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Thank you for coming along to the blog today, Thoraiya and congratulations on your wonderful book deal with Tor US. I am so excited for you and as you know I’ve been a fan of your work for more than 10 years! I hope you will visit again when your book is coming out so we can share the blurb and the cover and all that other wonderful stuff that happens when a book gets published.

Thanks for having me, and yes, please!

Thoraiya Dyer

Thoraiya Dyer

Can you tell us a bit about the book (series) that is going to be published?

Sure! Today I found the bit of scrap paper I first wrote the idea on. It reads: “Write an epic fantasy novel about a tropical rainforest where countries are not horizontal, but vertical, and defended by magic.”

Even though I planned TITAN’S FOREST as a standalone initially, CROSSROADS OF CANOPY still fits that basic description. A pantheon of reincarnated gods and some mythically reimagined Australian fauna and flora made its way in there, too. Unar, protagonist of Book #1, is a Gardener – a sort of apprentice priestess – in Canopy, the vast and leafy jungle city where the rich and privileged leave tributes at temples and get fat on sun-ripened fruit. In Canopy, they’re safe from demons that lurk below their deity-maintained barrier, and they generally have no idea where their excrement goes when it falls down into the dark.

But Unar’s sister falls down there, and that kicks off her adventures.

Excellent! I guess I should explore your writing history. How long have you been writing? What did you start on, novels or short stories? What are your bread and butter (that you like the most?)

I started pounding out the requisite million unpublished words in high school! Novels first, even though later, when I was working full time and doing after-hours calls, it took almost 5 years to write just one. Then, when I was pregnant I had lower back pain and couldn’t sit at my computer for very long to type. That’s when I wrote “Night Heron’s Curse”, which was my first published short story. Tehani Wessely bought it for ASIM in 2008. Also in 2008, I attended a workshop with Jim Frenkel at the Brisbane Writer’s Festival, and he advised me to build a reputation with short stories before I wrote another novel. I like both. I don’t think I’ll stop writing short stories.

It’s taken a long time to get this far, hasn’t it? The industry seems to be getting more and more difficult to penetrate. Can you tell us a bit about how you got an agent and then the book deal?

It has taken a long time, and I’m glad I was oblivious, early on, to how much work and persistence it would take, because I might have given up. On our first day of lectures at vet school, which I’d worked my ass off to get into because I wanted to be a zoo vet, I remember hearing the recommendation that zoo vets get a decade of experience with cows, first. It made sense. Giraffes, rhinos, elephants; the closest you’re going to get to them in private practice is cattle.

But I was devastated! I thought there was no way I could survive ten years of getting smooshed against fences by poo-covered cows, all for a tiny chance of gaining one of the three zoo vet jobs in all of Australia that would only be vacated when one of the existing zoo vets died. And those people all seemed young and healthy!

So, I was discouraged. I decided to be a small animal vet and just do whatever bird and wildlife work I could get on the side. That’s why I don’t like it when people ask me how to get published, because “write stuff that isn’t good enough for ten or twenty years” is a horrible, discouraging answer, and I would have hated anyone who told it to me when I was in high school!

I got my agent, Evan Gregory, by querying according to the agency guidelines. I hadn’t met him at a fancy overseas convention or anything glam like that, haha. I was a Locus subscriber. Every time an issue came out, I’d open to the ‘BOOKS SOLD’ section and highlight all the agents that represented work that sounded like mine, and that’s how I’d make my list of who to query. It helped that Evan had an interesting blog, and worked for Ethan Ellenberg, who reps John Scalzi and Karen Miller. Both authors had spoken highly of the agency so I knew they weren’t dodgy.

The book deal came about, I guess, because Evan does go to conventions, and fancy lunches (maybe they aren’t that fancy, maybe they eat discounted sumo salad on park benches?) – ANYWAY, the point is, he had a better idea than me who the editors were that might be a good match for my work. And he was right, wasn’t he? And simultaneous submissions are brilliant compared to my decade of sending printed novel manuscripts in the post to one publisher at a time and then waiting years for each reply.

