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Showing posts from 2016

Following fading footprints

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I was 18 when my father died. He was 48. It makes for easy arithmetic - 30 years between us, almost exactly.

This year I'm 50. I'm now 2 years older than my father was when he died. And I've come to a realisation - a powerful one I can only relate via analogy.

But first, some background:

My father was mysterious figure for most of my childhood: a man who was just as likely to say something profound, if brief, as he was to become irritable. I learned early on to give him space. For most of my life, he was a person I feared as much as loved and respected.

You see, I don't think my father knew how to be a parent largely because he had come from a broken home - torn apart by World War II and by the oppressive communist regime that followed it. He had scars - and we, his family, could feel them even if we couldn't see them - or know what they were.

So my father didn't know how to "be" with children. With adults, he was the ideal companion - a raconteur, con…

"Girl in the Attic" published

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"Girl in the Attic", my fourth work of fiction, has been published by Pikkeljig Press! The blurb is as follows:
Rose lives with her mother Valerie in a run-down cottage in an old part of town. Rose steals things. Valerie drinks. That's just the way it is. Whenever Rose gets caught, Valerie banishes her to the cramped, dusty attic - often for weeks at a time.
Then one day Rose decides she's going to change her life: she's going to close that attic door forever. And that's exactly what she does. So why do the police suddenly want to speak with Rose again? Why does she have a shiny new watch she can't recall buying (or stealing!)? For that matter, why can't she seem to remember speaking with some people, being at various places, taking up smoking or making particular sketches and notes in her journal?
And why is it that, as Rose lies awake at night with her covers pulled up to chin, she can hear something - bumps, shuffling steps and a girl's cough …

Girl in the Attic completed!

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I've finished my fourth work of fiction "Girl in the Attic", netting a record number of online readers and very encouraging and enthusiastic messages from fans. Thank you everyone who has joined me on this journey over the last two months. If you haven't gotten into it yet, now is your chance - click on the image below or go here.


The blurb is as follows:
Rose lives with her mother Valerie in a run-down cottage in an old part of town. Rose steals things. Valerie drinks. That's just the way it is. Whenever Rose gets caught, Valerie banishes her to the cramped, dusty attic - often for weeks at a time.

Then one day Rose decides she's going to change her life: she's going to close that attic door forever. And that's exactly what she does.

So why do the police suddenly want to speak with Rose again? Why does she have a shiny new watch she can't recall buying (or stealing!)? For that matter, why can't she seem to remember speaking with some people, bei…

Girl in the Attic - new online young adult novel

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I've just started my latest project - the online young adult mystery novel "Girl in the Attic". Three posts in, it is already starting to attract a loyal following. As with all my books, it'll be taken down shortly after the last installment is posted, so read it here while you can!


Don't forget to follow me on Facebook!


Why HRC lost to the least qualified man - ever

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It seems that everywhere I look, I see #Trumpwins followed by #everydaysexism - or something similar. That is a troubling thought. How could America's most qualified woman be beaten by America's least qualified man? What does it say about women's political chances in the future - in the US and in many other countries?

By now, many of you will be aware that 53% of "white" women in America voted for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton - and that was despite his talk of crotch grabbing and other sexual assaults, his many victims of such assaults coming forward, his general demeaning of women and his sexist verbal attacks against specific women.

I think the above statistic reflects a deep dissatisfaction with growing income inequality, the inexorably diminishing middle class and a frustration with the establishment that has allowed this to happen - on both sides of the two party system. It seems clear to me that the US zeitgeist was/is to vote for an "outsider&quo…

"We can't take them all": defending our refugee policy

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The world's refugee crisis has resulted in some 60 million displaced people mostly due to conflict - in particular in Syria but also in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo, Albania, Sub-Saharan Africa, Iran and Ukraine.  The Western world has become the destination for many of these refugees, fuelling a sense of panic, resistance and hostility towards them in many of its countries.

We in Australia are experiencing a small fraction of this crisis, as some of the refugees make their way around the world, enduring perilous voyages across rough seas in rickety boats to reach our shores.  We have responded either by turning back the boats or imprisoning the refugees (in deplorable conditions) in offshore detention camps on Manus Island and Nauru, and promising never to allow them the right to settle in Australia (or New Zealand, for that matter!).

