epocalypse: emails at the end (featuring “Just like Cuckoo”, my collaborative story with Brendan Duffy) is now available for purchase, both in tree and ebook formats. With 33 stories inside, you can’t fail to find something you will enjoy!
It’s the end of another cycle of writing, and while I made very hard work of reaching my 15,000 word target, I got there in the end!
As you can see, I got off to a very slow start which I blame on extremely poor health, but a big push later in the month took me over the line. Despite the fact I am moving house (the thought of which I loath) I am going to set a goal of 15,000 words again because I do have a number of projects I have get done.
Notable things from this month:
- My first invitation to submit to an anthology, as opposed to submitting via an open call. It is certainly lovely to be thought of, and it is not only a higher paying market than I am used to, but it is for a franchise, and area I want to get into.
- Been commissioned to write a non fiction piece for a nationally circulating newspaper
- I have four stories in the wild and two of them are at the second round stage
- Officially started my Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing course, which I am thoroughly enjoying
- My latest story is now available to buy, details in the next post.
So, a big month ahead – it should be fun!
…but I will say it again. Gideon Haigh is the the greatest living cricket writer, and one of the all time greats. Not only does he fiercely champion Test cricket as the paramount form of the game, but he refuses to compromise by pandering to the dominant forces in world cricket and hands out criticism equally, not just to one or two groups. Sadly, I feel that the jingoism prevalent amongst many fans (one only has to read the comments on Cricinfo to see what I mean) means he doesn’t receive his due, because people cannot accept comments critical of their nation or team – even when they are true. There are famous cricket writers who seem to write their articles to appeal to the lowest common denominator, fortunately Gideon Haigh is not one of them. This article is well worth reading. And for those who accuse him of bias against India, the following quote:
Number one today is India, which is a happy event, because they also happen to be the most attractive team to watch. And for all the hypermodernity of Indian cricket, MS Dhoni’s team is full of genuine five-day cricketers, not jumped-up one-day players and Twenty20 non-entities. Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag, VVS Laxman, Zaheer Khan, Dhoni himself, would succeed in any age; when you watch them excel at their craft, time seems almost to stand still. That is an illusion, as you realise when you range back over the generations and grasp the way that the leading teams of their time have been just that: creatures of their time. But it’s an appealing and warming illusion, and a comforting one to nurture at the pub.
It’s not the Indian team, or India itself, that he scorns, it is the BCCI who certainly deserve it. There are lots of people who can’t differentiate between criticism of the BCCI and criticism of India the nation, which I think says more about them than about Mr Haigh.
Speaking of wonderful cricket writing, I came across an article today that I had to mention. I didn’t necessarily agree with it all, but there was one phrase that stood out. I often do that in books, it’s like watching a cricket match and seeing a perfect on drive or a brutal pull shot, you just sit back and admire the skill and artistry that goes into, the joy of a craftsman at work. This was an equivalent moment.
Yesterday we had the ultimate cricket pathos of Sachin Tendulkar, the Little Master still pursuing his 100th international century, polishing a little diamond of an innings among the Indian rubble. He hit boundaries of exquisite quality, he explored the best of what is left of his repertoire and showed us why he has been revered for so long. It was like looking at a masterpiece hung in an otherwise ransacked museum.
That is good writing.
Dhoni deserves some of the criticism coming his way for the team’s performance, he is captain after all. But, he went up in my esteem a great deal after his recall of Ian Bell, as did the the entire Indian team. You can argue about Law versus Spirit all you want, but it was an edifying moment in a sport that needs all the edification it can get. To me cricket is the noblest sport of all, despite the money grubbing and the politics and all the rest, and it is moments like this (or this) that embody why it is more than just a game. Bravo, India!