Well folks, it’s back to the drawing-board with regard to the title for the fourth book in the Southern Skyes series because the name I originally selected, “Burnt Wattle”, has proven to be somewhat inappropriate. Since choosing the name I’ve learnt that “wattle” doesn’t always mean what we here in Australia generally consider it to mean.
Golden Wattle is the floral emblem of Australia, hence most of us Down Under think of wattle as a medium-sized acacia tree with very fragrant, intensely yellow flowers in globular heads.
Another definition of “wattle” with which we are mostly familiar relates to a construction of poles intertwined with twigs, reeds or branches, used for walls, fences, and roofs. Hence wattle-and-daub; a method our pioneer forbears often used.
But these definitions are far from universal . . . and therein lies my problem.
In North America a “wattle” is recognised as a fleshy pendulous process, usually about the head or neck (as of a bird, e.g. a turkey) or around the chin and stomach of some unfortunate humans as they age, the latter sometimes also being called a “lappet”.
So, now, when we think of “Burnt Wattle” in that light, it does tend to bring forth a smile and a chuckle.
Watch this space for the new title of book four in Southern Skyes.