And I was over the moon after the offer from Diana Pho at Tor. She is just lovely. I’m thrilled to be working with her. Tor was the first publishing imprint for grown-ups I ever really became aware of, plundering the Eye of the World from Mum’s shelf and inhabiting the world of the Wheel of Time in my school holidays.

That is persistence! I’m happy you had such a wonderful outcome after so much hard work. You have written a number of works and have had recognition for many short stories over the years? Did the award wins help you gain notice from publishers? Did you find short story writing honed your novel writing skills or was it unrelated?

I have no idea if the award wins helped me gain notice. The invitations to contribute to anthologies that I occasionally received could have been because of awards, or just because the editors had read my stuff. They sure gave me confidence and hope for the future. And the Aurealis and Ditmar award ceremonies brought me to my first conventions and introduced me to the community. I first met you in person at an Aurealis night, didn’t I? I love the community! Hello, community!

It sure helped to know that my writing, sentence by sentence, was publishable and that people enjoyed reading it. But I think, for me, short-story writing might have been a pleasant detour instead of a necessary phase. If I had to guess at the weaknesses of my early manuscripts, I would say problems with novel-length structure and novel-length character arcs, and I couldn’t learn those from writing short stories. My strength has, I think, always been pretty writing, and yeah, the short story words I wrote might have gotten prettier, and they certainly got more succinct, but I suspect that wasn’t what was keeping my novels from being bought.

I know how you feel! How did you keep up your motivation all these years? Do you have any advice for other writers who are struggling to maintain the faith and keep writing?

Living in denial? I did this thing where, in order to be excited about the book I was writing and make it the best it could possibly be, I had to believe it was The One. No matter how many stats or experts told me my first book might not be The One, and my second book might not be The One, and my third, and my fourth, I had to tell myself they were wrong, and that THIS one was The One. Every year, my New Year’s resolution was to write better, to write The One.

Which automatically meant I couldn’t be the arbiter of which one really was The One, which is why self-publishing could never be for me. I knew I would have to keep throwing novels at the trad publishing wall until one stuck. Kevin J Anderson’s popcorn theory (Google it!) worked for short stories, so I had to believe it would work for novels, too.

It’s not easy. To willingly, deliberately delude yourself that you’re an exception to the rule (where failure is the rule, the statistical likelihood anyway); to rely on long-suffering editors to bring you back down to earth by telling you not yet, not this piece, not this market; to wonder if you’re suffering from that syndrome where the more incompetent you are, the more likely you are to think you are competent, etc.

To read other people’s stories, not knowing if your story is the one where the writer persists and finally breaks through, or if yours is the one about the ex-writer who walks away and becomes a teacher or a truck-driver and lives a happy life with enough money to buy plenty of books.

If you are reading this story, my story, I’m sorry that I can’t tell you what your ending is going to be. I can only tell you that I cried harder at the thought of being forced to give up out of financial necessity than I did over all the rejections pouring in (happy face!).

Did you have to make sacrifices to continue to write (personal , physical or material)?

Yes.

Chiefly material sacrifices. My husband is amazing and my kid is brilliant, my parents do what they can and my friends are the best; I feel personally supported in every way. But 2014 was still horrific. There was kind of a slow creep, a reduction in living standards, starting with me leaving my job as a vet to have the Small One, culminating in some stark financial realities as I decided to try and make this writing thing pay off instead of going back to veterinary practice. It was a shock to my self-image, going from being a person with a successful, professional veterinary career, with a home and an investment property, to a person with none of those things – and I was panicking until two months ago about keeping my little car. Now I have a book advance coming and can breathe a little easier. Of course, I can’t be sure how much of all that was my career change, how much our move to an expensive area, how much was motherhood and how much bad luck. But, hooray, this seems like a luckier year!

If you could give three tips on writing and writing well, what would they be?

Devour other people’s books. Write when you are inspired and also when you are not inspired. Don’t rewrite until you get to the end. (There, now you’ve made me give shit advice already, because that works for me but not everyone).

