About Me

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

My books

My first novel, The Dagger of Dresnia (Book 1 of The Talismans) is published by Satalyte - it's available from their website as well as from Amazon.com and other online outlets. Book 2, The Cloak of Challiver, is in preparation. I also have a short story, La Belle Dame, in print - see Mythic Resonance below.

The Dagger of Dresnia

Buy The Dagger of Dresnia

The Dagger of Dresnia, Book 1 of The Talismans Trilogy, is available in paperback and e-book from Amazon.com and from the publisher, Satalyte Publications - click on the cover to visit their online shop. The paperback can also be found in selected bookstores in Australia.

Mythic Resonance

Buy Mythic Resonance

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.

Prefer hard copy?

There are still a few paperback copies of Mythic Resonance available, too. Contact me (there's a contact form on my website) if you'd like a copy - $20 including postage within Australia.

Your books and theses!

As both writer and editor, I specialise in historical and high or epic fantasy. If you have a fantasy manuscript in preparation, don't waste money on editing too early. Instead, let me help with a mini-assessment of your work, based on careful reading of your synopsis and first 20 pages. Then, when you've worked on the manuscript in line with our discussions, I will be happy to do a full edit before you send it off into the big wide world. I am also an experienced academic editor, and am available to edit theses, journal submissions and other academic papers. For more about my editing work, CLICK HERE

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Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

Places I've lived: Geelong, Australia

Places I've lived: Geelong,  Australia

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've Lived - Sydney

Places I've Lived - Sydney
Sydney Conservatorium - my old school

Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier

Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier
Blue Lake

Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

Places I've Lived: Perth by Day

Places I've Lived: Perth by Day
From Kings Park

Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've Lived: Perth by Night

Places I've Lived: Perth by Night
From Kings Park

Inner Peace Blog

Inner Peace Blog
Awarded by Joanna Fay. Click on the image to visit her lovely website!

Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile Blogger Award
Awarded by Kim Falconer. Click on the pic to check out her Quantum Astrology blog!

Fabulous Blog Award

Fabulous Blog Award
Awarded by Kathryn Warner. Click on the pic to check out her Edward II blog!

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Sunday, 11 September 2011

Walking with Harry and Pip


I am looking after a couple of my furry friends while their “mum” is away at the Geraldton Writers Festival. Pip is a miniature pinscher and Harry … well, I’m not too sure about Harry. He is long bodied and short legged, like a dachshund, but he has the head of a terrier and the woolly coat of a poodle or a bichon frisé. Let’s say his mother married below her station, and leave it at that. (The pic, courtesy of Wikipedia, is of a Real bichon frisé.)

We all know that the highlight of a dog’s life is walkies. Just mention the word, no matter how sotto voce, and Harry and Pip will appear within seconds, bouncing like rubber duckies in a turbulent bath. Little as they are (neither one stands more than 20 cm at the shoulder) they need a lot of exercise, and they keep reminding me of the fact. There is much excitement and chasing of tails – one’s own and others – as we make ready for our outing. Mini-pins have tiny necks and can often slip their collars, so Pip must wear a harness. No matter how often I apply a harness to her tiny personage, I almost always have to sort the complicated structure of straps, rings and buckles several times before we are ready to go. The picture (courtesy of Wikipedia) shows what minipins look like. Pip is just like the tan one on the left!

This harness business seems to have an effect on Harry’s libido. As a neutered male, he should be uninterested in sex – but I suspect he harbours a kinky bent because the sight of the harness on Pip’s back seems to make him randy. Pip tries to tell him that she is a decent, well-brought-up young lady who will have no part in such shenanigans, but Harry is undeterred. He always tries his luck at least once.

Finally, we are kitted up with leads, harnesses, poo-bags, mobile phone, door keys and the essential doggie treats. Sometime I almost think the treats are main reason my little friends are so keen on walkies! But perhaps not. There are some lovely walks nearby. My favourite is a stroll down to the old oval in the early morning. Nestled in a wide triangle formed by the junction of two waterways and surrounded by native trees, the oval is a slice of nature within the sprawl of suburbia. A short walk down a gentle slope and we are in the bush. The oval is seldom used now, but one can imagine that in the olden days locals would have gathered here on Sundays for a picnic and a genteel game of cricket. There is something very English about this area – it was settled by free immigrants, not convicts, and it shows in the gracious architecture and the numerous parks and reserves. The photo, of course (where would we be without Wikipedia) is of a Real Dachshund, which Harry resembles not all all except in length.

This photo (Wikipedia again!) is, of course, of a Real terrier! Apart from his woolly white coat, Harry actually does resemble this one about the head, golden eyes and all.

Although the main road is only a few hundred metres away, it might as well be on the other side of the country. There is no sound of traffic, and apart from a few early morning fishermen and the odd rowing crew out for a training session, there’s rarely a soul in sight when we reach the bottom of the hill. Even so, it’s a rare morning when we don’t meet other canines and their humans. This would be fine but for the fact that Harry and Pip between them have the biggest Napoleon complex this side of St Helena. It’s most noticeable when they are on the lead, but even off the lead they can’t be trusted not to chase any pooch, big or small, that comes within fifty metres. Yesterday they chased off what looked like a Husky, and they definitely have it in for a rather large Dalmatian that we often run into. One day they will pick the wrong mark and get eaten, but they don’t seem to have considered this possibility. On the streets I’ve learnt to cross the road at the first sight of a canine silhouette on the horizon, but when we go to the oval there is often no escape. Sightlines are good and there’s plenty of open ground to give chase. And give chase they do, loudly.

Tiny as Pip and Harry are, there is no way I can keep up with either of them once they get some speed up. And I get no warning. From a standing start to full speed ahead takes them about .05 of a second. I waddle along after them, calling their names and cursing the wombs that bore them, with no effect whatsoever. The rapid take off seems to demand that they sacrifice hearing for speed, and they are deaf to my calls. By the time I catch up with them their quarry has usually fled, tail between legs, with the two canine Hell’s Angels hard behind. Panting, I arrive to find the victim quivering at its owner's side and gazing down in horrified disbelief at the miniature terrorists. I offer humble apologies while trying to get leads on the two struggling dogs, then flee in disgrace. But do Pip and Harry care? Silly question.

Harry is addicted to chest scratches, and is much given to lying around on his back in case a willing scratcher should pass by. In fact, he sometimes falls asleep waiting! He is going to obedience classes but I don’t think he’s realised that the classes are supposed to be preparation for Real Life. Still, I cling to the expectation that one day he and Pip will both come when called, no matter what the circumstances. I must admit, though, that this probably is a forlorn hope. The terrible two are having too much fun saving the area from all other furry four-legged creatures. This week, the oval; next week, the entire state of WA!
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