For my next book Kip, I thought I’d like some illustrations. This idea was given great inspiration whilst walking along the beach with our family in Newcastle one morning. As we walked, a large pod of dolphins wound their way through the waves parallel to us occasionally stopping to catch a wave before effortlessly leaping out of the water.
Those moments are magical.
Kwali is a river dolphin and one of the heroes in my children’s book Kip. Kwali’s the archetypal being of knowledge, wisdom and courage. So my first attempt at sketching after many years was of a dolphin.
Next came Djidi - this is a Noongar word for a Willy Wagtail. In Kip, Djidi is the go between for Kip and Maali and the other birds and animals they come to know in the adventures they have together.
For an old bloke, I was pretty happy with my first attempts. Naturally there is plenty more work to do on them, but I’d like to hear what you think. I’ve got a couple of others to do - maybe a Magpie and Old Brown Snake too.
In the meantime, with the flu season on our doorstep I’ve been inundated at work with vaccinations and worried families with sick kids, as well as the burden of disease we all shoulder as we age, so time for drawing is, well, sketchy! All being well, Kip should be on the bookshelves by Christmas.
Team Photo on Christmas Day - including the chickens!
Well that was fun!
Christmas, New Year and finally Australia Day all came and went with much merrymaking and plenty of activities. We spent Christmas Day with our family (bar two) on the east coast of Australia, but as the celebrations fade into the background, a sense of normality is beginning to return to the land. Next week, most children will be going back to school and a millions Mum’s (and an increasing number of home Dads) will be sighing a collective sigh of relief ... as will their offspring no doubt!
After New Year, I spent the month of January working in Mosman, NSW which I always find to be a delightful affair. One of the patients I saw there pointed to the copy of Captain Scully which just happened to be on my desk and asked, “Did you write that?” When I confirmed her suspicions she confidently informed me that she’d really enjoyed the TV serialization which she’d seen on SBS TV. I was about to correct her mistake, but something held me back.
Perhaps she knew something that I didn’t know?
So ... if any SBS Producer would like to contact me about Captain Scully, you can reach me via Mosman Medical Center on Military Road in Mosman.
On the subject of books, my next book, Mentor is in it’s final pre-publication stage. Sadly, the man who inspired the book passed away recently - Kev was 92 - but I was able to get a PDF of the book to his daughter who read some of it to him in his final days. That’s a very precious memory for me.
And in the pipeline I have a children’s book which I hope to publish later this year after my grandson has proof read it. As it features some Noongar folk in the storyline, the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council are kindly reviewing it for me. In time I hope to follow up with more such stories about Kip and Maali.
Finally, I hope you all have some dreams and plans for 2019, big or small, it doesn’t matter as long as you have some. It certainly is shaping up to be a wonderful year - despite all the gloom and negativity we read in the papers and see on our screens. The stories you create by living a full life will not only change you, but will encourage others to dream big too.
May your story prove to be a GREAT story in 2019.
I’ve been working up in the Pilbara in NW Australia. It’s iron ore country and the landscape is red as far as the eye can see. I thought I’d find a spot for a quiet read, but you’re never quite alone in the bush! Even though it was only 6.30am, it was still 36C and the flies were everywhere!! They’re pesky creatures, but hey, any audience is a great audience. Now if only I can teach them to talk and spread the word about Captain Scully, then I’d be a very happy man!
On Thursday 15th November 2018 I’ll be presenting Captain Scully to the people of Perth WA at a book launch in the Crypt of St Mary’s Cathedral. I’m super excited about this as it’s my first time to “perform” in public and share my story with a much wider audience. I hope some TV and media will be there as the story would make a great movie or TV series!!
Keep me in your thoughts and prayers and thanks for all your support over the past few years.
Maggie and I recently visited Ireland. The aim was to visit Ougterard in Galway where the principal character in my latest book - Captain Scully - spent many years as a Resident Magistrate.
But sometimes the unexpected is more exciting.
As a part of the trip we stayed at Monart Spa Resort in Co Wexford. There we indulged in a daily variety of saunas, great food and what can only be described as luscious scenery! The staff became friends as they cosseted us with kindness, and not only that, it was all internet free! With he quietness came a time to reflect and read.
In the “Old House” was a traditional country house library and after discussing an idea with Matt Bodo, the manager, I have donated some of my books to their collection, as both my books and Monart believe in Healing, Hope and in Inspiring people.
Some memories you carry with you for a long time - this was one of them.