Kathryn Flaherty

Writer, Reader, Truck Driver and Fairy Floss Maker


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Tuck Jelbenus – The Rock Wave

I found this in a writing folder on my laptop that I hadn’t used in a while. I’d forgotten that I’d written it and honestly I thought it was silly. Now I need a bit of silliness in my life so I’m going to continue it. Lately I’ve been watching the original Batman tv show with my nephew and this is my tribute. It’ll be a series, no idea how long but I have ideas. So many ideas.

 

The Adventures of Tuck Jelbenus, Hero of Dregus Valley and General Idiot…

The Rock Wave

Part One

The last time we saw our illustrious hero he had just returned from the haunted mansion of Blustershire. Now after a solid night of hiding under his bed and muttering ghosts are not real he is ready to begin his next adventure. Which to his great dismay does not include finding his missing sock.

We begin with Tuck standing in front of the window. The gentle light illuminates his face drawing attention to his manly chin with its adorable dimple (cough cough) sorry deeply masculine cleft. The only evidence of his sleepless night a mild hint of red around the vibrant blue of his eyes.

“Make a note Grum” declares our hero to his assistant. “Mark Blustershire as a red zone on our maps.” To the untrained Tuck may have appeared to tremble as he spoke, but we his legion of fans know that it was just our hero stretching faster than our eyes can follow. “Now my good man since you say we cannot solve our number one mystery what does today have in store for us then?”

Grum shifted through the papers that covered the table. “Many have requested your help sir. But I believe you might find this one to your liking. The people of Dourts have reported a wave of rocks threatening their town.”

Tuck placed his hand on his chin and smiled showing his perfect white teeth.” A wave of rocks that sounds perfect Grum pack the bags we shall leave as soon as…”

Grum smiled as his employer slumped against the glass and let out a wall shaking snore. “You wake up of course sir.”

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The Wheels on the Truck

No no no no. That is just what went through my head as I logged in a minute ago. I just spent an hour typing up a blog post. I was nearly ready to post it when my Dad asked me if I wanted to go with him as he walks his dog. It was late, 10pm, and Mum doesn’t like Dad to walk alone so I clicked on save turn off the computer grabbed my dogs and went for a walk. Then I came back went into drafts and it didn’t save. All that work and all the lovely words gone. It was a good post. Well of course I’m going to say that because no one will ever see it. That will teach me to always write in Word and cut and paste across.

The title of this post tied into the reason I haven’t made a post in a few months. I wrote it all down and explained about Dad’s broken down truck and the month we spent have drama after drama trying to get the parts we needed. I’m not going to go into it again because I wanted to post before May ended and I only have an hour and a bit before that deadline.

I’ve procrastinated for the last few weeks, I’m admitting it but I have got a bit of work done and cleaned up my writing folders. I found some stories that I’d forgotten about and started work on a on again off again project. I’m steampunking a favourite childhood story. I’m going to put it on Wattpad as soon as I have a few chapters up my sleeve. I figure I need a buffer and I need to decide how often I plan on updating. I want to say weekly but I know that I’ll be lucky if I can get a chapter done every fortnight. To get prepared I’ve been teaching myself to touch type. I’m not that great but I’m getting better and I’m becoming best friends with the backspace key. I can’t type blindfolded but I can find backspace every time. It is my favourite key.

That’s it for now, I need to go and put a note on my board to always double check when I save anything.

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Its February

Hello Internet, this is me not procrastinating. Okay I mightn’t have made a single post in January but I have valid excuses…I didn’t mean to write excuses I meant to write reasons. Yes I have valid reasons and none of them involve the dreaded p-word. The Christmas to Australia Day period is one of the few times a year when the day job becomes a nightmare. My new year starts on February, I learnt a long time ago if I try to start anything or finish anything in January I always fail.

