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Luangwa River

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Bob and Eric

As you see eating is pretty high on the list of priorities.

Bob the Goat

Bob rules. He started out as a cute lil bottle-sucking kid. Now around 2 years later he is a Big Billy-goat. He definitely has some boer-goat in him, because he is way bigger than any goats Ive seen around here. Those are mostly about half his size. He is very friendly, but also very headstrong, determined to get whatever he is currently going for. Goal-oriented go-for-it goat. Fences? Climbs em. Walls? Puts his head down and bashes through. Low roofs the same, also chicken nest boxes, perches,everything he can get at that will break given enough attention.
Started tethering him on a chain, which slides along a strong wire strung between trees.In the last month he has broken the main wire once, got the snap fastener loose six or seven times, til I changed it for a really heavy security type,and broken two dog collars (the kind you would put on a big dog, like a German Shepherd).
When tethered he runs at the extreme reach of his tether, reaching for weeds and grass far to the sides, and leaving the easy stuff right under the running wire untouched.
He likes banana peels, will leave the insides for later, orange peels, cedar tree bark and twigs, deadly nightshade and apple trees. The apple trees and the nightshade are especially desirable because he knows i dont want him eating them, for different reasons. After a few mouthfuls of nightshade i have seen him get a little strange, even by his normal standards. I shall see if I can post some pics of Bob.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

short stories

So yesterday I went ahead, signed up with Lulu online self-publishing service. Uploaded my 108 pages, all in proper format and so on. Soon, several weeks I expect, the book will be available, either as an e-book or in hard-copy. Short stories written over the past two years. Some are altered chapters, cut out for different reasons, from the novel I have sent to several mainstream publishers.
I dont expect to make waves with this, but its way better than having them (stories) sit on my computer, with sporadic submissions to swamped magazine editors.
There are a couple of them which have been submitted recently, so I will wait a bit to hear from those magazines before opening up for distribution.
Also there is work needed on the cover art, what I sent wasnt right, so the first copy will use Lulus stock covers. When I work something better up, the revised version will go out. Right now the title is Heavy & Light Tales. Perhaps something better is needed, after all, as a complete unknown, the title and cover are what might entice potential readers to actually look inside, and perhaps read.

Monday, June 19, 2006


Got my copy of my brothers book today. Wrote a quick review of it-- only 61 pages in all --

In this Clifton Power expresses his views on the meanings to be found in the work of Poussin, in the Shepherds Monument itself, and it’s enigmatic inscription. He gives a brief exposition on the possible roots of the inherent beliefs of the builders, their philosophical outlook, and his own discoveries.
As an artist, the author brings an understanding of visual symbology and aesthetics to bear on understanding the minds and philosophy of others through their physical works.
The reader may be able to find the Templar Treasure for themselves, after reading this.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


I shall soon write a review, or perhaps just a synopsis, of my brothers new book. Arcadia,The Templar Code. I have ordered a copy from Amazon, but wont get it for at least a month. Luckily he sent me his text by e-mail, so I can use that.Watch this space.


Went to the circus yesterday, with my 4 year old grandson. His expectations were opposed to the ideas of the animal rights activists demonstrating outside, posters declaring animal performers are "slaves". Sorry, to me that energy could be better deployed dealing with somewhat more extreme instances of actual human slavery, as well as outright cruelty to, and neglect of, animals and other people. Since the animals at a circus are, in simplest terms, the livelihood of their trainers, it seems to me unlikely that they would be suffering any degree of neglect or mistreatment. Animals. like people, live longer and stay healthier when their living conditions are better. That is a very simple correlation.
Regardless of why, in any case, this circus had very few animals, 8 horses, 3 elephants and a dog are all I saw. Quite a change from those of fifty years ago, when you could expect many more horses, lions, tigers, sea-lions, elephants, several different dog performers, perhaps a goat or a bear. Predators like lions and tigers are never actually domesticated,and probably the same applies to sea mammals, and to bears, so there is a strong case for taking them out of cicuses, I agree. Why so few domestic animals though? Regulations regarding the movement of farm animals, perhaps?
In any case, at 4 years old, he wanted to see live animals, rather than acrobats. To my mind a very reasonable desire.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Brothers book

