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Cuke Press presents

Andrew Atkeison's

Color Dreams
for To Find the Girl from Perth

a Companion book of Illustrations
To Find the Girl from Perth,

with text from the novel by David Chadwick

at local indie bookstore | on Amazon       

The dimensions of the illustrations in the book are 4.5" x 6.5"

Color Dreams, so different, is simply beautiful, a perfect melding of text & image (hard to do well). -  - Kenneth Goldsmith - (wikipedia page for Kenneth Goldmith)




click cover to enlarge

This is the 2008 cover. 2019
Cuke Press cover almost the same

Title page

no illustration for the intro

Introduction - George What?

[Sonoma County, California]


I have long been a fan of Andrew Atkeison's sculpture, sketches, painting, craftsmanship, and general skill with tools. Here is a series of beautiful illustrations he did which open up a realm of color beyond the necessarily black and white limitations of the whole printed novel.

Now enjoy what I see as Andrew's Color Dreams for To Find the Girl from Perth.

David Chadwick
November 2, 2008
Crestone Zen Mountain Center
Crestone, Colorado

It happened something like this...

Part One - Wandering Around

Chapter 1   - Lion City


So there I was in Lion City where there were never any such felines – a case of mistaken identity or hyperbole. But there was grand foliage everywhere overflowing in this sultry metropolis. In the Botanic Gardens are stately, looming trees, tropical vegetation galore, spacious lawns surrounded by flora I soared through and lost myself within. I entered an interior garden devoted solely to orchids. Walking among varied forms of the sturdy flower was in turns fascinating, dreamy, lovely, humorous, frightening.


Chapter 2   - Uncle Rudy

[Changi Airport - Singapore]

A serious fellow in a white suit answered the door and let us in without introducing himself. He escorted us to a balcony overlooking the darkened causeway with slowly moving bright boat lights, and the shadows of the Malay Peninsula beyond sprinkled with twinklings of human activity. From behind us came the sound of an evening jet descending.


Chapter 3   - Flying Nude

[flying from Singapore to Perth]

I settled back in my seat and ruminated on Australia which I knew nothing about except what I’d learned from Francine, Tasmanian John, Mr. C. Dundee, and rumor. It’s the rumors that had stuck. I’d always had a dread of going down under because such a point had been made of all the lethal critters there. That guy from Ohio in Singapore, the one who took the photo of the punk kids, told me Australia’s got something like ten of the twelve most poisonous beings on earth including a lethal spider so aggressive it’s been said to bite through shoe leather to plunge its terminator venom into toey flesh.


Chapter 4   - The Girls from Perth


Smack dab in front of the exit is a yellow Porsche convertible with “GUPPY!” written in dripping shaving cream on the side.

Mindy’s Porsche


Chapter 5   - Firkin' Sexes


“I see you’ve got two sharp, dangerous weapons,” he said, gently touching the blade of a mounted machete.

          “Got that in Darwin,” she said. “For going into the jungle. What’s the other sharp weapon?”

          “The axe,” he said eyeing a fine looking guitar. “May I?” He took it down and tuned it while Mindy brought in a bottle of port for night caps. Delicious. Gupta added background jazz chords to our roving conversation.


Chapter 6   - Dwellingup



And what do they come in?” she asked, holding her beer up to prominently display the foam sleeve.

          “Stubby holders,” I said proudly.


Chapter 7   - Indian Ocean

[Indianna Teahouse south of Perth at Cottesloe Beach]


I pick up a conch and listen closely. “I hear the sea calling!” I said.

          “Ah, me mobile.” She reaches in her pocket.


Chapter 8   - Dunsborough


Onward to Dunsborough, a favored Aussie beachside holiday destination


Chapter 9   - Margaret River

[wine country]

“We camped in those trees over there,” he said with a distant smile.


Chapter 10 - Apollo Roundup


Enough work. We’d already spent a couple of days plumbing, hammering, pliering, and insulating the attic.


Chapter 11 – Rottsnest

[Rottsnest Island]

Quokkas! Quokkas in their natural environs. They were all over and mulling around us with no concern.


Chapter 12 - Freo


The gallows was the last stop on the tour and I looked down from the platform as our raconteur guide told chilling hangman anecdotes and I felt the ghosts of a hundred men swim by.


Chapter 13 – Perth


I mentioned at the dinner table that I wanted to visit the Swan Bells in Perth and that hit a sore spot. Mai’s sister and Daniel thought it was a big waste of money, money that could have been better spent on social programs.


Chapter 14 – Glitterati



“Did you hear that Gupta? The guide says that there are ten to twenty million dollars worth of gold here at any given time.”

          “I’d be satisfied with just a fraction of that. Doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of security either.”

          “Oh yeah. I guess they forgot about that.”


