Post It Note Poetry Saturdays 

On the back of this year’s successful Post-It Note Poetry challenge, and the passion and commitment with which it was embraced by the tarot community on Instagram, I’ve created a new weekly challenge: Post It Note Poetry Saturdays or simply #pinpsaturday

#PINPSATURDAY

It’s easy to participate, especially if you are a seasoned Post It Note poet. In essence it is a weekly mix of micro poetry and divine inspiration. If you know nothing about tarot, much less own a deck, I’ll be posting the card I’m using each week, and invite you to use it as your poetic catalyst.


1. Choose a tarot card based on the weekly prompt. (This week is is The Magician)

2. Write a poem on a post it note.

3. Photograph the poem and card.

4. Post the photograph to Instagram on Saturday with #pinpsaturday.

Smooth and easy! Looking forward to seeing your poems over the weekend. 

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Welcome to Elyora

cover-finalTo celebrate today’s launch of Elyora I’ve compiled a list of facts about the novella, the writing it and other associated tidbits.

#1 Elyora began as a dream featuring a misshapen house, a woman and sirens in the river.

#2 Elyora was the name of the woman in my dream, not the town. It’s pronounced el-yor-ah.

#3 The first draft of Elyora was written during a June 2012 Rabbit Hole event run by the Queensland Writers Centre – 30,000 words in 30 hours.

#4 The original sex scene was written as a word count filler and was intended to be edited out of the final draft. The ending precluded that from happening.

#5 Elyora was edited by Lesley Halm (for Review of Australian Fiction) and if it weren’t for her commitment to the story she saw in the rough, it might never have been finished, much less published.

#6 Elyora was short listed in the Aurealias short horror category in 2012 – two days after the contract was signed to sell it as River of Bones to Endeavour Press.

#7 The a cappella scene was intended to have Suzanne Vega’s Tom’s Diner at the centre of it but words failed to bring it to life at the time. The new edition features Vega’s classic.

#8 The 2nd draft was almost complete before I knew what the menace in the river was. It was an accidental find after months of dedicated searching.

#9 Knowing what was in the river, and its folk history, added a new layer to the story, a new iteration of claustrophobia and fleshed out the backstory of Eleanor and Ethan Lazarus.

#10 Brigadoon, the town that appears for one day every hundred years, was one of the inspirations for Elyora, though my partner, insisted it sounded more like the town in Peter Weir’s The Cars That Ate Paris.

#10 Elyora is not based on the township of Ben Lomond. Ben Lomond has 3 churches and is on the wrong side of the road.

#11 FaunaBate almost hailed from Sydney. The Hume Highway between Melbourne and City was the intended setting. But a road trip in 2011 discounted it.

#12 It was only after Elyora was published that I visited Hal and Jo’s hometowns of Woolomin and Nundle. GoogleEarth was my friend prior to that.

#13 Sometimes it’s okay to read reviews! The new edition has small alternations to the flora and fauna based on Chris-from-Ben-Lomond’s Goodread’s review.

#14 Elyora was my first attempt at horror and I wanted to write something that would scare me stupid. My son managed to accidentally jump-scare me during a late editing session of the final garage scene.

#15 The hardest scene to write was the conversation between Ethan and Stanley. Nailing Stanley’s vernacular and articulation pushed my skills to their limits.

#16 In addition to the dream, two strong visuals components were musts for incorporation: the cars in the back of the garage and the tow hook on the old dodge truck.

#17 One reviewer said she would never again take a bath after reading Elyora. #sorrynotsorry

#18 Petrol actually was 13c/l in 1974. It was one of the facts I collected as part of my research. I also read the original research paper from the FBI Body Farm.

#19 Searching >Elyora< on Spotify will bring up the play list of songs mentioned in the novella. There’s 16 of them.

#20 The number of plays  logged for Yacht Club DJ’s ‘The mostly come at night, mostly’ hour-long mixtape – 82. It was on almost perpetual loop during Elyora’s writing and editing.

#21 Lesley’s original editorial stated that Elyora could be the lovechild of Gaiman and King, consequently, when it was first released, I told no one it had been published.

