Showing posts from November, 2010


Routine is to writing what pens are to paper. Or in other words, you/I can get an idea down with lipstick on the tailboard of a ute, or with a stick of charcoal on an envelope for a minute during our chores.

But to get real substance, we need routine. I sort through my dream-generated ideas while making my breakfast on automatic. I eat it and write while I sip three mugs of tea, in my case by pen into my scrapbook journal.

Routine is sitting down at the computer every day at the same time to type. I do chores first. Running around outside and in. Pegging out the wash. The dishes. Vacuuming. I stop my chores at 10 a/m no matter what I’m doing. It will all be waiting the next day. I write until 12.00 or 1.00 p/m.

This morning though, a tradesman rang. He’d be early.

My routine tends to be secondary to people. This morning no exception. He arrived at 9.45. No matter, I will re-arrange my writing times today.

Because, what you/I write when, also needs consideration. Usually in this fi…

Non-fiction: Leading at the Edge

Kes the new character in my novel Lodestar needed to grow into a leader among his people so I re read Leading at the Edge, one of my favourite books. It details how Ernest Shackleton brought back his whole crew from a failed attempt to reach the South Pole. This back in 1914-1915, before the days of lightweight waterproof snow gear, gps, motorised ice transport and other conveniences without which we could now not make such an attempt. Shackleton's expedition had linen tents without floors, wooden boats and dogs to pull their sleds, to name but a few differences.
The book starts with a eleven page precis of Shackleton's amazing achievement. Then the ten characteristics of a really good leader are described and related to Shackleton's strategies during his journey. Modern situations in industry and commerce are also quoted though these lack resonance for me. Shackleton remains one of my favourite hero-type characters.
Kes, in chapter 23, is chained to his least favourite p…