It’s a great sci-fi adventure on a huge scale filled with action, drama, humour, memorable characters and a miraculous alien spacecraft called the Ark Angel that’s come to help a diverse team of unlikely heroes try to save humanity and the essential treasures of the Earth.
Or has it?
I’m not a big reader of sci-fi but I really enjoyed this and can’t wait to read the sequel. If you ARE into sci-fi or like me just love a great story well told, I hope you can check it out. It’s available in paperback ($20)and ebook ($4).
And please leave a review for Rob if you have a positive response (as I’m sure you will!). Cheers.
Rob Bauer co-signing my first ever publishing contract for THE RUNNING MAN.
Wait, what? It’s February already! That can’t be right. Aren’t we supposed to have January first? Isn’t that the usual order? |Huh? We did? When? Oh, in January … riiiiight….
Well HAPPY NEW (first week of) FEBRUARY then!
Anyway, so speaking of New Year’s RESOLUTIONS – I don’t make them any more.
I used to but I found I never kept them. Except for that one time when I resolved not to make any more resolutions. I really nailed that sucker!
In place of Resolutions what I’ve done at the start of every year since around 2006 (a couple of years after I was first published) is make a list of WRITING RELATED GOALS (sometimes I called them HOPES & DREAMS).
I like making the list. It’s fun to imagine all those good things happening (even if you know most of them won’t) and then there’s the sense of achievement you get if you hopefully tick a few of them off.
The number of goals I’ve set myself over the years has varied quite a bit from a modest 13 in 2006 to a ridiculously over-ambitious 52 in 2011!
Each list has always included a RANGE OF GOALS from ones where there’s a ‘GOOD CHANCE IT MIGHT HAPPEN’ through the ‘IT’S POSSIBLE BUT DOUBTFUL’ and on to those where ‘DIVINE INTERVENTION IS DEFINITELY REQUIRED’.
So for example ‘GOOD CHANCE IT MIGHT HAPPEN’ goals have included:
Starting a new manuscript or finishing one I’d been working on for a while
Earning a certain (very modest) level of income from writing related activities.
Completing a very achievable number of school visits
‘IT’S POSSIBLE BUT DOUBTFUL’ (sometimes very doubtful) goals have included:
Having a current book longlisted or shortlisted for Literary Awards
Getting an invitation to a Literary festival
Having a new manuscript accepted for publication
Gaining overseas sales
Earning a certain (higher than expected) level of income from writing related activities
‘DIVINE INTERVENTION IS DEFINITELY REQUIRED’ goals have included:
Having a current book win Literary Awards
Receiving an offer for movie or TV rights
Getting invited to an overseas festival
Successfully applying for a Grant
Hitting the Best Sellers List
Keeping my commitment to write at least one BLOG every week
So how did I go over the years I pretend to hear you ask? Well stop hounding me and SEE TABLE BELOW!
Anything around the 40% success rate I’m pretty happy with. That usually means I achieved most of the ‘probable’ goals and even a few of the ‘possible’ but less expected goals. (You can see the effects of Covid and Lockdowns in 2020 & 2021)
YEAR Goals Achieved/Total Goals Set Success Percentage
So what about THIS YEAR? (Again with the questions!)
FOR 2023I have set 23 Goals. (And I’ve only just realised as I typed that sentence that 23 is a fairly appropriate number. Who says I’m slow?!)
Of the 23 Goals I’d say approximately 8 have a GOOD CHANCE of happening, another 6 have SOME CHANCE, and the remaining 9 are possible but VERY UNLIKELY. (For example Goal 19 from this year’s list is to WRITE ONE BLOG PER WEEK. I’ll let you figure out in which category that one fits!)
Also on my Goals list for 2023 is one that says: COMPLETE SERIOUS YA MANUSCRIPT & SEND IT AWAY.
That exact goal for the same YA manuscript first appeared on the 2019 list and it’s been on every list since then. Actually there are references to STARTING this same YA manuscript as far back as the 2011 list. (OMG, those people who say I’m slow ARE RIGHT!!!!)
