Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Announcing a special broadcast!

Tune in to the Rolling Rotunda Radio Show on 99.9FM tomorrow (Wednesday 27 November) from 11am until 2pm. Brought to you by Rotunda in the West, Maribyrnong Libraries, The Big West Fest and Mobile Radio.

Expect a lively chat between a number of talented artist (from writers to musicians, comedians to actors) who live in Melbourne's west; Rotunda MC, Bruno Lettieri; and guest presenters Michelle Fincke and Emanuel Cachia.

I will be talking about a number of my book, magazine and workshop projects, and interviewing a few of my colleges and an awesome band, The Lion Tamers.

Turn your radio dial to 99.9Mhz FM, old-school style, or stream the digital version online via http://mobileradiobigwest.com/

Read more about the Big West fest at http://www.bigwest.com.au/

We sure are a creative bunch!

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Press Release - Pro GamerS: a computer gaming group for teens

I would like to introduce you to a group of 12-18 year old computer gamers who meet at the Taylors Hill Youth Centre. We go by the in-game tag Pro GamerS (with a capital S - PGS for short) and currently have thirteen members.

Every Friday, from 4pm until 6pm, we play the latest team-based computer games in a room full of high-end gaming rigs. Melton City Council's Youth Services provides the computers, games, snacks, toasted sandwiches, milkshakes, and other activities like a pool table, arts and crafts, board games, music and console games FOR FREE. We host quarterly in-house tournaments where active Pro GamerS members compete for a swag of awards and prizes. We also hope to attend a major computer gaming convention in 2014.

The young gamers have a lot of fun socialising with like-minded teens, and their parents are thrilled to see their otherwise reserved children out of their bedrooms and talking passionately about belonging to our community-based, open-to-all computer gaming group.

Every time we meet, I also address pertinent issues such as internet bullying, healthy eating, good posture, making school work a priority and complementing their gaming with regular breaks and daily exercise.

The Taylors Hill Youth and Community Centre is located at 121 Calder Park Drive, Taylors Hill. They can be contacted on 9747 5422. We have room for only a few more members, so bookings are essential.

Kind Regards,
Emanuel Cachia

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Workshop update: Creative Writing, Book Making and Computer Gaming

I've been really enjoying my workshops at the Taylors Hill Youth and Community Centre, Taylors Hill Neighbourhood House and Twilight School at the Rupertswood Mansion in Sunbury. It's been great meeting so many interesting, creative and productive residents of Melbourne's outer western suburbs - my home town. We've shared a lot of laughs and learnt a ton from each other. 

While I've felt confident instructing and engaging workshop groups for some time now, I'm still astonished at the quality and amount of work many of the participants produce after only the first few weeks. Quite often, after I explain a few general principles, talk about common ways to approach a given task, answer a couple of questions and encourage the group to unleash their creativity, the group produces inspirational bodies of work.

If you've been in any of my workshops, thank you for your support and encouragement. Seeing you develop new skills and explore your creative sides has given me the confidence to offer workshops to a number of new community-based organisations. I can't say much about some of the initiatives at the moment apart from *cough* sessional teaching for Victoria University in 2014 *cough* watch this space!

In the mean time, 12-25 year olds can join my FREE creative writing and book making workshop next Saturday (26 October) without missing much from the first few weeks. We will spend the next three weeks making our hand-bound journals, befire the creative writing side of the program begins. While participants are welcome to join any week, they will get the most out of the workshop if they join on the 26th of October, or 16th of November.

If you or someone you know have any questions, or would like to book a place in this program, please call Kat on (03) 9747 5421, or send an email to her katrionag@melton.vic.gov.au. I'll most likely return your call or email myself.

Another program I'm currently running is Pro GamerS [PGS], a weekly computer gaming group for 12-18 year olds based at the Taylors Hill Youth Services Centre.

We are playing the most popular PC games (League of Legends, Planetside 2, Starcraft 2: HoTS, Minecraft, Terraria, FTL: Faster Than Light, Civilization V, Tropico 4, Game Dev Tycoon, Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Plainswalkers 2014, Don't Starve) on a bunch of super-fast, top-of-the-line gaming rigs.

