G'day Eric. You're looking bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Not bad for a nonagenarian, I must say. 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 itt 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
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):
Ohmy News (South Korea):
Open Writing (England):
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.