Come What May is close!

Come What May is close 2


Dear Readers

Thank you for your patience with me as you wait for Come What May, Book 2 of The Iceberg Trilogy. I have spent the last five weeks doing rewrites and edits of my manuscript. The good news is nothing much has changed in the arc of this novel. I’ve just been able to add greater insights, emotions and depth to the characters and some of the events that they go through. I’m much happier with the novel now and I’m hoping it will have a similar emotional resonance as my debut novel, Seldom Come By.

I am aiming to release this in mid-late September – the exact date will be advised shortly – with the Advanced Readers Edition (ARE) for Netgalley, bloggers and review sites being available on 1 September.

However, as a thank you to my supportive readers of Seldom Come By I am also going to GIVE AWAY 6 copies of the ARE (ebook) on 1 September as well.  I’m running the competition over here on my Facebook page.

The competition is geared around reviews of Seldom Come By.

3 winners will be drawn from people who have already written a review.

3 winners will be drawn from people who write a review between now and 31st August.

(Cut off will be midnight Hawaii time.)

So if you have been meaning to write a review of Seldom Come By I hope this will be the incentive you’ve been looking for.

If you haven’t read Seldom Come By yet but have been meaning to, well great news, the ebook is on sale for $1.99 until 31st August. You can buy it here.

Here’s the various locations where you can write a review:

The site where you purchased your ebook from:

Or Goodreads or Book Movement

You have to signup to be a member of both Goodreads and Book Movement but membership is free, painless and worthwhile and I would really love it if some of the book clubs who have read my book could write a review on Book Movement!!


The youngest son

In Come What May, the sequel to Seldom Come By, Rebecca and Samuel’s children come into their own. The story opens where Seldom Come By left off — in Newfoundland in the summer of 1939. Jonathan, their eldest is twenty-one years old and has remained in Montreal, but their other four children are with them in Salvage. Abigail is twelve, Morton is eight, Gene is nearly six and Joel, just four. Here’s how Joel came into the world — a deleted scene from Seldom Come By. FYI, Leise is Analeise, Samuel’s older sister. 

Rebecca thought the phone was a fabulous invention, particularly on a day like the one she was having. ‘Hi Leise. How are things?’

‘We’re home alone without the children. It’s weird, hard to get used to. They’re all at the flicks. What about you?’

‘Oh, I’m coming along,’ said Rebecca in a sing-song voice.

‘Coming along now?’ asked Analeise in alarm.

‘Oh I think so.’

‘Is Samuel with you?’ 

‘No he’s taken Jonathan ice sailing down on the lake. I’ve got the girls and Morton here with me.’

‘Pack your bag,’ said Analeise.  ‘We’ll be there in five.’ Seven minutes later Rebecca heard Analeise calling out for her. ‘Where are you?’

‘In here,’ cried out Rebecca.

‘In the bathroom,’ queried Analeise.

‘Yes, come in. I’m sure you’ve seen it all before.’

Rebecca was inside the bath, squatting. Her bottom half was naked. On her top half she was wearing just a singlet.

‘My God, Rebecca!’ Leise rushed to her side. ‘Is the baby that close?’

‘Like a steam train,’ she said. ‘Talk about an iron will,’ and then another contraction came over her and all Rebecca could do was grunt and push with it.

‘Are you pushing already?’ 

‘I’m pushing, he’s pushing,’ she said between puffs. ‘I swear this child is a boy. It’s like Morton all over again but ten times as fast.’

Analeise leant over to have a closer look at what was going on. Her gasp said it all. Meeting Rebecca’s eyes she said, ‘Well, he’s about to head into the world, that’s for sure.’

Swallowing, Rebecca said, ‘That’s what I’m counting on,’ as she blew the air away.

‘Just hold your horses,’ said Analeise. ‘Wait a minute while I wash my hands at least and grab some clean towels.’ Analeise tore off her coat and washed her hands and went to the linen cupboard down the hall.

She returned with some towels, one of which she knelt on as she crouched next to Rebecca, patted her on the shoulder and said, ‘Okay I’m ready.’

On the next contraction, out came the baby’s head and then after another half minute his whole body. A boy, as Rebecca had predicted. Rebecca took her bloodied son to her chest and collapsed back into the bath  ‘Oh sweet Jesus,’ Rebecca said. ‘I am so pleased that’s over with. Thank you,’ she said looking at Analeise.

‘Hey, I didn’t do a thing.’