If the list of games doesn't impress you, how about a room full of 22inch HD LCD screens and PCs with 2gig graphics cards, Quad-Core AMD processors, 12gigs of RAM and a super-duper fast internet connection.

Still not convinced? We've also got XBoxs, Playstation 3s, and Wiis, not to mention free refreshments and an awesome workshop facilitator: me!

And that's not all! Group members will choose which games feature in our quarterly tournaments and be able to enter for the chance to become the Pro-est Gamer and win a swag of awesome prizes.

If we attract enough members, we can buy even more games and go on excursions to the Melbourne gaming conventions.

Join Pro GamerS NOW by calling Melton Youth Services on 9747 5421!

*Pro GamerS look away!* Parents and guardians can be confident knowing their teens are having fun in a safe setting outside of their bedrooms. The participants will be socialising with like-minded people and becoming aware of the importance of ergonomics, healthy eating, balancing thier gaming with regular exercise and a homework-first attitude.

Thanks for visiting and I hope to see you or someone you know in one of my workshops.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

'Creating and Maintaining a Blog' Workshop

I am pleased to announce I will be facilitating a series of workshops at the Taylors Hill Youth and Community Centre, where a fantastic group of people run a number of informative, creative and community-building programs.

During the first of my offerings I will guide you through:
- Creating a blogging account
- Deciding what to blog about
- Identifying your target audience 
- Choosing an appropriate blog design/theme
- Making your first few posts
- Attracting an audience
- Keeping them coming back for more!

By the end of the program you will have a live blog, a few posts and the confidence to continue posting to and promoting your blog.

WHEN: Three consecutive Mondays, 2 – 16 September 2013, 10.00am – 11.30am OR 6.30pm – 8pm.
WHERE: The Taylors Hill Youth & Community Centre is located at 121 Calder Park Drive, Taylors Hill.
HOW MUCH: $25.00 for 3 classes.

Places are limited, so please book your seat asap by calling (03) 9747 5422, or sending an email to taylorshillhouse@melton.vic.gov.au.

Download the rest of THYCC's Term 3 program HERE, and subscribe to their mailing list HERE.

Thanks for reading and I hope to see you there!


Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Audio from 50th Rotunda with Cate Kennedy and Hannie Rayson

If you're a writer looking for inspiration, listen to this recording of Hannie Rayson and Cate Kennedy talking about the writing process and weaving everyday experiences into compelling fiction and riveting screenplays! 

Recorded during our 50th Rotunda in the West with MC Bruno Letteiri at Victoria University's City Flinders campus. Broadcast via SoundCloud.


Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Monday, 11 February 2013

It's all about the extracts - 'The Watchmaker'

Sixteen eclectic short stories on Kindle for USD$2.99

Today’s extract is from Joshua Holland’s The Watchmaker

THE YEAR IS 1765 and I am making my first watch. My father is hovering over my shoulder, making sure I do not make a mistake. It takes me over three hours to craft and, while it is basic in design, I am fiercely proud. So is my father, who hoists me on his shoulders and parades me around the village and proclaims my achievement. They say blessings and give both him and I pats on the back for our fine work. Back at home, my father says I can keep the watch. I hold it tight and thank him. I place it in my keepsake box.

The year is 2072 and I have jumped again. I seem to be drawn to this period and its people. I have a girlfriend and many good friends. I am living two lives. I am at my girlfriend’s home. She looks at me and says she loves me and never wants to let me go. I smile at her and lie, telling her I will never leave her. I know I will jump again. She knows as well, but seems to enjoy hearing the lie. We make love.

The year is 1769 and my father is dead. Raiders attacked our village and burnt down our home. My father perished saving me. I stand at the edge of my home, watching the flames dance around the wreckage. The only thing I am able to save, apart from the clothes on my back, is my first watch. I cry as I remember my father and all he taught me. I hold my watch close to my chest. Many of the other villagers were attacked. Some come to console me and put out the fire. The village priest pulls me in against his cloak, hugging me and saying reassuring words about God. I continue to cry.

The year is 2075 and I am married. My new wife and I stumble over the threshold of our honeymoon suite and laugh. I pick her up and carry her to the bed. We look each other in the eye. I smile at her. She smiles at me. I never want this moment to end. We make love all night. In the morning I get up and go out to the balcony. My stomach churns as the familiar feeling washes over me. I am going to jump again. I call out to my wife, but it is too late.

