Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Excerpt Tour + #Giveaway: Stargazer by David Scott @GoddessFish


by David Scott

GENRE: Autobiography


For thousands of years, stars have held our attention and imagination. They influence our life—we wish upon them, sing songs about them, navigate by them, write about them, follow them, and even give their name to the actors we love. My memories have revealed a lifetime of navigating by the stars, and moving beyond the fear and anxiety that self-doubt so insidiously cloaks us in. Yes, as Jiminy Cricket sang for us in Walt Disney's Pinocchio, "when you wish upon a star . . . fate steps in and sees you through."

Memories and influences have a profound effect on our lives. I look back on my childhood years—the 1940s to mid-'50s—and I can recall the people who were inspirational to me. Mostly it was my family, but there was also Jiminy Cricket. You no doubt recollect the song "When You Wish Upon a Star," with its lyrics that lift the spirit and let you believe anything is possible. I didn't doubt Jiminy for a minute.

The early years of my life were a time of innocence, security, adventure, and family love. How quickly my situation changed—one decision by my parents, made with my best interests foremost in their thoughts, shattered the world I had known. Through the fear, torment, isolation, and loss of my own identity, my memories and influences would come to have an overwhelming power on the choices I was to make.

My transition from teenager to adult seemed to happen overnight, but my unflappable outward appearance belied the struggles of a boy coming to terms with his guilt, and an irresistible need for his parents to be proud of him. My future was being shaped from the past, but it took me a long time to realise it. I chose the road less travelled, steeped in the wonder of the cinema and accompanied by my beloved animal companions, and it has been intriguing, daunting, rewarding, and, at times, solitary, but I always felt it was the path I was meant to take.

Like so many people, I let the emotions attached to memories hold me captive, and I missed opportunities to choose with more clarity. A near-death experience helped me to live a simpler life. Participating in a creative writing course inspired me to engage in script writing, stage work, and novel writing. This is my third book, an autobiography that has revealed more of me than I ever intended to share, and fate has led you to it.


Construction of the Albury drive-in theatre took place during the winter of my content, despite a bleeding bladder infection and frost-cracked hands from making speaker stands by hand-mixing cement and pouring it into moulds that supported four-foot lengths of pipe. Ron Hanel, my future projectionist, helped me make them and later assisted the men shoring up the thirty metre long, two-and-a-quarter-metre deep and one and- a-quarter-metre wide trenches that were to become concrete foundations for the giant screen’s legs.

Hey!” he exclaimed on the day the first pour of concrete partly filled the deep dugouts. He was sitting by the screen site eating lunch as the framework for the projection room was being erected. “These trenches are skew-whiff to the bio box.”

Thanks to Ron, the surveyor’s twenty-degree error was discovered before more concrete was poured into the dugouts. Because of the mistake, fresh trenches were needed, the new ones cutting across what was already excavated.

The huge screen was the first in Australia to be fully assembled while lying on the ground—previously the facing was welded on after the framework was raised.

Excitement was at fever pitch on the day it was to be elevated; even representatives from the local press and TV station were teed up to cover the event.

Its back legs were hinged to metal plates bolted into the concrete foundations, and two trucks with ropes attached to the top of the screen were to pull it up while a tractor at the back, also connected by rope to the top of the screen, steadied the lift.

My stomach churned as, inch by inch, the mammoth structure lifted off the ground, the tractor behind edging forward as the two vehicles in front moved away. The foreman darted here and there tossing directions to the drivers, all the time nervously scrutinising his weeks of hard work being raised into place.

At around sixty degrees the creaking metal screen loomed above the man in the back tractor, casting its shadow over him. “I’m outta here!” he shrieked, unhooking the rope from his machine and driving out of harm’s way.

The loss of back tension sent the screen plummeting forward to crash down onto the front foundation with such force that it bounced back up.

Holy cow!” someone yelled, the most printable exclamation around me.

Holy shit! I thought, my feet glued to the spot while I imagined a twisted pile of iron lying on the ground.

Run! Everyone get out of the way!” hollered the foreman, his gaze fixed on his teetering masterpiece of engineering.

Like in a dream, it seemed to hover for ages, but in reality it was probably only a few seconds before the front legs dropped back down, landing inches askew of the plates they were to be bolted to.

Where’s that bloody idiot!” screamed the man in charge, peering around with murder in his eyes.

The tractor driver had wisely flattened his foot onto the accelerator and was streaking towards the public road at a breakneck speed of twelve miles per hour, chit chat being the furthest thing from his mind! With the drama over, I felt empathy for him; it must have been unnerving with tons of squeaking metal above his head.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

David Scott is a playwright, director and novelist – among other things. His career included forty years as a film exhibitor; establishing a horse stud; managing a motel; working in the hospitality industry, and a few other experiences along the way. David’s latest book, Stargazer, is an autobiography highlighting the value of family, ingenuity, bravado, old-fashioned common sense, colourful characters and unfailing good humour. From rural towns in Victoria and New South Wales, to the mountain life in Queensland, the constant has been faithful canine companions, perseverance and a joy for living.







$15 Amazon or B/N GC

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