Friday, 21 June 2019

Old Story Ideas Brought Back to Life

When I first started to write I bubbled with ideas so much so it drove one of my contemporaries mad. She was struggling to make her novel happen at the time and I being new to a writing group was showing off, saying things like, "just get the words down and worry about the punctuation and sentence structure later."

It may have been of no use to my colleague, a woman who is perfect at creating a sentence and placing a comma, but to me it made sense because my ideas disappear as quickly as they come. However, I did realise that if I were to improve my writing, I would need to expand my author's toolbox and so over the last few years have taken notice of what an active sentence is, where a comma is needed and where to place a full stop. I still get it wrong, but the editing is now less of a chore than it once was.

Getting back to looking through some of my plans from those early days has unearthed some treasures though and by changing the detective’s names, this is one that should make its way into a Detective Voss novel.

The Desk Clerk’s Diary

Mario Modetti keeps secrets, many secrets. He is a desk clerk in an inner city Melbourne Hotel with an International and famous Australian clientele.
Among the regular guests are Pilots, cabin staff, Government officials and Casino high rollers.
Sunday morning a maid enters the room of a Kazakhstani business man to find him and two high price escorts bound and gagged. A Polaroid photo designed to shame is discovered fixed to the mirror with toothpaste.
Detective Inspector  Rose Nguyen is in charge of the investigation, but at every turn she is stymied by bureaucracy.

Chapter Outlines:
1.    The guests are discovered and no-one is talking
2.    DI Rosie Nguyen (Rosie) is on the case
3.    Across town a wholesale jeweler is found at his still locked safe with two bullet holes one in from the side of his chest the other in the back of his head. (was he alone? Where is his wife? Does his mistress know anything)
4.    Another murder in rural Shepparton, this time a known drug dealer with International connections.
5.    Are they random murders or connected.
6.    Journalist Rob Nugent is sniffing around and has picked up a connection
7.    Rosie, frustrated by Nugent pushes him away
8.    The trip to Shepparton for an exhumation finds another unknown body buried below the coffin of a drug boss just below the bottom of the same grave.

A novel length story will need more than eight chapters to wrap up this investigation but it does give me a start. Therefore, when the writing slows down on my current work in progress, I can duck over to this tale and create a much bigger yarn.
Wish me luck.

Sunday, 9 June 2019


I knew my target and knew the time he would arrive. The Awards Presentation would be crowded and people lining the red carpet would work to my advantage.
Television crews were everywhere and it was easy to blend in, my only concern was the occupants of room five, fifteen. From there an easy shot, of four hundred metres and the carpet offered excellent alignment.

Checking the apartment mail boxes revealed Faith and Cindy McLeod lived in 515. I posted Logies tickets to them on a ruse that they had won an in-store competition. The girls would be out of their apartment by noon and not return before midnight. Once inside, all I had to do was wait.

Dressed as one of the hotel's handymen I found the fifth floor and picked the pocket of a housemaid for her pass to gain access, throwing the item into the passage near her trolley. At one o’clock the girls left via the lift at the end of the hall.

Once inside, I took a towel from my bag and laid it on the table. I  assembled the rifle and pulled a cleaner through the barrel. A quick look down the bore and attached the scope. I filled the five shot magazine and put a cartridge in the chamber.

I shifted furniture, to ensure I was comfortable, and opened a small gap in front window. There was nothing between my position and where the target would take his last breath.

I closed the window. At 2.30 the phone rang, I ignored it. By 3.30, I heard people in the hall, but they walked on. I kept the television muted and watched reporters accosting celebrities who were making their way to the ceremony.

At 5.00 pm I opened the window again and took up my position. Flags hung listless from their poles, no wind, that would help. I lined up a couple of guests who were about the same height as Finch.

A stretch Hummer arrived at 5.10 and he and his escort stepped out. I whispered a curse, the limo blocked my view. I cocked the rifle, slid the safety off and waited. The Hummer glided away. He was clear, I squeezed the trigger and watched the bullet take its mark.

My contract fulfilled. I packed the rifle, put the furniture back and sauntered out.

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

The Orb of Infinity, Second Rewrite

A few months ago my granddaughter India, who is eight and has a wild imagination began writing a Sci-Fi novel with me. For now, the main character whose name just happens to be the same as my co-author, has to save a far off planet. 
Between her inexhaustible love of adjective filled drama and my yarn-spinning skills, we hope to tell you the story of "The Orb of Infinity". 
Here is an excerpt from the first chapter in the second round of drafting.

'Cute and childish won’t work on me Princess, I haven’t time, besides we’ll be back before everyone wakes up.’ Waving her froggy finger she opened the closet, ‘now what have we got for you to wear?’ The envoy tut-tutted, saying, ‘No that just won’t do.’ pulling things out, one after another until a mountain of clothes covered the floor. ‘Stand still, we’ll need to kit you out and, Uniforms Online, are too ugly by far.’
Pointing at the mess in her room, India said. ‘Who’s going to put all of this back?’
‘It’s a little girl’s room, they’re always messy.’
Stamping her foot, India said, ‘Put all of it back now.’ and made a pointing motion toward the empty closet.
Xlora huffed and clicking her fingers, began ducking, stepping out of the way as India’s clothes flew back to where they came from. ‘You’ll just have to come in your pyjamas. We’ll pick up something on the way.’ She took India’s hand and snapped her fingers again. ‘We have to hurry.’
‘Like I told you Princess.’ There was a huff of frustration to Xlora’s tone, ‘It is written and we have a planet to save.’ 