‘You were here. I wasn’t alone. That was plenty.’

When Samuel came back an hour later, he found Analeise in the kitchen and his brother-in-law Randal reading to his children.

‘Hi,’ he said. ‘This is a surprise. Where’s Rebecca?’

‘Hi back,’ said Analeise. ‘She’s upstairs.’

‘Has her labour started?’ asked Samuel, suddenly very alert.

‘I’d say you’re not far off,’ said Analeise.

‘Thanks for coming over,’ said Samuel giving his sister a quick hug as he walked by. ‘If you need to go home, Jonathan can look after the kids now.’

‘Oh we’re in no rush. We don’t mind,’ she said.

‘Okay, Thanks. I’ll just have a shower and then we can go.’

‘I’d probably look in on your wife first if I were you.’

‘Ha,’ said Samuel.

When he walked into their bedroom he found Rebecca asleep and a baby tightly bound nestled beside her. Samuel had to shake his head and blink three times. He picked the baby up and took him to the window to have a closer look at him. He was stunned at the day’s events and that his wife and Analeise had delivered this healthy robust baby without him.

‘I thought we might call him Joel after your friend,’ said Rebecca in a weary voice.

Samuel started and turned to her. ‘I think by your superhuman efforts today you’ve earned the right to call him whatever you want.’ He bent his head and kissed his wife. ‘Congratulations. You’ve got all that you asked for haven’t you? Two boys and two girls.’

‘Yes,’ sighed Rebecca, ‘after all those years in the wilderness I have been blessed.’ 

They stopped at Joel Adonis Dalton.

Here’s a pic of ice boat sailing then and now. The b&w pic taken in 1912 on Lake Ontario.

Icesailing on iceboats Tto 1912


My Writing Process

Come what May Landing Page

Thank you to my dear friend, and highly versatile writer and author, Julie Fison, for inviting me to be part of My Writing Process Blog Tour. Julie and I go way back. In fact that tiny faded pic is of the two of us holidaying one summer on Great Keppel Island. These days, Julie writes travel articles, children’s books (The Hazard Rivers Series), teenage romances and more. In fact she’s going to be a guest here next week to celebrate the launch of her upcoming book, How to Get to Rio, so please pop back next week.

In the spirit of this tour I am going to answer 4 questions about my writing:

1)     What am I working on?

I am currently itching to work on Come What May, the second novel in The Iceberg Trilogy. I’m hoping to launch it in the second half of 2014. It’s sitting at around 108,000 words and I thought I had finished it a few years ago but the characters have been talking to me of late and I realise I have more of their life to tell. Consequently, I’m excited and longing to get back to them. The story is set in the years 1939 through to the mid 1970s. It starts in Newfoundland then moves across Canada so that a lot of the story takes place in Northern Ontario, Saskatchewan and Winnipeg. It continues Samuel and Rebecca’s story while moving to the next generation, primarily their daughter, Evangeline – Gene as she is known by everyone. In Come What May readers get to meet a wonderful new character by the name of Sonny (pronounced Sunny) who is a very talented pilot.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I think this question could perhaps be more objectively answered by my readers!  I write epic adventurous love stories. Seldom Come By and Come What May are historical and maybe by the time Come Full Circle is released it will be historical too! (It’s set in the 1990s). And they’re romantic as well…however if you put the words ‘historical romance’ together you might think bodice ripper and if you did, you’d be way off the mark.

I think there are three aspects to my writing that I hope over time will define my style:

Intensity of emotions. I want my characters (and my readers) to go through the full spectrum of human experiences and emotions. Their lives are certainly deeply felt by me as the writer. I cried for them as I wrote about them. Even this line got me started: as three generations of Dalton men folded their hearts and their lives in each other’s arms.

A sense of place. I love landscapes, seascapes and nature. I want my writing to reveal the visual splendour of a place in a way that has almost a cinematic quality to it. I want to capture the imagination of my readers and transport them to places that are almost otherworldly. There are other books that do this as well so I can’t say that’s unique about my work.

‘Signature Moments’ are where I combine the two, so where emotions like elation, heartbreak and enlightenment unfold in a sublime setting, creating an intense emotional connection for the reader. The iceberg scene in Seldom Come By is one such example.

The unexpected. The other element, which I do see as a hallmark of my work, is an unexpected and shocking plot development. I can’t really say much more than that other than to say people will be reading along with a sense of where my story is going and then something happens that totally challenges that. Some in my inner circle call this the ‘Gasping Moment’.

