At the turn of the year...
News Year's Greetings


Looking back over the past year, my vision is necessarily coloured by who I am and what I’ve  done. Covid finally caught up with me in March and a couple of months later I had pneumonia. Despite these minor setbacks, I continued to write and published a new novel in the Boy & Girl saga, entitled Colourful People. I then returned to writing The Boy in the Book, which I’d temporarily set aside. In addition, I have written a number of articles, my main preoccupations being the question of gender, the impact of stories on our lives and the empowerment of girls. See below a list of recent articles. 


A year of global upheaval

Beyond what must seem like petty personal considerations, 2022 has been a year of global upheaval that has threatened not only the world order but impacted local communities and our individual lives. While many clamoured understandably for a speedy return to how things were, for some these catastrophes sparked hope that they might lead to permanent change. In that respect, this year has been a disappointment.


Major challenges

As we enter the new year, the world as a whole, but also us as individuals, are faced with a number of major challenges. First and foremost is the need to change our behaviour and that of our institutions to avert a devastating climate catastrophe including the inevitable toll on all life and the resulting massive migration of people. In addition, we need to revisit our notion of democracy in the face of forces that seek to undermine it or twist its functioning for their own profit. These forces are all the more pernicious that they welcome catastrophe as an ideal terrain for their schemes. Beyond our political systems, many of those institutions that serve our society like health care, social care, education and law enforcement are not fit for purpose and urgently need rethinking. Closer to home, local communities need revitalising, in particular to counter the tendency of resorting to exclusion as a rampart to change.


Hope and good wishes

Despite this somber picture, I believe there is hope and it lies in us as individuals and how we come together in local communities to bring about change and embrace the richness of diversity. It is common at the turn of the year to wish your family, friends and acquaintances good health and happiness not to mention a good meal, a roof over their heads and freedom from threat and violence. I sincerely wish you all of those. But, above all, I wish you, myself included, the courage in 2023 and beyond to make the changes necessary in our lives and our institutions to face the challenges that threaten our present or loom in our near future. 


All the best. Alan.


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Recent articles

In the beginning was the separation… – Rather than founding history on an original sin, a more satisfactory perspective has the perceived separation of the individual from the world as the onset of modern times.

A writing life built on a scrapheap of stories – It was years of cast-off story fragments and untold wild fantasies that finally formed the foundation on which to build my novels…

Gender: being true to yourself? – Under the common banner of LGBT, the first 3 categories are about sexual orientation, whereas the T is about gender identity. This difference has far reaching implications as does the diversity of identities and expressions cohabiting as transgender.

Girls’ voices. Boys voices – Seeing girls singing in St Georges’ Chapel choir during the broadcast of the King’s Christmas speech awakened long-forgotten longings…

No life without stories – Stories are our way of making sense of a senseless world. As such, they are a great strength, making thought and action meaningful. But they are also our greatest weakness, because we blindly believe them to be true.

Alan McCluskey,  Secret Paths Editions,

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