I can’t remember a Christmas over the past decade or so that hasn’t ended in tears. The overwhelming sense of life passing me by, people who once were so important gone forever, family members who were the life of the party silenced.
I have to go on record in saying 2016 has been a pretty dismal year. On a world scale we’ve got wars and terrorism all over the place. On a personal scale I’ve been made redundant (again) and the depression I’ve been dealing with seems to be gaining ground on me lately. Frankly the sooner it’s over, the better.
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.
Depression isn’t a new topic to this blog. Actually I’ve probably written it to death if I’m 100% honest. But it is a part of who I am and the struggle to sometimes be more than a diagnosis is hard to achieve.
It’s been a while in the making, and I’ve managed to keep it to myself up until today which is something of a miracle, but I’d like to announce my latest project – Caged Glass Publishing. My new baby is ready to launch its first project; an anthology called Community. The idea is to publish a collection of short stories (1500 to 2000 words), focusing on empowering LGBTI main characters. Obviously, you don’t need to be a member of the LGBTI community to write or submit one. If you’re interested in finding out the details, feel free to check out Caged Glass Publishing’s website.
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.
Yesterday I wrote about my “practice novel”, the next piece of writing I’m going to undertake to give myself something to practice on. To learn new techniques, to write only for the joy of telling the story and not worrying about publishing deals or publishing at all. To just write and learn and have some fun.
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.
If there is one thing I’ve come to understand over the past few weeks, it’s that everything has to happen in it’s own time. Just because you may feel like you’re ready to get out there and take on the universe armed only with a sharp tongue and a broom handle doesn’t make it so. As I’ve continued on my journey out the backend of the syphilitic camel that is depression, I’ve found my energy all over the place. Some days I’m 10 feet tall and bullet proof, others I’m a fragile Southern Belle taking to my bed with the vapours. It’s a strange combination of moods that make each day a somewhat entertaining dance. At work I’m on top of it all. I’m bossy, demanding, exacting. A perfectionist who refuses to accept such well thought out and reasoned excuses such as “I’m busy,” as a reason for staff not doing things right the first time. I have high standards. I always have had. For me and for those around me. Trying to lead people to …
I’m currently house sitting a massive 15 minute train commute from where I’m working. Given my usual 95 minute commute this is a massive blessing. It does of course play merry hell on my ability to people watch. But the people watching on this train line is very different to that on my normal Central Coast to Sydney run. Last week I was standing near the doors of the carriage when I overheard a perfectly natural conversation between two young women. As the weather begins to heat up – although today is proving that theory incorrect – and people across the nation begin their annual pilgrimage to the beach. Australia is a beach culture. There are hundreds of kilometres of golden sand beaches, oceans of water all around us. We are, by our very national identity viewed as bikini clad beach babes and speedo wearing life guards. On the train the conversation went as follows: Girl 1: Oh it’s gotten so hot so fast this year, and I’m not ready for the beach yet. Girl …