Beverley Paine

South Australian Children's Author

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Always Learning



Beverley's Blog

Bungala Ridge

South Australian
Home Education


Homeschool FAQ

Natural Learning


Published Writing
Works in Progress
The Write Place!


I grew up in the suburbs but escaped to the country as soon as I could and have stayed there ever since! Owning a small farm was always a childhood dream, as was becoming an author. Goal setting, even from a tender age, gets results!

Take a peek at our home page, Bungala Ridge Permaculture Gardens, to see how I fill our days in this wonderful and picturesque part of Australia.

My family arrived in Australia from Portsmouth, England in 1963, four and a half years after my birth. My lack of memory of my ancestral home has caused me some consternation and grief; like many migrants I feel I have lost my roots. I am endeavouring to carve new roots to nurture my descendants (I am forever hopeful of some arriving one day!)

Dad, Jacqui, Rory and I (right) with Fremantle in the background - on our way to Adelaide from England in 1963.

I began writing seriously about eight years ago, mostly for home education newsletters and magazines. I love writing - it is my life and I'm at the typewriter doing something - anything - each and every day! It doesn't really matter what I write, I have this obsession with ferreting words away somewhere!

I write because I like to put words together to create a feeling that moves me, a picture that excites me and shakes my senses. If my words do this for me then I hope others, too, can enjoy them.

I love writing - above all else my writing is written for me. It is an expression of who and where I am; my personal journey through life expressed in words. I find myself in my writing. Writing is - images of emotion condensed, scratches of colour, of feeling, of intensity and form barely glimpsed.

The inspiration for my first novel, The Chimaera Conspiracy, came from helping my children write stories for a competition based on Aquazone LEGO. I wrote my own, and it grew and grew, until I realised I was finally achieving my childhood goal of writing a novel!

I love the way my stories seem to write themselves.
I feel like I am the vehicle the characters use to come to life. They continuously surprise me with their antics, taking over the story or showing me where it needs to go. The editing process is challenging and exhilarating, and I enjoy researching for my stories too. Although a lot of fun, writing is hard work, but that's what makes it so satisfying.

Read more about my hobbies.

I am in my late-forties, have three wonderfully supportive children in the early adult stage of life, and an ace of a partner. Life simply couldn't be any better...

My children, April, Roger
and Thomas, a few years
ago walking through Deep
Creek Conservation Park.


Published Writing

Chimaera Conspiracy, YA novel, Greater Glider Productions,
ISBN 097304525

Short Stories:
Perfect, AntipodeanSF online Issue 35 Jan 2001
Planned Obsolescence AntipodeanSF online Issue 40 Dec 2001

Published Articles:
Repairing Despair, Home Farmer Vol Earth Garden Books, 2000
Planting for the Millennium, Greenhouse Living No 4, Autumn 2000, Grass Roots Publishing Pty Ltd
Home Learning, the Permaculture Way, Permaculture International Journal, Issue 72 Sept 1999, Permaculture Institute
Learning Creativity Through A Permaculture Lifestyle, Permaculture International Journal, Issue 69 Dec 1998, Permaculture Institute
Living Without A Fridge, Earthwise Women, Issue 9 May 1998
A Forest In My Backyard, Earthwise Women, Issue 7 Sep 1997
A Radical Educational Alternative, Earthwise Women, Issue 4 Mar 1997

Self Published Books:
Getting Started with Home Schooling - Practical Considerations for Parents of School Aged Children, ISBN 876651008
Learning in the Absence of Education - Essays on Home Schooling ISBN 1876651016
Home Education Booklets Series:

  • The Spelling Process
  • The Writing Process
  • Developing Handwriting
  • Thoughts on Writing
  • Language Games You Can Play
  • Natural Learning
  • Learning To Love Reading
  • Learning Materials for the Homeschool
  • Homeschool Frequently Asked Questions
  • Unit Studies

Learnaing Without School
Home Schooling Diary & Naturally Learning Diary
Home Education Reports & Curriculum Guidelines:

  • Early Childhood
  • Middle Childhood
  • Early Adolescence

Regular Columnist:
Natural Learning, 1995-1996, edited by John Peacock, New Norfolk, Tasmania
Education at Home, 1996, edited by Vanessa Corrigan, Canberra, ACT
Stepping Stones for Home Educators, 1997-2002, edited by Grace Chapman, Cairns, QLD
Education Choices, 2005, edited by Eleanor Sparks, Brisbane, Qld

Producer, Founder & Editor:
Homeschool Australia Newsletter, 1999-2005 (continuing)
South Australian Home Based Learners Newsletter, 1989-1991 & 1993
Fleurieu Home Based Learners Network Newsletter, 1995-1998
Homeschool Today!