My brother has done it, become a Published Author. His book "Arcadia : The Solution to the Templar Code" has just been listed on Amazon. I am inspired with competitive spirit and envy. In fact last night I started assembling all the short stories i have written, some of which aint so great, to get enough material for a self-published book. I intend to try Lulu, publish through them and learn all the ins and outs, what to do and how, with a book that doesnt matter that much. Then if no publisher buys that novel, it will be relatively easy to self-publish.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

novel publishing

Finally sent my stuff to some publishers, just the first two chapters to two of them and the whole thing to another. Now theres gonna be a three to six month wait, before they decide yes or no. In the meantime Lulu self-publishing is beginning to look quite attractive.

Here is the Official Synopsis if anyone is interested.

Our Unicorn Doesn't Eat Geraniums

Peter Fitt is in his final year of school in England, in the late Sixties. His stepfather gets him a job organising a fish transplant into a border lake in Zambia. His landlady, an active Communist, gives him a Russian contact, who offers help with this development project. Pete dreams of being a one horned eland, a unicorn, fighting a lion. Soon dream and reality merge when he rescues his girlfriend from a lion attack, a zoo escapee. They are riding with a Hunt, and Peter follows the lion with some of the foxhounds.
Pete is taken hostage in a plane hijack enroute to Africa. He extricates himself with help from some mercenaries, in the Congo. His abductor, improbably, survives because of Pete’s actions, and later becomes a dictator.
In Lusaka, Zambia, he recalls a childhood adventure, when he had rescued a baby eland from a mountain fire. The baby eland was hidden by his mother in a clump of wild geraniums, and both Peters, man and beast, react similarly to the scent of geraniums. Early memories are roused in both, in the man usually when he dreams. He identifies himself as a Unicorn, opposed to the Lions, the predators of the world.
Pete takes up the offer of a Russian plane to transport the fish, and thereby is involved in an arms deal. The Russians are supplying both sides in a brewing civil war, stirring up trouble. Pete is involved in skirmishes between the Rhodesians and the Freedom Fighters as he tries to keep the war from spilling across the border into Zambia. He shoots a man in self defence, who turns out to be the brother of his girlfriend, Marjorie.
Marjorie is on her parents’ farm in Rhodesia/ Zimbabwe, recovering from the lion attack. Pete receives no letters from her, until his English landlady writes to tell him that his buddy, her son Bill, has been hiding them out of jealousy. Bill has attempted suicide, is brain-damaged. Pete is racked by guilt. Not only has he killed a man directly, he now feels responsible for Bill’s action also. He has helped a brutal dictator survive to seize power, and he has helped escalate the war, by involving the Russians in the fish project. All differing degrees of responsibility for deaths. He has also has been unfaithful to his love, Marjorie, when he had thought she no longer felt as he did.
Pete meets her mother and tells her what happened, how he shot her son, tries to apologise.
He is forced to face the realities of war, of death and love, as he tries to follow his own convictions in a dangerous and sometimes chaotic enviroment.
After he begins University in Capetown he takes an opportunity to repatriate a valuable heritage artefact to Zimbabwe, to the Freedom Fighters. During this journey he encounters a mercenary he had previously met in the Congo. This man is now working to organise an amnesty/armistice with some of the Fighters
In Zambia Pete tells of the Russians’ duplicity, and finds a receptive audience among the Freedom Fighters. He is told to go to a farm in Rhodesia and meet some interested parties there. This is Marjorie's family farm, where her father has now become less of a hawk since his son’s death. Unknown to the protagonist, his ‘alter ego’, the one-horned eland, lives on this farm, brought there by Marjorie’s grandfather as a baby.
A hard line guerrilla leader attempts to stop the amnesty/surrender, and is defeated by both Peters together. Marjorie and he are reunited. The amnesty is a success, the destiny of the country is changed to a less polarised, destructive path.
I feel this will appeal to a general audience, though the age of the protagonist may also strike a chord with young adults.