28 April 2015

Tuesday Poem: Blame the victim, or how to flip over a sledge (a found poem), by John Howell

We were uncomfortable
they were nice to us in NZ
they were nice to us the whole week
and we were uncomfortable

we were uncomfortable
they were nice to us
I can’t stand this anymore
I’m not playing cricket like this

I said at the team meeting
we’re going at them as hard as we can
I can’t stand this anymore
we were uncomfortable

In the final if we get a crack at them
I’m letting everything out
they were nice to us that whole week
You know what?  They deserved it.

words from Brad Haddin, Australian wicketkeeper
Dom Post, 2 April 2015

Credit note and poet bio: This poem is new and unpublished and is reproduced by permission of the author, John Howell.

John Howell lives in Ngaio, Wellington. Recently he retired from ministering at the Union Parish in Taupo. He has published two books of prayers. He has degrees in science, arts, theology, a diploma in Business Studies.

Tim says: The Cricket World Cup 2015 may have finished a few weeks ago now, and Australia were rightfully the favourites, but that final still burns!

The Tuesday Poem: This week, it's In Carbondale by Cliff Fell, selected by Harvey Molloy: both poem and discussion are well worth reading.

25 April 2015

Flash of Iron

I'm happy to say that the April issue of Flash Frontier, which I edited, is now online. The theme I chose was "Iron", which as I'd hoped pulled in stories with many different takes on the subject.

In addition to the fiction, which I selected, there are two other aspects of this issue I can't take credit for. One is the excellent illustrations by Canadian artist Allen Forrest and other talented folks; another is the feature article this issue, which has news on flash fiction developments in Aotearoa followed by an excellent collection of tips on writing flash from authors and editors.

And if that inspires you, then you have until 30 April to enter the NZ National Flash Fiction Day competition!

Thanks as always to Michelle Elvy for giving the opportunity to guest-edit this issue.

14 April 2015

Tuesday Poem: Two Creek Beach

It's past Fortrose
where the Mataura River
subsides to the sea in oxbow bends

past the golf course
(nine holes, fairways cropped and obstacled by sheep)
east of the headlands

and the perfect place for us.
We've been coming here for years
Dad and I, and now my sister too

past low, flat, flax-rimmed Lake George
to the end of the gravel road
to Two Creek Beach and the sea.

Two creeks — well, they're streams
brown-stained with Southland peat

that cross the sandy beach
then a narrow lip of rock
before giving their all to the waves.

Here's what we do: Dad skims stones
I dam and divert the streams
and Sarah —

who knows what younger sisters do
while a dam is being made?
She plays. I'm busy working.

The afternoon slides westward
till Dad says it's time to go.
We crawl towards the sunset

on the lonely south coast roads
sunburned, tired, heading for the comfort
of our tideless inland home.

Credit note: Published in  North & South, December 2005, p. 127, and included in my second collection, All Blacks' Kitchen Gardens.

Tim says: This poem pretty much describes itself. It's one of my Dad's favourites, which makes me more fond of it in retrospect too :-)

The Tuesday Poem: is Aotearoa Runaway by Leilani Tamu.

09 April 2015

Lost In the Museum Has A Good Night At The Sir Julius Vogel Awards

The Sir Julius Vogel Awards are New Zealand's equivalent of the Hugo Awards, awarded for both professional and fan achievement in the field of science fiction and fantasy.*

The full list of winners, including the citation for the posthumous award to Hugh Cook, is here:


Congratulations to all the winners!

From a personal perspective, it was great to see two awards (Best Collected Work and Best Cover) go to Lost in the Museum, the 2014 anthology which includes my story "The Big Baby". Here's more about the anthology:

I mentioned in a previous post that I have a story, "The Big Baby", in the recently published anthology Lost in the Museum, which has just received an excellent review by Lee Murray in the widely-read Beattie's Book Blog.

Lost in the Museum is now available in bookshops, including The Children’s Bookstore in Kilbirnie, Unity Books, and Marsden Books in Karori (Wellington) and Retrospace (Auckland). The ISBN is 978-0-473-28320-9, which will help you to order it from other bookshops.

Lost in the Museum is also available from Amazon as a Kindle ebook: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KTV5K0U

* The awards look cool, too:

01 April 2015

UPDATED: A Novella Approach To Publishing; or, The New Charles Dickens

See below for update!

My novella"Landfall" is one of six being published this year by Paper Road Press in their first "Shortcuts" series - Shortcuts Track 1. And, rather than having to buy the six novellas individually, you can subscribe to the series for NZ $3.33 per month.

Here is the lineup of authors and novellas:

Mika Lee Murray and Piper Mejia
Bree’s Dinosaur AC Buchanan
The Last Grant Stone
Pocket Wife IK Paterson-Harkness
Landfall Tim Jones
The Ghost of Matter Octavia Cade

This is an innovative approach to publishing - and yet it also reminds me of the 19th century, of Charles Dickens and his serialised novels, with tens of thousands of readers eager to get their hands on each new instalment. I wouldn't be averse to "Shortcuts" having a similar level of success!


From Paper Road Press' latest newsletter, here's some further information, plus cover images for the first three novellas in the series:

All SHORTCUTS novellas will be released as ebooks, one per month, available to purchase from all major ebook vendors. However, you can also subscribe to the series for a discounted price of NZ $3.33 per story, and receive the books direct to your inbox a few days before the official publication date.