Welcome to Bunuru, the Noongar nation’s ‘second summer’ season, the hottest time of year here in south-west Western Australia, where masses of white flowers will soon be in bloom (such as the marri flowers in this week’s header image by Jean and Fred Hort). What a way to end the summer holidays, start the new school year, and return to routine. Though as regular readers know, I always keep the first Wednesday of each month free: it’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group day! 🙂
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!– IWSG
IWSG asks: Is there someone who supported or influenced you who perhaps isn’t around any more? Anyone you miss?
Would it be okay to say how much I miss some beloved authors? I grew up on a diet of science fiction greats, such as Ursula K. Le Guin, Philip K. Dick, Anne McCaffrey, and Douglas Adams—all huge influencers in their own way. On my own writing, all four showed me the vastness of the universe through imagination, that anything is possible if you can only dream it.
I’ll specially mention my favourite author of all time, Terry Pratchett, whose unique brand of satirical fantasy comedy I desperately miss. Only recently I was recalling how, as a teen, I used to carry a slim piece of paper in my wallet with Sir Terry’s books listed, tiny tick marks beside the ones I already owned, different marks for those ‘only’ read. Just in case I was to come into contact with one in the wild, of course… My parents shipped my entire collection over to Australia when I moved here, and I still love to revisit them. In some ways, you could say the Discworld supported me through childhood and beyond.
Plus, Sir Terry had some excellent, insightful, and often funny, thoughts about writing.
In a happy start to the year, January saw three of my short stories published:
– Aphis’s Gambit at The Piker Press, a story about hope, resourcefulness, and ants;
– She Follows A Familiar Recipe, longlisted for the Reflex Fiction Winter 2021 flash fiction contest, in which a woman bakes a loaf of bread with a magical ingredient;
– On Assignment in Birdsville, QLD at Etherea Magazine, in which a cryptozoologist nearly takes things a step too far.
I recently received word that a second story of mine will appear in Deadset Press’s two-volume anthology, Where the Weird Things Are. In Love to Travel Local, a hapless visitor encounters some unruly history at a marine park close to where I live in real life. I look forward to sharing more about the anthology when it is released later this year.
I’d also like to share my quirky story that came out today at AntipodeanSF. Friday Afternoon, Third Trimester is about pregnancy cravings in the far future, and their consequences. It will be available to read at this link all month, after which it will be archived online at the Australian National Archives.
Thanks for dropping by. If you’d like to read what other IWSG members are celebrating, discussing, and commemorating this month, check out this blog hop.
I hope you take a moment to check out your natural surroundings this month and breathe some fresh air. I love to see my boodja (country) in bloom and watch as the world changes around me, especially in these oft-trying times.
Have a great February and see you next month for another posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.