Melbourne Supernova

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Melbourne you have been amazing. What an experience this adventure has been. Heading off early in the morning for a long road trip, I really wasn’t sure what to expect. This entire weekend was just one big unknown for me.

I am grateful for the opportunity though. Meeting wonderful, creative people, getting a chance to talk to those who love what they do, and just sharing and basking in such a great environment that is the buzz of a Supanova convention. The organisers do such a great job putting it all together, and I really do have to thank them for giving us such a great opportunity to share our work with everyone.

On bump-in day we – my fellow author friends who I was adventuring with – headed for the Grand Pavilion within the Melbourne Showgrounds. It was overwhelming, to say the least. The Grand Pavilion is an enormous tent – reminding me of a place where a circus would perform. I felt so small. So much like I didn’t belong. It was a very strange sensation.

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Setting up was a lot of fun. I had my little spot between Katie and Karen. We shared two tables.

It was then back to base to rest. Saturday was going to be a big day. Like I said – I really didn’t know what to expect from you Melbourne – where you going to buy books? My aim for the weekend was to sell out of Book 1. Did I achieve this aim.
Yes. I did. So. Thank you, awesome people of Melbourne, for helping this author achieve that goal. I am so, so, so grateful! I really hope you enjoy the first book!

I cannot begin to discribe how many awesome characters I saw scattered around. I only managed to catch a hand-full of pictures (I got bolder as the weekend progressed). It really cheered me up to see anime characters I adored. I love it that I can go into a place and be around people who love the same things I love. It’s just a really wonderful environment.

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The highlight of the weekend, though, may very well been meeting the amazing woman who edits my novels. We’ve “known” each other for about five years now but we’ve never met. She drove her whole family an hour and a half up to Supanova, and I was just so happy to finally get the chance to meet her. I imagine I was a bit awkward – as usual – but it was just so lovely! Thank you so much Elle for coming to see me! It was really, really wonderful. I wish we’d had more of a chance to chat. I’ll have to come and visit again. ^_^

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I wish I’d had more of a chance to explore Melbourne, and I hope that if I do come back someday, I’ll get that chance. Just the small bit I have seen is so…well…Melbourne. Everything is just that little bit the same, but just enough difference that it throws me off when I walk around. It’s not like being in another country (I’ve done that) – it’s weirder – it’s as if…it’s like a parallel UNIVERSE.
I feel like I’m in the show SLIDER. ^_^

It has been a great couple of days. Thank you to everyone who has made it possible.
To Katie for looking after me.
To Matt, Karen and David for all the fun and laughter. It’s been a real blast.
But I have to admit, I am really looking forward to the long drive home tomorrow, and a cuddle with my cat at the end of it.

This Hobbit does enjoy adventures, but the best part about them is getting home.

KEY – Prologue

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By
Kylie Leane

 

Mum and Dad

You have always provided me with unconditional love, care and ever-available support.

You are my Towers.

Thank you for giving me the resilience to survive through my pain

and the belief that there are some dreams that are

worth chasing, stories worth telling, and love worth giving.

 

 

 

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We all start out on a road thinking we know the path sure and true –

But, I tell you now, we cannot possibly fathom the twists and turns in which our story shall go.

Instead, the Great Inker of the skies beyond writes our ever-flowing saga with celestial dust to spin us ever onward through life.

Though we may lose and we may gain,

there is never a thread left unwoven or a reason left unknown in any tale that is told.

I say unto you fellow wayfarers of well-worn paths, take up your pack, your blade, your cloak,

and lantern for there is darkness ahead.

You will need your light to guide you,

your pack to feed you, your blade to protect you, and your cloak to warm you along this tale.

It is customary in Pennadot when a traveler leaves a way-side inn

to speak blessings to the Sun by the resident

altar and wash hands in the liquid gold by the door.

So here I give you a blessing to send you on your way, dear friend:

May the blazing Sun always shine behind you,

May the wind blow westward for you,

And may the stars dance your road to light the way homeward,

So shall the fair and bliss favor you,

O traveler of myths, legends, and tales.