About the Author
A random collection of cells, sinew, nerve endings and grey matter came together to form a consciousness of infinite possibility and wonder. It taught itself to read, write and speak in a beautifully lyrical cacophony of sound and meaning. Then it started drinking too much sugary drinks and playing too many video games. Its name is now Joshua Holland and it resides somewhere in the ichor of the internet.

READ the entire story in it’s all about the writing available on Kindle for USD$2.99 at www.amazon.com/dp/B00AVS9AR0/ref=cm_sw_su_dp.

ORDER your hard copy for $15 including worldwide postage by emailing me – payable via PayPal, bank transfer, money order or bank cheque.

Friday, 1 February 2013

It's all about the extracts - 'Words on the Page'

Sixteen eclectic short stories on Kindle for US$2.99

And you don’t need a Kindle to read it. Simply download theKindle app for PC, MAC, tablets and smartphones.

Below you'll find a sample of my short story Words on a Page...

WHAT YOU ARE READING is about, well, nothing really. Rather than a traditional story, the following is an exercise in developing my writing style while attempting to keep you entertained. There’ll be no settings for you to imagine, no heroes for you to follow and no villain to make your blood freeze in your veins. Plot: nope. Theme: strike two. Dialogue? That’s right, no dialogue either. But you can hear me whispering in your ear, can’t you? No, not in your ear, in your mind. I may not be able to say your name or today’s date, but I am here with you, speaking to you. And you are replying, aren’t you?
Go ahead and laugh—I am.
Like a Tolkienesque wizard of wonderful words, I am in your mind pulling the strings connected directly to your emotions—the gateway to your soul. At first this may seem like an apt assumption, but I see myself more as a Jedi apprentice. I am in a Jedi writing mind-meld, my pen an azure blade of pure energy.
With little conscious thought, I arrange letters into words and those words into sentences of varying lengths to evoke pace and tension. My pen weaves intricate patterns on the page as if it were a natural extension of my body, each stroke so precise it appears as though the words are creating themselves and I am merely the vessel.
Do or do not: there is no try.
Notice how each paragraph contains a series of sentences that add meaning upon meaning in a logical progression of thought until the last, which ties the whole idea together and prepares you for the next; and how the words flow with contrasting sound and rhythm. Some statements grab your attention. Others remain as long-winded as ever, allowing you to dwell on what I’m saying. They are intentionally arranged this way to downplay their importance, distract you from the many subliminal messages and create, in you, a sense of unease and confusion.
Inflection, suggestive power, rhythm and cadence: these are the weapons at my disposal.
So far the mood has been quite casual—inviting—and not at all alarming. But now that I’ve brought this to your attention, you might expect things to change. Don’t worry, I’m not using mind tricks on you. This is foreshadowing at work.

About the Author
Editor and contributor Emanuel Cachia won the 2011 Melton Short Story Competition, was Highly Commended in the 2010 competition and the 2010 Henry Lawson Literary Awards and was on the short listing panel for the 2012 Ada Cambridge Prize for Biographical Prose. He is a freelance editor, book producer, workshop facilitator and, when time allows, an avid gamer. He has a Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing, is studying a Bachelor of Communications and dedicates his writing to his wife and two children, who mean worlds to him.

PURCHASE this story and fifteen others for US$2.99 www.amazon.com/dp/B00AVS9AR0/ref=cm_sw_su_dp. 

ORDER your hard copy for $15 including worldwide postage by emailing me – payable via PayPal, bank transfer, money order or bank cheque.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

It's all about the extracts - 'In Too Deep'

The below is from Craig Henderson’s In Too Deep

WHAT IS IT ABOUT CHRISTMAS that you want to nail it to a cross and set fire to an effigy of all that has been taken from you?
What phoenix would rise from the ashes of Christmas past and, clasping you in its talons, wheel off into a sky ripped asunder by the conflagration of all your hopes and dreams?

