When I was a young boy at school we were taught to describe, using lots of words, when we wrote stories. Essays, stories, reports, everything was done to a word count. Padding became second nature and as an adult ‘would-be’ novelist, it’s a trend I’ve continued.
As a writer, or a blogger, you hope your work will resonate with an audience. Whether it’s an audience of family and friends, or maybe a stranger or two, you hope what you say will have meaning. Particularly when you write for the love of it and make no income from it. Particularly when you write from the heart.
Yesterday, as reported in various media outlets, a member of the Marriage Alliance gave a School bus driver ‘gifts’ for each of the children who boarded his bus. The bus driver handed the wrapped gifts to each child who boarded the bus, as he was asked to do. When the children got home and showed their parents the gifts, they were anti-safe school propaganda. Regardless of what you think about the necessity of Safe Schools, or whether it’s appropriate, the behaviour of the Marriage Alliance is not acceptable. Take a moment to reverse this. Change the scenario. If the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby were responsible for providing Christmas wrapped Pro Safe School pamphlets to young children, all hell would be currently breaking loose. Groups like the Marriage Alliance feel it is their God-given right to have their voices heard. And that’s fine. It is their right, under Australian law, to be free to make their voices and opinions heard. It is not acceptable – nor their right – to approach a school bus and …
In 2004, with the balance of power in his hands, former Prime Minister John Howard made a small amendment to the Marriage Act 1961, entering a definition of marriage as between ‘a man and a woman.’ Twelve years later, the now Liberal Government of Malcolm Turnbull are unable to undertake even an open vote in the House of Representatives to introduce a Bill to approve Marriage Equality. Whether we agree or disagree with the 2004 amendment, it shows the big difference between the past and present Liberal Governments. One had the guts to do what they thought right, the other is beholden to the far right wing of their party, unable to make any independent move in case they are rolled from their role as Party Leader.
Not long after the Liberal Party came to power under Prime Minister Tony Abbott, I got a job at a very well respected, and unbiased, economic policy think tank. It was very interesting job, but one I struggled with originally. I didn’t understand why, if we were supposed to be unbiased, only Liberal Ministers were permitted to be invited to speak on our platform. It felt lopsided to me. Surely, if we were to be not aligned to any one political party and we were supposed to be above politics and focused on the success of the Australian economy, both sides of the economic coin should be represented.
A couple of days ago, American Republican Candidate Donald Trump said in a speech to ‘ask the gays’ about who they thought would be better for them after the Presidential election.
Earlier this week, as I was preparing for bed and doing a final check of Twitter, I saw a tweet referencing a possible mass shooting at a LGBT nightclub in Florida. By the time I got up the next morning the possibility had been confirmed as the single largest massacre in American since 9/11, with 50 LGBT people confirmed dead and a further 53 in hospital being treated for their wounds.
I wrote this short story last year in a fit of creativity. I originally submitted it to a competition but it wasn’t right for them. Having read some of the winners pieces I can see why. It was a very different path taken to the winners and those who placed. I’m considering submitting another attempt this year. But in the meantime I have a short 600-odd word story, so I thought I’d put it up here. I hope you enjoy it, and if you do leave a comment. Hell, even if you don’t leave a comment. Constructive feedback is always welcome.
When you make the decision to write, whether it’s a: story, novel, novella, or short fiction piece, staying with the idea long enough to actually accomplish something can be easier said than done.
Over the weekend – in Australia – it has been really interesting to see how the SCOTUS decision has been welcomed. Although SCOTUS doesn’t have any impact on Australian legislature and policy decisions, it has been viewed – in conjunction with the recent vote in Ireland – as a kick start to a campaign for Marriage Equality frozen by a succession of policy-scared Governments.