Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Please note: The snake bite treatment described in this story is accurate for the treatment of snake bite IN AUSTRALIA. People from other countries should consult their local authority.

I was working the mining and exploration camps at the time, security, bullion transfer and assay collection. So the Company insisted I carry a side arm. I was an ex serviceman so didn't have any real trouble with that. Either carrying it or getting a licence from the Cops. I'd never had to pull the bloody thing out though, except to clean it and for the mandatory Company shoots. Except once, for the poor bloody 'Roo I'd clipped on the Development Road. After that I bought a rifle, a two four three, and carried that, you have to get close with a hand gun, messy, I didn't like that. So, I was out  the back of Mount Isa, returning from a bullion run, which was lucky, with the bullion on board I wouldn't stop for God himself. She was standing in the middle of the road, well track really, we don't have real roads out here. Miles from  bloody anywhere. There was a four wheel drive, one of those toy things for the City types, parked back off the road, and nothing else, not even a Goanna, for miles.

She stood fair in the middle of the track waving her arms above her head like windmills. I figured she had a problem but pulled up a bit short of where she stood. You can't be to careful and it's strange to see a young woman out here on her own. They do it, silly bloody women. But sometimes they've got a man or two back in the bush. If a bloke gets hit over the head it could be weeks, if ever, before they found what was left of you out here. This country doesn't forgive. A few people knew I carried bullion from time to time and some of these mad buggers would try anything.

It was late in the afternoon, nearly six, and it had been hot, forty five  degrees Celsius in the shade wasn't unheard of. She looked hot, and I don't mean sexy, just hot. She was covered in sweat, and looking a bit bedraggled, she'd been out in the sun for a bit. She ran towards me shouting about something and pointing over her shoulder towards the four wheel drive. I wound down the window and made sure the rifle was handy, like I said, you can't be too careful out here. The heat rushed in the open window, she damn near did too. She was frantic. Whatever had happened she was in the shit.

"Can you help me? It's my Brother, I think he's been bitten." She gasped out. American accent. Bloody tourists.

"By what? I said. I wasn't getting out yet.

"A snake. Please, hurry."

"How long ago?" I asked.

"Um, I'm not sure, about half an hour."

"Hmm." I said. "So he's not dead yet?" Wrong thing to say I  s'pose. The wail was enough to wake the dead.

"Please hurry." She managed to get out through a huge sob. Shit, my Sister wouldn't  cry if I got bit.

"What bit him?" I asked. Silly bloody question.

"A snake."

"Yeah, I know. you said that. But what sort?" She probably wouldn't have a clue.

"I don't know, it..., it was a big one. It was brown, sort of." She was nearly off her head, I figured it was no trick, or she was a bloody good actress.

"Better have a look." I said, I handed her the first aid kit. "Here, take this."

I brought the rifle, just in case. She bolted up the road and ran up through the bush a bit. I saw her squat down in the knee high scrub, away from the four wheel drive, I couldn't see clearly but there seemed to be some one on the ground. I walked up and looked about me as I went. I had a good look around, didn't seem to be anyone else about but I was still on my guard. Buggers could jump up out of nowhere if they were waiting.

I got up to where she was squatting and there was a bloke down alright, young bloke, about twenty or so. He looked like shit. There was a pile of rocks just nearby, some had been disturbed, must have stirred the old Joe Blake up.

"G'day." I said. "Where'd you get bit?"

The young fella tried to get up and he said something, didn't make sense. I figured he might be in deep shit.

"Don't try to get up mate, lie still, don't help the venom move around."

There was no bandage on him, they didn't know how to treat snake bite. Oh shit.

"Here." I said to her, "Get a couple of of three inch restrictive bandages out of the kit." She looked blank. "The elastic ones." I said.

She ripped open the kit and threw stuff all over, but she came up with the bandages and handed them across.

"Where?" I said.

"On the leg." She said. "The left one, on his calf."

"My head aches." He moaned.

"Can you drive my truck?" I asked the girl and she nodded. "Get it up here." I said. "Quick."

