rising about the soil and scorched by the sun. It’s been a barren few years in terms of creative output. 

So how do these words help me refocus for the coming year? It’s about forming positive habits and achievable steps, looking at the long term destination rather than short term gains or (potential) rewards. 

Patience – like that of a saint. The ability to weather the storms and circumstances, and to travel when the conditions are good. To me, it’s having a longer perspective, a focus on the horizon and not simply the step immediately in front of me.
It’s a cultivated habit, a fruit of character and personality. To keep doing the work, not seeing the reward, while others around you are blessed and keep on going with nary a care in the world. I will have my reward in this life, or the next. Not to be distracted by the success of others (applaud them, support them, champion them) because they have done the work that is required. 

Fortitude – defined as courage in pain or adversity. Basically, above all, to stand.
So much has sucked away the creative impetus and momentum over the last few years and it has taken up a significant amount of emotional and mental energy. Often it’s painful and demoralising. Especially when it’s not happening to me specifically but to close family members who you take care of. It’s hard to see someone you love in pain and there is not much you can do except hold a space for them, and yourself.
Sometimes I feel like an anchor point for those around me but I’m afraid I’ll lose my grounding. But, digging in and digging deeper. 

Tenacity – keeping on when all you want to do is give up. And I’ve been feeling like giving up a lot lately. Had a rough gig on the weekend; it wasn’t a train wreck in terms of my drumming but for whatever reason it felt awkward and crap and at the end of the gig I wanted to break my drumsticks, sell my gear and quit playing drums. 
But that is one gig. I will have other bad gigs, I am sure. I’ve also had great gigs. Each day is a chance to refocus, start afresh and be thankful for mercy and grace. I’ll be looking at the next gig this weekend not through the lens of the past gig but at the possibility of what awesomeness it could be. Back to the practice pad.

Im summary, three words are meaningless without a plan to make them a habit so I’ll keep making notes, keep reading, keep writing. 

What would your three words for the year be?

Zentangle #32 In Between

cof

in between all the sadnesses
we must promise
to talk again