Debnam and Howard can't hide in the Shire

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The one line on smh.com.au really doesn’t do our turn out justice (and it never does.) Debnam’s election campaign launch was held at the Sharks club in notorious Cronulla in the Sutherland Shire, seen as a critical couple of seats for him. Of course, Howard came there to offer support but it just made them more of a target.

About 100 protesters turned up to give the Liberal party hell and vent some anger at the bastards attacking our worker’s rights.

Howard, Debnam, election, Cronulla, unions, protest

I spoke too soon

What was this about my story being done? You know, I said it was done, finished, complete, nothing more to be done, but it wasn’t. I spoke too soon and there’s clearly more work to be done.

I just wanted some fresh eyes to check over the final copy, to spot some typos and some weak sentences. So, I posted it on the Absolute Write Water Cooler’s Share Your Work forum, but what I received was no minor check over. The issues that need to be addressed are stuff that is quite serious if I want to send my story to the likes of Cemetery Dance. This is no minor magazine. Stephen King’s worked has graced its pages, for Christ’s sake!

There is some good news to this and I’m pleased to say it’s mostly directed at the ending I’ve worked so hard to make better. The twist managed to wash away any cliché storyline and really pack a punch; unfortunately, the critters didn’t feel the first two-thirds of the story lived up to this ending. It’s funny that I worked so hard to make the ending live up to the whole story and now it’s surpassed that and now I’m playing catch up with the rest of script.

What this tells me is that I’ve improved. I’ve become a better writer since I wrote the first draft and that I can make those first two-thirds just as good as the ending I’ve worked so hard on.

The daunting thing: There’s still a lot of work to be done and I’d rather get on with this one instead of taking the time it took to the last round of editing.

writing, editing, submitting, Cemetery Dance, critiques, Absolute Write, critique groups

Ready to submit

Weekends are probably the best time to write for me. Sometimes I can get a few words in at around 10-11pm on weekdays but really Saturday and Sunday offers the biggest slab of time to get some words down. So this weekend I planned to get some work done.

I had printed off the latest copy of An Abused Mind maybe a month ago and had gone through most of it with a blue pen on the train noting down all the changes that needed to be made since the recent ending rewrite and planned to make the changes fairly soon. It was only last week that I finished going through the last couple of pages and was ready to get going.

There were about 100 different distractions going on in my house today but somehow, I managed to shut it all out and finish it. An Abused Mind is now a finished manuscript ready for submission. I can honestly say, following rewriting the ending, that I’m happy with the piece as a whole and really think it has some potential. This is why I plan to submit it to Cemetery Dance Magazine. It’s the biggest horror magazine out there and it’d be a real thrill to have some of my words in there. Of course, getting a rejection from there won’t be any major surprise but I think it’s worth a shot.

The problem with this magazine is that they still use need to be submitted to via snail mail and for international writers, a self-addressed envelope needs to be included – with proper US postage. The only thing that is stopping me getting this manuscript in the post tomorrow is getting hold of these US airmail stamps that need to be attached to the returning envelope not only do I not have a credit card, but the US Postal Service website is totally confusing and I have no clue which stamps to buy. I’ve put the call out to some US writers on some of my various e-lists to kindly send me some, but am still waiting. If only they accepted electronic submissions.

In other news, my review of Will Elliot’s The Pilo Family Circus has been republished on Blogcritics Magazine.

writing, short story, horror, submissions, Cemetery Dance, routine

Garrett sucked into Laborism

Garrett defends bases backflip: that was then – National – smh.com.au

Peter Garrett used to be known for his strong political views, his music and his involvement in campaigns against attacks on the environment and the Aboriginal population, among other things. His first slip was joining the Labor party, a clear betrayal of the efforts before him, but he said he wanted to change the party. Now, he’s been sucked in as do all Left-wing Labor party members.

In a move that can only be described and undeniably scummy and disgusting, he has now come out in support of US bases being stationed on Australian soil – something he was a passionate activist about removing. This backflip can only be expected of someone with illusions in the Labour party or for that matter, any illusions in being able to change the world through parliament. Now, military bases on any soil is bad enough but Labor’s support is a clear sign that they really aren’t on the side of Australian workers and if elected, they’ll be just as enthusiastic supporters of Australian capitalism as the Liberal party has been for the past 10 or so years.

