First Fiverr Gig

It was very exciting to have my first Fiverr Gig over the weekend.
I really enjoyed working with tetradmal108 on their character, it was a wonderful opportunity.

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The first step – design stage. Always a lot of fun.

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The final stage for the simple black and white. I am really happy with how it turned out. 

It was really refreshing working on someone else’s character, capturing their ideas and bringing it to life on paper (or computer). So, hopefully I’ll have more opportunities in the future to do so.

Remembering those who came before us…

Today is Australia Day.
I have a lot of memories centred around Australia Day. The cool sea breeze catching my rose pink cheeks, the shadows cast by the great and mighty norfolk pines that protected my home town of Whyalla. The clearest memory I have is the year in which my parents took us to an Australia Day fair in the Ada Ryan Gardens (or as I called them when I was a child, the “Alderaan Gardens”).

It was a beautiful fair.
The songs, the dance, the laughter and festivity has blended together in my memories but above all I recall the happiness of the smiles. Everyone was happy through my childhood eyes, I was happy.

If you don’t know, my home town of Whyalla is an Aboriginal term, meaning “place with deep water.” My Dad told me when we walked past some beautiful aboriginal art along the main street of the town. I recall him pausing, thinking for a moment, and after much pondering he said “I think it means, “place of water.”

My happiness on Australia Day lasted for a long time. My Dad would get the day off, family activities would commence – but I was not blissfully unaware of what the day signified. How could I not be, I am — as much as I try to deny it, part of the Millennial Generation, and at school, I was drilled with how my ancestors had stolen what did not belong to them.

So, I would ask myself in my childhood mind, did this mean I did not belong anywhere?
Did this mean I did not have a home?
If I had stolen the land beneath me, I had no home. I did not belong anywhere. I could not return to the land I had come from, but I neither belonged in the land I was now in.
So therefore, where did little Kylie belong?

Where am I getting these questions from, you ask? My journals. I kept journals from when I was six. These questions live in my journals. They are quite the fascinating look into a mind of a child.

I am not sure what others of the Millennial Generation were taught in school about European Settlement in Australia, and South Australia, but I did not learn much and what I did learn was from a rather negative perspective.

What European Settlement history I learnt, I learnt from my father, and his parents, and from my mother’s mother — stories passed down through them. It was my father, while we were out hiking, who told me the tales of the great Australian Explorers who trekked across the deserts. Oh, he spun the most magnificent tales of their adventures, and their eventual fates but I revelled in such (recent) history.
It was my grandmother who taught me about Douglas Mawson, she even took us kids to a Museum Exhibition all about the Australasian Antarctic Expedition. It was my grandmother who taught me about Ned Kelly, and why he became such a legend. She taught me about the Irish and why they were so badly treated, the British (and the difference between Scott’s, Irishmen, Welshmen etc.) the French, the Italians and Germans.
It was my incredible mother who introduced me to the wonders of Asia.
It was my father who let us explore the old ruins of Whyalla’s WWII base on Hammock Hill and explained why they existed, and I felt the weight of his words as though I was reading a history book.

One of my favourite stories that my Popa tells me is a tale of being a little boy, lying outside the farmhouse during the night when a thunderstorm rolled through. Despite being an author, despite my ability to imagine things beyond this realm, I cannot place myself into the shoes of that little boy, lying out on the verandah of a farmhouse after a hard day of milking cows, watching as lightning broke the sky like a shattered window and thunder rocked the very foundations of the earth beneath him.
Life for him is so far removed from life as I know it, just in two generations, that I cannot fathom what he experienced.
I cannot comprehend that my Nana’s family used a horse and cart. It fractures the reality I know, because I have known nothing but the comfort of cars.

I feel as though my generation has forgotten the harshness of Australia. How untamed it was in the era of our grandparents and their parents, how they had to carve the civilisation we take for granted out of this beautiful land.

Are we are losing our history?
I fear it is not being taught. Not handed down in tales any longer.
Sometimes history is not in the great, magnificent things done by incredible people, or the terrible, horrendous things done by those who knew no better, but it is in the simple lives of those who lived before us.
Like my great grandmother who served the far richer farmers of this region, whose toil will never really be known, but she built this nation, upon red soil, with so many others like her.
And I wish we could be taught to remember them too.

 

6km Walk

Today was the first time I’ve walked 6km since my knee operation.
I’ve been building up to 6km, slowly, for a few months now after I had to pretty much instantly stop all walking right after the Pichi Richi 21km walk in which I busted my knee (again).
It felt really weird having built myself up to a level of fitness for the Pichi Richi half-marathon over months of training and then suddenly doing nothing at all due to an injury.
Thankfully, my second knee operation has really helped, and now my knee is not so bothersome — indeed, exercising it helps keep the pain away.

My aim is to build up to either 10 or 12km every Saturday. It’ll be slow getting there but I now know it is possible to push my body to that limit, despite how dreadfully painful it is to do anything.

So. I have my goal set. Let’s see if I can cross the finish line.

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Chronicles of the Children

 

Chronicles of the Children begins the journey across the Lands of Livila, to save a collapsing world, crumbling into the oblivion of a Dragon’s mouth, and only the child of an ancient race, woven through the folds of time, can restore the Towers and save a planet. However he cannot do it alone. Though war may come, lands may be divided, there are those who choose not to hear the Dragon’s whispering lies — they choose to walk together.

