Thursday, 21 April 2011


The very essence of a blog means that some of the best bits are lost among the earlier posts. 

This index will make it easier to find out what's inside. It's a list of links with a short synopsis of each piece on offer. Here we go ... and please leave some feedback among the comments!

PATERNITY - a mystery novel that spans Australia from the outback to the beautiful city of Sydney. Taste the opening chapter here and click to read the rest for free ...

They waited with some sort of bizarre discipline, although straining at the leash.

The vicious wind set leaves scuttling on the ground, and branches arching against the bright night sky. The full moon saw it all, and intensified the shadows at the bases of the trees. She felt freezing then, and fear took over from the anger. What did they intend with her?

Soon two white lights shattered the gloom, appearing first at the top of the track. They followed its bends and twists until they lit the clearing and then the target directly … blinding her.

The car door slammed once.

And now click the link below or go to the side bar to read the whole book for free!

LAMB CHOPS AND APPLE PIE - a short story
Plain and fresh home baked food was a big part of my childhood in Australia.  The 1940s and 1950s were simple times when neighbours were an important part of family life. When kids climbed trees, and when wandering unguarded for hours in play with your siblings was regarded as safe and quite okay ...

SEX AT SIXTY-FIVE - short story
This one is from the other edge of the age spectrum.  I've seen young people squirm when they are faced with the possibility that the elderly may still indulge in sex.  Mon and Velma's advice holds good for young and old.

HOPPING MAD - a short story
He breeds rabbits to save the world from hunger.  Ralph also suffers bi-polar disorder, is a much loved husband and father, and the scourge of the manager of his local supermarket.

HIDDEN MEANINGS - Married to a Bi-Sexual?  - a short story
She has no idea that her husband is bi-sexual. Gradually the truth dawns upon her ...
There are two voices here, in parallel monologues.

PATERNITY - My full length Australian Mystery Novel
Sydney journalist Pip Holmes wants to know who her father was. Does the answer connect with a pack rape in an Australian country town 28 years before? 
Follow Pip's journey through the outback and meet some extraordinary characters along the way.
You can begin Episode One here

MEET PIP IN THE FLESH - Read how one of Pip's fans drew her portrait
Staggeringly talented Vikki North of California’s The Red Chair Gallery has done a conceptual portrait of the heroine of Paternity, Pip Holmes, and allowed me to publish it here so that we can all share … 
Pip is a Sydney journalist, a pocket dynamo who faces all sorts of dangers to track down her father who could have been a member of a pack of rapists. See Vicki's portrait ...

THE BLACK OR BUBONIC PLAGUE IN SYDNEY 1900 - a short short history
It was 1900 in Sydney - when rats on board ships coming from overseas brought the Black or Bubonic Plague and spread it throughout the town. Pictures of conditions at the time. 
Also, see Labyrinth in Olde Sydney Town (below) for a story set in this period.

Young Miriam McDonald reclines on dank straw, the fine cotton fabric of her nightgown stretched against her distended belly. Her long thin hands move to this roundness, stroking gently. Miriam is alone in Olde Sydney Town where the Bubonic Plague has created death and panic.

There is a squinch of rubber soles on linoleum, and the tap tap tapping of a stick as a young nurse guides an old man down the hall and towards the garden. She watches as he sighs into the second best chair on the verandah, next to the cat. She pats a rug around his knees, adjusts the shawl lying on the shoulders of an elderly woman sitting in the third best chair, alongside the man, and leaves them.

MR AND MRS Y - a short story
The old couple made a perfect capital ‘Y’ shape as they walked together around the corner and up the hill. You see, they each had severe curvature of the spine, as though in sympathy with one another. Problem was their spines bent sideways, sending their heads at the top of the ‘Y’ away from their partner, by a good 45 degrees. The man bent right and the woman bent to the left.

WHITE DUST - a short story
My Dad used asbestos sheeting to build small cottages when I was a child.  The white dust was a large part of our lives, and this meant that long drawn out illness and shortened lives followed.  This is part of our family story. 

BLOOD SPORT - A Story About a Very Special Robot
We've all dreamed of having a robot at our place to do the chores, but could there be unforeseen consequences?  

HILL END SUITE - A Poem About an old Australian Gold Town
Pick pick clink clink
Metal on rock…
A ghostly chorus of yelling and clamour,
Hollers and shouts and bellows and yelps.
Muscles and hearts straining, hurting,
Incessant toil…
Wearing away bodies and hope.

It is sometimes said that it's good to take up pen and paper to write a letter in a moment of anger or desperation, even if you don't post it.
To me, writing poetry is perhaps a more satisfying solution. I found it so during one particularly testing time in my life ...

UNKIND CUT! - A Short Story About a TV Romance
You wring your psyche dry for twelve hours at a trot. You twist and you squeeze your inner self until reality and fictional character slide together. Then at the end of it all comes the moment of disengagement, and you’re not quite the same person any more.

A re-write of the old favourite to take on the flavour of modern day Australia.

PARTNERS - A Short Story with a Surprise in Store
His face was cracked as a paddock in drought, but he was still a handsome man.
Here, standing at the cash desk in my little shop, he launched into a rambling yarn. I’d heard it before, but I laughed, and he was happy.

MEMORIES OF IRELAND IN 1982 - A Travel Story

In 1982 I was in the land where the Irish jokes used to come from. I knew I was there by the time I got to a little village in Leitrim on the north-western coast.

THE ZOMBIE - A Short Short Story
It’s unashamedly inspired by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the astonishing Colombian short story writer.
Warning – this story is not a fun yarn!
After 1994 when a military coup ushered in an era of soaring poverty within their native land, Haitians in their thousands attempted to flee the misery, many in small boats making illegally for America. They did so with the aid of their faith, Voodoo, a national religious folk cult characterised by a mixture of Roman Catholic ritual elements which date from the period of French colonisation, and the theology and magic of Africa.

AT 72 YEARS ... Some Thoughts Written Down in 2009
Sometimes a birthday gets one looking carefully!
WRITING - A Hobby that Lasts

I was meandering through some of my old keepsakes the other day when I found a 1949 newspaper clipping of a story I had written at the age of twelve.
By then, I had been reading books and writing stories for years, but this was the very first time I had been published. What a thrill it was!

A WISP - A Thought Which Appeals - and seems even better when written down ...

I'm gradually going through the stories on this blog, and adding more synopses.  Come back and you're sure to find other subjects to suit your taste. 

Have you added your comments yet? You'd be doing this writer a really good turn! 

Cheers June