Stories of Hope

My story, ‘The Everlasts’, can be found in Aussie Speculative Fiction’s anthology, Stories of Hope. Born from the smoke and ashes of the 2019 Australian summer, Stories of Hope is an anthology of fantasy and science fiction. All money raised from sales will be donated to WWF’s Australian Wildlife and Nature Recovery Fund and the Red Cross Disaster Relief & Recovery Fund. Please: buy it!

Stories of Hope anthology cover

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I recently received these gorgeous story editions of the very talented artist, Megumi Matsubara, which I had the pleasure of editing. There’s nothing quite like holding the object in your hands. The editions feature an essay by Yuko Hasegawa and cut-up by Loris Greaud.

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Identity and place and collaboration

I collaborated with my friend, photographer Sarah Rhodes, to write her artist statement for the Lumina Collective’s Echoes exhibition. The images explore identity and are stunning. The exhibition and text were featured in The Guardian in Jan 2019.

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In 2018, I was lucky to be accepted into HARDCOPY, the national professional development program run by the ACT Writers Centre. In their own words: “HARDCOPY aims to develop writers who will have longevity as Australian writers.”

What an amazing experience to work with Nadine Davidoff and have exposure to other industry heavyweights.

In addition to the skills and knowledge I’ve gained – and possibly even more importantly – I’ve met some wonderful people.

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A Thousand Million Small Things

After being published in SQ Magazine in June, my story A Thousand Million Small Things has made the SF&F genre’s premiere review magazine, Tangent, Online Recommended Reading List for 2017. Yay!

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Fitzroy Soccer Lions

I grew up in North Fitzroy and have walked/trammed past Atherton Gardens Public Housing Estate for years. Last year, I got a chance to hang out there with everyone participating in the Fitzroy Lions Soccer Program.

Here’s a little clip I made about the program. The song Let a Brother Play is by the Flybz, also from Atherton Gardens.

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Your transaction is under treatment

ATM, Baj Boujloud, Fez.

I don’t mind waiting – a little bit – for a transaction treatment, whilst desert Zen lasts, that is. I’ll give it 7.6 seconds as opposed to 3 seconds.

I’ve just returned from 6 weeks in Morocco. For 4 weeks I was at Cafe Tissardmine on an artist residency… with NO Internet…

Erg Chebbi.

Ok, that’s a bit of a lie, we got desperate and did “wiffy hitchhike to the obelisk” for some desert connectivity (ok, so it was actually hitchhiking to a cairn for wireless modem connectivity but we liked saying the other thing)…

Safi smells the wiffy

What a residency provides, and this one more than most, is release from the day-to-day, from thinking about the next meal, the next piece of news: profound or prosaic, the next social event. The tirade of choice clears. When you’re in the desert, your decisions simplify. Will I:  1) go for a walk, 2) chat to someone, 3) have a nap, 4) do some work. I got a lot of all four done.

1) Going for a walk. When you do, it’s on what was, some 350million years ago, the Rheic ocean. These petrified coral reefs were pushed up into mountain ranges when the African continent moved closer to European continental plates. Ammonites. Trilobites. Belennites. Everywhere.

And, new stuff is mixing in with the old.

So, when you looked down, it was extraordinary. And when you looked up, it was spectacular.

2) Talking. The 5 artists at the residency were from 4 different countries. And most of them were tri-lingual. So, combined with Tashlehiyt the local Berber language, a mix of Dirija, English, French, Spanish and Japanese were spoken at most meals. There’s nothing like talking to people who are not native speakers of your own tongue to test your rigour with your own language.

3) Taking a nap. Is a wonderful thing.

4) Do some work. With all the clear head space, I got a lot done, albeit with sand as a constant companion.

I’ve put some photos on Flikr. A set of general Morocco sightseeing, and a set of Tissardmine and surrounds.

How long it will take for this transaction to process, I’m not sure, but I’m happy to wait more than a little bit.

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Light moments on the edge

I recently did some filming for a local parkour program. There were many beautiful moments so I’ve pulled some stills from the footage. Enjoy.

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A couple of weeks ago I left my iPhone in a cab. I left it because I got it out to fiddle with it. You know: check if I had messages, scroll through various social networks, maybe do a quirky shot of the taxi driver ID and Instagram it. Instead, I got talking to the cab driver about his uniform requirements and how often drivers get checked and what the fines are if they’re not in uniform. He seemed like a nice guy. I did notice that he looked quite different to the guy pictured on the drivers ID. But hey, I look pretty different to the picture on my license (if I still had my phone I’d take a picture of that picture and post it here).

I never put my phone back in my bag. I left it on my lap/ beside me/ somewhere close but not close enough. As soon as I got into the house I realized I didn’t have it.

I’m never going to see that baby again. I’ve tried to track it down, more out of interest in the process than actually believing I’ll get it back. Having backed it up 2 days earlier, it was after all, just an instrument. But… MAAAN, I miss that instrument! To be truthful, sometimes it aches.

I went to see Steve Poltz play a few days later. I saw someone filming with their iPhone. As an avid gig-filmer part of me was consumed by jealousy and longing, the other part was all: dude put your phone away and be in the moment, and: that footage and sound are going to be sooo bad, why even do it, are you ever really going to look at it again?

I do look back over my bad gig footage, that’s how I know it’s bad. I have a soft spot for it though, so I made a montage of it, a sort of eulogy to the this-is-what-I-saw-see-here-it-is mentality…

I will be replacing it. And yes, I’ll most likely take more bad gig footage.

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Tai Chi meets Giant Theremin

Tai Chi and a giant theremin. What’s not to love! Here’s a short and super sweet video I did the filming for:

Tai Chi meets Giant Theremin from Peter Ghin on Vimeo.

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