Where to find Mawson’s Guardian, besides ZuckerBook:

Dear Friends. The recent FaceBlock fiasco in Australia reminds us that to rely on any one platform/service/outlet run by moguls/barons/billionaires is unwise. We have not put all our bears in one basket, however, and you can find Me, Mark, and Mawson (the furry one) all over this bright world including, of course, right here at WordPress.

Mawson’s own Web Den on WordPress called www.mawsonbear.wordpress.com .

Our publisher is Odyssey Books, where you can find beautiful pictorial books, poetry, fantasy epics, memoirs, and great fiction.

Amazon in all regions: This link here is to Amazon dot com.

Mawson on Instagram: @MawsonBear

Mawson on Twitter: See @MawsonBear

Mawson’s Guardian, Mark, on Twitter: See @Mawsonsguardian

Mawson’s Guardian at Good Reads

Mawson’s Guardian at Pinterest.

OR use a Search Engine eg DuckDuckGo (or Google if you must) to look for ‘Mawson Bear‘ and you will find four pages of links (beams proudly.)

Mawson Bear is the top hit on search engines for himself.
We looked for Mawson Bear, Mawson, and we found you!

You can see all about Mawson’s books over on GoodReads too.

It's a Bright World to Feel Lost In It’s a Bright World to Feel Lost In
reviews: 26
ratings: 34 (avg rating 4.32)
She Ran Away From Love She Ran Away From Love
reviews: 27
ratings: 33 (avg rating 4.30)
Dreamy Days and Random Naps Dreamy Days and Random Naps
reviews: 23
ratings: 26 (avg rating 4.38)

By the way, when I tried to publish the post above on my FB page during the fiasco, it was blocked. It was considered as ‘news or news content from a news provider’. So there you have it: Mawson is NEWS.

Your host, Mark, is Mawson Bear’s Guardian, photographer, editor, blundering typist, chocolates fetcher and cushions re-arranger. Baffled Bear Books ABN: 4787910119.

Going Postal about Book Postage?

The Problem: You look for a book on a book retail website. You send your order to the “Shopping Cart”. But what’s this? A delivery charge rises up on your screen like monster looming over the horizon. And the size of the thing!

‘Bother!’ You say. (You might say other words entirely and at some length, but this is a bear-friendly web-den.) And you change your mind about buying that book in print because the delivery cost has trampled over all your hopes. Is there another way? Why, yes. Read on.

Our Post Bear, Scottie, goes postal over particular postage problems of his own

BOOK SHOPS. Beating dinosaur sized postal costs Tip One: Visit your friendly local book shop. The book might be in stock, and if not the staff can order it in for you. This is good for everyone: you get your book, the book shop people take note that readers want this book and they consider getting more in, they stay in business, and in turn that means you can return there to book-bathe whenever you want to.

(‘Book-bathe’? you ask. Well, you’ve heard of how nature-bathing is good for the soul? So is book-bathing. You simply wander around places with lots of books and you start to feel better right away. That is also why staff in a bookshop are friendly and helpful: they get to book-bathe all day long … But I digress. Where was I? Oh yes, Tip Two.)

LIBRARIES. Beating Godzilla sized postal costs Tip Two. Visit your local library (where the staff are friendly because of all their book bathing). Reasons this is good: If you can borrow the book, you pay for neither the book nor postage; in Australia and some other countries the author still gets a fee for each borrowing (very small, but still a fee); and if book is not there, you can ask the staff to consider adding it to their stock. That is good for you, the library, the publisher and the author. Also, just by going to your library you are participating in your local community. All sorts of activities happen there. Maybe you’ll get involved in some.

SHOP AROUND. Beating road train sized postal costs Tip Three: Shop around with OTHER on-line retailers! Don’t stick with, for instance, ‘A-Far-Too-Powerful-Retailer-Named-After-A-River’ if it is gouging you more than it is serving you. There are other retailers, some listed at the end of this post. Several supply the book you want with free postage so long as it is within your particular country or region. One retailer does not charge ‘shipping’ or postage costs at all. Consider BookDepository.

Our Scotland the Brave shops shops around.

SPEND MORE. Beating fuel tanker sized postal costs Tip Four: This tip requires you to exercise restraint to a degree you did not know you had. You have to wait, yes, wait until three or four books of the books you want become available at a fair price. Then, you send them to the ‘Shopping Cart’ together. This often, but not always, gains you a waiver on the postage costs. Good things about this: you get more than one book and you save on postage. Not-good things about this: You have to spend more money than you probably meant to. And when the books do arrive, the To-Be-Read-Pile of books in your room gets so high that it topples over and buries you under hundreds of stories and your family doesn’t find your body for days because they just assumed you were reading your way through them all.

