CHRISTINE M. KNIGHT

An Australian author who provides insight into the human condition.

Glossary of Australian Terms for 'In and Out of Step'

The Australian Bicentennial occurred in 1988. The novel is set between 1988-1990.

anti-Metherell campaign: teachers’ union protests against the changes to the New South Wales (NSW) state school education system introduced by the then NSW Liberal Minister for Education, Terry Metherell.

arvo is Australian slang for afternoon.

BHP (today known as BHP Billiton) is a global mining group that includes steelworks such as those based in Wollongong south of Sydney. In Australia, it is the top producer of iron ore and coal (thermal and metallurgical).

bloke is Australian slang and means an ordinary man

Bob Hawke was the 23rd Prime Minister of Australia from March 1983 to December 1991 and therefore longest serving Australian Labor Party (ALP) Prime Minister. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Hawke

chook an Australian term for chicken; sometimes it is used as an endearing nickname . Often nicknames suggest a metaphoric clue to the person’s appearance or behaviour.

CWA is an abbreviation for the Country Women's Association. It is a non-profit, non-party political, and non-sectarian organisation for country and city women. Members work for the welfare of all women and children through representation to all levels of government, undertaking fundraising events, providing networking opportunities and teaching life skills.

dux is Latin for leader. It is the title given to the student with the highest overall academic score in the graduating year (Year 12) of high school. The American equivalent is valedictorian.fella - an informal word for a male that is not age specific. It can also be used as universal term for either gender.

Esky is used in Australia as a generic name, it more correctly is a trademark owned by Coleman Brands Pty Ltd and which specifically identifies an Esky brand name portable icebox cooler.

Federation refers to the process by which the six separate self-governing British colonies of New South wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia formally joined together to form one nation, Australia, in 1901. http://youtu.be/tjlj3KKKAlA

Federation architecture is the style prevalent in Australia in 1901. A limited range of colour schemes were used prior to WWII because of the narrow range of pigments in paint. 

fella is an informal word for a male that is not age specific. It can also be used as universal term for either gender.

H.E.C.S is short for Higher Education Contribution Scheme. It is an interest-free federal government loan to Australian students who attend Australian tertiary education institutions and pays for their university fees. It is repaid through the Australian tax system when a student’s study is completed. Repayment begins when the student's taxable income reaches a set level post study.

HG and Roy are a comedy team whose parody of sport commentary gained them a wide fan base and popularity across Australia. http://youtu.be/wY9aBjste5E

The Herald (also known as the Sydney Morning Herald or the Saturday Herald/Sunday Herald) is the oldest continuously published newspaper in Australia. It is a supersized broadsheet.

HSC is an abbreviation for the Higher School Certificate that is the highest award in secondary education in New South Wales. To be eligible for the award, students must complete Years 11 and 12, satisfy HSC course requirements and sit for state-wide HSC examinations in their chosen subjects.

‘MASH’ was a novel by Richard Hooker, later a feature film, and then a long running American TV series. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M*A*S*H_(TV_series)

The MASH trophy as used in 'In and Out of Step' is a parody of the above image combined with the two fingered gesture. The two fingered gesture is regarded as an insult in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland, and the United Kingdom as it means, “F*** off”. It is used ironically by the English staff at Keimera High.

mate is used when a person is trying to achieve some kind of rapport. Anyone can be a mate.

The Melbourne Cup is the premier thoroughbred horse-racing event in Australia held on the first Tuesday in November each year. It is widely known as 'the race that stops the nation.'

Minties is an Australian iconic brand. It refers to a white, chewy, square mint-flavoured lolly in a wrapper (candy). A long running and very successful advertising campaign linked a wide range of everyday experiences (good and bad) with the catch phrase, 'It's moment like these, you need Minties.' After viewing the attached link, overseas readers may better appreciate the embedded joke on page 193 of ‘In and Out of Step’. http://youtu.be/pFF3KNJH6JY

Mungo Jerry was an English rock group See http://youtu.be/yG0oBPtyNb0

nong is Australian slang and is used as a mild and/or endearing insult. It means a bit of a twit, or idiot.

