If you’d like to take part in Ginger Dawn’s Trivia Contest to win one of my books, answer one or more of the questions below. You have until this Sunday, May 26th to answer. To help you answer the questions, check out here on Secret Paths and on the Secret Paths Facebook page. You can enter the context by commenting here or on the Secret Paths Facebook page. Remember to state which question(s) you are answering and give your email address when you add the comment. Ginger will draw winners from a hat.
Recently, Alan McCluskey updated a short story that was read at the Geneva Writers’ Group End of Year celebrations at the Press Center. The original piece was written as a Christmas present for a friend called Indigo. What was the Title of this short story?
Who drew the Secret Paths logo?
Ginger Dawn, along with Anne White did the interview of me about my books and writing on Creating Calm Network radio.
An important aspect of Boy & Girl is the ability Peter and Kaitling develop to heal people from within. I wrote a short story based on that idea, called Inside Out. Here is the beginning:
It seems so strange to our eyes, but at the time they couldn’t see things otherwise, the healer explained, talking mind-to-mind to a handful of apprentice healers around the world. In those days, they came at the body from the outside. It wasn’t simply that they didn’t have our techniques to enter the body with their minds. Their whole attitude was extrinsic. All their knowledge about the body resided outside of it, buried in books, in scientific papers and in data gathered by machines. They only dimly grasped what was going on. They kept new healers away from people in need of healing. Instead, they had them study books and photos and films. They would have been horrified if anyone had tried to heal others without all that knowledge. For them, it made medicine legitimate and efficient. In reality, the accumulated knowledge blocked access to what they really needed to know… (Read on)
Ginger Dawn will be giving away 3 of my books this Friday May 24th. How will that work? She will be asking a few trivia questions on this Secret Paths page on Facebook (see link below), Friday night her time (Eastern Time, that’s in the middle of the night here in Europe) and those people who answer correctly within the following 2 days will have their names put in a hat from which she will pull the winners. Good luck!
Sunday May 26th at 1pm ET (7pm European time or 6pm UK time) listen to Anne White and GInger Dawn of Creating Calm Network interview Alan McCluskey about Boy & Girl, The Storyteller’s Quest series and the Geneva Writers Group. After that date, the interview will be available on streaming.
Here’s the link: http://bit.ly/11Zafcp
And here’s what Anne and Ginger wrote about the programme:
Alan McCluskey is the author of Boy and Girl, The Reaches, and Keeper’s Daughter.
He writes poignantly about gender identity issues, alternate realities, friendships and dream worlds. He weaves wonderous threads of individuals into more complicated relationships. Very rich writing.
McCluskey shares his life journey from being schooled in mathematics, to teaching – where one student critiques him by saying he taught her “the creative value of madness.”
Interviewed by Ann White and Ginger Dawn Harman of The Creating Calm Network,Alan shares his writing style and thought processes as he develops these mind and thought altering works.
Alan is a member of The Geneva Writer’s Group.
“Over there,” he said, pointing to a dry patch at the water’s edge. It was one of the few remaining places where the sand seemed flat and solid enough to bear his throne.
A stiff wind off the sea ruffled the waves, clawing at their white crests, sending flecks of spray skywards. Gulls swooped low over the grey-green water, their cawing echoing over the crash of the waves.
He pulled his fur-lined cape tight around his neck and firmly grasped his scepter as his throne lurched upwards and sideways. Clumsy idiots. Couldn’t even get things right on such an auspicious occasion.
A motley crowd trailed behind the throne, their backs bowed against the wind, capes and hats pulled tight around their ears, their heads leaned close together, whispering. He’d show them! How dare they think he wouldn’t succeed. Was he not king and chosen by the gods? (…)
I have just passed to 50’000 word mark on the follow up novel to Boy & Girl, that’s just under half way through the book. Here’s a short extract from around the fifty thousand mark:
Andrew did not immediately reply. He seemed caught up in his own thoughts. “It is only appropriate that I should go to say my last words to him dressed as a girl. He hardly knew me any other way.” Andrew turned to Peter. “Would you agree to sing if I play piano?” he asked, adding as an after thought: “I’d very much like you to be dressed as a girl like me.”
Peter was hesitant. The idea of appearing as a girl in front of a larger number of people many of whom might well know him was worrying. But his main concern was his voice. He wasn’t sure it would hold out.
Read the new story fragment: Voices in the Snow, written initially as a draft in a GWG workshop about scriptwriting given by Keith Bunin. Here are the first few lines:
Two people waited at a bus stop, a safe distance separating them. No one else was in sight. The man stood upright and alert, his long, grey hair falling in curls from beneath a broad rimmed hat to the shoulders of his overcoat. The young girl was warmly clad in knee-length boots, thick woollen stockings and a fur-lined cloak. She appeared shy and retiring under her umbrella. Snow was falling heavily and all was quiet.
“Have you ever noticed how snow falls?” he asked, stretching out his hand to catch passing flakes… (Read on)
I wrote the following short scene during a workshop with screenwriter Keith Bunin at a meeting of the Geneva Writer’s Group.
A fat man, dressed in a smart suit and shiny black shoes, is down on his knees polishing the parquet floor with a tiny cloth. There is a forced smile on his face. A tall women in a tight dress and stiletto heels strides into the room and comes to a halt in front of him. He stops his polishing and looks up at her. She ignores him. He runs the polishing rag over her shoes and she turns and leaves.
I updated a short story I wrote called The Sixth and read it at the Geneva Writers’ Group End of Year celebrations at the Press Centre. The original piece was written as a Christmas present for a friend called Indigo. Here’s the beginning of the story:
Her eyes stared off into the distance, blank and unseeing. What a shame, he thought; such an attractive young girl yet afflicted that way. One of her auburn curls repeatedly fell in front of her eyes. Each time she’d tuck it behind her ear, no irritation in her movements, just care and attention. When she’d entered his workshop he hadn’t at first noticed she was blind. He’d been busy working on his latest canvas, putting the ultimate touches to the sky. He’d promised himself he’d complete it that day and, true to form, he’d done so… (read on)
I’ve written a new short story called Mud Slinging. It begins:
Jim took a deep shuddering breath. It was a beautiful day to be alive. Sun was streaming over the trees at the end of the park and sparkled off the small pond. Birds were flying low over the neatly cut lawns in search of insects and the puddles left by the recent heavy rain were beginning to recede.
Today was a special day. He had an appointment for a job, the first in months. He straightened his tie and brushed a fleck of dust from his one remaining suit. After three years out of work, it was only his meticulous care for his clothes that kept him from becoming a tramp… (read more)