Chapter 15 - Crawlin'


After a while Mindy said she needed to get some fresh air so we took a walk – out the back again and down the sidewalk into a residential neighborhood. We wandered around the streets in a gentle rain until we were back in a commercial zone. We were cold and wet but no one complained. I could see the lights of the entertainment district a few blocks ahead of us.


Part Two - Treasure Hunt

Chapter 16 - Desperate Meeting



“It was a La Salle Hearse – carved panel – I’d guess about 1937.”

          We all turned to look at Techo.



Chapter 17 - Fenster


I told Fenster I’ve been admiring his books and the room in general. … He asked if I’ve noticed the alters. I hadn’t noticed. He took me to an alcove with a foot high Buddha statue – Thai maybe—a candle, ashes in a cup for incense, dried flowers in a vase – smart, don’t have to change them, and a photo of the Dalai Lama with what looked to me like a Western Tibetan nun. He suggested I light the candle and offer some incense so I did.


Chapter 18 - Steel Metaphors


Fenster had gone to the wall and taken down the sword. It was a fine looking specimen with a carved handle, a little shorter than some of the Japanese swords I’d seen. He held it up. “This is the sword that cuts through delusion. It’s the two-sided sword of wisdom and compassion.”

          “No,” I said. “The sword of wisdom and compassion you couldn’t find in the material world if you looked forever. You’re making the mistake that fundamentalists make, that movie makers make – taking the metaphors literally. It’s Taliban Buddhism. The swordless sword of Buddhism cuts both ways – wisdom and compassion, form and emptiness. That sword is just a sharp hunk of metal.”


Chapter 19 - Hiding


We heard Joan Sutherland’s voice coming from the house and sneaked over into some bushes. Through a window we saw Fenster in the computer room. Gupta’s jaw dropped.


Chapter 20 – Seeking



Following the clues


Chapter 21 - On Anon



She’d left “my mobile” in her car. I am right now driving her car. I reach into the compartment in the middle just to my left as I’m on the right – and there it is.


Chapter 22 - Teamwork


After Frannie and I got a little lost in a hall of beautiful, murdered mounted butterflies, we went upstairs to a passageway between two large display halls.


Chapter 23 – Dunder


This new clue was the most sadistic of them all for it took us into the dreaded submarine at the Maritime Museum to find a clue the exact location of which was the part of the riddle we couldn’t figure out.


Chapter 24 - Knot Cutting


          “A hot spot. The cursor arrow changed to a hand indicating a link in there.”

          “So what?”

          “So – I didn’t put any links there.”

          “How about clicking on it?”


Chapter 25 - Amazing Maze



“Are we supposed to play Scrabble now?” asked Gupta angrily.


Chapter 26 - Swan River



We took off from the base of the Swan Bells heading down along the Swan River on a wide walkway. Soon we would see actual swans on the other bank of the river after crossing Swan Bridge.

          “Lot of swans,” Gupta said. “Black, white and titular. I just hope this isn’t our swan song.”


Chapter 27 - Planning Deportment


He was talking about the building that used to be the Swan Brewery below King’s park There’s a posh restaurant on one side, but on the other there’s a section that hasn’t been used for years. It’s rented in the name of a freight company tied indirectly to Fenster.


Chapter 28 - Deminted


Thick smoke billows swiftly into the air! The fire alarm screams! The security alarm screams! People scream.


Chapter 29 - Lucking



“Huh?” said Gupta coming to.

          “Just sign here. Can you see?”

          “No. Glasses.”



Chapter 30 - Surprisal


Mr. Vargas asked if I knew when Ross’s next concert would be, opened a window wider, and lit up an American Spirit after asking permission. I not only gave him permission but requested one for myself which he was happy to provide. Gupta was leaning over drooling.


Chapter 31 - Amenity Lost


I complimented the artistry of the row of nice little caped pots behind him. “Crematory urns,” he corrected, smiling unpleasantly.


Chapter 32 – Crocashit



“I just want to walk out of here! I want to go back to the hospital bed with the nice men who give me money. Not die by crocodile!”



Chapter 33 - Party to Crime




A truck had backed up to the sidewalk and was prepared to be loaded with what they told us was a Steinway grand.


Chapter 34 - G’bye


On the plane and in the air Gupta and I relaxed in our luxurious first class seats, shoes off, stretching, sighing, wiping the corners of our eyes.


Andrew Atkeison was born in Alabama in 1949. He holds a degree in art and has a fascinating sculpture garden. He has two grown daughters and lives in Northern California with his wife, Rosie.

David Chadwick lives in Northern California too. To Find the Girl from Perth is his first novel.

Andrew and David studied Zen together at Tassajara, Zen Mountain Center, in the seventies.

To learn more visit



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