Stories in Shorts

Due to the delay on Equine Neophyte of the Blood Desert, we are dishing up a new anthology:

What’s in there?

Stories Written by:
Cage Dunn
Shannon Hunter
Karel Jaeger
Rose Brimson
Cisi De

Cat’s Eye                                        The Old Man and His Desert
The Truth About RumpledStiltedSkin: A Very Ugly Old Man
To Tell it How it Really Is               The Garden of Souls
Shrine                                               A Quiet Night
Practical Issues                                The Storm
A Thought                                        Was it a Light?
Gone                                                 Someday, or The Day After
Maneki Niko                                    Survive
Cat Whisperer                                  Burglar!
Baban                                               Tones of Dawn


Fibber, Fabricator, Teller of Tall Tales

That’s me! A storyteller; a writer; a person who puts stories out and shares them with the world. Well, that’s usually what happens. I set a schedule to do just that. And I joined in some projects with collaborations. And … and … and …

The inaugural AFLW (Australian Football League – Women) played their grand final yesterday – and I watched it! Exciting! There are many reasons why it’s exciting:

  • the first time women have played professional AFL in Australia
  • I always wanted to play
  • it was a good hard game

The latter, a good hard game, was my downfall. You see, I took a speccy over the lounge, hit the light/fan, dropped like a stone onto my right side, and … the result of that amazing speccy is dislocated hip, shoulder, and thumb. But the injury is meaningless; what matters is:

Eight weeks on the sideline.

So, I think, I can write; sit at the computer – groan in agony. No, can’t sit.

So, move the keyboard to a softer location. Done, now to type – can’t use the thumb (you can’t believe how long this short post has taken – or how many times I’ve had to go back to fix things —- aaarrrrgggghhhh!)

Eight weeks out.

There goes the schedule. Lower-lip drops sulkily down the chin.

Move the schedule back. By two months?! No, by one month, because I’m absolutely certain that by the time I can sit comfortably for even five minutes, I’ll be back.

I’ll be back!

How can the mind that thinks up dozens of new stories (the 26 letters of the alphabet, the 32 beat sheets to prove the theory, the working group that got 16 storyboards in one day, etc. etc. etc.) last that long?

It’s not possible; I know it’s not possible. I also know it won’t stop me. I can read through all the notes, the arcs, the beat sheets, the outlines and storyboards; I can come up with better, stronger, faster, more powerful beats – and learn to write with my left hand.

there is always a way; there is always hope; there is always that brat of a fibber, fabricator, liar (tale-teller if you don’t like that word) who spins words and worlds and ideas in loops of fantastical dreams through my mind.

I’ll be back!

In the meantime, I’ve sent my favourite B-reader (Bear) the almost-final-final first draft of Equine; I’ve set a project for Shannon and Karel, and Nan (Rose) is busy with getting the legal rights to be able to tell some of her stories.

But I sit (try to) in the position that causes the least pain, and dream (and practice writing lefty).



It could have been this, or that, or something else. I should have applied for ‘real’ jobs, or set up a market stall, or …

But I write. It means I have to make choices about a life of minimal money/cash flow. It’s been a few years now since that decision changed my life. Has it worked? Was it worth it?

Well, the choice to write has worked. I’ve written a lot of words, done a lot of work, a few courses, read hundreds of books, and learned a lot. And I wrote six books last year – that’s a helluva statement. [some have since been ‘retired’ but …]

The choice to write was an easy one – the money thing is a bit tougher. My hair is much longer than it should be; my dentist is a distant memory (I should say: a dark and distant memory, shouldn’t I?); clothes and shoes are re-runs or re-fits. Of course, I still eat, and our bills get paid, and when I start writing well enough for readers to pass along the names of my stories, well, then it all comes good (doesn’t it?). [that will probably be a disappointment, won’t it?]

But the life? I wouldn’t have it any other way. Life is tough, sometimes not having ready cash is a pain-in-the-proverbial (like when you need a new printer!) because it slows down the output! And that’s all that matters.

The life of minimalism I chose is the right life for me because I live in a world created for me, by me, to do-see-be the real me. The chameleon, the changeling, the ghost, the monster, the scared-heroic-nasty-helpful-needy-greedy-lovable characters on the page are part of me (and not, but you know – they are for that moment).