3)  Why do I write what I do?

A starting point was to come up with a story that would explain one unusual woman I encountered during my travels in Canada.

But now that her and others’ stories have evolved it’s almost in a bizarre way like I know these people and have been given permission to tell their story, to bear witness to their pain and suffering, but also their joy, and that there are learnings to their stories.

But why did I want to write in the first place? I think it comes down to that Helen Keller quote: “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.” I wanted to connect with people’s hearts.

4)     How does your writing process work?

I am not a full time writer. I long for the day when I can be. My year tends to be made up of chunks of marketing project work  – the feast and famine adage applies – so what I like to do is carve out several weeks at a time when I can, as much as possible, lock myself away and write and write and write. So that’s long hours at the computer where I drink copies amounts of tea – Earl Grey, Chai, Jasmine or Russian Caravan – interspersed with walks or swims. I find that when I get a block or can’t figure something out I need to get out and get moving and the fresh air seems to help unravel things for me.


I hope that gives you a little more background on my writing. At this point I am meant to introduce you to the author who will continue the tour next week but I’ve been a bit snowed under so haven’t got round to doing that as yet. (I know, slack!)… but I’m hoping Jennifer Collin might be able to tell us about her writing process…  I’ll post the details on my Facebook page. Stay tuned 🙂

Meantime, if you have any questions, feel free to add a comment and I’ll respond.




The stuff of dreams


iceberg 1I have done some unforgettable kayaking and canoeing trips in my time, skimming across blue green prisms of water, trailing stunning coastlines and river banks, spying on nature in its quiet solitude.

I remember one December sea-kayaking alongside Freycinet National Park in Tasmania; one moment we battled fierce headwinds as we tried to round a rocky headland;  the next, a millpond in front of us where large stingrays appeared suspended below. One Easter, holidaying on Steward Island (New Zealand), we kayaked up Patterson Inlet. There, I encountered my first ever elephant seal. It was in a shallow bay, sighing and huffing so heavily I thought it must be a she, and in labour. Another time, we rafted down the fast-flowing snow-swollen Sunkosi River in Nepal. And, during one magical northern summer, in a Canadian canoe, we paddled the Bowron Lakes in British Columbia, a natural, 116 km quadrangle of rivers and lakes at 2,000 metres altitude on the edge of the Rocky Mountains. It’s deservedly one of the top 10 classic canoe circuits in the world. We drifted beside long-legged moose munching on sweet bulrushes; we saw the telltale signs of beaver homes. That trip made its way in to Books 2 and 3 of The Iceberg Trilogy.

But quite possibly, this all pales in comparison to the recent experience Jennifer Byrne had sea kayaking along the South-east coast of Greenland, near the 80th parallel.  She writes about in her article, Out in the Cold, in the March issue of Qantas’ in-flight magazine.

Reading her account, I felt awe and envy. How do you capture the expanse and grace and otherworldliness of such a place? I think she comes close.

These kayak trips become the stuff of dreams. It is the silence, most of all. The blissful hush as we paddle through the still water, broken only by the splash of seals breaking the surface. The flapping wings of birds. The groan of glaciers and the warning crack of an iceberg about to overturn. We see everything more closely, away from the crowd and constant hum of the ship’s motors. … We paddle, then drift, then paddle again, turning circles around icebergs. … We learn how it feels to be in a world other than the one we know. My sharpest memory is of the silence shattered by gunfire, shot after echoing shot, in reality the sound of ice as the mighty Greenland ice sheet shifts, flows, settles – a living thing, 3 km deep at its centre – the sound of the Earth going about its business.

What about yourself? Have you had some amazing adventures out on the water? And what do you think about the pic above? It really is amazing how deep that ice sheet is.

Must love wolves


Anyone who has read Seldom Come By might get the sense that wolves have a special place in my heart.

Some of my readers have asked how that came to be, given I grew up in rural Queensland, where the closest thing to a wolf was a TV cartoon series called: Cattanooga Cats. Do you know it? It featured a skit called: “It’s the Wolf” better known as “It’s the wool-uff!” For some reason, we – my parents included – had a fascination with this program. I loved the rock star cats; my elder bother, Greg, loved Motormouse and Autocat; and my sister, with her blonde curly hair, was nicknamed, Lambsy, after the frightened yet artful lamb forever chased by the wool-uff. The moniker stayed with her for 10 years.

