The Land of Nod

The night before last the Wonder Dog kept interrupting my sleep by throwing up. He’d let me sleep for about an hour and then away we’d go again. Not sure what set him off but I’m guessing he either found a rotting bird or mouse carcass out in the garden, or it might be the fluff from inside his toy cat. He keeps disembowelling the animal and eating the wadding. Anyway… Between him and an over-active bladder, I didn’t spend a lot of time in the Land of Snooze. Last night I went to bed a little earlier, to make up for lost zzzzz. The WD threw up again but this time only the once that I was aware of. (He was fine during the day so I’m beginning to wonder if it’s some sort of mind game he’s playing with me.) He woke me...

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Orwell, the prophet.

I heard something on the news the other day that immediately made me think of George Orwell, the author of 1984, and Animal Farm etc. I can’t remember the full context of the item, I think it was about our army (or the American army) reviewing current interviewing techniques. They mentioned “enhanced interrogation techniques”. I asked the Old Boy, “What’s that?” He said, “Torture”. Sure enough, we were then shown footage of someone being “water-boarded”. (You know, if anyone other than a soldier was doing that to a person, it would be called attempted drowning.) I am appalled that our (and their) armed forces are still employing “techniques” used in the Middle Ages. Everyone knows you...

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The lucky country

It’s election day for my state’s government. I hope the local candidate that I voted for gets in because he’s a hard-working, community conscious dude who does a great job. I’m fairly confident he’ll do okay as the local community appreciate and respect him. I’m not so sure his party will get into government. But, either way, it will be a quiet day. We don’t need police or the army guarding our polling booths. Every citizen over 18 years of age can (and must) vote regardless of gender, financial wealth or lack of it, religious persuasion or ethnicity. We don’t need special protection for any woman who wants to go out in public to vote. Whichever party wins, there won’t be any rioting in the streets by the...

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My “prickly” friend.

Leanne was my “prickly” friend. Her life seemed to lurch from one source of pain to another: her husband had an accident and as a result was paralysed; she lost her job; she developed severe agoraphobia; she lost another job; she began to question the foundations of her life, including her faith; she developed a chronic thyroid condition; her marriage became stressed; her self-esteem plummeted; she moved out of home; she found a job in another city; the boss bullied her; she lost the job; she struggled with mental health issues; she found another job in another city; she seemed to be making some headway in dealing with her issues but then she died suddenly in her sleep. Leanne had a brilliant mind. She wrote beautifully but could never bring herself...

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Why the violence?

The other day someone asked me why I put the violence in my book. It’s a good question and one I wrestled with while I was writing it. Can I, considering my value system and moral code, include violence, swearing and sex in my writing? This is particularly pertinent when writing for the youth market. Although I know many adults will (and have) read the book, does that allow me more leeway or is it still an ethical issue? Swearing isn’t such a big issue with this book because it’s set in an alternate world, where the language is naturally going to be a little different. Although there is no sexual activity apart from kissing, so far, there is the scene in the military barracks where the girls are abused. (If you haven’t read the book,...

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