Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Happy Birthday Isabella

Twenty one years ago today you burst into the world and made your presence known. I have to say it was one of the best days of my life and way back then I made up this rhyme for you.

Isabella, Isabella, Isabella Rose,
Tiny little fingers
Tiny little nose.
Big brown eyes
and a little button nose
Isabella, Isabella, Isabella Rose.

Happy Birthday from Ruth and I, just thinking about you makes us smile.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Toby Farrier Excerpt

This is one of the pieces in Toby Farrier I enjoyed writing, it is about halfway into the story and Tracy is confronting her guilt about sending Toby away.

Tracy put a finger to his lips. ‘You know John Evans came to see me and Darren tonight and he let me in on what happened just before I dumped all this on you at the hospital. Only then, did I learn how much stuff you’ve had going on, and I think I’ve been a bit unfair. For too long Darren and I have tried to put what we did to one side, not think of how we failed you and we didn’t know how much we need your forgiveness.’ Tracy felt her tears stream down her cheeks. ‘Everyone sees me as this hardnosed business woman without feelings, yet every day the little girl inside me wants to hide until a good fairy comes along and makes everything right.’ She dug around in her bag and produced a tattered long haul driver’s log book. ‘This is your dad’s. From the day you left he folded the pages a different way. Most truckies fold forward but your dad folded them back. You might wonder why, but I think you’ll find the answer in there somewhere. I know I did.’ She passed it to him. ‘You know, Sarah, John’s sister, your Mum Shellie, and me we were all mates, right through school. When Michelle contracted breast cancer that was the just the pits and we all cried for days. When we found out she was having you, she was over the moon until they told her the therapy would harm your chance of survival. Our friend told them she would go full term and then have the treatment. She was so brave, Toby and so strong willed, we couldn’t talk her out of it. Maybe you remember the perfume because she wore it too, we all did. She gave it to us for being her bridesmaids.’

Toby picked up a box of tissues and passed them to his stepmother.

‘You should hate us for what we did and yet here you are passing me bloody tissues.’

‘Pop taught me that holding a grudge is hard work and I reckon he’s right.’ Toby turned away, he didn’t need tears and if he looked at Tracy he knew they would have the box empty in a minute. ‘I was angry, and my moods made me quite a handful for a long time, but he never pressured me. Sure I had to go to a new school, but nobody there knew how bad I was and some of the kids who were there, were worse. I soon saw that I was lucky to have someone who loved me unconditionally. I couldn’t say it like this at the time, but I knew what I wanted to say, I just couldn’t make out the words. When I looked at what the teachers wrote on the boards to me it looked like alphabet soup, letters everywhere. Old Charlie got me sorted. He told Pop he’d heard someone talking about ADHD and disruptive kids on the radio. One appointment, a couple of hours of watching Shrek and we walked out with a prescription for new glasses and in a few days I could see how the letters formed words and even numbers made sense.’

‘Clever old you, eh?’ Tracy tried to hide her guilt by attempting to laugh. ‘There was so much bitterness between Darren and his Dad, what could we do?’


Les Gillespies Gold: Exerpt - Chapter 15

I'm back to writing Les Gillespies Gold again and thought I would share this exerpt, which I had a lot of fun writing. As with everything, it may not make it into the final draft of the story, but it felt good to write such an exchange. Let me know what you think.

Emily had squeezed between him and the table cuddling into him for warmth.
         ‘Good morning little one, why are you out of bed?’ Tilly had asked if she could stay with Joe and Laura overnight.
         ‘Couldn’t sleep.’
         Emily shook her head and stared at the changing sky. ‘Pop, you know how Mum and Jeff are getting married.’
          ‘Yep.’ Joe said. ‘Why, don’t you want them too?’
          ‘It’s not that. I like Jeff, but do I have to call him Dad?’
          ‘Not if you don’t you want too?’Joe wondered how Emily would take the changes. He would sooner have Tilly and Jeff answer these questions, but he loved that his granddaughter could come to him for counsel. ‘What do you want to call him?’
         ‘Jeff, it will seem funny to call him, Dad now, but he’ll be like a dad, won’t he? I just want to call him, Jeff, like before, that’s all.’
         ‘I think he’ll be fine with that too.’
         ‘And do you think Mum will love him more than me?’
         ‘Hmm, what do you think?’
         ‘Well, I don’t think she will stop loving me, maybe she will love us the same, but different. You know, she will love him grown up ways.’
         ‘Yep, that’s what I would have said. You are one smart young lady.’
         ‘I heard Mum tell Jeff, that if you said he couldn’t marry her, to tell you, it’s a shottie. What does that mean?’ Emily screwed her face around, trying to squeeze the same inflection her mother put into the word she didn’t understand.
        Joe struggled to hold his composure, Emily was serious and these were questions, he’d rather not answer. What would she ask next?
       ‘How about some pancakes with whipped butter and maple syrup?’ Joe said.
       ‘I don’t think so, not yet anyway.’ She snuggled in, shivered, and dragged his flannel shirt around her. ‘If mum has a baby, then it will be theirs won’t it, hers and Jeff’s. Do you think they will love it more than me?’
       ‘How could anybody love anyone, more than your Mum loves you? You should have seen her the day you came into the world, a little wrinkled up red bundle of arms and legs. She had a bit of trouble and was in a lot of pain, but the moment you arrived she was complete. Her world was right again, but you, Emily Beatrice Gillespie, you screamed the hospital down.’
       ‘Did I, did I cry a lot?’
       ‘Cry... I think they heard you in the next town. You were louder than that old rooster over there. The hospital told us you had the strongest set of lungs they’d ever heard.’ He placed a hand on her tummy and tickled her. She writhed and giggled in time to his touch. ‘You settled down once you had a feed, but boy that day was special. And well, you let everyone know you had arrived.’
       She loved his storytelling, and he knew a flood of questions would burst from inside her. ‘Was I quiet from then on?’
      ‘Only until you started to talk and we haven’t been able to shut you up since. Just like now questions, questions, questions.’ He turned away. ‘Look, if they do decide to have a baby, and who’s to say they will. I reckon there will be more love in your house, than in any other place in town, in the State, or even the whole of Australia maybe. Things’ll be fine. Do you reckon you can love Jeff too? What do you think?’
      ‘Yep, if he doesn’t make Mum sad.’
      ‘Do you think he will?’
      ‘Sometimes she’s cross with him.’
      ‘Sometimes she’s cross with you too, and sometimes Granny’s cross with me. In the end though, it’s only a little thing and the love is bigger than that. You’ll see, we’ll all be fine.’
     ‘You sure?’
     ‘Yep, as sure as I am that I make better pancakes than Jeff Rankin.’ Joe cuddled her; his big arms covered her tiny frame. ‘Let’s eat. You can get the butter and syrup out of the fridge.’
     ‘Pop?’ Emily put the margarine on the table.
     ‘What’s Chanel No5?’
     ‘Before we left the pub, they were whispering, and I heard Mum ask Jeff what pyjamas she should wear. And he said Chanel No5.’
     ‘Come on, I’ll need some help with the batter.’ Joe said. ‘That’s a question for your grandmother.’

