Thursday, 5 March 2015


Last year I was reading a paper while waiting for my wife when a headline prompted me to scratch down the following few lines. Today with the action happening in Indonesia and the penalties imposed on drug dealers there, I thought it might be topical if I posted this poem / song lyrics.

It is a first draft and I'd love to hear your comments.

Crystal’s staring at the pavement

Of the Grand Paradise Hotel

Where police tape flickers

before the morning breeze

And she’s lost in the bloodstain

Left where the victim fell

Second night of a two week honeymoon

They’d spent the day in bed

And food came to their room

Making love all through the morning

She thrilled with inner movements

And glowed there in his spoon

Dinner at the restaurant

at the Grand Paradise Hotel

Then dancing in the ballroom

With the man she knew so well

The music pumped the pulsing light

And the world could go to hell.

Now she’s staring at the pavement

Of the Grand Paradise Hotel

And thinking about that pill

Wondered why he thought he’d need it

Was it just another thrill?

The dealer was the devil

And he pushed a little hard

Toby palmed two hundred

You can’t put that stuff on a card

They danced until the small hours

And made it quite a night

Then in the elevator

He held her really tight

She kissed him in the lift

He caressed her in the hall

And when he laid her on their bed

She offered him her all

Then somewhere in between

The darkness and the light

He swallowed what the dealer sold him

And believed he could take flight.

Now Crystal’s staring at the pavement

Outside the Grand Paradise Hotel

She’s staring at the bloodstain

Where her Toby fell

The dealer was the devil

And he pushed a little hard

Toby palmed two hundred

You can’t put that on card

Now Crystal’s staring at the pavement

Outside the Grand Paradise Hotel

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

The Value of Children Stories

Since my children have blessed me with grandchildren I have gained a better perspective for the importance of good stories in a child’s life. I remember being with my own children, sitting on their beds and reading Dr Seuss, Enid Blyton, Rudyard Kipling and Australia’s own Colin Thiele.

It didn’t matter that Mr Percival was lost, we knew Stormboy would save the situation. Noddy and Big Ears shared many scrapes and came out the other side, better for their adventure. The Famous Five taught us courage, while Anne of Green Gables helped my girls discover the enjoyment of reading. While they read they also watched movies and listened to music. Every piece, a story told in its own way. Sure some of the stuff served up was trash but over time they learned to differentiate between the two.

Who didn’t sing along to Achy Breaky Heart when it came out, Billy Ray Cyrus had a story to tell too, and the song did very well for him. Everything we do has a story to it and hopefully we can teach our children to be confident when they speak and write. Helping them to understand the stories they see or hear helps them to craft their own presentations. We are assured this century will be remembered as the, Information Revolution, in the same way as we speak about the Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth century. If that is to be the case then reading and importantly , understanding what has been read is important. Reading is the best way anyone can learn how to craft their own story. Therefore we need to help our children see the subtleties of good writing.

I spent some time last year with a three year old, her grandmother and I were on duty to entertain for three hours. We put Chitty Chitty Bang Bang into the DVD player, and who doesn’t like one hundred and forty minutes of Dick Van dyke. The story written about the same time as Ian Fleming was creating James Bond has his style all over it.

Granny who hadn’t seen it before was entertained too.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Les Gillespie's Gold Update

This book is taking longer to write than I first expected. As I understand the process better now, the more I have tried to craft a better tale. I hope that everyone who enjoyed Kundela will be blown away by Les Gillespie's Gold. I believe I have broken the back of the story now and am ready to draw all of the plot lines together.

I hope to have the manuscript ready for editing soon.



Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Les Gillespie's Gold Excerpt.

I am having a bit of trouble with the young women in this novel. They are forcing their way into bigger roles, here Tilly's nemesis, Sam, is being intimidated by a colleague.
Sam couldn’t wait to change and kicked her boots off outside the door; by the time she reached the bathroom she was naked. Carrying her clothes over an arm, she didn’t seen Gino sitting on a stool in the kitchen. He bided his time and waited until he heard the shower running. He poured himself another scotch and a dropped ice into a glass. He took another tumbler, poured in two fingers of Vodka and dropped in a wedge of lime for Sam. Sam was humming and he smiled. He had her right where he wanted her. Gino sauntered into the bathroom and put the drinks on the basin. Pleased she hadn’t heard him, he closed the toilet lid covered it with a towel and sat down. He reached across, picked up the Vodka and held it toward the shower. Sam had her back to him and he supposed the water had helped prevent her from hearing him come in.
Gino liked to think of himself as a cat, stealthy and composed, he stifled a smirk. ‘Drink?’ he said.
Sam knew the voice and wanted to scream, but knew it would do her no good. She had never felt so vulnerable and yet her nakedness gave her power. Men were week, if she managed this right he would leave her in peace. If she judged it wrong, she could be in danger.
Sam took shampoo from the shelf and lathered it in her hands. She turned to face him and stood there; her feet apart. Sam could feel his eyes taking all of her in; her hands worked the shampoo into her hair. To her surprise she found she didn’t mind him ogling her, in fact it made her feel stronger and knew he was weakening. Suds washed from her hair onto her shoulders and she watched his eyes track it all the way to her feet.
‘A drink'll be nice, just let me freshen up here and I’ll catch up with you in the kitchen.’