EBOOKS. Beating mammoth sized postal costs Tip Five. Go digital. Sadly, this means you will miss out on the pleasures of holding the book itself, enjoying its particular weight and texture, slipping your battered old book marks between the pages, shelving it in your favourite way (by colour, by height, by author, by subject, oh the possibilities), ostentatiously opening it up to read on the public transport, lending it to a good friend, seriously wondering about the ‘goodness’ of that friend when the book is not returned … But I digress. The thing is, there are no postage costs with them.

Your Challenge: Beat the postage monsters. You can do this, really you can.

Have a practice with getting your paws on Dreamy Days and Random Naps without postage costs. Like all of Mawson’s picture books for frazzled grownups (and by the time you have gone up against the postage monster you will be frazzled, believe me) this one is available all over the world including through:
 Amazon everywhere, at Amazon Australia (where Mawson sleepily lives), AbeBooks, Ad Libris,  Barnes and Noble (USA), Booklubben, Bookshop.org (Recommenced by me because it supports bookshops), Casa Bahia (Brazil), Dymocks and Booktopia (Australia), Desert Cart (several regions), Fa Saxo (Denmark),Linnaeus Boekhandel, Loot (South Africa), Mas Americanas (Brazil), McNally Jackson (New York), Mighty Ape (New Zealand), Pontio Frio (Brazil), Rahva Rahmat (Estonia, yes, Estonia – this bear gets around), Walmart (USA), Google Books, WH Smith ( UK), and more.
Hopefully, at one of these you will beat the postage monsters. Otherwise, back to the library! Our publisher is Odyssey Books.

Your host, Mark, is Mawson Bear’s Guardian, photographer, editor, blundering typist, chocolates fetcher and cushions re-arranger. Baffled Bear Books ABN: 4787910119.

Your review is welcome in a writer’s neighbourhood

Each review is wanted,
Each review is good,
Your review is welcome
In a writer’s neighbourhood.

Mawson Bear’s Guardian Mark speaks: As you know, our Mawson is a Writer-Bear. His brand new book is called Dreamy Days and Random Naps. It’s about slowing down, indulging in big dreams of a grand world, and resting on cushions. Just perfect for all the tired daydream-believers who want to give themselves permission to relax for little while – or even longer. Could this be you?

I’m sure many frazzled grownups would enjoy escaping for a peaceful half hour into this cosy world – If only they knew about it. And this is the same for every writer: if only readers knew about their books!

Writers need your help. Yes, YOUR help: When you are quiet sort of writer (or a quiet writer-bear) it is not easy to be heard out there in the wide world. Only YOU, the all-powerful reader, can help. You can post your own review about a book on one of the book-retailer websites. Now don’t be alarmed by the word ‘review’. An essay is not required or wanted, rather just a few words about what you think of the book and what you liked.

How to do it: Go to your chosen book retailer. Search for the book title, or author name, or ISBN number. Here are some retailers: Amazon and Good ReadsBarnes and Noble (USA), and Booktopia (Australia) and Library Thing . (There are more listed below.)
After you find the book, scroll down to the field headed ‘Leave A Review’, or ‘Write Your Own Review’.
If you haven’t before used that book retailer you need to register to do so. This does take a couple of minutes of bother, I know, but then comes the fun.

Smiting at the Star Ratings. With all the power of your mighty keyboard, bash at the ratings. If you are an excitable sort of person, or if you love the book, keep on smiting. Smite Thrice!!! Smite Fourfold!!!! And, yea even unto Five times!!!!!  

Our Scotland the Brave charges at the ratings and smites for all he is worth.

You can post your review on other sites too: Having tasted your awesome power, why stop there? You can copy and paste your review to any other on-line retailer, as many as you like, depending on how mighty waxeth your smiting arm that day.

Other ways to help writers that cost nothing: Look at the reviews left by other readers and click the “helpful” or “like’ buttons. Share the links about that book all over the place. You can look at the writer’s other titles too and if you are not able to buy one just now, add to a ‘Wish List.’ On GoodReads add it to “Want to read’ list. These small actions tell the websites’ algorithms that people are taking notice of the book. It all adds up. And up. And UP. And it means lots of people will fall in love with our Dreamy Days and Random Naps (and the other books you review, of course) just like you. All writers will be grateful for these things which you can do in a jiffy.