Tuesday, 11 December 2018


Might be time to go through your archives and rustle through material and manuscripts lounging in hard-drives or filing cabinet drawers, because if you are a writer, film maker artist or musician, then these changes affect you.

Please log into the link below to find what is happening to Australia's Copyright Law on January the 1st 2019.

Saturday, 8 December 2018

It's Been a While Since My Last Post

The Orb of Infinity

A few months back my granddaughter and I had an idea for a book that we should write together. India is eight years old and by her ninth birthday would like to have finished a 30,000 word manuscript where a character with her name is the hero. 

Here is just a taste and part of a rough first draft.

Chapter One
The soft green glow from the digits of clock on India’s bedside table had only blinked three am when a flash of silver and blue light filled the room. She woke to the feel of someone blowing softly on her cheek, stoking her hair and the soulful voice urging her to wake up.
‘Princess, it is written that you are the chosen one and you must come at once.’ A person no bigger than India’s arm was bending over her, repeating the plea.
Believing it to be a dream India tried pulled the bedclothes over her head and follow these visions until morning. The covers as if pulled by an invisible thread, rolled back.
Having gained India’s attention, she spoke, ‘My name is Xlora, special envoy to the Prime Minister of Astranada,’ then standing back, bowed. ‘and ten centuries ago it was written that one would come and free our people from the tyranny of Rahn.’ Xlora took her gloves off and hoping India would not fall back into sleep, slapped them against her thigh ‘You Princess India, are the chosen one and just as the ancients decreed. You will come.’
India started shaking, and fearing another nightmare sat on the edge of the bed. Her feet feeling for her slippers. Xlora used her frog like index finger and thumb to prise India’s eyes open, it was no use as India slipped back into a slumber. Taking a vial from the pouch on her belt and waved it under the girl’s nose. India looked around as an aura of calm washed over her.
She looked at the voice’s owner, a person no taller than her favourite doll was standing in front of her. Xlora wore a silver-blue flying jacket, an airman’s helmet, leather pants and flying boots with stiletto heels. Everything matching, only her navy-blue cravat broke the monotony of colour. Even her skin was silvery, her eyes and lips matched the cravat.
‘Go away, I have school tomorrow.’
‘You’ll have time for school later, tonight we have a planet to save.’
India reached for the light switch. ‘I’d better tell Mum.’
Xlora’s hand stopped her. ‘We have no time for that, quick we must go now.’
‘We’ll be back before they all wake up.’ She opened the closet, ‘now what have we got for you to wear?’ The envoy tut-tutted, saying, ‘No that just won’t do.’ pulling things out, one after another until a mountain of clothes covered the floor. ‘Stand still, we’ll need to kit you out and, Uniforms On-line won’t cut it.’
Pointing to the mess in her room, India said. ‘Who’s going to put all of this back?’
‘It’s a little girl’s room, they’re always messy.’
‘Put all of it back now.’ She managed through a yawn.
Clicking her fingers Xlora huffed, ducking and stepping out of the way as India’s clothes flew back to where they came from.
‘You’ll just have to come in your pyjamas. We’ll have to pick up something on the way.’ She took India’s hand and snapped her fingers again. ‘We have to hurry.’ And with that, she started rubbing the screen on India’s iPhone until a whirlpool appeared, took India’s hand and stepped into the swirling black hole of nothingness engulfing the room.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Father's Day

Lionel & Terry Probert 1949
Symes Home
Government Road Orroroo
South Australia

It takes awhile to appreciate
all the things that made you great
Meeting mum then the wedding
and making a home
Showing me through thick and thin
You'd be there
No matter the trouble I was in

I was nearly thirty the night you died
And the way I felt I could not hide
It was your funeral first
and things to do
A million things to fill my mind
all the tasks I took for granted
Blossomed in the seeds you planted

Now sitting here on Father's Day
To talk to you and the things I'd say
I'd show you photos of my family
Their homes their cars
But most of all
I'd show you photos of
My grandchildren growing tall

To young to die when you went away
Your values make me
The man I am today

Sunday, 27 August 2017

A Marriage


The Pain You Bear, Is the Pain We Share

It’s that pleasure and pain time again
Her head will for days now thump
She lifts her hand to feel blood pump
It’s been with her a long long time
She smiles and says
“Long enough to call it mine”

I look at her and she at me
Pain was writ where her smile should be
She’s tried a vast array of pills
Pounded pavement round the doctors
And paid their bills
It’s not a migraine or so they say
Take this pill and it’ll go away

Another year and the pain’s still there
And silver streaks highlight her hair.
Her smile is still where it belongs
And she takes my hand and makes me strong
I find comfort in what she can do
She smiles and gives my hand a squeeze
And we turn our faces to the breeze

While the sun begins to set upon our life
I gaze at her and see all the wonder

And the beauty of you, my wife