Wednesday, 30 January 2013


I have not won anything for hours...this just isn't fair!

Editing Catalina's Choice

I have given myself three months to do the final edit of Catalina's Choice. At the moment the sequel stands at 102,000. Catalina was only 58,000. Does it matter that the sequel is almost twice the size of the original?

After this final edit I'll send it off to Dragonfall press and see what they think. Hopefully they are happy with it.

At this point I am, but of course its a balancing act isn't it... the see-sawing motion between deliriously liking what I have written and almost wanting to tear it up and start again.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Today I won

Locteria  Nacional Lottery 989,950:00 - not sure what dollars, euros, pins, the eyes of black goats?????

But I sure won a lot.

How lucky am I - I love the Locteria Nacional Lottery even if I have never bought a ticket.

Life sure is a wonderful thing.

And how honest are the people informing me...Just as well the internet is full of honest people, hey....

Sunday, 27 January 2013


I just won a lottery in London worth 6,392,389.00!!!! Gee I sue am a lucky guy, I didn't even have to enter, they entered for me...Isn't life grand.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

The Adventures of Bomba Dun - 1

So this all began with three cricket stumps. We were playing cricket in the Coon's backyard. Peter Coon was bowling and I, as usual, was showing off. I was bored. Fielding, waiting, not in the limelight, not really three of my strengths.

When I am bored I do stupid things. Mum says its a genetic thing.

'Men,' she says, 'are creatures of the hunt. Make them wait, make them farmers or gardeners and they turn stupid. Let them hunt and they are stupid away from the house, which is preferable.'
I'm not saying I understand what mum is talking about. I don't. I just quote mum 'cos dad is faster with his backhand that with words. He clips my ears with his knuckles rather his words. So I quote mum 'cos there is no way I am going to quote my sister, Kathleen. She'd get wind of it and then I'd never hear the end of it. Kath's got a sense for snooping out praise or for finding the things that irk me the most.

So anyway, cricket in the backyard of the Coons. There were about seven of us playing, I say about 'cos Paul Harding was playing and he is only five so he's not really to be counted. We had to bowl to him underarm and give him two lives else he'd go running and screaming to his mum and then the game would get disbanded 'cos Mrs Coon always listens to Mrs Harding - I think its because Mr Harding drives a bran new Ford.

The thing was I was bored, so when the cricket ball came my way I grabbed it and took off - I knew they would chase me. It was the only ball we had. Now the Coons house is next to my own so I went straight for that fence, even as I heard the cries of, 'Hey Bomb, give it back yar mongrel!'

I forgot about mum's vegie patch. The corn grew against the fence, the tomatoes in front of them. People thought we were wogs cos we grew out own veg, but mum says growing things had been in er family longer than teeth. So I often fought the kids who teased while she ignored the neighbours' looks and sometimes chatted with Mrs Lamrosi or Mr Conti about tomatoes or zucchini.

I forgot about the corn and the tomatoes until I had grabbed the fence with both hands and began my flip over, then I remember - course it was too late then. I once asked Kath why she thought I always remembered when it was too late. Kath said it was because I was like an unbound car. I never did understand what that meant but I did notice she was using unbound a lot at that time. Everything was unbound this and unbound that. She was reading Frankenstein at the time for school. Kath likes to read, and to use the words she discovers in books. She was a good reader. Me I read with my tongue poing out between my lips, my brain striving to put the words together even as my eyes darted off the page to see what was happening in the world. My teachers said I was one given over to the search for distractions. They often said this as their rulers were whacking the muscles of my calves while their left hand hand my right hand tight so I wouldn't run. I'd been known to run from a floggin' faster than lightning, even though when I got home I usually got worse  from dad than any whack from a teacher, still in my mind, putting every bad thing off to later made perfect sense.

So there I was was, sailing over that fence like an acrobat and then the fall, Kath reckons I have the blood of Icarus in me. She told me Icarus was a Greek and I pushed her hard, I had Irish blood in me, not Greek.
So anyway, I'm hitting the ground, feeling the corn stalks shatter, the smell of crushed tomatoes, the feel of their scratchy leaves on the face, tickling my nose, making me sneeze. And as luck would have it, mum was their plucking the vegies for that night's dinner.

'Bill Dunstal'  - thats my real name by the way, though I go by the name Bomba, Bomba Dun , that was how everyone, even dad, knew me - 'Up now, inside and wait for your father, he shan't be long.'

She had that voice on, the one that meant I could not run, not if I wanted to live, not if I wanted to avoid seeing hjer cry. Of all the things in th world, seeing mum cry was the worst. Even worse than dad's strap on me bum, which is what I was in for that evening, I knew it.

Just then  John Scanlon's head appeared over the fence. 'Hey Mrs Dustal,' he said and then he said to me, 'give us the ball Bomba.'

