Lech Blaine

Griffith Review Fellowship

I was very lucky a couple of weeks ago to be awarded a Queensland Writing Fellowship. The list is filled with great names. It’s a terrific initiative by the Griffith Review, the State Government and many others who made it possible.

The short shrift is that I will have two pieces featured by the Griffith Review in 2017. The first will be published in Griffith Review 56: Millennials Strike Back. It will be an excerpt from the start of my first book Car Crash: A Memoir, which Black Inc. will release in 2018.

The second piece will be published in Griffith Review 57: Perils of Populism. It is a personal essay about the foster care system in Queensland.

Car Crash

Black Inc. have acquired the rights to my first book Car Crash: A Memoir. It’s about grief, trauma and technology. The speed and vanity of modern life. The banality of loss and commodification of longing. Everything going to plan, the book will be released in 2018, by which point my hair will be completely and not just semi-grey.

You can read more info at the website below:

Black Inc. Books

Elegy for a Millionaire

The Lifted Brow published an essay of mine in their ‘Capital’ edition. It’s a stupidly good line up of writing dealing with the richest subject available: money.

The piece is called ‘Elegy for a Millionaire’. The subject is my dad. It’s about how the trauma and poorness of his childhood created a lifelong obsession with wealth and leaving behind a financial legacy. Also: how workaholism is a well-meaning way to die early while earning your kids a lifetime of neurosis on the subjects of love and money.

You can read an excerpt from the essay at The Lifted Brow website.

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Scribe Non-Fiction Prize shortlist

I was stoked to get on the shortlist for the 2016 Scribe Non-Fiction Prize. The title of my submission was iGrief: a survivor’s guide to dying. You can read an interview about my entry here or below. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Grieve Believably

http://seizureonline.com/how-to-grieve-believably/

The doctor said his heart was defective. I didn’t know hearts could defect. Wikipedia said it was a death wish. The doctor called it a genetic recurrence. Someone sent a fruit dish. I chose the least ripe looking peach, some kind of exercise in self-denial.

My father – strong-willed, hard-bodied – excused himself to the men’s room. There were teeth marks on his arm where he bit down to hide the noise.

The nurse said, ‘Preparations.’

He was led into an unlit room. A voice over the loud speaker said, ‘Lunch will be served late. Spam and devilled eggs on bread.’

Camera flashes went off like gunfire. I asked the nurse what was going on. ‘We’re freezing his expression,’ she said, ‘so you can remember what his disappointment looks like.’ I asked her if that was really necessary.

She said, ‘Necessary? Nothing in life is necessary.’
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The Organic Type

Cow, Hide

I never told anyone about the second time I watched a person die.

I was working at a bottle shop on Old Cleveland Road. The manager looked like a short, fat Gene Hackman. His name was Greg. He had the weary anger of a returned serviceman. Far as I could tell, the furthest he’d been was Phuket.

He always asked me things I had no way of knowing.

He said, ‘What the hell is wrong with young people these days?’

I said, ‘No idea, Greg.’

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Tribulations

Scum Mag

The underfed fled home on summer holidays. Invitations leaked out on Facebook. Boosters used words like shindig and soirée. This was a less obvious way of saying party. We were trained to overstate the hint and underestimate the open gesture. Obscurity was in vogue. The truth was yesterday’s newspaper.

I cut my losses and stayed inside. ‘I have too much on my many plates,’ I lied.

One night I came back to life. The air was warm and the sky was dark. Emily Clyde was having a party. Her place was an architect’s vague idea of a French château. I entered through the sliding gates, went around the side.

There was a well-lit crowd beneath a Bali hut in the backyard. I approached discreetly, found everyone how I’d left them. Tanned skin, teeth gleaming.

‘Surprise!’ I screamed.

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