Can you help with Mawson’s Dreamy Days and Random Naps?

Please let me know if you would like to do a review for Dreamy Days and Random NapsI can send you a PDF version. Short remarks are fine. It is, after all, a little book. Or just bash away at those star ratings.

Where to find Dreamy Days and Random Naps

Dreamy Days and Random Naps is at Amazon everywhere, at Amazon Australia (where Mawson sleepily lives), at BookDepository, at Barnes and Noble, at Dymocks, at Booktopia, at Walmart, at AbeBooks, at Loot (South Africa), Mighty Ape (New Zealand), Google Books, at Booklubben, and at Bookshop.org, and more. Our publisher is Odyssey Books.

Reviews of Mawson’s books on GoodReads.

It's a Bright World to Feel Lost In It’s a Bright World to Feel Lost In
reviews: 26
ratings: 34 (avg rating 4.32)
She Ran Away From Love She Ran Away From Love
reviews: 27
ratings: 33 (avg rating 4.30)
Dreamy Days and Random Naps Dreamy Days and Random Naps
reviews: 23
ratings: 26 (avg rating 4.38)

Your host, Mark, is Mawson Bear’s Guardian, photographer, editor, blundering typist, chocolates fetcher and cushions re-arranger. Baffled Bear Books ABN: 4787910119.

Who is this Writer-Bear named Mawson? He is a pondering author for our befuddled times

Do you sometimes feel a bit muddled about, well, Things ?

Sometimes rather ruffled when Things just go and, well, Happen ?

Sometimes feel confused one moment and completely baffled the next?

It’s not easy being Grownup. All this business of having to be sophisticated and industrious all day long! It just wears you down. But when you arrive in Mawson’s cosy world, the frazzled reader can flop down among the cushions and relax. Make your world a world of calm, for a little while anyway.

Listen to the quiet

Dreamy Days and Random Naps is Mawson’s latest little book stuffed with happy moments. If you are a daydream believer in a world still bright despite everything, then this book is for you.

Here you can find the answers to just about nothing at all. You can forget you ever had questions anyway. Mawson and his friends are befuddled about most things most of the time – just like so many of us. And that’s all right.

In She Ran Away From Love, by Mawson, his little friend Frilly feels hopelessly baffled by Big Questions. But does she give up? No! She sets out on a quest. See where it takes her.

‘Writing about love, dreams, happiness, and finding your own identity is all found within this short happy book.‘ Review on Amazon UK.

And in his first book, It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In , Mawson attempts to put into words that mysterious feeling of Feeling Lost.

35128781

It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In” is a book about optimism, searching for new adventures and making the most of life and love’. Review on GoodReads by Debbie Young, author of the Sophie Sayer Mysteries.

Our publisher is OdysseyBooks where you can find fun and beautiful books with pictures for grownups.

Where to find Mawson’s Books: At Amazon everywhere, including at Amazon India, and at Amazon Australia (where Mawson Lives), Amazon UK and Amazon France, among others.

Reviews of Mawson’s Books at GoodReads.

It's a Bright World to Feel Lost In It’s a Bright World to Feel Lost In
reviews: 26
ratings: 34 (avg rating 4.32)
She Ran Away From Love She Ran Away From Love
reviews: 27
ratings: 33 (avg rating 4.30)
Dreamy Days and Random Naps Dreamy Days and Random Naps
reviews: 23
ratings: 26 (avg rating 4.38)

If you would rather not use Amazon, Mawson’s book are all over the place. Try BookDepository, or Barnes and Noble, or Dymocks, or at Booktopia, and soon to be at more.

You are at Mark’s blog, Baffled Bear Books. Mark is guardian and hapless typist for Mawson Bear, Ponderer of Baffling Things and one of this bright world’s few published bears. Baffled Bear Books ABN: 4787910119

Your Review is Very Welcome in a Writer’s Neighbourhood

Did you know, Fellow Baffled Ones and Gentlebears, that you can leave reviews of books? You don’t have to be a formal reviewer. You can just plonk down what you think about a book. You can say a lot or say a little. It would be so wonderful if you do some reviews.

Each review is wanted,
Each review is good,
Your review is welcome
In a writer’s neighbourhood.

Why your help matters:  In these days of (shudder) Algorithms all forms of recognition for a book matter. They are all noted. They all add up. Likes, Shares, Mentions, Clicks on buttons that say ‘Helpful’- they all get taken into account by these (shudder) Algorithms. But the most helpful thing of all is a REVIEW.