They’re committed to doing what is best for the fat cats sitting on top of Australian capitalism and to them, that means maintaining an alliance with one of the world’s biggest capitalist powers. This has nothing to with kissing George Bush’s ass, sucking up the the US, or appeasing the US, but it’s about what will benefit Australian capitalism and since military force is needed to assure the interests of Australian capitalism are maintained, there’s nothing better than having the biggest military power share your backyard. And of course, workers will be forced to pay for it.

We’re the class trodden on by this shit system and yet we’re the ones expected to maintain it and they’ll use disgusting nationalism to ply us to do it. But it’s because of this power that we can shut the system down and that’s why we need to hold Labor accountable but look beyond voting Howard out in the next election. We need to get active ourselves and not rely on some deadbeat party to change the world for us.

US, United States, military bases, Garrett, Labor, elections, capitalism

No surprise: Wages down and profits up

IR laws hurt pay, help corporate profits: Study – Business – Business

I’m wondering why this is breaking news, though I don’t think it hurts to emphasise what ‘WorkChoices’ means for the Australian working class. It means workers lose out. Real wages have dropped, penalty rates have been thrown out the window and job security is at threat. Ignore the bullshit this writer says about how great the economy is and that means jobs are secure. If you take the resource boom in Western Australia out of the economic figures, it’s clear that the economy is not doing as well as they make out. That’s why big business in Australia needs ‘WorkChoices’ – to make more profit and clear the back door so they can run off when the bubble does burst.

And this is just the short term analysis. I think that when the bubble does burst that it’s going to get a lot worse as the capitalists try harder and harder to maintain their profit margins. As the Liberal party is forced to legislate the will of big business (not that they’re complaining), more and more people are coming out and voicing their opposition. This means that Labor is being put in a position to say they’ll do something if they’re in power by the end of the year.

If they do get in, we need to keep going; we need to hold Labor accountable to their promise to tear up WorkChoices, but when the economy gets weaker and big business is crying out for more reforms, I won’t be expecting them to act in our favour because in the end, they’re being elected to run Australian capitalism and that’s what they’re prepared to do. Though they oppose WorkChoices, they do it in some vague pro-capitalist way that makes no sense as if we don’t live in a class society where wages and profits aren’t counter posed. Their solution to global warming is done in a way to appease big business, as if there’s seriously a capitalist solution to the dire problems facing our environment.

While we can use Labor to get rid of Howard and gain some minor reforms, there is only a limited amount we can do under capitalism because it’s essentially a fucked system, designed to accumulate profit for a minority at the expense of the majority, the working class that create all this wealth. This is why we need to oppose the system and not just Howard and the Liberal party. We need to get active to do this because the capitalists aren’t just going to give up their fucked system without a fight.

politics, WorkChoices, Labor, Howard, Rudd, Liberals, labour, capitalism, IR laws

'Knock down and rebuild' short stories

I mentioned in a previous post how I’ve been overcoming the inner editor and other such writing blocks with a method of writing stories known as the ‘knock down and rebuild method.’ It basically encompasses the idea of getting it wrong and making it part of your natural writing process.

I kind of used this when writing the first draft of ‘the abattoir short’ without actually identifying it. Basically, I start with an idea however big or small and just write and see where it takes me. During this, there are thoughts that I could’ve done such and such better, or should have included this and got rid of that. And now my basic idea is no longer how I initially perceive it and is more clear. I hit a dead end and decide to ‘knock down and rebuild’ – I start writing from scratch again.

This cycle can be taken as many times as it takes to get the story to just the way you want it. That is the story being told, as opposed to how you’re telling the story (this is no editing trick). Of course, starting over can be because of minimal ideas, or a shake over of the whole story. In my latest case of hitting a dead end, I know I need a new approach to it. I have some strong themes and images but the devices used are not fitting what needs to be said, and more importantly, it’s not evoking enough horror.

The good news is that writing is back on the agenda and I’m getting words down.

writing, short fiction, ideas, inspiration, writer’s block, rewriting, horror