The song follows Charles O’Connor along the beach, as it has followed him for nearly ten years. His horse is nervous, tugging against his lead as if ready to bolt at the slightest provocation. Charles tightens his grip, nudges it ahead. He knows their destination.
The Mothers wait at the water’s edge.
Water Song is a 3800-word supernatural story centred around CY O’Connor’s suicide. It’s part of the Claws of Native Ghosts project, a collection of historical horror stories set throughout Western Australia’s history that I’m slowly putting together, and which is a key project I hope to complete while we’re here in Karratha. I wrote the first draft way back in July of 2017, as part of my Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers Centre residency (remember that?). Now it’s finally finished, and sent out into the marketplace.
Next stop, Broome, and the Japanese bombing of 1942…
There are all sorts of ways authors deal with a block, or a fallow period. One of these days, I’ll post a 5 for Friday listing some of the ways I kickstart my writing efforts.
But something I do on a somewhat-irregular basis is to dive into my archives, and re-examine some completed works with an eye to getting them onto the treadmill. After completing a poem recently, I found them time tonight to do just that, unearthing eight poems completed over the last 12 months that had been waiting for a night like tonight.
I am an occasional poet, but it means a lot to me: my first sales were poems, way back in the late 80s and early 90s, before Real Life ™ got in the way and took me away from serious writing for too many wasted years.
So, as of tonight, the following titles are completed and out in the world, and if the Universe is a just and giving endless saddled-shaped veil of beige nothingness (seriously, look it up), then I’ll celebrate the success of:
- Hart Crane, Treading Water
- Like a Leaf Falling
- Wish Fulfillment
- I Can Smile
- What Good is the Day?
- Seer Like a Stonemason
- There is No Owner’s Manual
The Terrors pulled up three hundred metres outside the town. There were six soldiers left, only half the team that had left the Reclaimed Zone a month before. They’d known the risks—that was why Reclamation Bounties were so high. But a team is a team. The losses hit hard. Nerves were shredded. Reclamation was high stakes work, but there came a time when a team wanted to bug out, claim their R&R and spend their hard-won on the few comforts available in the Zone. The Terrors had reached that point. Even so, they’d barely relaxed before Sarge took out his scope and scanned the township at the bottom of the rise.
Into the Pit, a psychedelic, post-apocalyptic, military SF story, is completed at 5220 words, and submitted.
Along with the picture book I submitted earlier this year, that marks my second submission for 2017. Sadly, this represents a high-watermark for the last couple of years. So onto the next project, to keep this momentum rolling. I’m sure I know what the next project is……