Tuesday, December 9, 2008

An Open Letter RE: Christmas

I am utterly sick of Christmas - totally, and absolutely sick of it. I quite think I might literally explode if I hear just one more person say “Merry Christmas”. Merry Christmas - bah!

It’s not the religious side of things - that’s ok with me. I’m not what you’d call a Christian, but each to their own. No, I don’t mind the carols, or even the hypocrisy of the once-a-year church-goers. Once a year is better than never I guess.

I don’t mind the other side of it either - the economy of the throwaway society - the rustle of paper on Christmas morning, the twinkle of tinsel, the coloured glow of fairy lights. It’s just harmless fun.

No, my problem with Christmas is the food. In this so-called time of goodwill and kindness, ordinary people transform into gluttons. They eat and eat and then they eat even more. That’s bad enough but what really gets me is just what they eat. Goodwill they say yet they sit down and eat your brother, or your sister - licking their lips and salivating. They eat my family and dribble the juice of their being down their chins while they laugh and spread good cheer! And then - and then they eat you. Good will? Not from my perspective. A time of gratuitous over-indulgence at the expense of others - at the expense of us. Merry Christmas? Bah!

I am praying - very hard - to whatever Gods might hear and pay heed to a lowly victim like me.

Great God of the consumed,
Save me and my family from these uncaring consumers.
We are the victims of joy, the sufferers of human joy.
Please, great God, save us.

With great respect and love,
The Christmas Pudding.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Unlawful Killing

On Wednesday, coroner Peter Wright instructed the jury at the inquest of the death of Jean Charles de Menezesthat they could not return a verdict of unlawful killing.

I do not know the exact details of this case except to say that a man was shot and killed. Whether it was justified or not remains to be seen. But to direct the verdict in this way seems to me to be a violation not only of human rights and of the very legal system, but also of the truth.

What is the point of an inquest if not to determine the truth? If direction is given that any particular possible truth must be discounted - regardless of the facts - then this marks the biggest victory of the terrorist handed to them on a plate by those who should be protecting us.

Shortly after this occurrance, I created a short story based (very very loosely) on this case. It is not indicative of what happened in the case of Jean Charles de Menezesthat, because I do not have those facts. It is, however, a statement of possibility - something that the courts appear to not wish to know about.

I invite you all to read that story now. It's called Da'ud (Dave)

I feel it is even more relevant today than ever.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ever Decreasing Circles

Few publishers are interested in works by new writers except through agents. But few agents are interested in works by writers unless they're published. Such circles are of course, part of life - ask many job applicants. No experience, no job. No job, no experience.

But job hunters can fall back on apprenticeships and the like - not so with writers. We can give away our talents on the internet of course, but few publishers or agents regard this very highly.

My biggest question is this: Who do the publishers (and agents) think they'll be publishing in 30 years time when the current collection of authors are retired or dead?

Serious effort needs to be made to provide support for emerging authors. Never mind awards for established authors, what is really needed is a system whereby previously unpublished authors can get a foot in the door.

Government or commercial sponsorship perhaps - or better access to print-on-demand services such as that soon to be deployed by Angus and Robertson - or something else? At least when one is read and rejected there is some merit in that - but given the few publishers or agents that still accept unsolicited manuscripts - getting read is extremely difficult.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Arables is available now!

Prepare to be amused and amazed but above all, moved.

Arables is a collection of short stories to strengthen, grow and perhaps even challenge your Christian faith. They don’t aim to change what you believe, just encourage you to think about more about it. Click through the preview for a contents list and the first story.

  • When are you beyond redemption?
  • Exclusivity and its dangers?
  • Women in the Church?
  • Commitments, commitments!
  • The technology of faith.

These are just some of the concepts that Arables presents to us with a unique style and humour all of its own.

Whether you are a committed Christian or just on the fringe, Arables is thought provoking and entertaining.

Prepare to be amused and amazed but above all, moved.

Make sure you buy your copy today!

Get in quick for Christmas.