Post-It Note Poetry 2018

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It’s almost that time of year again*.

This February sees the return of Post-It Note Poetry (PINP) for the 6th year. Yes, this will be the sixth time I will have dedicated myself to writing very small pieces of poetry (of dubious quality) on post-it notes, or created poems of an equivalent size in honour of the original dare I had with Adam Byatt – to commit to writing a month of bad poetry on post-it notes. From little things big things grow.

I am co-hosting this year with the poetry powerhouse that is Sean Wright (who, if you read the press release, credits the very first year of PINP with inspiring him to get serious about writing poetry and serious he’s been since then as he’s just released his first chapbook of poetry Magpie Tales.)

Across the years I’ve done a bunch of different things, but for the last two years I’ve dedicated PINP to cut-up poetry. This year I am building on that – combining the analogue cut0up process with digital poetry using fractal images as the backdrop. We’ll see how well the idea transposes into the reality of executing and producing it for an entire month. Assuming I do have a second spare cut-up copy, I’m planning to use Calvino’s Invisible Cities as my base text.

PLAYING ALONG AT HOME

For those of you who’d like to play along at home (at work, on the bus or in any of those in between places perfect for scribbling poetic words on small squares of sticky paper) the ‘rules’ are simple:

  • Write/build/create a poem every day of February.
  • The poem must fit on a post-it note (or be an equivalent sized poem — ie. no more than 8 lines – on a larger backing).
  • Poem must adhere to the original light-hearted spirit of permission to write badly – in which poems can tackle serious content, but internal editors/critic all get a break over February.
  • Post poems to social media with the hashtag #pinp18.
  • Follow the hashtag and enjoy what others are creating.

You can follow me on Twitter or Instagram – or Sean on Twitter and newly on Instagram. Follow the poetic shenanigans across social media on #pinp18. For the full run down see the press release below.

I can’t wait to see what everyone creates over February.

pinp18 PRESS RELEASE final

* Actually cutting it fine this year after a tech mishap ‘lost’ the draft of the press release.

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

 

Post-It Note Poetry 2017

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Four years ago, while we were writing Post Marked: Piper’s Reach, I dared Adam to write a bad poem every day in February. Adam dared back – the poem had to fit on a post-it note.  Post-It Note Poetry was born as a monthly adventure. From humble beginnings in 2013, Post It Note Poetry has grown, and now commands international participation and the generous stewardship and curation of S.B. (Sean) Wright. (A big wave to our friends at Hartlepool Libraries in the UK!)

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2013

The participation guidelines are pretty simple:

  • commit to producing a poem daily in the month of February.
  • give yourself permission to write as well, or as badly, as suits.
  • poems must fit on a post-it note (they come in a variety of sizes and there are various apps and program that will emulate a post-it note or found poetry techniques of a suitable size).
  • photograph or screen capture the poem.
  • post to social media with the hashtage #pinp17.
  • get involved by sharing the poetry of other participants via your favourite social media platform or by joining the FaceBook community.

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2014

Follow @seandblogonaut or @jodicleghorn to keep abreast of what’s going on during the month. Sean has a dedicated Twitter timeline for it.

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2015

In 2016 I was able to test drive my poem squares for #pinp16. I’ll be pushing the boundaries again with #pinp17 to create a basis for a new project I’ll be launching in the next few weeks. I’ll be posting pics here every few days, but Instagram will be my main haunt.

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2016

For more info see:

Post-It Note Poetry 2017 – Participant Guidelines

Post It Note Poetry – Permission to Write (Badly)

‘First To A Hundred’ published in Tincture 8

I remember years ago an author I knew saying publication was like buses – nothing and then they all arrive at once. The next few weeks are a bit like that.

Today I’m ecstatic to see Tincture Eight go live, with my story ‘First to a Hundred’ in it. It’s almost two years ago now, since I first put pen to paper to write a ‘cricket story’. Only ever intended as a piece of flash fiction and some kind of bent challenge to myself as an up-yours to Australia’s cricket loving summer, it quickly evolved into something all together different.

The first section I wrote in less than an hour after spending several days chewing on the idea of beach cricket and equality for girls. I left it at the end of that first section, expecting that was it, I’d achieved a piece of flash fiction and went to do the weekly shop. Ten minutes later as I was pulling into Garden City Shopping Centre I knew that wasn’t the end of it and what was going to happen next. By the time I’d got a trolley and begun the shop I was choking down tears knowing how it was going to end. I rushed home and poured it all out onto the page in a little over two hours. And it was done.

All in all, it was one of those effortless stories that you are gifted once in a blue moon,  appears fully formed and writes itself. It went out to beta readers that night who tweaked next to nothing in it (except for the alignment with a tissue box and some spelling mistakes) and since then it’s been goodwill hunting for the right home.

I’m so very glad that home is Tincture. Daniel Young, the publishing editor, has been a brilliant support of my non-speculative fiction writing since Tincture first began in 2012.

The 1st December, the start of Summer, is the perfect publication date for a story that drips with the heat and pressure cooker environment of the summer before high school. Think Duran Duran, Reef Oil and Sweet Valley High books. Then think blue cabbage hat, green zinc cream and the spin of a soggy tennis ball on sand. That’s just the start.