Thursday, 1 January 2015

The Chinaman’s Curse

A couple of years ago, I wrote an indepth profile for Joe's father Les. Among the many details, hair and eye colour etc, I wrote several poems and letters that Les would leave as clues to the location of his gold reef.
While going back over stuff today I found the folde and remembered this poem, it is in draft but it has helped me get inside the head of one of Joe's father.

This gift of gold I’ll give to you
And from deep within the ground
You’ll find more hidden there
For in a white quartz reef
It glows like a river’s sheen
From a winch you must descend
And listen for the water’s sound
And in the dampened darkness
In your lamplight watch it gleam
Now my son you have my seam
And behold its golden glow
And as the decades pass so slow
Remember me in loving terms
And not when at my worse
For what the fever’s done to me
There’s a thing that you should know
The vapours they will linger long
So beware the Chinese Curse

And beware the High Street Spruiker
On a box that once held soap
And heed not the pull of greed
When all your pockets empty
And every cupboard’s bare
Stay clear of the sleazy spivs in spats
Who peddle mindless dope
And of the old and in rags a begging
Allow not let your eyes to stare

Beware of slick investors
Who want more than just your gold
This world has many treasures
Camped deep within its core
My secret is a keeper
And down the years
It’s only you I’ve told
For gold is only currency
And is really nothing more

Friday, 19 December 2014

Merry Christmas

As we wind our way toward the Christmas and New Year holidays, I wanted to take a few moments and thank you for your friendship and support over the last twelve months.
2014 has been a great year for me and a one I’ll remember fondly. First highlight was having my short story, Banib the Bunyip win second prize in the 2013 Melton Short Story Competition. In January I learnt that my debut novel Kundela was commended in the FAW National Literary Awards.
An author may write in isolation, but when the manuscript is as good as they can get it, there is still more to do. If the writer is smart or lucky, they will find an editor with the skills to take their story and make it into a prize winning novel. Merlene Fawdry waved her magic over the manuscript for Kundela and I can’t thank her enough for the work she put in. She made it into a winner.
Unless a book sells, as a writer you feel as if you have under achieved, so I’d like to thank all of the book sellers who put Kundela on their shelves, your support of an independent writer is empowering.
Writers need readers too and to all of you who bought enough copies of Kundela to make a reprint necessary, I’m thankful. Feed back is like food to someone like me and to those who said how much they enjoyed the book thank you. Your encouragement empowers my resolve to write.
This year I finished another novel, an adventure set in Melbourne. Toby Farrier is a fifteen year old boy living with his grandfather. Toby gets into all manner of trouble, when he sets course to solve the riddle of a desk that has lain, locked and forgotten since 1930.
Currently I am working on the second book in the Kundela series. I have planned another children’s novel which I hope to start soon. Both manuscripts should be finished by this time next year.
Ruth and I wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and we hope you enjoy a happy and prosperous New Year.
Once again thanks for the continued support

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Les Gillespie's Gold Roadblock

As I started my NaNoWriMo challenge I flew into the word count, but writing Gods are fickle and tossed a problem to me. I had written myself into a conundrum, Jeff was in the outback writing a poem to Tilly and for once I couldn't make it work.  Rough little rhymes are usually something that come to me fast and unforced, but when I required one in Chapter 20, I failed. Pressure off and I penned this poem in a few minutes.

Today I toss it out into the ether for any poets to read, rewrite and make better. It may not appear in the final draft, but the poem Adnymathanha Stars has helped me finish chapter 21 and power into the rest of the novel.

Leave me a comment with your changes or thoughts.
Adnyamathanha Stars

Throw open your curtains and turn out the light

Fear not the shadows, I’m with you tonight

Peer out of your window and look up to the stars

For I’m sending you kisses on light waves from Mars

All alone on my swag I stare into the night

Longing to touch you and hold you so tight

With each little moon beam, that falls on your face

I’m sending my love song, from this ancient place

I’m sleeping in places where my ancestors slept

Where stories of wisdom and old secrets, are kept

Now I see far above me vast constellations of stars

And know if I lost you, on my heart there’d be scars

Two nights ‘til I see you and my days will just drag

Two slow days of more listening, to young fellas brag

Two more days of them bitching, their unending moan

And at the end of these days, my darling, I’m home

So sleep well in our bed of springs, latex and foam

For I’m lying tonight on a mound of red clay and loam

Take kisses from moon beams that land on your cheek

Store in a glass, my candle of love ‘til the end of the week

Throw open your curtains and turn out the light

Fear not the shadows, I’m with you tonight

Out of your window look these old Adnyamathanha stars

And know I’m sending my kisses on light waves from Mars