Hi and trust you’re all well.
The heading above (and the way this blog has evolved into a monthly presentation) comes from a song by Michael Flanders and Donald Swann called A Song of the Weather. It can be heard on an album recorded in the 1960s named At the Drop of a Hat. The song, lyrics reproduced below, itemizes the weather in England each month of a year. It is said to be a parody of the 1834 poem January Brings the Snow by Sara Coleridge. Be that as it may, Flanders and Swann penned the following:
January brings the snow,
Makes your feet and fingers glow.
February’s ice and sleet
Freeze the toes right off your feet.
Welcome March with Wintry wind
Would thou wert not so unkind!
April brings the sweet spring showers,
On and on for hours and hours.
Farmers fear unkindly May
Frost by night and hail by day.
June just rains and never stops
Thirty days and spoils the crops.
In July the sun is hot.
Is it shining? No, it’s not.
August, cold and dank and wet,
Brings more rain than any yet.
Bleak September’s mist and mud
Is enough to chill the blood.
Then October adds a gale,
Wind and slush and rain and hail.
Dark November brings the fog
Should not do it to a dog.
Freezing wet December, then
Bloody January again!
For me, the humour of the English remains unsurpassed, even compared with the cleverness of the Irish.
Events and Happenings:
- We’ve just received word that our third novel, Turn on a Light has been completed in MP 3 format. Our thanks to Dinesh, Susie Punch and all those involved at Visability for the production and trust each novel assists them in their work. Anyway, for those who like to listen rather than read, or those travelling long distances and unable to read while driving, they can be purchased by contacting us on firstname.lastname@example.org or using the www.aussieyarns.com website as a means of contact. The cost of each MP 3 is $25.00 but a discount will be negotiated for purchases of two or more titles.
- Negotiations are now underway with Vision Australia, which is very interested in broadcasting our short stories read by Paul David-Goddard and exploring the possibility of having one or more of the three MP 3 novels serialized. The organization operates its own radio stations in a number of capital cities. In Perth, where the idea will be trialled, the station is at 990 AM. Part of the trialling, if it goes ahead, will be to present a chapter of a recorded (MP 3) novel each week. I’ll keep you updated on progress. The presentation of short stories on 101.7 FM (Capital Radio) on a monthly basis will continue and I’m indebted to Tony Howes and 101.7 for the continued support.
- August will be busy in terms of presentations. We completed one earlier this week with Shalom, a delightful group of people whose connection with the themes of the Aussie Yarns novels is very strong. Jewish history allows those people to connect with many elements of the development, and on-going issues for, the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. Looking forward to meeting five more groups over this month.
- With the assistance of Suzanne Barton, we are regenerating a Facebook page. Suzanne herself is a self-published author, focussing on children’s literature. Her first book is titled Meeka and can be accessed on Facebook. Our regenerated page has taken the old Hiding Place site and renamed it Aussie Yarns. We’re using it to spread the word more broadly about the novels. From recent sales, interest in them seems to be increasing which is heartening.
- After lengthy negotiations, we decided not to proceed with the offer to publish Turn on a Light, made by an English Company. There were a number of reasons, which boiled down to editorial control versus financial returns. We effectively chose to retain the former, in part because we were not unduly impressed by the level of financial returns offered.
- The fourth novel, Life Sentence, progresses. Editing the first draft (which basically means hacking and chopping repetition and connecting the logic of the sequence of events in this story with historical facts around 1899 and 1900). We are indebted to Patsy Vizents at Rottnest Island Authority for her continued support in terms of history as well several members of Rottnest Volunteers. At the moment, the tentative title remains but we’ve been thinking of alternatives. As the novel focuses on the way the legal system was organized and operated between 1880 and 1900 in relation to Aboriginal people, a couple of titles we’ve generated have related to justice. One is Dark Justice. If something springs to mind about the way the legal system operated back in the late 19th Century, and the basic equity of its operations, don’t hesitate to flick your idea through. If we choose to use it, we would acknowledge you accordingly.