Look, I can only think of those two things that apply to everyone, and I’m not even sure about that second one. OK, what about read good blogs? Like this one! And the Book View Cafe blog. Maybe Chuck Wendig’s place, and NK Jemisin’s. Ian McHugh’s blog, and Pub Rants, and Man Versus Bear. Cat Valente’s archived posts are still good, even if she doesn’t blog as much these days. And Sean the Bookonaut and Ebon Shores can give that sense of community. Take the advice from them that seems most useful to you. And practice. Keep practicing.

What were the instances in your life that inspired you to keep writing (besides award recognition)?

Travelling to beautiful places. Discovering amazing things. They have always inspired me.

I started writing CROSSROADS OF CANOPY after a trip to Cairns and the rainforests up there in tropical Queensland. All the other rainforests I’d been to wanted to come to the party as well – Nepalese forests, Canadian ones, Tasmanian and Singaporean and New Zealander. I put my version of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon in there because of a book on ancient civilisations that my Dad brought back from Lebanon for me.

It was pretty inspiring at Worldcon in Melbourne when random strangers asked me when my first novel was coming out (I still don’t know exactly!). Also, quite surreal.

One recent inspired moment was when my husband and I stood outside the dusty, desolate storage facility we’d hired. All our beautiful furniture was inside, some of it hand-made by him from gorgeous Australian hardwoods; furniture we couldn’t fit in the rented unit where we were going. I saw my veterinary textbooks in boxes next to my favourite fat fantasy novels, and asked him in a very small voice if I should keep the veterinary books out, because maybe the writer-dream was over, and he said, with complete confidence, without hesitation, that I would not be needing them.

Looking back, where did you gain your personal leap forwards with respect to your writing? (such as perseverance, feedback, an editor, insight gained over years?)

The most serious problem with the Self-Delusion Method is that you spend so much time convincing yourself that everyone is wrong about your writing not being awesome that hearing criticism without getting defensive can prove difficult. That’s even before you learn that two people will give completely opposite feedback to each other. And sometimes the feedback is wrong. When you’re new, you’ve got no idea when it is and it isn’t wrong, so you might try and work it out scientifically – that is, to get many people commenting on one piece, so it’s more like a survey. But then different people will have different areas of expertise, so your survey is weighted, and then it’s not really a survey any more, is it?

I regret the times I’ve been ungrateful about feedback. The Self-Delusion Method should probably be stricken from the list of advisable routes to publication. One moment that led to a bit of a leap was when Alisa Krasnostein at Twelfth Planet Press took most of the pirate-talk out of my pirate novella in the name of improving readability and I was convinced she was wrong – SO WRONG! – but I went along with it, grumbling inside. I was so immersed in pirate slang at that point I had lost all perspective on what a normal person would or wouldn’t understand from it. And then about a year after it was published, I sat down and read it again, after I’d lost my sea legs, after I’d lost the pirate cadence from my inner voice, and saw how she had been right – SO RIGHT!

Trusting the most excellent editors that I’ve been fortunate enough to have was probably a bigger step for me than it should have been (happy face!).

Wow. Thank you Thoraiya. All writers have personal journeys to continue writing, but yours is truly inspiring. I have made some material sacrifices but not any where near what you have done. I am so pleased for your success. Seeing you succeed should give other aspiring writers hope that their turn will come. I wish you every success and I’ll see you back here when the book is coming out.

HUGS!

I’ve been given a fantastic opportunity to be one of the guests at Supanova Pop culture expo in Sydney and in Perth. (Many thanks to Alex Adsett and Supanova). If you are interested in pop culture, cosplay, games, comics or in any of the amazing guests you should come along and enjoy yourself. If you see me then come and say hi to me too.

The Sydney Supanova starts on Friday 19 June at Sydney Showground, Olympic Park-an easy trip on the train.

Guess who is the major guest? Nathan Fillion.Remember Firefly?

