A night visit to the museum

Another work-in-progress for my book.  This time, depicting a scene where a witch visits the Museum of Natural History after hours.  This is not a finished drawing. Not happy with it yet, but it’s getting there 🙂


It all ends at Broken Path Beach

I’ve almost finished the second draft of my book, The Broken Path.  I’ve got to re-write the ending.  The final scene is set at Broken Path Beach. I have a really bad memory for places, so yesterday we went there at sundown to get some inspiration:


And some days ago, when it was cloudy:


Want to be notified when this book is published?  You can join my new release mailing list

I will not share your information with anyone.  You won’t receive many mails from me – I only send a notification when a new book is launched, and you can unsubscribe whenever you like.

Work in Progress: The Broken Path

Last week Friday I finished the first draft of the book I’m writing at the moment, the sequel to The Story Trap which has the working title : “The Broken Path”.

Over the months I’ve been writing about it I’ve been collecting images to inspire myself, and articles too.  One of the things I though up for this book is a container ship nick-named “The Garbage Queen” that is filled with trash, and that nobody really wants to take responsibility for.  But apparently, there are ships like that: Here is one I came across today:

A quote from the article: “A few weeks ago we reported that dozens of containers of trash were shipped from Britain to Brazil under the pretense that they were filled with plastics for recycling. They weren’t. They were filled with trash. Brazil got pretty peeved and now we’ve caught wind that they’ve finally shipped the waste back to the UK where it’ll be disposed of properly.”

Here are some images I found here and there online, that I found inspiring:

An image from The Selby that I thought approached what one of my character’s (a witch called Helen) living space might look like:


Homelessness is an important part of The Broken Path, and I found many haunting images such as this one by Lee Jeffries:


Here is another evocative image, that helped me understand what another of my characters might be feeling when she experiences a trance.  This one was created by Moonywolf:


As in The Story Trap, African folk tales are important and of course, there is Eland.  This image is, I believe, from a rock painting in Namibia.


The theme of plastic pollution is continued in The Broken Path.  This striking image was taken by 16 year old Mary Ann Tablante in the Philippines.


And to balance the pollution images, is this magical image by Sandara:


So — to work!  Now I’ve got to work my way through the story again and make sure that it all makes sense.


Cowrie Shells and Mother of Pearl

Emma suggested mother of pearl buttons for the Mermaid, and luckily I had some.  They used to belong to my grandmother and I’ve been saving them.

And then of course I had to find a use for the cowrie shells:


She’s very nearly done now.

Mermaid Buttons

Mermaid now has a velvet jacket (swallow tail!) with a silk lining.  It needs buttons. Maybe cowrie shells will do?


Mermaid’s Tail

Slowly but surely, the mermaid’s tail is gaining scales.

A body for a mermaid

I was able to take the afternoon off from work-for-pay, enough to start the Mermaid’s body.  It’s an “under-body” as it were, I doubt much of this will be visible in the final doll:

I’m a Mermaid’s Hairdresser

I took the day off today, despite having a fair amount of work for pay to do.  Instead, I had a wonderful time attaching hair to my Mermaid doll.   Here she is early in the process with about a third of the hair attached.

A rather strange photo of the back of her head.  I’m pleased with the method as it looks good once all the hair is on, and the hair is attached quite firmly.

I could not get any clear shots showing the full effect of all her hair, but in this one you can see the silver threads I added, since she is not a young mermaid:

If I get time tomorrow, I’m starting on her body.

The Mermaid gets her skin

I added a bit more colour to the mermaid doll today.  Her skin went from pink to brown, and she got some eye-liner too.  For a while she had painted irises in her eyes, but I think I prefer that fremen look.


And here is the bit I’ve been relishing: preparing her hair.

Painted lady

I started painting the mermaid doll yesterday.  Had a long break from her, (she’s been lying on the shelf,  looking at me sadly) but hopefully she will get finished now.


Shower Songs: we are back!

I’m can’t wait: Shower Songs will be playing at the Voorkamer Festival in Darling, next weekend.  In case you don’t know, Shower Songs is what we call our duo – Brendon plays the Mandolin, and I sing.  Folk songs, blues,  pop, anything, really, as long as it’s the kind of thing you might sing in the shower 🙂

Photo by Niklas Zimmer

The Voorkamer Festival sounds amazing. The performances take place in people’s homes  From their site:

“Darling taxi drivers take festival visitors from home to home on a number of set routes – each route features three homes and three performances. The beauty of this format is the surprise element: Visitors don’t know beforehand which performances they will see on their route, nor which homes they will visit. It’s an exciting and unpredictable cultural experience with a difference!”

You can read more about it at the Voorkamer Festival site.


Photo by Niklas Zimmer

Walking out the story

Why do I resist?  Whenever I get stuck with the story I’m writing, all I have to do is go for a walk. So why is it so hard to get myself to do that?  Brendon says it’s because when you are stuck, you just want to push at the problem and fix it, when actually what you need to do is step back and get some perspective.  Figure out what questions you need to be asking and not just hammer on the bit that’s stuck.

These photos are from my walk in Newlands Forest yesterday, catching some rare winter sunshine.  Half an hour later the clouds closed in again and the rain poured down, but by then I was safe in my writing room with the heater on 🙂




A bad memory for bollards

So I just wrote a scene in which one of my characters drives his car up onto the pavement there at the end of Adderley street and some way up Government Avenue (for those of you not from Cape Town, this is the pedestrian walkway that runs through the Gardens in central Cape Town).  Then I happened to walk near there and noticed a small problem:

The Ruined Mill

One of the things I’m enjoying most about writing fiction is finding real places to include in my story.  On Monday I visited the Ruined Mill in Newlands forest, where I’m going to place some of the most exciting scenes in the book I’m writing at the moment.  It is a really evocative place – for photographers as well as writers.

It is some way into Newlands Forest, and next to a mill stream that diverts off a small river.  Several years ago a tree fell on it – in fact, several trees:

It’s covered in graffiti – “Keep Out” as well as tags and images:

Here  is a close up of the back wall, showing some of the rocks that smashed their way through the wall.  Some of them are still balanced rather precariously:

The mill-stones are gone, and so is the roof:

Cant’s wait to write these scenes 🙂

The best way to spend a Monday morning

I took advantage of the fact that I dont have a 9 – 5 job today and spent my Monday morning in Newlands forest.  Research, you see, for my new book 🙂

Previous Older Entries Next Newer Entries