The Selkie Before Summer


southern fur seal; Milford Sound, New Zealand, February 2008

My long poem “The Selkie Before Summer” is up at Liminality! It’s about a southern fur seal (or maybe an Australian fur seal) who leaves the ocean for the first time to rescue a lover and ends up exploring Victoria and gender and matters of the heart. (And there’s another poem in this issue about a sea creature who heads inland, by Sandi Leibowitz!) Yes, it is yet another S-title poem about skin. I might have gotten it out of my system now but I promise nothing.

Earless seals like greys and harps have always seemed like quasi-fantasy animals to me. I knew they were real, I saw them on documentaries, but they were just so different to the fur seals I was more familiar with that there was something mythical about them. (White swans have the same effect. When I visited Britain and saw them it was a very “how is this even a real island” moment. Seeing a lone black swan amongst a group of white swans in Windsor did not help this surreal disconnect.) But imagine an Australian fur seal selkie walking along a yellow sandy beach, their brown skin draped over their head to keep off the burning December sun, even though every story and art I see specifies otherwise. That’s more real to me than anything involving a grey seal and the Atlantic.

Of course, it is now well and truly summer, but I was in fact in Victoria this past spring, so here’s two indulgent photos. (If the eucalypts look strange, they’re shedding their back, which is one of my favourite things! Such a beautiful time of year, seeing the trees shed and change colour.)


The Otways, Victoria, September 2015


The Twelve Apostles, Victoria, September 2015


We Met in Dragon Shadow

Ah, it’s finally here! Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #60 is out and it contains my poem “We Met in Dragon Shadow”, concerning what happens to a mercenary and the princess she’s rescued after slaying the dragon. Editor Sue Bursztynski said the narrator reminded her of Brienne of Tarth, which my Westeros-familiar friends had to explain to me but I’m quite honoured as she seems like a badass!

In other news, I’ve had a couple of extremely busy months. August was a whirlwind of social engagements and Beethoven concerts (!! oh my, if you ever get the chance to see the 9th live, it’s an experience like no other), September I went on a 1,500-km roadtrip to see some rocks with my rock buddy! To top it all off, earlier this week my lack of coordination gave me an eye injury. *sigh*


Dog Rock, Albany, Western Australia, September 2014


Wave Rock, Hyden, Western Australia, September 2014

Later this month I’ll have a poem and a story published, both of which I’m very excited about. And hopefully I will get some time to cross stitch now that it’s less busy and warmer! My projects are so neglected… I wonder if I could try one-eyed cross stitching? Definitely no need for depth perception where needles and precise patterns are concerned! :p