Friday, December 30, 2011


It's always around this time that I'm reminded of a quaint little poem by William Cullen Bryant called A Song for New Year's Eve, which he penned in the mid-ninteenth century. The first stanza reads: "Stay yet, my friends, a moment stay, -- Stay till the good old year, So long companion of our way. Shakes hands, and leaves us here. Oh stay, oh stay, One little hour, and then away."

As I hand the Old Year its well-worn coat and see it to the door, I'm struggling with mixed emotions. My definition of a good year is one in which nobody close to me died and in which, despite the setbacks randomly strewn by life across our path, we finish the year with an overall sense of having made progress in our goals. I'm happy to announce that I can tick both of those boxes for 2011.

We tend to cling to "good years" until the final chime of the clock. We do this, I believe, because the last days, hours, minutes of the departing year represent a port of safety; they are the edge of the diving board before the inertia of time forces its hand against our backs, plunging us forward into the dark waters of the uncharted year ahead.

I wish I could say that I've written consistently all year round, but that would be a fib. As is usual for me, my creativity has come in fits and bursts -- scaled-down versions of the Big Bang, you might say. But these chronic bursts have given birth to some great stories, like rare life-bearing planets scattered and glimmering in an otherwise cold, dark and barren universe.

Three of my pieces (Dirty Laundry, Jacob's Ladder and Things that Grow) have been selected by Stephen Studach for publication in his forthcoming "100 Lightnings" anthology to be published by Paroxysm Press in the new year, which I am absolutely stoked about. Below is the link to Paroxysm Press's home page, for those of you sticky beaks who want to look around: Jacob's ladder was also published in issue 160 of "Antipodan SF" in October this year. The story featured both in print on AntiSF's e-zine and in its on-line radio program (narrated by yours truley). This was the first time that any of my stories have been beemed from a radio (even if of the internet variety). I must say, that, alone, pretty much made my year! There really is something special about radio; it adds dimension to a story, bringing it to life. I'd love to have a story fully dramatised for radio one day. Something to chew on for now. Here is the link to the story for those of you wishing to read it:

And for those of you too lazy to hold your eyes to a computer screen long enough to read a 500 word piece of flash fiction, here is the podcast from the AntiSF Radio show (my story starts at about 22 minutes and 45 seconds into the broadcast):

Two of my most favourite creations, Thirty Seconds and Digging for Dandelions, have been published by Black House Comics in issues 3 and 4 of its "After the World" series. These are available now from any good Newsagency, so if you're into zombies and post-apocalyptic mayhem, go grab a copy. This is a really fun universe, and I hope that the opportunity arises for me to romp about in this world in future issues. You can purchase hard copies on-line from Black Boox at:

Another milestone of 2011 is the acceptance of three more of my stories (Fair's Fair, 2109 and The Milepost Motel) in Shelley Halima's "Night Gypsy: Journey into Darkness" anthology scheduled for release by Indie Gypsy Press in September 2012, just before Halloween. I'm really excited about this one. Here is a link to the promo video:

A peppering of my micro fiction, which I penned between larger works throughout the year, has found its way into "Flashshot". These spicy pieces include Babe in the Woods, What Ails Her, The Kraken's Hand, Dutiful Desolation, The Ties that Blind, Faith Lift, A Trip to the Zoo and You Crack Me Up. I like micro fiction. I think of it as poetry in prose. I'm hoping that one day I'll have enough of these tidbits to put together a collection. If you're after quality daily micro-fiction, then you really should sneak a peek at the "Flashshot" webpage:

This year also saw me return to grass roots with my contribution of Forever and a Day and The Devil You Know to "MicroHorror", an awesome e-zine which was responsible for (or perhaps "guilty of" might be a better phrase) publishing my first story The Chanting in July 2008. It's a cool site full of great stories (all 666 words or less). It's worth visiting and taking a poke around:

Neighbourhood Watch made its debut in "Apollo's Lyre Magazine" in September of 2011. You can read that story here:

Last but not least, Live Girls is slated for publication in "Night to Dawn Magazine" in April 2012. Can't wait. You can keep an eye out for it at:

Regrets: one or two ("but then again too few to mention", as the song My Way goes). I would have liked to have had more episodes of "King of Tides" up on the blog, but as you can see from the above, I've had my hands full with other projects. Still, no excuses. I'm hoping to have the next instalment up in early January. So hang loose, it's coming.

In bidding farewell a year that's been kind to us there is always that tiny twang of performance anxiety lingering in the pit of our stomachs, the unspoken thought being, Will we acomplish as much in the New Year? Well here's the sweet truth: the New Year is a blank canvas, yours to fill with sketches or paintings (pick your own metaphoric artist's tool) of epic lanscapes and flights of fancy to your heart's desire. The Old Year has given us all that it can give; the New Year knocks at our door, full of hope and promise ("brand new and still in its wrapper" to swipe a line from one of my own stories).

Let's not keep it waiting in the dark any longer; afterall, it has been waiting our whole lives to greet us. Open the door, shake hands with the New Year, and welcome your new friend into the warm light.

Wishing you and yours a safe festive season and best wishes for what lays ahead (whatever that might be!)

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