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I am a writer, editor, reviewer and dance teacher based in Perth, Western Australia.

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The first two novels of my trilogy, The Talismans, are available as e-books from Smashwords. I do have paperbacks of The Dagger of Dresnia at the low price of $AU25 including postage within Australia. I also have a short story, 'La Belle Dame', in print - see Mythic Resonance below. The best way to contact me is via Facebook!

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The first two books of The Talismans trilogy were published by Satalyte Publications, which, sadly, has gone out of business. I hope to see my books back on Amazon under a new publisher in the near future.

The Dagger of Dresnia

The Dagger of Dresnia
Want a copy? Contact me at satimafn(at)gmail.com

The Cloak of Challiver

The Cloak of Challiver
Available again as an ebook soon!

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Mythic Resonance is an excellent anthology that includes my short story 'La Belle Dame', together with great stories from Alan Baxter, Donna Maree Hanson, Sue Burstynski, Nike Sulway and nine more fantastic authors! Just $US3.99 from Amazon. Got a Kindle? Check out Mythic Resonance.

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Monday, 27 October 2008

Blog a dog again

There are no pets at my new housesit, so I've been feeling a bit dog-deprived. But this is the next best thing - you might remember I told you a few weeks ago about how my doctor had a baby guide dog to look after? Well, here she is - dear little Alba. Whoever dreamed up the name had a sense of humour because this little doggie is neither white nor English. She's grown quite a bit since I last saw her, but she's as cute as ever.

Alba's foster mum says she's proving very easy to train. Apparently she's learnt to wee and poo on command, and having potty trained several children as well as countless animals, I must say I find that amazing!

It is a wonderful thing that folk are willing to open their homes and hearts to a puppy that won't be theirs forever, and the success of guide dogs must be due in a large part to these kind people. If you live in Western Australia, you can learn how to become a foster parent to a guide dog yourself here. (Other states and countries have their own guide dog associations, all of whom do very worthwhile work.) As I understand it, you must be able to take the puppy to work with you as that's part of their training.

Seeing Alba reminded me that when I was at university there was a blind guy in one of my classes. He used to sit in the ref surrounded by gushing girls, and finally he must've got sick of playing second string to a dog, because once, when one of them said 'Oh, isn't he gorgeous!' the owner replied in a bored voice 'Yeah, and the dog's not bad, either!'

I had a lovely day on Sunday at a BBQ hosted by my writerly friend Carol Ryles. Carol held one of these last year and this one was even better, so I'm looking forward to next year's already!

In other news, both my Face-to-Face writers group and my on-line one are not happy with the way I've structured my WIP. The consensus seems to be that Ellyria, my MC, is pretty boring. Not good. However, writing buddy Tom Edwards has suggested that I turn the only really exciting thing she does into a prologue and then try to work the first 25% of the book in as back story, placing more emphasis on the romance element. It's a big ask, but I'll give it a try. One day before I die I'll have a publishable novel!

14 comments:

hrugaar said...

Ah, but then did those guys read the WIP without the two vital sex scenes? That could make a difference to the excitement levels and overall structuring. ;P

Your blind university classmate sounds a lot like my blind work colleague, heh. And such a cute puppy. :)

Satima Flavell said...

Heh heh - Maybe I should start with the sex scenes! Although maybe not - from some of the comments I think would be all downhill from there:-(

gynie said...

what a lovely dog !! This kind of dog have a beautiful fur catching the light in such a nice way, like they silver glittering ^^

Hope you get your publishable novel ^^

Satima Flavell said...

Thanks, Gynie. I love Labrador dogs best of all!

Jo said...

German Shepherds AKA Alsatians are my favourites. They too are used as guide dogs.

In fact people should NOT talk to guide dogs when they are on duty. It is a very big NO NO. I wrote about a blind friend today and I was wondering why she didn't have a dog (known as seeing eye dogs here) I will have to ask her. She has a cat.

Satima Flavell said...

I love Shepherds, too, Jo - they come in a close second to Labs in my druthers. They are rarely used as guide dogs here in Oz, but funnily enough a new breed is starting to be used a bit, the so-called "Labradoodle" - the lab x poodle cross.

Yes, the not talking to guide dogs is one of the things puppies in training have to get used to, which is why the Guide Dog people want the foster parent to take the pup to work with them. They get very good at ignoring attention, too. The guy who was always surrounded by girls had a dog who took it all in his stride, not responding even when he got unauthorised strokes and pats. I suspect his owner didn't do as much as he should've to discourage the attention, though - as many a young man has learnt, a dog is a good chick magnet:-)

I also have a blind friend who doesn't have a guide dog - because she can't afford one. Apparently they cost $5000 and the blind person is expected to foot most of that themselves, at least here in WA.

Jo said...

Interesting Satima, I had no idea it cost so much. I wonder if people get assistance here or not, must do some checking.

hrugaar said...

Our guide dog (labrador/retriever cross) at work talks to everybody. He goes off down the corridor to visit the bosses in search of food, he raids the bins if you're not looking, he won't go to his 'owner' to have his harness put on until he's had three tiny doggie snack biscuits from my boss SuperSec's drawer (and he can count to three).

The difference is that he isn't wearing his harness while he's inside our secure area of the building, so he's 'off duty'. As soon as the harness goes on he's back on the job and behaves accordingly. He's a very professional hound. In fact he is better able to distinguish between work time and play time than some of our human colleagues. :)

Satima Flavell said...

Dogs know which side their bread is buttered, as a rule, and it sounds as though that one could give lessons. Maybe your boss should put harnesses on all the employees when they clock on in the morning to remind them that it's Work Time:-)

Marilyn Z. Tomlins said...

Hi Satima --

I couldn't "foster" a puppy or kitten because I will become fond of it and wouldn't let it leave again.

About having a publishable book before you die ... sure you will and I'm looking forward to reading it.

Marilyn

Satima Flavell said...

Me too, Marilyn, which is why I admire people who do it. It must be a wrench to part with your "baby"! However, as my doctor pointed out, they will give you another "baby" when the first becomes a teenager and ready to go away to college, and of course we know the graduate will live a useful and happy life with a loving owner. All the same, I'm still not sure I could do it:-(

Jo said...

A woman I knew a year or two back had a guide dog, it was her second, eventually she had to return it as he was too easily distracted from his job, she got another dog (they have to work with them for a while in the school before taking them home) the first dog was "given" "sold" to another family as a pet. Bit of a wrench for the dog though, all those different homes.

Satima Flavell said...

I've heard good reports of "failed" guide dogs making wonderful pets. After all, they come already trained and used to meeting a variety of people, so they must be quite adaptable to new surroundings. I hope the second dog worked out OK for the lady you knew.

Jo said...

I don't know, unfortunately I lost touch about that time.

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