Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Day To Be Proud Of Australia

I'm not a very political or patriotic person, but over the last year or so I've found that changing. Maybe I've reached an age where a lot of the things I used to find important are no longer so. Or maybe since I've been writing I've become more aware of the media and have been exposed to political issues as a consequence. Either way, today I can truthfully say that I am proud to be Australian. I am proud of our country and its current leader, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

Because today, our country said sorry.

On behalf of the whole nation, our Prime Minister said sorry to the Stolen Generation, the indigenous children who were taken from their families and assimilated. The children who had their cultural identities erased over a number of generations, who had their genetic code diluted, who had all this done to them without a choice, by way of law and policy.

To a child, to a lover, to a friend, to family, saying sorry doesn't erase the hurts of the past. But it does say that the healing can begin, that the torn relationships can be mended with time. Saying sorry doesn't change anything, but it does send a clear message of understanding and vindication.

It's a simple thing to say, but for an entire country to do so is an astounding and mature action. So, today, February 13th 2008, I can say without a doubt that I am proud of my country.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Nothing Wrong With Him That $100 Won't Fix

One of these days I hope to have a book published that has multiple copies in the library. Not just for the recognition, or the ability to casually lead friends to the correct aisle in the library when we're all getting together for drinks in the library ... okay, maybe not. But there is a chance I'll get paid, thanks to the Public Lending Right program.

The Age newspaper tells me that I can earn $1.47 per book, although it's not clear how that relates to the number of times it's been borrowed. Looking through the list, Matthew Reilly is doing pretty well for himself, but then he's doing far, far better in the bookstores. I'd venture to say he was paid the highest amount from the PLR program, at somewhere between "$80,000- $89,999."

But out of the "$7.090 million in the 2006-07 financial year" that went to publishers and "8866 eligible writers", I have a feeling I may slot into the largest bracket "of authors, 2466," who "got only between $100 and $199."

Things could be worse, though. I might earn less than $50 a year, which would be no skin off anyone's back, since "Amounts of less than $50 are not payable."

Lucky I'm in this for the love of it.

Monday, February 04, 2008

The Lineup: An Anthology Of Poems On Crime

Gerald So, Patrick Shawn Bagley, Richie Narvaez, and Anthony Rainone have combined forces to put together an anthology of poems with a hardboiled or noir bent. Coming out some time this spring (Australia's autumn/fall). Read more about the project at its new blog, The Lineup.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Spinetingler Awards For 2007

Spinetingler Magazine has announced its new set of awards, the Spinetinglers, for 2007. So run over and check out the list of winners and nominees, as well as the latest issue of Spinetingler, and have a gander at Sandra Ruttan's new crime fiction conglomerate, At Central Booking.

Since this is an online award, in lieu of a physical award ceremony, I am happy to accept the award for Special Services To The Industry, for my work at Crimespace.

After stumbling up towards the stage, clutching the award in my hands, and tapping on the microphone (creating a flurry of feedback), I will now thank the people who helped me.

Sandra Ruttan, for running the awards as well as helping to give Crimespace the push start it needed. Also, Stephen Blackmoore, Christa M. Miller, Angie Johnson-Schmit, Bill Crider, Anne Frasier, Karen Chisolm, M. G. Tarquini, Patricia Abbott, and John Rickards were all a great help in the early days of Crimespace. Whether they provided content in the shape of interesting forum topics or gave helpful feedback, they set the tone that the community would follow.

I'd also like to especially thank my friend Robert Sakaluk, whose super-hardcore Illustrator skills gave me the logo in its present form.

And then there's the fine people at Ning: Gina, Phil and Athena especially, who have all contributed to making Ning a seriously major league service that still feels like a grassroots operation.

Many thanks also to all of the 1200 or so members that have joined up since March 2007 and made Crimespace such a great community.

Lastly, I'd like to thank Mary, for putting up with my Crimespace-related insanities.

Congratulations to all the other winners and nominees.