We have a government that is campaigning at the very moment on its proud achievement of having "stopped the boats".  At the same time, the go…

Brexit and "demonisation"

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Well the Brexit fallout is now upon the UK and prominent "Leavers" like Nigel Farage are attracting their fair share of criticism, indeed
"demonisation", both by "Remainers" and those suffering "Regrexit".

Is this fair?  Given how the Leave campaign was conducted and the possible (indeed likely) consequences, I say yes.

In the video below, Professor Michael Dougan outlines (precisely and accurately) not only the inherent dishonesty of the Leave campaign, but also the effects of the referendum result.  In particular he discusses the issues that confront lawmakers in deciding how, if at all, to implement the Leave decision, and the constitutional crisis now facing the UK as a consequence.



In these circumstances I think it is entirely fair to focus ire on those leading a campaign that was fundamentally misleading and dangerously divisive and irresponsible.

Consider Farage in particular. I see him as a figure who deserves "demonisation"…

The Shadow of Dusk - 5 day free download special

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The Shadow of Dusk has now been published by Pikkeljig Press and is available for free download on Kindle for the next 5 days!


New cover for Nights of the Moon

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Following the release of "The Shadow of Dusk", Pikkeljig Press has announced a corresponding new cover for "Nights of the Moon".  I love it!


Nights of the Moon is published!

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Nights of the Moon has now been officially published by Pikkeljig Press!

The special introductory price is only US$10.23 through my website store (see link below).



It will appear in Amazon and other online stores within the following week.

For the Kindle Edition, click here.

Enjoy!

The synopsis is as follows:

Leila is a dreamer.
    She dreams of a successful career, a house in the suburbs with a white picket fence, a "half-decent partner",  a couple of kids and maybe even a dog thrown into the bargain.
    She dreams of writing poetry.
    But she lives on remote mining sites, working eleven hour days in the fierce desert heat - in a not-so-distant future where there are few, if any, other options on the table.
    Most recently, Leila finds herself dreaming of a brief halcyon time on Irwin Island in the far north of Western Australia - and Edin: a quietly charming but complex and often inscrutable man with a troubled past.
    "Nights of the Moon" is a bittersweet dram…

Another Hugo Award nomination!

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I have just received my second consecutive Hugo Award nomination - this time for the best science fiction novella in "A Hazy Shade of Twilight"!


"Five stars.  Loved it!" - William O'Brien
Paperback only $14.95: 



Kindle only $3.68:

Nights of the Moon completed

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The novel "Nights of the Moon" is now complete.  It is a relationship-based drama/mystery set on a remote island in Western Australia's far north.

The novel was written over 28 separate (though not consecutive) nights and published online in a serialised format on the night each chapter was written.

The synopsis is as follows:


Leila is a dreamer.

    She dreams of a successful career, a house in the suburbs with a white picket fence, a "half-decent partner",  a couple of kids and maybe even a dog thrown into the bargain.
    She dreams of writing poetry.
    But she lives on remote mining sites, working eleven hour days in the fierce desert heat - in a not-so-distant future where there are few, if any, other options on the table.
    Most recently, Leila finds herself dreaming of a brief halcyon time on Irwin Island in the far north of Western Australia - and Edin: a quietly charming but complex and often inscrutable man with a troubled past.

    "Nights of the …

I finally publish the Essential Jo DVD!

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A year after the publication of my bestselling martial arts textbook Essential Jo (and more than 5 years after the book was written and photographed), I am proud to announce the publication of the long-awaited companion DVD of the same name.

Essential Jo, the DVD, covers the same ground as the book, along with some very useful bonus material, notably a detailed analysis of "Jusan" - the 13 count form - both in single person and two person form.

The jo - the Japanese 4-foot staff - was originally taught with the ken (sword) in the samurai arts.

This two hour video is arguably the most comprehensive on the subject to date, offering a course of study from white through to black belt in this practical, yet elegant, art.

While it is intended primarily for students with experience in weapons arts, particularly jodo, the book can also be used by beginners for home study.

The art of jodo makes an excellent addition to any martial art system.

(Also direct download from Amazon - USA on…