There were no wolves on the sloping hills of Cedar Pocket that’s for sure. But there were rare sightings of red foxes. And whenever there were, my father would speak about them in gleeful tones: “Hello Mr Foxy Loxy.” As if they were long lost friends. His sister had married a man named Len Fox, so perhaps each time he saw them they reminded him of them. Who knows?

Even though European red foxes were an introduced species to this country they were relatively harmless to stock unless starvation or bravado forced them to raid your chicken coop. But mostly the sighting of a fox was a privilege – like the sighting of an iceberg for one Rebecca Crowe.

Many years later when I lived in Sydney I spent countless weekends in the Blue Mountains, rock-climbing, canyoning, bushwalking or horseriding in the Megalong Valley. One late September afternoon when I was horseriding by myself I came across a vixen and her cubs in a paddock that was dry and over grown with pale tussock grass. She stared at me, sizing me up, knowing instantly I was no threat to her or her young. Still, she decided to veer wide, but rather than duck under the barb-wired fence to make a quick escape, she nimbly climbed up the wooden fence post, perched ever so briefly atop to glance my way before bounding off. I loved that about her: her telling me she was leaving, not sneaking away and that her leaving was on her terms.

A few months after this encounter, I travelled to Sweden, where my partner’s brother and his wife lived about 90 minutes from Gothenburg. It was late January and each morning and afternoon we would crunch through tamped snow as we traipsed through hushed forests of spruce and birch. There, large elk roamed, carefree. So peaceful, so right, so at one with humanity.

In some things, LIKES absolutely attract LIKES. And I have been very fortunate in my life to share the communion of nature with other like-minded souls; to witness, in awe and celebration, the marvels of the animal kingdom.

Leaving Hils and Katsi was bittersweet. Ahead of us was the multi-isled city of Stockholm, with its Vasa Musuem, its Gamla Stan and its Skansen Zoo. It was there I came face to face with my first-ever wolf.

On a cool still morning I stood in front of a woven wire fence and stared at a grey Nordic wolf for so long that the fence disappeared. This wolf’s eyes were like none I had ever seen – not in a human or an animal.

Full of aquamarines and emeralds. Full of life, intrigrue and trust.

I can’t tell you how long I stood there staring at this wolf staring at me.  I did not want to move. Neither did she.

That wolf made its way into Seldom Come By.

And so I wanted to share with you this amazing four-minute movie of the wolves of Yellowstone National Park.  So you can see why I love wolves.

When you can’t get past an experience

Boat in the fog copy


I had my first DNF (Did Not Finish) today. The reader couldn’t get past THAT Scene. You know the one that shan’t ever be mentioned here or over on Facebook.

I tried to encourage her to keep reading, to reassure her that life gets better for the people she had taken into her heart. But, no.

I understand why she was upset. Truly I do. I was a MESS writing THAT scene.  I was a MESS editing THAT scene.

Adding to her distress was a lot of physical pain, for which she was on medication. Sadly, it was all too much.

 “Tears fall and I ache,” she wrote to me.  And: “Why?” And: “Reading books isn’t supposed to be…torture.”

I’m sorry for her that she invested so many hours reading my book and didn’t get to experience that satisfying feeling that comes at the end of a book that you so enjoy. For prior to this point she was enjoying it. She messaged me: “I woke up looking forward to reading your book. That’s how good it is!”

I appreciate her writing to me all the same and telling me what she thought. I really do. She was very polite and respectful. I would send her a gentle hug if I could but I’m not sure how welcome that would be. I sense she thinks I’m a tad disturbed or need counselling. For the record: Seldom Come By is not autobiographical.

The description of Seldom Come By reads:

But as the war moves towards its final harrowing days, they both discover that tragedy and terror can strike anywhere, setting their love on an unforeseen path.” 

Harrowing. Tragedy. Terror.

 Now, I’m wondering whether I should have a WARNING label on my book.

You will fall in love with people. At some point, terrible things will happen to them. BEWARE OF LIFE. 

So did you want to throw my book at the proverbial wall?

Have there been other books or films that you’ve read or watched where you’ve gone: “No, I just can’t continue.”

I have walked out of two movies in my life – I should warn you I am a wimp when it comes to horror films. I don’t do scary or horror very well. Just ask my partner, Mark, or my work mate, Alistair.

The first was The Fly with Jeff Goldblum…in the wrestling scene when he snapped his opponent’s wrist and you saw the bone pierce the skin. Gasp! Gulp! Way too graphic for me.

