Posts Tagged ‘fiction writing’





Oh, Ooh, Kablooie, We’re in Trouble Now Boys

Kablooie, and from the shops side of the beach to above Pyang Avenue, from the Surf Lifesaving club to the Bowling Club, the lights went out, the stars and moon in the sky the only light to be seen.

‘Run to the beach, geez, run.’ Cracker pushed his two mates toward the beach where even the minimal light from the moon failed to pierce the night darkness.

Trann and Bone needed no persuasion and leapt in to full speed. Unfortunately, the boys hadn’t been given clear enough directions and they crashed into each other and fell to ground in a sprawling entanglement of arms and legs.

‘Stop mucking about you fatheads. We could be in serious trouble. Run that way!’ pointed Cracker, ‘Duck down when you hit the sand and hide under the lee of the beach.’

The three boys fled to the beach where they found a deep depression which would conceal them from even the most determined searchers.

After a space of three to five minutes three heads appeared and looked back at the electricity substation that, as a result of one arrow fired into the night had unexpectedly turned the boys night of adventure, by exploding in a fizzing, sizzling, spark flying nightmare.

‘Keep calm,’ Cracker ordered. “We go home and say nothing. Meet back here tomorrow at eight, ok?’

Not quite meeting each other’s gazes, the three boys hi-fived and went their separate ways.


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It’s officially the end of Week 3 of our Book Tour and our time on the farm, and our retreat, is at an end.

Here’s what we learnt:

  1. Horses can eat water lilies out of their dam and survive
  2. 36 degrees is unpleasant no matter where you are
  3. taking time out is important, so important that I think this should be number 1
  4. Cleaning is a great way to get out of writing and our caravan is now spotless
  5. Christmas Book Tours are fun as long as you have a farm to come home to
  6. You can write wherever you are but sitting under a shady tree watching donkeys and goats increases productivity
  7. Being still increases productivity
  8. Taking time to look back is important…it shows you how far you’ve come
  9. taking time to look forward is important, too, and what better time is there to plan out the new year than when you’re feeling good about point number 8
  10. Taking time now to do nothing much except write (and clean and sell books and go for long walks in the bush and swim in the sea and watch horses eat grass and count the stars in the night sky) is the best time of all.

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At school this week one of my students told me she was up to 35,000 words of her NaNoWriMo project…do the rest of us have any excuse if a fourteen year old can achieve such a result on top of school work, assessment and end of year co-curricula activities?

My student is aiming for 50,000 words and beyond. This is her first novel. And my excuse for not writing? I’m too busy…

What’s your excuse?



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The smell of smoke from a real campfire is different from the smell of smog or cigarette smoke. In the city, those are the only types of smoke I get – but today I’m sitting before my campfire, which my sister built from gathered wood and newspaper, peeling a stick so I can toast marshmallows with it. Above me, I can see a thousand stars and bats fly overhead in swarms. As I look up at the night sky I imagine I’m a pioneer.




Shops like BCF and Anaconda encourage a belief that to venture into the bush, one needs the latest top-notch equipment. Super-strength chairs, microfiber jumpers, expensive and oh-so-fancy sports shoes. Yet here I am, sitting in the dirt, in old jiggers and the same woolen jumper I’ve been wearing all week.  We toast marshmallows – which, according to my sister, means burning them to a crisp. ‘It’s burnt and tasteless,’ she says. ‘I like that in a marshmallow.’



To me, the bush isn’t about high tech and fancy. To me, the bush is what we are doing right now – sitting with family and friends, rejoicing in the simplicity, while smoke from a real campfire fills my nostrils.







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The teacher begins:

Today, class, you’re going to write a story. Not just any story. A good story. And in order to write a good story you must follow the rules of story writing:

A story?

1.  You must be disciplined.

…I’m not…

2.  You must work hard.

…I don’t…

3.  You must be organised.

…I never have been…

4. You have twenty minutes to write your stories, starting now.

…and so I stare out the window…

I’m a writer…I live in my head…I dream…I  think of somewhere else, anywhere else, where the world makes a kind of sense that it never does in this room…this room with its four walls and it rows of desks and a clock that ticks so slowly that it has to gather its energy to to continue its tedious journey around and around in ever meaningless circles…and I wonder who came up with such a punishing existence and called it…learning…in this classroom where we all stare out the window……dreaming…I close my eyes and begin to write.

Chapter One

…once upon a time…


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I dare you not to be inspired by my young friend, Briana’s, story…what do her illustrations suggest…


My mind is racing….who is the girl…what are her motivations…what is her journey….


Give her some friends and a setting…and suddenly I have a plot for a story…

I didn’t expect it and I didn’t ask for it…but if there’s one thing I’ve learnt, inspiration comes when I least expect it.

Who is the girl and how will her story unfold…


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With all the focus nowadays on productivity, promotion and presence, it’s hard sometimes to remember why we started writing in the first place…

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