The gifted Australian author Aiki Flinthart is dying of cancer. Soon. However she’s going to entertain us with ‘tumour humour’ before then. Make us laugh and cry in equal amounts. Give us something to think about.
Feb 2021 update – Sadly, Aiki has passed away. R.I.P. beautiful Soul.
Here’s a recent Facebook post from 9 January:
“Husband: (helping me into bed – accidentally flips the sheet up over my face).
Me/Him (same time): Hey! / Oops!
Husband: (hastily pulls sheet down and gives me a cheeky/guilty grin).
Me: Too soon. Not dead yet. Both of us dissolve into laughter”
You see what I mean?! Aiki is a popular writer and Aikido friend of my husband Kris Anderson. She currently has six weeks left to live.
This is a blog about her two final projects. A phenomenal anthology (Relics, Wrecks and Ruins) and an online course ‘Blackbelt in Writing’, the proceeds of which will fund a Flinthart writing residency program at QWC. I hope you can support Aiki’s legacy. A chat with her is below.
Interview with Aiki Flinthart
(conducted by FB Messenger on 12 Jan 2021)
As a 39/12/3 Life Path Artist, you’re here to heal your solar plexus chakra – inner sun / son / child / warrior, optimism and creativity. What advice do you have for 3s who are scared of bringing their ideas into the open?
(Note: 39/12/3’s are rare – people like Alfred Hitchcock, Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter fame, Olivia Newton-John and Kylie Minogue are famous examples)
Revealing your creative product to the world feels like you’re exposing your very soul to criticism, and that’s terrifying. No-one wants to be told they are ‘wrong’ or their work isn’t good enough. Try to remember that that sort of criticism (as opposed to constructive critiquing) is ALWAYS a reflection of the speaker’s own insecurities, NOT you or your work.
Books are like children, they need a team to succeed. What have you learned about gathering the right people around you this lifetime?
Books are definitely like children – especially anthologies. Sometimes it’s hard to find the right balance and work out which stories will ‘play well’ together when you’re working out what order to put them in. As for the people involved, it has been utterly delightful working with the extremely professional authors who contributed to this anthology.
My assistant editors (Gene Flynn and Lauren Daniels) donated their time to help make sure the stories were proofed and tidy. My cover illustrator (Daniele Serra) donated the stunning original art. Then Pamela Jeffs donated her time to design the actual cover layouts. And beyond that, so many people have helped me connect with authors who were harder to reach. Basically, it’s reminded me how most people really are kind, generous, helpful, and are trying to do the right thing.
3 Life Paths in numerology often have a harsh inner critic. How do you keep yours at bay?
Ahhh… the harsh inner critic. I long ago gave up keeping her at bay. It’s pointless. She’s always there, whispering that I’m not good enough, my work isn’t good enough etc. So instead of getting upset and depressed, I use her to motivate myself. Not good enough? Hah! Watch THIS then! Scared of what people will think of me? Hah! Doing it bloody any way.
Stuff what they think. Afraid of getting into trouble? Hah! Doing it anyway (as long as it’s something that won’t hurt other people). Basically, I give her the finger and go do what she wants me to fear, anyway.
Your humour is amazing. What is your favourite joke or who is your favourite comedian?
Luckily, my husband and I have a similar, dry, sometimes black sense of humour. We actually wrote into our wedding vows ‘all things will be viewed with humour, for with laughter everything is easier’. I don’t think I have a favourite joke – but my husband is excellent at ‘Dad’ jokes so I groan at those a lot.
Tim Minchin is my favourite comedian at the moment. The man is sharp, intelligent, well-educated, a talented musician, and politically savvy. (Note from Sarah: Tim Minchin is a 30/3 Life Path Artist, no wonder Aiki likes him as they share numerology!)
If you could choose your next body and lifetime, what or who do you want to be?