There are stacks more of course, writers, actors, comic artists etc. I’m also quite keen to meet/see Graham McTavish (The Hobbit movies, Outlander). I am a big fan of Gabaldon’s books. Actually watching the series I believe Diana Gabaldon is quite dark-lots of brutality and attempted rapes etc so I don’t know why people are complaining about the Dragon Wine series being so grim. Gabaldon was being dark more than 20 years ago.

I’m going to Supanova! Be prepared for geek girl freakout by the Dweebette (me!).

Outlander_Cast_Dougal_420x560_v2

Photo borrowed from http://www.threeifbyspace.net/2014/08/outlander-twitter-qa-with-graham-mctavish/

I’ll be hanging with my mates, Karen Miller and Keri Arthur and also meeting KA Bedford in Perth. I haven’t seen Kevin J Anderson and Rebecca Moesta (international author guests) for some time so it will be great to catch up them too as well as meeting all the people I don’t know.

The dates for Perth are the following weekend 26 to 28 June at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre.

To celebrate the Supanova appearances, where I’ll be signing books and a limited number of print books will be available for purchase from the bookseller, Momentum Books have put Shatterwing and Skywatcher ebooks on special. So if you already grabbed Shatterwing when it was a freebie, now is the time to grab the second book, Skywatcher, for $2.99. Shatterwing is $1 so you can grab the set for under $4.

Hang on a minute. All my hard work writing this book and you can read it for less than the cost of a cup of coffee! How can this be? There are no steak knives, just grim dark fantasy, with a sci fi setting and dragons.

The special for the Dragon Wine series is currently on the Momentum website and iBooks (today) but it will filter through to other platforms. So it would be great for you to have a read and then come see me and say hello.

Dragonwine

My Supanova appearance will also allow me to put on my retro 50s dresses and petticoats and maybe even a hat or two. I’m so excited.

Me in my dress and shoes

Me in my dress and shoes

I love seeing the cosplayers, who create the most amazing costumes and some stay in character the whole day. All power to them.

I will also be handing out postcards of my other books, which are available as ebooks.

New RayessaSee you there!

Links

Supanova home page

My Supanova guest page

BTW Momentum are having a sale so there are lots of books on special right now. Momentum Books home page.

Momentum Books Shatterwing

Momentum Books Skywatcher

Time just flits by so quickly. I’ve had a nasty bout of RSI this week and lots to do. I’m still in Audible mode as well as reading print and e-books. This not quite review is of Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead. Older SF but still good. When I started on Audible I wanted to use it as a vehicle to read those books that I don’t already own and that I’ve wanted to read but for some reason haven’t. These books were recommended to me by a work colleague.

The Audible files for these two books were good. I haven’t seen the movie btw so I’m basing this on my listening experience.

Ender’s Game for me was an interesting book. I can’t say that I found it easy to identify with Ender’s situation or character. He is a six year old genius sent to military school to be carved into a tool. This doesn’ t mean I didn’t enjoy the book. I enjoyed the idea of the story, of the boy and his experiences. I enjoyed the craftmanship of the story. I enjoyed Card’s depiction of working in micro gravity and how it changes perceptions. We work in a space that has sideways and up but rarely do we conceive of down or no up. I believe the book had a profoundness to it, particularly the ending. If you haven’t read it I recommend you do.

In comparison though, the next book, Speaker for the Dead moved me greatly. Card says in his interview on Audible for Ender’s Game that he wrote Ender’s Game to set up the book he wanted to write, Speaker for the Dead. You wouldn’t necessarily have to read Ender’s Game to understand the next book or get the message, but after being on Ender’s journey it adds to the poignancy of Speaker for the Dead if you do.

What stood out for me with Speaker for the Dead was those elements of realness in there. Card did his Mormon  mission in Brazil and he used that experience to layer Lusitania, with a Portuguese, catholic culture. Despite him not being catholic himself, he used it quite sensitively and knowingly. The economic workings of the colony were very well thought out and solid.

