It’s time for a small break. Writing the stories of the patrons in Boggels Place is a whole heap of fun, often requires a bit of research, and takes up a lot of time. Living out the passion of writing is all good and well…but try buying a bread with it? (Or a bottle of wine, for that matter). The sad fact is that man cannot live by blogging alone.
So, while I’m going to busy myself in a financially productive way by finishing a novel, I leave you with several alternatives.
First of all, there’s Imagine: Africa! with myths, stories and a few surprises. I loved writing this collection of short stories, aiming the book at the intrepid traveller reading it in lamp light on his fold-up bed in the tent. Allow your imagination to take you to some wild parts and some very strange people. Close your eyes and hear the lions roar a few metres away…or listen to the soft, slithering sound of a boomslang inspecting the smelly boots you placed at the bedside.
Available for e-readers as well as in soft cover, these stories tell of Africa as it should be – a fun and adventurous place to live in, filled with some of the world’s best individuals.
Then there’s the Afrikaans book on the life and times of right-winger, Eugene Terre’Blanche. Never having been a member of his organisation, I wanted to know how and why he thought the way he did. I expected a dictator, but found him to be a humble man, living quietly with his family after his time in prison. Instead of a radical racist, I heard him talk about his fellow prisoners (all of them black) with compassion and respect.
Oh, but the old fire was still there, burning beneath the surface. He told the stories of his youth and later career with the passionate oratory gift only he had, giving me a unique look at his life.
The book was finished and at the publisher at the time of his murder. In a way, it represents his last message to the Afrikaner nation.
Another book I found challenging to write, is ShimmerSTATE, about near-death experiences and the nature of the spirit. While I struggled to piece together who and what we are, the book wrote itself. I cannot explain where this story came from, but it started as a very lucid dream I had one night.
I had a choice: write a dry, academic-philosophical account of my insight after the dream (knowing nobody would read it), or package it as a detective/love/mystery novel. The main character embarks on a fantastic journey of discovery while in coma in hospital, where he meets others in the same condition.
This is the one book I think everybody should read. As human beings, we tend to concentrate on the physical world – but there is much, much more to living than that.
Old Oom Servaas came to my rescue. Sure, he is lewd and he – like all older men – appreciates the beauty of youth; but will his fantasies ever materialise? In the book he is an old bachelor with no…such…experience. And then his initial fascination with a beautiful young lady drags him into a web of deceit and murder.
In 65 Shades I found my previous career extremely useful when it came to understanding the mindset of older men. Old Servaas turned out to be a combination of several patients I had treated in the past – men who never lost their zest for life, and jealously guarded their ability to spot a shapely figure.
Regular readers will know how I enjoy the characters that have become personal friends over the years. They still do the stupidest things, get involved in impossible schemes, and yet still manage to convey a message of kindness and love.
It’s a book of human nature and relationships. We are, after all, created to interact – with people, animals and nature alike. History shows that we fail dismally to succeed in this quest – and that our efforts often end up on border of the the extremes of poignant humour. Rolbos is an easy read, perfect for those quiet moments after a difficult day.
This book was born because I had found that I spent too little time with my cancer patients. I simply couldn’t explain all the why’s and wherefores in the allotted time during consultations. Patients facing life-threatening disease deserve explanations. They need answers as badly as they need treatment.
Facing Surgery explores the doubt, the anxiety and the (wait for it) benefit associated with such conditions. It is not aimed at Christians only, although it contains many references to the Bible. What I tried to do, was to create a book the patient can read through a bit at a time, allowing for the anxiety and stress that follows when somebody suggests radical steps to combat disease.
On a sunny day, next to the beach, I saw a young lady (more child than adult) who commanded my interest immediately. Who was she and why did she act the way she did?
It is a single short story about a strange young lady, but writing it was a slow process. She came to me in bits and pieces, and it took some time to arrange the story properly. Is it a fun read? Yes and no. It challenged me to look beyond the obvious and the see through the facade we all tend to hide behind at times. I’d describe the story more as thought provoking, than humourous.
These books and stories are available at Amazon, but you’d find them at most on-line bookstores serving your region.