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Drama in my backyard.

Posted by Nette on Oct 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

Everybody’s life is busy and mine is no exception. A lot of my time is writing my new novel and sometimes I forget that this takes up as much time as if I had to get dressed, get in the car, drive to work and then kick start the day. I heard the other day how many kilojoules are burnt playing chess (a lot actually) so now I understand a little better about why I compare writing a book to a long distance race. You’re knackered when you’re finished.

But, this isn’t the backyard drama. It’s more a prelude to why I’m making my first step this note to all of you – I do hope there’s a few can make a difference. Tomorrow, in amongst the muddle on my desk which is the novel and the illos for Christmas cards, there’s the beginning of a letter about the native animals who are being forced out of their own backyards and…ooops… they don’t have another to go to. The only way for them to move is across a very, very fast road and … you know it. Road kill. And… guess what… more road kill.

Now, I suppose that I’ve learned one thing in my life and that is there is no stopping development. So, please…this isn’t about development. We all have our own feelings about that but I think a big, shared feeling is the concern for the planet and the creatures who inhabit it. Right now a part of the planet that was, until ten years ago, a densely populated seaside bushland is home to a lot of people and houses. Back then nobody went there much… bad vibes.  However, it was a koala,  wallaby, lizards and snakes and birds of every colour, sound and description hanging out place.

So, it is a beautiful place that has attracted a lot of interest. Gradually people moved in and built houses and then more houses and rec. parks and pubs and resorts and all good stuff like that… and gradually the native life-stock moved on or out or simply off the planet. Roads grew faster and wider and fences went up to protect the wild-life or whatever was left – and that was a good move.

Until now.

Because now the latest development is looking a bit more like a jail than a bush land. Mesh fences that run for kilometres, sheeted over with long, long banners saying the name of the developers involved – seem to have forgotten it which is probably a good thing – have animals neatly tucked away within.

I rang National Parks and Wildlife and they’ve sent a ranger down to check it out – a big, big thank-you to the Murwillumbah ranger who listened to me bleat on for ages. They have asked me to write a letter to the paper, which is on my desk waiting to be completed. My mates have written letters and my friend whose work involves snake removal and relocating wild-life is jumping on board because… you know what…this isn’t about development. This is about living with a changing world and making sure the stuff living in the changing world is given a fighting chance to change along with it.

So, if you’re reading this, thank-you. If you’re interested in helping out, or helping make sure the creatures of the Bushland Jailhouse have a good chance when they make a run for it – and that’s if they find the hole in the fence and then find the hole in the fence on the other side of Coast Road from Cabarita Beach to Cudgen and Kingsciff – slow down if you’re driving up this way, or contact the council and ask if there could be some signs to advise motorists that animals are making a jail break and need all the help they can get, or write to the paper to see if some organised re-location can be instigated so these creatures don’t finish up like their cousins across the way… dead and unsavoury on Coast Road, or eaten by dogs or just plain lost and forgotten.

Gosh, its a serious grizzle tonight. But good stuff is happening – like, last night I did hear a koala and, when I went out to look for the noise, I found a wallaby. So, maybe, maybe they’re finding their way down here. And wouldn’t that be a bonus. All those new houses and resorts and pubs and restaurants with fancy names and fences will only have memories of the mob who lived there because the mob, if they make it, will be living in my backyard.

Fingers crossed.

 
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Moving on.

Posted by Nette on Oct 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

You’d think writing a book in your own house, with your own timetable would be easy but lately I seem to have a lot of interrupted beginnings. I’m not complaining. The interruptions are fun and worth leaving the computer for a few minutes….but…my novel is suffering. For the rest of this week I’m promising myself that I will dutifully write my new novel as soon as I get up….  a good way to make sure the work gets done.

My new work is for adults. I’m revisiting a time I spent in the bush a long time ago and using this as a setting. A good idea….okay…but then we think about technology and the difference this is making to outback living. When I was governessing, the mail arrived once a week with the week’s lessons – one set to go and one set marked with comments and whatever help you sought. Now, if you’re going to join school of the air, a satellite dish is installed on your property and viola…you’re on line and set to go. I do wonder though, as with all things, sometimes the way it sounds doesn’t work as easily or as readily as it might.

My lovely protagonist is in very deep trouble. It was, as they say, all going well until the home visit and the body in the bag….

She accidentally finds herself responsible for a very dark secret and must, at all costs, protect it from the people who want it. I’m loving working out the plot lines and all the events that have to happen. She has to protect herself, and the secret and there’s also someone who is very, very appealing who might, or might not, be her protector. He could belong to the wrong side….who knows? (Answer, I do – hey, if you’re writing the book you have to know….otherwise you’re reading it.)

My lovely old bus, my writing travelling bus, was sold today. I’m sorry to see her go but she’s going to be reshaped, redefined and renamed…she’ll be fabulous and her new owner is thrilled with her. I hope he has a much fun as I’ve had.

Another end… I’ve finished working as mentor for my dearest Zoya – she’s going to be Australia’s newest talent. She certainly has a great tale to tell…all about spirits and lost children. Good luck, Zoya. I’m waiting to see how the cover looks!

So, back to work. Already we’re gearing up for next year with lots of school visits planned and a visit to McKay….can’t wait.

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