YOUR review matters so much that I would send every reviewer a block of chocolate* if I could, smudged by tears of gratitude. Your review not only tells other purchasers of Grand Books about (cough) mine, but they also jump up the rankings and the visibility and all that sort of thing.

It’s easy, really it is:  Some reviews kindly given for It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In have been only a line. Two lines. A few more lines. Click here to see examples, real reviews on Amazon dot Com.

Mightyreader

It’s fun to have a bash: If you are stuck for something to say, simply bash away on the star ratings. They all get counted by those (shudder) algorithms. Here Sir Scotland The Brave shows how to stab most valiantly at the ratings.

Where to do reviews: With most of your favourite retailers: Amazon or Goodreads or Barnes and Noble or Dymocks or Booktopia or LibraryThing or Walmart. Mawson Bear’s books are at all these retailers – this bear gets around!

Click Like: While you are at these websites, you can also run your eye down the page to the reviews left by other fine people, and click on the  ‘Helpful’ or ‘Like’ buttons beneath them.

The awesome power of ‘playing’ on your device:  Every Share, Like and Mention on your social media helps; yes, the (shudder) algorithms note it all.  Keep them coming and Mawson’s books, and the books of all writers, can keep bravely going out into the wide bright world.

Writer-Bears love reviews too: Mawson’s own books are She Ran Away From Love and It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In. Soon, he will also bring you a book on a subject dear to every dreamy, imaginative reader (that surely means you!) It’s called Dreamy Days and Random Naps. It’s not quite ready yet. More news soon.

*I was thinking 78% dark choc with chunks of macadamia and hints of chilli.

You have wandered into the blog by Mark, guardian and photographer for Mawson Bear, one of this bright world’s very few Writer-Bears. Mawson wrote She Ran Away From Love and It’s A Bright world To Feel Lost In.

Birds, Birds, Birds at Lady Elliot Island on the Barrier Reef

BeeBear has regaled her friends with tales of Lady Elliot Island, her journey there, her explorations of the island, the corals she saw in the lagoon, and whether she saw turtles. But her bird friends at home especially want to know if she saw tropical birds.

She certainly did! Lady Elliot Island is paradise for twitchers (bird spotters.) On this coral quay which is so small that the air-strip cuts right across it (see picture above) there are thousands of birds. They come for the nesting season and peak around November.

It’s high density living here. Birds that usually nest on the ground get squeezed out by the earliest arrivals of the season and so take to the trees instead. They are all over every branch of every tree.

The birds in the picture above were in the trees three metres from our veranda. You can simply sit on your cabin veranda with a camera and take pictures of domestic life among the birds.

Birds that prefer trees have to find themselves a place on the ground. It’s all about high demand for premium real estate.

Everyone is making a racket. ‘Mummy, where are you, I’m hungry!’,
‘Harold, you’ve been ages. It’s your turn to mind your kid’,
‘Steady on, Mabel, I only just got back’,
‘You stayed out at sea deliberately, didn’t you, leaving me stuck here with this squawker’,
‘I did not, Mabel, you’ve no idea how far I had to go for fish ‘,
‘ Hah! A likely story’,
‘Its true. I blame those trawlers’,
‘Oi, you lot, get off my branch’,
‘Your branch? Hah! It so is not.’
‘It is, it is. Me and Narelle got it first, so get lost’.
‘ You did not, you great big liars, we got it first,’
‘You pinched it!’
‘ You get over here, mate, and try saying that, go on, go on.’
‘ Mummeee, Daddeeeeee! Where’s my fooooood!’

Screeches, calls, warnings, quarrels. On, and on, all night it goes. The resort even provides ear plugs so that guests can sleep at night.

Birds soar everywhere. Outgoing- traffic of the parents leaving chicks to find food in the ocean crosses through incoming traffic of food-laden parents in what looks like an air-traffic controller’s worst nightmare.

The birds are all protected from humans these days, of course, and completely at ease with people. They perch all over the cabin verandas and some venture hopefully toward the diners in the restaurant. They even raise their young right next to the walkways and buildings, including the most unusual bird you see below.

This is the rare Red-tailed Tropic Bird. It’s one of the world’s oldest and most elusive birds. Read more about them here and here. We had the most wonderful good fortune to see a young one and only hundred metres from our cabin.

Just look at this Red-tailed Tropicbird chick hunkered into its ground-nest waiting for its ocean going parents. It was enormous. It was bigger than a full grown chicken. . ‘Food”, it cried, ‘Gimmee foooooood!’ Of course, we didn’t- no feeding of the birds on Lady Elliot Island. But we did wonder how the parents could ever bring back enough food to satisfy this big lad. Both of them were out at sea trying to do just that.

