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Posts by davefreer

Picking up small rocks

So today was move da rocks day to patch da road day. I was the young, tough guy, who was collecting and throwing all the bits of granite that had missed the road, into the bucket of the skid-steer, while Alan drove it along at a steady pace (so no slowing down, just keep bending and throwing).  I did about three and half tons of rocks… Which ain’t 16 tons of number nine coal. But 1) I’m not young. 2) I’m as tough as a junket sandwich 3) at least with a shovel you don’t have to pick them off the ground by hand. It’s the bending that killed me. I still feel another day older and deeper in debt. Although, as a sensible self-employed writer I avoid debt like the plague. Income is erratic. Don’t owe money. That way you’re only broke. Read more

It’s complicated: creating real characters

So Andrew and his husband Tristan are out from the city for a Sunday tour of boutique wineries and an organic produce market in their Prius – complete with its ‘meat is murder’, ‘Gun Free America’, ‘I’m with her’ stickers on the back. Read more

Back in the saddle

So I am trying to get back on the (writing) horse again.  Like falling off the real thing, there is considerable wisdom in the advice about getting back on immediately. Still, this is the first break I’ve taken for 10 years (the last one was 3 weeks to emigrate) and it was 17 years before that. I’ve not taken a ‘work-free’ holiday in that time. Slowed down, worked on editing, proofing, research, taken a day off, yes. But longer, no.

I had dramas getting paid for my last book (just trad Pub working at normal speed – only a drama from my point of view). It was money I was relying on for the house-building and moving, which – today, it seems are finally resolved. Three months late but, I suppose, better than never.  Still, it hasn’t helped that get back on the horse process.  Defensive memory makes it hard to remember which end produces dung and which end bites. I think I am supposed to be in the middle between them, but I may be facing the wrong way. Read more

The bad penny

Hello… someone spilled blood on the grave dust. You were warned!

And now…

I’m back.

Salutations from the other side and all that sort of thing. I would like to say being numbered among the undead was dull, but in point of fact it was a great deal too exciting, and on a couple of occasions came relatively close to frightening me to death, and possibly squashing me as flat as the wicked witch (this IS Oz, after all, and modern gender neutral terms there is no reason I can’t be the witch. Except for the beard. I suspect there would be irrational objections to a witch with a beard. Equal opportunity for chin hirsuit-ness (or hisuit-ness) I say!) Read more

A leave of absence

My dear MGC followers, I am half moved, with a foot in each place, and severe stretching about the middle bit, seeing as they are several miles apart. I don’t actually have a working internet connection at our new place, or, in fact, a computer, yet.

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Mixed Moss

10 points for anyone who gets the title reference. Barbs and I have spent much of our lives as rolling stones. We went where the work was, and later, when I could take work with me, where the best school for the kids was. And then… to Australia, where we had to start again basically from scratch, with  things so tight we had to ration slices of bread, and it was only my hunter-gatherer skills (in a new place, where I knew nothing) and very inept gardening that kept us fed after the rent was paid.  All the aspects of being a midlist trad author (doing all the checking on listings, providing all the publicity, pushing and publicizing the book, getting reviews etc. had had to be left to the people who get 90% + of the income for it. Of course – as usual – they did nothing barring botch a few things and mess about with my royalties. So things were pretty desperate… But we kept on. Writing, renting and moving, living frugally and saving until we could get a place of our own again.

Moving. Packing, carrying. I’m sick of it.

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Housebreaking

So the last while has been taken up not with writing but with trying to move a house. As in: jack house up, and move it – a thing commonly done – but not often here on our remote island, and not by me. Thing is, it’s cheaper than building – but still very expensive. Australian prices are ludicrously high. And like most midlist authors, we get by… principally by not being in debt. By living frugally, and being as self-sufficient as possible.  The actual moving process is not particularly expensive. It’s just getting it done that is. We were given a free house on an adjoining property, conditional on our taking it away.

Now, I tend to live my life rather like I write my books – to plan. A plan that does not always survive contact with the event itself. But… that’s life. I had planned to do all of this over the next 4-8 months, taking piece by piece, in between writing, growing our food etc.  It’s how I do things – our farm was a bare block of 43 acres of scrub.  I’ve built a solar power plant, water pump, a dam, piping, an orchard, a bunch of sheds, and was just busy with the sewage system – before the final move. We had let our landlord know that we’d end our lease and move to farm we bought by December – because my plans are usually careful and allow for things to go wrong. I rock-climb. I dive. People who do these and don’t try to be cautious end up dead young. I’m not young. Building my world and setting up for my plot as it were. Read more