Monday, 30 July 2012

Lionel Probert's War Diary "Bougainville 1945"

I have been transcribing this Journal all afternoon and decided to share some of what he'd written.

The whole Journal is going to take some time to complete and with Edna's permission I would love to publish it for her.

I find it hard to see him as a 23 year old and taking the time to write this down.

Lionel Probert's War Diary Notes:


Entry December 21 1945

Corsairs going out with two bombs & belly tank, going out to bomb Rabaul.
Lot of big guns, going up to the front. I’ll bet these Japs are sorry they started this war.
Are going to have a pretty comfortable camp here. Camped on an old battlefield.
7000 Japs killed here last march when they tried to push the Yanks off Bougainville. Almost succeeded.
Sixty nine of them buried just off the road.
Four Letters from Joy tonight, seems to have it bad.
Active volcano 5 miles away, very interesting smoke pouring out all day. According to scientists, it is due to erupt next year. It’s called Mt Bogana. There is another active volcano on island
Big offensive by A.I.F. S/Western side of perimeter.

Yanks beer issue tonight & they sound very boisterous.

Fifteen Aussies buried in Military Cemetery. “Killed In Action”

Thursday, 26 July 2012

The War Diary of a 23 year old airman

 Today at the back of the little old memo book used as a journal while serving in New Guinea,I found a poem.

The Journal itself makes good reading, and it shows the way a 23 year old serviceman's  thoughts ebbed and flowed during the war.It's sad yet interesting at the same time.

He called the poem:

To our Daddy, The Pop Poppa Postman

 You’re a ruddy welcome fellow

Mister Postman in the sky

You’re a doubly welcome caller

If it’s mail or only Kai
 We all turn out to watch for you

In your Auster-Wirra-Boomer

For your coloured dropping streamers

Put the skids ‘neath old man’s gloom

We scramble from our dugouts

When we hear your motor hum

And, when you’ve gone we cheer you

I’ve heard them call you Bum

Friday, 20 July 2012

Gertie's first show & tell

Gertie will be six and because her birthday is this week, Miss Brown asked her to share something with her class for their Anzac Day Show and Tell.

From the day she was born, Pop had taken a special interest in the infant. Gertie wasn’t the first of his great grandchildren, but her little face would light up and she became excited whenever he came near her. No one could explain it, maybe it was the old man’s deafness, or his wheelchair, and whatever it was the infant sensed, Pop responded in kind.

Before called up to serve his country during World War 2, Pop had been a schoolteacher. A job, he loved taking pride in helping his students achieve their potential. ‘The greatest challenge for people seeking success in anything is knowledge and hard work.’ He would say ‘If I can show them a path to knowledge, then that’s enough for me.’

War had left him with severe hearing loss, and rather than sit around feeling sorry for himself Pop learned to communicate by using sign language. He began to teach others, signing to those around him and soon, everyone was proficient.

Gertie seemed to catch on quickly, the infant would giggle and wave her hands around in copied movements, soon making words and muddled sentences. ‘She will sign before she can talk, Pop said. He spent hours with her, teaching her about grass, ants, spiders and all manner of things. Gertie loved following the old man around, toddling after his wheel chair while he moved around his raised garden beds, tending to his plants. She loved helping with the chooks, and washing Bob, the old brown dog.

If Pop moved, Gertie was there.

Gertie was born on ANZAC Day, and each year she would watch her Great Granddad polish his medals, getting his suit ready for the ANZAC Day march. The little girl liked seeing him all dressed up in his suit. She stared, watching his medals swinging and rattling on their brightly coloured ribbons, as the old soldier shifted about.

To everyone in town he was Pop, and with only a little bit of grey hair smoothly clipped above his ears, the family would laughingly say. ‘Great Grandad has more hair in his ears and nose than he has on his head.’ Gertie didn’t care she loved the old man, nose hair and all. He was gentle and kind. He told wonderful stories to Gertie and her cousins, all kinds of yarns about the bush, of old times, mystical places with fairies and elves. Pop had plenty, a yarn for every occasion

Living with his daughter, Pop enjoyed seeing Gertie when they visited. She too loved the visits especially climbing up onto Pop’s wobbly old knees while he sat in his wheelchair. Holding onto the arms and laughing loudly, they would speed up and down the passage with Gertie screaming. ‘Do it again Pop.’

Pop, grabbing at either wheel of the chair as they got to the kitchen, the skidding chair would swing around wildly,

Granny would shout at them ‘Out, out, out of my kitchen now’

Pop’s arms pumping the wheels and off they would go again, speeding up to the front room, Pop now grabbing at the other wheel spinning his laughter cart, and starting the merriment all over again. Granny would wave a wooden spoon at them, making out she was cross, but they knew she was just joining in on the fun too.


After assembly, it would be time for Show and Tell, and the roll call seemed to be taking forever. All morning Gertie kept checking at the classroom door, wishing they would come. Then as promised, Mum wheeled Grandad into the classroom. He looked at walls, covered with pictures and projects, creations of childhood imagination. Then with a beckoning hand, the tall and smiling teacher called.

‘Gertie please come and introduce your family to your friends.’

Gertie raced to the front of the classroom and standing alongside her Great Grandad’s wheelchair, ‘This is my Pop, and he is here to tell us about Anzac Day.’ she said.

Just as he would do each year on her birthday, Pop had on his grey suit, today the medals seemed to sparkle and glisten even more, dancing in shafts of light streaming in through the classroom window.

‘Gertie, haven’t you forgotten someone?’ Miss Brown said.

‘Oh! And this is my mum’
The old man told the children the story of the Anzacs, he explained why the men and women formed into lines on the twenty fifth of April, and why they marched. Pop explained why it was important for everybody on each side of the conflict to remember their mates and comrades on this special day.
He told the children that now that he was very old and he knew that there were never any winners in war.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Wordsmiths of Melton just another good day.