The depiction of the Piggies, the alien race and their alienness was intriguing and fully- fledged. He’d really thought about this. No wonder that both books won Hugos and Nebulas.

The strength of the book for me was the characters. I felt them. They were very three dimensional. Something I admit I wasn’t expecting from an 1980s SF story. I’m not sure why but it was streets ahead of Ender’s Game on this point. I cried in parts of the book. I had to sit in my car and compose myself before going into my office.

The Piggie called Human touched me. I’m getting teary just writing this blog post.

Anyway, if you were thinking of some retro SF then try these books. I’m going to read/listen to the next one, Xenocide soon (after Robin Hobb’s Farseer trilogy gets its claws out of me).

This is a long time coming. I’m so sorry to be so distracted to write this up. In my own defence I did write up the Ditmar awards straight away!

I headed to Swancon a few days early to hang out with Glenda Larke. We came into Perth on the Thursday night and attended the guest of honour dinner. It was a great meal and I got to meet a few of the committee and the guests of honour, John Scalzi, Kylie Chan and Anthony Peacey. The committee had a really cool thing going. They moved the guests of honour around with each course of the meal so we got to talk to all them over the course of the evening.

This photo so Sarah Parker, Swancon programmer and Glenda Larke at the GOH dinner. Did I mention one of the best things about conventions is socialisting?

Sarah Glenda GOH dinner

The Hugo results were due out while we were at Swancon so Glenda and I got a crash course on the Sad and Rabid Puppies. The next morning we saw the Hugo nominations and continued our education.

On Friday, I had a number of panels. The first one was Food as Worldbuilding, which was really interesting panel. Food is such an important part of our lives and it was stimulating to think about how what our characters eat tells the reader about the world, or even what they don’t eat. Even rituals about food, either religious or other were discussed. I know have a lot of ideas from this panel that I can put into future writing.

lounging about

My second panel was Terrors of the Second Draft, which was fun. The other panellists had different views-I think I was the only one to find second drafts hard work. It is taking a draft, crafting it, to make it into a book and that takes work, consistency and day after day of sitting in front of my computer. Maybe I’m hyperactive but that’s hard sometimes.

My third panel that day was The End of the Printed Page: Are Books (as we know them) Dead? This was a wide ranging discussion covering selling ebooks, piracy and print books. No, we didn’t think books were dead.

The audiences in the panels were really interested and well informed and were a joy to talk with. I took some photos of the panelists in other panels I went to.

SwanconKeith

John Scalzi, Guest of Honour Speech

John Scalzi, Guest of Honour Speech

The convention had a lovely vibe and it was quite surprising to me that I didn’t know most of the people. I haven’t been to Swancon for ten years. It is also a vibrant SF community. It was great to see the committee had some many people supporting it.

Anthony Peacey picture below hosted and organised the first Swancon. I had to pleasure of listening to his speech on listening, technology and the changing world.

Anthony Peacey, Guest of Honour Speech

Anthony Peacey, Guest of Honour Speech

I visited the dealers’ room on Saturday. It closed on Sunday and Monday. I raided the small press tables and also bought a Lost in Space Robot for me and a talking Bender for Matthew. I already posted about the Ditmars so I’ll skip that.

Lost is Space Robot.

Lost is Space Robot.

Book haul. One of the best thing at a con is picking up books, particularly small press books that aren’t easilybook haul

Scalzi and Cat Sparks at the Climate Science Fiction panel.

Scalzi and Cat Sparks at the Climate Science Fiction panel.

available in bookstores.

Cat Sparks talking clifi

Cat Sparks talking clifi

Keith Stevenson on the climate science fiction panel

Keith Stevenson on the climate science fiction panel

Glenda Larke talking climate science fiction

Glenda Larke talking climate science fiction

I attended some great panels. John Scalzi’s guest of honour speech was entertaining. He was talking to us while waiting to start his talk and then was 20 minutes into it before realising it had already started. Kylie Chan’s guest of honour talk was also fab and Anthony Peacey’s.

