This post from Paul Haines is truly gutting. A talented writer, without a doubt, the kind I’ve used as a benchmark when writing a story — would Haines (I always think of him as Haines, though I call him Paul to his face; I don’t know why that is) shy from writing this, I ask, when I’m up to the icky bit? Hell, no, as long as it’s making sense. The news that cancer has forestalled his writing career just as it was about to break out of the short story box is horrible; the news that it might be imminently fatal is so much worse. Father, husband, friend … this life thing is a cruel roulette wheel, and I can only hope — wish, pray — that Haines can beat the odds. Haines has three collections of short stories out, and you can find his most excellent novella ‘Wives’ in an anthology called X6. Read them, and rail.
YOU might not have heard of Liz Huf if you live outside of Central Queensland, but we’ve lost someone special with the passing of Liz Huf, from cancer. Liz, who won a Johnno Award for her contribution to Queensland literature, helped to found and then run the literary magazine, Idiom23, at what is now Central Queensland University, for more than 20 years. She organised writing retreats in CQ was also an editor and documentary film maker. More than that, she was one of the good guys, softly spoken, interested and ever helpful. She was, the Gympie Times‘ Uncle Jim notwithstanding, my first fiction editor, in the fledgling magazine Yapunya and then Idiom23, which I contributed to as a BA student. I remember her fondly, and know that she’ll be sorely missed. You can read an obituary here.
And now for some good news:
The Nix family have proven a potent combination in the animated film business, as this news article at Locus shows. The Missing Key has already bagged an impressive array of awards. First Shaun Tan, now Garth Nix: there’s something in the water, all right.
Food for thought: Josephine Pennicott writes about the value of perseverance, a word I’m thinking of having tattooed on my forehead, or perhaps just pinning to the wall above the computer.