Thursday, 11 August 2016

Pining fo you

Gunna miss you Annie,
Gunna miss your smiles
Gunna feel your love shine through
Across those vacant miles
I saw your face reflected
In a great grandmother's tears
Happy happy tears.
We may have met but only once
And once again must do
So as you say goodbye
To Australia's shores
Our best wishes and lots of love
Go off to foreign shores with you.
Should you travel down to Cornwall
And walk among ancient stones
Look upon the names carved there
I'm sure you'll find a family name
or two there
It's where we our forefathers sailed from
where our genetics grew
So sing of your Australian links
When the flag of Australia's flown
With a foot in each hemisphere
You can call Australia home.
Gunna miss you Annie,
Gunna miss your smiles
Gunna feel your love shine through
Across those vacant miles
I saw your face reflected
In a great grandmother's tears
Happy happy tears.
We may have met but only once
And once again must do
So as you say goodbye
To Australia's shores
Our best wishes and lots of love
Go off to foreign shores with you.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

A little bit from Chapter 28 of Les Gillespie's Gold

Within minutes she had set up an office, arranged a colour printer for her suite, ordered paper and arranged a temp for tomorrow. She perused the menu and wine list and arranged for room service. It was time to open the picture files from Spoggy’s phone. Her own phone kept beeping with messages. She set it to, silent and decided to look at them later, but now the geologist in her wanted to study the samples she’d collected from the creek.
She rummaged in her case and found a pair of pantyhose. Out of habit she sniffed them and screwed up her nose, better to wreck a pair she had worn, rather than cut up a good pair. A coffee cup would serve as the repository to catch anything small and heavy that washed through her sieve. Sam didn’t know what to expect, semiprecious stones would be great, diamonds a possibility, but gold would be better. Sam stretched the stocking over the cup and secured it with a rubber band. Using a finger to create a void and poured in half of her sample. She sealed the bag and dropped it into her briefcase.
Room service arrived and the waiter steered in a tray. Sam slammed the briefcase shut, closed the screen on her laptop and washed her hands.
‘An experiment,’ She said when the waiter looked at the cup, ‘for my thesis. Prof says it’s easy, but I’m not so sure.’
‘Better you than me, I was too interested in girls to put much stock in study. Now look at me, nearly fifty and still waiting tables. It’s a good job that one of those girls said yes and made me get a steady job, eh.’ He laughed at his own joke. ‘Want me to set out, or are you right to manage it.’
‘Thank you, I’m fine, I’ll do it. And tell that lady of yours, she picked good, yeah.’

‘Thank you, Miss.’ He pointed to the phone, give the desk a ring and I’ll come back for the tray, or you can leave it outside the door if you don’t wish to be disturbed.’

Ode to the Flinders Ranges

CJ Dennis was a poet we studied at school and last weekend while in Laura I took a photo of his statue.

They were having a country music festival there and I'm sorry I missed it. However, this morning prompted by photos one of my friends had posted on Facebook, a poem started forming in my mind. It's still rough, but in recognition of the Sentimental Bloke, here is my ode to the Flinders Ranges.

For you CJ

I hear your hills a callin'
Callin' me back home
To see my friends and family
And stop this ache in my heart
When I feel sad and alone
So somebody please
Write me a letter
Send me a card Sing me a song
When I feel lost
And times are hard
I feel your pull
You are the mighty Flinders
Place of my birth,
I'll keep missing you
And your people so badly
Until that sweet day
I’m returned to your earth.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Dave the Slave

I found a note I had scribbled onto a piece of paper when I was working on business names some time ago. I threw the paper out today and before I knew it, a few lines rolled themselves into a ball and came out of my fingers as a poem. It needs work, but here are a few rough first lines.
Dave, everyone thought he was slow
Because at school his grades were low
Teachers gave him extra work
Soon the target of the high school Jerk

But Dave was a thinker strong and kind

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

A Novel Writer's Blues

Rain and hail beats a heavy tune
The wind rips outside my winter room
And like a banshee does wail
I’m trying hard to force the flow
But my chapter just won’t grow
Yesterday I had that gift
But today I just don’t know.