So many interesting panels. Keith Stevenson talked about constructed languages in his panel, using his novel in progress.

The panel I had the most stress about was Spec Fic Writing – Science Portrayal in Fiction on Sunday. It was a panel with John Scalzi, which is awe inspiring to say the least. Tsana was also on the panel and she’s a scientist. But I stressed for nothing. It was a really great panel and there was a lot of hand waving going on (people’s use of science in their writing). The conversation also covered some movies, particularly Interstellar.

The hotel, Pan Pacific, was lovely. Very flash. There was food available for lunch at a reasonable price. So well done to the Swancon 40 committee. I hope to go to a Swancon again in future.

Great opportunities exist at SF conventions to socialise and talk to other writers.

A few photos from dinner or just hanging.

Glenda Larke and Amanda Bridgeman

Glenda Larke and Amanda Bridgeman

Amanda Bridgeman

Amanda Bridgeman

Glenda Larke and me

Glenda Larke and me

I’ve known a new cover was coming but nothing could prepare me for the awesomeness of it.

Here is the resdesigned cover of Rayessa and the Space Pirates.

Rayessa And The Space PiratesIt’s so very cool.

Also, I’m not sure if I shared the blurb of Rae and Essa Space Adventures.

In Rayessa and the Space Pirates, Rae made a startling discovery about her past. Now her twin sister Essa has her own adventures to pursue.

Essa Gayens is starting to accept her sister Rae into her life, sharing a dorm room in their swanky private school on Earth. Smarter, savvier and more in touch with the world than Rae, Essa’s feelings of superiority and advantage are shaken when their mother goes missing, along with Rae’s boyfriend, Alwin.

When Rae takes off after them into outer space, Essa is spurred into action. Very soon, Essa is hot on her trail, sneaking out of school, bribing officials and begging Captain Thorn Hanover to take her on his ship.

Thorn is a hunk, and Essa is thrilled with the prospect of an interesting trip, but Thorn has no interest in a spoiled rich girl. Not only does he reject her advances, he sets her up on the chore roster and expects her to work for her passage.

Essa has never been anything but a pampered princess, but both Rae and Thorn are challenging her to dig deeper, to be more. But to aspire is to risk failure, and Essa has never really risked anything before. Can she start with her heart?

I also noticed that iBooks had Rae and Essa Space Adventures for 99 cents.

Here is a link the Australian iBooks store. Link.

Audio books

I feel like I’m a bit of a newcomer to audio books, but I’m probably not that new, I’ve just never done them in a big way before now.

I remember way back when radio play of Star Wars played on the radio and we listened so hard to it. This was in the days before VHS players and the like and hearing the radio play was a way to get a fix.

Over the last few years I have, on occasion, listened to Black Library audio plays and audio books featuring the Warhammer 40K universe. These were mostly on car trips with my partner, Matthew.

I wasn’t until a recent car trip to Sydney with my daughter, Shireen, that I was introduced directly to Audible. My son and another friend highly recommended Audible to me but it was just one of those things I didn’t get around to checking out. The trip to Sydney was interesting. Instead of listening to music, my daughter suggested we listen to a book. I was easy with that idea and she asked me to choose. I chose The Girl on the Train. I knew nothing about the book. In the early chapters I said to my daughter, this sounds like a chic lit type of thing that I’m not into and we listened some more and I was totally getting into it. Next I’m saying ‘what did she say?’ and “OMG, she’s not going to do that is she?” and other interjections which my daughter just smiled and nodded. On the trip home, same deal, but this time I’m driving and I’m tense and so into the story that my daughter tells me it’s time for her to drive. When we arrive home to Canberra, the book wasn’t finished. We were only up to chapter 15. Shireen said you’ll have to get your own copy. When I got home I signed up to Audible got the book and listened to the rest and it was so worth it.

With audio books (whether from the library, book shop, Audible or other provider) you can turn non-reading time into reading time. I listen while I sew, clean, and drive to work, when I get home and I’m just chilling or if I go to be early.

