Newsletter  SEPTEMBER 2020

Don’t miss the NEW short story below.

Fortuitous Seas

Looking forward to the Gympie Library Write Fest on the 4th -6th of September. This will be held online via zoom. A great program with great speakers has been planned. Don’t forget to sign up with Eventbrite.

Current Weather and Tides

Manuscripts of my third novel are back from the Beta readers. Now the hard work begins. Correct all the mistakes +/- make decisions on suggestions made.

Speaking of which, have you all obtained your copies of the first two novels “Shadow of the Northern Orchid” and “Shadows on the Goldfield Track”.

Click on the SHOP on the website and order now.

Keep reading. Keep writing. Keep safe.


A Pearl for your Enjoyment


On her right, the dam spread for as far as she could see through the window of her small Suzuki. With the rhythmic beat of the radio music blaring forth, she followed the bumpy track along the water’s edge. A group of brown ducks shattered the mirror surface of the water as they lifted into the skies. On the other side of the vehicle, the uneven terrain of the hillside rose at a sharp angle.

Marigold expelled a sigh of relief when she found their old campsite vacant. Her small vehicle rattled to a stop. She reached down to kill the engine and the music. It had not been a pleasant trip but the remaining shreds of her defiance carried her through the erection of the two-man tent; tonight, to hold only the one-man; well, one woman at least.

The excitement in collecting wood for the fireplace and roasting marshmallows on the coals lost most of its enjoyment when the argument played itself on an unending loop within her head. The hide of him, choosing a football match with his brother instead of joining her on their promised camping trip this weekend. Did he think she was going to stay at home bored out of her skull or join them to be bored senseless by grown men wasting their lives away playing games with a ball?

With the headlamp lighting the words on the page of her book, she struggled to pretend she was enjoying this trip alone. Sleep eluded her despite a comfortable blow-up mattress and a thick doona. Why did she go off half-cocked instead of thinking things through? The question swirled within her mind. She could have done the movies with her girlfriends. Bill and she could have gone camping next weekend. But her pig-headedness refused her the option. Eventually, her breathing steadied. She slept with her arms wrapped around his swag-pillow inhaling the faint odour of sweat.

A rumbling noise in the distance along with the vibrations in the ground under her head stirred Marigold from her light slumbers. With the headlamp in her hand, she scrambled out of the tent. Shock clenched her gut when her feet touched the cold water. The unexpected sensation brought her to full consciousness. The moon lifted over the horizon. Shock turned to fear when she realized her path of retreat was covered in water as was the track ahead. The noise of nature’s grumbles sounded much closer. Her heart pounded inside her chest. The roar of the angry waters echoed inside her head. Terror exploded in her belly when she discovered her only option of escape was upwards. With fumbling hands, she pulled on and tied her shoes. A bottle of water and muesli bars were shoved inside the knapsack. With the blanket wrapped around her shoulders and her headlamp now upon her forehead, she took the first step to safety.

Loose rocks bit into her hands and knees as she scrambled up the rough terrain of the hillside. Broken fingernails and scratches stung when the perspiration dribbled down her arms. It took all her stamina to move upwards inch by painful inch. When her headlamp flickered her heart turned cold.

Marigold collapsed in a heap at the entrance to Fisherman’s Cave. She dragged the air into her starving lungs. The rising moon now revealed the tumbling waters below as they spilled over the rocks into the dam where once her campsite had been. Of the tent and vehicle, there was no evidence; swallowed up in the angry maelstrom. Where had the water come from? There had not been any local rain for some time. Why had she not checked the weather reports? The inland must be having flooding rains.

Terror held her back from entering the cave. Terror of the snakes known to habit the dark recess and terror of being trapped within its walls. Despondently she curled up into a tight ball with her head on the knapsack and the blanket wrapped tightly about her. She was loath to turn off the weakening light but saving her battery must be her priority.

Her involuntary scream filled the night air when something moved against her arm. Blanket and knapsack were tossed aside as Marigold jumped up brushing her hands down both arms and legs and over her face and neck; squealing all the while. The headlamp’s flickering beam cut the darkness in all directions as her head swung in circles. Nothing to fear presented itself. With reluctance, she edged her butt to the ground again. She sat; refusing to lay down. Her eyes remained open for a long time as her head rested on folded arms across her knees. Exhaustion won the battle with fear. Of its own volition, Marigold’s body edged down until she lay upon the ground. Her snuffles filled the night about her.

A hot sun drove her from an uncomfortable huddle. The rising waters seemed to have settled. Her campsite was now unseen below. Muddied floodwaters surrounded her small hill. Pride held her back from phoning Bill. She fiddled with the phone in her hands as she contemplated her options. Marigold settled on dialling 000 instead. How was she going to explain the loss of her car and the tent to Bill? A question for another day. If he laughed or denigrated the abilities of women camping alone, she would clock him one with a tent pole; if she now had one.