She bolted as I tossed her the keys. I had to keep her busy and I needed the radio in the truck. This bloke needed the Royal Flying Doctor real bad. There was a rough field about ten miles off, the docs could get down there to pick him up, if I could get him there and keep him alive for an hour or so, and if they could fly in before dark, otherwise he was stuffed.

I got on the blower and called the RFD up, the girl was dancing from one foot to the other, the kid was looking pretty crook.

"Right ." I said. "We got to move him, and quick. Lets get him on the truck." She looked confused. "We got to get him in my truck and to the airfield." I explained. "It's about ten miles off." At least that seemed to click. We picked him up together and got him in  the truck. Good old Troop Carrier.

"Does that thing of yours go?" I asked. She nodded. "Follow me." I said and took straight off.

I didn't really want to move him, when a snake bite victim is that sick it's best to bring the help to the victim but I had no choice. If he didn't get help soon, no matter what I did, he'd be dead. The road to the airfield is pretty rough. When I say airfield don't imagine some nice smooth bitumen strip with hangers and stuff. This was an old mining landing strip, rough as guts, and as far as I knew it hadn't been used for about six months, I'd probably have to check it to make sure it was clear before the Doc could land. If he could. Other problem? It was after seven and the sun was going down, there is no twilight out here. The sun goes down and suddenly it's night. I figured we had about forty five minutes of light.

I had my boot well into it, going as fast as I could on the track. I looked in the mirrors and luckily she was keeping up in the little buzz box, when suddenly the young bloke started to choke. Shit! I pulled up quick and jumped into the back. She damn near rammed me but managed to pull up. She came running, I hoped she wasn't going to fly into a panic again as I needed her to keep her head together now more than ever.

"Get in and drive." I yelled at her before she could get wound up. "Just follow the track till you get there and pull over to the left. There should be a windsock."

The young bloke had stopped breathing and I started CPR. I didn't have time for explanation or discussion if he was to have a chance. She drove, and handled my big old four wheel drive pretty well, she pulled up in a cloud of dust and I heard the flying doctor overhead. It was just on dusk.

"Drive to the end of the strip, up wind, face down the strip and put all the bloody lights on." I yelled between breaths, the young bloke was not good.

I felt the vehicle lurch as she took off again. The aircraft circled and overflew the strip, it turned again and began it's final approach. I continued CPR. The bloke was still in big trouble. Before he'd stopped breathing  I'd heard him say some thing about two of everything and that he couldn't keep his eyes open. Typical reactions to the venom, drooping eye lids and double vision I reckoned, but I wasn't sure. I was very busy driving, until I heard him start to choke, that worried me. It was only two hours since he'd been bitten and paralysis didn't usually start till about three hours after the bite. Unless it was a big snake, and a very big, possibly multiple strike, bite.

The Doc was down, the aircraft taxied right up to us and the medical staff bundled out. They took over the CPR and connected him up to everything, the poor bastard looked like a telephone exchange he had so many wires attached. I tried to make myself useful and took the girl aside, she was frantic. Her name was Hayley, not bad looking either. Typical Yank though, you could pick a Yank a mile off. Nice body, Jeans, Levis of course, half a size to small for the bush and a bloody big white hat. They'd call it a western look. Yeah, right, west of bloody what?

The nurse came over and got particulars off Hayley, name, address, next of kin, that shook her, ages, allergies and all the rest. She turned to me. "My car." She started to say.

"Don't worry." I said. "I'll see it's brought in, they're ready to go. You better hop in."

She was no sooner aboard than than the aircraft turned and taxied out, I got sprayed with dust and pebbles and the usual crap. I'd live.


I was three hundred miles out in the bush, with a car to recover and at least two hours behind time getting where I had to go. I sighed and got on the company radio frequency. The Boss was not impressed, but he understood you don't leave anyone in the shit out here in the bush. They'd send a chopper out with a driver from one of the exploration camps. I'd have to wait. An hour or so he said. so I got in the truck and drove back to Hayley's four wheel drive. Her car was slewed sideways and pretty well bogged where she'd locked every thing up to avoid hitting me. I used the GPS to give the chopper pilot an exact location. I muttered to myself and got out the jack. By this time it was almost pitch black and I hunted around for a light. Damn, it must have been shattered when we humped the young bloke into the back of my truck.