Fear not the blood, the tears of sorrow,

For a narrow road that is lonely and fraught with despair,

Will bring you to a City laden with Gold.

Sun-Saint Abl’ayn – Sundate 0298DC

 

 

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There is nothing that is greater in valor than to die in the place of another.

Pennadotian Human Proverb

 

Land: Pennadot

Black Day – Sundate 8600DC[1]

A vibrating twang of blades, mixed with the cries of death, spurred three children onward through the russet gloom of the golden Palace crested upon a hill. Fear of being caught up amongst the bloody battle forced strength into their exhausted limbs. Twisted shadows flickered between massive pillars that reached like claws to the high ceilings. David pulled his sobbing twin by the wrist. A dagger hung loose in his free hand, dribbling the blood of those he had slain over the floor in a scattered trail behind them.

A haze of yellow light, dancing with the glow of distant flames, shone through the colossal windows, burning the shadows like inked prints into the walls. In the valley below the Palace, the vast metropolis smoldered. Ash held a blanket over the evening, lavishing the glass, and seeping between cracks to gain entrance into the holy untainted grounds.

A soft tinkling sound reached his ears; a jingle of royal gold chimed in time with the sound of footfalls echoing through the alabaster halls.

Daniel hiccupped a sob.

David spun, pressing his hand against his twin’s mouth.

He glanced at the small girl staring at him in fright. She seemed as delicately perfect and breakable as a porcelain doll, with skin and hair ashen white. He thrust his twin into her arms, mouthing the words, “Citla, silence him.”

The girl scurried to obey as David led them further down the hall, out of earshot, slowing his pace to allow Citla a moment to comfort the weeping Daniel.

Tsk valai[2].” With a twist of his wrist David pointed his blade at his brother. “By the Sun, be silent! Or do you wish me to kill again? No one can see us leave, do you hear me? No one. I will kill whomever notices us. Now be silent…” A flare of pain caught him in the chest, the potency of it causing him to stagger forward as he rasped a gurgling cough. He tasted blood in his mouth and felt it trickle out of his lips.

With a cry, Daniel scrambled to his side.

“David, stop! You are pushing yourself too hard. Your illness will hurt you more.”

Tsk.” David pressed Daniel back into Citla’s arms. “We must hurry.” He wiped the blood away.

He shoved them both forward. “Move!”

They ran deeper into the Palace’s twisting corridors.

David ignored the burning in his chest; each breath challenging his rotting lungs.

It was all too late; the wheels of war were spinning. By now he was sure his father, the Sovereign King, would be engaged in battle with Zilon, Steward to the Throne.

He knew already who would win: Zilon the Steward, their once trusted uncle and the King’s right hand. Only, why was he taking such lengths to destroy Pennadot in a single, crushing night of mayhem and treachery? His attention shifted, and he skidded to a halt. He grabbed Daniel and Citla and pushed them behind him in protection. Thick shadows curled like tentacles across the floor. A tall figure stepped free of the blackened waves, dashing them to one side as though they were dust. David relaxed as a gentle voice spoke. “Milord Prince…”

“Chans.” The young prince replied with a nod.

The creature wandered forward on elongated legs. Large foot-claws, shaped in a horse-like curvature, tapped upon the marble floor. Around the slender ankles a shredded robe dragged, tainted with the filth of battle. Chans was elegantly graceful, standing with an air of superior breeding. Large black, leathery wings folded against his back, yet to lose all their childhood feathers, but already large enough for the young Batitic to cocoon safely within. His thin, slanted eyes shone cinder red. David felt them boring into him, spying the blood that stained his shirt and hands. He wrinkled his nose. The Batitic exuded the odor of blood conduction, a sickly magical stench akin to a poisonous sweat.

“You managed to get Skyeola?” David whispered in hope for the infant he had feared they would lose to the war.

Chans inclined his head, extending one wing to reveal a basket tied to his waist. Within, a babe slept a magically-induced sleep. “I would not leave my little brother in this mess,” he whispered fondly. His bestial appearance seemed more like a tender lioness as he glanced toward the purring nursling. Carefully he closed his wings to hide the precious bundle.

