Tag Archives: challenge

Writing Challenge: Map it Out

Welcome to Rolbos. The challenge is to show whre the place is, and what’s happening there. The Kalahari is vast, covering more than 350,000 square miles. That’s right, square miles! To find Rolbos you turn north-east at Grootdrink and then pray you are on the right track. The first sign of civilized life, will be the old-fashioned cooling-room on Kleinpiet’s farm. Stop for a drink and a chat. Precilla always has something in the oven: fresh baked bread and jam will help you along the rest of the journey.

Your next landmark is the wreck of the first vehicle to attempt to reach Rolbos. It was in 1925, and it’s still there, right next to the track Keep going..

Now watch out for the windpump on your left. Don’t try to drink the water – it’s brackish. Vetfaan once used it to top up his radiator, and had to replace the engine soon after.

About ten kilometres out, you’ll see the ruins of the first dwellings ever built here. There is a sad story attached to the building – it was said to be haunted. A love triangle in the 30’s resulted in the lady in question wandering off into the desert. She was never found. The disgruntled husband left the farm to try his hand at delving for diamonds near Kimberley.

You’re almost there. Vetfaan’s farm is next. If you’re in not much of a hurry, he’ll show you the Land Rover he still wants to get back on the road.

And suddenly, almost by surprise, you’re there. Roblos! Quaint and isolated and old-fashioned. This is Sammie’s shop. Cold Coke is next to the door in the fridge. Get one.

And opposite the street, the object of your visit. Boggel’s Place. Come, sit down, and listen to the stories. Boggel will supply the beer. All you have to do, is sit back and enjoy the company. In this isolated little village, visitors are welcome. Maybe, if they’re lucky, you will tell your own story. After all, there’s not much else to do around here; and what would life be without a good yarn or two?

Daily Prompt: Coming To a Bookshelf Near You … Rolbos!

In response to the challenge to write the blurb of the book I always wanted to write…

Kalahari – the very word conjures up images of a deserted, arid area; with whitened bones suggesting life in a bygone era.


The tiny community living in Rolbos have settled here in (sometimes) silent protest against the norms of civilisation. They cling to old-fashioned values, their own dark secrets and a variety of alcoholic beverages. Set mostly in the bar of the hunchback, Boggel, the inhabitants of this far-flung village have little else to do, except discussing the oddities of life – and drinking, of course. Frowned on by their pastor, Oudoom, and egged on by the vast wisdom of Gertruida (who knows everything), the results of their visits to the bar are never predictable.

Here we find them organising a Sheep-throwing competition; a new species of earwig is discovered; and some Chinese plan to barbeque the town’s only dog, Vrede. A pole dancer gets to spend the weekend with the pastor to the delight of his congregants, while a sumo wrestler discovers the ultimate cure for constipation.

Of course, even in a place like Rolbos, sex and romance influence the men and women of the town. Boggel falls in love with the beautiful Italian, Lucinda; but will it last? Her connections to the Mafia and her fear for her father’s safety cause her to make a painful decision; one that may just open the door to Mary Mitchell, the girl Boggel met in the orphanage. Oh, incidently – Boggel shot her father, but that is a story he doesn’t talk about.

The people of Rolbos invite you to Boggel’s Place. It’s right opposite the church in Rolbos; you can’t miss it.

It’ll be on a shelf in your favourite bookstore soon…