The minimalism of my life enables me to ‘put on the skin’ of these characters, to live their life and dramas and achievements – so I have a full life within those pages/stories.

Outside – not so much (shoulder shrug). I do go out, and I garden and walk and do things – talk to neighbours and the postie and strangers who walk past – but the real life is now in the lives I create, in the people and places that are not outside my window or on my street or in my city or country – they’re probably not even in this world or on this planet. And I love that – it’s my world, even if my name and my body are not in there. My people are there, my heart and soul and yearning and learning are in those words where they live. In the pages of my books/stories.

So, is my life minimal? Not at all!

Back to the Main Work now – due for completion 31 March 2017 (or thereabouts! Have to do the editing, don’t we?).

The War in Australia – Renewables

It’s a subject much in the news lately. A big controversy over energy. I live in South Australia, and we went dark last year – cut off the national grid by the other states because they didn’t want to be damaged by our storm. They cut us off, but blamed equipment and automated responses. We are not silly, and we know better – because it happens all the time.

In Australia when you talk about National Energy – it means New South Wales and Victoria, because that’s where everyone lives, isn’t it?


South Australia is moving to a high level of renewable energy production sources. A good thing. They may have rushed it by shutting down some of the older generators a bit too soon, but the vision was sound. We can’t go on taking unsustainable fuels and using them as if they going to last forever. They won’t. We know that. And no amount of big-knobs giving us the sob-stories of ‘running out of gas’ is going to get us to back fracking.

They’d better get over it.

There are so many different ways to use renewable sources to produce energy. Solar is good, back it up with wind and battery farms and it’s reasonably sustainable (Apart from the plastics – made from oils – used to create these things). Tidal generation (not just the Snowy scheme that benefits only one state with little trickles into the second state) and water schemes would be a good bet to get some research going.

We all know what needs to happen, so why are we even giving the time of day to these petulant little CEO’s who want more better numbers on their bottom line? Does anyone really believe it can’t be a democratic society without Capitalism running the economics of freedom? Just because we see the loudest voice in the room ranting and raving and postulating, do we think we should believe it?

Putting our costs up is putting us at cross-purposes, turning us away from doing business with that company. We know when we’re being lied to. We know who loses.

The People voted in a government to do a job – not to poke fingers and rude words at other politicians (he’s a blah, blah; he doesn’t know his own shoelaces; he’s a hick from a hick-state, etc.) and think this is all it takes. Do your job, or the next lot voted in (you know, the red-head voters who are sick of the schoolboy antics of the current top two gamers) will do what’s happening elsewhere in the world. Believe it. Open your eyes and see the evidence.

The People are many, and they’re sick of the palaver. Every day we hear it: ‘we need to put prices up for this reason, or that reason, or because our investors … blah, blah, blah’ – we have to tighten our belts, live on less, etc., but if we don’t see you doing it, or if we see blatant waste and corruption, what do you think we’ll do about it?

Don’t think we don’t know the truth; don’t think we don’t know how much we, the People, get bled by these Capitalist businesses backed by government (our) money. Don’t think we aren’t teaching our children, the future voters, how to think beyond the rhetoric.

If the world is to keep growing and therefore keep up the flow of consumers, someone somewhere needs to consider just how energy is provided to keep up the standards the people have come to expect.

We need to move beyond the things that aren’t sustainable (and I include nuclear due to the risk of accidents and storage of waste issues) and into the areas that are not only sustainable, but viable for the planet, won’t harm the creatures who live on this little rock, and won’t cost us an arm and a leg and a safe place to walk.

Look beyond the need for a secure business to the need for a secure planet. Think big, macro even, but know that it starts with the smallest thought. We in South Australia may not seem to be important to anyone else, either in this country or the world at large, but remember, this is the place that gave women the vote first. We are progressive.

Jay Weatherill, go renewables. Please. F*&k the Federal lunatics who can’t move or act on anything, despite their promises.

the storm



Sorry, couldn’t help it – I don’t like being sold down the plughole by big businesses who think they run the country, or by governments who think they have a mandate to denigrate the states who do the right thing by their people.

And I’m one of the people who votes, who also lives on a very small income (my hospital only cover is 15% of my total income, and it’s just gone up again by nearly 5% – so I’ll be dropping that and going to the public system, won’t I? More cost to the public purse because our government caved – again!).