“I did as you asked, Milord.” The Batitic threw a bag to David.

The prince caught it and peered into it, nodding at the contents. “Thank you. Now, you must take Daniel and Citla.” Motioning to the two behind him he paused, coughing up more blood.

Daniel stepped forward in concern. Citla’s hand caught him. With the hem of his shirt David wiped blood from his chin.

“Take them out of the Palace. A group of Papa’s faithful paladins will meet you in the underground passages.” He felt the rasp in his voice and fought to keep his words a firm, sharp order that were not to be disobeyed. They were a clear display of his authority as a child of the starblood.

Chans bowed in acknowledgement. “I will do as you command, Milord Prince.”

Quickly David stripped out of his ruined clothing and changed into a fresh outfit pulled from the sack, suppressing the feeling that this might be the last time he would ever see his brother. He could see the confusion in Daniel’s eyes as Citla tugged him toward Chans.

“You had best hurry.” Chans shifted on his foot-claws uneasily. “My father is in the Ljotruaithne[3]. The province lords will break through the Palace doors at any moment. They will kill you if they find you here.”

David snorted. “Such is the plan.” He buckled the royal jewels around his neck, their weight all too familiar.

“Wait…” Daniel whimpered. “Those are my clothes…that…that is my crown.” He grabbed David’s bloodied hands, stalling him from placing the golden leafy circlet atop his own head.

Tsk, Daniel.” David glared at his brother. “The province lords want you dead. You are the last heir to the Emerald Throne and of the starblood. To gain rulership over Pennadot they must kill you. Someone has to die today, and since I am already dying it matters not if it is me.” His voice broke for a moment as his twin’s green eyes overflowed with tears.

Daniel’s grasp slackened, releasing his brother’s arms as he stepped back, shaking his head. “You are pretending to be me…to trick them…”

David turned slowly. He had clothed himself in royal attire, displayed as a being to be worshiped in the glory of the starblood that burned in his veins, his skin lambent with cosmic light.

“That is why we were born identical, Daniel, in every detail. That is why I was never exposed, why Papa never revealed that I existed.” With more maturity than he had ever shown as a child, David reached out. Gently, he gripped his brother’s cheeks and kissed him, wanting nothing more than to remain with him.

“I was born,” he choked back blood, “so that you could live and I…I was given this illness…so that I could die for you. Pennadot must have an heir after this night. Zilon and the province lords will lose if I do this! Papa will not die in vain.”

Daniel jerked to one side. “No…no… no…no!” he screeched. “I will not let you! I order you to stop and come with us!”

“It is too late.” David smiled weakly. “This is bigger than us. It always has been.” He shoved Daniel into Chans’ strong claws. The young Batitic grabbed the prince by the shoulder, ignoring his protests.

David glanced at Citla. In her frilly black dress she was the perfect little toy of the courts. Always they had been paraded like miniature adults, and, today, they had to be those adults. To live as children any longer would spell their deaths. Reaching out he pressed a finger to her lips, brushing aside a tear that trickled down her white cheek.

“Look after him always, Citla,” he whispered. “I entrust him to your care. Be with him. Never let him out of your sight…promise me this!”

Citla nibbled her lip. “I promise, your highness.” She followed Chans and Daniel into the yellow-stained darkness.

Chans glanced back. “Goodbye, Milord Prince,” he said as he vanished in a swell of shadows.

David fisted his hands, breathing deeply through lungs riddled with holes and filling with cursed starblood. He tilted his head toward the sky encased in the pillows of smoke. This day of blackness and never-ending night was the day he had been born for, and this was the night he would finally die.

He could not fathom what had caused Zilon to become a twisted monster who would betray the Emerald Throne but he did know one thing; he would die in his brother’s stead.

And he was not afraid.

No.

He was not afraid.