I signed up about five weeks ago. I’ve listened to, The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins, Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, Lock in by John Scalzi, Redshirts by John Scalzi,  Consider Phlebas by Iain Banks and I’ve just finished with Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb. (an amazing book btw. At times I couldn’t stop listening). That’s a lot of books for me. I’m still reading paper books. I finished Tiddas by Anita Heiss, almost finished Georgette Heyer’s Regency World by Jennifer Kloester and I’m also beta reading a manuscript and The Tales of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe (this is dense so it will take a while). I think I have my head into another book or two, but that’s all I can recall at this present time.

I made a vow to myself that I’ll only listen to books I don’t already own. This is a tad hard, because there’s Georgette Heyer books on audio and all of the JD Robb death series. But I figure there are lots of book I should read that I haven’t yet and at $14.95 for an audio book why not. So now I’m loading up the next book, Speaker of the Dead by Orson Scott Card for the trip into work tomorrow. If I want to get some writing done myself, I dare not start listening to it now.

Before Swancon I went to stay with the lovely and interesting Glenda Larke and her husband Ramly in Mandurah. It had been a while since I had caught up with Glenda in Mandurah so it was great to see her, catch up on all that had been happening and just to relax. Funny, but Glenda kept saying ‘wait to you get to my age and you forget things.’ I forget stuff now. When she said that I was thinking…oh no…it’s going to get worse.

For those of you who know Glenda, you understand her interest in bird watching, in politics, her amazing life living in Malaysia and in other exciting places around the world. I could just chat to Glenda and listen for hours and hours. Once when I visited her in Kuala Lumpur we talked and laughed until my face was numb!

Anyway, this post is mostly photos of the trip we did to some interesting places south of Mandurah, Lake Clifton, Harvey, Pinjarra, Ravenwood and the drive home. While with Glenda I started beta reading the third book in her Forsaken Lands Trilogy. Yes I am being smug! I am cruel like that.

The first photo is a dwarf banksia near Glenda’s house and that Ramly took a fancy to. We ended up getting one for Ramly to plant in the garden on the way to the airport.

Birthday candle banksia

Birthday candle banksia

The next photo is a shot of the Peel Inlet. imageAnd there was a pelican on a light.

imageGlenda thought it was a good idea to see the sun setting over the ocean, something that is peculiar to the west. Unfortunately, it was cloudy, but this shot was quite interesting with the sun reflecting off the wet sand.

Sunset Halls Head Beach. WA

Sunset Halls Head Beach. WA

Eroded rocks at Halls Head Beach

Eroded rocks at Halls Head Beach

Edit: I’ve since been told that these rocks are fossilised trees. I thought they looked tree-like.

Eroded rocks at Halls Head Beach

Eroded rocks at Halls Head Beach

Eroded rocks at Halls Head Beach

Eroded rocks at Halls Head Beach

Here is a shot of Glenda at Halls Head Beach.

image

imageThen we went to Lake Clifton to look at the thrombolites, which was quite fascinating.

image

Thrombilites Lake Clifton

Thrombilites Lake Clifton

Lake Clifton

Lake Clifton

The colour in this Lake Clifton shot is spectacular.

After Lake Clifton we drove to Harvey, then Pinjarra and then stopped at Ravenwood and had a drink by the river.

We looked at this bridge with old Jarrah timber supports, a sort of meshing of old and new. I believe this was in Harvey.

Jarrah supports under bridge in Harvey

Jarrah supports under bridge in Harvey

Jarrah supports under bridge in Harvey.

Jarrah supports under bridge in Harvey.

We had some lunch/snack at Stirling Cottage. Here is a shot of a Kookaburra in a tree. I wonder if you can see him.

image

Shot of the river at Ravenwood

Shot of the river at Ravenwood

After we did the tripping around, we came into Perth for Swancon, starting with the Guest of Honour dinner where we got to meet John Scalzi, Kylie Chan and Anthony Peacey. That’s the subject of the next post.

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