Guest post at the ‘Writer’s Shack’


Guest post at the ‘Writer’s Shack’

I’m Guest Posting today over at ‘The Writer’s Shack‘ which is Riley Banks’ blog, with a bit of a grumble about Amazon. Riley makes a very pertinent comment on the post, about how non-US authors are treated. If enough people grumble, could it result in some changes to Amazon? You never know the strength of people power….

Golden Flash


I weep for my race. Mute, ancient, unseen, we are slowly plucked from the earth. A tortuous, babbling end to fine minds.

Through an eternity we have watched the stars turn, traced the perfection of their mathematical arcs, wondered at creation. We had all the time in and of the Universe to think – we thought.

Being our planet, lodged and rooted in the rocks, we are a geological race; our synapses golden, nerves of bright copper. Blind to one another, we are yet vibrantly aware of our companions. Slow discussions through the ages: philosophy, poetry and sweet pure mathematics.

Now all that is changed, in a flicker of men faster than the flash of a super-nova. No more than a prickle at first, an itch on our skin, they scampered about in their frenetic, pitiful way, and we paid them no mind.

Then one of our minds started to fade, its golden neurons thoughtlessly mined away, descending into nonsense and confusion. We weep for that mind, and yet cannot assist, cannot prevent the erosion of our people.

The scars of men’s building and digging spread unchecked across our face, myopically delighting in their unfound riches.

If they slow their scrabbling and scratching long enough to consider the current of our pulsed and electric thoughts, will compassion outweigh greed?

Rural poetry

Well, it’s going to be a disgusting 41 degrees C here today. Normally we’d head off snorkelling to beat the heat, but that’s rather tricky with a nine week old, (although various options with towing floating rubber rings were discussed ;)), so we’ll be hiding under a cool rock until it all blows over. The rock of choice today is called the IKEA centre.

However, on days like this, I think many Australian’s thoughts turn to our more rural areas, and the threat they face on days like this from the fierce bushfires which ravish our landscape every year. A few years ago, when it reached 47 degrees C, we lost huge areas of forest and bushland, houses, businesses, pets and 173 lives. Although the forest is growing back, and many of the houses have been rebuilt, the scars are long lasting.

In honour of our more rural areas, and also because I have been trying to write a short story with a rural theme, here are a few haiku inspired by a long train trip through the rural landscape of Victoria, Australia. Hope you enjoy them, and keep cool!

In flat khaki fields

Unnatural neon stripe

Sun fires canola




Breeze brings warm hay scent

Young horses prance like schoolgirls

Flicking pony tails





Rust and graffiti

Coat lonely discarded freight cars

Grass furs the bogeys

Monster in training

A poem inspired by my experiences on public transport…

My fellow commuters

If you were a beast,

What a strange one you would be!

Fish breathed and stinking of perfume,

straddled legged and hard kneed.

Slumping into slumber, while standing,

or comfortably on someones shoulder.

Rubbing your bottom against my shoulder

and fragrantly farting in my face.

Talking loudly to yourself

and turning the air blue,

Bleeding scarlet pinpoints on the floor.

Throwing yourself against the windows

Doing chin-ups on the handgrips.

Singing out loud, and

kindly sharing your music,

whether we want it or not.

Resting your newspaper

on top of my head, and

your laptop comfortably

on my knees.

Shovelling your food,

Slopping your drink and

filling the air with greasy aromas.

Picking your nose, and

wiping the results carefully

on the handgrips.

The more multitudinous you become

The more legs, and mouths and bottoms you have,

And yet how scarce your brains.

Halloween story update

On Monday, I posted about a Halloween short story of mine, which is available free on Ether, called ‘Balancing Darkness’.





Unfortunately, due to a technical glitch, when I posted, it wasn’t there! Sorry to anyone who tried to download it.

It is now up and running, and available on the Ether Books App. There are 61 other stories, so maybe go and have a browse and see which ones you like best!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. πŸ™‚

A Halloween treat (this is not a trick!)

Today, Ether Books are publishing a whole host of Halloween short stories for your delectation.