#22 River of Bones languished in relative obscurity until an Australia Day promo pushed it to #1 on the Amazon (Aus) horror charts and into the general Top 20.

#23 Most of the quirky details, from dashboard adornments to tattoos, were based on suggestions from The Elyora Brains Trust on Facebook during the 2nd draft.

#24 The third edition of Elyora (the 2nd by its intended name) is the only paperback edition. Only one was intended to be printed (as a reference for writing a script) but the idea of a worldwide paperback release refused to be ignore.


When Jo, Hal and Benny arrive in Elyora the absence of takeaway coffee is the least of their problems. At each other’s throats and without transportation, phone service or somewhere to stay, they accept the hospitality of the enigmatic Lazarus at the original Elyora homestead.

As day turns to night, the sanctuary of the rambling house becomes a terrifying alternate reality of memories peeling back onto themselves to expose secrets and paranoia dating back to 1942.

To escape Elyora and return to 2012, Jo must remember who she is and find Benny and Hal before they succumb to  the same fate as those who came before them.

 

Haven’t got a copy of Elyora yet – no stress. Just click here.

Want to add it to Goodreads. Easy! Just click here.

Coming on 20th February – a Goodreads giveaway. More closer to the date.

Return to Elyora

img_0974I’m ecstatic to finally announce the release of the paperback edition of Elyora this  Valentines Day.

For those who follow me on Twitter and Instagram, you will have seen a flutter of mentions late last year, but thanks to some health bumps, it’s taken until now to get it all to come together the way I want it to.

REWIND

As some of you know, the novella was first published in Review of Australian Fiction’s Rabbit Hole special edition on the 23rd of December 2012, under the editorial stewardship of the very awesome Lesley Halm. Sean Wright encouraged me to to find a paid home for Elyora, which I did. But when I sold the manuscript in early 2013, the publisher insisted on a title change to make it less parochial and the addition of a new opening section to ensure it would hook the thriller readers it was slated to be marketed to. To compound it all, I signed the contract for River of Bones the day before Elyora was announced as an Aurealis short-listed work. And as a final nail in the coffin, the ebook was only ever available via Kindle.

To able to use my paperback rights to return the manuscript to its original narrative form,  to joyfully and proudly market it as ‘Australian gothic horror’ and to have it in a medium accessible by everyone, well it makes me a very happy author.

A BIT OF GOTHIC HORROR FOR VALENTINES DAY

I’m launching the paperback on the 14th February.

The book  will be available here (and for those that buy here, there will be something in your copies that I was unable to print in a mass market copy!) or via the usual online bookstores.

The novella is $11.99 (including postage anywhere in the world) and can be purchased by clicking here.

As special thank you, I’ll ship an original Elyora-based poem square with the first five books pre-ordered.



When Jo, Hal and Benny arrive in Elyora the absence of takeaway coffee is the least of their problems. At each other’s throats and without transportation, phone service or somewhere to stay, they accept the hospitality of the enigmatic Lazarus at the original Elyora homestead.

As day turns to night, the sanctuary of the rambling house becomes a terrifying alternate reality of memories peeling back onto themselves to expose secrets and paranoia dating back to 1942.

To escape Elyora and return to 2012, Jo must remember who she is and find Benny and Hal before they succumb to  the same fate as those who came before them.

BUY THE NOVELLA

 

All I Want For Christmas…

It’s an awesome state of festive affairs when I get to spruik the work of friends at Christmas time. Supporting the work of indie creators is Yuletide blessings running in both directions, but if you are reading this blog, undoubtedly you are already aligned with that way of thinking.

Zen and the Art of Words

Adam and I are always adventuring creatively.

Earlier this year I pointed Adam in the direction of Kat Apel’s poems that combined block out poetry with zentangle art. He took to the hybrid form like a fish to water (or a pre-school kid to textas!).

img_0376
Adam’s turned a selection of his poems into postcards and tote bags. Postcards start at $8 for the collection of six, and there’s an awesome bundle of cards and bags for $25. You can purchase them HERE.

