Dr Nathan Church, an operative with the Defense and Security Section of the Australian Foreign Affairs department perhaps summed up the situation in Afghanistan best when he said “Despite Australia’s best intentions, the correlation between its proposed commitments in Afghanistan and the reality that will play out on the ground remains a great unknown. The destabilising effects of the Taliban remain a very real concern in the short-to-medium term.” Continue reading
The first book I have completed, The Fifth Wife, did engage snippets from some of the experiences had from a lifetime spent as a property developer in Australia. The problems I had with the building unions in particular give me cause to never enter the industry again while they are involved. Some of the issues I mention in this book relate back to those days while others draw upon newspaper headlines and more recent controversies with various unsavory identities associated with the industry and the level of corruption involved.
The novel I am just finishing, “Jumbuk Road” is not so much my relationship with the characters, here they are all entirely fictional, a little bit from here, a little there, but the story centers around a place in the Australian bush where I went to once for a holiday and immediately fell in love with. The new novel I have recently started, “Mates” delves deep into past relationships.
Aside from these two books, what I currently do and the places I have worked in for the last fifteen years does offer a variety of options to write about. I have hundreds of anecdotes to include. What I actually do however is not so exciting. I am an engineer and I build very basic things in some rather colourful parts of the world which just also often happen to be war-zones. Of course I have had some personal hair raising experiences, a number of colleagues killed or maimed or kidnapped and had our buildings blown apart but I am unable to get past the endless array of boring bits to find a continuous story that might keep people entertained. A discussion on the intricacies of the protracted negotiations I have had getting a village for which we were paying to have a well dug for them to provide the workers doing the digging a daily lunch probably escapes many people. But at the same time, I am political and am opinionated but can only admire the necessary research that must go into some of the books that delve into the nuance of the events that surround them and affect my life on a daily basis. It also amazes me that some people can come in and with a matter of a few weeks, be expert in the countries and write a tome that I am yet to read.
So as it is with all my writing, I am trying to create characters and develop some plots that have occupied a large part of my life that can engage in some truly fictional account of events and will draw in some of these sometimes serious, sometimes humorous anecdotal experiences.
If I were to write a factual account, there are too many people and perhaps organizations who will be offended by what I have to write or there are far too many people whose experiences would be far more engaging than mine.
It is Sunday. I am in Islamabad. The temperature has been over 40 degrees for more than 3 weeks, at times getting up above 47 degrees.
It wouldn’t be so bad if the electricity was up to the mark but it is not. Load shedding takes place almost every other hour with AC units coming to a halt. Fortunately I have a backup UPS that keeps the overhead fan going at half speed. On this Sunday, I am sitting in just at my computer, shirtless and dressed only in a pair of shorts. When the power comes on, the pump works so I can take a shower to cool off again, it is hardly worth trying to make the AC cool the room down. I live on the top floor of the building and although I have a large courtyard to sit in, it also collects all the heat from the day. Better to wait until the evening before turning the AC on.
This is a special Sunday however. This week I have managed to finish the editing of my book, The Fifth Wife that has now been resubmitted to Amazon for publishing as a paperback as well as a Kindle version.
I am feeling pleased with myself.