This is how it begins, questions taunting me between the half-light of sleep and wakefulness. I’m aware of my body twitching, snaking out its feelers into the unknown.
When the dreams begin they’re so vivid, truth and myth, legend and lies merge until there is no longer a clear indication of reality, of experience or fabrication, only further questions dragging me back into the vortex of denial.

Water rushes by in a never ending wall of white noise, blanketing the sounds of revelry that are already a distant memory. Naked apart from her bikini bottoms, she kneels in the icy river, hands cupped as she flings water over her head in some silent benediction.
You watch the water streaming over her breasts, her head flung back to the heavens like she’s part of a Sports Illustrated photo shoot. This hurts more than her words, this flaunting of what is no longer yours, perhaps never was. At the same time, you’re aware of a total lack of contrivance in her actions. Her mind operates on some instinctual level you have never been able to penetrate, no matter the promise of her body.
And yet, this realisation brings no relief, only adds to the sense of disbelief sucking your world inward with the inexorable pull of gravity, as you stare at her crumpled clothes beside you on the bank, nonchalantly discarded like your heart.
Part of you wants to stride out and thrust her beautiful face under the surface, snap her out of this madness with the threat of something unimaginable. But to touch her would be to die, you know it as clearly as the water that seems to have borne all this from out of nowhere, over some horizon you have never seen and cannot envision. 
It’s beyond comprehension. You’re a few feet from the only person you care about, and so alone you can hardly breathe. Isolated in a world far removed from all you know. Stranded by a high tide you didn’t see coming, deposited amongst the flotsam of your own expectations.
Heart threatening to explode in your ears, you turn and strike out into the undergrowth, oblivious to the voice that no longer has a face, to the light-hearted banter drifting like smoke on the wind, taunting you with its irrelevance. Darkness settles through the forest, a whispered revelation. Branches slap at your body, ineffectually, painlessly, after her words.

I burst out of the forest, the dream, to the sound of banging downstairs.
Almost tripping down the steps, I rush to the front door and then hesitate, contemplating the implications. It’s her, I know it, coming back to me as I knew she would. Taking a deep breath, I pull the door open, but there’s no one there. The screen slams in front of my face, yawning open again with the breeze as I stand there, bewildered. I think of ripping it from its hinges, but a light comes on in the flat opposite, so I drag it shut, close the door and slump on the lounge.
The heat forces me back upstairs, where the ceiling fan distributes the warmth evenly around the room, sucking the moisture from my body as it does so. I reach out to her side of the bed out of habit, pulling her pillow to my chest as if I can squeeze life out of the hopes and tears distilled within it.
Rolling onto my back, I hug her to me, watching the fan revolve with such concentration the blades stall and send the room spinning into orbit.

Why did you offer up your heart so readily? I love you, you’d said, three words that had fallen on deaf ears and returned to haunt you with the spectre of your own longing. Could you not see what you’d thought had been love welling up inside, constricting each breath, quickening your pulse—had been merely anxiety? The desperation of a lifetime of loneliness, the neuroses of unreturned feelings that flowed like charged particles beneath the surface of your skin.

About the Author
Craig Henderson has written several prize-winning short stories, notably the joint winner of the 2012 Trung Sisters Creative Arts Competition, one of six winners in the 2012 National Year of Reading Learn to Read Writing Competition, and highly commended in the 2012 Ada Cambridge Prize for a Biographical Short Story and the Melton Short Story competitions for 2010, 2011 and 2012. His work has also been published in Offset magazine and various other magazines and websites. He has always been fascinated by the power of the written word to explain what common sense cannot, is studying Professional Writing and Editing part-time and is a full-time child wrangler.

PURCHASE this story and fifteen others for US$2.99 www.amazon.com/dp/B00AVS9AR0/ref=cm_sw_su_dp.

ORDER your hard copy for $15 including worldwide postage by emailing me – payable via PayPal, bank transfer, money order or bank cheque.