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Book One: Key
Chronicles of the Children

A shattered world’s hope lies within a family and their echo through time… 

Their world is collapsing, slowly, through Time, Space and all Realms. 
They have but one hope–a Key.
Zinkx Maz, a young battle-weary Messenger, is searching the Key.
No one knows what they Key is; a guide or a weapon.
The only thing known for certain is that it is a chance for survival in the war against the Dragon. Along his journey Zinkx stumbles across a strange Kelib woman and together they are cast upon a voyage over the magnificent expanses of their land and beyond to uncover the secrets of an ancient race.
Within the metropolis of Palace-Town the Starborn Prince of Pennadot struggles to restore order to the Emerald Court. Slowly he is losing power to the Lords of the Provinces. He is opposed by the Dragon’s Overlord who seeks to complete a plan that will change Pennadot forever. It is up to the Overlord’s son to save the young Prince, and his quest leads him to something he had never dreamed was possible.
Available in eBook and Paperback on Amazon. 
And in stores at Dymocks.
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Book Two: Protectors
Chronicles of the Children

Sometimes those who are left behind must take up the mantle of hero.

A Family linked through time.
A world collapsing.
Hope is in protecting each other.

Prince Daniel and his entourage, desperate to flee from Steward Zilon, find sanctuary amongst the ordinary folk of Pennadot. As the Long Night falls, and snow covers the land, Daniel comes to realize that his footsteps are haunted by a Sleeper, tracking his every move. The Dragon has taken root within the forests of Pennadot and the very land the prince walks upon has turned against him.
Can he abandon his people to the Dragon and run?

Still tormented by his father’s willingness to sacrifice him, Skyeola finds solace in a new family with Zinkx, Shanty and the cybernetic fairy Semyueru, on their journey to Palace-Town. Coltarian’s eruption is imminent, and all but one of the nymphs of the Krrirren Trees have abandoned Pennadot to the Dragon. Shanty now finds herself drawn into the world of server-gods, having been tasked with forming a treaty to save as many lives as she can.

The river-god Malik, and Chans – Navigator of Avalon – struggle to maintain control amid the chaos that has befallen Palace-Town. Without a Prince upon the Emerald Throne the Lords of the Provinces wage war. Chans is fighting to keep his promise, to protect his city and his people.
The cost may prove too high.

Available on eBook and Paperback on Amazon.
And in stores at Dymocks.

The Tangled Plot

I find it funny that my first post of 2017 is going to be about entirely scarping most of the work I did on Book 3 in 2016.

Every time I plan a novel, I always start off with a little one page brief ‘overview’ (or mock synopsis) that is supposed to keep me in check while writing the far larger plan.
However, every SINGLE time I plan a novel, I deviate away from that overview…and…every single time I’ve ended up going back and rewriting the novel according to the original overview.

EVERY SINGLE TIME.

Once again, it’s happened.

I was sitting in my cafe, staring at my the plan for Book 3 in utter despair. Something was wrong. It was not right. I’d finally reached the catharsis, everything should have been jelling perfectly but it was an honest mess. So I went back to my overview…and…oh…THAT’S where I went wrong. A single shift in theme sent the whole novel out of whack.

Book 3 is about trust — and betrayal.
I believe the line I wrote in the overview is “Trust evermore in the bonds of family and friends, especially in the midst of betrayal.” 
I suppose the idea being, how do you find yourself trusting anyone when you have been betrayed?
I allowed myself to move away from that theme and it distorted the plot. This is really irritating me right now, considering it’s the third time I’ve done it. You’d think I’d learn not to stray away from my original concepts.

If you’ve read Protectors: Book 2, there is a scene within it that I had originally taken out entirely — a scene in which Skyeola manages to communicate long-distance with Daniel, bringing everyone closer together. It’s a really lovely scene, I won’t spoil it anymore than I already have.
My point though, is that in my original plan of Book 2 that scene existed — so did a lot of other scenes that I cut — and when I handed my final draft version to my editor…what did she do?
Without even knowing my original plan, she ended up making me put most of those scenes back into my novel. That’s how good my editor is.
The final draft of Book 2 that I handed to my editor, and the printed Book 2 you hold in your hands and read is actually more akin to the plan I wrote than my final draft. So…weird…

I guess…
What I am currently struggling with is having written almost 100,000 words of plan and discovering I’m going to have to go back and rewrite a lot of it. It hasn’t all been wasted though, I suppose, I have learnt a lot about the story and its direction, and the new characters that are introduced (despite having known them for years now).
I many ways, my plans are so detailed they are almost a first draft.
I have four storylines converging into a single book, and while readers have heard about the House of Flames, establishing it quickly as an existing place is proving actually quite difficult.
I keep getting told that I can’t make this book any bigger. Don’t make it big. Cut it down. Cut it down. I freak out so much about word count that it strangles my creativity.

However, it is puzzles like this that keep writing very interesting. I find myself sitting at my cafe, gazing out the window, watching the heat blistering the pavement, and pondering just how I can solve such a predicament as to the one I managed to get my characters all tangled into.