A Ray of Christmas Light

img_0304I’m a fan of Rus VanWestervelt. Not simply as a writer and creative advocate, or because of the work he does inspiring young minds and compassion in dark moments – I am a fan of Rus because he’s a Good Human. He is Light and Grace in motion.

Makes it easy to point to his Christmas collection.

Bundled together are four short stories — including the novelette Gretchie’s Gifts — and a selection of blog posts. The collection is free to download, just go HERE, with the option to donate to the The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit in Rus’s home town.

Into The Wild

Front CoverI’m so excited (and relieved!) to release The Heart is An Echo Chamber into the wild today. Proof that good things are worth the wait and amazing friends will always stand by you.

Many thanks to the authors — Adam, Tom, Kristin, Stacey, Ben, Lois, Helen and Rus — for their patience in letting me see this through in my own time, at my own pace. A double thank you to Stacey who debuts as a cover artist who also earns special stripes for being the ultimate motivator in getting-shit-done. Thanks to Rob for his proof reading prowess and Kim for being sanity at the end of a text message. Last, but not least, thank you to my Mr Ds who travelled the ever-so-bumpy road that ran parallel to the publication of the chapbook these last two years.

The collection is available as a limited edition, hand number chapbook ($12) or an ebook (pay what you want), each bundled with a digital copy of the companion collection No Need to Reply.

More information can be found here.

 

 

Introducing, The Heart is an Echo Chamber

Wednesday, 10th August, I’ll finally be sharing with the world The Heart is an Echo Chamber.

In October 2014 I released No Need to Reply. A chapbook by that name begged a reply. The Heart is an Echo Chamber is that reply, or more aptly, eight replies.

This tiny collection has traveled some pretty rough times with me. Every time I’ve almost finished it (the editing, the typesetting, the cover….), life has thrown a curve ball. And another. Not only has the collection traveled with me through this, but so have the eight writers who signed on back in October 2014. Thank you.

I think it is safe to say, it may never have come to fruition had it not been for Stacey (S.G.) Larner, who debuts as a cover artist. Thank you, Stacey! For your extraordinary illustration and cover design, and for being there to encourage me when I didn’t think I could face it again.

Below is more info on the chapbook and how to pre-order.


Front Cover

Every story carries a second side, sometimes heard, more often not. Or a beginning, purposely or accidentally unmentioned. An ending left out because to include it would make it all too hard.

Until now.

These eight stories echo the heart of another.

Revisited are a jar of olives, a sentient tarot deck, a redemptive poem, an international hotel room, a piano accordion, an anonymous text, an abandoned pair of shoes and a list of things.

**Available in multiple digital formats and as a limited-edition chapbook.**


 

“You know what it means to want the presence of someone, to want that ghost of a feeling that if you turn around slowly enough, squint your eyes tightly enough, you’ll slip into a different world that brings that lost soul back to you. How things should be.”

 


 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

The Heart is an Echo Chamber – Lois Spangler
It Couldn’t Be – Tom Dullemond
Untethering – Adam Byatt
Letting Go – S.G. Larner
Pits – Kristen Erskine
The Princess of Swords – Helen Stubbs
Starless – Ben Payne
Emerging, Closure – Rus VanWestervelt

 


PRE-ORDER

Buy the limited edition chapbook

$12.00 includes postage wherever you are in the world and free digital copies*.

(PayPal allows for you to leave a message–whether this be for a personalised message or to nominate someone other than yourself to have the book signed for.)

Chapbook Bundle

$17.00 includes postage wherever you are in the world, physical and digital copies* of The Heart is an Echo Chamber and No Need to Reply.

*No Need to Reply will immediately download. The Heart is an Echo Chamber will be forwarded to you upon release.

 

 

An Accidental Destination

I’m over at Nik Perring’s blog today, talking about For The Asking.

I’ve never considered publishing and author development as mutually exclusive to each other. However, I never considered myself a mentor even though I was a publisher! As a destination, it has come about as an organic, hit-and-miss, lead where my heart follows kind of journey. Like a road trip where sometimes you decide where you want to go and other times roll a dice. This is latest detour and pit stop on the ‘path less trod’ as a publisher, editor and writer.

I’ll be back later to expand on the details.