Anyway, I’m writing this blog to tell you that THIS is the year I will finally COMPLETE THE SERIOUS YA MANUSCRIPT & SEND IT AWAY!
Naturally another Goal on the 2023 list is that someone will want to publish my serious YA novel. I’ve placed that one firmly in the DIVINE INTERVENTION IS DEFINITELY REQUIRED basket.
I hope plenty of your goals and dreams for 2023 come true.
One of my other long-time Goals is to finally repair my Space Pod so that one day I might return to my home Planet.
1. ANYONE can buy a Rabbit book at EASTER – that’s so PREDICTABLE and BORING. But buying a Rabbit book at CHRISTMAS makes you seem WILD and EDGY!
2. If you DON’T BUY A COPY then at Play Care or Kindy or Primary School, when all the other little ones are gathered around the bubblers or sitting in the sandpit talking and laughing about RODNEY, your special little person might feel left out because of your thoughtlessness. Now I’m not trying to lay a GUILT TRIP on you here, but what kind of a MONSTER would risk that?!?
3. ALMOST every cent earned in ROYALTIES from the sale of the book will be spent THOUGHTFULLY and ETHICALLY by the illustrator and author on OTHER BOOKS, COFFEE and COMFORT FOOD. The remainder will be blown on NON-ESSENTIALS.
4. Unlike its predecessor RODNEY LOSES IT! the sequel RODNEY FORGETS IT! is actually a “HEART-WARMING story of GREAT BEAUTY with many important SOCIAL VALUES that every child in the country should be exposed to” . (I put that last bit in inverted commas because I said it OUT LOUD as I typed it.)
5. I’ve already spent the ADVANCE.
6. I’m supposed to keep my wife in the MANNER TO WHICH SHE IS ACCUSTOMED and what not many people realise is that Adriana is actually the daughter of an INSANELY RICH Arab Oil Sheik and she was cruelly and unfairly cut from the family INHERITANCE for marrying, to quote her dad, “a commoner who is FAR MORE COMMON than most”. Nasty.
7. RODNEY LOSES IT! won the CBCA Award and everyone knows that sequels are always FAR BETTER than the original. Look no further than at Police Academy 2-7.
8. HIGHLY STRUNG and FORGETFUL rabbits are criminally under-represented in the vast canon of Australian Literature. You can help redress this SHAMEFUL IMBALANCE!
9. If you know me PERSONALLY there’s a good chance I will ask every special little person in your life if they have a copy of BOTH RODNEY books. What happens if they say NO? Do you really want to subject yourself to this level of EMBARASSMENT, HUMILIATION and ABUSE?
10. EVERY SINGLE PERSON* who buys a copy of RODNEY FORGETS IT! between now and Christmas will go into the DRAW to win a PRIZE PACK of RODNEY POST-IT NOTES and RODNEY STICKERS as seen below!
* NB: To be eligible for the prize draw readers must ALSO:
send in a copy of your DATED RECEIPT
post a PHOTO of yourself (smiling) with the book on a SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM
submit a 300+ word GLOWING REVIEW on Goodreads or similar
absolve me of any responsibility regarding this competition
We renovated our ensuite and added new bookshelves to the study. I still think the toilet should be inside!
Even though I had more or less decided to stop doing school visits I still had a great time visiting St Ignatius School Toowong, Ambrose Treacy College Indooroopilly, Our Lady Help of Christians Hendra, Somerville House Sth Brisbane, Kimberley College Carbrook, St Finbarr’s Ashgrove and The Springfield Anglican College.
My wife and I had a few stays in Melbourne to catch-up with our lovely grand kiddies and their equally lovely parents. Leaving is always a bit hard on the heart.
Our banana trees produced their first ever bunch. Give them a hand!
I was stoked to find the missing RINGO PEG DOLL that was made by my son Joe and featured on the original Australian cover he designed and created for DON’T CALL ME ISHMAEL. It had been missing for close to a year. And even though I had searched there previously and more than once, it eventually turned up hiding in the bottom of the bag I use for school visits.