Words that tempted me when I young
Haunt me now like songs we sung
Today every sentence written fails
I tap the keys time and time again
Read my margin notes scratched in pen
Where is this gift I’m sure I had
Why today are my words so bad

A ray of sunshine tries to sneak through
Rain and wind soon wipe away a sky of blue
Write something else I tell myself
A song a rhyme to find my flow
Advice for others if their words were slow
But what’s it worth, advice for free
Story of an angry day and stormy sea

Heavy the rain still beats its tune
And wind still rips outside my writer’s room
And like a hundred banshees does wail
Still trying hard to force the flow
But this chapter still won’t grow
Yesterday I had the writer’s gift
Yet today I’m lost, I just don’t know

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Loneliness and Laughter

I  found this poem today and gave it a bit of a polish. I have posted it as Pop before, but have changed the title today to bring it more in line with the message.
If anyone wants to play with the rhythm and the beat to make it work better, please feel free to have a go.  

He was grey, he was old
And in the lines on his face
His story is told
Spotted with age and hands bony thin
His life’s story is written on him
His mind still holds his memories so sharp
Has no time for tears
For love beats his heart

On his front porch he sits all alone
Black tea cools a cup and he’s holding the phone
It rings and he answers and answers again
A smile crosses his lips, and it's hello old friend
He shuffles, he snuffles and sometimes he creaks
Says there's no time to grumble, 
When it's friendship he seeks

He starts in the morning, at a quarter to ten
You'll see him each day
He's out there again
Humming while he’s dialling
And phoning a friend
He’s laughing because of
Another story to tell
A group of old friends
All denying their Gods or the Devil
Swift passage to heaven or hell

Another day’s passed 
He wanders inside and thinks of his day
He smiles because 
It doesn't matter that little was done
Everyone, laughing and lying
About deeds that they’d done
The sun's set and changed into night
Is he lonely you ask him
And he says that he might
But only after he kisses her photo
And turns off the light

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

TED Talk

Today I watched an inspirational TED Talk from a young man who, with limited education and resources, decided to change his world.

Take a look at his story:

William Kamkwamba - How I Harnessed The Wind

Thursday, 19 May 2016

First Synopsis --VOSS

Over the last couple of days and I'm 6,000 words into this novella. However as the new characters begin to take their part and the story forms I thought it best to rough out a synopsis to develop the story plan from.

Barry Voss might be frightened by death, but it’s murder when he’s at his best. 

The woman with her face blown off is his ex-wife. He knows once his superiors find out, he will be dragged form the case. For Voss to solve this he needs help from outside and it comes from an unlikely source of Gerry, a fifty-something, ex-entrepreneur and living on the street.

Estelle watched her husband die the death of a thousand cuts before being assassinated gangland style.

Canberra is a small city of itinerant politicians and lawmakers. It has an undercurrent of crime like all cities so in this town, the news is mainly political. However, this is one case that will be hard to keep out of the news, Estelle’s husband, now a political adviser to cabinet was tortured before she was killed and it appears, his tormentors left him to bleed out.

Voss only has to figure out why, because he knows the how, to find the killers.

Forensics turn up keys to a converted warehouse. It is a movie lot, not unusual, Canberra has a thriving porn industry, but not something someone would consider a person of Judge Tony Peters calibre to be associated with.

Voss is called to the scene of a random shooting on the A25. The driver of a silver Mercedes has been shot in the head while travelling at speed. Four murders in two days. Voss knows he has to work fast because this victim is connected to the warehouse.

Taken from the case with the body count is building, Voss is annoyed and feels betrayed by his boss. Detective Sergeant Lucy Nguyen knows better than involving him, but she is loyal and uses the medical examiner to pass on information.

Voss, determined to keep the promise he has made to Estelle’s mother, looks back through other unsolved murders  looking for a link. He knows if he finds it he can work outside his jurisdiction to bring the killers in.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

After my nightmare I have a new character meet - VOSS

After a nightmare Sunday night I woke with the shivers, but it did give me an Idea for a character in a detective story. I'll let Barry Voss introduce himself in his own way.