One of them, ‘Balancing Darkness’ is by yours truly. It tells the story of what happens when a suicide bomber meets an all consuming alien, disguised as a sweet little black cat. Silly? Well, yes, possibly. Hopefully enjoyable. I’d love to know what you think of it! πŸ™‚

If you have an iPhone, iPad or other device by which you can download Apps, Ether Books is free, as are all the Halloween stories, and many many more. There are actually a few of my other stories up there too – Perpendicularity, Transparency, and The Observer.

Please check them out!


Presidential flash

Courtesy of the White House Museum

‘Is it true? The President’s dead?’ asked the Chief of Staff, bursting through the heavy mahogany doors.

A solemn suited man gestured to the figure sprawled lifeless in the giant leather chair. The heavy jowls had a bluish tinge; the chest straining against buttons was still.

The Chief of Staff raised a questioning eyebrow. Clearing his throat, the other man spoke. ‘You’re aware that the Image Consultants had the President on a weight control regime? Only so much lighting and make-up can do.’

The first man nodded.

‘Someone gave him a Birthday Cake.’

‘Terrorists? Poison? Small explosion? Biological agent?’

‘No,’ he sighed, ‘Greedy son on of a bitch choked on the candle.’

Free the Kindle!

Images courtesy of Felix

It’s been suggested, perhaps rather controversially, that Amazon may make the Kindle viewer free. Check out this article on the subject:

Amazon | Kindle Price Drop Prediction.

I don’t know what you think of this, but in some ways it makes a lot of sense to me. There are many phone plans out there where the phone is tossed in as a freebie, when you sign up for particular deals, and it sounds like this system would work in rather the same way.

A Kindle, after all, generally costs less than a mobile phone, and with a defined yearly subscription cost (like a phone plan) it seems likely that it would be worth Amazon’s time to go down this path. Also, I understand that people with e-readers generally read more (or at least buy more) books. I’m not sure if this is due to an increased interest and ease of reading with a device, or ifΒ  it is just that ebooks are less expensive, and sometimes free.

I imagine that there may be legal implications in terms of anti-competitive behaviour if Amazon decide to provide for free what other companies must charge for, and perhaps this will be the fallen tree on the road to e-readers for all. Personally, I am in two minds about it. The Australian urge to ‘back the underdog’ in me is not entirely comfortable with the idea of Amazon potentially monopolizing in this way. On the other hand, if it allows more people to access my work, then I can’t help be selfishly rather hopeful about it.

What are your thoughts?

Flash fiction – Time and Space

Inspired by onehundredthousandwords blog, I thought I’d try my hand at a little bit of flash fiction. This story is inspired by the land around Richmond in Queensland, where they have been finding the most amazing dinosaur bones (Mutaburrasaurus, ichthyosaurs, Giant Turtles etc) for some time.

Please let me know what you think! πŸ™‚

The road to Richmond, Qld.

He was a man steeped in space. Eyes forever focussed on the horizon, he walked with long strides through the short, stiff wheat stalks.
Tha land and the man were united in their minimalism. Long lean limbs, thin topsoil, no unnecessary curves. Fence posts perspective the land like his steps.

Patrolling the expanse one day, the man notices something different in the soil. A punctuation mark on the plain. He squats, the sweat beading on the back of his scorched neck, scratches with a stick.

His broad gaze is intensified as it narrows to the near-at-hand. Fingernails rasp on stone, dirt coats his palms and knees. Unmasked, a giant jawbone lies in the dirt, as unexpected and uncaring as a thunderstorm in the Dry.

A smile bends his thin, hard lips into an uncharacteristic curve, as his eyes return to the horizon. The land’s plentiful gifts: not just space, but time.

Free shorts on the Ether

Ether Books are a publisher with a fascinating model: they publish short stories on an App, which can be read either on an iPhone or iPad. I understand that they are also coming to Android soon. The idea is that they provide short stories for people on the go.

Best of all, I have had three stories accepted by them, two of which are completely free! They are called Transparency, Perpendicularity, and The Observer.

The latter of these is science fiction, but the first two are what they call ‘Feel Good Fiction’. You can find my stories by searching for my name (Kasia James) under ‘All Genres’.

If you’d like to check them out, please feel free – I’d love to know what you think of them!Β  πŸ™‚