Persephone (the daughter of Demeter) was stolen by Hades (King of the Underworld). This Greek myth explains the origin of the seasons. Links that give you more information: http://www.mythicarts.com/writing/Persephone.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5V67tY_Kh8

Port Kembla is a major seaport south of Sydney NSW that was established in the late 1890's to facilitate the export of coal from the mines of the Illawarra region. Major steel works were subsequently established in the area. It is very close to Wollongong.

RSL is an abbreviation for Returned Services League. Anyone who served in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) is eligible for full membership. The RSL provides vital advocacy services and support for all current and ex-serving ADF personnel as well as a club where people can meet and socialise. Civilians are also able to join.

A sloppy joe is an Australian term for a sweatshirt, windcheater, sweater or sweats.

A squatter’s chair looks like 

The sword of Damocles is an allusion to a legend (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damocles) and is used in 'In and Out of Step' by Paul Selton to comment on Talbut's precarious situation and the dangerous nature of the 'game' that he plays. It suggests impending danger.

TAFE is an abbreviation for Technical and Further Education. TAFE provides students over sixteen years with an alternative pathway to study that includes vocational courses as well as traineeships for industry and Defence. The learning and social environments are very different to that found in high schools. TAFE also provides night courses for mature aged students returning to study who did not graduate from high school.

toey is Australian slang and means being on edge or excited or nervous.

trackie-daks are the bottom half of the tracksuit, not the whole. The whole tracksuit is the trackie. A tracksuit (made from stretch material or velour) is very commonly worn in Australia.

tunnel has two meanings. Literally, it is a passage, often underground. In Australian surfers' slang, tunnel is used derogatorily to refer to a woman; it reduces a woman's value to her vagina.

‘Sway’ at the end of the novel is how I visualise the relationship between Cassie and her mate. Ideally, the final scene would have closed on the lyrics but copyright costs were too high to do so. http://youtu.be/JFUop0g8hDo

Wee Waa is a small town in northern NSW and has become Australia's major cotton growing area http://www.weewaa.com/Document1.aspx?id=217

A whiteboard is a name for a glossy, usually white surface. It replaced blackboards in Australian classrooms. Erasable non-permanent markers are used on it instead of chalk. As a matter of interest, in 2011, Smartboards http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_Board have replaced whiteboards in many Australian schools.

The fictional township of Keimera is a composite of three NSW towns. Below are scenes from one of those towns.

    

QUICK LINKS


GLOSSARY SNIPPET

The Australian Bicentennial occurred in 1988. The novel is set between 1988-1990.

anti-Metherell campaign: teachers’ union protests against the changes to the New South Wales (NSW) state school education system introduced by the then NSW Liberal Minister for Education, Terry Metherell.

arvo is Australian slang for afternoon.

BHP (today known as BHP Billiton) is a global mining group that includes steelworks such as those based in Wollongong south of Sydney. In Australia, it is the top producer of iron ore and coal (thermal and metallurgical).

bloke is Australian slang and means an ordinary man

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LATEST BLOG POSTS

    Sunday, June 25, 2017

    The story behind my song 'The Flame'

    Sunday, June 25, 2017


    'The Flame' features in my novel ‘Song Bird’. In the novel, it is sung by rock legend Rick Brody who serenades Nikki Mills (the central character in the novel). In real life, it was sung by Funnie Williams and Thanapat Yarchartoen (aka Film). I produced the song through Karma Sound Studios in Thailand.

    BACKSTORY TO 'THE FLAME' - The Singer or the Song?

    In ‘Song Bird’ and its prequel 'Life Song', Nikki Mills - the Girl from Oz - is a survivor of domestic violence. Once an innocent, she believed the very convincing serenade of her first significant love. Long before Nikki met Rick, his song 'The Flame' resonated with Nikki.

    Flattered by Rick's interest in her and impressed by 'The Flame', Nikki embarks on a relationship with Brody.  A subplot in the novel explores the ramifications of that decision. Can she help Rick find the heart that his music once had? Does the singer really represent the ideas and values of the songs he sings? Will the relationship with him injury Nikki?

    Readers of this blog may also find the pop rock song 'Masque' and interesting insight into Rick and Nikki's relationship issues.

    I currently have 8 songs on CD Baby and iTunes. You can help me raise the money to produce the rest of my songs by buying one or more of my songs at the very small price of $1.69 per song. They are on sale at CD Baby and  iTunes. Online music streaming services such as Spotify and Deezer promote my music, but I only earn approximately one cent per one hundred streams. 

