Life Imitates Art

Version 2

One of my favourite stories from RUFUS is Life Goes on Until it Doesn’t

I remember writing it and thinking how often something like this must happen in real life.

I gave the unfinished manuscript of RUFUS to the person who I hoped would become my illustrator and she said that she was nervous as she read this story because “I really wanted it to end happily.”

As you probably know from reading the book, RUFUS does save the day, but RUFUS is not always around in real life.

This morning, I was going through my news feed and I came across this story. As I read it I too wanted to view a happy ending.

I understand that people can become desperate, but abandoning the one creature in your life who loves you without question only casts doubt on your ability to understand the things that really matter in life.

A little while ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing the then Deputy Leader of the Opposition in my home state. A little while later, he became the deputy Premier after winning the election.

I was a little cheeky on the day and put a few extra questions to him about animal welfare and his party’s plans, if any, to improve the situation. He kindly answered them (we have a shared love of basketball and have both been involved in coaching juniors, so I think he cut me some slack). To his credit, and his government, they have implemented some excellent changes to the way we deal with animals. They have also boosted funding to the RSPCA, the body that oversees the protection of animals in my state.

Dogs will directly benefit as the law is introduced over the next couple of years which will only allow ‘rescued’ dogs to be sold in pet shops. There is also a strong effort being made to stamp out ‘puppy farms’.

All of these initiatives are good, but they do not eliminate the central cause of the problem — people. The world is full of idiots and the trend is threatening to continue.

As I write this, the dog next door is barking because he wants to play with his humans. My dogs are curled up on the bed waiting for me to stop writing so they can go for a walk and the Dingoes across the road are on the lookout for us because seeing us means that there is a strong chance they will be able to join us on that walk.

Rather than being angry because of the actions of others I have decided to focus on the good things in my life, particularly the small fluffy things.

The article I mentioned:

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Featured illustration by Trish Davis

Rufus on paper

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Rufus arrived early (when does that ever happen at this time of the year?). The delivery guy failed to catch the attention of my dogs so I had to go to the post office to retrieve them. Dropped off a complimentary copy to my illustrator on my way home. She was at work and a customer wanted to know what all the fuss was about. My illustrator was very happy. I’m a little bit out of it at the moment. Just waiting for it to pass. It’s a shame because this moment is special — when a box of books arrives. Nothing is getting through the fog, but there is always tomorrow. These last few months have been full on. Four books published in almost as many months. I’m a bit tired, but also pleased to have achieved so much this year. Thank you to anyone reading this if you have been supportive during the year, it is always appreciated and very much needed.

If you are in Australia I can post you a copy $29 AUD inc postage

You can also purchase a copy from my printer. They will mail it to you anywhere in the world.

eBook copies from:

Smashwords (all versions)

Amazon Kindle

Apple iBooks

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No more Days to RUFUS

Rufus cover 3 large

I’m always happy when one of my books makes it all the way to its publishing date. I get a little bit nervous — I want the ‘new one’ to do well in the world — to find a new home (or homes), but I try not to be too invested. After all, there are a lot of books out there and a lot of writers with similar high hopes. But, on this occasion, I cannot help myself. Rufus and I have been together for a while now. His ‘birth’ has been a long one and not without complications.

Part of the problem is that he is difficult to describe. Some folks are going to dismiss him as being a book full of stories for younger people, and it is true that his stories will appeal to them, but he was written to appeal to adults who are young at heart. There isn’t a category for this — I know because I have looked. Amazon does not have such a category neither does Apple. Smashwords is devoid of such a category so Rufus is going into the world without a suitable category (unless of course, you search tags under ‘young at heart’).

It is intolerably hot here today and the fans on my laptop are at screaming pitch as they try to keep my machine from melting. My dogs are lying in front of the fan and my wife is somewhere between here and the grandchildren who live about seven hundred kilometres away.

RUFUS can be found here:




Paperbacks are now available here:

I should have copies in my hands around about the 29th of December.

5 days to Rufus


“When Eric was on duty, no one got in. He was wise to all the tricks. He could smell meat that had been laced with sleeping pills. He picked the pills out and kept the meat for later. He had a big yard to patrol and it was common for young people and thieves to make a noise on one side of the yard while their friends climbed the fence way over on the other side. Eric was wise to this tactic.

How did Eric become so wise, I hear you ask? He was well trained. When he started his job he was no more than a pup and the junkyard dog, named Killer, took him under his wing, so to speak, and taught him the business. Killer got old and one day he didn’t come when Eric barked for him. It was sad, but Killer died on the job, and what better way to go?”

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Rufus discount for my WP people

Because you folks have been such a big part of my life over the last few years I’m offering a coupon discount on RUFUS.

All you have to do is pre-order Rufus and apply this code HY83N before you pay and you will receive RUFUS for half price (eBook).

This only applies to orders at Smashwords. They sell all major eBook codes and you can also send the book to anyone as a present.

The offer drops out the day after RUFUS is published, so get in before December 19th.

Thank you all for your support over these years. This book and all the others would not have happened without you.

Terry R Barca

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The Woman In The Window

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I saw her most days.

Just sitting and staring out the window.

Her house was on my regular route.

I say regular, but that depends on my mistress.

She doesn’t like me ‘wandering around’ as she calls it, so I only get to sneak out when she is busy. She sits at her desk and writes on most days but sometimes she gets wrapped up in her work and she even forgets to stop and eat. On these days I know I can go for a long walk and most likely I won’t be missed.

The lady in the window is Mrs Norris. I guess there must have been a Mr Norris, but I never saw him.

She seemed sad to me, and I know what sad looks like, but it was more than the way she appeared it was the way she looked, as though she was waiting for someone.

She rarely went outside and on the few occasions that I saw her, she barely noticed me, which is unusual. People want to pat me all the time. They say things like, ‘Aren’t you cute, and who’s a good dog then?” I’m not sure if I’m supposed to answer or not so mostly I just wag my tail.

Old ladies are the worst.

They come out of nowhere and start patting me before I know what is happening.

I’ve got a friend, a white Maltese named Zed and he tells similar stories.

The difference with Zed is he collects little old ladies. He just stands there and looks cute, and the little old ladies sneak up on him and pat him. He lets them come in but on the way out he gives them a nip.

He keeps count.

So far this year he has cleaned up 17 little old ladies, and it’s not August yet. You might think that he gets into trouble, but he doesn’t. His owner says, “Serves you right for patting the dog without asking permission. He’s wearing a bright red lead that says CAUTION. If you can’t be bothered to read the warning, then it serves you right.”

So far no one has complained to anyone and Zed reckons he can hit 30 by the end of the year, especially if the tourist season is a good one.

I took Zed to visit the lady in the window, but I made him promise that he wouldn’t bite. He said that he only bit little old ladies, it was a matter of principle, so she was safe.

Even with a cute white fluffy friend, the lady in the window did not pay us much attention.

She always smiled at me, but that seemed like as much as she could manage.

Once or twice I sat next to her in her garden. We sat there for ages; not saying anything at all. I think she enjoyed my company. I wanted to make her feel a bit better. I don’t know if I succeeded, but I didn’t make her feel any worse and sometimes that is as much as you can ask for.

I went past her house again today, and there she was, in the window, just looking. I wonder if she will find what she is looking for? I wonder if what she is looking for will find her?

I’m only a dog, so I may never find the answers to those questions, but that does not matter. Today is what matters; right here and right now. I’ll do my best to keep an eye on the lady in the window, but in the end, her happiness is up to her, all I can do is be there.

When my mistress lets me, that is.