I walked into the bathroom, Estelle my wife had just stepped out the shower, at first I wondered why she would be showering at this time of the day. She yelled at me to leave. I didn’t wait long for my answer to why. Tony Peters, defence lawyer and former schoolyard sweetheart met me at the bedroom door. All boxer-shorts and suspenders he looked like he’d been caught out by the head boy. I guessed this was not the first time, he had seen the colour of my sheets but it would the last.
‘Voss,’ He said.
I waited for him to search his gilt edged brain for something original and unscripted. There was nothing. Word around the court is that the slippery bastard needs a team of underlings making bullets for him to fire. I had been up against him more than once, he could twist and turn like a scalded snake, but he only won as half many as he lost. I would evil eye the crim during his cross examination of my testimony. My thing was to make faces at the bloke in the dock while Slippery Peters painted these pricks to depict something like a scene on the ceiling of the Cysteine Chapel. Gimme a break. Now here he is in my house, screwing my wife, in my bed and he’s lost for words. I want to grab him by the balls and twist.
‘God what’s that stink?’ He said.
‘Oh that’s me. Here hold this,’ He took my jacket. ‘Recyclers pulled a body out of the garbage exchange, looks like it had been in a wheelie-bin for weeks. Gut burst when the ME rolled it over, don’t know who she is yet, but your holding onto part of her now.’
It must have been instinct because he threw my jacket across the room. ‘Oh fuck he said it’s all over me now.’ He went to push past only I blocked his path. Estelle, come and ask your Neanderthal to move before I have to deal with him.’

He probably didn’t hear her answer because I hit him with a right cross to his solar plexus and caught his face with my knee as he doubled over. I wiped the gunk off my suit with his shirt and trousers, shoved all I owned into a suitcase and left. That was ten years ago.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Research into a bit of automotive stuff

Nice when someone in the auto industry remembers me, today I am trying to find photos of independent rear suspension assemblies and how the different designs control bump steer.

Bump steer happens when the car is loaded either across the lateral or vertical axis. The affected wheels can move forward or back depending on the loading. This movement makes the wheel move and steer that side of the car independent of steering wheel inputs. Most manufacturers accept some bump steer and even use it to assist turn in. However in a racing situation the drive needs these inputs to be predictable and try to eliminate it.

To check how much a wheel moves race teams have made tools to do the job. Check out this unit on an older Nascar.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Mothers Day and Writing

Each Mothers' Day the world spends billions of dollars on cards, in fact every occasion is celebrated by exchanging gifts, or cards, sometimes letters hold the message. Behind it all someone has written something, it might be short like, I love you Mum, I couldn't do it without you. Your loving son Bill.

    Now I know that's hardly original, but when you think that Bill set out to find a card with the right words to express his love, he had a connection with an often faceless author who penned the lines that captured his imagination. They said what he couldn't articulate.

   The card writers' skill is not to be underestimated, they are part poet, part philosopher and every one a literary genius. Song writers fill a world of emotion into the lines of a song, poets can keep us entertained with a hundred lines, but the person who penned the verse in that card you bought for your mother managed it in just over five to seven lines.

    Today when you pass over your gift with the card sticky taped to the top, give a silent thank you to the unseen writer who cranked out that message and many more to meet the quota his or her job demanded on the day.

I'll raise a glass and toast each one of them today, I challenge you to do the same.

Monday, 25 April 2016

My Anzac Day Tribute

Your Grandad’s medals sit in my drawer
Presented to him at the end of the war
And though he left us when you were young
I keep them to remind me of songs he sung

Like Waltzing Matilda and Danny Boy
Always lusty and sung with joy
On Anzac Day in Seventy Two
He beamed with pride when he first saw you

And so today my son I have them on view
To remind me of the terror that he went through
Believing his land would be safe from harm
If he shouldered a rifle over his arm

I hope like him the day will come
When there will be no need for a mother’s son
To be asked to make such sacrifice
And for our young country to pay such a price

And though you left us when you were young
Presented to you at the end of the war
Your medals sit safely in my drawer
We keep them to remind us of songs you sung

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Good information hidden in here

I found this link through a comment I made on Linked in's Author U  pages.

Hope it's helpful:

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Planning a Book Tour for 2017


Starting to see the end in sight for Les Gillespie's Gold and beginning to think about a  book launch sometime  in 2017. So I need some suggestions for the following.

  • Australian towns to visit.
  • What would be better, a library, or book-store launch venue
  • Best time of day.
  • Would you prefer me to talk on my writing processes, or about the book itself.
  • Contact details of the librarian or bookshop manager.
If you can help, Please message me via Facebook or leave a comment on the blog. 

I am looking forward too and will be thankful for your input.



Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Les Gillespie's Gold excerpt from Chapter 38

I put chapter thirty eight of my Les Gillespies Gold manuscript to our writing group for critique today. At this point we are about half way into the story and much is happening. 
 I loved writing the chapter and although long has added quite a bit of drama and intrigue to the tale. I particularly liked tapping out this exchange by three generations of Gillespie girls. 