    Read more

    Sunday, June 25, 2017

    The Story Behind Pop Rock Song 'Masque'

    Sunday, June 25, 2017

    'Masque' is a duet between charismatic rock star, Rick Brody, and singing sensation Nikki Mills (the Girl from Oz). They are fictional characters in my novel, ‘Song Bird’, which is on sale through Amazon, Book Depository, and other online booksellers as are my other novels' 'Life Song' and 'In and Out of Step' - in paperback and eBook formats.

    'Masque' features the vocal talents of Australians, Skye Elisabeth and Nic James. I am the composer and executive producer for all of my music. Although I am a musician, I no longer perform publicly but use talented session musicians.

    I use music as part of my writing process when developing a novel as it allows me to explore character perspectives, challenges, and personal journeys.

    My song ‘Masque’ evolved out of my exploration of Rick and Nikki’s relationship when developing 'Song Bird', the novel . The song helped me better understand rock legend Rick Brody, the impact of being a rock star on Rick's relationship with Nikki, and the core obstacles they faced. Rick Brody is one of four pivotal men in Nikki Mills' life.

    Wider Relevance
    The song has relevance for anyone who feels compelled to be what others expect the person to be rather than being true to self, something that is much easier said than done.

    'Masque' also has relevance for a diverse number of people. For instance, I play many roles: wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, teacher, author, musician and so on. I understand how the expectations and demands of others put me under pressure not to let others down. In trying not to short-change others, it was so easy to forget about who I was separate from those roles and what my being real meant.

    The context behind the song 'Masque'
    In ‘Song Bird’, Rick Brody is charismatic rock star who has been living the cliché - sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll. Like the Tinman from Oz, Rick is injured by his trade. For the Tinman, it was his axe. For Rick Brody, it was his status as a rock star and image of 'bad boy’. He became defined by those roles. Life became a masquerade.

    In both cases, the Timan and Rick become manufactured men in want of heart.  Rick’s preoccupation with living the cliché meant that his music lost its heart and the appeal that had drawn audiences to him as he rose to the pinnacle of the music industry.

    By contrast, Nikki refused to sell out in order to achieve success. She was determined to get to the top on her own terms and to not be treated as a commodity in the industry.

    At the Australian Recording Industry Awards, Rick asked his manager to connect him with Nikki after seeing her perform. Rick claimed his primary interest in Nikki was musical collaboration, but his libido and history of conquests shaped his reason for collaborating with her and definitely shaped the way he interacted with her.

    Although Nikki pretended not to be attracted to Rick, she was flattered that he was ‘interested in her of all people. Unlike his fans, Nikki did not have an urge to flash her breasts, hand over her panties, or suggest a threesome.’  She maintained a mask of cool indifference and stayed work-focused throughout the early stages of their musical relationship. Consequently, Rick viewed Nikki as a challenge. Committed to the long game in winning her, he courted.

    A survivor of domestic violence, Nikki was cautious about the men with whom she mixed.  ‘Song Bird’ explores the ripple effect of her decision to work with Rick. Can she help Rick find the heart that his music once had? Can he become real with her? Will Nikki’s relationship with him injure her?

    You can read more about 'Song Bird' here and on other pages at my website.

    You can help me raise the money to produce the rest of my songs by buying one or more of my songs at the very small price of $1.69 per song. They are on sale at CD Baby and  iTunes. The online music streaming services such as Spotify and Deezer promote my music, but I only earn approximately one cent per one hundred streams. 

    Note: As the novels are set in Australia, I use the British spelling system and language conventions. There are minor differences to the American system.

    Read more

    Saturday, May 20, 2017

    The Story Behind the Country Rock Song 'Sunshine Days'

    Saturday, May 20, 2017

    'Sunshine Days' is the most recent of my songs to be released. It features Rachel Thorne (vocals) and Milo G (performer, arranger and producer). As with all of my music, I am the composer and executive producer. Although I am a musician, I no longer perform publicly but use talented session musicians.

    I use music as part of my writing process when developing a novel as it allows me to explore character perspectives, challenges, and personal journeys.

