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Jun 28

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Eric Shackle Interviews Himself For His 1000th Story

G’day Eric. You’re looking bright and bushy-tailed. Not bad for a nonagenarian, I must say. http://nimblenoms.blogspot.co.uk/ I’ve just googled your name, and found dozens of links to stories you have written. How did it all begin?

About 12 years ago one of my four sons, Ian, emailed a very clever anagram to me. It was:
Shakespeare: To be or not to be: that is the question, whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.
Anagram: In one of the Bard’s best-thought-of tragedies, our insistent hero, Hamlet, queries on two fronts about how life turns rotten.
I was so impressed that I decided to trace it back to find it. I soon established that it had been composed by an American post-graduate student, Cory Calhoun. And it was posted on an anagram website run by Anu Garg.
I exchanged several emails about anagrams with Anu Garg, one of which I still find amazing:
I discovered that ANAGRAM GENIUS= NAME IS ANU GARG
Anu then invited me to be his copy editor. I gladly accepted. Twelve years later, I still enjoy
that job.
Anu is now an American citizen living in Seattle.

You claim you’ve written a thousand stories. Have you kept count of them?

No, it’s only a guesstimate, and it doesn’t include hundreds of items I wrote for newspapers when I worked as a staff journalist.

Which newspapers have you worked for?

In New Zealand: The Press (Christchurch)
In Australia: The Queenslander*, Brisbane Courier-Mail and Sunday Mail; Sydney: Daily Telegraph, Truth*,Daily Mirror*, Weekend*
*No longer published

Have you had any stories published as a freelance?

Yes, quite a lot. One in The New York Times and one in The Observer (London)…
and several in The Sydney Morning Herald.

How can we find your stories?

Try these three collections:
Eric Shackle’s e-book (South Africa):
http://www.bdb.co.za/shackle/archives/archive_summary.htm
Ohmy News (South Korea):
http://english.ohmynews.com/english/eng_article_diff.asp?writer_id=Shack&at_code=387303
Open Writing (England):
http://www.openwriting.com/archives/eric_shackle_writes/

Do you receive much feedback from your readers?

No, very little. That’s probably because I steer clear of politics and religion, and other controversial subjects. I usually write about trivia.
A few months after I began putting stories on the internet, I received these messages:

It’s an ever-expanding collection of stories that make us think, laugh, and learn.
Wordsmith Anu Garg, mastermind of A.Word.A.Day Seattle, Washington, USA.

“Life begins at 80 … on the Internet,” proclaims Eric.
And ever since his hi-tech epiphany, he has been celebrating his
new-found obsession with this eclectic collection of writing.
Nick Galvin checks out some of the newest destinations on the Net
(Sydney Morning Herald)

I don’t read your articles because you are “the oldest.”
I read them because you have interesting things to say.
“The Boy on a Bicycle”, Denver, Colorado, USA.

I thought that I would never see
My father grasp technology.
Now his thoughts rush ’round the world
A brain let loose like flags unfurled.
Ian Shackle, Frog Rock, New South Wales, Australia

I hope those endorsements still apply.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.openwriting.com/archives/2012/06/eric_shackle_in_1.php/