The second was in Cape Fear, which had a great cast and came highly recommended by Melina, a part-time actress, with whom I worked. It was good but it was terrifying. I just wanted the Robert de Niro character to die. Die!  And leave everyone in peace. Please! Near the end when he was riding under the car I just had to get up and walk out. I’d had a stressful week and wanted a relaxing, uplifting movie, not one that was going to give me a heart-attack in my late 20s.

There was another movie that I’m sure I would have walked out of, had I seen it at the cinema, and that was The Piano Teacher. Fortunately, we were at home watching it on video. Still, we had to pause it while I rushed to grab an ice-cold washer to drape over my face while I lay down and willed myself not to faint and willed myself not to think about what that woman had been doing with a razor blade. Some time later we decided we would continue. Surely it would get better. Surely this woman would redeem herself in some way? It was not to be.

So what about you? Have you had any books or movies you’ve had to pass on because the experience was unbearable? Care to share?



A little unknown fact about icebergs


Antarctic iceberg


Ever since I heard the story of the Titanic when I was a little girl I have been fascinated with icebergs.

And in 1993 – three years before my first visit to Canada – I went on a trip to the Himalalyas, to Makalu, the fifth highest mountain in the world. And there, no matter how hard you tried, you could never capture in a single photograph, the scale or grandeur of those formidable peaks. Imagine, I thought, just imagine that, as an iceberg, as a floating glacial giant, submerged in icy blue green waters. It is quite astounding to think that when you look at an iceberg, when you look at its mountains and plateaus and valleys, you are looking at something that is largely hidden from sight.

In writing Seldom Come By, I did quite a lot of research on icebergs; quite a lot that I never ended up using, such was my thrall. However all my research did not reveal to me this startling, obvious fact:

that icebergs emanate cold, like fires emanate heat

It was my good friend Leah, a native Newfoundlander, who apprised me of this point. She grew up in St Johns, the capital of Newfoundland, where many a time her world was so fogged in she couldn’t read a street sign just a few metres in front of her. But even on the foggiest of days, even if you couldn’t see a thing through your clouded surrounds, if you were close enough to the coast, you could tell the approach of an iceberg simply because of its halo of cold air.

And from that pivotal conversation, came my opening to Seldom Come By. Thank you, Leah!

Some days she knew they were there, just by a drop in the temperature, if they were close enough, but not today. Today she saw them first, not one but two towering spectacles. In the space of one hour they had come drifting casually into sight, carried along on unseen currents, their presence more than anything marking the shift in seasons. And had she had her head down or her back to the ocean she would have missed them. These floating, breakaway giants calved from the glacial north. Frozen formations that enthralled her with their crystal palaces, soaring peaks and mythical creatures revealed in icy magnitude. How they made the seascape come alive.

Coming up with a title

I have a friend who from the get go was never enamoured with the title of my first book, Seldom Come By.  Her advice: ‘Go back to the drawing board.’ She was a published author with two novels under her belt. Reluctantly, her advice was not to be scoffed at. But try as we might – and I say we as there are two other people I always involve in the creative process when it comes to the big questions – we couldn’t seem to come up with a few mere words that said it better. Over a few years we came up with hundreds and in the end only two other sets of titles came close, but they didn’t eclipse the ones we had. (Yes, I will tell you more about the alternatives another time. 😉 )

Part of this complication was, naturally, I wanted the three titles to work together.

  • Seldom Come By
  • Come What May
  • Come Full Circle

I also wanted them to be apt for each individual story.

And I wanted the first one to have a strong connection to Newfoundland and, if possible, icebergs, because the sighting of icebergs was so exhilarating for Rebecca and hopefully for my readers as well.

If you spend any time looking through the history and geography of Newfoundland, you will find many charming and quirky names begging for an explanation — and these in themselves add to the personality of the country and no doubt the character of Newfoundlanders. Places such as:

  • Black Duck Siding
  • Halfway Tucks
  • Stepaside
  • Blow Me Down
  • Tilting
  • Jerry’s Nose
  • Lushes Bight
  • Heart’s Content

There was even a Come By Chance. But in the end I settled on Seldom Come By: in honour of Rebecca’s majestic icebergs; in honour of Samuel drifting by in his tender and the unlikelihood of Rebecca finding him; and by no means least, in honour of the original and striking young woman that was Rebecca.