The only thing I get done other than work is making time to take my two dogs for a walk with my Dad. That tends to happen after midnight. We’re lucky Dad’s dog is a blue heeler bull terrier cross so even if the park is dark and scary no one tends to bother us. Its nice walking late, no traffic no other dogs around to scare Rosie. Poor Rosie is a Maltese cross and she has been attacked multiple times when we go for a walk. Now when she sees another dog she panics. We don’t go into the off leash areas but the amount of people who walk large dogs that they’re unable to control is insane. One lady fell on her face as her two dogs lunged towards us from 150 metres away. I was lucky some people nearby came and helped me or I would have had another trip to the vet. Its sad as I had a friendly little white dog that was very social.

So I’ve done a lot of work, spent very little time on my computer but now life is back to normal. I’m not going to make a schedule for posting but I am going to aim for one post per month at the minimum. I have some writing plans that I had to put on hold for twelve months and I am itching to get right back into it. I’ve got some short stories half written that are begging to be finished, a novella that wants rewriting and an idea about a unicorn that keeps popping into my head at the oddest moments. My little unicorn foal isn’t going to see the light of day for a while. I think it will be a sad story to write and I’m not ready to do anything sad at the moment. That sounds stupid even if it’s the truth. I want to write something fun and crazy which I might talk about in a later post.

Okay so this is the first post of the year written, I just have to kept that p-word from invading my life again.

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A photo I took a while ago that has a story screaming out of it.


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Procrastinating

100_0776I am a procrastinator. Okay I’ve admitted it, I should feel better right but I don’t. I’m not just a procrastinator with a little p. No for me the whole word is in capitals.

I started this blog with every intention of regular updates regardless of anyone reading it or not. You can see how that turned out. I just kept putting it off until I reached the point. You know the one, the point you reach when you’ve already put something off for a week so what difference will another week make. Then you change the word week to a month. Then the excuses, real life, family, work, ill-health, exhaustion, I could pull any of them out of a hat to give myself a reason for my procrastination.

The first draft of this post had excuses in it. But there are no excuses for procrastination. I could have made the time but I didn’t, I own that, it’s on me. My writing isn’t the greatest. I have only a limited knowledge of the rules of Grammar and I let that get into my head. Look excuses, they found their way in even though I wanted them out.

I downloaded a to-do app which has helped me get things done and by doing this post I get to check off an item that has been on there for far too long.

If procrastination was a sport I’d probably be a world champion. But I want to change. I want to come last in the procrastination race. So Blog I’m back and if I want to lose this race I have to update regularly. I’m not going to make promises but I am going to try. Lets see how I go.


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The Ghost in the Rock

I use to love bush walking or hiking if you prefer. I would pick a hill and then enjoy the effort it took to walk to the top of it. One day I had enough of everything around me so I took off and walked for 6 hours just to clear my head. I kept going until I couldn’t think or walk any more, then I realised I had to walk back to the worksite. That was a lesson you only need to learn once. At least it was quicker walking back down. I had a backpack always prepared with 3 litres of water, a snake kit and my camera. It’s an old beast that was the top of the line years ago. Now days I can’t get memory cards that fit it but I don’t want to give it up. I’ve never been great at taking photos but I love looking at the blurry images and remembering the blisters and sweat that got me to that place. This photo is special. I was walking up Cunninghams Gap and spotted a little face peering out of a rock. I think of him as a ghost looking out for the hikers who walk the trail. His hands ready to clap when you get to the top.

The Ghost

The Ghost

This is the view you get to see and I think it’s breathtaking but that’s my opinion and I don’t expect everyone to agree with me.100_0827 100_0828 I drive past the entrance to the walking trail every year. I smile a secret smile and remember when I could walk up a mountain on a whim and love every minute. Now if I can just convince my knees and hips how much fun it was and if they’d agree to stopped hurting we could do it again.

The Day the Sky turned Red

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The world is an unreal place, earthquakes, floods, droughts, volcanoes and cyclones. No matter where you live you can always experience something you’d never expect but you don’t always remember.

I decided to clean out my photo files this week. I found a few photos that I had forgotten about. I was in a little town in Outback New South Wales and I never expected this storm to happen.

I had been driving for two days to get to this town. It had been windy the whole way with the dust at times as thick as a pea-souper fog. But it was white.