I hope you enjoy it too.

Laura and Tilly nattered while they drove to the farm, in the back Emily put her iPod down. ‘Mum, you said Pop wanted to go to Wilson’s, right?’
‘That’s what he said. Why?’
‘Can we go skinny dipping like you and Samantha did?
Laura, her face full of question, turned to her daughter with palms upturned. Tilly said nothing.
Emily kept up.’ And what is skinny dipping anyway?’
Tilly felt her face flush, Laura’s hands paddled the air in slow circles. ‘Yes, Tilly, come on,’ She made exclamation marks with her fingers. ‘just what is skinny dipping?’
‘It’s a saying we use for having a swim, a swim in a water hole.’ Tilly turned to her mother. Laura watched as a rolled up tongue breached her daughter’s lips and slipped back as quick as it appeared. ‘And no, Em. Not today, we didn't bring any bathers.’
‘Robert says you don’t wear bathers, when you’re skinny dipping.’
Laura was still facing Tilly, she shrugged and mouthed the words ‘Who is Robert?’
‘Tell Granny about Robert, Em.’ Embarrassing moment avoided, she hoped.
‘He has to sit in the naughty corner at Fiona’s.’
‘And why does he do that?’ Laura asked
‘Because he pulls the girls hair and calls us names.’ Emily picked up her tablet. ‘Can you show me the waterhole?’
‘Maybe on a nice warm day when we have our bathers, you me and Jeff can all go swimming.’ Tilly said and put her hand up to high five her mother.

‘Not so fast, Tilly Gillespie.’ Laura said. ‘Samantha’s from the mining company, you’ve had dinner with her and now Emily says you have been out to Wilson's. When were you going to tell Dad?’

Monday, 22 February 2016

A little bit of Les Gillespie's gold

I'm looking at the finish line for my manuscript, so I thought I would share the opening of a chapter about three quarters the way through. Tell me what you think.

Darryl and Angela stared at the incident board.
‘Uniform tomorrow, Boss?’
Angela continued to post information from the Hammond Road murders on the board, Cassidy was lost in thought. He kept staring into the face of Joe’s attacker. ‘Sorry?’ he said.
‘What should I wear tomorrow? Uniform, or plain clothes.’
‘Plain clothes, let’s do our best to emulate our city cousins. Otherwise, they’ll brush us off as country hicks.’
‘Works for me, Sir.’ She thought about the suit she had bought at the beginning of summer and hadn’t worn yet. ‘Tomorrow, clothes will maketh the woman.’ She said.
‘Yeah... Okay.’ Darryl was deep within his mind again. He walked to the window and searched the streetscape, hoping for inspiration.
‘Boss,’ he didn’t hear her, ‘Boss?’

Cassidy didn’t look back. ‘You’re the computer whiz, overlay the photo of those tyre tracks,’ he tapped the board, ‘and the ones near the gate where Jeff found the ute. Can you do that?’ 

Friday, 12 February 2016

A few lines from Chapter 37 of Les Gillespie's Gold

Jeff rummaged behind the seat for a couple of minutes. He folded the back forward to gain better access. The bolt cutters lay below a steel box with a lock on it. The padlock was under the hasp and Jeff lifted the lid, a 9mm self-loading pistol lay encased in foam rubber. It was Army issue. He picked up the cutters and walked over to Joe. ‘Anything you want to tell me about the box under the seat?’
‘It’s not locked.’
‘And you looked?’
‘The policeman in me,’ Jeff said,’ I’m curious.’
‘That’s what got the cat killed.’ Joe said. He did not look at Jeff and worked the cutters on the chain.

‘Got a licence for it?’

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Christmas Eve in Orroroo (first draft)

For Annie

I’m in love with a princess
In a faraway land
I imagine her home
And the places she’ll see
And hope that she smiles
If she’s thinking of me

This month it is Christmas
And the trees in her park
Are covered in snow
While here in the outback
A summer Christmas we know
And we have a tree in the corner
Trimmed with tinsel too

Carols come from all corners tonight
Children waiting for Santa
Will keep their eyes closed tight
I close my eyes and see in my mind
Stockings hang from a mantel
Above a fire in the grate
And for Santa too, they wait

Her cousins out here in the bush
Take their places in the Christmas parade
There’s clowns with coloured barrows to push
A tradition we keep where memories are made
Floats decorated in green red and blue
And Annie I hope it’s a sight
My words bring to you

Outside the shops they still pipe
Those old Christmas songs
And the floats might be corny
But the spirits still here
A street full of faces spreading good cheer
And right down the back
At the end of the parade
In a little green car
Santa arrives, always the star.

