Saturday, December 9, 2017

A 'Tail' from Tararu!

By any other name: White Lightning!
I always assume that I have the measure of my little white Terrorist, (Jack Russell, in case anyone thinks I am casting aspersions!) but from time to time I receive a reminder that I should never relax my vigilance around the whereabouts of Miss Perdy.
Take today as an example of Perdy's ability to surprise me. She knows the morning routine, from the moment I arise through to the point where the morning takes a deviation from the norm. She understands the sequence of events that accompany a 'normal' morning. She even seems to know the difference between variations on my attire; be it that I am dressing for my day in Auckland, which is only a tad more formal than my usual beachcombing look.
I dressed in the later and fed her the little breakfast she favours. Perdy waits while I prepare the food for the hens, which consists of a slab of dog roll, mixed lovingly by hand with anything leftover that I am not going to eat, along with veggie scraps, crushed eggshells, chooky mash, milk....the list is endless!
Then I let her into the portion of the yard that she rightfully claims as hers. It is fenced off from the chooks, which live behind yet another fenced enclosure, one that I hope Perdy is incapable of invading. Perdy has another little quirky behaviour at this stage: She just about breaks down the side door of the garage, from whence I gather some chooky pellets to add to their feast.
I have gathered that Perdy loves to spend time in the garage, chasing imagined rats. Yes, there had been quite a large family of the beasts living there, before I resorted to WMD (You can figure that one out) leaving only the occasional visitor and an as yet to be cleaned residue of the former invasion.
Upon exiting the garage with the full complement of the chooky breaky, one rivalling the very best of cafes in far-off Auckland, I headed through the gate to the hen-house.
I turfed their food over the fence in a manner that was quite incongruous to the actual quality of the food. I should have served it on quality 'collectable' Crown Lynn! 
Next, the extremely important matter of water. Chooks will not lay if one does not supply them with copious amounts of clean water and good quality protein. Perdy was happily running around in her usual manic fashion, chasing God knows what in the garage, emitting delightful little happy yelps.
In the meantime, I picked up the blue container for their water and took it to the laundry, where I cleaned it and refilled it with clean pure Thames water (Stop laughing, Thamesites!)
As I headed back to the 'barrier fence,' I checked on Perdy's whereabouts, Yes, I could hear her rummaging through stuff in the garage, so I carefully opened the little gate, balanced the water on the post and...a flash of white, whipped past my feet and shot towards the hen-pen. Perdy...the little sod and escaped. She had watched me, without my full understanding of her exact presence and at the first opportunity had found a gap.
At this point, I have been known to go into AFIB (Go Google!) such is the level of my anxiety. It is more about her using the opportunity to find other holes in the back fence and escaping into the wilds of Tararu, to exploit every chance to enhance her knowledge of the whereabouts of ALL cats, for future fun-times!
I yelled for help and followed her through the gap. She immediately headed for the chooks, safely I hope shielded from Perdy's beyond amorous advances.
This is where Perdy's attempt at partial freedom fell apart. Perdy is a creature of habit, not always learning from past failed experiments. Her 'prey-driven' behaviours are often repeated, a factor that mitigates the possibility of Jack Russells ruling the world.
Perdy slunk around the back of the chooky enclosure, which had serious ramifications for the longevity of her escapade. I used the opportunity to limit her run, to gradually trap her in the small area behind the enclosure. At this point, the realization of her predicament becomes an obvious feature of her demeanour. Her tail lowers, no longer generating enough energy to power the whole of Thames and her face takes on a defeated look. She sits, obediently waiting until I pick her up and return her to her rightful place behind the barrier.
She has this look though, that speaks volumes: 'YOU KNOW I AM GOING TO DO IT AGAIN DADDY!'

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Time for me is a 'feeling.'

Life and time have shifted their focus. When I look back over the last eighteen months, I am struck by this strange feeling re time.
I am no longer influenced by ringing bells, timetables or the ramifications of meetings. Deadlines and budgets, other than those I impose on myself, do not figure in my day.
Time is still part of my life, in a format that flows, gently measuring out doses of surety, nature, conversations and interactions with people met on a stony beach or seat at a cafe facing the street.
Time is not measured in seconds, minutes or hours that relate to real maths. For me, mornings seem to flow like a bubbly stream, disappearing over a waterfall at midday, almost before I have had my share, then settling in afternoon pools that take their time and rest before rejoining the main flow.
Time speeds up mid-afternoon, queuing up to fit the needs of the evening.
Now that we have entered the phase whereby time stretches into later evening, there are more spaces to explore, to take in gentle sunlight, on beaches, bush clad valleys and tranquil backyards, where hens and fruit trees decorate a lawn that may or may not need tending.
Time has become kind, not rushed, just accepted for what it is.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

I WANT to write more books. I NEED to write more books---BUT.....

