Author Archives: A.D. Everard

About A.D. Everard

Writing science fiction with character.

Writing – The Pause and the Pooling of Energy.

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It comes, it goes – No writer can keep an uninterrupted flow of creativity and production throughout their career – it just doesn’t happen, even the most prolific writers have down-time.

Yet, while those down-times hurt (and every writer hates them – it’s like being in a cell), the pause actually refreshes. It’s like a body taking breath. The creative energy, having been spent on our last bout of writing, has to pool again and revitalize us. The pause, therefore, exists while the process of reenergizing takes place. It’s a good thing. Just as we need to rest our bodies, we need to rest our creativity too. It makes sense.

When the upswing happens and ideas start to fire up the imagination and excitement, well, we’re away again, off and running and happy and full of life. At it’s fullest, we can’t keep up with the flow – so many good ideas all coming at once. Not only are the ideas great, actually capturing them in written form is wonderful too. Our talent shines.

Ever realize that last down-time enabled all the good that flows afterwards?

Maybe that’s something to think about.

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Middle of the Night Inspiration.

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That’s often the way it is – lying half awake, thoughts naturally turn towards your latest project, thoughts become words, words becomes sentences and some of it starts to sound pretty good.

At some point you become aware that there are pages forming here and if you don’t shift yourself into full wakefulness, get out of bed and go write it all down, you just might lose it.

So you drag yourself out of bed, doing your best to hang onto strings and threads and vague dialogue. Then while your computer powers up, you get the kettle on and wonder what time it is. 2:00 in the morning. That’d be right.

The cats go crazy. It’s romping time and if they’re lucky they get a middle-of-the-night snack. Why not, you think, it’ll keep them quiet. So you feed the cats while the kettle’s boiling and by the time the coffee is made, the computer has finished doing its updates and you can get working.

Now… What was it again?

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Ah! Found! The Missing Ingredient!

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I knew there was something missing from my manuscript, it’s been a major stumbling block for best part of 15 months – with so much happening in my life this past year or so, I was blaming that.

So, what was missing? I’m embarrassed to say! Moods and emotions are a strong point with me, I write in a way that lets you get to know my characters well. You know and understand what makes them tick.

So what the heck happened? Action happened. I got so tied up in the action that I had neglected to spell out the driving force behind it.

All this time I was poking it with a stick trying to get it to move and wondering what was lacking… Grrr… (I know, I think I’ll blame everything that’s been happening in my life for the past year or so…) :D

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Snakes on my Doorstep. Again.

I didn't have a picture of a snake, so...

I didn’t have a picture of a snake, so…

Australia is known for its poisonous snakes – Although it often takes longer (6 to 24 hours), a Tiger snake can bring on death within as little as 30 minutes, Black snakes are also highly poisonous, but it is the aggressive and fast moving Brown snake that can and will bite multiple times and are responsible for killing more Australians per year than any other snake – It’s not just people who try to kill or catch them that get bitten either, it’s people stepping over logs or rocks or people walking in long grass, people who simply do not see them.

Did I mention long grass? Our new (old) little house in its glorious wilderness/pastureland isolation hadn’t been lived in for some time. The grass was long right up to the house and all around it. We have all three of those snakes mentioned here, plus others. When I say here, I really mean here, not just in the area but on the doorstep!

In the first couple of weeks here as I got the grass under control, I saw two snakes immediately on stepping outside, both out in the open and within feet of the house. The first was a Black snake and the second was a Tiger snake (both big ones). Greg saw a third one during a visit here, which vanished into his work shed and we think is a Brown.

These aren’t like pythons that I would gladly pick up and have photos taken with – you don’t mess with these things. While I appreciate snakes and will not kill them, I don’t want them under my feet whenever I step outside. I want our cats to survive too.

Solution? Yes, I actually found one.

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Writing with a Mountains View (yes plural).

Photo taken on the way to a neighbouring town. All local roads go over the mountains and have this sort of view.

Photo taken on the way to a neighbouring town. All local roads go over the mountains and have this sort of view.

While settling into my new home, I’ve made time for writing – naturally, that’s what I do – which (in part) also means admiring the wonderful new view from my office window.

We’re in a flat spot here, a smallish area that isn’t sideways, which means we’re far enough back to view a small mountain to one side and a whole mountain range to another. Behind us, of course, are hills and other ranges, but my office looks to the front and as dawn rises I can see clouds covering the mountaintops or mist rising in the valley.

It’s all very inspirational.

Oh yes, the actual writing part… Yes, that is happening and going well. While a beautiful view can be a distraction, it’s also incredibly uplifting. I cannot help but be grateful here and appreciate all that I have, it’s a nice place to have landed.

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More Foxes – Then Something Happened!

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I saw foxes daily, the local population seemingly fearless – Foxes are an introduced species to Australia along with rabbits, both brought in and deliberately released for hunting purposes by early colonists. Both species did exceedingly well here and have since become pests. In rural areas where sheep are bred, foxes are killers of lambs. Farmers take after them with guns or lay out poison and do what they can to eradicate them, but foxes (like rabbits) continue to thrive in this country.

In my first few weeks here I saw many foxes daily, sometimes quite late into the morning. I mainly saw them in the surrounding fields but also watched them returning to the hedgerow next to our house. The locals knew of them there, in fact I’ve been warned twice about the large family of foxes living on my doorstep, so they must have been there for quite a while.

Then something happened. Overnight they were gone. No one hunted them. Hunting foxes is done at night with spotlights and guns, I’d be very aware of such activity close to home. No one poisoned them – 1080 is the poison of choice and any property using it must put up warning signs as it’s so lethal.

The foxes just… went. Was it that they took notice of me and moved out on my account? Was it that they didn’t like being so close to a house now occupied? It didn’t seem to bother them in the first month or so, they never tried to hide from me.

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Night-time is Another Planet.

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It was one o’clock in the morning and I was standing in the loneliness of our front yard, our house remotely situated and still strange to me after my move here – armed only with a torch, its batteries weak and its light fading – An animal fight had woken me, drawing me out into the dark and the cold.

We have two cats, an old girl and a young ‘un named Houston who’s a go-getter, a let-me-at-‘em and I-want-to-play type. This was his second night outside and I knew there were foxes about.

The wind blew and the branches of a tree danced across the roof like scuttling creatures. I shone the torch upward and into the tree. Glowing eyes looked back at me and I knew I had found Houston.

Then I saw the foxes. Two of them were right in our yard with a third one on the road. I had seen flattened patches in the long grass and weeds, coming upon them as I slowly worked through the chore of bringing it all under control, and I thought of foxes then. Now it was confirmed. In fact there was a large family of them living in the hedgerows right next to our house.

What did I do? What could I do? Houston would not come out of the tree with foxes so close. I was in no danger, but when it’s the middle of the night and you’re cold and in a strange place, the scrutiny of any kind of hunting pack is downright creepy. Night-time was like another planet.

I retreated inside. Ten minutes later, determined to see if I could collect the cat (and to see if maybe the foxes had gone), I opened the door to find Houston on the doorstep and more than eager to come inside.

Since then, he’s decided that inside is the best place to be at nighttime. Smart cat!

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