In the next post, fellow Baffled Ones and Gentlebears, we bring you even more birds and more chicks.

You are at Baffled Bear Books, brought to you by Mark, guardian and blundering typist for Mawson Bear, Ponderer of Baffling Things and one of this bright world’s few published bears. Mawson is writer bear of It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In and of She Ran Away From Love.

Turtle Dawn on The Great Barrier Reef

Welcome back to Lady Elliot Island, a coral quay on The Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia. We flew here with BeeBear (read all about it here) and walked around exploring (read it here.)

ComingIn1
Lady Elliot Island at the southern end of Great Barrier Reef

Almost every tree you see on the island in the photo above has been planted in the past 30 years during the patient restoration process. The island was stripped for the guano in the years before that. But it is a conservation success story now, and safe again for the turtles to nest on.

Those buildings in the photo below are some cabins of the Eco Resort. See how close they are to the beach. We stayed in one of those. They are not fancy because this is a low-impact eco resort.

During our stay in November, turtles were heaving themselves ashore after years at sea. On our first night we sat by the seats you see above watching the turtle who made these very tracks. Ironically, she dug right next to the sign about turtles.

Laboriously she dug, then moved, then dug, and moved again, not satisfied with the particular holes. On and on she dug. We were exhausted, and we were only watching. We went to bed and left her still digging. In the morning we saw that she had not been happy with any of the holes. No eggs laid.

We rose before dawn and set off stumbling along the crumbly edges of the island peering for obstacles. We did not take torches because the lights can disturb the turtles. We were part way around the island at the point where the runway comes almost down to the water when we saw tracks. Our turtle seemed to have lumbered ashore, gone into the bushes, worked her way through them and circled back around towards the sea. It must have been a very long trek for her, and all of it over ground deemed unsuitable for laying in.

There was a mound by the runway edge that might be a successful nest. (We would report it to the staff who monitor all the possible turtle nests). But where was she? Oh no, Look there! Our heroine is that rounded shell in the middle of the photo being watched over by a heron. She had taken so long at her mission that the tide had gone out. She was stuck within the reef.

We watched over her for a while as the sun came up. Sometimes she circled hopefully. Most of the time she rested. She had worked all night to clamber up the shore, to dig, to lay, and to get back down to the water – she must have been exhausted.


We moved away to leave our “Dawn Turtle” in peace. On returning from our walk, we were delighted to see her checking possible exits through the rocks and coral. As the tide came in the water lapped higher and she got a bit further out. And then with a splash and a surge she made it over the big outer reef.

There she goes, one turtle taking on the vast Pacific Ocean. We were so happy to see her making her way out, but worried too. The scourge of plastic is out there, just waiting to uselessly fill her stomach. And the long nets of the predatory trawlers show no mercy. But if .. she can still find real food and if .. she somehow escapes entanglement, she will be return one day to Lady Elliot Island. Let’s hope so.

Swim, turtle, swim.

You are at Baffled Bear Books, the blog by Mark O’Dwyer, guardian of
Mawson, Writer Bear of It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In. 

Emma of FNM Book Reviews said of It’s A Bright World, “Comforting, like an old security blanket”.  

The Lagoon at Lady Elliot Island on the Great Barrier Reef

Welcome back to Lady Elliot Island, a coral quay on The Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia. The Barrier Reef, as everyone knows, is the mighty reef down which Nemo’s dad swam to find his little son.

We flew here with BeeBear (read all about it here) and walked around exploring (read it here.)

ComingIn1

But what do you really want to see at a coral lagoon? The lagoon of course! The glass bottomed boats leave from the beach at the end of the runway that runs through the middle of the island (see aerial view.) Almost all the trees you see here have been planted in the past 30 years during the patient restoration process – it had been stripped down for the guano in the years before that.

Boat 1

Looking back from the boat at nearly high tide, you can see how clear the lagoon water is. Those buildings on the far left of the photo below are some cabins of the Eco Resort. See how close they are to the sea. We stayed in one of those. They are not fancy because this is a low-impact eco resort.

Boat 5

Our glass bottomed boat took us further out to just above the main reef where the water gets more blue and you can see the whole island from here.  Out and out we went. In the deeper water above the reef we tourists went snorkling with the boat crew keeping on eye on us so we felt quite safe. The staff on Lady Elliot Island must have the best job in Australia, in the world.