Friday, 20 June 2014

JENNY: First draft of a song lyric.

Jenny’ 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 spent the day in bed

And food came to their room

Making love all through the morning

She thrilled with his inner movements

And glowed there in his spoon


Dinner at the restaurant

of 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 wondering about the pill

Wondered why he thought he needed 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 on card


They danced until the small hours

They 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

Them somewhere between

The darkness and the light

He swallowed what the dealer sold him

And believed he could take flight.


Now Jenny’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 Jenny’s staring at the pavement

Monday, 9 June 2014

Toby Farrier - Update.

I have been going over the draft of my first manuscript and fixing many of the punctuation and plot errors before I look at attempting a structural edit. I should have this second draft completed by the end of the week and I am looking fro five volunteers to offer an opinion on the story.

I have aimed the story at the same age group who read Harry Potter. This is a contemporary story set in modern Melbourne. Middle school kids are on a quest to unravel the mysteries hidden in documents Toby has found in an old desk. An evil professor stands between them and the key to the mystery. Will Toby and his friends prevail, or will the evil professor toss them into the lost underground strongroom.

If you are interested please leave me a message or comment. Thank you.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Fascio Scapulo Humeral Muscular Dystrophy


I have a little illness

And it knocks me about you see

I find it just a bit harder now

That I have this F.S.H.D.

Four little letters to tell me why

My shoulders droop

My calves are sore

And my smile is all awry

Purse you lips she said to me

And I tried the best I could

Now can you whistle

I puffed my cheeks

And pursed my lips

And blew quite hard you see

There you go your symptoms show

You have F.S.H.M.D.

A diagnosis I had at last

But, it sounded like a whistle to me

I love the sound those letters make

And I often wonder why

Of this grand lottery that I would win

When cash seems to me a better prize

My legs feel like lead all day

My neck and shoulders too

It took a while to diagnose

It grinds away my energy

And saps at my strength too

It’s fair to say that F.S.H.M.D.

Is not a gift I’d want for you.

Today you’ll see me leaning on a stick

Soon a walker for my need

And then a chair with two big wheels

Cause I’ll need them for speed

Till then I have to some things to say

While my mind’s still strong

I’ll share with you a story or a song

I have a little illness

And it knocks me about you see

I find it just a bit harder now

That I have this F.S.H.M.D.


During one of our Wordsmiths of Melton, workshops. Our facilitator, Beverley Eikli asked us to write up to ten lines beginning with, what a mess. It didn't have to be a poem or anything specific but the words just sang to me and I heard a rhythm to them.
This is my effort. 
What a mess I’ve made of life

Gone my home, my kids, my wife

At twenty three I found the booze

So much to win I could not lose

Came the cards and pokies too

I put an end to me and you

Oh what a mess I’ve made of life

No house no car no loving wife

My kids they have no time for me

I stand here now, old at forty three

I know that I could lick the booze

There is nothing left for me to lose

Banned from clubs for counting cards

I ache to here our children in the yard

Oh what a mess I’ve made of life

No home no kids no loving wife

I wander to my squat alone

Nobody here to share my home

I brought this sadness down on me

A foolish man who would not see

The damage selfish acts would do

It brought an end to me and you

Oh what a mess I’ve made of life

No hope no home no loving wife.


Andy has a picture, right there on her phone
A dog sits in a pusher, with her muzzle going grey
And in the morning sun it warms her
She wriggles round and wants the pain to go away

Minnie has a bit of trouble; it’s arthritis in her hip
So Pop and Nan her owners, spent ten dollars
And got a pusher from the tip

Now when they go walking, Minnie’s riding up the front
She’s looking at the traffic watching people in their cars
And town kids stop to pat her and their mothers like to chat
Minnie she just sits there, like she’s waiting for the stars 

Sometimes when she’s sleeping she’ll bark
Chasing rabbits in her dream, working sheep or moving cattle
Down the paddock cross the road and through the stream
Pop drops down his hand, and rubs her head
They watch a bit of footy, and he takes her out to bed 

She’s been a close companion right down through her years

Listened to their troubles listened to their fears.
Minnie has a bit of strife now; it’s arthritis in her hip
So Rod and Gwen her owners, spent ten dollars
And bought her a pusher from the Swan Hill tip