Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Free Offer - Humya's Gifts Series

After blogging about doing something with Humya's Gifts Series I got out the trusty list of Australian publishers, few who accept unsolicited manuscripts, saw the usual, 'respond in 6 - 12 months', a cheeky list of what you can and cannot do and how they will 'destroy any submissions' which don't comply and I decided life's too short for that kind of BS. So, instead I made my life shorter by deciding to give it away free and then had enormous IT problems that stole 24 hours of it.
But the short of it is that if you have an e-reader that handles pdf files, or you or your child are prepared to read it electronically, all four of the series are available at you'll see the big thumbs up girl (Krissey) on the right, click the Krissey!
For those of you who've read Who Killed Dave? it's somewhat similar in style, but without the grisly/sex bits. Krissey, the main character is ... well let's just say that when I finished writing the series I missed her. I carried her around in my head for four years, I grew really attached to her. She became real. I suspect she's the kind of kid I'd like to have been brave enough to be. (I was painfully shy and nerdy).
The four books, The Alone Spot Experiment, Blacksnake Road, Light Riders and The Gift of Goodbye are all about 25,000 words in length - they're aimed at the early teen market (and younger, kids read up, they won't read down). Girls and guys, women and men have read the series and enjoyed them. So if you're fond of a giggle... though The Gift of Goodbye, while it has its giggly bits... is a tear jerker.
In the nature of all things free, feel just as free to tell others or put it on any freebie websites you belong to. I'm not asking for anything, but if you or your kids do read them, love 'em or hate 'em, I'd appreciate it if you could send in a quick review.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Straw bale rendering workshop

Forgot to mention that the outside of the house isn't completely rendered yet. Internally it's complete, the back wall or the weather wall is almost complete, but the other three sides only have two coats on them. So we're offering people the once in a lifetime offer (yeah, who's kidding who) to help us complete the rendering with a rendering workshop on...

February 4-5 - Saturday and Sunday
From 10.30 – 4pm

& the following weekend 11 & 12 February
(either date optional)

Woofers welcome to stay the week
The house is at completion with the internal walls fully rendered.
Lunch provided

I figure I've pretty much perfected the no-crack straw bale rendering process

and don't need to do it all myself anymore :-)

Who Killed Dave? The Movie

Well actually Who Killed Dave? is not a movie yet - it's just a screenplay. I've taken a month off work to do a lot of things, (a part from sit in the house and gloat) one of them doing a final re-write and send it off to producers.

I've been reflecting that in the last five years I've not completed anything new. (I wrote Who Killed Dave? in 2006). I've been working in dribs and drabs for the past three years on Louis(e), a literary novel based on the life of the first European woman to stand on Tasmanian soil. Louise was a French woman who posed as a man on the Recherche, one of the two ships that came in 1790 as part of D’Entrecasteaux’s scientific expedition. The facts of the story are relatively few when it comes to the part she played. But it's fascinating. I've not tried to recreate someone's life before. It's difficult as I'm not sure I have a 'licence' to say things about someone that may not be true. Putting a voice to a fictitious character is easy, putting it to a historical character, even if they have been dead for over 200 years... it always feels so darn libellous.

I've also spent time re-editing Humya's Gifts a four part story for young people that I wrote some years ago. I had a literary agent pick up on it, but the market is so small in Australia it didn't go anywhere. I re-read yesterday and laughed and cried the whole way through. I'm going to send it off to see if anyone else does too.

I feel like I'm on the brink... now the house is finished I can finally focus on something other than work, uni, and a huge garden. Hey Trev, what do you want to do once the house is complete? “Plenty of gardening and some work to pay off the house.”

One book I don't want to write is a 'Straw bale House adventure'- ready to move on.

In da House!

When I wake up it's either the light coming through the window, or the accumulation of baa-ing, bleeting, grunting animals who've quickly worked out that we've moved, it's morning and if they carry on enough they might get breakfast early.

There's the lingering joy of stretching out on a king size mattress (the bed beneath is still at pre-manufacture stage)before going for an early morning wee. And it's 'whoa wee'... it's only just around the corner, no need to go outside anymore. The room is warm, no risk of icy condensation dripping down the back of your neck. Washing my hands afterwards - no need to turn on a pump first. And the bowl... well it's beautiful, the old one had spent fifty years under someone's house and was a sickly shade of stained yellow. This is first of many moments of gratification. The bathroom, well I keep saying it's a luxury model. It's clean, spare, almost zen, the whole house is actually. After five years of roughing it in a 6 X 3 metre shed, a small bathroom add on and a 23 foot caravan and squeezing all our meagre belongings in it... it's heaven. I love observing how the light falls on every surface on a 24 hour basis. A moonlight night doing a circuit of all the rooms is just as rewarding.

Unpacking the unnecessary things like decorative carvings, lamps and pots - they all finally see the daylight. It's been so long I'd forgotten some of them.

We're not finished, Trev's tiling the bathroom still, I've just finished repatching mud work and re liming some pf the walls, I'm yet to re-oil all the window frames and deck. Trev has the skirtings to complete, there are only two internal doors in the whole house, beading needs to happen on the ceiling lining, and the kitchen benchs have yet to be built. But none of that matters. We're living in the house where the temperature is generally always 20 -22 degrees regardless of what's happening outside. It's all come together and the wait has been worth every last windy day of, 'is the shed going to blow away?' bit of it. Our mortgage falls into the range we had anticipated, but the house is better than.

We're on a bit of a high and constant self-congratulations is starting to get a bit old - it's been a long haul... the hard part is over. Maybe one day soon I'll even convince Trev that his uniform of patched, stained and altogether too grubby overalls can help fill the rag bag. But I suspect not.

Photos to come...