Boat 2

We saw all kinds of fish and a huge groper and even briefly saw a manta ray.  A large green turtle came up from under a coral shelf right in front of me. It was one of those moments that stay in your mind forever.  I have no pictures – didn’t have that kind of camera. Besides while you are down there, you just want to experience the moments fully, right there, as you are.

Boat 3

And what of the coral? The coral is not easy to see in the deeper water especially as the swell builds, and from the boat itself this is about all you can make out (below). The startling blues of the starfish are clearly visible though. We saw lots of coral at low tide and I will show you that later.

Don’t worry, I won’t leave you without any photos at all of the wonderful animals in the lagoon, for once back on shore we saw this little fella. He was just turtling along right among the people! It is after all, a turtle’s home, not peoples’ home.

” I’m just a turtle,
Turtling along,
A happy green turtle,
Burbling a song…”

Green turtle 6

We settled on a deck chair as evening fell. Would the big female loggerhead turtles clamber up this very beach in the night? Yes, they did! But that’s for another post.

Beach 3 low tide

You are at Baffled Bear Books, the blog by Mark O’Dwyer, guardian of
Mawson, Writer Bear of It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In. 

Emma of FNM Book Reviews said of  Bright World, “Comforting, like an old security blanket”.  

Slow Life on Lady Elliot Island, Queensland, Australia

Hope you enjoyed reading of BeeBear’s adventurous journey to Lady Elliot Island, the southern most coral quay on the Barrier Reef.

We settled into the cabin and stepped out on to our little veranda just 50 metres from the beach by the lagoon. The tide was half out. Later, we joined a guided reef walk at low tide. Snorkelling is only allowed at high tide.

Beach 5

Overhanging our veranda were our closest neighbours: a few hundred of the thousands of quarrelling birds here to nest in November. This kind of high density living would make anyone quarrelsome! Birds that usually nest in the sand taken to the trees due to lack of ground space. Every pandanus tree branch is weighed down with occupants. The noise is constant. The staff kindly leave ear plugs in the cabins so that people can sleep at night. More about the birds later.

Bird 16

What does everyone want to do on their first day on a tropical island? Explore! We collected the essentials for Brave Explorers: strong shoes, hats, sunnies, water bottles, and we were ready. Oops, nearly forgot the SLR camera.

For most of our explorations we saw few other people. There are at most 160 people staying and working here. This is done deliberately to keep down the impact of we humans on the wildlife. Of course, they are all doing things too like swimming, snorkelling, going out in the glass bottom boats, or just lazing on their cabin verandas.

Beach 1

Some way around the shore we came upon a stretch of coarse sand. Here we could lurch along reasonably well, sinking into the whiteness.

Beach 4 Coconut

But long stretches are a difficult scramble between the sea and sharp coral on one side and lumpy rocks on the other. The coconut here was washed ashore from elsewhere. There are no coconut trees here.

Beach 2

Between the trees that begin just up from the rocks and sand the nesting turtles were digging nesting holes at night. The staff teams go around each morning to count and inspect them. We hoped to see some later.

Beach 9 Light 1

If you look at the map BeeBear is showing her friends (above), you can see a compass (or steering helm) symbol at the top. The lighthouse is up there. It’s keepers were the island’s only occupants for many years.

Beach 3 low tide

Over the next two days we took a reef walk, went snorkelling in the lagoon, and looked for turtles. More about that in future posts. For now let’s try to ignore those raucous birds and loll about on this coral quay looking toward the sunset.

Mark, your host at Baffled Bear Books, is guardian and blundering typist for Mawson, one of this bright world’s few published bears.

Of Mawson’s first book, It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In, a reviewer said, ‘Reading this book is like receiving a great big hug of reassurance and a huge hot chocolate with fluffy marshmallows.’

BeeBear Flies to Lady Elliot Island on The Great Barrier Reef

Lady Elliot Island is a coral quay on the south end of The Great Barrier Reef. The tiny island has featured on an episode of David Attenborough’s TV series, Great Barrier Reef  not only because of the bird life, turtles and manta rays there but also because it is a conservation success story.

Some time ago (when BeeBears could still travel on holidays) our BeeBear spent two amazing days and nights there. Naturally, she is bursting to talk all about it to the birds of Mawson’s house and to Tammy Turtle and to YOU.