Old eyes become misty
When we remember the days
When we were once young
In this street where we played
Now cousin Geoff drives the car
And he does his best
Now Uncle Murray has gone to his rest.

So now my princess from over the sea
I hope you have a Christmas as merry can be

For I’m in love with you, Princess
In your faraway land
I imagine you home
And the places you see
And hope that you smile

When you’re thinking of me

Monday, 1 February 2016

Finding Gold in Characters

This is my third year of  writing Les Gillespie's Gold and while it has become a grind at times, there are moments when words cascade onto the page. Often the real world becomes a different place and I find myself immersed in the character's story, character either makes the story believable or destroys it by the end of the first chapter. Because the manuscript is ninety percent done and I am tying the plot lines together, I thought I would take time to revisit the characters from Kundela.
    Readers of my first novel will be familiar with the Gillespie family and in the second book I have introduced a few new faces. Some likeable and others are easy to detest.

Finding Gold in Characters:

For anyone ready to start writing, or established writers interested in how others do it, I thought I would share my method for finding the things that make my characters tick. This is not the best or worst way to go about a character profile, it is my way. And I have robbed ideas form other authors to get to this point.

Knowing how your sinners differentiate from the saints is key to making the story work, but how do we get to know those differences. This my way of putting flesh on the bones of black and white words that make up the character profile.
    Writing villains is always fun and developing their character can open the writer to hours of distraction as we try to find ways to justify their place in the novel or short story. So be warned, my method can cause you to procrastinate while you divert your attention to research and discovery that often make dedicated writing hours disappear.

Character is deeper than just a name in a novel. Once a name is decided they begin to develop shape and personality, names become people. As I flesh out their history, I give names to siblings, pets and parents. I attach relationships and before long I begin to know them as well as I would one of my friends. I may even know them better, because I have created dirty little secrets. I have pushed them into liaisons, and created their fears and fantasies.
    I start with a character chart as provided by Merlene Fawdry in her Longitudinal Writing Workshop. My chart is an expanded version and it serves me well. When completed I have a rough idea of what they look like and what motivates them. From the chart I know more than their eye colour and how they dress, but character has a major part to play I need to know more. I need to know why I needed to write them into the story. What I need is an understanding of their background, what happened to make them more than just a name in a book.

    In Les Gillespie's Gold, a fifty year old grudge lies behind the main plot-line, but how did that grudge come about and who were the players? How do they influence the characters in the novel? To find my way through this maze I write stories that will have no place in the novel, but I need them to help me understand how my characters interact. Copies of these stories can be found on this blog.

Researching personality takes time as I found with a character in Les Gillespie's Gold. Spoggy Sparrow has no history, to understand this type of character and personality, I spent days on research to learn it is not easy to disappear or create a new identity. However I found myself lost to the quest and discovered devices someone like Spoggy could use to hide from society. Research like this is a great investment, a knowledge bank to call on for later novels or short stories.
    By the end of these exercises, I find my characters justifying their part in the story to me. Arguing why they deserve more action, more profile and at times trying to push the leading man or lady off the page. When I first thought about a career as a writer, I found it hard to properly show hardship, joy and humanity in my characters. Using these techniques now I find the story lets me to write action and point of view from an enlightened position. Writing character has become easier for me because of Merlene's chart and my character story. Today if I prepare a chat and write a history, I have a sharp idea of how each character drives their part in the novel.
    I was pleased when, two years ago, I attended a writing workshop by noted children's writer, Kirsty Murray. Kirsty began one of the sessions with the statement that, Character drives Plot and Plot drives Character. It took me a while to understand what she was saying, but by the end of the session I knew what she meant and the way I was going about finding a depth to my characters was not as weird as I first thought.

    All authors have their own methods and this one works for me.

Good links: Kirsty Murray:                       

                    Merlene Fawdry:                    

                    Writers Victoria:                     

                    Fellowship of Australian Writers:

Thanks for dropping by.