We enjoyed a productive novel writing workshop today, with Merlene Frawley testing us with a couple of exercises to help with descriptive text, and observation skills. It was good too, to hear about everyone's work and how they are progressing. Bring on the next workshop.

For anyone wanting to try writing as a hobby I recommend you seek out a critiquing writers group and join in. You can learn so much from the other participants it will fast track your literary education and polish your skills.

For more information go to the Wordsmiths of Melton website:

I advise you to take a look at Merlene's site: ( ) where she has provided many helpful links.

If you find the articles people have posted interesting, please leave a comment. It polishes the ego of the Blogger or sets them straight either way your comment is important.

Thanks for visiting.

Les Gillespies Letters

This morning has been quite productive, as I build my the character of my ghost I have had to write a letter explaining the joy he gets from killing. I am now convinced I am developing the mind of a psychopath, finding a path to make the characters interesting is a challenge and my problem is to make theem different to the people I know.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

The Character Bus

When I was reaching the end of writing Kundela, I posted a notice on my blog telling the world (or those few who pass by the blog site anyway) saying I had planned the final chapters and would be finished in a couple of days. This prompted Merlene Frawley to ask if the characters were screaming ‘Are we there yet?’ I responded with something about them being on a school bus. I thought was clever at the time, but it has helped me to gel the characters into progressing the outline of my new novel.

            I see myself as the driver, stopping to pick up each character, introducing some and only giving others a nod as they alight. Over the novel’s progress, all of these identities will reveal a bit more of themselves to the other passengers. Travelling to their place in the story, we will come to know what they do, and how important they are. The lead characters will ride the bus every day and those who are casual, will come and go, maybe only riding for one stop, their worth not really noticed over the journey but they remain important to the narrative.

            Merlene has set the class task a for this week’s session, we are to develop the characters of our stories into a readily assessable chart. This has been a huge task and although the new book has a few characters from Kundela, I am finding a need to write out complete character profiles for these old friends. In the process, I am getting to know who everyone is, how they all relate to each other and what their place is in the story.

            For this book, I have written an outline that has a more detailed and flowing format than the one I used for Kundela. Supported by a time line and a storyboard the whole process will be easier, without the need to search for character and plot details of earlier chapters. As they say when painting a house, preparation is the biggest part of the job. With a full tank of diesel and only a few characters ready for work. I’m about to shift the bus into drive and get these individuals to work.

            This bus won’t stop once the manuscript is finished either, I am in the marketing process at the same time as rewriting the draft. This requires building a profile of publishers and their submission requirements, and if that’s not enough, I have become something of a bother to people who I’ve met over the years. Facebook, Linked In, and other social media, are raked over when I remember a name of someone who may remember me.

            The creativity continues as I write synopsis and applications, all different taking care to eliminate mistakes hoping to pique the interest of the recipient. I have received an incredible amount of help and encouragement from Wordsmiths of Melton and Merlene. If I do find a publisher, it is because they accepted me and made me welcome.

More from the diary of Les Gillespies

Poverty and Youth

Unseen by many
And known by few
Cold city streets
Steal soul from you

I am putting a few bits and pieces together for my next book Les Gillespies Gold, and as his family discover Les's troubled past, they find a diary and unposted old letters. These writings are the clue to his demons and a lost gold reef.

Trying to build his character, causes me to explore my ability to create a far different character than I had originally devised.

I hope I can do him justice.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Zombies now getting ready to print

The Zombie Racers of Raggletown

This story has been reviewed by my coleagues and I have included some of their suggestions in my last draft. I hope to put it and more of these stories into a small book due for release with Kundela.


Friday, 13 July 2012

Children make more work

So much for taking the kids to the park to escape the keyboard. I have had bits and pieces of the new novel running through my mind for thee days. I needed to surface get some fresh air and release the inner grandad.

After playing on all of the equipment at one park I took them to another. Arriving back at the car Kyamah turned to me and asked when I would write something for children again. When would Wurugi have another book? We talked about many things as themes and a bunyip seems to have won favour as a project for the three of us. Therefore Montanna and I will collaborate on one book while I work with Kyamah on another.

Tonight I promised them a horror story and so I will spend the weekend working on: The Zombie Racers of Raggletown. How creepy can I make it? Not too creepy I hope.

Wordsmiths of Melton, your enthusiasm has rubbed of and therefore I blame you for energy that keeps me at the keyboard, enjoying every keystroke.

The poetry and writings of Les Gillespie

Les Gillespie is the ghost character of my new novel. In a lost diary, his family have found some clues to his surly and destructive make up.

This is one of those clues:


At the throne of Mammon
I kneeled to pray
And to the clutch of Satan
I gave my soul away

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Wordsmiths of Melton

Great afternoon with the Wordsmiths of Melton. It was good to receive everyone's critiques, and share critiquing their stories too.

Thanks guys.

When I work out how to link this blog with theirs I will put up the links.

Terry L Probert

Les Gillespies Gold

Les Gillespies Gold

This is the title of my new work and is the second in a trillogy that started with Kundela.

Thanks to help from the Wordsmiths of Melton, and our Novel writing sessions by Merlene Fawdry, I have started building the frame work for this next book.

The planing elements are built around a rough draft of the plot, coupled with an outline. For this work, I have decided to use character charts to keep the players consistant, and not have to search the work to remember how I have described them previously. This will speed up the writing of the manuscript. I am also using a storyboard technique and aligning this with a time line to keep the flow of the story consistant..

I will post a Synopsis in the next couple of weeks, the first manuscript is taking some time to rewrite and edit at the moment and a new work seems to salve the creative urges at present.

Thanks to all for their encouragement.

Terry L Probert