Archive for New South Wales

WATTLE

Posted in Australia, Great Britain, Lyn McConchie's friend, Night to Dawn author, Romance, set in Australia, United Kingdom, USA with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 23, 2012 by ROD MARSDEN
WATTLE IN BLOOM IN AUGUST

BLOOMING WATTLE IN AUGUST

If I were to ask someone from Britain or the USA if they know of a plant that, when its flowering, is bright, cheerful and yellow they’d probably say the buttercup. This is fair enough.

In Austria, near Germany the bright, cheerful flower is basically white instead of yellow but does nevertheless lift the spirits of those who live there. It is edelweiss. Mind you there is a little bit of yellow in the flower just to keep botanists on their toes. There’s a popular song about edelweiss that came out of the 1959 musical, The Sound Of Music.

If you were to ask the same question of someone living anywhere on the coast of New South Wales they’d probably say the wattle. It is definitely bright, yellow and cheerful.

It is August as I put pen to paper and, eventually, type this up on computer. I am on the south coast of New South Wales, Australia traveling from Wollongong to Sydney. Green bushes with bobby dazzler yellow flowers are everywhere along the train tracks coming into and going out of most stations. Fellow passengers on board the train don’t seem to notice. They’re busy with their I-pads, their tablets, their mobiles, and their newspapers. It is their lose.

For those who do notice and appreciate this wondrous flowering, it is the sign of the coming of spring and then summer. Blossoming in the cold, the wattle is there to remind us that winter cannot last forever. Even in the cool winds of August that cut right through you there is hope.

Back in the early 1990s some idiot politician by the name of Ros Kelly moved Wattle Day from the 1st of August to the 1st of September. As far as I am concerned this was not a good move. There is even some wattle that blooms before August and, even if there is some still blooming in September, to discount the blooming in August is just plain wrong. To me and my family the 1st of August will forever be Wattle Day regardless of what some politicians and busybodies might think.

Green and yellow are often put forward as the colors most representative of Australia. This is a good thing. I believe in hope for a better future. If it comes in the guise of a bush or tree flowering yellow along the train tracks as I ride to work on the train then so be it.

AUSSIES TAKE DEFENDING THEIR RIGHTS TOO FAR!

Posted in Australia, Night to Dawn author, set in Australia, Writer with tags , , , , , , , on June 28, 2012 by ROD MARSDEN
RESPECT OTHER PEOPLE'S RIGHTS WHEN ON THE BEACH

The surf and the sun are important summer treats for Australians. These things can be shared if no one is selfish or openly sexist.

Selfish, intolerant Muslin youth were responsible for the Cronulla Riot!

Some years ago, a peaceful protest against the mistreatment of bikini clad women on beaches at Cronulla, south of Sydney  in Australia went terribly wrong. What most of the people who turned up at the protest wanted was something done about the Muslim youth who were terrorizing women and generally causing trouble. No one really thought the media would understand a peaceful protest and that may have been one cause for the violence that erupted. It was felt that political correctness in the media at the time meant that they would or simply could not be listened to no matter how well they spoke up against the injustice that had so stirred them.

What’s more, a Muslim youth had recently punched a lifeguard directly after that lifeguard had saved a Muslim woman from drowning. To strike a lifeguard was bad enough but to strike a lifeguard after he had done his noble  duty was really too much.

Many people from all over the world had come to settle in New South Wales, Australia. All save this small group of Muslim youth had gone along with the code of the beach. So what is the code? Stated simply,  if you don’t like seeing women in bikinis or one piece bathing suits then don’t go to the beach. If in summer you are offended by the sight of women wearing hot pants, mini-skirts or tank tops in and around our beach areas then please keep it to yourself or, better yet, go live in some other country. Oh, and our lifeguards, male and female, are a brave and selfless lot and deserve our collective respect for keeping us safe. If you want to insult regular Aussies and do a good job of it either burn our flag or hit someone who has dedicated his or her life to helping others. Neither act, incidentally, will  make you very popular.

