Thursday, 18 October 2012


At 31,000 words I've hit the wall in the second Jack Harrigan so I,m just concentrating on tidyup work.
The metal sign business is a little quiet at the moment but still time consuming. Our strategic mrketing plan becomes redundent on a daily bassis but one of the avantages of being reasonably small is that you can alter your direction quickly.
In a distribution agency type operation you find that your distributors commitment will varry and some time you have to make hard decisions.

On the right is my good friend Dr Peter Johnson from America, my mentor in staregic planning.

Having no difficulty with sobriety as a matter of fact I can't remember when I have felt this good. 

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Healthy Life

With presures of business and lifes little hicups it's easy to neglect your health and fitness. What's the harm in having a few beers when your friends come round every afternoon, a then a couple of wines with dinner. Well there's only 3 stubies left in the bar fridge may as well polish those off too. Next morning "I'll go to the gym this afternoon". I could go out and see some clients, bugger it I'll send them an email". Lunch time my mate from over the road calls in "What about lounch at Tomatoes?" they have a deal down there pay for 5 Crownies get one free and the pizza's are great. "Well I can't go to the gym now" and so the cycle goes on. Gee figures are down this year it must be the ecconamy, or those bloody politicians. I can give up the grog any time I like.

Does this sound familiar when your in your thirties or even forties you can get away with this for a while but definately not at 63.
Two weeks ago I had to draw a line in the sand, even went to a meeting. For the first week I felt lethagic and craved for sweets.
But I hit the gym every second day , drank tea in the afternoon with my mates and took the dog for a walk at night. In just this short time the business has picked up, my book is comming along and  BP is 110/70 with a pulse of 53/minute.
Don't think for one moment that I've gone all prude, anything but.
Enjoy life to the max grog can be a wonderful slave or a terrible master.

Friday, 5 October 2012

When the Tiger Hunts

That's the working tittle for my next book in the Jack Harrigan series. I've found one of the secrets to writing, do the first draft in almost Diary for and keep another word doc with characters, places and info on weapons cars and other things pertaining to the story.
As you go back to edit keep in mind that every character believes that they are the protagonist in the story. It gives you something to work on. We are up to 30,000 words now and the first real draft is less than a month away.

Keep on typing fellow authors.

my place of insiration the bar, pity I don't drink.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

2nd book

My daughter Charmaine is doing what we hope is the final edit of 'Walk with the Tiger', but I know we have a way to go yet.
My 2nd book in the Jack Harrigan series is up to 25000 words and comming along nicely. Well know author Allison Goodwin advised me that books should contain an inciting incident and the character should undergo change. Jack's incident comes about when he is enlisted into a high security task force of commbined military forces. In his first assignment he comes up against the Sydney mobster family that he crossed in the first book but the main antogonist is a shadowy figour who always seems to be one step ahead of Jack.
I'm not sure what change it is that Jackn will undergo but I have a feeling he might turn to the dark side.

A lighter moment with Rooster

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Jack's Sensei and Doberman

Just re-edited final chapters, Jacks Martial Arts instructor has links to previous characters important to the plot, each character however minor should have a purpose in the story.
I was going to loose the dog out of the plot but she became important in protecting Jack's mum from some of his old enemies.

Sonja the Doberman

When writing try to keep in mind that each character in your story assumes that they have the leading role.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Edits - do they ever end?

Working on revisions on the book (Walk with the Tiger)... again. Yep, tricked myself into thinking it must be almost ready, and then I reread it. More changes needed.

Today I changed the second chapter to give it more punch and not just figouritivly speaking. Originally, my main character had a big night out, followed by a day at the footy hungover, before stepping into a fight. Now I'm opening with the arms swinging.

Also bought a Doberman into the mix, see Jack does have a soft side (might have something to do with half a bottle of Chivas I put away Sunday night, I was probably worried about Jack getting lonely).

As for the other passion that rules my world? Recently found a replacement for a grill tooth on my Desoto, good work indeed they are hard to come by. Got a bit creative lately and added a spare wheel to the back of my girl:

Photo of continetal spare wheel

Had an encouraging email from my American distributor for my son Luke's sign business, fingers are crossed on that one. A lot of businesses sit tight in a poor economy, just trying to keep their head above water and wait it out. But, actually this is a good time to be keeping an eye out for opportunities. Don't just survive, reach for your potential.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Books, Cars and Writing Groups

Walk with the Tiger
There will be a few changes to the first few chapters so it does not came across as a biography and I can pick up the pace.

My daughter Kristy's 96 Celica. Finally got it going, had to replaced the clutch. They are a very sporty car with plenty of power but what a mongrel thing to work on!

Writing Group
Yesterday I went to the Vanguard Writers group, had a ball with different exercises using hats and small items to come up with characters. All of the characters that were thought  up were colourful and interesting.
A bunch of mad-hatters

Friday, 7 September 2012

Walk with the Tiger

Just finished the draft of the first book in the Jack Harrigan series. Now for the editing! Not so much fun, but at least I have my daughter Charmaine to help. 

It has taken nearly three years to get my manuscript to this stage, although I do also have three unfinished scripts. Initially they were all going to be just part of the one book, but there is so much in Jack's life that it just would not work. 

Inspiration has come from my family and authors that I have enjoyed over the years. Although I don't copy their styles, reading many different thrillers, mysteries and memoirs  has helped me pick up the basic format of storytelling. There have been many hurdles putting this together, not least of all being dislexic and an atrocious speller. 

I started writing my novel for fun, just to give me a break from my busy world of business and marketing. This was just my creative outlet, but as the novel started to take shape and actually make sense, I realised I might actually be able to do this. Me. Write a novel. Now I've typed 'The End', and it's incredibly rewarding.

Some off my friends see this book as an autobiography, and it may have started out that way - but believe me, if I had an affair with a beautiful Russian spy it wouldn't have been kept a secret all these years. I would have put an add in the paper.

Matthew Reilly's series has been an entertaining read, but also a good way for me to learn the importance of quick pace for thrillers.

Friday, 31 August 2012

To all the Desotos I've loved...

Look out ladies, a young Smithy about to go cruising.

Seven years ago I was feeling reminiscent and started looking for a classic car to buy. For weeks I searched the net, there were old Holdens, Fords and even Jaguars but nothing that made the grade. My very first car back in 1966 (cue in the flashback waves) was a 55 Desoto. That’s what I really wanted, something to take me back to my larrikin days. Then I struck the jack pot on Ebay... a 56 Desoto in Sydney! The owner “Joe” came to see me and I bought the car on the 6th of July sight unseen.

Whist romancing about the old days as a young man cruising through Kings Cross I dug up log book of the old Desoto and the purchase date was 6th July 1966, forty years to the day.

Well my 56 Desoto was delivered and I’m pleased to say, It was in excellent condition, a real head turner in candy apple red with a white roof. Not that I haven’t had problems, the brakes failed leaving me to handle 2 ton of steel through the Paddington hills, the gear box has been reconditioned recently and I’ve had the seats recovered in leather.

Had some vapour lock problems, but an electric fuel pump, set of extractors and a 350 Holley mounted on 3 emulsion blocks did the trick, not to mention producing 400lb of torque.

Yes, I have spent a fair amount of money on my indulgence but the enjoyment that I derive from cruising is more than worth the expense. It's not true what they say... you can go back!
And my new beast, sure to help me break a few more hearts.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Blogging it old school

Sharing stories on writing, classic cars and promoting... old school style. You know, back when service and quality were expected.
Riding with the gangsters