Hi, friends. Thank you for reading the stories from Coastal Yarns. I posted the entire book of short stories because the book is out of print (although it would not be difficult to reissue it)

I would like to publish more books, but now that I do not work full-time, it has become very difficult for me to self-publish. I figure that, depending on the length of a book, the costs of a good 'production,' involving, 'high quality' proofreading-reading, editing, digital design, publicity ect, the cost can be north of NZ$15,000. Anything less, would not do the book justice, I have learned the hard way, that having a skilled team behind me is the only way to go.

I know that people think that it would be easier to have a publisher taking all the risks, but getting a publishing house on board is a quest that rarely results in success---that is finding one. I remember writing a huge historical novel about five years ago, getting it edited, but that was just the start of the process, but I gave up. Sons of Orpheus was a naive first attempt and I sent the script to many publishing houses, resulting in one offer that was 'spurious' to say the least. The book would probably be best if I separated it into three books. I now see the experience as one that helped me to 'learn the ropes,;' so I guess it has not been 'all for nothing!'

So---where to from here? Firstly, I still have two books out there, one as hard copy and download on Amazon ROSKILL) and TALK TO ME. It is easy to find hard copy in my town, Thames (Carsons, Paper Plus and The Kitchen (There are even a few copies of Coastal Yarns and Talk to me at The Kitchen---rare 'experimental' editions!)) I can also sell directly via my email, where the very best prices can be achieved. (

I have many ideas about new books and I want to write. I NEED to write because although blogging keeps my hand in, it is  NOT enough. I have mentioned crowd-funding in past posts and even indicated a few scenarios about the plots, but that damned 'wall' keeps sticking itself in the way. I can dig deeper and just get on with it. It's not as if I DON"T have the time, now that I have mostly retired.

I am thinking that I should start on several different books---stick up a few chapters and seek feedback as to which one is more likely to succeed. My feeling is that I should 'stay local,' reaching out into the wider area. That means, basing my books in Thames. Small pond, I know, but fish can swim! Given that my last book, TALK TO ME, was nominated for the Ngaio Marsh Crime Writer's Awards, I may well stay within the same genre, albeit a fairly 'creative' link to the field.

In the meantime, I need some sales and downloads for the two books that are still readily available online. Please go to my website ( and click on Neil's Books and follow the links. Contact me via my email for even better hard copy deals.

Feel free to share my post.
Neil Coleman

Monday, September 4, 2017

The final chapter in Coastal Yarns..Wild West.

Thanks for reading stories from Coastal Yarns. I have enjoyed sharing the entire book with you. I would love some feedback, but better still, please go to my website ( and click on Neil Books and download ROSKIL and TALK TO ME. You can also buy hard copies at a reduced price by contacting me directly at
Here is the last chapter form Coastal yarns. It is based on fact and it DID HAPPEN, but I have disguised names and 'slightly' ramped it up a bit. Jack Russell owners will really appreciate this one! I dedicate this story to a friend who recently lost her loved JR. This one is for her. She knows who I mean!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Coastal Yarns is on my blog---go and read it---FREE!

Yes, I have posted most of Coastal Yarns on my blog (and FB). I shall continue until the entire book is online---for free.
I hope that you search out my other two books,  ROSKILL  and TALK TO ME. 
Please go to my website and click on Neil's Books.  Follow the links to the Kindle AP and download. If you want hard copies, the cheapest way is to contact me at
ROSKILL---the story of a family in crisis when the world of 'P' enters their lives; a story of despair and hope.
TALK TO ME----Nominated for the Ngaio Marsh Crime Writer's Award. TTM is a light hearted 'swipe' at the talkback radio industry. The book will have you wondering, laughing and maybe getting a little angry. Spotl a brave Jack Russell, plays a pivotal role, as only a Jack Russell lover can understand!

If you want more books in the future, please share my post, download or buy my books. Don't forget to leave reviews if you download them from Amazon.
With thanks
Neil Coleman

Coastal Yarns (Girls' Weekend, Part 2) Read Part 1, first.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Coastal Yarns (Chapter 6: Girls' Weekend --Part 1 of 3)

This story is the first of three linked chapters. My inspiration was a group of wonderful women I worked with. They have a zest for life that I have taken great liberties with, to the point that they would refute most of my imaginary 'journey on their behalf!'
Please go to my website ( and click on Neil's Books to download my books ROSKILL and Talk To Me. If enough of you do that (and share my link) then more books will eventuate.)