Category Archives: General

The Journey Map for my Beersheba book

I really have been bad with this blog. Please know though that I’ve promised myself that once the Beersheba book is out, I will find a regular blogging rhythm.

I’ve used a few things to try and motivate myself into focusing on finishing the adult non-fiction, Australian military history book I’ve begun about the Australia Light Horse charge at Beersheba in World War One, but it seems I’m still struggling.

I promised myself that I won’t work on my first novel until the Beersheba book is published.

I won’t embark on my freelance business idea of delivering workshops, coaching and mentoring.

I won’t do a masters course till the book’s published.

I won’t get my quill tattoo until it’s published.

But it seems the recent, and hopefully the final, motivational trick is that I now need to find a new publisher; and the centenary of World War One is upon us.

So, I thought it was time I tried to bring you along for the journey, hence the post’s title of a ‘journey map’:

  • October 2007As part of a group project for the RMIT University Graduate Diploma in Editing and Publishing I was completing, I presented our group’s idea about a book devoted to the charge of Beersheba. The day after, an independent publisher that one of my classmates worked for approached me to turn the idea into reality.
  • October 2008 — After a year of discussing the proposal, the contract was signed. I resigned from my job in book publishing and spent three months researching full-time for the Beersheba book in Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Armidale and Tamworth.
  • January to December 2009 — As my then husband worked full-time as an Army officer, I had the freedom to take time off work to prepare the first draft while in Darwin. I originally thought it would take me three to six months, but it ended up taking the whole year, even though I was working on it full-time. I did have another research trip to Canberra but spent a lot more time using the inter-library loan service of the NT Library.
  • February 2010 — My publisher gave feedback that the first draft needed quite a bit of re-working and I agreed.
  • April 2010 — My husband and I separated. This threw my world into a tailspin and the last thing I could focus on was anything creative.
  • December 2010/January 2011 — Over New Year’s I tried to work on the book, but couldn’t find the voice needed for the second draft.
  • July 2011 — I attended the ‘Million Dollar Expert’ program run by Thought Leaders and was reinvigorated with ideas. Using some of the techniques from the course, I restructured the book and decided to ‘own’ that it wouldn’t be strictly an ‘official history’, but not like the books produced by journalists either.
  • September 2011 — I attended military history workshops conducted by Dr Peter Stanley and Dr Maria Hill at a major writers’ festival. This helped reinforce, for me, my new approach to the Beersheba book.
  • July 2011 to July 2012 — Around the same time I was engaged to freelance publish War in the Valleys : 7th Battalion Battle Group (MRTF–1), Afghanistan, October 2008 to June 2009. This turned out to be quite an involved process, as outlined in my blog post ’10 Steps in Publishing a Book’.
  • December 2012/January 2013 — With the freelance project finished, I revisited my Beersheba book to put together a few pages in the new style of writing I’d come up with 18-months earlier.
  • February to November 2013 — I worked on snippets every few months but didn’t make much headway as I was waiting for direction from my publisher. By the end of the year though, we’d amiably parted ways.
  • December 2013/January 2014 — With the hunt on for a new publisher, I’ve rewritten my proposal and worked out that the unsolicited manuscript process means I need at least the first 50 pages rewritten in the new style.

So, with the centenary of World War One upon us, I’m endeavouring to get the draft sorted so that the timeliness of a publication release isn’t lost. I’ve now also gone public with the process. So, I must get on so that once the book’s published, I’ll be able to do the things I promised myself I wouldn’t do until the book was published. 😉


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Pope Benedict XVI — The Writer

I started this blog with the intent of exploring any and all genres of non-fiction.Pope Benedict XVI_collage

Well, that does include theology and philosophy ­— and perhaps the most prolific theologian has made global headlines of late.

That’s right.

Pope Benedict XVI.

He has publised 66 books over his life, in multiple languages, and almost half of those have been published since 2005, when he became Pope.

The cynical part of me thinks, in a crudely commercial sense, that he was probably published more after he became Pope because of the profile the position gave him, in that, the eyes of publishers probably lit up with dollar signs.

But while the disillusioned writers among us might think that, the reviews of his most recent book, Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives (2012), probably demonstrate his ability to reflect on Christianity’s deepest characteristics and explore them in a way that’s easy to understand.

