Monday, July 27, 2009


Have been busy, busy, busy...not writing... feels bad. I start to get twitchy, but with my mum arriving tomorrow, I probably won't be writing for a while.

But I'm not so busy that I didn't notice the Southern Cross dipping below the horizon last night. This constellation is very special for Australians and New Zealanders. It circles the Celestial South Pole every 24 hours, so if you watch it for long enough, you'll see it tilt at some stage. In the southern parts of Australia, it never dips below the horizon, but here in the north, we can see it set, if we stay up late enough.

There's a famous Australian novel by D'arcy Niland, called Call Me When the Cross Turns Over, which refers to a shearers' saying, I believe. I still haven't read that book, but I'd love to track it down as I adored one of Niland's other books The Shiralee, which has been made into movies with Peter Finch (1957) and with Australia's Bryan Brown.

I think it's thanks to The Shiralee, that so many father-daughter scenarios have found their way into my books. (In the Heart of the Outback is one, and a new book coming out next year -- The Rancher's Adopted Family, is another -- see how they're gearing us for the American market? One of my heroes, a rancher?)
Shiralee is an Irish term, meaning a burden, which was how the father in Niland's novel, who was making his way around the Outback looking for jobs during the Depression, viewed his little daughter. But I can promise you the novel brings out his love for her in the most poignant and touching examples of "show don't tell".

Among the many jobs on my list, at long last I've updated my website... YaYYY!!!!!!!!!! and I think everything is in working order. (Don't hesitate to let me know if you find a glitch.)

You'll find information about my Baby Steps to MARRIAGE duo, including excerpts from both Expecting Miracle Twins and The Bridesmaid's Baby.


Lacey Devlin said...

Wow I'm embarrassed to admit that I didn't know that about the southern cross and I've been living here for my entire life. Shame on me indeed, and I'll definitely have to check it out.

2paw said...

I am sure you and your mum will have such a lovely time together your twitchiness will fade!! We have a great planetarium here and I went often when I was teaching with my class, but I can just never see the patterns and shape I should. I have an star gazing blind spot.
I am very sad that they are using 'rancher' in your title. I think there was a similar thing in the text of your other father/daughter cattle droving book too. I think we should be Australian and proud and the Americans should learn about what we call things here.
I popped over to your website and read all about your new Duo!! Can't wait to read them!!!

Barbara Hannay said...

Oh, I knew there was another father/daughter book -- Her Cattleman Boss, of course. I didn't notice any mention of rancher in the book, but there was some discussion about it on Dear

I can thank my Girl Guide leader for my interest in the stars. She used to take us out with a telescope and teach us all the constellations. I loved it. And at school our houses were names after stars. I was in Antares House.

2paw said...

I was never a Girl Guide!!! At the moment I walk Lorelai Gilmore near the river and I have found I am very wanting in regards to local bird life. Consequently I have bought a guide to our state's birds and I a twitchy, but in a bird watching sense!!!

JoyfullyHis said...

I love soaking in all the culture I can get when I read. Don't let them Americanize you. That's the whole point of reading about another country, though you might want to include a small glossary for those of us who are culturally challenged. I just figured out what a prawn was...ha ha.
My son just got a little telescope for his birthday, so I can predict my knowledge of the heavens growing leaps and bounds as we try to find something (anything!) to do with constellations. All I can find is the Big Dipper. Very cool about your Cross. And I hope you have a wonderful time with your mom. You deserve a break!

Barbara Hannay said...

So far, the only Americanisation is the title. I'm guessing that "Cattleman" hasn't sold in North America as well as they'd like, so they're experimenting with "Rancher". Inside, the story's totally Oz - set on remote Cape York in Far North Queensland.
I hope your son has a ton of fun with his telescope. What a great present!