I got down on my hands and knees beside her vehicle and moved a heap of sand aside with a shovel. As I went to get up to get the jack I heard it, a grunt and a rushing charge through the bush, headed straight for me. Bloody Razorback! Three hundred pounds of bad tempered, short sighted meat with attitude was charging me. Now I was in trouble. My rifle was back in my truck, fifteen feet away, it might as well have been fifteen miles. I had no dog, no knife and only a silly bloody thirty eight calibre hand gun, in a holster on my belt. The handgun would be more use if I threw it at the pig. They reckon pigs can do twenty five miles an hour, I swear this thing was doing a hundred as it charged me. Somehow I lunged to my feet and and grabbed hold of the little plastic roof rack with one hand. I swung myself up as the pig arrived. It hit me, and the side of  the girl's little truck. I clung on desperately and tried to pull myself all the way up onto the roof. I felt a searing pain in my leg and nearly lost my grip. If I fell back onto  the ground I was history. Somehow I dragged myself up on the roof. The pig charged the truck again and hit it fully side on. I nearly lost my grip again.

I sat on the roof of the truck and looked at my leg, he'd got me, blood and torn muscle every where. The tusk had gone into my right calf and torn a great ragged gash about six inches long. The leg felt useless and I tore off my shirt to make a bandage and stem the flow of blood. I felt sick and light headed. The pain in my leg was a teeth grinding agony and I wondered if I was going to pass out. The bloody pig was down there somewhere I imagined and waiting for me to fall off.  I wondered why it charged me and suddenly the penny dropped. I'd been shoveling sand and he must have heard me and thought it was another pig on his territory, bloody stupid pig. I 'd managed to stop some of the bleeding and figured I had about half an hour to wait for the chopper. They could deal with the pig, I was going to sit up here till they came and rescued me.

The chopper turned up right on cue, it's Mars light lighting up the ground like the sun. I saw the pig, a big old boar with tusks like railway spikes, my blood on one of them. Bastard I thought. The chopper crew saw him too, lurking close to  the truck and waiting to ambush me if I climbed down. A single rifle shot flashed through the night and the pig went down. I was going to have roast pork. The pilot put down as close as he could and the crew ran over to me, they could see I was in the shit.

Anyhow here I am, in the bloody Hospital, in the bed next to the bloke I rescued. He's recovering, but they tell me it was a close call. He'll be in hospital for another week or so yet, and after that it will still take some time for him to get over the bite. It's not to bad though, his sister is pretty cute, and she's very grateful to me for saving her brother's life.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


WARNING: This story contains bad language and Adult themes. Please Do NOT read on if you might be offended.

He was one of those poor dumb bastards we all meet, or know, at some time in our life. We knew him as Cliff. Cliff the Brickie. He was a tall angular looking bloke. Arms to long, legs to long, a bit of a beanpole.. His head was angular too. You couldn't say the fella was good looking, homey perhaps. A bit of a silly grin, nose like a beak, and his eyes sort of bulged, and were a bit crooked in his head. He had teeth like bloody tombstones. Macca reckoned he hired 'em out to Stone Masons as patterns.

But Cliff was a nice bloke. He always stood up when a Lady arrived, and he even took off that silly bloody hat he wore. In fact we reckoned Cliff was a bit of a Ladies man. A wolf in sheep's clothing. The women certainly liked him. He came round one Sunday for a barbecue, didn't bring a woman. But that didn't seem to  matter. The bloody women were around him like bees to a honey pot, even mine.

"He's such a nice bloke." She said, "And so polite and gentlemanly. How come he hasn't got a partner?"
"Dunno." I said. "Never asked him."
"Oh." She said. What ever that was supposed to mean. A bloke don't go round asking another fella about his love life. Geez, might get a clip under the ear for it.

