Tag Archives: writing

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.

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Two Creeks in our Wilderness, Both Annually Drying Up!

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We moved out into the subtropical wilderness of Australia, completely off-grid, suddenly without electricity at the flick of a switch, or water at the turn of a tap, no sewage system at all and no telephone either – even mobiles (cell phones) were out of range – oh, yes, and we didn’t have a house.

We brought with us a caravan which provided small office space and half a kitchen, not counting the fridge because we could not run it continuously – so add a fridge to the list of things we did without.

As Greg is a programmer and I’m a writer, computers are essential to us both and need protection from the weather, whereas we personally are waterproof. So, the caravan contained an office for each of us and we got to sleep in a tent.

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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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What the Heck is a Quoll? True Life.

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A quoll is cute until it opens its mouth, then you are introduced to its serious side – Quolls are an Australian marsupial carnivore, cousin to the Tasmanian Tiger, but only about the size of a cat – although with canine teeth like a dog – They are nocturnal and eat whatever meat they can catch of small and medium-sized creatures, including possums.

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Out in the wilderness of the Northern Territory, we had quolls all over our camp every evening. They came out at dusk and got up to mischief all night. They broke into our early idea of meat-safe (a foam lidded box) and ate our meat. They tried to eat our cat more than once, too, but he got wise to them and learned to keep out of their way.

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They even moved into my office caravan. It was an old van with gaps and holes that we didn’t even know about. I opened a drawer one day and found a fair-sized quoll splayed out and fast asleep right on top of the papers that were in there. He had climbed in up through the floor and in through the back of the drawer.

I wish I had taken a picture, but I was too busy closing the drawer really carefully so as not to wake him and have him go Wild-Animal all over my office. :D

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The pictures shown in this post were NOT taken of our local population. These pictures are all borrowed from the Internet as we never could get a good clear picture of one.

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