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Then it started to change colour on the second day.

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Until finally it turned into this.

Dust Storm

I imagine this is what it would look like on Mars. The dirt burnt as it hit my skin, it was horrible and the photo doesn’t do justice to the scene I was looking at. I’m amazed that I forgot about this, it was only eleven years ago in 2004. The photo’s were taken within ten minutes of each other at around three in the afternoon. I’m glad I took them because I know for certain if I hadn’t I wouldn’t have remembered it, and that afternoon was something that should never be forgotten.


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Cinderella’s Father was a Douche-Bag aka Thanks Mum for Aschenputtel

I realised this afternoon that my Mother had no idea what was in the books I read as a child. Mum is severely dyslexic, she doesn’t read unless she has to, but she realised how much I loved reading as a child and filled my room with books included an edition of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. The version I have has a lot of the original German names so my Cinderella was the lovely Aschenputtel.

The reason for this post is from a conversation I had with Mum this afternoon. For some reason she thought all fairies were Tinkerbell clones with sparkly wings doing good. I had to set her right and explain about the courts then tell her a few of my favourite stories. She asked me where I had read them and was shocked when I told her it was in a book for 7 year olds that I still have. It horrified her that she had bought me books with stories about kidnappings and child abductions (changelings). Okay it probably didn’t horrify her but she was a bit shocked. So I had to go a bit further and ask if she knew what was in the Grimm’s Fairy Tales book. She smiled and listed Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel. Yeah, those stories are in it but not the sanitised versions from Disney. I got the full blood thirsty, vicious, messed up close to original versions. I told her about Aschenputtel, and by the time I finished she was shaking her head and laughing. One of my many versions of Aschenputtel has a verse near the end, ‘coo coo there is blood in her shoe, this girl is not the bride for you’. I walked away singing that to let my mum know she might be responsible for my, strange to her, reading habits.

In case you haven’t guessed from the title of this post Aschenputtel is the name of an early version of Cinderella. This version has no Fairy Godmothers and magic pumpkin carriages. This version has a tree that grew on her mother’s grave and really nice birds who were very helpful if you knew how to ask for help in a rhyme.

We all basically know the story, the Mother dies then the Father marries the wicked stepmother with the two ugly daughters then he dies leaving his daughter to slave away for the ungrateful steppies. Thank you Disney for spreading the word but you changed it a little too much for my liking. First off the Father doesn’t die he just turns into a Douche-Bag and the two stepsisters where ‘beautiful and fair of face, but vile and black of heart’. From the minute they stepped into the house poor little Aschenputtel was pushed into the role of kitchen maid – and her Father let it happen.

Now one day good old let’s turn a blind eye Dad was going to the fair, he asked the girls what he should bring them back. The stepdaughters asked for beautiful dresses and jewels, his own daughter asked for the first branch that knocks against his hat on the way home. He was okay with that, luckily that branch when planted on Mum’s grave and watered twice a day with Aschenputtel’s tears became a tree that a magic little white bird liked to sit on.

Dad felt nothing when his wife made a bad bargain with his daughter to make her miss the Ball and when it was all over and the two stepsisters has cut off part of their feet to fit into the ‘golden slipper’ only to be caught out, he fell even further by saying he had no other daughter. He admitted that there was another female in the house but she was a ‘little stunted kitchen wench that his first wife had left behind’. Nice.

We know how it ends, our girl gets the prince and they live happily ever after. In Aschenputtel the two stepsisters get their eyes plucked out by the very helpful birds and live out their days in blindness as a punishment. But nothing happened to the Father or the stepmother which as a child I thought was totally unfair. But it didn’t stop me from loving the story. I’m glad my Mum didn’t know that I had the non-Disney fairy tales and I’ll thank her for it forever. Now how to let her know that the romance books she bought me as a teenager featured kidnapping, rape and the Stockholm Syndrome.

 

update on The New Way, I’ve been told Mr Nasty is about to voted off the committee due to way he treated the horse competitors and cancelled some major horse events. I feel like dancing a little jig, maybe the New Way can become the Lets Not Do It This Way.