Thursday, 30 October 2014

Memories of a childhood mate.

Over the past few years, thanks to the wonders of the internet, I have been able to keep in touch with many friends and family. School was one of those places where we all met people. Some we may not have become close to, but who we still remember. Over the years we be-friend some, find we don't get on with others and make enemies of a few. Time tends to erase the worst memories and today I find myself e-mailing them and swapping stories about our own good old days.
    My school was Orroroo Higher Primary School and at the time kids bussed in from Carrieton, Tarcowie, Willowie, Yatina and Johnburgh. In the sixties over three hundred and twenty kids filled the courtyard for assembly. Some stood out for academic prowess, others for their sporting ability and then there were the bottom feeders, people like me. We scraped through without recognition and had to carry home report cards telling our parents we must strive more, if we expected to achieve a pass mark.
    During these early years one kid stood out, not because he was different, but because he was away from school for big chunks of the year at times. We didn’t know why.
    Allen lived a few houses up the street from us. I didn’t understand until we were in about year five, that Allen was different, he had polio. Nothing stopped this bloke, we played cricket, rode our bikes (his was a three wheeler, but boy he made it go) swapped comics and dreamed. Never once can I recall him complaining of his condition. I think as most kids do he accepted it.
    As happens often, his family moved away and our lives went on. Allen enjoyed success in the education field and I followed into the family business.
    My memory is that he always had a positive attitude. Maybe it is something he dealt with back then. Today through social media and by collecting stories from other people, he is working to make others aware of what polio did to sufferers like him. His is work of great service. For me we were kids, Allen didn't have poliomyelitis, sure he had irons that made him walk funny, but I had freckles and was not academically gifted. Other kids were different too, that hasn't changed, at the time we just got on with.
Heroes come in different guises; Allen Gibb is this to me.

Check out his posts on Facebook to follow more of his story.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Kundela reviewed by AUSTCRIME

Scrolling through writing sites last night and found a review of my novel KUNDELA, on the AustCrime website.

Not the best review one could hope for, but an honest and helpful critique of my work.

Take a look and see if you agree:

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Back to writing Les Gillespie's Gold today

Today I have spent the morning research gold exploration company requirements and my head is in a spin. One good thing though it has allayed some of my doubts for the story line.  Word count is increasing and I can see the novel taking form. Roll on those last two words.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Character writing exercise: Goal, Motivation, Conflict

I presented this piece to the group today, who received it with mixed reaction. I wasn't as literal in my descriptions or conflict and aspirations, of Ciny, Faith and Ben, as the group expected,  but I wanted to convey the characters in a more abstract way. I'm interested in everyone's comments. You can find the criteria in the previous post. I hope you enjoy my take on a popular exercise.


I knew my target’s habits and knew what time he would arrive. The Awards Presentation would be crowded but the lines of people lining the red carpet would work to my advantage.

Television crews were set up everywhere and it was easy to blend in, my only concern was the occupants of room 515. From the fifth floor I would have a clean shot, it was only four hundred metres, the carpet would provide excellent background and alignment.

I learned Faith and Cindy McLeod lived in 515 from the names on the apartment mail boxes. I arranged tickets to the Oscars for them on the ruse that they won them in a competition. Their apartment would be vacant by noon and I did not expect them to arrive before midnight. Once inside, all I had to do was wait.

I dressed as a staff janitor, I stowed my rifle in a cleaning trolley and made it to the fifth floor. Just before noon the girls left via the lifts at the end of the hall. I used a stolen house pass to gain access.

I took a towel from the trolley and laid it on the table, where I put the unassembled rifle. I pulled a cleaner through the barrel, looked down the bore and started assembly. I knew I only need one shot, but filled the five shot magazine and put another cartridge in the chamber to be sure.

I moved furniture to make sure I was comfortable and cracked a front window open. There was nothing between my position and the target.

I shut the window and waited, at 2.30 the phone rang, I ignored it. By 3-30, I heard people in the hall, but they walked on. I kept the television muted and watched reporters accosting celebrities making their way along the carpet.

At 5.00 pm I opened the window again and took up my position. Flags hung listless from their poles, no wind, that would help. I lined up a couple of guests who were about the same height as my target, Ben.

A stretch Hummer arrived, at 5.10 the target and his escort stepped out. I cursed under my breath, the limo blocked my view. I cocked the rifle, slid the safety off and waited. The Hummer glided away. He was clear,  I squeezed the trigger and watched the bullet take its mark.

My end of the contract was complete. I closed the window, packed up the rifle, put the furniture back and sauntered out.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Writing Exercise

A few weeks back one of the members of my writing group showed three pictures to us. Tracey thought we could use them for an exercise on Goal, Motivation, and Conflict.

We all agreed and someone suggested by the end of the month we should write short story around the pictures of the two women and a man. We decided on names and the goals etc are below..

The Girls were:
  • Faith:   Serious and ambitious.
  • Cindy:  Bubbly and fun
Their goal was to meet and become the girlfriend of Ben.

The motivation was sisterly rivalry

Conflict was Ben's high profile and fitness regeim

I self-imposed a word limit of 500 words and took what I hope is a different approach. I will post the story on Wednesday after the group has shared theirs too.