Rodney Loses it but Michael finds It!
I helped launch LITTLE SHARK LULU for good friend Josie Montano, co-author Charlotte Birkmanis and Carla Hoffenberg (illustrator).
I read a bunch of good books including …
I did a bit of work in the back yard. (Just kidding of course! That’s our front yard.)
I had (another!) birthday and was very happy to score this.
As for my the current state of my writing, I’m happy to say that I’ve signed a contract for a new picture book (not a Rodney) with Scholastic Australia which will be released in 2024. I’m also playing around with some other picture book texts as well as still continuing to work on the YA novel which seems to be turning into a never-ending project. Although in my defence (after only two or three years) I now have a reasonable First Draft, so where there’s life there’s hope!
And for your great amusement I leave you with son Joe and d-in-l Rita’s take on Halloween. You can check out all their other amazing and hilarious videos, and maybe join their over 2.4 MILIION HAPPY SUBSCRIBERS, on their ARTSPEAR ENTERTAINMENT page.
Somewhere in there I scored a couple of new T-SHIRTS.
The local BUNYA PINE went nuts and threatened to kill any unsuspecting people foolish enough to spend too much time below its branches.
I read some good books.
I also massacred some songs on my guitar(s).
And meanwhile on the WRITING front as well as continuing to toil away on my never-ending YA NOVEL, the brilliant illustrator of RODNEY LOSES ITChrissie Krebs made me some post-it notes so I wouldn’t forget that we had a SEQUEL coming out later this year.
I just can’t remember what it’s going to be called.
And on a final note I just wanted to send my best wishes to the tens of thousands of folk who were flooded and lost possessions including entire houses and businesses in the terrible rain event that hammered Brisbane and S/E Queensland and NSW recently. We were lucky (with only the relatively minor inconvenience of a new water feature appearing at our front door and threatening to come inside) but so many more people including some in our neighbourhood certainly were not.
Ok I’m just going to gloss over the fact that with all my good intentions about blogging more regularly, I haven’t actually posted anything for over six months.
The good (?) news is that having just been let back into Brisbane after spending 11 weeks in Melbourne, my wife and I are now in Home Quarantine for the next two weeks, so I should have plenty of time to write!
So what has happened since my last blog? Well in no particular order …
The audio award was due in large part to the great narration provided by the super-talented and very popular Jens Wawrczeck.
“Jens Wawrczeck reads the multi-layered story at first with verve and sparkling humor, later he becomes more and more hesitant. The tightness around the chest and throat that afflicts teenagers with their revelations becomes audible. The result is a listening experience perfectly balanced between lust for life and the burden of life. ” Southgerman newspaper
2. A new Australia edition of JUST A DOG was released featuring a new look Mr Mosely.
3. I was contacted by FEDERICO STRAGA an Italian singer-songwriter. He sent me a lovely email recently explaining how a few years back he read my bookDON’T CALL ME ISHMAEL! with his daughter and how he really enjoyed it. He was particularly taken by the James Scobie character who faces the school bully. Scobie explains that he’s not afraid of the bully or anything else any more because after surviving a brain tumour operation, he just has no fear left. Or he “exhausted fear” as it translates in the Italian version. Federico said he liked this concept so much that he wrote a song entitled “I Exhausted Fear”. It became the first single from his record released three years ago. Federico’s fantastic song and video is below. “I hope you will like it and thank you for your inspiration and the good times spent reading the book. A big hug from Italy. Federico” I certainly did like it! As I told Federico, as someone who dreamed of being a singer-songwriter, it was a thrill and an honour to think I played some small part in the creation of his song.
4. My wife and I spent 11 weeks locked down to varying degrees in Melbourne because of Covid travel restrictions. The plus side was we got to spend a lot of time with our gorgeous and amazing grand daughter (2 yrs 2 mths) and new grandson (7 mths). I am now an expert at Duplo.
5. There were only a few actual school visits due to the pandemic but I did make some contact with readers in other ways.
