A long time between drinks

I haven’t spoken for a while. Busy times at work, rest and play. Being a sole operator, there are no knock on / knock off times, just a need to rationalise each project and work to the demands of processes and deadlines.

That hasn’t stopped me from working on renovation and reparation projects at home. Nor has that stopped me from music composition (taken somewhat a back seat) and creative writing (not quite so).

Since self publishing The Tramp novel and The Tramp: The Music of Robert Aitken music CD in 2017, I’ve developed many stories, including the bones of a The Tramp sequel, another tale about a lovely old couple who are forced to return to their dark past profession (almost complete), another tale set in 6th century Britain, and a bunch of unrelated short tales where most have a common, supernatural theme.

Included in this book of eleven short stories we learn more about a loveable bit-part player from my novel The Tramp as he shares a decades-long secret with his young niece. We join in with the camaraderie and conspiratorial banter at the front bar of a country pub, follow a couple of pre-adolescent lads as they dive headlong into a dangerous rescue mission, and go behind the scenes of an art gallery as the larger-than-life staff solve the mystery of missing exhibition pieces. We touch on time travel, meet an alien and endure the aftermath of a global catastrophe. I collaborate on one tale with a real astrophysicist to ensure the details of that particular story will stand up to scrutiny. Others are indeed directly from experience.

“Hmmn-yes. Come now.” Ned Brandscombe waved a hand towards the armchair opposite his, and referring to the bleached marsupial skull, he added, “Return that carefully, now. You know well I would rather you not touch the osteology.” From Old Ned’s Secret by Michael Cannon©2022. Photo: Kevin O’Daly, Aspect Photographics.

As with The Tramp, some of these stories are expansions of dreams I’ve enjoyed (or endured) over the past few years. Others are simply fictionalisation of observed social behaviours.

“And then, as if a hologram suspended between me and the windscreen, dark grey specks swoop, twist and billow in mesmerising shape-shifting clouds as if a murmuration of starlings.” From Understanding Vela by Michael Cannon©2022

This short story collection is mere days or a week (or so) from publishing. All stories are complete: composed, written, edited, shared for feedback, tweaked, faffed with, tweaked again, re-written and re-read before handing to my wife (my no-charge editor) for her valued feedback and spell checking. Now I’m in the midst of the design and artwork stage. Not long to go —

Once I press the button, the book will be made available through amazon.com, amazon.com.au and Kindle.

Watch this space for an update, coming soon.