Monday 25 May 2015

Channeling Grandma.

Mornings, I’m equipped for a sojourn to the brook,
With fold-up seat and a jolly good book.
But ‘fore I leave the inside,
Ready for the outside,
Is my hat and my bag and my brolly on a hook.

Madly rehearsing Sarabande for the Batemans Bay Writers Festival where we (Paul Baker and Sarah Leaver and me), will be plying live Muzak for the cognoscenti. I know it's a big word, but it is late at night here and I have had a nice glass of Pinot Gris.

Thanks you Tess for encouraging we scribblers to aspire to higher things. .

Monday 18 May 2015

Wings ‘n things.

I’m an angel, she shouted, her eyes flashing blue. 
She’s flying! she’s flying! we all shouted too. 
But then little Willy, 
Said ‘don’t be so silly, 
They're stuck to her back with some cheap super glue!’ 

Thank you again Tess for stimulating the writer in us, and for the comments that show us you are interested.

Now for something that has blown me away. This letter arrived from my publisher a few days ago.

From: Shamini [] Sent: Thursday, 14 May 2015 3:29 PM
Subject: 'Cull' to be presented to 'Books at MIFF 2015'
Hi Stafford, This is Shamini from JoJo Publishing, just emailing to let you know that we've entered your book into 'Books at MIFF 2015'. This is an annual event at the Melbourne International Film Festival which allows publishers, producers, film financiers and agents to network and pitch film ideas to each other. This year we were allowed to enter 5 of our best books, and yours was chosen from our range of titles to be pitched to the 'Books at MIFF' for the opportunity to be selected for their films rights catalogue and pitching sessions on the day. Please feel free to read the attached documentation as that will undoubtedly answer some of the questions you may have about this process. I will certainly keep you informed if your book is selected and let you know what the process will be from there.
With kind regards,

If it goes no further, this has been huge for me and I thank my friends who continued to believe in me and kept me writing.

Wednesday 6 May 2015

Caught in the act

They said it won’t go on TV
Or Rupert’s news rag on page three.
“We’ll just show the torso”,
They said, but showed more, so
Now, everyone knows that it’s me!

I know, I know, it's an old one, but I can dream! Thanks again Tess for yet another opportunity to play with words.

Tuesday 5 May 2015

The death penalty.

At thirteen, my son was introduced to Heroin by trusted adults. That one act was enough to ruin his young life and thus began almost half a century of grief for his family and his friends and a sadness we will carry to our graves.

This week we saw the execution of two people who had organised others to smuggle enough Heroin into this country to ruin many more young lives.
But both of those men changed while in prison to become leaders in constructive ways that offered other prisoners a role model. That loss was only one of many Indonesia will suffer.

We all saw the grief and disbelief on faces of innocent mothers, fathers and siblings as the executions were carried to their grisly end. But that pain was not matched in Australian media by depictions of pain suffered by thousands of Heroin users, as they slowly destroy their lives and degrade the lives of people who care about them.

The plight of Heroin users was the excuse for the executions, but if we demand an 'eye for an eye', as Gandhi said, that just means we will have a lot of blind people. There is no value in a contest to see who suffers the most. This is not about difference, this is about inclusion. If we widen our scope to include the loved ones of all people in jails and detention around the world we see a compelling oneness. All their loved ones grieve for them, the perpetrators just as much as the victims.

But the death penalty adds a dimension that is more cruel to the survivors than it is to those executed. The death penalty destroys that one emotion that keeps us going against all odds, and that is hope.

Pic: courtesy Daily News.