It's all about the extracts - 'Reach for the Moon'

The following is from Tuan Ho's Reach for the Moon

IN A WORLD STILL GROWING, where cars and boats abounded, but not planes or any kind of air travel, a young boy named Jerry was sad, not because he lived in a town where everyone hated his family, but because he couldn’t see his father for a very long time.
His father was taken into the back of a police car and shipped to a secluded island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, one he shared with the world’s most dangerous criminals. And Jerry did not know why. His mother tried to explain what his father did, but he was too young to understand.
Jerry lived alone with his mother. He walked to school each day, not understanding why the other kids teased him. One day, as he was walking home from school, a man he had never seen before stood in his way.
The man was dressed in black with a black cloth wrapped around his face, revealing only his eyes. ‘Are you the boy?’
‘Sir, what boy?’
‘The boy of the father they sent away.’
‘Yes, Sir.’
‘There’s something you need to know. Your father was a good man, he never did anything wrong. They just didn’t want anyone to know.’
‘Sir, know what?’ Jerry asked.
‘The secret. Here, sit down next to me. I’ll tell you a story, but make sure you don’t tell anyone.’
Jerry sat down on the bench and the man told him why they sent his father away.
Jerry’s father was a man named George. Everyone around town knew of George because he had a special talent. He was born with super-strong shoulders that could carry anything on them: people, cars and even boats. He could hold it all.
And, because of this, he became a very rich man. Normal everyday townsfolk and rich kings and queens from faraway lands paid him lots of money to move things that couldn’t be moved: a giant elephant that fell down a well and a young prince’s car made of solid gold that had become stuck on an icy road, making it impossible for any person or machine to retrieve, and Watson the Whale from the seaside town Sargar, who had become stranded on a beach after being cast out from the aquarium for eating so much and no longer being able to jump through flaming hoops like a circus lion. George faced these challenges without stress and completed them with ease, and his wealth grew through the stratosphere.
One night, while George was lying on his lawn, looking up at the moon, he wondered if humans would ever travel to the moon. This thought excited him so much he sprang to his feet and reached for his phone and called his friends to ask them to call their friends.
The next morning, in the city square, George was surrounded by thousands of people. The following hour, he was joined by thousands more. Once they were gathered together, George told them what they were there for. It was for a historic event. One no one had attempted before.
It was to reach the moon…

About the Author
Tuan Ho is just another human who lives on planet Earth and enjoys doing fun things like feeding ducks, cycling like it's the end of the world, eating delicious food and, most of all, writing. He often stumbles upon inspiration while sitting in silence, listening to the stillness of life, or enjoying a relaxing shower. Other stories strike him like lightning.

PURCHASE this story and fifteen others for US$2.99 www.amazon.com/dp/B00AVS9AR0/ref=cm_sw_su_dp.

ORDER your hard copy for $15 including worldwide postage by emailing me – payable via PayPal, bank transfer, money order or bank cheque.

Craig Henderson returns tomorrow with an extract of In Too Deep, runner-up in the 2012 Ada Cambridge Prize for Biographical Prose, and published in the 2012 Willy Lit Fest anthology and Platform magazine.

Thanks for visiting,

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

It's all about the extracts - 'Saigon Siren'

The follow extract is from Antonio Iannella’s biographical short story about Stroke with a capital S, Saigon Siren

I often heard that at the beginning of my recovery, even thought it myself. ‘What the? I’m only thirty-eight.’ In my brain’s infinite wisdom, it decided to have its Stroke while I was travelling through Vietnam with my wife and kids, leaving me paralysed from the neck down. Talk about pulling the rug out from beneath you, bursting your holiday bubble or squashing that travel bug.
There we were, an adventure of a lifetime, six months in planning and weeks of learning to say thank you in Vietnamese. Organising a holiday takes longer than the holiday itself. But we often don’t remember that bit. Our mind wipes it from our thoughts, deletes it from our files. But, in this case, it was our family holiday that was almost erased from our memories.
A near death experience is likely to overshadow tales about cruising across the muddy waters of the Mekong River, or walking through fields that once staged a horrendous war. One moment I was standing in the hot sun, listening to the tour guide talk about how the Vietcong ambushed the American soldiers. Then, shortly after, I was lying in an Intensive Care Unit beneath fluorescent lights listening to doctors speak about Stroke.
Stroke is such an unglamorous name, but I guess there’s nothing glamorous about it. It takes possession of you. I was a complete Stroke novice before it happened to me. Suddenly, I’m in a world of needle jabs, oxygen masks and medical terms I can’t spell. A learning curve similar to the experience of buying your first flat-screen television. Though you know nothing about them, the Harvey Norman salesmen asks you, ‘Do you want a built in digital tuner, high definition, contrast ratio, thirty-two or forty-two inches?’
‘I don’t know, I just want a Plasma.’ By the time you leave the store, you know everything there is to know about the technology, Brian Naylor style. Oh, and let’s not forget, you become an expert among mates.
Only thing is, there’s no extended warranty that comes with the brain, no exchange policy and definitely NO MONEY BACK GUARANTEE...