Keeping the peace which may require being thoughtful and even respectful of the Australian culture doesn’t seem like such a heavy price to pay for glorious surf and sun, now does it? Of course if this sort of thing is really too much a burden for you then you are not really an Australian or a person an Australian would care to associate with and, as far as I am concerned, you don’t belong in Australia.

In the Cronulla riot, the innocent as well as the guilty were hurt. This was unfortunate. It should be noted here that not all Muslims that visited Cronulla that day, and indeed that year, or any other year for that matter, were a problem. There were , that day, Muslim families acting quite responsibly, seeking to neither attack nor in any way offend anyone. Sometimes just a hand full of misguided youth taught to be intolerant can spoil good times for everyone.

Nowadays, the Cronulla riot is put forward as an example of Aussie racism and intolerance when, in truth, it was the sexism and racism of a small group of Muslim youth that should be held accountable for what had happened. People went vigilante when it became obvious that the law, under political correctness guidelines, was helpless to act against outsiders abusing women on the beach. The riot was wrong but so was the mistreatment of women that has preceded it as well as the punch given out to the lifeguard.

  So what has been learned from this riot? Probably nothing if political correctness means that not all the facts are today considered and the true instigators are rapidly being whitewashed out of this minor episode in the collective history of New South Wales, Australia.

In my novel, Desk Job, I touch upon the lack of merit of political correctness as it has operated in Australia for some years now.

http://bloodredshadow.com/about/night-to-dawn-magazine-and-books/rod-marsden-supernatural-thriller-vampire-lore/desk-job/

RATS! By ROD MARSDEN

Posted in art, Australia, Barbara Custer, dark fiction writer, desk job, horror writer, Lewis Carroll enthusiast, Lyn McConchie's friend, mythology, Night to Dawn, Night to Dawn author, pulp fiction writer, set in Australia, Sex, Vampire author, Writer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2009 by ROD MARSDEN
Madness

MADNESS IN MUSIC

 

 

RATS!

Two men sitting on a park bench, Ken and Ian. Both are ratty looking with long scraggly hair and grimy clothes.

Ken: “I tell ya, mate. With inflation and devaluation of the dollar the rats are gonna take over.”

Ian: “No!”

Ken: “They really are gonna take over! They’ve been planning it for decades. Decades, I tell ya! Look! First there was rock-an’-roll – the devil’s music. Then it got heavy! It began to bruise the minds of its listeners.”

Ian: “Yeah?”

Ken: “Ever heard of a group called Deep Purple? What do you think the Rolling Stones’ ‘Black and Blue over You’ was all about? I tell you it was diabolical.”

Ian: “Diabolical you say?”

Ken: “Then came Punk, in protest. But it didn’t work! Then came New Wave, also in protest, but that didn’t work, either. I guess Madonna was just too much. You see, she used the ultimate weapon. Something we had no way of shielding ourselves against.”

Ian: “What was it?”

Ken: “Sex. Oh, the fiend! And she played the appealing innocent so well until she whipped off her disguise to wildly applauding fans. And now…?”

Ian: “Now what?”

Ken: “No one’s protesting anymore, Mate. Its too late for that. Back in the ‘60s they – the evil ones – used to pick guitar with their fingers. Now they pick with other people’s digits and… their teeth!”

A hoard of rats swarm into the park.

Ian: “You irritate me with your hysteria.”

Ken cries out in surprise mixed with anguish as he is attacked by thousands of rats who are, for the moment, not at all interested in Ian.

Ian: “And stop screaming at me. If you’ve got something to say, say it.”

The rats, all of them, wander away leaving Ken a skeleton sitting next to Ian.

Ian: “And, Ken, you can take that silly grin off your face.”