I’ll be honest and say that I’m pretty happy with the body I’ve had and the life I’ve lived. I don’t really need another – especially as I suspect the next 50 years are going to be frightening. I kinda feel bad for my son and my nieces and nephew. I’ve lived a great life, worked hard at being happy, helping others, passing on what I know, lifting others up, letting people know they are worthy of love. I’m ok with this life. No regrets, really.
3 Life Paths often love music and have a secret desire to sing. What song sums you up right now?
Really? How cool. I do love music. I trained on violin for 10 years and also play tin whistle, lute (a bit), and guitar. I also trained in opera singing for about 5 years (until I stuffed up my vocal cords). I think, as Aiki Flinthart, long-term martial artist, and teacher of workshops on writing fight scenes, I’d have to say “Killer Queen” by Queen works for me. I’ve always been a bit of a fighter. Never one to take things lying down or to give up easily.
(Note from Sarah: Here are some lyrics from “Killer Queen”. Very apt.
She’s a Killer Queen/ Gunpowder, gelatine/ Dynamite with a laser beam
Guaranteed to blow your mind/ Anytime. A post on Freddie Mercury’s 7 Life Path numerology)
The anthology name is Relics, Wrecks and Ruins – and it’s a mix of up and coming writers plus huge, international stars who’ve all lent their time and talent to the project. Thank you again!
Aiki is a generous, inspiring person who has impacted me greatly in the short time I have known her.
Not long ago, I asked her for advice on writing my autobiography and here are some of the gems she passed on…
“I’m glad you’re taking the time to put your history into writing. Doing that can be great for you, personally – to work through some of the issues you must have dealt with. It’s also good for other people to help them understand people better – especially those from other cultures and backgrounds.
It can feel like you’re baring your very soul and darkest secrets to total strangers, though – so I understand that it must be difficult for you to put on paper. (Aiki then listed plenty of tips and links)
You can do this, Sarah. Don’t be scared. I’m sure there will be so much people can learn from you.”
Wow, right. Beautiful words. Awesome person.
Aiki, thank you for showing us a different way to handle inner conflict and terminal illness. Your light will never be forgotten. I really appreciate your wise words, “Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.” May the forces of love always be with you.
Connect with Aiki Flinthart’s Work
Aiki Flinthart’s Website Her Bio: “Aiki Flinthart has 14 published speculative fiction novels, 2 collections of short stories, 2 non-fiction books and several short stories in anthologies and e-mags. She has been shortlisted in the Australian Aurealis Awards for Speculative Fiction, and a top-8 finalist in the USA Writers of the Future Competition. When not writing or running her business, she trains in martial arts, knife-throwing, archery, and lute-playing. Every once in a while she even sleeps.”
Aiki Flinthart’s Books I have read Shadow’s Wake and loved it – couldn’t put it down until the end. Immersive, full of realistic action and absolutely gripping storyline. Aiki specialises in writing about strong women.
Warrior Woman Words – her blog A must read for aspiring authors and those who wish to self-publish.
Quote: ” We take our lives and loved ones so much for granted it’s ridiculous. Mortality gives meaning to life. Use that knowledge wisely. Get off your arse and do things. Learn new skills. Help people make the most of their lives. Hug people more often.
Learn how people think and create characters who think differently from you. Then learn from them. Be the person, the parent, the lover, the friend, the writer, that you’ve always wanted to be.
Be kind. Be generous. Be more than you thought you could. Dying is difficult, messy and painful. But dying without living, first, is even worse.
You won’t ever regret being more, but you will regret not trying to be.”
Find Your Life Path
Famous 3 Life Paths
Famous People Numerology and Palmistry Readings
Coming soon – Interview with Stephanie Sinclaire-Lightsmith on Creative Alchemy: The Science of Miracles (book)
Giving Your Inner Critic the Prick – Interview with Tia Yoong from Pulse Acupuncture (a 30/3 Lifepath Artist in Numerology)
How to Deal with Criticism – 3 Tips for Staying Zen!
A Poem for My Critics (If You Can’t Beat Them, Enjoy Them!)