Saturday, December 25, 2010

2011 - through a cloud brightly

The remnants of 2010 are gently washing away on the tides of this soggy muggy Boxing Day as I attempt to peer through at least some of the clouds covering most of Queensland in the wake of Cyclone Tasha to piece together a cloak of dreams and hopes on which to fly through the brightest of blue-sky new years (wow that's a few metaphors mixed).

Some of the pieces of this cloak are as follows – the actual flying, well that’s another matter:

  • My novel "A Dirty Rainbow" has been completed to schedule during travel on the work-bound train these past months. Turns out to be a far bumpier ride for the hero Dirk Vortex. He loses everything - even the Whirlwind decals off his van as he leaves his shattered family, hits the highway on some sort of spiritual journey to patch together a new life, maybe even with his old bandmate Ronkey who's teaching English in Cambodia.The conclusion sees him atop a groyne bashed by wild seas, its red and white lighthouse a well known landmark. It's an ambiguous slightly cosmic ending with angels playing a part and a final appearance by the nymph. Now the novel's completed, version two's been started and is about half way through. When the drafting's over, it's on to a professional editor and finally, let's hope in 2011 on to a publisher.

  • My longtime journo mate and former colleague John Rumney (pictured right,worked with on Sunshine Coast Daily in early 80s) has contacted me, asking if I'm interested in working on a joint project proposal to put to the Queensland Poetry Festival organisers. Seems he wants to work around my poem on the Go Between Bridge. Would also work the Kipling poem "If" which he's put to music into the performance. He's got a top jazz drummer and a bassist in mind for the proposed project.Thus inspired I attempted to contact ex Go Between Robert Forster to see if he was interested in being involved (gotta think big) believing he may be in Brisbane. His manager contacted me, said Robert's in Germany but would forward my proposal. Thus singer's involvement is unlikely but John and I will forge on at any rate.
  • Other projects - aiming to do more sourcing of material for next project on poems and prose (Go Between will be a centrepiece) around the theme of "place" which I'll be dedicating to Japanese haiku master Basho. Also aiming to do more visits of schools with Kurilpa Poets after this year's success at St Columba's at Caboolture. Then there's the need to get out to markets and sell the "Soul Healing Afoot/Dead Dad Bye" books.
At any rate to anyone who happens to be reading this, may your dreams and goals too come true in 2011. Finally, turning to the words of Milton Berle for guidance: "If the path to success looks closed, build a door."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Emoting into the void & State Library answers

Somewhere in the late 80s on a wet and windy night in Mullumbimby northern NSW I found myself on the back of a truck, taking turns with fellow poets to blurt my poetic outbursts into the dark. Blinded by a bright light playing on the truck-back stage, it felt as if I was emoting into a void, not sure how many or even if anyone was actually out there. Which brings me to this post...

The audience is a bit less obscure than that night in Mullum since the State Library contacted me and asked to buy my two poetry books War Spoils and The Siren of Shop 19 and other versions of modern verse. I contacted Carreen there, queried the reason for the interest and was told something about the State Library having a collection of Queensland writers that showed some "special creativity". Anyway, dropped the books in about a week back. Tried also to sell Soul Healing Afoot/Dead Dad Bye but was told the library already had it. No idea how all this came about but suspect it was a good word from someone well placed there.

Mirusia's arrival in Brisbane in the past days has also been a bright spot. She was one of those to whom I dedicated SHA/DDB and finally a photo exists of us with the book after she visited with parents for a curry night at Banoon  Drive.

As for actual writing - plenty of that or at any rate editing is happening as I work towards completing a first draft of my novel A Dirty Rainbow. To reach this state of completion by year end was one of the goals I set myself at the start of 2010. Quite a mammoth task going back through the 17 or whatever chapters to get myself back in the place where I can write the final three (which at least are more or less planned).

Pic: Mirusia and me. She inspired? Dubious?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Stumble steps

This is it...the start of what I hope is a beautiful friendship with lovers of poetry other than myself. As the weeks, months, centuries unfold I'd like to explore what's sparking you and me. Right now me-wise I've only just discovered the Eels and Mark Everett ...certainly a blast.

Have also with my group the Kurilpa Poets (seven of us) in the past weeks performed our work before about 180 Year 11 kids at a Caboolture school (about 45 min drive north of Brisbane). Got some great feedback - one kid wrote "How do you do this", teachers really positive - so we're aiming to spread the love (of the word) to other schools. Teachers saying most novel for kids to see actual living practitioners of writing  rather than just sit looking at a screen with words....

In terms of writing two projects:
1: Complete novel "A Dirty Rainbow" about a vacuum cleaner salesman trying to
keep his family, and his aging sales van, together while the hire purchase people chase him for payments
2. Pondering next poetry book to do with poems and prose of place - hence title of this blog.

By the way my website address is and details of available books of my work are there.