6. I scored some beautiful artwork from my friend, brilliant artist and wonderful picture book creator CAROLINE MAGERL. If you don’t know Caroline’s work, do yourself a favour and checkout some of these titles: Nop; Maya and Cat; Hasel and Rose.
7. I presented via ZOOM at the 2021 Celebrate Reading Conference at the LITERATURE CENTRE in Fremantle WA. Would have loved to have been there in person with the other fabulous authors but this was the next best thing.
8. I invested in some cutting-edge technology.
9. I made all these stuffed potatoes. And consumed quite a few of them.
10. I took these random shots while in Melbourne.
11. I read some great books.
12. My wife and I devoured these delicious pies from the Blackbutt Bakery QLD!
13. Ok, I feel I might be scratching around for ideas now …
Hoping to get stuck into some serious writing soon.
We had 5 classes of grade 8/9s tuning in for the session. Thankfully it was in English and all went smoothly. A big thank you to everyone who made that possible.
In other news, my ’21 in 21′ READING CHALLENGE is going well and for the first time ever I’m actually ahead of schedule with 14 books already done and dusted.
There’s quite a variety of books here all of which I have enjoyed reading.
A bunch of the other things that have occurred in the first 4 months of 2021 are summarised pictorially below and since they are obviously self-explanatory I won’t bore you with any extraneous comments.
As for MY WRITING, I must admit that I’ve had a bit of a hiatus of late, but soon I hope to get back to the YA novel I’ve now been working on for some time.
Also I’ve been fiddling around with some possible picture book texts and in 2022 I’ve been reliably informed that a certain rabbit will make a reappearance, so all is not LOST!
Of course it goes without saying (although I’m going to say it anyway) that THE VERY BEST THING that’s happened this year is that my wife and I became grandparents for the second time when we welcomed into the world our first grandson Harlan.
Well it’s been over a month since my wife and I completed our two week hotel quarantine and I have to say I think we have adjusted very well to outside life.
For example, Adriana is no longer spending hours weeping at the front door waiting for our meals to be delivered and I’m proud to say that I have finally reverted to wearing pants on a semi-regular basis.
So that means apart from the odd hiccough here and there, life at the Bauer Haus has pretty much returned to normal.
However I now have a much more important issue I wish to discuss with you.
Namely this: BEING MISQUOTED.
If you are ever tempted to Google the following – “Michael Gerard Bauer” quote – and then click on IMAGES you will come across some posters with quotes attributed to me.
(Oh and by the way, I should point out here that if at any time you actually do find yourself tempted to Google those words, it might be wise to first sit down and try to work out exactly where, when and how your life went so terribly wrong.)
Anyway, the main two quotes attributed to me that appear on a range of sites are these:
Lovely aren’t they? And WISE!
But you see the thing is I’VE NEVER SAID EITHER OF THEM!
NOW it seems things I’ve never said are being re-quoted in weird places like in this article in The Times of India of all places.
Voice dubbing is a sophisticated task — Australian author Michael Gerard Bauer wrote that voice is a second face — and it involves getting various nuances of speech right. It amplifies the effect of the actions and emotions being portrayed on the screen, and many popular actors have had their lines spoken by studio talent.
NO, I DIDN’T!
Although I must admit of all the things I haven’t said (and believe me when I tell you there have been plenty!) The voice is a second face is probably my favourite.
Maybe I should just tweak it a little and claim copyright?
“THE FACE IS A SECOND VOICE.”
You heard it here first!
It is a little depressing though. After all, I’ve had 16 books of various kinds published, I’ve written a couple of things for newspapers and I’ve been interviewed on various occasions in magazines and online, so you’d hope just by sheer chance and weight of numbers I might have strung together a line or two of my own words that were actually worth quoting.
1. “Twelve days will be heaps of time. You don’t want to over-rehearse these things, otherwise you lose that rough edge” ― Michael Gerard Bauer, Ishmael and the Hoops of Steel.
