Tag Archives: realism

Adventures Just Beginning – True Life Wilderness Living.

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So, the backhoe that neither of us could drive sat there waiting, and Greg had the key, which was the place to start – He sat in the cab and started the engine, then basically fiddled about until he knew what most of the things did, or at least how to move it forwards and backwards.

The caravan was on the road, too, and had been there through the night. We picked the spot for our driveway and Greg practiced with the backhoe by filling in the sudden drop from hill to roadside, and generally smoothing down a pathway. It was still very steep but was the only way onto the block.

When all was as good as it could be, Greg towed the caravan off the road and up to the brow of the hill where it would remain for some months before we ventured deeper. Our first mission a success, we then encountered the first snag. Greg couldn’t turn the engine off again. The key didn’t do it.

After half an hour searching for a switch or a lever that would turn the beast off, Greg gave up and asked me to give it a go. I did pretty much what he did, I searched everywhere, but finally spotted a bit of metal sticking out that had a screw thread, but nothing on it. Wondering if a button was missing on the thing, I played with it. It turned out to be the decompression lever and the engine, thankfully, died.

Great. So now we had Greg with a basic understanding of how to operate the backhoe, and me knowing how to turn it off. The next day was Monday and Greg went to work, leaving me alone to “tend the property”. That involved putting a road in, he informed me, jokingly, before heading away for the day. He had done the driveway bit, maybe a hundred feet, so it was my turn to learn and operate the heavy machine.

I don’t think he was expecting much, and I know I could have left it, but I thought I might just give it a go and surprise him. I was the one in for some surprises, however. If we thought the driveway was steep, I was about to learn that the other side of the hill was even steeper and dropped down far lower than the road.

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Self-Taught Backhoe Operation – Oops!

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Back into the subject of our Wilderness Adventures (with no house and no amenities) in the Top End of Australia – Just getting onto the 250 acre block was proved interesting – the flat bit was too muddy and the steep bit was too steep, and it didn’t help that there was no driveway or any access tracks at all.

Greg had decided that we needed a backhoe. He thought it would be really useful. Personally, I thought it would be a waste of money and basically a toy he would play with, but he was right and I was wrong. The backhoe turned out to be the most important piece of equipment we could get. We used it for everything, lifting and carrying, digging holes (which saved me a heap of time in bodily waste disposal). It proved its worth on our very first morning, towing the caravan up the steep embankment that would become our driveway.

The backhoe was delivered to our wilderness block. It arrived on the back of a truck, which tilted down to allow the large vehicle off, then the guy and the truck left. It never occurred to us to ask for any instruction. Greg had a truck license and I had a semi-trailer (articulated heavy vehicle) license, and we both rode motorbikes. On the flimsy assumption that we “knew vehicles” we thought we had it figured.

On close inspection, we realized that it wasn’t as clear cut as we had supposed it would be. Never mind all the levers, even the pedal was weird – a three-pronged contraption that we’d never seen before.

There it sat on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere, a beautiful backhoe, and neither of us knew how to drive it.

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Writing and a Universe with a Sense of Humor.

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What is it about writers? Take them away from their computers, their notepads and pens, isolate them from their work and – whammo – inspiration will hit every time.

It will be urgent. Words will flow with perfection. The writer will turn to their inner blackboards and capture their prose there, only the mental blackboard really is too small and fills up all too quickly. They’ll run through several of those, then turn to other means, other methods, finally resorting to etching words into their arms and/or legs with anything sharp to hand – fingernails, sticks – anything.

[Yes, there’s more. Continue reading…]

Bare Bones Will Not Do It – Dang, I have to look into the Future!

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I need to look ahead – Yes, it’s like that – Something that happens in Book 3 of my science fiction series gives rise to something monumental in Book 5, or possibly 6, which is two or so along and likely to be the last in this particular series, although not the last from the Khekarian/Chiddran and Terran Galaxy (that structure and interplay is far too grand, and fun, to abandon after only five or six books).

Point is, the knowledge of this link between stories is not enough. I need to know the details of where this goes and, from the other end (the future), what information is needed from this end (the present) to make it workable and sound.

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BACK TO NORMAL! Nearly…

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Not even sure what normal is, but it’s seemed awfully busy around here lately – So I’m going to ease back a bit, just to get my breath and, hey, maybe some writing done (yes, Book 3 of my sci-fi Khekarian series)!

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Writing, Blogging, Currently CBE (Can’t Be Everywhere).

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No surprise, I’m trying to maximize exposure for my work (which is my living) and my blogs, and keep up with everybody – which means a lot of hours every day, seven days a week, right across the board – plus writing time.

That means I’m juggling stuff. Lots of stuff. Writing seems to be secondary, but it truly is not. So, please know, if I am thin on the ground, if I am not as regular a visitor at my favorite blogs, if I am slow to respond to comments – it’s because I’m writing the next in the Khekarian series, which is vitally important to me.

Want to know why the Khekarian series has full command of my life? Want to know why it has ruled my every waking thought for the past 30 years as I developed my skills? Want to know what’s so grand about my brand of science fiction? Well, get a taste of it – first 4 chapters (65 pages) free to read – Links in margin.

These characters are not letting me go.

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Harsh Reality of a Pioneering Planet – Too Few People, Too Few Cops.

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Charlie, the Old Man of Cenoth, is a caring individual who knows most of the teams he organizes the traveling routes for – at least one of them he considers family – so when he sees something going very wrong for a newcomer to a relatively new and unknown team, by his very nature, he wants to help.

Aleisha has come to Zumaridi to join Stephen’s team, but now there is some indication that murder has taken place there. It seems it happened on a whim, or for a reason even more obscene, and that worries Charlie very much.

His first thought is to face the team leader about it, and when that doesn’t give him any solution, Charlie takes it to the local constabulary, only to find there is not much they can do, either.

The problem is, on a newly colonizing world, independent villages and towns have the police force they can afford, with only local and limited jurisdiction. Small communities simply don’t have the reach to do anything about crimes hundreds or even thousands of miles away that have nothing to do with them. The population is too sparse.

[Yes, more to read. Continue reading…]