Chapter Break3

The humidity was stifling. Sweat dribbled off Chans’ furred skin. He tightened his grip on his conductor, a stick comprised of twirled wood and crystal with a small light radiating from the tip. The glow was enough to pierce the murky darkness of the ancient catacombs beneath Palace-Town. Forgotten roads had long been buried under thousands of sol-cycles of dirt. Like a network of spider-webs, the tunnels snaked their way beneath the colossal city built upon the hill of cities before it.

Very few maps had been drawn of the never-ending network. None save the royal family knew of its true purpose from centuries long past when the Lands of Livila had been at their peak and civilization had soared to magnificent heights.

Chans held within his mind the blueprints he had studied all his life. He had known since childhood that his ability to recall images had been a gift, for the catacombs would become his new home. After tonight, returning to the surface world would mean his death. His father’s anger would burn in a rage if ever he discovered that his eldest child had betrayed the Dragon to whom his blood-clan had sold their souls. Instead, Chans had chosen to save the royal heir of the Emerald Throne.

He could hear the young prince crying bitterly as they ran, and, with a swift glance behind, he saw Citla dragging him as he stumbled. She would not let him go, for David had ordered her to remain forever at Daniel’s side.

Soon the little prince would forget that he had ever had a brother who had once been the braver in the face of death. David’s existence would haunt all who remembered him in sol-cycles to come. Of that Chans was sure.

“How much further?” Citla’s soft voice carried through the darkness. The murk dragged at his limbs, thick like a cloak draped in the air, wanting to pull him back into the light above ground.

He smiled weakly. “Not much longer now.” He slowed his pace, foot-claws scraping the wet stones. Worriedly he checked under his wings. His baby brother was still safely cocooned therein. If all went well, the child would be returned to the surface and back into the arms of their father; none the wiser of the terrors that had been hidden from him.

An inhuman whine escaped from the back of Chans’ throat. It hurt knowing he would have to return his brother to the same man who would impassively murder a child such as David, but he had no choice. Skyeola belonged in the light, for a little while longer. He could only hope the kitten would grow up untarnished by their father’s ambitions.

“Come, come, this way.” He waved Citla and Daniel into a tunnel that opened up sharply on their left. Daniel’s weeping eased to painful sobs, muffled by the sodden walls dripping with acidic water. There was an abrupt whiff of fresher air. Chans tipped his head to one side; he caught the muted sounds of voices. Relief washed over him. He knew them, one was a deep baritone that he recognized as that of Lord Davies Telvon of the Icali-pi Province, one of the few lords who remained faithful to the Emerald Throne.

Flickering light drew them nearer as another voice joined the quiet conversation. By its sweet notes, it was obviously Lord Davies’ wife. It was a comforting sound to hear, and Chans was glad she had survived the horrors of battle. He knew she was with child. It was only natural, he felt, to fear for a woman who held another life within her.

He relaxed as they reached the small gathering of paladins. His job was now complete. In his five and ten sol-cycles of life, he knew he had already accomplished the task set by the tiny alien creature who stood waiting in the milky shadows.

Hazanin was the only Zaprex he had ever laid eyes upon. Some rumored him to be the last of the ancient, technologically-advanced race that had once ruled the stars above and healed the lands below. He stood only midriff-height to a Human; though humanoid in his limbs, the creature was too slim to be a living being with true bone structure. His unnatural figure was obvious even with the war robe of red, lined with weapons decked over his thin shoulder. Yet, despite being small and seemingly insignificant, there was danger in his eerie eyes, scleras shaded black with pupils gleaming crimson under square-shaped spectacles. He moved like a trained dancer, making an otherworldly and ethereal impression. The light Chans had seen in the gloom glowed from two long antennas rising from of a mop of raven hair. The little globes bobbed as the creature glided forward.

“Hazanin-sama[4].” Chans bowed in formal greeting, forcing his lips around the alien’s native tongue. The Zaprex was the first he had to address, for no one ignored the powerful being who ruled time and space. Even his father had respected and admired the Zaprex to the point of calling him beloved-friend.

Konnichiwa, Chans. You have done well.” Its mechanical speech was forced through an aging metal voice-box.

Chans stepped aside, glancing at Citla, who pulled Daniel forward.