Tammy Turtle and The Birds listen enthralled as BeeBear tells of her journey to Lady Elliot Island on the Great Barrier Reef

Where is Lady Elliot Island? Zoom in on a map of Australia. Find Queensland. On the east coast of Queensland, you can see a large island, Fraser Island  which is the largest sand island in the world. Lady Elliot Island lies north of Fraser Island. Just to get there was an adventure. First, BeeBear (and her people) flew ALL DAY from Perth in Western Australia to Brisbane in Queensland in Boeing 737 (comfort and movies) then on a turbo prop aircraft to Hervey Bay (lots of shaking and rattling. Sandwiches). Then the planes got even smaller. We hoped none would shrink too small to carry a small bear.

We flew out on a Beechcraft B 200 from Hervey Bay

We flew out on a Beechcraft B 200 from Hervey Bay and returned on a Cesna 210 Centurion.  As an experienced aviator herself, Beebear helped to oversee the control thingygums. If you zoom in on the photo below you can see the navigating thingygum. It shows our position and the red line shows our flight path. 

BeeBear supervises the flying. The map diagram on the control panel show the flight path

Our flight from the coastal town of  Hervey Bay to Lady Elliot Island took 80 minutes. We headed out over the sea and then northerly between the mainland and Fraser Island, the big one in the distance (below). It’s the largest sand island in the world.

Looking east from our aircraft. The large island in the distance is Fraser Island

Beyond Fraser Island is The Pacific Ocean where the turtles roam for years on the currents after laying their eggs on Lady Elliot and on many other islands of The Barrier Reef. 

The astonishing blues of the coastal waters between the coast and Fraser Island

The colours and swirls and patterns of coastal seas are just too blue for words. And these pics were taken through slightly fuzzy perspex windows so in fact they looked even bluer. We flew past Fraser Island and had a good view of the little islands and sand banks too.

Looking back southward as we past by Fraser Island we also see small islands and sand banks and blue waters

See that little island in the foreground of the picture above? Imagine an island like that all for oneself.  Our BeeBear thought it just about the right size for a a small-winged bear to settle down on. She would just sit there in the shade by the sand all day simply being  stunned by the colours of the sea. Cyclones could be a bother though.

Lady Elliot Island, photo taken by us through windows of the plane. A beautiful clear day. The lagoon is clearly visible

Thar she blows! Lady Elliot Island hoves into sight (above). You can see the main coral reef  where the deep dark blue ocean is breaking to white tops (and you can compare with the picture on the brochure at the top of the post). Within the reef lies the lagoon. You can do reef walks at low tide and snorkel there at high tide. You see green turtles and reef sharks and all kinds of starfish and fish and lots of coral. The island is so small that, as you can see, the airstrip goes right across the middle, one side to the other.

The runway runs end to end of the island. You can see it end at the waters of the lagoon

If you look through the blur of the propellor (above) you can see two bands of blue at the end of the landing strip? That’s the lagoon, and after the lagoon the dark deep blue of the Pacific Ocean.  We were to see turtles right there where the  runway strip ends. 

The eco resort on Lady Elliot Island, deliberately low impact and low key

And there is the Eco Resort on Lady Elliot Island. It’s deliberately low key and low impact. The staff are very involved in caring for the island. They plant trees and count the birds nests and the turtle nests and inform visitors about the wonders of the island.  

Comingin12

The island was actually a conservation disaster until some decades ago, and since then it has been restored tree by tree. More about Lady Elliot Island in the next post when we go for a walk and enjoy the Slow Life.

Beach 7

Mark is guardian and blundering typist for Mawson, one of this bright world’s few published bears. Of Mawson’s first book, ‘It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In’, a reviewer said, ‘Reading this book is like receiving a great big hug of reassurance and a huge hot chocolate with fluffy marshmallows.’

Some of the best philosophers are bears: Introducing Mawson Bear

Here is some of the text of an interview by Rachel Nightingale, author of The Tales of Tarya, of Mark, Mawson Bear’s Guardian.

Mawson is the proud author of It’s a bright world to feel lost in, published by Publisher Obscura. This is a beautiful philosophical book in the vein of The blue day book by Bradley Trevor Grieve. It is the perfect sort of book to buy as a stocking stuffer or Kris Kringle for someone who likes to muse about life, and who hasn’t lost their sense of whimsy. Mawson ‘s second book is She Ran Away From Love.’

Which writer or writers opened your eyes to the magic of storytelling and why?

‘When young I devoured books by many authors but when it comes to the magic they brought me, I will list those by C.S Lewis (Narnia), Issac Asimov (Sci Fi), and Rosemary Sutcliffe (historical fiction).’