So I tossed him the ball and headed inside, at the back window I saw the blinds crinkle and get shoved to the side and Kathleen's smiling face. It was sick how much pleasure she got from being in trouble.

'Next time,' I thought to myself, 'I'll just play cricket, no shenanigans, no nonsense,' but even as I thought it I started to giggle about the flattened corn and squished tomatoes and I knew, heck who was I kidding, I was Bomba Dun and I wasn't about to change for no one.


So today I won 750,000 Euros!!!!

I mean, how easy is that! In the past month I think I have won somewhere in the region of 3.8 million dollars... Gee I love the internet.

I haven't got around to claiming any of these prizes as yet, I've been too busy supplying information to a Russian Lady, A Nigerian gent and some lawyer in London to help them with their difficulties around funds - another 2 million dollars coming my way -

Which is just as well. It seems my computer is filled with Trojans, Macedonians and even the occasional Goth, also my bank funds seem to have been misplaced while The German police are after me for a crime they think I committed in Frankfurt (even though I was also spotted in a stolen car in Greece and boarding an airplane in Cambodia.

This is a difficult period for me - I appear to have recently married three women (besides my wife) and have adopted seventeen Romanian children. Really all these funds will help me sort all this out.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Review of A.L. Brooks' STRANGEWORLD {The Mortiferai}

I received a free copy of the above  novel and the first thing I noticed was it was big. Bloody big. 779 pages big. That's a lot of words. A lot of weight. Literally!

I find large books difficult. I like to read in the bath, read in bed, read anywhere and everywhere. Carry the book with me, take the dog for a walk, stop and read a bit, drop in at the local cafe, have a coffee, read a bit, things like that. That is bloody hard to do with a heavy book, so, honesty from the start - I seriously did not think I would read this book. It just weighed too much and after one or two pages I'd have to put it down.

Secondly, the main character, Jake, annoyed the crap out of  me. But then, he was supposed to annoy me. Like all good books, the main character had stuff to learn, stuff about himself. Jake was self-obsessed and rather caught up in his own whinging world - again, initially, I did not think I would finish this book. I have to care about the main character or I lose interest, quickly.

Thirdly - trilogies - seriously, is anyone else over the whole serialization of novels? No one can just write a stand alone anymore?  When I finished The Tree Singer one of the first questions asked was - is it a trilogy? No, its just a damn book - read it and move on. So a trilogy, nah, I really did not think I would finish this book. Trilogies make you wait, and trilogies invariably are a single book stretched to make three. No way, I thought, I'll read about fifty or so pages and that'll be it.

It wasn't.

I did, surprising I must say, read this book. All of it. From start to the finish.  779 pages later, I am glad I did and I look forward to reading book 2 of The Mortiferai. This is an enjoyable book. Even reading and seeing Jake finally understand there is more to the world than his own grief at his mother's death was enjoyable. So was his developing relationship with his step sister - Emily, his love interest in Hayley, his friendship with Mark, and especially the development of the quirky, mysterious and very powerful Charwood Sisters. This big book is littered with big, great characters.

This is a bloody big book - not just in pages or words - but in the sheer scope of the story - the history of the Cornish village, the other world Jake and Emily visit, Forgotten, the characters like Emily, and the evil Goon and LanceAsh, in my mind a sort of Green Knight.

This book is large with ideas, with villains, with its twists and turns. It is funny and scary and bloodthirsty and warm - this book deserved 778 pages for its first installment and I cannot wait to read more.

The Black Swan

Been reacquainting myself with this album.

Forgotten how much I loved it.

Looking for two or three reviews of both The Tree Singer and Catalina.

anyone interested?

The stars

Just received a 3 star review for Catalina. 3 Stars leaves you a bit blah. It doesn't bag your book and doesn't praise your book. Really it just says " read it." Or am I being too harsh?

Is three stars better than that? I feel good when I get four, five is even better, and how sad that I even care, but of course I do. I want people to read my book. That happens with people becoming aware it exists - and that in this internet capillary system where books need all the help they can get, stars are a form on oxygen - 0r are they?

Are the stars important at all? Do people even care about them? I have never bought a book based on is star rating - do other people though? Or are they irrelevant, just a thing Amazon/Goodreads etc do to create a false sense of how important they are. And if they are important, how important, are like like gold?

 Can you buy stars? Is this the new currency? Or are they a fool's gold. A pot at the end of the rainbow dream for writers desperate to have a sense of an audience out there?

And reviews? How important are they?

Is their a review swapping site where writers gather like shadows in old cafes and swap reviews for a chance at some kind of recognition?  I'll reviews yours if you review mine...

Anyway...Cat got 3 stars today... yeah so blah...