    'Sunshine Days' is an intimate song of disillusion, longing, and hope that is relevant to world-shaking events that generate fear as well as being a song about personal moments of disillusion, loss, and pain. Although the singer feels oppressed by her current circumstance, she does not seek escape into a fantasy land. She recognizes that life - past and future - had and can have golden moments even though the present is tainted by disillusion, isolation, and the pain associated with loss.  The song is about facing reality and committing to reclaiming what has been lost.

    'Sunshine Days' features in chapter 1 of my novel ’Life Song' and later in its sequel, 'Song Bird'.

    Initially, it is sung by Mavis Mills (aka Nikki Mills – the girl from Oz). My songs 'Life Song' and 'Sunshine Days' provide the backstory for Mavis' choices and the motivation underpinning her narrative journey. She chooses to boldly travel down the road less traveled and is determined not to let trouble get the best of her. Easier said than done though.


    Although music and a career in the music industry function as a portal into a better life for Mavis and her son, Dan, it also adds complexity to Mavis' life as she works to balance her personal needs and the demands she faces as a single parent.

    When 'Sunshine Days' recurs in 'Song Bird', it is sung by Zoey Blake (a secondary character), the illegitimate daughter of Susie Blake and Max Ryan (rock musicians). Susie and Max had a passionate relationship until Susie fell pregnant. While Max supported Susie's right to choose abortion, he opposed her choice to have a baby. As a result, the couple broke up.

    Zoey sings 'Sunshine Days' in her late teens. Having lost the innocence of her childhood and confronted by the knowledge that her biological father did not want her, Zoey struggles with her loss of innocent hope.  In that context, 'Sunshine Days' is a turning point in Zoey's personal journey.

    OVERVIEW OF MY NOVEL ‘LIFE SONG’
    My novel 'Life Song' picks up Mavis' story six years after the end of 'In and Out of Step' in which Mavis was a significant secondary character. 

    There are many harrowing stories of violence against women but a lesser number of stories address how some women rise above the trauma and move on in life. 'Life Song' does the latter.

    A character-driven novel, 'Life Song' explores the choices Mavis Mills makes as she balances competing demands and responsibilities with her desire to find an identity beyond motherhood. A survivor of domestic violence, Mavis discovers unexpectedly that she has a choice: accept her life as it is or try to rise above her circumstance, realize her potential, and make her nearly forgotten dreams become true.

    The novel does not focus on the abuse – that is in the backstory - it traces the ramifications of it as Mavis strives to put her past behind her. The novel's uplifting plot is very much about the woman that Mavis becomes and the influences that shape her rather than being a novel about a ‘chic-musician on the road to fame story’.

    In terms of its appeal, readers agree 'Life Song' is a blend of wry humour and vivid storytelling. The general feedback from readers is that the characters are memorable and inhabit the imagination long after the reading of the novel is finished.

    OVERVIEW OF MY NOVEL ’SONG BIRD’
    In 'Song Bird', Nikki (aka Mavis) has become an international singing sensation - the Girl from Oz. Determined not to be caged by the media circus, she travels down the golden road through a land of glitter and gloss, facing challenges on the way while struggling to leave the demons from her past behind. In ‘Song Bird’, Nikki continues to grow into the woman she wants to be, not the one others expect her to be. She forges ahead with the support of men, not because of them. 

     

    ONLINE SITES WHERE YOU CAN BUY THE SONG
    You can help me raise the money to produce the rest of my songs by buying one or more of my songs at the very small price of $1.69 per song. They are on sale at CD Baby and  iTunes. Online music streaming services such as Spotify and Deezer promote my music, but I only earn about one cent per one hundred plays. 

    Read more

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NEWS

  • 'Garysong' and 'The Real deal' in production

    08-Jul-2017

    Christine has two more songs in production: 'Garysong' and 'The Real Deal'. More updates in the near future...
  • Avastar runs Lauren Scott's interview with Christine M Knight

    23-Jun-2017

    A USA East Coast press syndicate, Avastar Entertainment Network ran Lauren Scott's interview with Christine M Knight recently. Here is the link (http://www.avastar.tv/features/ChristineMKnight1.html)...
  • 'Masque' hits the rock charts

    23-Jun-2017

    Berkshire Media Group recently collated its Rock Chart data for May 2017. Christine's song, 'Masque', hit the #1 position on their charts and held it for May 2017. In Australia, the Internet radio ..

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