THE END

REVIEW OF DISCO EVIL: DEAD MAN’S STAND

Posted in Australia, Barbara Custer, dark fiction writer, desk job, Glasgow, Great Britain, horror writer, Knightswood, Lewis Carroll enthusiast, Lyn McConchie's friend, mythology, Neil K. Henderson, Night to Dawn, Night to Dawn author, Published in the USA, pulp fiction writer, Romance, Scotland, set in Australia, United Kingdom, USA, Vampire author, Writer with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2009 by ROD MARSDEN
Disco Evil

Disco Evil back cover art

Neil K. Henderson

Knightswood, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

6th Sept. 2009

Dear Rod,

Finally getting the chance to comment back on DISCO EVIL: DEAD MAN’S STAND…You have certainly taken an interesting angle on vampire culture, with not only the uncompromising contemporary setting, but the ‘moral code’ adhered to by your (anti-) hero. Indeed, the entire novel has a ‘both-sides-to-the-story’ aspect which leaves one finally unable to take sides. As in life, no one is either all good or all bad. You make this point repeatedly, and stress the need for mutual understanding and co-operation. This indeed comes to pass not only between the Secret Compass and Rising Sun Group, but with Muslim and non-Muslim Australians…

I must say I have thoroughly enjoyed being transported around the globe for a bat’s-eye view of human existence in recent times. I like the way you handled differing timescales, with life going on as normal in NSW, while Paul maintained eternal youth. The only fault I found with this was that it didn’t leave enough scope for in-depth vampire adventure on those travels. That’s an unavoidable problem, I suppose, since too much time spent with Paul would unbalance the structure of the novel. He did at least have some exciting near-misses with the forces of Life and Order. I have to say, I didn’t fancy his chances with those Maclean fellows one bit…

Anyway, I’ve had a ball reading your book. I found myself drawn into your fictional world and engaging with your characters in a way that says plenty for your descriptive skills. I hope you have a great success with it, and that it leads the way for many more.

All the best,

Neil

Neil k. Henderson is the author of a number of fictional works including MALDEHYDE’S DISCOMFITURE, or A LADY CHURNED (Pentagraph Press, Brighton, 1997), FISHWORSHIPPING – AS WE KNOW IT (Regent Books, Wolverhampton, 2001), AN ENGLISH SUMMER IN SCOTLAND AND OTHER UNLIKELY EVENTS (Skrev Press, 2005), and HORMONES A-GO-GO (Atlantean Publishing, 2009).

Extract from DISCO EVIL BY ROD MARSDEN

Posted in Australia, Barbara Custer, dark fiction writer, desk job, horror writer, Love, Lyn McConchie's friend, mythology, Night to Dawn, Night to Dawn author, Published in the USA, pulp fiction writer, revenge, Romance, set in Australia, Sex, USA, Vampire author, Writer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2009 by ROD MARSDEN
flight of the vampire

The vampire: flight toward revenge

Extract…Disco Evil: Dead Man’s Stand

CHAPTER  ONE

Sydney, The Rocks, the first Friday in November, 1976

The dock rats were still around but in fewer numbers than before. The smart ones had already staked their claim to the Hyde Park area and to the railroad tunnel system between Town Hall and Circular Quay. There people dumped plenty of food in quarter, even half filled packets. Also, there were lots of dark, safe places to get some sleep during the day.

The Rocks area of the docks, however, had retained some nocturnal life. It had, in fact, built upon certain beliefs in humans and had flourished. Strangely enough, like the rats of yore, certain comings and goings were not only of the night but also took place beneath the pavement where life could be chilly in winter and muggy in summer. There was even the mating dance, not dissimilar to the one performed by the rodent only crueler in its promises and in too many of its outcomes.

