I sat in a class room today. The experience was surreal to say the least, especially as I haven’t BEEN in a classroom in over ten years.

Yes, today I bravely embarked on my Certificate IV in Web Design at TAFE. It’s probably the scariest thing I’ve done in a long time. This is not to say the experience was particularly harrowing – in fact, except for the lack of a timetable, and waiting twenty minutes in a stunned, silent room with twenty other people (the vast majority of whom were easily a decade younger than me), and another two timetable changes during the introductory speech, and the fact I couldn’t even READ the timetable… the whole thing went well.

I seriously believe I have developed hermit syndrome. Both Ange and I are becoming known for it. The self imposed isolation is now to the point that it takes an effort for me (us) to visit and/or invite over friends (not that we have too many at this point). Some would say this is an alarming trend to hermitism. Sadly, I enjoy the solitary lifestyle.

In thinking about, I have made inroads to correct the ‘problem’. I’ve joined two writers centres, and now actively attend the monthly SF group at the KSP Centre. The TAFE course is a massive step – one that will take a long time to ‘normalise’. I won’t go into too much more detail as to what happened there today, mainly because bugger-all happened. I doubt the serious course delivery will start for another week yet.

On the subject of socialisation – Ange and I hosted Sharon & Brian around for a Hayley-cooked dinner (chicken masala – which was superb). We took advantage of Brian’s grey matter to get a second (actually, third) opinion on a number of borderline Shadowed Realms submissions. He may have swayed us on one, perhaps two.  I also sneakily slipped in a couple of my stories, which Brian seemed to rate highly. Of the Cruel Summer series – he described it as ‘weird’. Compliments don’t come any better than that! Finally, despite our inherent anti-social leanings, the evening was a welcome change to our schedule.

In writing news, I’ve been revising Genesis Six and The Savage Redemption of Gaia, as well as sending off a raft of more stories. Previously unsubmitted stories, multi-submitted, simultaneously submitted – you name it, I’m doing it at the moment. Among the more recent subs which went, include The Snake of Ragnar Rock Canyon (which returned and resubbed the very next day), On Dark Clouds Borne, Bump in the Night, Room Three (again!), Plan Ni, and Repaginator.


The last was a telling, mortal blow. Repaginator was my ace in the hole! A sure thing! A story so specialised in its telling, that I parodied not only the Australian small press industry, but especially the magazine I submitted it to. Apparently it was a close call, two out of four readers passed it in the second round, but that still didn’t cut it. Dammit! My hopes are now pinned on Ticonderoga Online for that one. I guess my fate is not to be published in ASIM, particular after they couldn’t place Ian (even after passing all reading rounds and sitting in the ‘to be included’ pile for months). Plan Ni is with them now – ‘help me Obi Wan Kenobi, you are my only hope’!


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