Guest blogger: Nicole Silver
Life is tough
This will be short with a mix of sweet and sour.
I don’t plan what I’m going to write, I just write and the story flows. I wrote Emerald Downs in 2008, it wasn’t planned. I don’t know how to plan a plot. I guess you need a beginning, middle and end, and steps how to get there. I write fast, I’m not a tortoise. I spend three months tops writing a novel. That is … if I’m writing every day. (If I’m not then it can take several months.) That is a key. Write daily. Sharing one computer with a man can get very frustrating, when my fingers itch to write, but he wants to play. It took me longer to type this novel than to write it. And I type fast. I recently made a new WordPress website, hence the few blog posts on it.
Life is tough working on a cattle station, especially when the weather kicks in and there’s a drought. This can play havoc with the mind, body as well as the cattle that are your livelihood. When there’s no water there’s no life. But you still have to get up early every morning to go and do your chores; fix tractor, fix fences, clean troughs, clean stalls, feed animals, paint walls, cook food. You can’t water your plants, clean your teeth, shower, wash hair, cook food in hot water, wash car, boil anything, make baby milk, wash your face or dirty hands. Life is tough with no water.
But imagine how much tougher life is when you have to carry heavy tools to a field miles away … up a narrow rocky path on the edge of a mountain. In boiling temperatures and thin air, ploughing rocky soil for many hours, then having to traverse the narrow path back down with your heavy tools when you’re hungry and exhausted. When you want a drink of water you realise it’s all gone. Giddy, weak and thirsty you trek many miles to collect water in a dirty river then have to carry the heavy water back.
Exhausted you sink onto the ground and a thin baby is placed in your arms by your eldest daughter who just turned seven. Trying to feed her goat’s milk is hard. You can’t give into the exhaustion because then your children don’t eat. They won’t survive another week on grass. You drag yourself off the ground, to gather wood and make a fire. Chopping bits of old vegetables, hoping this soup won’t make them ill, like the last one did. Your neighbours won’t help you, last month you went there to ask for help, and they threw stones at you. Their fear makes them angry.
Did I mention you have half a foot and only one hand with two fingers? I’m not asking for much … just a finger or a toe, you have ten of them. You can spare one.
I support people with leprosy in Nepal through my book sales. Nepal Leprosy Trust does wonders for these poor people in remote parts of Nepal, they have a hospital and it needs support. I would show you the pictures but they upset me…so have a look yourself and please let your friends know.
Sam is rejected by her mother and forced to choose between staying alone in the city she loves and getting a job or moving to her father on his cattle station. She can’t cook anything but burnt toast. The thought of living alone in Perth terrifies her. Life on a hot dusty, dirty cattle station is hell. Upset and moody Sam avoids the ringers, and they avoid her. Until a near death experience and Sam jumps to the rescue. Invited to the Bungle Bungle causes excitement, until an unexpected city sheila arrives and messes up Sam’s time with the handsome Jackeroo. Strange unexpected things happen in the Bungle Bungle. Does he feel the same or is she imagining everything?