Thursday, 24 January 2013

I am thinking of writing a new blog, sort of 'the adventures of...' blog. A fictional character's not so great exploits.

Bomba Dun I think might be the character's name.

Yesterday I received a returned manuscript and a thanks but no thanks...From Ford Street Publishing...It was a very old book ( written about eight years ago) for  very young readers. Ford Street gave me a great, 'No thanks,' letter  that it wasn't just a photocopy of a standard 'thanks but no thanks' with some signature scrawled on the bottom. They actually went through what they thought I needed to attend to to strengthen the story.

Same old  same old for me I am afraid, trillions of spelling mistakes... Plus some 'voice' mistakes where my voice intruded into the story, instead of staying with George's voice, the character telling the story. Insightful and very helpful. I know publishers are inundated but isn't that their job, to read manuscripts and maybe to help, where they can, foster writing talent,  and this letter was only a page long but it made the rejection easier and it also gave me some things to work on.

So I would like to thank Ford Street Publishing for reading my manuscript and for their reply letter...and now its back to work.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Its too damn hot

Too bloody hot to write today...

When I was young I loved writing in the heat, the hotter the better. I'd sit at the desk, towel for cover, the old typewriter before me, banging away on the keys, poetry, stories, dreams... I'd write through the day, drinking water, eating raw vegetables... until the sun went down...
then shower, clothes and off to a pub.

Now its just too damn hot.

Old Crow Medicine Show

James River Blues

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

The Land of the Independent Publisher

is a bit like Noddy land I think...lots of colourful houses and interesting characters but lost in the backwaters of bookstore interest.

It seems, how surprising, that a book's interest to a bookshop has little to do with interest in the book and more to do with money spent by the publisher which means the little publisher is almost as unwanted as the nightly possum nesting in the bookstore's roof.

It is worse in Australia, a small market but a country of grand dreams. We all want to do something in this land of sweeping artists but the audience is a mole hill we artists try to make ragged mountains of (hows that for stretch - not to mention that sentence ending of...yuk).

It seems the small independent publishers are basically not wanted. Now I have no business acumen, I freely admit it. I gather wealth to me about as well as the desert gathers water. Still I would have thought it might be in a book store's interest to support the independent publisher. Do they really want to thrust all their eggs into the basket of the major publishing houses? Is profit only to be made by holding the large hands of the big corporations? Would it not make sense to  keep the independents alive and well, helping to foster them and thus the new writings these companies support? Isn't variety (and difference if no one else is supporting them) a good idea in business?

I would have thought so.

But no.

Very few bookstores across Australia give a rotten squished fig about the independent publisher or the new authors they support.

And in Australia, an American book, an English book, a book written anywhere but here by anyone but an Australian, must be better than what we Aussies write.

So next time you visit your local bookstore, do me a favour, ask to have a look at their independent books, especially their Australian, independently published books. You never know, they might listen to their customers...Though the din from the major book publishers can be a bit deafening, and guess what you might just discover the book, or the writer that you were searching for .

Monday, 21 January 2013

the artist draws us to their vision

I was watching a doco on Sydney Nolan, very enjoyable - have always loved his Kelly paintings

at one point the curator who was in charge of the 2007 Nolan exhibition (one I missed unfortunately)
was talking about a particular painting

The thing he said that struck me was that he thought it strange that this painting of Nolan's was at first seen as repulsive or undesirable (or something like that) was not seen as a alluring and very collectable.

What struck me about this statement was that I thought that was the point of art.

The artist has a vision outside (often) the realm of an audience's expectations but through her/his artist 'genius' the artist brings the audience to the point where her/his vision shifts from 'shocking' or 'repulsive' to the norm, to acceptable or 'collectable' or for a writer - readable.

Isn't that the point of art and why art can be inspired by what has gone before but should jot simply seek to mimic or copy it, but to use it to show the new artist's unique vision.

Art changes before the audience's expectations change, it then influences those expectations, changes them and we await the arrival of the next step.

It is why there is always a difference between the artist and the marketplace.
there are those right now seeking to scribble out the next fifty shades of grey or paint whatever is seen as the in thing at the moment - simply mimicking hat has already occurred for the cash. They may make money  but unless they take that form and somehow affect it to become thier unique insight, all they are doing is cashing in on another's work and often (usually I would think) their success is short lived and meaningless (although perhaps not in dollar terms).

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Back to it.

So summer is still here but I think its time to get back on the blogging bike!

Catalina's release went well - Thanks to Dymock's Camberwell for a fantastic evening. It's out there in the paperback universe now,  either in finished form on some bookshop's shelves, sitting, waiting, whispering, 'Read me... read me...' or else in the digital potential of being, whispering, 'Create me...create me...'

I have even received my first set of royalties - need less to say, I'm keeping my day job!