About the Author
Antonio Iannella began his writing journey after experiencing a near-death stroke while holidaying in Vietnam with his wife and three young children. A musician, songwriter and music producer for over twenty-five years, he predominately writes non-fiction tales exploring the challenges stroke survivors face. His first manuscript, Saigon Siren, is a heartfelt memoir intimately sharing his painful rehabilitation, told with honesty, love, passion and glorious Aussie humour. Antonio’s plan for 2013 is for Saigon Siren to be published in conjunction with the release of The Lion Tamers debut album, Lost Translation, which he is writing and recording in his Melton recording studio, Studio four99.

PURCHASE this story and fifteen others for US$2.99 www.amazon.com/dp/B00AVS9AR0/ref=cm_sw_su_dp.

ORDER your hard copy for $15 including worldwide postage by emailing me – payable via PayPal, bank transfer, money order or bank cheque.

If you like what you’ve seen so far, come back tomorrow for an extract of Tuan Ho’s fantastical short story, Reach for the Moon.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

It's all about the extracts - 'The Palace and the Tower'

Today’s extract is from Kim Cook’s short story The Palace and the Tower

LINA GREW UP IN a palace made of glass. In a glass nursery, she listened to stories about princesses falling in love with princes. She learnt the arts of governance in a glass study. And, when she was older and her father, the king, lay dying, she greeted the arriving suitors in a glass hall and winced at the thud of their boots against the glass floor.
The suitors treated her with small courtesy, for she was the sole heir. They were princes all, well-attired and groomed. Lina supposed they were handsome—the serving women they took to bed seemed to think so and her father, the king, spoke of their bravery and wisdom—but she sat in a wooden chair at the foot of her father’s glass dais and pondered why she had a gaggle of suitors on her doorstep when there were princesses trapped in towers waiting for a heroic prince.
She wondered why her father had trained her to govern if she needed to have a prince. When she sat at her father’s bedside that evening, reading to him from his favourite book, holding his cup to his lips, she asked him so.
Her father coughed, spluttering over the bed-linens. ‘Daughter,’ he said and for a moment fell so silent Lina feared he had stopped breathing, ‘you must marry.’
‘Can I not rule, Father?’
‘Would our neighbouring kingdoms let a woman rule alone? Or would they send their armies to take you and wed you and claim your throne?’
She thought about her history books and the kingdoms that had fallen after the death of a childless king and shook her head. ‘No, they would not.’
‘Choose one,’ he said, reaching to clasp her hand in his shrivelled fingers. ‘Whichever is the most pleasing to you, but if you love me, choose one.’
She could not agree, so said nothing. Perhaps if she got to know the princes better, she might be able to choose an acceptable consort. After days of pondering, Lina declared a ball would be held.
The suitors muttered amongst themselves, complaining about her indecision, the expense and even that she dared summon them to a ball, but they came.
Lina’s women dressed her in a silver gown and soft slippers, and she danced with each prince in turn. Some were intelligent and some were possessive; some were clumsy, or stupid; some were kind and considerate; some were grasping; some were flattering.
She danced the night and the two that followed in the arms of one prince or another, but could not make a decision. She knew she would wed for duty, not love, but hoped she would look at one or two of them and feel a fluttering in her heart like the palace women did. She hoped to find a prince who was least abhorrent and most malleable. One who, when she thought of him sliding a ring on her finger, joining her in her chamber, wasn’t quite so objectionable.
The following day she returned to her father’s bedside.
‘Daughter,’ he said between coughing fits, ‘have you chosen a prince?’
‘No, Father.’ She looked away from his grey and sunken face. ‘I cannot.’
‘Oh, Daughter,’ he whispered, his voice a rough crackle. Bright blood spotted a cloth the nurse dabbed at his lips. ‘Do you deny my death?’
Lina bit down on her lower lip and turned her head to better hide her tears. ‘Of course not.’
‘Choose one,’ he said, gasping for breath between the laboured words. ‘Whichever is the most pleasing to you, but if you love me, choose one.’

