Aussie Yarns - Dave Goddard

Stories about Australia

Month: March 2016

Novels in the Wheatbelt

We’re off again on another tour to promote two published novels and the almost ready-to-publish “Turn on a Light”. The overall itinerary is outlined below, but we are immensely grateful to the personnel in the Community Resource Centres (CRCs) for their willingness to be involved and for their support and promotion. We may be wrong, but we believe a top programs funded through Royalties for Regions is a CRC, which gives a meeting place and a communication centre. Karen and I recall going to the Goomalling CRC for a presentation last year to see it had continued to publish the community newspaper we founded through Goomalling DHS in 1986 called “The Endeavour”. I was principal then and to see the paper surviving 30 years later was a warming thing.

Anyway, the itinerary (and we present at the CRC is each town with refreshments provided) is:

Merredin, Monday 11th April, 10.00 am

Kellerberrin: Tuesday 12th April, 2.30 pm

Southern Cross: Wednesday 13th April, 2.00 pm

Bruce Rock:  Thursday 14th April, 10.30 am

Quairading: Thursday 14th April, 2.30 pm

Cunderdin: Friday 15th April, 10.00 am

What appeals to us about these trips is reconnecting. As a child, I spent time in Tammin, nestled between Cunderdin and Kelleberrin when my father, Frank, was principal. I spent time in Southern Cross as principal of the district high school. I recall coaching Tammin in football more years ago than I care to remember and playing against Quairading, Cunderdin and Kellerberrin – and surviving even Danny Malone.

So if you know people in these towns, please pass the information onto them. We’d love to see them. And let them know, if they like the game, that Australian Rules Football plays a major part on one of the novels. And romance and my views on Aboriginal culture are also present.


March/April Updates

Things are hotting up as winter approaches.

First, there is the third short story being played next Saturday 26th March on Capital Radio 101.7, again at around 11.00 am, and again, read by Paul. This story involves considerable pidgin and I marvel at the way he’s grasped the sense and nuances. It’s called “Wit, Wisdom and Compassion” and while it has a deeper message, it’s a lovely, gentle story. I’m indebted to Lynda Ryder for some of this story.

The week commencing 11th April, Karen and I will be doing a promotional tour of some towns in the Central Wheatbelt, starting in Merredin on Monday 11th, Kellerberrin on Tuesday 12th, Southern Cross on Wednesday 13th, Bruce Rock and Quairading on Thursday 14th and Cunderdin on Friday 15th. Local CRCs and their newsletters will have details of venues and times and morning or afternoon tea will be provided.

The novel focused on Rottnest, which is tentatively entitled “Life Sentence”, is evolving well. As always, it hasn’t followed the path I had planned , but it’s growing and the characters are now intriguing me. I’d say about one-third of the first draft is completed, and I think in about two to three months` that draft should be completed. Then there’s a lot of work to be done and not just proofing and editing. One aspect will be on making the era of the story (from roughly 1883 to 1903) as accurate as it can be. To illustrate, I’ve just spent a couple of days researching swearing, of all things, because one of the characters is a former seafarer, now warder, who swears frequently. So I had to know some of the swear words in the era and situations where they could occur. And there is a heap of checking I need to do on aspects of Rottnest, Cossack and Roebourne, geographically and structurally . But I’ll complete the story first and then go for accuracy of context.

And most importantly, my third novel is close to being published. The final proof will be completed by the end of Easter and then it can go to print. This time it will be published by a new entity in the publishing field called Piccadilly Press and I am looking forward to that. Below is a scanned copy of the front cover for people to peruse. I love it and thank Ross McLennan for the design, and Brett Monaghan for permission to use the wonderful photo of the children. To date, the people of Ernabella, where the photo was taken, have not objected which pleases me and Ross. The focus of the story is based on one I heard about an old gold mining site in the NT during and after World War Two. I’ve transposed it to the Eastern Goldfields in the mid-1970s. It’s about questioning the cause of the deaths of children in a remote community to the north of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, a series of deaths that that take the usual infant mortality rate for Aboriginal children under the age of five to extreme levels for that era. Two young school-teachers and four Catholic Missionaries become the protagonists in trying to resolve the problem, and they face antagonism and obstruction from all quarters.

16_03_16 Turn-on-a-Light