Newsletter September 2019
He is near. I know it. I cannot see him in a darkness that is as night or through the sheets of heavy rain that engulf me. But he is close. I sense it in the hairs lifting on the back of my neck. I taste the bitterness on my tongue. I smell the foul odour of his rotting flesh. My arch enemy, Technology, himself.
Still undefeated, he mocks me and my ignorance. Well, I am coming for you, be warned. My fragile canoe of knowledge is gaining strength every day. The wire-netting paddle gathers information like debris in a sieve.
Exhaustion drags me to my knees. I hack away one limb of Technology and in its place, three others sprout out with more questions, problems and difficulties. Like muscled, sucking octopi arms, they stretch out wrapping, enfolding, surrounding, suffocating.
Panic seeps into my every pore. It builds up like a gathering storm cloud filled with not hailstones but these overwhelming issues. I feel the splash of it on my chin.
Is there no escaping this creeping, insidious, feral phenomenon?
Current weather and tides
Surprise, surprise; my peers are right. The actual writing of a book is the quickest and easiest bit of this business. Marketing, on the other hand, is a bucket full of worms.
With the novel published, I am now exercising the few battered grey cells that remain by planning a book tour. I wish to visit each of the ports that the Northern Orchid visited on the Dougall boys’ first voyage.
This all happens in October. I will keep you posted as to which libraries I will be visiting to present my novel and on what dates and times.
Thank you to those who attended my first book presentation at the Quartz Hub Gympie on the 30th August. I appreciate your support and the feedback.
DATE TO REMEMBER if living around the Maryborough area. I will be presenting the Shadow of the “Northern Orchid” at the Maryborough library at 127-129 Bazaar Street at 10am on the 30th September.
Looking forward to seeing you then.
A Special Pearl Just For You – Enjoy
Excerpt From “SHADOW of the NORTHERN ORCHID”
Once the instructions were relayed to the bosun, Mac stood with his eye at the telescope watching the flailing craft. He acknowledged and passed on to the captain each snippet of information that came down to him from the crow’s-nest. He listened and repeated aloud the calls from the men taking the depth readings as they walked with the submerged weighted line from the bow towards the stern.
From up in the crow’s-nest, Josh had a splendid view as they drew closer to the reef and the stricken vessel. He waved to Andrews and Tanner who slipped lightly through the rigging like spiders in their webs securing the earing on the sails above as the crew below hauled on the halyards.
Mac held the telescope tighter into his eye.
“Oh, God save them,” he cried. “Their jolly-boat has been overturned and all are in the water.”
At the same time, Josh called down from the lookout with a similar update. Mac strained to see if he could identify, through his scope, the individual bodies in the seas and froth of the breakers.
“Prepare both our jolly-boat and the longboat, Mac. If possible, put our most seasoned crewmen on board. I don’t want unnecessary lives lost from the Northern Orchid. Make sure they have extra lines on board and the medical box. If I anchor the ship out in the deep, will we get a line across do you think?”
“Looking at their position, I’d say we’d be better placed if we can find a break in the reef for our smaller boats. Once into the lagoon, we can work from the shore.”
“Ask Josh if he can find a gap.”
A frown creased the captain’s brow as he edged closer to the reef. It was the frantic call from Josh above, as he told of rocks ahead three hundred yards combined with the warning from those taking the depth readings that had William Sloan spinning the wheel to angle away from the reef.
From his bird’s-eye view, Josh watched the dark shadows of the rocks become clearer as the ship edged closer and closer. He began calling the distances. Seventy-five yards. Fifty yards. Would the ship never respond to the rudder? It seemed to be taking forever to turn away. Then it happened.