November 2015

Like an artist who tears up a work he is displeased with I have now started Draft 3 of my next book. Not just making revisions which is the usual reason for further drafts but a completely new format. I just don’t seem to be able to get it right – or at least to what I want.

Frustration, thy name is non-fiction. My mantra at the moment is I shall not let it beat me!!!!.

It has been a month of travelling around the Sunny Coast seeking information for this book. What a pleasurable way to do research and what a wonderful place we live in. With the shocking things that are happening overseas at the moment, I am grateful that my foreign travel was done in more peaceful times. I’m quite content to just potter around my own little corner of the world.


This month the coast saw the exodus of school leavers – those who have completed their twelve years of education before moving on to the next step in their life. It has become traditional for students from Mountain Creek High to head to Mooloolaba beach after their final assembly and, still wearing their uniform, race into the surf to celebrate the end of study.

Watching such a wonderful outpouring of happiness, enthusiasm and energy brings a tear to the eye. So much is ahead of them one cannot help but wish them well in their endeavours.

At the other end of the scale, we are nearing the end of term for my Writers Workshop class. I know I shall miss our weekly get together with this group of varied writers. They are the complete opposite of that term WYSIWYG – what you see is what you get. Here what you see is a group of retired men and women. Some are snowy haired, wrinkles abound and arthritic knees cause some of us to hobble into the meeting room.

But what you get is collection of folk who have had extremely diverse backgrounds and careers. We have a lawyer, nurses, teachers, a landscape gardener, a scientist, engineers and an event organiser. Some are from cities and have administrative backgrounds, others have lived on the land, still others worked in foreign climes. When they begin to read their work, physical age is forgotten as their experiences help them produce stories that are varied and interesting. Thursday mornings are a highlight of the week for all of us and we shall miss getting together for the few weeks when class is closed for the term break.


My reading this month is by Belinda Pollard, a Brisbane writer with experience in journalism, editing, and blogging, Poison Bay is her first novel. I had been following her blog for some time, reading of her attempts to get this book into publication so it was with great anticipation that I could finally download the eBook and begin to read. It was worth the wait. Poison Bay lives up to the blurb on the front cover WHEN THE WILDERNESS IS NOT YOUR ONLY ENEMY WHO DO YOU TRUST?

It is an exciting, gripping story set in the wilderness of the South Island of New Zealand. Its rugged landscape and extreme weather conditions are bought vividly to life in this mystery.

The characters are a group of old school friends who reunite some years after the farewell party held to celebrate finally finishing school. When they meet up again some years later for a tramping holiday, little do they suspect what is ahead of them.

As they set off to hike through this rugged country, it is revealed that a tragedy, which occurred at their farewell party links them all more than they knew. Slowly, the deceit engineered by one of the team is revealed. But which one? From the start of the expedition, tension builds as the dangers awaiting them begin to unfold.

With believable characters, and a credible plot the story moves along at a good pace and is hard to put down. The author’s descriptions of the challenging country and hazardous weather conditions leave us in no doubt that here is someone who is writing from personal experience. The spectacular backdrop of the South Island adds to the intensity of the story.

As a first novel, it is testament to Belinda’s story telling skills. I hope the second book is on the way.

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