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“Hi, I’m Dale Harcombe and I’m reading from my recently released novel Streets on a Map.
The dog would be company during the days, instead of two people rattling round in a big house. She looked up the hall and thought of all the boxes and cartons that still needed unpacking. ‘What’ve I done? How am I ever going to survive here?’
If she’d expected the open hearted friendliness she’d been led to believe existed in country towns, it had not come. People waved when she was out walking but it was a guarded, ‘wait and see’ attitude that excluded anyone who hadn’t lived in the town for decades. The years stretched before her – an unending cavern, swallowing her. Would she ever belong?
Already she’d seen what happened when she’d ventured along to town committee meetings. The casual attitude to starting and finishing times, the squabbles and bickering over details Abby thought unimportant, frustrated her. She was used to getting things done, not talking about them. Neither, was she used to teasing out conversations, unwinding them like a ball of wool or easing herself into friendships.
Only with Laila had Abby formed anything resembling a friendship. The days the older woman had been away baby-sitting for her daughter, had only emphasised how alone Abby felt. Yet Joel expected her to love Astley as he did. To love the house with its high ceilinged rooms he had grown up in. Home! Would it ever be home to her?
She walked up the hall. Fingers of sunlight struggled through the glass panels sending pink and blue rectangles climbing up the walls. She stood at the door to one of the front rooms and flirted with the idea of unpacking. The thought depressed her with its finality. She skirted the boxes stacked on top of each other like giant accusations and stared around the room.
Swift as sunlight bursting through clouds, the idea hit. Why not convert the front two rooms into an intimate restaurant? A flicker of excitement began to grow as she walked around the room, edging past the boxes. Confident Joel would be equally as enthusiastic she began to make plans.”
ABOUT DALE HARCOMBE:
Dale writes fiction and, poetry, for children and adults. She has been published in Australia and overseas.
After growing up in Sydney, Dale spent 16 years in the Central West of NSW before moving to the South Coast four years ago. Now she wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.
Some years back she started writing articles, stories and poems mostly for adults. Many were published in magazines and newspapers. She has also written short stories, educational materials, puppet plays, skits, finger plays and songs for very young children. A radio play, she wrote called Edge of Silence, was broadcast in 2005.
When she moved to the Central West area of NSW, she wrote her first published children’s novel Chasing after the Wind, published by Scholastic in 1997. Since then she has had Kaleidoscope a book of poetry and six other children’s books published. Many poems in Kaleidoscope have been previously published in Australia’s literary magazines. She has won prizes for her poetry. Streets on a Map published in December 2010 is her first general fiction book.
Dale has been a houseparent for a family of twelve boys, manuscript assessor, book reviewer and run creative writing classes. She also wrote for several years about marriage and home related topics for www.families.com. She has a BA in Literary and Australian studies. More information about Dale can be found at www.daleharcombe.com or on her Write and Read with Dale blog. http://www.livejournal.com/users/orangedale/
“As a result of the Lit Link Fellowship initiative I spent a week at Varuna back in 2005 and fondly remember that time.” Dale Harcombe
Streets on a Map – a novel published 2010.
Lights, Camera, Action – children’s novel published 2009
Saltspray Idol – children’s novel published 2009
The Goanna Island Mystery – children’s novel published 2008
Red Alert! – children’s novel published 2008
Karaoke Kate – children’s novel published 2007
Kaleidoscope – a collection of poems published 2005
Edge of Silence – a radio play broadcast 2005
Exactly Right – children’s novel published 2000
Chasing after the Wind – children’s novel published 1997
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