 

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At the sight of the creature, the young prince cried out in relief. He threw his only slightly larger body into the strong metal arms of the cybernetic alien.

“You have to stop David. Please stop him. He said he is going to die instead of me! You have to stop him!”

Hazanin sighed. He placed his chin gently upon the boy’s cranium as he wrapped long arms around him, drawing him close in mothering comfort.

“Hush now my little one, ne,” he whispered, pointed ears tweaking as he reached up worn fingers, covered with a layer of green skin, to brush tears from the prince’s cheeks. The Zaprex smiled feebly, its ancient age revealed in tender eyes that held unimaginable knowledge.

Daniel whimpered. No one was coming to his aid; his protectors watched with stark treachery. He tried to struggle but the firm grip of the cyborg held him fast.

Something inside him was being stripped away as though paper was being peeled from within his mind. Hazanin placed a long finger and thumb upon his forehead, his eyes glittering in sorrow making the sudden betrayal only slightly less agonizing.

“Do not worry, my sweet one,” the ancient Zaprex whispered, “tomorrow when you wake up, this will all be gone. You will not remember David’s existence or this night’s events. It is best this night be forgotten to you. David is dead to us now, and dead he shall remain. Gomen, Daniel… gomen, my little star-prince.”

Daniel’s eyes widened as a sharp pain caught his temples and he flinched. His mind clouded as the eerie sensation of falling into nothingness swelled over him. It was worse than sleep; it was a deep pit that enveloped him, shrouding his body in darkness, dampening the burning gift of the starblood that flowed in his veins. His limbs grew heavy, and he slumped forward into a faint, murmuring softly, painfully aware of the tears cascading down his cheeks, and that they no longer glittered as they once had.

“But…but…I do not…want to forget…my brother…”


 

[1] DC: Of the Dragon’s Conquest

[2] A Human expression (high class) of frustration – can be shortened to just tsk, which would be akin to ‘shhhh’ when chiding someone.

[3] The Great Throne Room ‘Blessed by the Sun’ wherein the Emerald Throne is situated.

[4]  –sama: very high honorific, usually reserved for lords, gods, masters, rulers, or someone for whom one has ultimate or infinite respect.

Hazanin Prologue 2

 

Key: Book One of Chronicles of the Children on Amazon Kindle and Illustrated Paperback

The Passage of Time

I keep journals. I’ve kept journals since I was nine years old. Not that those journals are particularly well written, considering my dyslexia. I was only, truly, able to spell and write coherently when I was fifteen, so it was little wonder I was failing school by year nine. Yet – I digress – journal writing is fascinating. It allows this incredible record of the passage of time.

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These journals tell some very dark tales – of a teenage girl fighting for survival – but they also tell the story of hope, love and conquering monstrous dragons, and of a family she utterly adores.

During my packing process (for moving into my new house) I found my journal for the tail end of 2016 and the beginning months of 2017. I was curious – since it was New Years Eve – I decided to sit down and see what my thoughts had been at that time the previous year. Well. I can tell you. I hadn’t been in a great place. Indeed, things seemed rather dim for my whole family, according to my journal.

The thing that kept repeating itself, over and over, as I read through the months into 2017 – and no – it had nothing to do with Trump – was my loneliness. I was so lonely. This immense pit of loneliness.
But slowly – as 2017 progressed – little things happened (okay, some of them rather big)
And you know what, I never even noticed. I’ve only noticed it now, looking back.
My Dad got a job. My brother got a job. My sister is pregnant. I’ve found a small community of people to talk too every now and then – goodness – I’m even going to Melbourne this year with them! That lonely feeling – it isn’t as crushing anymore. And just when I thought I’d reached the end of my rope at the very end of 2017 – a lifeline was flung out to me.
I’m moving out of my parents house. I can begin a new journal, on fresh pages, in 2018.
I have read every journal, and none of them have started off with the optimism of 2018.
Sure, a part of me is terrified, but it is sort of that terror that comes when you do something truly daring and exciting.