Works in Progress

The Miner's Daughter, historic Children's Novel set in South Australia
Virtual Death, YA SciFi Novel
Stormy Skies, YA Novel
Cam's Treasures, Children's Illustrated Solo Reader
What Happened to Ben's Garden?, Picture Book
Bunyips Don't Cry, Children's novel set in South Australia
Lady Bay Mermaid, Environmental Children's novel set in South Australia

The Dingo Cave, Children's story
The Mysterious Lights, Children's story
Crystal Plague, SF
The Man in the Moon, SF
The Pebble, SF
The Story Girl, SF Fantasy
The Day it Rained Dirt, SF
Dancing with the Devil, YA


The Write Place!

Earlier this year I decided to take myself seriously as a writer - committing myself to a daily writing regime akin to any other employment endeavor. This is proving very hard, with many distractions, including the on going home education of my children. I created a small writing corner in our living space, knowing that I need lots of natural light and views of the garden and beyond to feel comfortable when working. However, facing a wall, even a short one next to a window, and situated in a corner felt too crowded. I realised this when I discovered that I was shying away from using my writing desk, lurking most frequently at my desk in the computer room that doubled as an office.

It was brave me that faced up to my family on my birthday and declared I wanted to take over the computing room and turn it into my private writing room!

This meant commandeering our youngest son's bedroom as the new computer room that luckily he was happy to do. This meant fitting his skylight with louvres to cut down on the amount of reflection on the monitors, one of those 'round to it' jobs pending for years!

Having secured this wonderful and airy 'annexe' to the house, built under the verandah years ago, I set about turning it into a useful space. The room has three windows - one facing a jungle of green plants under shadecloth, another facing the verandah with its polycarbonate covering - a great place for winter breakfasts and lunch with it's lawn of baby tears, flower gardens and ferns, and the other window faces east, through the vegetable garden, past the young oak tree to the scrub full of flowering grass trees, wattles and gums.

The only draw back is the lack of wall space! But I've managed to cover whatever is available with a collection of colourful posters, artwork and drawings by my children, happy smiling faces (cheap paper plates!), postcards and photographs, paintings and tapestries, and small colourful circles of paper with lots of writing tips, reminders and editing notes. A huge black cloth covered pin up board is almost entirely covered.

I have two desks - the large one is my desktop publishing centre and houses the machine that keeps me linked to the world, plus the colour printer and scanner. Everything I need is within reach - the filing cabinet, paper trays, in and out folders, reference books, telephone, the boxes of Practical Homeschooling Books, pens, pencils, scissors, tape, etc, etc. I don't have to move, simply swivel in my chair. I find this arrangement essential to avoid frustration at any time. I spend about two hours at this desk each day, depending on what tasks I set myself. I used to spend all day at this desk, preferring 'office' type work to the much more creative practice of writing fiction!

My daughter's bed found its way into the room, and I'm really glad. She left home about six months ago and stays over occasionally, so it's important to have a room with some privacy for her. The bed is a comfortable space for me to sit and work my way through the long editing process. I usually edit on the computer but nothing beats printing the pages out and working through the hard copy. I'm the kind of person that loves to spread out, so most of the time the bed is used as extra desk space, usually totally covered in papers and plans from works in progress.

Next to this bed is my handcrafted writing table - really only a wide redgum shelf! We've tacked on a wooden tray underneath to serve as a place to store papers, and the desk is wide enough to stack the dictionary, thesaurus, box of disks, baby names book and a tin for pens and pencils. My 486 laptop shares this space with my old, but reliable Hewlett Packard B&W printer. The very full wastepaper basket lives beneath the desk! I also have one of those sloping platforms to place my feet on when typing, and a comfortable chair that I share between both desks - good thing it is on castors!

I've given you a comprehensive description of my writing space because it has taken me six years to get this right! And until I made this space I found it very difficult to take myself seriously as a writer. Many people can write wherever they are - I tried this and didn't consistently put out enough material to even pay for the printing paper! I really want to make a living out of this love of writing, from home, and to do this I needed to get serious, and to be taken seriously by all the other members of the house.

It took a while to get over the guilt... especially since I didn't automatically start earning money! But now I can't wait to get into my room each morning and into my next short story or editing endeavor!


cover: Perry Mallet


website design:
Beverley Paine

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