Like most readers, what I sought was to be transported from this world.  With these writers I could be in Norman England winning back a castle during a school break, in the woods of Narnia on a rainy Sunday, or fleeing rogue robots during a long car ride.

What is your greatest magical power as a writer?

‘Shyly he says, ‘I listen to the bears’.

Poets, actors, composers, painters, ‘artistic people’, all speak reluctantly about the heart of creativity. They proffer vague expressions like ‘feeling inspired’, ‘being guided’, ‘trusting the muse’, ‘entering into the role’. What does this mean? I think it’s about listening for ‘something’. Now, this ‘something’ cannot not be analysed or modelled on a flow chart. It’s very shy, and it needs to trust you to respect it. I think the greatest magical power of a writer is to gently –don’t startle it –gently reach out for this ‘something’, gain it’s trust; and then to let characters and story flow on from there.

I listen to my bears. I never know when I’ll hear in a voice as quiet as can be imagined the best ponders framed in the best words; and these are ideas and words that I myself did not have in mind, really I didn’t. When I don’t listen but just grind on, my writing is not right: the voice feels wrong, the images don’t flow, and it is not satisfying’.

For the rest of the interview please visit Rachel Nightingale’s website.

While you are there be sure to read more about the books by this novelist, playright, performer and thespian. Rachel ponders much about the power of story and fantasy in our lives. At her website you can learn more about the Commedia dell’Arte, an inspiration for The Tales of Tarya.

My review of The Harlequins Riddle, the first of those tales, is right here. Columbine’s Tale, Book two of the series, and Book Three, Pierrots’ Song are also out now, published by  Odyssey Books.

The Tales of Tarya is now available at Amazon as a complete Kindle Set!

You are at Mark’s blog called Baffled Bear Books. Mark is a bibliophile, dark coffee tragic, and the guardian and blundering typist for Mawson Bear,  one of this bright world’s few published bears.

‘Chekov’s Three Sisters Would Have Got To Moscow’. Notes on Georgette Heyer

The Tedettes Jane Austen Book Club are now engrossed in the novels of the Queen of Regency Romance, Georgette Heyer. They have learned more about their heroine from Jane Aiken Hodges biography. It’s called The Private World of Georgette Heyer (Quotes from the Chivers 1984 edition).

Hodge’s Foreword: “She was .. an immensely skilled and meticulous craftswoman. She did her best to conceal her high standards and stern moral code behind the mask of romantic comedy.”

Heyer 1 small 2268
Engrossed in the regency novels of Georgette Heyer

Plots and technique

(From Hodges, Chapter 2). Heyer once said, “My plots are abysmal and I think of them with blood and tears”. Her family confirm she did indeed work at her plots with blood and tears .. plunged in black gloom when things went badly, prowling restlessly about the house until she had her plan worked out, when she would sit down and write … at high speed, often late into the night. Heyer said of her own work in one letter to her publisher:

“ … The Unknown Ajax and Venetia are the best of my later works. My style is really a mixture of Johnson and Austen – what I rely on is a certain gift for the farcial … I know its useless to talk about technique in these degenerate days – but no less a technician than Noel Coward reads me because he thinks my technique is so good. I’m proud of that.”

(From Chapter 8) She kept a single fan letter, received in 1963 from former political prisoner in Romania. The writer spoke of how she had read Friday’s Child before her arrest, and for 12 long years had told and retold the story, committed to memory, of “what Kitten did next” to her fellow inmates.

“Truly, your characters managed to awaken smiles, even when hearts were heavy, stomachs empty and the future dark indeed”.

Praise that would astonish any writer.

Much in Hodge’s biography is of technical interest to writers: Heyer’s dealing with her several publishers and agents, and her views about the blurbs and jackets. There is a lesson too in reading about Heyer’s decades-long tax problems. Even though she always earned a lot she had cash flow problems. These mangled finances were caused by herself and her husband simply not taking a business-like approach to her income.

The Tedettes leave you with their favourite observation from Hodge’s biography:

“She had no patience for .. Russian gloom. If she had been one of Chekhov’s three sisters they would have got to Moscow.”

The Tedettes first looked at Hodge’s biography here, and then they read about Heyer’s hero’s here.

The Private World of Georgette Heyer and more about Miss Heyer the writer can be found at Amazon, and BookDepository. Thanks for joining the Teddettes as they explore the Regency world of Georgette Heyer.

You are at Mark’s blog called Baffled Bear Books. Mark is a dark coffee tragic and bibliophile as well as the Guardian and blundering typist for Mawson Bear, Ponderer of Baffling Things and one of this bright world’s few published bears.