Colours

When he’s nostalgic, it’s pale blue like seaside cottages. Circling seagulls in morning harbours, old-fashioned cream cakes, the damp wood of rickety beach-huts. Ease is liquid green, like late summer afternoons. The lazy buzz of insects in settled heat, the sweet anticipation of the evening ahead. Anxious is the colour of commuters in a cold rush of urgency. It’s frantic, the sound of doors closing on a crowded train, the smells and tastes and harsh fabrics of commerce. Continue reading Colours

The Doves

The doves don’t fly away anymore. Whenever I return to the house, which is also home, they don’t even move away, not in the slightest, but continue to mooch about the front yard, unconcerned. It pleases me that they’re no longer wary of me. But I wondered today if perhaps I’m not really there. If, perhaps, I’ve simply become a ghost, and that’s why they no longer fly away, because there’s nothing to fly from. Continue reading The Doves

Short Is Sweet

In the end it is the mystery that lasts and not the explanation. Sacheverell Sitwell, For Want of the Golden City A few months ago a friend recommended I read a short story by the English writer Robert Aickman. ‘The Real Road to the Church’ is in the collection Cold Hand in Mine (1975), and my friend wanted to discuss the story with me. And so I abandoned the novel I’d been reading, and have been enthusiastically devouring Aickman’s “strange stories” since then. Last week I was asked why I’m drawn to writing short fiction. I talked about the form … Continue reading Short Is Sweet

Careering on the radio

A careers officer gets more than they bargained for when meeting schoolboy Mike for the last appointment of the day. Thanks to Tim McQueen for reading my short story ‘Careering’ on last week’s edition of Vision Australia Radio’s Cover to Cover. If you missed the original broadcast, you can listen to the podcast of the program here. ‘Careering’ is from Broken Rules and Other Stories (Transit Lounge, September 2020). Happy listening. Continue reading Careering on the radio

Broken Rules, news

A couple of pieces of good news today. Broken Rules and Other Stories is now available from the Transit Lounge website, here, and from Readings, here. The official release date is 1 September, so this is an early opportunity to get hold of a copy of the book. It’s nice to know it’s finally out there after COVID-19 forced a reschedule from May. And an online launch has been set up with Readings for Monday 14 September at 6:30PM. Their online events usually last around 30 to 40 minutes, and are conducted on Zoom. Short and sweet, very relaxed, and … Continue reading Broken Rules, news