Merry Early Crimbo, 2014!

So I got a little too excited and hit the ‘publish’ title early.  This just happens to coincide with the launch of my new look website, which was done by the lovel Ann Somerville because I am a luddite.

But here is a little Tigers and Devils short… and for the first time, from the perspective of Declan Tyler himself.

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It’s available in MOBI, PDF and EPUB format for absolutely nothing!  It’s also available on Amazon Kindle, but for the price of $0.99.Hope you enjoy it! There may be more to come.

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It’s time for re-emerging from the cocoon, or something

I was thinking of this as my new bio:

Sean Kennedy is a procrastinator, a hider, and writes far too infrequently for his own liking.
It probably comes from living in the
most isolated city in the world, but hey,
we have quokkas so it all balances out in the end.  Sean is extremely happy that
Twin Peaks
is returning to our television screens, but there will be blood if Cooper and Audrey don’t end up together.

Why do I need a new bio, you may ask?

Because things may be happening.  I don't want to jinx myself, but I've finally been writing for the first time in a very long time.  And it feels good.  It could be crap in the end, but at the moment it feels noice, diffuhrunt, uneweysyooal.

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Bear with me

Because I am the worst procrastinator in the world, I have allowed my web hosting to lapse and have lost everything.

This will be a long process.

Have I learnt my lesson?

Probably not.

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Tidbit

It's been half a year since I last posted, and I'm not going to make the usual excuses / promises that I always make.

I have been suffering horrendous writer's block.  But that may be changing.

And lately I've been doing some fact-checking.

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No special reason?

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Cultural Differences

I make a lot of promises about how I will post more, but always end up making a liar of myself.  I am really going to try from here on.  I am in a bit of a writing rut at the moment, so I am hoping that if I blog a little more maybe that will help me kick my arse into gear.

One thing that has been amusing me of late is what seems to be a spate of comments I've noticed on reviews of <i>Tigers and Devils</i> and <i>Tigerland</i> about the amount of drinking the characters do within the novels.

I come from an Irish family, and was born in Australia.  Drinking is a part of both cultures, but is seen as a fixture of socialising and chilling out.  I am not going to pretend that there aren't problems with binge-drinking and the like, and the violence that can come with that, but for the most part Australians are social drinkers and the majority don't take it to excess.

Which is why I'm astounded when I see people remark on Simon's drinking and label him an alcoholic, or a borderline alcoholic.  It just shows the marked cultural differences between countries, and what is seen as excessive by others is just part of the social norm for some.  Simon doesn't often get blind drunk – I really think the only time he does in both books is when he and Declan split up – which, really, is what a lot of people do in break-ups.  Having a drink with friends is just what one does, and I don't think that is really any different from most cultures – and that being said, I don't think Simon and Dec drink every day of their lives.

Compared to most people, I don't really drink that much.  So I find it interesting that this set of characters do, and were I more inclined to psychoanalyse myself I would wonder why that seeped into my writing.

But now I feel like a sloe gin and lemonade.

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Guest Post: The Awesomesauce Jordan Castillo Price

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Jordan Castillo Price is one of the rarities in the genre.  Not only is she a fantastic writer with great plots that think outside the box, she is also just a gem to work with and allround pleasant human bean.

This week sees the release of her serial Turbulence in a one-stop-shop omnibus.  The ominous tale of a young co-pilot starting a new run that will take him through the Bermuda Triangle and into… another dimension? A pocket of time? Limbo?  You'll have to read to find out.

Click here for Jordan’s post

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Voices Carry

This is going to be a difficult subject to talk about, because when we talk about privilege and allydom feathers always get ruffled.  But I think it is important that these issues get discussed.

I guess I’m really bringing this up because this week the Macklemore song “Same Love” actually got to #1 on the Australian charts.  My first reaction was, “Great!”

And I still think it’s great.  A song about gay rights at the top of the charts? Fucking awesome!  Especially seeing how gay marriage is an issue of contention and one frequently brought up by voters despite both sides of government refusing to allow it – and although approximately 63% of voters are said to be in favour of it.

But then I began to think about it a little more.

Yes, it’s a song about gay rights.  But once again, it’s cushioned in straight opinions, straight feelings, straight reactions.  Frank Ocean, despite a burst of sudden popularity, is not #1 on the singles chart with his song of same sex love.  The queer artist is overshadowed by the straight artists singing about the issue (leaving aside the inclusion of Mary Lambert on the Macklemore single for one moment).

And that’s because the voices of the privileged always drown out the voices of minorities.  The Boxing Day tsunami wiped out hundreds of thousands of Asian people, yet the film that gets made and gets acclaimed, The Impossible, is about a middle class white family who get caught up in it.  Stories about minorities are always cushioned by a story about the privileged.  Dances With Wolves was more about Kevin Costner and Mary McDonnell rather than the First Nations.  To Kill a Mockingbird, Ghosts of Mississipi, The Long Walk Home, The Help, etc. are all about how white people were affected by the civil rights movement and how they helped poor downtrodden and oppressed African Americans.  I’m surprised Milk actually focused on Harvey Milk (but then, he was a white man, which is also its own privilege within the queer community).

Within the Macklemore song we are once again seeing the voices of the privileged rising above the minority.  It wouldn’t bother me so much if I haven’t seen the song be so lauded for it, as if it is a miraculous thing to be positive about gay rights.  I suspect that if it was by a gay artist it wouldn’t be as popular.  The majority likes the story to be about themselves.  If The Impossible was about an Asian family instead of Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor it wouldn’t be as visible to the mainstream public as it is.  Macklemore are also praised for being brave.  And, yes, within the hiphop community there is a lot of homophobia

But it’s not ‘brave’ to be supportive of gay rights – it’s actually just being a decent, hopefully normal human being

Brave is Frank Ocean, being queer within the hiphop community

Brave is Mary Lambert, a lesbian singer in that same community, even though she sadly ends up being the backup to a straight man in a song about gay rights.

Everybody is brave in their own way, but it’s disheartening when the actual voices of a community are drowned out by their supporters.

To prove that they're out there, a song about gay marriage by gay artists, Tegan and Sara:

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