For Western style humanity the summer of love had died, killed by a number of movements including disco, a less than amiable bowel movement. Even so, young men still went along to the below ground venues of false light and loud music for the remnants of the hippy dream. They wanted to howl at the distant moon like lycanthropes or maybe at the giant ball that rotated in all such places as a cold, rotund ice goddess. It was all so similar to the North American ghost dance and the hope of turning back the world to a better time that one could choke on the tears it invariably elicited. Yet dance cannot turn back the clock or the calendar. Dance can neither bring back the buffalo to the American prairie nor can it take us to that oh so special summer in which the best of emotions reigned. So what, in the end, is the use of it?

The young men at the disco were told that how you danced no longer mattered and were then judged on how they danced. The scotch served early in the night was of a cheap brand no matter what was on the label of the bottle it came in and got progressively weaker from being watered down as the night progressed. It was a rip-off from start to finish but, hey! Where else did you go to meet girls? And they were girls and you were not quite a man but, oh so anxious to become one, God help you!

Listening to the recorded music was like having two gallons of corn syrup from the ‘States or forest honey locally produced dumped on you. The senses quickly became blocked with all the phony sweetness. A hole to breathe through could be cut with a glass or two of bourbon but the ensuing alcoholic haze carried its own falsehoods. The bourbon in the gut, in the end, held best the lies one tells one’s self when things are not going well. Only one usually has the common sense to keep those lies to one’s self. It was amazing what one might say while in that haze and to whom. It could be down-right tragic or, if not tragic, then comical in an executioner’s joke book sort of way. And who needs a laugh more than the guy about to get it in the neck?

Sure, I’m Bogart looking at some tall, luscious babe. Sure, I’m Sean Connery going after some hot dame who knows something. Sure, I’m Mad Max only not so mad. And all in one night folks! All in one single night and without strings! All happening right here, right now, this night folks!

Here there was a nasty cycle of unrealistic promise followed by despair followed by more unrealistic promise. Only the elite got anywhere but very few participants understood this. Plenty of fools thought they could make their dreams come true and their money was as good as anyone else’s. Others knew from night one the odds against them were ridiculously high but gambled anyway because there was nothing else they could see themselves doing. Besides, didn’t Batman always fly home a winner to the bat cave? Was it then so impossible to meet a nice girl you could actually have a good time with? Did the success stories all have to be about supermen with their Lois Lanes?

‘The Blue’ was once part of a warehouse. It was the below ground part where coal was once stored. Since becoming ‘The Blue’ there had been a glittering sign on the street pointing downwards to the action. From there stairs descended into what appeared at first to be a dark pit lined with old, cheap carpet. The carpet was red and the stairs always smelled. Sometimes they smelled of vomit but more often than not of cleaning alcohol or industrial strength antiseptic. No one commented going down and once down it was hard to communicate with anyone save whoever was serving the drinks. The management liked it that way. There wasn’t a cover charge. Obviously watering the drink at the appropriate hour was enough.

Paul Priestly had taken the stairs a dozen or more times. On the last night he’d truly be himself he said to that inner voice he’d never, ever do it again but that would not be entirely true.

He was on his own. He was a small, skinny guy always alone and he wanted to change that. He had come to realize, however, that this was not the right venue for him. Maybe it wasn’t the right venue for anyone with a soul. Maybe this realization at last made him smarter than some of the other people who tried their luck there but he was still dumb enough to turn up one last time just in case he was wrong. It was pathetic. Hope burned and the intensity of the flame meant he had to have at least one more throw of the dice he knew had to be loaded against him.