"He should have a nice Lady." She said.
"Here." I said. "Don't you go on with any of that match makin' stuff. You lot buggered Tony up good and bloody proper with that stuff."
"He's happily married now." She said.
"Yeah, with seven bloody kids and a mortgage." I said. "He even had to sell his Mustang. Poor bugger."
"That was early on and they wanted to get the house." She sounded a bit miffed, dunno why though.
"Pity you didn't sell that thing of yours." She said. "We could have had our own place by now. Instead of renting."

"Don't start." I Said. She was always on about that. Why didn't I sell the car and buy in the same estate as Tony. Sell the Falcon? Not Bloody likely. Besides they built all those flash places and you couldn't even get a look in over there at under five hundred K. Fat lot of good it would do selling the Falcon. Wouldn't even make a bloody deposit. I know, I know, if I'd done it then we'd be on easy street. As she brings up every now and then. Bloody woman.

"Anyway." She said. "I think Cliff should find himself a nice girl."

I ignored her, it's none of my business what Cliff does. Gawd, for all I know he might be one of them closet poofs. Why anyone would want to root in a cupboard has got me stuffed. Anyway, Cliff went home on his own and I didn't think nothin' more about it. Poof or not that was his business as long as he didn't try to feel my bum. The next week Cliff was away on the Monday and came in Tuesday lookin' like a Pox Doctors Clerk. Smelled like one too. Some of the blokes even gave him a whistle. They're not poofs mind you. Just havin' a go because Cliff had had a hair cut, and a shave, both in the same week, and he was wearin' aftershave. To work! Bloody hell, maybe he is a poof. He had a grin from ear to ear, fit to bust he was.

"Arrh Cliff." Macca said. "What's goin' on? Get yer end in mate. Been doin' a bit of horizontal bopping?"
Cliff just beamed. At lunch time we pinned him down a bit. It seems Cliff had got himself a woman.
"Gawd." someone said. "Is she a looker Cliff?"
Cliff proceeded to tell us how beautiful she was. Tall he said, and blond, lovely figure was the way he put it.
"You mean she's got big tits?' Shagger asked. Shagger hasn't got much style.
"I mean she is physically attractive." Cliff said with dignity. It's surprising how much dignity ol' Cliff can muster when he wants to.
"What's her name Cliff?" Some one asked. "Where'd you meet her."
"At the dogs." Cliff said. "We met at the Greyhounds on Friday Night." Every one roared. "Not on the track I hope." Macca said through tears of laughter. "Didya roll her in the hay?" Cliff ignored the question.
"We spent a very pleasant weekend together." He said. "We became quite close."
"I'll bet yer did." Someone said amidst more laughter. "Anyway Cliff, you still haven't told us her name."

"Terri." Cliff said. You could have cut the silence with a knife. We all knew  a tall blond Terri with big tits. Terri the Trike we called her. One of the Barmaids from the Crown. We also knew she  liked the Greyhounds, her last Old Man had two. We called her Terri the Trike because she screwed that much she needed three wheels to stand up.
"Errrrr." Someone finally said. "Do you know what she does for a crust Cliff?"
"She's in hospitality." Cliff said. Only Shagger giggled.
"Doin' what?" Someone asked.
"She's a Drink Waitress." Cliff replied. He'd picked up our awkwardness.
"Oh." I said. "That's nice." I wanted to knock the shit out of Shagger when he giggled again.

"Yeah, well." Macca said. "It's time to get back to work again." You've never seen so many blokes anxious to get back to work. We worked like demons, and the rest of the day was pretty quiet. MaccaShagger's head off and shit down his neck if he said anything and we all left in a hurry when the day was over.

"Cliff's got himself a woman." I told the missus when I got home.
"Oh, I'm so pleased for him." She said. "He deserves a nice Lady friend."
"It's Terri." I said. The Missus knew who she was.
"That slut?" She said in a voice that made the dog creep under the table. "Didn't you tell him?"
"How the bloody hell do you tell a mate something like that?" I asked.
"Didn't ANYONE tell him?" She asked in a voice so high the dog started to whine.
"No." I said. "No one could."
"Pack of bloody Dingoes." She said. She was so bloody mad at me I slept on the couch the next two nights.

