End of an Era

There is no way I can write a post at this time of 2022 without mentioning Queen Elizabeth II. It is such an enormous thing to have her pass so suddenly.

In my public service life, everything has been in “Her Majesty, the Queen” wording. Now, in the transcribing work I do, it will turn to “His Majesty, the King”. This feels really weird because I wasn’t around when King George was on the throne. I’ve only ever known QEII.

She was the most gracious and patient of women. It was obvious in how she handled the public, leaders of other countries and her own people. We never saw her angry, rarely saw her sad but always saw her smile. She knew that some emotions should only be shown in private, not for the world to see.

I’m not saying she was never angry, I’m just saying that she had enough dignity, grace and tact not to show it to the world. My mother used to have a saying – “don’t air your dirty laundry where everyone can see it”. Clearly, QEII went by the same philosophy.

I heard an interview with Malcolm Turnbull last week asking what she was like when he met her as Australia’s Prime Minister. He said the surprising side of the Queen was her sense of humour and the eagerness with which she listened to other people. He said she wanted to know how people lived, how they got on, their experiences.

I never knew her, like I never new Princess Di, but both women brought out the best in me and I admired both of them.

I wish the Royal Family the best in the coming months as they learn how to live without such an enigmatic family leader.

Now, King Charles will have to show what his mother taught him.

ID checks

So, I’ve got a friend who is starting a new job with an international conglomerate.

Wow, the rings they have her running through to get this job is amazing. And it’s not one of those high-level jobs, either.

But it is a job where she works with customers and suppliers, so I suppose they want to make sure she’s genuine.

Because she doesn’t have a passport, she has to basically repeat each request 3 times to get the documents to different areas for checking for the different provisions.

I thought I had trouble when I had to print, sign and then scan back in a contract over 61 pages in length. Thank goodness for Officeworks and their print and copy services. I was able to scan the doc in within minutes and email it to myself. At home we only have a flatbed scanner. I wasn’t about to do it one page at a time!

It’s good to see companies go to this length, though. They’re good ID checks and those who can’t do it probably have dodgy ID docs.

Main thing is, my friend’s paperwork went through and now she just has to wait to see if she is accepted! Fingers are crossed and good luck, friend!

The English Language

I thought I’d talk a little on words and colloquialisms today. This was brought on by a piece of homework we got asked to do in a writer’s group I go to every fortnight.

The homework is to imagine you’re an alien (or you could be a time traveller from, say the early Victorian era) and you go to a grocery shop. Now, you have never been to a grocery shop before and you are immediately swamped with unusual items.

This exercise is very good for making a writer realise that not everyone understands words or phrases that they might think are common.

Take, for example, sophomore or freshman. Being in Australia, we don’t have sophomores (have to research freshmen as I think we have those here). It’s an American thing. Also, we only have 3 tiers of school – Primary, Secondary and Tertiary.

From what I understand (and I’m happy to be corrected), America has Junior, Senior, College and University.

In Australia, College and University are generally one and the same, except for TAFE with is traditionally a skills college, although you can begin a course at TAFE and transfer it to a University. Also, our Universities now have short courses (usually 13 weeks) which used to be TAFE-only.

Another example is how you refer to foods. In America you have sodas. In Australia, you have soft drinks. In America you have biscuits and gravy. Those biscuits are scones in both Australia and the UK and, perhaps, in other countries.

The other thing is technology colloquialisms. How many people say “I’m going to Google that” without even thinking about what they’re saying?

Or, “get out your iPhone or Android”. What are people really talking about here? What if you don’t know what an iPhone or Android is?

Remember sailboards? You probably remember them as Windsurfers. The thing is – Windsurfer is a brand name. The generic name is sail board.

Then you have iPads. A different kettle of fish.

Yes, I know most of us out there know what the generic names of these items are, but what about in 20 or 30 years? Will we still know those generic terms?

What about if someone picks up your book in 50 years and has to work out what is meant by nest or ring technology?

For those of us writers, this is a great opportunity to sit and think about generic terms rather than paying royalties to Apple/Mac or Samsung for using their brand names. All I can say is – perhaps it’s time we write with an international and timetravelling audience in mind.


We’re home, finally! My apologies for the lack of contact.

First, Stu dropped his phone, twice, so we had to get a quick basic phone for him, then I dropped mine and did some damage so I couldn’t do a lot of things I wanted to on it. Including do a lot of things on the internet.

Anyway, we’re both home, I have an old phone that I have recommissioned as my phone – I still like it but I am still setting it back up – and Stu has one that his brother is no longer using.

I am still updating Dark Dimensions and it will be released when all the changes have been made.