At least, that’s how I read this remark:

 I recommend this book highly especially to those who might have some doubts about particulars of the Christmas story. ” — J. Puleo 

All in all, as an ex-Roman Catholic and despite any reservations I may have about how Pope Benedict XVI directed the Church during his papacy, I might actually pick up one of his books to try and understand why the story lines that form the basis of Christianity continue to endure after 2,000 years.

Have you read one of Pope Benedict XVI’s books?

Would you recommend it?


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Steve Jobs’s Three-Fold Legacy

When someone you know (or think you know) dies, you reflect on the influence they had in your life. So, my first blog post is my response to the passing of Steve Jobs: co-founder of Apple Computer Co. (now Apple Inc.) and founder of Pixar Animation Studios.

I have been a lifelong Apple user, from the IIc onwards. One of my nicknames is actually ‘MacBorn With It’.

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak

From @Todd_Roy: Jobs and the Woz making amazingness back in the day…

Unfortunately, I can’t say that I learnt to type on the IIc. Well, I could, but I’m too honest. I originally learnt and practised on the Atari, with its cassette tape drive, that we had before the IIc. I do remember though sitting on my Dad’s lap once while he showed me a game on the IIc and I accidentally knocked his coffee into the keyboard. I learnt my lesson about liquids and computers!

Dad then moved from the IIc to IIe to IIGS.  His favourite Apple is still the IIGS, which is what I used to prepare my high school assignments. But it was the computer we had after that, the Macintosh LC575 that I took to university in 1997. At that point, aside from those studying IT, I was the only person in my group of friends who had their own computer.

Then in 2000, I used the pay from my initial Army Reserve officer training to buy an iMac. I bought the Bondi Blue one, rather than the multi-coloured, orange or pink ones, because it was named after the colour of the ocean at Bondi Beach. No, actually that’s a lie (okay, maybe I’m not so honest). I bought Bondi Blue because I disliked the other colours.

I dutifully returned the LC575 to my father, even though he’d already moved on through the MacPerforma to the iMac. I still have from my iMac’s 3.5 disk drive, mouse and keyboard. I’m actually using that keyboard attached to my MacBook to prepare this blog post.

In 2004, my first overseas trip was to Europe and I saw iPod billboard advertisements everywhere. I already knew about the iPod (it was released in 2001) but it was not big in Australia yet. But by the time I bought one a couple of years later, it was an MP3-player phenomenon. That tiny device helped get me through my deployment in Afghanistan.

When the iPhone was released in Australia, it was no surprise to those closest to me that I got one. Sure, it looks like I’m a sheep and following the crowd, but if you know me it’s not surprising that I have a suite of Apple products in my home.

So, what is Steve Jobs’s legacy to computers and phone technology? Sure, we’d still have those things, but would they be as beautiful to look at and use without someone like Jobs pushing the boundaries?

I think his legacy is three-fold —

  1. prophetic technology vision: compare the c.1987 intro to Knowledge Navigator and 2011′s intro to Siri
  2. ‘outside-the-box’ technological design, both in and outside the machine: here’s a video montage
  3. computer-animated feature-length films: here is Jobs’s speech to Stanford students where he recounted three stories, including setting up Pixar and how his accidental love of typography shaped typeface use in personal computers

Oh! Let’s not forget that since the iMac’s release, using a lowercase ‘i’ as the first letter in product names or for trends is now ubiquitous. Think Hyundai i30 or iLoad, or even the use of ‘iSad’ as a hastag on Twitter for Jobs’s passing.

Other responses to Jobs’s legacy and passing —

  • an article by Entrepenur Magazine (@EntMagazine): ’10 Things to Thank Steve Jobs For’
  • a poignant blog post from screenwriter John August:
  • a tweet that’s wrong, but … (be warned): @PeterGriffin: RIP Steve Jobs – id want to die if i had to watch that release of an iphone 4s
  • but my favourite tweet: @NicholeBernier: Prayers tonight from the 5yo, not kidding: “Dear God please have fun tonight with the guy who invented iPhone and iPad.

How do you feel about Steve Jobs’s passing?

Thanks for reading


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