TIM Borthwick and his family knew when it was time to sell up the family farm, but that didn't mean he didn't miss the farming lifestyle.
His family ran a sheep property at Quilpie for about 90 years before selling up and moving to Toowoomba, where he started doing gardening and odd jobs for a quid.
But he never quite managed to get the bush out of his system and would often sit down to pen a poem or two about the life he left behind.
"We had a big season in 2010,” he said.
"It was really wet and we had the biggest body of feed we'd ever had.
"So with our family situation it was the right time to sell.
"But it's a big thing to walk away from.”
One day he ran into a man called Jeff Close in Toowoomba, who had founded a writer's festival at Winton and was convinced to head out and take a look.
While he was there he met Sue Williams, who had written a book on the legendary Fred Brophy's boxing tent.
"She was inspired to go into training and have a go in the ring herself,” Mr Borthwick said. "There weren't many women doing it; just this one woman the called The Beaver.
"So she went into training in Sydney and later she fought The Beaver.
"So we were up there in Winton having tea and Sue told this funny story about how she went into training and how she fought The Beaver.
"I went home and later wrote a poem about it and sent it to her.
"She forwarded it to her agent, who then gave me the opportunity to put 30 poems together, but I sent her 50.”
The rest is history.
The finished product was Waltzing Australia, a unique book that combined poetry with short stories, each poem inspiring a small story that went with it.
"It was a whirlwind experience, with writing taking place between July and September and by the middle of October I was notified that Harper-Collins wanted to publish it,” Mr Borthwick said.
The Bronze Swagman Award winner was thrilled to finally get a copy of the beautiful hard-cover edition, but that barely compared to his excitement when Aussie film legend Jack Thompson agreed to be the voice of the audio book version.
Mr Borthwick said the book was not only available online and in book shops, but also at many regional art galleries and a number of Toowoomba newsagencies.
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