 “As each mile on his voyage brought him closer and closer to Deception, Samuel could feel his excitement building. It was bursting through his veins like the boat’s bow ploughing through the water. Who was it that he was really coming here to see? He knew the answer to that right enough. And for what? So he could go away and spend another two or three years thinking about her, dreaming about her. So he could know for sure that what he felt for this girl was real. To know for certain that she still held his heart captive with her longing and her melancholy, with her beauty and her joyful, youthful delight. He knew it would only take a moment, a breathless fatal moment, and yesterday it had. In three years he had not been able to get this girl out of his head and now he was overjoyed that he had failed.”


So what do you think of the title, Seldom Come By?

Day 1 + Queries re Availability

I wanted to say a BIG THANKS to everyone for visiting this website and liking my Facebook page on Day 1 of their respective launches. You made my day yesterday. 🙂   A few answers to queries about availability of my books:

I have written 3 books as follows:
Book 1, SELDOM COME BY, will be available this December as an ebook on 12 December and a paperback book hopefully a week or so before that date.

The paperback  will be available through Amazon in America. I will post a link on this website and on Facebook when it is available for you to order. Naturally I am working towards you being able to order it for yourself for Christmas and as a gift for others. I’m sorry I cannot be more specific than that. I will confirm as soon as I am able, along with pricing details.

On the 12 December 2013, SELDOM COME BY will be available for US$4.95 in all digital ebook formats, including PDFs which you can read on a PC or Mac, from Smashwords.

Around the same time, you will be able to order it directly from Amazon in Kindle format and from other major ebook retailers who provide it in Kobo, ePUB and Nook format (i.e Kobo, IBooks and Barnes and Noble and the like). Pricing will be around the same as through Smashwords.

However, right now you can download a free digital copy of the first 1/4 of Seldom Come By in a special novella I am calling LITTLE SELDOM. Simply go here to sign up to receive your FREE copy.

Book 2, COME WHAT MAY, will be available in the second quarter of 2014. Date and price to be confirmed.

Book 3, COME FULL CIRCLE, will be available in the fourth quarter of 2014. Date and price to be confirmed.

If you have any queries, please drop me a line. There is a contact form on my website.

A time for celebration

On the 12 November, the day after Remembrance Day, my dear Dad, Syd, turns 75. On that day or shortly thereafter, this website will go live, the culmination of months of work, in reality,  years of work in the writing of my first series, The Iceberg Trilogy.

It has been a difficult labour of love – not the writing or any of the creative aspects – but getting it out there into the hands of new readers. Thwarted by conventional publishing avenues – after some promising associations – but urged on by my early readers, I have followed my heart’s desire. The kids need to leave home, go out in the world and have their own life. There are other stories crying to be told.

It is heartening that this is happening around my father’s big day, for my father is a risk taker — you should play 500 with him!  He likes to dream big, and I like to think a little bit of that has rubbed off on me.

Young farmer SydIn the late 1960s he  (and my mother) was a pioneer in dairy farming, planting new grass varieties, irrigating, fertilising and slashing long into the night, to encourage verdant growth which saw an Australian record for buttermilk in our jersey cows. His experiments were a resounding success. He featured in a major promotional campaign for the Department of Primary Industries and our farm was visited by agro-academics from all over Australia. The next year, he went large scale, ploughing up all our fields and planting a new tropical legume plant called Siratro. And then before it could barely take off, the unimaginable happened. Drought struck. For three years, it barely rained. We had to resort to pulling out old bean plants from neighbouring farms to feed the cows; my mother returned to nursing. Eventually my parents had to walk off the farm, narrowly avoiding bankruptcy.

But one thing my parents knew how to do well was to work hard and save money. Five years later they purchased another farm  – this one outright  – at the junction of two creeks and a lagoon at the head of Cedar Pocket, jut over a mile away from where my father grew up.cows in lab lab 1981

This farm had two deep, clean-flowing rock pools that were always cold, even in the height of summer. It had wide open pastures full of kikuyu for me to gallop across on my spirited new horse. And when you walked outside at night and gazed at the stars you knew you were in nature’s cinema.

There were stars like the ones that enthralled Samuel in my novel Seldom Come By. Yet at other times, you had this sense that the world was out there and you were missing out on some  kind of wonderful — like how Rebecca felt when she gazed out onto her chameleon sea longing for the sighting of a single iceberg to light up her indifferent world.

So on the eve of my Dad’s three-quarter of a century celebration I have decided to take a risk, dream big and back myself. In formation behind me are some amazing family and friends who believe in me.

Happy birthday Dad. Thanks for going the distance! Let’s hope I do too.