Many thanks to Adam Byatt, Paul Phillips and Dan Powell who all beta read it back in 2013, and also to Stacey Larner, who proof read it. And thank you to Daniel.

Congratulations and happy publication day also to Sean Wright and Adam Byatt who both have poems in Tincture Eight and Emily Craven who also shares the Table of Contents with a short story.

Here’s a little snippet of ‘First to a Hundred’.

– – –

Five minutes. Five runs. Six balls to bowl.

It’s going to be over before lunch one way or the other. I look down the churned up pitch to Dougie, wondering how I came to be the one he’s facing down. I look at the battered stumps and imagine putting the tennis ball through them, like I’ve already done three times today. I weigh up the pros and cons of a short bounce or a long bounce on the hard sand left by the retreating tide.

Or bugger it, I could just throw under arm and let him thump it out into the surf for six. Let Dougie claim his moment of glory. At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter to me.

They only tolerate me because I can bowl as good as, if not better than, most of them.

“Amazing natural off-leg spin,” Gibbo commentated from the footpath, when he saw me throwing a ball against the garage door two years ago and invited me down to their summer-long game.

So each year my bowling action and the fact I can’t hit to save my life, so I don’t hog the batting order, gain me entrance to the game on the beach. Charlie says it’s really only because the Connors, who had two sons, sold up at the summer before we arrived and they were short bodies in the field. Gibbo tells me Charlie is full of shit.

It’s Jimmy who starts the chant: Dougie—clap clap clap—Dougie. It’s infectious and one by one the others join in. I throw the ball up and down as I’ve seen the other boys do and wait for the chanting to die out.

I’ve no idea what the deal is, with throwing the ball up and down, see no point to it, but I do it anyway. I’ve learned in the last two summers you find your place blending in; everything else is, as Gibbo says, icing on the cake.

SnapShot 2014

[SnaphotLogo2014%255B4%255D.png]It’s my first year involved with the SpecFic Downunder SnapShot and I have to thank Sean Wright for yet again investing in my writing career. In the interview I talk about new collaborative projects, the erratic nature of poetry, bending narratives, what Australian spec-fic I’ve read recently and loved, what it would take to get to the bottom of my to read pile and drop the news on a flash fiction collection.

You can read the full interview here.

‘Nothing New To Begin’ Published in Tincture

…proving, yet again, my blog is suspiciously similar to a bus station platform

My string of vignettes ‘Nothing New To Begin’ is available now in Tincture Journal, Issue Five. I share the ToC with two of my PINPS colleagues: Stacey has the short story ‘Diary of a Tree-Sitter’ and Sean has a poem ‘The King’.

NOTHING NEW TO BEGIN

I wrote this piece back in August 2012 while Adam and I were in the middle of writing Piper’s Reach. I wrote it partly as therapy, partly to see if I could pull off the concept: each section a stand alone vignette, a snap shot of a moment, an ambigious  space for the reader to fill and be no longer than 250 words.

Even though they were all intended as separate pieces, I wanted them to fit together to tell an ever evolving and deviating story. It was a piece that I put through the beta reading wringer. I got a number of non-writing friends to read and comment on it before I sent it off to Dan Powell who expertly cut 250 odd words from it. Adam and Stacey all had input at varying junctures.

Here is a taster…

The silence of the car trip followed them inside with the chill of night air. She paused in the doorway then backed away, staring at the queen-sized bed. “I’ll sleep in one of the other rooms.”

A single bed had less lonely space to fill.

“I wasn’t suggesting…” he said, and she forced a smile to stop him finishing the sentence.

“Are you okay?” The car trip haunted her. How the conversation had petered out with the suburbs, becoming polite inquiries about the next CD and the best rest stops once they hit the highway. If she’d known it would be like this, the melancholy clinging to them like the damp sea air, she’d have never suggested it.

“We should eat,” he said. “Something proper.”

She nodded and watched him put his bag down on the far side of the bed.

Thunder heaved and the first iron pings of rain began to fall. An overhanging tree branch clawed the guttering. The window lit up.

“A storm?” he said, looking surprised.

“Of course a storm,” she said and placed her bags carefully on the other side of the bed.

Want to know what it is all about, how it ends. Buy your copy here for just $8.

Post It Note Poetry: Week One

Last year Adam and I dared each other to write a month of really bad poetry. Adam upped the ante by adding size parameters – the bad poetry needed to fit on a post it note. And #PostItNotePoetry was born, growing to a Facebook group of over 60 people by the end of the month. From the core group of scribblers, we formed a new writing group, The Post It Note Poet’s Society which, almost a year on, is as alive and vibrant as it was in the beginning.

Neither Adam or I committed to Post It Note Poetry in 2014 in an attempt to narrow our focus, resolve our steel to GSD (Get. Stuff. Done). On February 1st, Sean Wright put up his first poem and we were back in, pouncing on words and snippets of colours paper, like seagulls squabble over hot chips.

Here is my first week’s worth of poetry.

IMG_7260 IMG_7263 IMG_7265 IMG_7267 IMG_7282 IMG_7286 IMG_7292You can read Adam’s poetry here.

Sean’s poetic musings are best followed on Twitter @seandblogonaut