Yes ok, that is from that book. But why that particular line? Without context it doesn’t even make sense.And there are thousands of better lines than that. Really!
2. “He’s not just a dog, he’s a member of the family” ― Michael Gerard Bauer, Just a Dog.
Wrong.This appears nowhere in the book. \It’s just some cliché someone has taken from a blurb or review somewhere that someone else has written.
3. “I’m just letting you know that these stories I’m writing are not going to be about a superhero TV kind of dog. Our dog Mister Mosely. And they will all be true. Even the ones that I wish weren’t.” ― Michael Gerard Bauer, Just a Dog.
Yes it’s a quote from the book BUT there’s some crucial words left out in the middle so it doesn’t read properly or make much sense. This is how it should go with the missing words re-instated.
“I’m just letting you know that these stories I’m writing are not going to be about a superhero TV kind of dog. They’re not. They’re going to be about a normal, everyday dog. Our dog Mister Mosely. And they will all be true. Even the ones that I wish weren’t.”
4. “Pick” ― Michael Gerard Bauer, Don’t Call Me Ishmael.
WTF??????? No idea what this means. Your guess is as good as mine. Although I checked and the word ‘pick’ does appear in the book in various forms. 15 times in fact.Maybe I should be more picky with my picks?
5. “Faulkner’s Fried Food and Funeral Parlour. You die – we fry.” ― Michael Gerard Bauer, Ishmael and the Return of the Dugongs.
YES FINALLY! I’ll pay that. Happy to have that quote included.See how witty and darkly hilarious I can be if I put my mind to it!
6. “No man is an island entire to himself” ― Michael Gerard Bauer, Ishmael and the Return of the Dugongs.
Wrong. Used in the book but it’s a quote from poet John Donne not me.
7. “No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.” ― Michael Gerard Bauer, Ishmael and the Return of the Dugongs.
Wrong. Used in the book but it’s a quote by Voltaire (I think) not me.
So just to recap, of the 7 quotes attributed to me: 3 are totally wrong, 1 doesn’t make any sense because it’s just one word, 1 is inaccurate, 1 lacks context, which leaves only 1 legitimate worthwhile quote.
I from 7. Not a great strike rate.
Of course in the past I have also been slanderously misquoted by author colleague (both terms really need to be fact-checked) Richard Newsome.
Just to balance the ledger, here’s a quote from Richard that I’ve heard him repeat on countless occasions.
So that’s my little whinge about being misquoted done. I suppose there are worse things in the world that can happen to you.
But still, your own words are important. After all as I’ve said on many occasions, the voice is a second face.
7:45 am: All our bags are packed and we’re ready to go …
Time to say goodbye to our constant companions – the Brisbane River and the Story Bridge …
… and to good old ROOM 1406 – our home away from home this last fortnight.
We made it to the end. WELL DONE US!
A big and heartfelt THANK YOU to the management and staff of the BRISBANE MARRIOTT along with the men and women of the Army and the Qld Police Force all of whom were friendly and helpful and took great care of us.
Thanks too to everyone who took the time to read any of my quarantine ramblings and thanks especially for the comments and feedback. Writing the BLOG and reading the responses really helped make the 14 days so much more bearable for both of us.
Well it’s been a strange, trying, testing and at times hilarious adventure and there’s only one person in the world I’d want to do it with – and I did.
14 days isolated in close quarters together and not a single cross word. Although I did have my earphones on for lengthy periods of time so …
ANYWAY we’re back at out little abode now and we agree totally with Dorothy’s sentiments – THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME!
Cheers Michael and Adriana
PS: And look what was waiting for me when I got home. The beautiful CHINESE language edition of THE RUNNING MAN published by Guomai Culture & Media Co Ltd China.
This is now the 7th overseas publication for the book. The others are Germany, USA, France, Italy, Sth Korea and the Netherlands. Never dreamed things like this were possible back in 2000 when I resigned from my teaching position to have a go at writing what would be my first novel. So happy that I stuck with it and saw it through. It was eventually published in Australia in 2004.
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