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Writing historical fiction — micro story "Housewife"

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  Recently I completed a short online course in historical writing from Writing NSW, hosted by the wonderful Sulari Gentill (see their courses here ). One of the exercises was to write a short piece set in a time and place and see if the others could guess the era. I won't make you guess. I chose the early 1960s in Australia, a time of expanding suburbia, baby boom, and isolation for new mothers. To set my scene I described the partly build suburb, the children, dressmaking styles and clothes, the car model and garden design, and formal conversation style and titles, as well as choosing appropriate names. The action includes pushing a pram, coping badly with the heat, a new pregnancy, and a hint of a nasty secret. Here's my story: HOUSEWIFE The pram wheel caught in the narrow slot between the new bitumen and the broken gutter. Jennifer de-snagged it with a jolt, and baby Michael woke up grizzling, his little face red and steaming hot under the lacy bonnet. She patted and soothe

Wipptee—Cast of characters

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  Want to see what they get up to? Check ebook availability here  https://books2read.com/u/mYAAxM

Air quality monitoring

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 Let's go back in time to January 2020, when bushfires ravaged Australia. I live in an agricultural area, so there isn't much left to burn, but the smoke from the mountains was terrible and lasted for weeks. This is how it looked. We wanted to know how dangerous this was, but air quality monitoring in Australia is pretty much focused on city areas. We don't count, apparently. So we decided to do it ourselves, and contribute to citizen science at the same time. Here's our PurpleAir sensor, bought from the manufacturer in Utah, USA. We chose an indoor one because we don't have any outdoor power connection. Our house leaks like a sieve anyway so it doesn't make much difference. The sensor is the little white computer-mouse like object with the green light on the top (it goes orange or red when the air is bad). We put it on a silicon mat because it gets quite hot. The sensor sends data every few minutes by wifi to a server and from there to PurpleAir who include the

Wipptee farm — what's it like?

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 Wipptee is an imaginary farming property, located in the rolling foothills west of the Great Dividing Range in Australia, somewhere between Wagga Wagga and Dubbo. In school we had maps of Australia, and we were given little stamps to put on the map to show where agriculture happened. This region was where we put sheep and wheat stamps. It's used for mixed farming, both crops and livestock. Canola is grown for oilseed, also many grains like wheat and barley, and other crops like lentils, chickpeas, sorghum, lupins, and lucerne for feed. There are many, many sheep. Wipptee isn't a real place, but in my imagination it looks like this, and is the central location for much of the drama in the book Wipptee , a cozy mystery / rural romance. BUY EBOOK NOW

Rakali — Australian water rats

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  These little mammals are found in most parts of Australia but they're shy, so I've never seen one in real life. I'd never even heard of them until I read about people catching them by accident in nets. Needless to say, that's illegal. I look forward to seeing one in real life one day. In Wipptee , a cozy mystery / rural romance, the heroine Maddie envies rakali because they live in peaceful quiet waters while she is buffeted in rough waters. BUY EBOOK NOW

Rakali Springs — an imaginary Australian country town

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  I made up Rakali Springs. There's no such place, but I imagine it to look very like the pretty little towns in New South Wales' western slopes. Towns like Cootamundra or the town in this picture, Cowra.  The houses have corrugated metal roofs, and the older houses are wooden cottages. Houses are spread out on large blocks, and trees and gardens grow everywhere except in drought years. Most have railways running through, but these days there are only grain trains, no passenger services. The grain gets a royal ride and the people are jolted around on buses. Rakali Springs is the scene of the action in the cozy mystery / rural romance Wipptee. BUY EBOOK NOW