My pain levels haven’t change. I’m sitting here, my body burning, clothes digging into my flesh like knives. I had the thought the other day – “I am so blessed, so, am I still allowed to cry?”
I honestly don’t know the answer to that question. It’s very conflicting to be in so much pain, yet to feel so happy. ^_^

IMG_20171231_234724.jpgThis New Years, my Father, Mother and had – honestly – the nicest New Years Eve we’ve had in a long time. It was just the three of us – for a BBQ – and then for the first time ever, after all the year’s we’ve lived in Adelaide – we headed to Glenelg to see the fireworks.
It was beautiful. It was such a lovely way to welcome in the new year.
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Whatever this year brings, whatever tales my journals will someday tell of 2018, this princess is no longer trapped in her tower.

She’s going to go and find a prince to help build her kingdom.

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A New Adventure

Christmas Kylie

Merry Christmas Smile ^_^

I still clearly recall it, as it was on one of my Saturday morning walks down Coromandel Valley, where I was to meet my parents at the local Bakery. I’m still working towards doing a 22km half-marathon you see – not that I’ve been doing crash-hot at it of late – but between 9-6km is still an okay average I think.
Anyway – it was one of those early morning walks that I found myself standing in front of a house for sale, a sweet little two bedroom house, tucked away on Main Road.
I thought to myself, “Wow, it would be really nice to get a house like this…”
And I mentioned the house to my parents at the Bakery.
On the way home, we stopped by the house and my Dad agreed that it was a really lovely house.
That – that moment – of us three standing admiring that little house on Main Road, several months ago was the beginning of an adventure that took myself and my parents across the hills, down to Meadows, Mt. Barker, and across the Suburbs. I learnt much about building houses, prices of blocks, the different prices of houses in different suburbs – the difference a single room could make, or a few meters on a block.
Eventually – eventually – I found a house that ticked most of the boxes on our list.
However, I had no clue of what that comes after you find a house you like – the whole, you know, BUYING a house deal is complicated, it deals with far more people I ever imagined, and I do not ever suggest doing it over the Christmas/New Years period.
My childhood idea of what buying a house entails is utterly, utterly shattered. I think…does this make me an adult now?
I cannot even begin to explain the height of emotions the past three weeks have taken me through. It has been an utter roller-coaster.

But.

I have a house.
Part of me is still standing in front of that house-for-sale on Main Road, looking up at it, dreaming of the future and I can’t quite believe the future has actually happened. I have been dreaming on this for a very, very long time. My life has felt like it has been standing still, really since 2009, for nine years, I’ve had this sensation that I’ve been stuck in the mud, while everyone moves on around me; which I know isn’t true, but its an eerie illusion.
I would just keep repeating to myself, “This season will change.”

Sure, over the past nine years I’ve come away with regrets that I didn’t take opportunities to shift the time-stream, but, we all walk our paths to the beat of our chosen drum. Mine just happens to be a rather slow beat. I also don’t think we can live in regret – it’s a terrible way to live.

I am really looking forward to this new adventure.
It isn’t going to be easy. Figuring out how to publish my books while, well, paying off a house, bills, car and all those, you know, ‘life’ things, is going to be an interesting endeavour but I’m rather looking forward to the challenge.
I have just been strictly told not to starve myself…(seriously, that won’t be a problem. *I grumble, knowing I’ve gained, something like 5kg over Christmas, or something awful like that! Gah, gah!!)

For my dear Readers – know that I will still very much be writing books and aiming to publish them! I’m serious when I say, the best thing you can do right now, is shove my book at as many people and spread the word – even reviews on Goodreads and Amazon would help at the moment, anything – anything at all to boost sales so I can get the funds to publish Book 3. Crazy heh, but your money goes directly back into funding books. Whoop!

2017 opened with me having moved back in with my parents and I honestly expected to spend several years with them. I am so grateful, so relieved, so happy to be starting 2018 with a fresh new chapter.

Let’s see where this new chapter of this book of life takes me.