That was three and a half years ago now. Cliff married Terri and they have two kids. By God she turned out a goodun'. Never looked at another bloke again, except for Cliff, and he seemed to come real good. She had a mind for money and they got their own place. The Missus never lets me forget that, and I still got the Falcon, it's lookin' a bit sad now. Anyhow I got to go. The Boss and his wife are comin' round for tea, and the Missus is cookin' up a storm. Who's me Boss these days? Didn't I tell ya? It's Cliff. Him and his Missus bought Macca out.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Writing Software

Please note! This is NOT an advertisement.
I use the software mentioned here but it's FREE and I derive no advantage or profit from it's use other than the proceeds from my writing.
I recommend it because I use it and it's bloody good!

I'm still getting used of becoming a published Author. By published I mean a main stream traditional Publisher with all the bells and whistles, things like a contract and advances against royalties, a media release for the first book in July or August and Editors and Publicists and all that good stuff.

The other side of getting published is the sudden attention. I have been ignored by all but a few friends for years and suddenly it seems every one wants to know me and seek my advice on writing - how the bloody hell would I know? I've been privileged to meet some very talented people , and some outright bloody fools as well. One of the most common questions I've been asked is if there is any good software for writers that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

OK people, here's the good news, I use a program designed especially for those interested in writing novels. In my opinion it's the bee's knees and provides every facility a novel writer could possibly ask for, and in addition it's FREE. The program is called yWriter and it's available for download from SpaceJock software. It's one of those rare and truly free programs, no spy ware, adware or trojans, no reams of advertising material and no hidden links to suspect URLs. It allows the writer to construct the novel by scene and chapter and provides for characterisation, revision and editing as well as listing various elements of the novel. On top of all that you don't need a degree in computer geek speak to use the damn thing. Oh, one more thing, updates are free, and download automatically.

To good to be true? Nope, go look for yourself, the URL is 

You might have a good look around the site while you are there, the site owner is an accomplished Author himself and besides the yWriter program he offers a few other very useful utilities for the budding author . Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the best part,  both the site and the author are Aussies too.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Another Teaser

As I mentioned in my first post I've been lucky enough to score a book contract. The contract is for a trilogy , (working title) is the Guardians. Book one  (working title again) is Lost @ Infinity. Genre is Sci Fi, theme is an Environmental Armageddon 

So for those who might be interested here is an early draft of a scene from Lost @ Infinity:-

We arrived and took up our positions in orbit. The auditing process commenced immediately and I think we were all a little trepiditious about just what the measurements would reveal. We would be the first human beings to know just how much trouble our planet was in. The first measurements, of ocean condition, took less than a month to bring in and collate. They were not encouraging. As I think I have already mentioned each ship is bio mechanical, or more accurately, bio electronic and is a living thing, not our kind of life but life never the less. Each ship can communicate with the others at a speed of thousands of Terabytes per millisecond and the collation of vast quantities of data is accomplished in a flash. It took us a hell of a lot longer to digest the results but eventually, when we did, there were a lot of long faces. There was no doubt, in a hundred years Earth's oceans would be dead and so would most of the life there in. The repercussions of that revelation were catastrophic. Along with the death of the oceans huge amounts of methane would be released from their rotting depths and the Earth's atmosphere would strangle in it's own pollution. If we coupled that with data on global warming, forest degradation and the consumption of fossil fuel we could probably make a pronouncement on the future of mankind. Mass racial suicide and planetary homicide in the name of profit, indifference and self interest. We had to stop the bloody fools while there was still time.

While the planet decays and heads down the slow and painful road to oblivion the captains of industry smile obliviously and count their profits. They are supported by their cohorts of share holders, their bean counters and the all powerful gods of commerce. How can the pursuit of the dollar and the power it brings blind them to the possibility of a self inflicted death in their own lifetime. There are some, not surprisingly mostly of our own kind, who shout warnings in the wilderness but the power brokers ignore those desperate shouts and fob them off with another committee to study the problem, and then a committee to study the results of the committee. All the time the Armageddon that mankind fears advances closer while they choose to remain ignorant that their doom is of their own making.