I found one great thing while we were driving – I could still write on the remarkable. Although Victorian roads were sooooooooooooooooo bumpy I didn’t even try to use it on them! But I have made updates that I worked out on them and put those into Dark Dimensions. Just waiting to hear back from some friends to see what they think about the changes I’ve made.

At the moment, the new version won’t be available until next year, but the current one is still available at:


Amazon Australia

Better World Books

Almost done

We’ve just finished packing the last of my sister’s things that we’re taking home.

Just waiting on a friend to visit, then it’s tea tonight, over night here and then our trek home tomorrow.

We’re taking our time to go home so it might be another week or so


For those who don’t know, earlier this year my sister passed away so my partner and I embarked on the long trip across Australia to help her partner with the rest of her estate.

It’s a lot to go thru and doing so has brought back memories of family and great times. It’s been an eye opener because she was someone who I thought would be with us far longer than she was and that is the sad part for us. I’m glad that I was able to spend 2 weeks with her last year.

So this post is to let you all know that I may not be as prolific in my posting as I normally am. We are both doing well, however and bringing some stuff back with us that is as surprising as it is haunting.

Will post later


Well, today I learned I am probably on the right track. I posted the new prologue to Dark Dimensions to a group of mine and one of them promptly posts “Oh, this makes me want to go back and read it all over again!”

Tick the “excited to read” box!

But seriously, rewriting Dark Dimensions is a monumental task and I’ve actually written a side story for one of the opposing characters to ensure that his reactions in Dark Dimensions are true and correct and to clarify for myself what he would actually know before Troy meets with him.

I’ll be doing that to a few more of the antagonists, too, i think. I don’t think I could write the same for Geophis, I think it would be difficult at the moment, him being such a complex character as such. I’ve done a few of his own scenes when exploring ways to write Dark Beginnings, though, and found them quite interesting.

I am also contemplating rewriting the start of Dark Reign, only to give it that narrative hook at the start.

Same with Heart of Deception. Although the opening scenes are great, I don’t think they capture attention enough, so I’ll make sure I get that before I send it out again.

But, yes, rewriting is a must for these earlier books. The new version is so much more dynamic than the earlier version.

Insights learnt

I can’t say enough about working with an agent. I had numerous people reading Dark Dimensions when it first came out and everyone, including me – especially me – passed right over a hole in the first chapter!

How we missed this I don’t know.

I do know that Dark Dimensions is going to be a heap better than what it is now. And I think I have finally figured out my writing style.

I still go with pantsing (writing by the seat of my pants) because that’s what I love doing.

From now on, though, each second draft will get a plan completed and I’ll drill into the characters that have poked their heads out in the first draft.

Another thing I have learnt is that, much as I hate the idea, a character “sheet” is a must for the drafts that are planned. One of the exercises I did was to write the prologue and chapter one after I’d written the character sheets and to keep those sheets in mind when writing the scenes. That made it a lot more real in my mind, so the task now is to get that reality into the book.

What an indepth journey this has been. But it means the book will be a lot better once it’s done.


Well, having an agent who is willing to help you get the best contract out is amazing. Thanks to my agent, I have been going over Dark Dimensions and I believe I’m adding a whole lot more to the beginning.

It’s something I think every writer needs to do – to revisit their early work after it’s been out there a few years and see if it could be tweaked.

When I wrote Dark Dimensions, I was still in a full-time position and while I was no longer writing training documents, my mind-set was still on writing for business.

After 6 books and working on 7 and 8, I’ve noticed that the books have been getting deeper and deeper and I believe that I was still in a “writing for business” mindset when I wrote Dark Dimensions. I’ve had a lot of positive responses from the drafts I’ve shared and even had one person close to tears at the prologue. That tells me it’s a job well-done. I’m still tweaking, though, and hopefully I’ll finish tweaking really soon.

I encourage all other writers to do this to their early books. I know I’ll have another look at Heart of Deception after this one.

Breaking the Rules

So, it’s Camp NaNoWrimo again and again I’m breaking rules. I’m doing 2 projects instead of 1. But that’s me, isn’t it.

In other news, I actually got another interview click here to go to it.

I have started working on the rewrite of Dark Dimensions. It’s amazing, after 7 years, you realise that there are things that could be improved in it.

Don’t get me wrong, I love it as it is, but it could be better. In fact, it was the first book I finished after leaving full-time work. I only just realised this year that when I was writing it, I was still in business writing mode. Which meant very little emotion. Time to dust things off and really hone in on emotions and stuff.

And it’s been fun to finely tune that book. I’ll keep working on it, too. Just to get it right. So the next edition should be much, much better than what’s out there currently.