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Grey Skies & Yellow Fields

There is something wonderful about stopping and taking a moment to breathe the fresh air of the country. To hear the birds chirping in the high branches. There is a peacefulness here that is precious and trusting. Every so often you hear a distant car rumbling along the single main street, or a child on the school oval, shouting victory at a goal, but otherwise it is the leaves dancing in the wind that sing a clean melody. 

There is a soft, cold chill on my cheeks. A freeze that is gradually encasing the land. It runs up my legs through my tights as evening creeps ever closer. A stillness falls. The twilight hour tinges the sky mauve. How do you describe the tranquillity of being under the shadow of a mountain as protective and cloistering as the great Mt. Remarkable. It is a guardian to the small town that hugs it’s skirts. I wonder of the tales the mountain could tell us, if it could whisper them on the wind, of the lives that have come and gone under it’s shelter.  Of the hardships the first settlers faced, battling against a foreign land, carving their mark for future generations. South Australia is young, Australia itself is an infant compared to the elders that surround it, but the lives of those European pioneers were harsh. The land threw every torment it could upon them, and yet they prevailed to give us the South Australia we have today. Why, I have to ask, is it that I must seek the legends of their times myself, when their tales are still so young?   

As I turn from my walk, heading back the way I’d come, to seek out the warmth of the hearth waiting for me, I pause and stare out across the green pastures, and yonder them, to the bright yellow canola fields. The mauve tint of the sunset has turned, and grey clouds is what remains, but it is still a startling beautiful contrast against the green and yellow of the meadows. I wonder what the settlers of yesteryear would think of us now. Would they be disappointed in their children, or glad of what we have made here in the land they toiled upon? 

From my Journal – 24/8/2017

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This past week my sister (Melissa) and I went to Melrose. It was a trip to partly get away from the hustle and bustle of life, but to also do some research for a book I am currently working on that is set in the District around Melrose and within Melrose itself.
While I grew up in Whyalla, and we stayed in Melrose a few times while I was a kid, I didn’t have the clearest memories of the area so it was wonderful to have a chance to return.

And it was beautiful. So beautiful. What a glorious time of the year to visit the Flinders. The canola fields are in bloom, the wattle blossoms are in bloom, and everything is green from rain. Melrose also boasts some gorgeously large gum trees.

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I didn’t get the chance to do any hiking — I didn’t want to do the 13km hike up Mt. Remarkable on my own without a workable phone. Also, apparently, it’s super steep, and my knees are still bad, so everyone told me not to do it. BUT. I just really like conquering mountains. I really need a hiking/camping budding! However, even though I didn’t do any hiking, I wasn’t really there for that. I was there to spend time with my sister, to get away from Adelaide, and learn about Melrose. I felt those things were achieved.

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Mel and I stayed at a utterly beautiful place called Bluey Blundstone Accommodation – it was once the old Blacksmith Shop of Melrose, and the owners have been gradually renovating and restoring it. I cannot recommend it enough, it’s amazing what they’ve done. Every night we sat by a little open fire, sometimes chatting, sometimes just quiet while I wrote. It was beautiful, peaceful and away…away from everything
My phone didn’t even work! What luck! ^_^ I was really away from everything. (Though it was a good thing my sister’s phone worked, we’d have been a bit lost without Google.)

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There is one memory I have very clearly of Melrose from when I was a child and that is the Swing Bridge. I recall this bridge being really, really awesome in my mind. The coolest thing EVER. I remember running across on it, being totally awed by it, freaked out by it, thinking it was HUGE.

I told Mel about it, saying how amazing it was, that we had to go and see it…
And…
Well, my memory was shattered into reality.

Yeah, nah, it’s actually tiny and not that awesome. (Don’t get me wrong, childhood memory me still thinks its amazing!!)
I think Mel thought it was all pretty hilarious. But I am pretty hilarious. If you can’t laugh at yourself, what’s the point, right?

I am very grateful to have such a wonderful sister to go on adventures with. Who is immensely understanding of my physical condition and illness, and who puts up with me being a pop-culture nerd. It’s great to be able to make the most of the moments we are given. Times change, slowly, rapidly, who knows…but they do change. It’s nice to have memories to treasure forever.

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