The only thing he could think of to make himself feel better about where he was and what he was doing were the bizarre murders he’d read about in the paper. They had taken place less than two blocks away and involved a jock football player who had had his right arm broken in three places before being siphoned of blood. Also a female tennis player had had her neck broken before being emptied the same way. Paul didn’t see himself as the type this killer or killers were after but that could change. At present, however, they seemed to be after people he had no reason to like and that suited him fine.

http://bloodredshadow.com/about/night-to-dawn-magazine-and-books/rod-marsden-supernatural-thriller-vampire-lore/

BIO ROD MARSDEN VAMPIREBIRDIE

Posted in Australia, dark fiction writer, desk job, horror writer, Lewis Carroll enthusiast, London, Lyn McConchie's friend, mythology, New York, Night to Dawn, Night to Dawn author, Published in the USA, pulp fiction writer, Romance, set in Australia, USA, Vampire author, Writer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2009 by ROD MARSDEN
art by Rod Marsden

A fanciful medieval style set of glass panels in an ancient church

Bio: Rod Marsden

Rod Marsden was born in Sydney, Australia. His very early influences were his father, Charles, who taught him how to fish and how to appreciate nature and his mother, May, who helped him to value the written word. Other early influences include writer Stan Lee and artists Jack Kirby and Gene Colan. He has three degrees; all related to writing and to his other passion, history. His stories have been published in Australia, England, Russia and the USA. His written work includes short stories in Cats Do it Better. Undead Reb Down Under and Other Vampire Stories is a collection of his stories on vampirism. His novel Disco Evil: Dead Man’s Stand is his first venture into the vampire novel. His  Ghost Dance is his first go at a dark quest style novel. His Desk Job is a salute to Lewis Carroll and some indication of how insane life got in the office in the mid-1990s.

Back in the 1970s, Rod took a trip to the USA and still has fond memories of his time in New York and San Francisco. He also visited Bali way back in the 1970s.  He would love to visit Britain and this desire does appear in his work.

Rod Lives on the South Coast of NSW, Australia and still occasionally puts a line in the water. He has a fondness for the Wollongong area but an abiding love for the more northern Clarence River region of his home state.

http://bloodredshadow.com/about/night-to-dawn-magazine-and-books/rod-marsden-supernatural-thriller-vampire-lore/

THE OFFICE CONTINUES TO BE A MOST CURIOUS PLACE!

Posted in art, Australia, Butterflies, desk job, Lewis Carroll enthusiast, Lyn McConchie's friend, Moths, mythology, Night to Dawn, Night to Dawn author, Published in the USA, set in Australia, USA, Writer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 21, 2009 by ROD MARSDEN
CREATURES OF THE NIGHT!

THERE ARE STILL WARRIOR WOMEN AND PRAYING MANTISES AROUND!

The office, indeed, continues to be a most curious place. In the first decade of the 21st Century computers have grown up. The screens are less bulky than they were in the mid-1990s. In some offices access to the internet is essential for up to date reasearch.

Whether an office worker has much of a life while alive in this first decade remains debatable. In some offices in the USA coffee breaks and toilet breaks came to be clocked and in other wats monitored. Any worker spending too much time with one or the other could either get demoted or sacked. Medical conditions, of course, were taken into consideration. Clocking office workers in this way by management in Australia was considered but generally rejected as a practice.

Back in the first ten years of the 21st Century there were call centers operating in New South Wales, Australia. Much of this work has moved overseas to places such as India and Pakistan. where they can be run more cheaply. By this period of time not much remained of the clothing manufacturing industry that showed so much promise in the late 1960s and early ’70s. Once it was the wool trade that kept the country economically viable. Today, in 2012, it is mining. This trend toward mining becoming so very important was noticeable in the early years of the 21st Century. Now, more than a decade after 2001, it looks like the mining boom is petering out. I cannot say what it will be replaced by if it peters out too much but it will then have to be replaced by something.

Today, in too many offices in major cities, there are still praying mantises doing their thing along with butterflies and moths. In too many work venues, including banking, there are caterpillars puffing away on their water pipes. In the better run establishments, of course, hawks run the business without the necessity of a caterpillar. Oh and you will occasionally meet a warrior woman with some substance along with a dung beetle of no substance whatsoever and that rareset of all creatures, a mule with wings.

http://bloodredshadow.com/about/night-to-dawn-magazine-and-books/rod-marsden-supernatural-thriller-vampire-lore/desk-job/