About the Author
I'm Kim Cook, and I'm genderqueer with a side dish of fabulous. People stare at me in public because they can't figure out my gender and because I have the fashion sensibility of a child rummaging through a box of crayons. I like chocolate and rainbows and writing fantasy novels in second person. I hate boxes and non-accepting people and having to conform to anything save correct Australian English. I'm a Professional Writing and Editing student based in Melbourne, Australia and am currently working on a novel, a novella, various short stories and a play script involving characters who are some flavour of queer. My preference is to write about the lives and experiences of lesbian, transgender and non-binary characters, but also about abuse, mental illness and living with disabilities. My first anthology, Crooked Words, will be available as an e-book in February 2013.

PURCHASE this story and fifteen others for US$2.99 www.amazon.com/dp/B00AVS9AR0/ref=cm_sw_su_dp.

ORDER your hard copy for $15 including worldwide postage by emailing me – payable via PayPal, bank transfer, money order or bank cheque.

Tomorrow I’ll be posting an extract of Antonio Iannella’s biographical short story about surviving Stroke, Saigon Siren, which was commended in the 2012 Melton Short Story Competition.

Monday, 21 January 2013

It's all about the extracts - 'Time and Time Again'

Today’s extract is from my short story Time and Time Again, which won the 2011 Melton Short Story Competition, was highly commended in the 2010 Henry Lawson Literary Awards and has been published in Platform magazine. It goes a little something like this…

IF I HAD MY TIME AGAIN, I wouldn’t be hanging from my neck.
If I had my time again, I wouldn’t have twisted a sheet into rope, tied one end into a noose, the other to the boardwalk handrail, and flung myself into the chasm below. I wouldn’t have planned it for months, or thought about it every waking hour for the last three years in this god-forsaken prison. I wouldn’t have rammed Big Lue’s head into the hand basin over and over when he tried to shank me in the spleen for the second time, the first right in front of two screws who insist they saw nothing. His life wouldn’t have trickled down the drain before the ambulance arrived and I wouldn’t have been sentenced to an extra twenty-five years.
If I had my time again and knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t have resisted so violently when four cops dragged me out of the pub and tackled me to the ground, and one of them wouldn’t have fractured his skull on the pavement. I wouldn’t have argued with the bartender when she said I’d had enough to drink, or smashed a bottle over the security guard’s head when he tried to wrench my arm behind my back. I wouldn’t have drunk so much that when I fell off the stool a red haze painted ridicule on the faces staring down at me. I wouldn’t have gone to that bar, or any bar, and blown all but that night’s drinking money on that pokie machine trying to win back what it had scammed from me countless nights before.
If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t have broken my boss’s nose or quit when he asked why I was two hours late and why I hadn’t picked up the paint as he’d asked, again. I wouldn’t have still been sanding architraves and rolling out walls when kids half my age were managing building sites of their own, confident their lives were going to turn out just fine. And, on the morning of my old man’s funeral only days before, I wouldn’t have gotten so drunk and stoned that when the priest announced God would welcome the bastard into heaven and forgive him for all his sins, and so should we, I couldn’t help but stand up and shout, ‘He should burn in hell!’ And, on the way out, I wouldn’t have spat on Dad’s lifeless face—all makeup and prosthetics, smiles and pleasantness—a visage of some kind of saint...

About the Author
Editor and contributor Emanuel Cachia won the 2011 Melton Short Story Competition, was Highly Commended in the 2010 competition and the 2010 Henry Lawson Literary Awards and was on the short listing panel for the 2012 Ada Cambridge Prize for Biographical Prose. He is a freelance editor, book producer, workshop facilitator and, when time allows, an avid gamer. He has a Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing, is studying a Bachelor of Communications and dedicates his writing to his wife and two children, who mean worlds to him.

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Up tomorrow: an extract of Kim Cook’s short story, The Palace and the Tower.