“The Call of the Wild is loud and clear in Botswana” says Mike Copeland in the introduction to the Getaway Guide to Botswana.
Copeland recommends Botswana for its preservation of untouched spaces where “pre-human-era fauna” can be found, but he advises that you prepare for the trip and make sure you are properly equipped:
The Call of the Wild is loud and clear in Botswana – it roars and bellows across the open spaces of this vast, almost flat country. There are not many countries left on our planet that have more than a fair share of pre-human-era fauna preserved into our modern age, and where they roam so widely and freely. Fortunate is the traveller who answers the call and experiences what Botswana has to offer. The adrenaline rush of predators in camp at night, of battering your vehicle through deep sand and water or mud, sipping sundowners while watching the sky turn red with the silhouettes of elephants drinking nearby, or just enjoying the silence and solitude of the salt pans: this is Botswana.
Books LIVE editor Carolyn Meads attended the “Three writers walk into a book deal…” session at the Franschhoek Literary Festival and filmed Helen Moffett reading a passage from the choose-your-own-adventure erotic novel, A Girl Walks into a Bar, which Moffett co-authored as Helena S Paige, along with Paige Nick and Sarah Lotz.
Nick discussed her writing process and the difficulty of naming body parts in sex scenes on the Get Your Book Published site:
1. From first draft, to published book, how much editing do you do?
I do zero editing when I’m writing the first draft of anything. In fact I try to read back as little as possible. There’s that thing where you hear your own recorded voice played back to you, and it sounds awful and you hate it. Well I have the same feeling when I read back something I’ve just written. The trick with a first draft is to get the story out of my head and down onto the page as fast as possible, and then I spend ages crafting and rewriting and editing at a later stage.
In the introduction to The African National Congress and the Regeneration of Political Power, Susan Booysen describes occupying two worlds in relation to the ANC, as a direct observer and an analyst-researcher.
Booysen goes into detail about what these two roles mean and explains that “The book straddles these two worlds, but is unapologetically analytical.” Read the excerpt:
In the following extract from Gert J Scholtz’s The Keys to Persuasion, the author discusses the “cat system”. This persuasion system is based on the author’s house cat, which he calls a “persuasion master”. Scholtz’s The Keys to Persuasion provides you with the tools to also become an expert at persuasion.
Meet a persuasion master: our house cat. Every evening, as I sit down at my computer, he jumps onto the desk and starts nudging me – softly at first, but more insistently after a while. The reason? He wants to lie on my chair. After some more caressing and nudging, he jumps behind my back and wriggles his way between me and the chair. On a cold winter’s evening, the warm cat at my back feels cosy and, after I have adjusted my seating, I let the cat be. He succeeds in claiming his position on the chair every time. How does he do this?
“January is full of surprises”, writes Christine Stevens in Harvest Diaries as she describes a morning on her farm when the grapes are starting to ripen, the chickens are not enjoying the heat and there are peaches ready to be eaten off the tree.
Read the full excerpt in which Stevens describes the fruit and vegetables that are harvested in January:
January is full of surprises. In the first year after we bought the farm, we were celebrating New Year’s Eve when a storm blew through this seemingly tranquil place bringing hail that devastated the ripening grapes. A couple of years later a strong north-westerly wind blew over row upon row of grape-laden vines. My vista is superb. Rows of vines are backed by imposing mountains. Bunches of jasper-green grapes hang from the vines.
In Angels of Mercy, Chris Schoeman quotes from the diaries of various women who came to South Africa during the Anglo-Boer War to help out as nurses, teachers or simply in search of adventure.
Zebra Press has shared a few extracts from the book, starting with descriptions of conditions at the hospitals and going on to describe the schools organised for children in the concentration camps.
From the diary of Elin Lindblom, a Scandinavian nurse, Schoeman relates the story of an exceptionally tall Boer who was shot through the head and delirious. “We succeeded in nursing him through, thanks partly to our able doctors, partly to our vigilance. That we could cure Christian (as was his christian name) gave us a reputation among the Boers that ‘when they came to us they would be well again’,” she writes.
Among others, Schoeman also writes about Alice Bron, who came to South Africa with strong pro-Boer feelings, but left disillusioned, and Mary Kingsley, who visited Rudyard Kipling at his home in Wynberg.
‘The weather was now very cold at night, the frost being thick both inside and out of our single bell tents – the patients, being in double marquees, did not feel the cold so much. We were scarce of water, and lived on rations, which an orderly cooked for us on a fire on the veldt, dinner being a movable and uncertain feast on a rainy day. Around our camp, within fifty yards, were several six-inch guns, while we had prepared in a donga a place of safety for helpless patients and a bomb-proof shelter for all the hospital staff in case of attack, which for some time threatened us daily. Hanging in our mess was a copy of orders to be observed when attacked, etc. Several mornings we wakened to hear the boom of guns, which, however, were never near enough to necessitate our using the shelter.’ ~ Georgina Pope, Canada
Named after the strong-flowing Hex River, Sterkstroom lies in a valley, with the Stormberg and Bamboesberg forming an amphitheatre. Nearby is a wide expanse of rolling grassland, with rocky kopjes on all sides, where the wind blows fiercely, and lightning and severe thunderstorms frighten strangers. Nights are bitterly cold, mornings are frosty, and summer days are unbearably hot. It was in this inhospitable place, at the Stationary Hospital, that Nellie Gould and the other sisters prepared to nurse Gatacre’s sick and wounded soldiers. It was the beginning of a period in which Nellie and her team set about transforming decrepit buildings into hospitals, and raising the level of patient care; supplies were often limited, and food and water were in short supply. The team was fully committed to its task, however, and the women tirelessly scrubbed and cleaned sick tents, frequently using their own clothing as covering for the sick. At one point, Nellie was in charge of the entire Orange River district, which stretched far beyond Sterkstroom.