Admittedly our science is far in advance of theirs and they had neither the skill, the apparatus, nor the records of other planets that had gone before but even with their primitive understanding the signs are there to read. All it would take is for mankind to get it's head out of it's arse and admit they have a problem. But mankind is nothing if not ever willing to ignore the warnings so we had a problem. To bring the human race kicking and screaming face to face with the approaching storm and to admit their complicity in it's progress. Once we had achieved that we might be able to convince them to do something about it.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Write Right!

I've been writing for over twenty years, sometimes I've even been paid for it which is a phenomena I still have trouble getting used to. Just recently (like about five years ago) I decided I was going to write a novel. I even got encouragement from a few people. I had my theme and my plot and all I needed to do was to find out all the mysteries associated with the process. So I started to read everything I could lay my hands on to find out the best tips and secrets that I thought must be jealously guarded by the top published authors.

When I started out writing, and got paid for my first article it wasn't all that hard. I decided to try to get published in magazines and journals and the like. I had some skills and knowledge in aviation, including model aircraft building and flying, in martial arts and of all things photography. So I bought a whole stack of magazines and sat down to read what was getting published and what the Editors wanted. I wrote to the Editors, introduced myself, and outlined what I knew . One or two Editors even contacted me and expressed an interest. My very first story was published in the American "Soldier of Fortune" Magazine and I received a whole 500 bucks U.S. for it! Wow! I was a published author. Yeah, well. Since then I've had articles published in a variety of magazines and journals but writing for that market is basically writing to an Editorial Formula. They want 2,500 words on this, 3,750 words on that etc, etc, and you write on subjects you know about, or for most of the journals subjects where you have some expertise.

A novel is a whole different ball game. For a start the subject is open but if you want to interest a publisher it better be commercial. There might be a publisher out there who wants to publish a 150,000 word novel on the sexual exploits of a mutated frog but good luck finding them. Then again if you write that one as a fantasy it just might fly! Hmmm.

Anyway, as I was saying before I so rudely interrupted myself I set out to write a novel and decided I needed to know all the tricks first. There is a teaming multitude of books, articles, precises, lectures and tomes on writing the Great English Novel but, for the most part, they all forget to mention one very important factor - TALENT. It  is an unfortunate fact of life that some people write 200,000 words and do all the right things as far as layout, pace, character building etc, etc and then they send a very correctly worded  querie and a precise synopsis of their work to the best, carefully targeted publisher. Nothing happens! No anxious email demanding the whole manuscript, no one page contract offering world wide release in several languages - and name your own price, no movie rights, no invitation to visit the South Sea Islands for a grand book release, not even a whisper to say they might be interested - perhaps.

The net result in many of these situations is that the manuscript ends up in the rubbish bin or gets used to line the kitty litter tray. I suspect that a lot of these would be authors spend so much time ticking off the "How to do it properly" boxes that they loose track of the most important aspect - IS THEIR STORY ANY DAMN GOOD?

I've been fortunate and just recently signed a contract for a trilogy of books  in the Sci Fi genre. It's my first, second AND third books! How did I do it? Well for a start halfway through the second draft I threw all the "How To" books out the window along with my carefully constructed synopsis, character profiles, notes and time frames and just wrote. The characters just grew and developed of their own volition as the story progressed. I let the direction and events in the story have their own head as well. 

What was happening? I don't really know but in real life we don't know what is going to occur next, and if we try to predict events they usually turn out differently any way. Perhaps in fiction writing, if we rigidly prepare what is going to happen to a story, we must expect to get that wrong to! O.K. I could be a raving idiot but it worked for me and now I'm going to be published by a major house - 3 TIMES!

Saturday, January 1, 2011


I've added a few extras to the other pages so you might like to check out :-

Things that go Bump in the Night 
The Environment Page.

I'm also going to try to post a couple of previously published short stories on the I WRITE page in the next day or so. (Yes Virginia, they have been published and yes I still retain full copyright.)

Happy Reading and Happy New Year: