I’ve written a guest post over at Book to the Future in the Past, Present and Future series. A brief discussion on what I’ve been reading lately and what I’ll be reading next. It’s worth checking out all the posts in the series to see what a bunch of readerly and writerly folk have been reading.
When Stuart Barnes, my invaluable poetry editor at Tincture Journal, asked me to join the writing process blog tour, my first thought was to politely decline. My writing process could easily be taken as a guide on how to not get any actual writing done. If you want to write regularly then you can probably take this post as an excellent example of what not to do.
Let’s be clear: I love reading, writing and words and I’m studying an online MA (Writing) through Swinburne University. But I also enjoy editing Tincture Journal. I have a full-time job as a software engineer. And then there’s music, film, art, eating, sleeping, cycling, and don’t forget the drinking. Basically, I want it all, and writing often suffers as a result.
Now, to the questions…
1. What am I working on?
My main project is a novel with the working title of Shanghai Wedding. In late 2012 / early 2013 I wrote a short story for an undergrad uni subject (Writing the Short Story) and after many revisions it was picked up for publication by Hello Mr magazine in mid-2013. The story is titled “Purple Galaxy” and can now be found on my fiction page. It’s very much about the issue of domestic violence in a same-sex relationship, and after the joy of having the story published, I decided to expand upon some of its themes and attempt a novel-length work. The plan is to structure as much of my Masters degree as possible around the novel (with the exception of units such as Journalism and Writing History which have more specific assessment requirements).
The teenager made a number of mistakes. First, he ignored police directions. They asked him to move on from Blacktown train station, where he had been drinking and hanging out with friends and family. Second, when police spotted him later in the night, he swore and ran away, hoping to avoid confrontation. They gave chase. Third, he swept around a corner too fast and fell down the platform stairs, knocking himself unconscious in the process. The station’s CCTV footage shows a police officer finding his inert body, dragging him down the remaining steps without regard for his condition, and handcuffing him. He lay senseless for almost two minutes and regained consciousness as more police officers were arriving at the scene. His final mistake was to struggle against the officers as he woke up in a daze, surprised to find himself handcuffed and surrounded.
The teenager is Einpwi Amom, a Sudanese-Australian boy who was 17 when the arrest was made on June 20, 2013. Now 18, Mr Amom fled the war in Sudan with his family in 2003 and settled in the Blacktown area in Sydney’s west. He struggles to understand his treatment by police.
“The new misogyny” is a term that refers to a post-feminist push-back against successful women. There has been an increasing pattern of vicious attacks against high achieving women in Australian social and political discourse since the rise of Julia Gillard as our first female Prime Minister. These attacks tie in closely with that other rising phenomenon of internet trolling and bullying, which obviously targets both sexes but is often used to anonymously target women in a particularly sexist way.
Shortly after gaining office, Campbell Newman scrapped the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards in a move that has been widely reported and condemned. The paltry savings of $244,000 is a drop in the ocean of the state’s budget and seemed more like an idealogical stance than a high priority savings measure.
However, the literary community in Brisbane were quick to mobilise. They have established a successful pozible campaign, gained agreement from the UQ Press to continue publishing the winners of the Manuscript and David Unaipon awards, and the Courier Mail has stepped in to sponsor the People’s Choice Award. In the fiction category, the nominees are: