Thursday, December 26, 2019

Announcing The Hum

"The Hum" - a full-length young-adult magical-realism novel 
will be released at some point in 2021.

The Beatty Ruins - where Roselin discovers the secret behind the Hum

Twenty years before the story begins, brilliant Islander archaeology student Roselin Bell discovers an ancient library in the Beatty Ruins (above) on New Island's northwestern coast. She and two other students find 88 books and 34 scrolls wonderfully preserved in a tomb-like room under an ancient tower.

She is drawn to a certain thin book in the library, that explains, after years of research, the secrets behind the Hum. The Hum is a pleasant, sometimes melodic, sometimes very deep, often healing sound that Islanders have heard ever since their ancestors arrived in 1799. 

Roselin further learns that The Hum is where matter and energy intersect among the tiniest subatomic particles throughout the Universe. Her knowledge of this leads to unfortunate consequences.

In 1964, fifteen-year-old Gordy Broome is in shock over the possible self-inflicted loss of his mother. He passes out in his bed, and suddenly finds himself on a raft, which seems to know where it is going. It takes him from his hometown in Southern California, below South America, then east to the south Indian Ocean. A storm wrecks the raft, and he wakes up, barely alive, on the shore of an unknown island. 

Back then the Russians controlled the Island, and Gordy is immediately captured by a Soviet navy shore patrol, interrogated as a possible spy for the Americans, and put in a holding cell. Two civilian food service workers recognize that he can hear The Hum! They also see Hum energy in his eyes, and realize that Roselin will definitely want to meet him. They have to get him out.

Thus begins the narrative - Gordy learns about Hum energy, about Love, and the people and culture of New Island.

More later...

Saturday, February 2, 2019

About New Island

New Island is...

a 12,600-square-mile art project, 
> a fictional island-nation consisting of a road map,
> many many pictures of the island’s landscape,
> a history and detailed geography,
> documentation including a 200-page color guidebook, 
> plat maps and deeds describing owner's claims on the island and
> artifacts such as postage stamps, coins, and a national flag. 

This is also an interactive art project – real people can claim a building site on New Island, build a dream house or retreat, and thus own a part of this island-nation. 

How it came to be:

With an increasing desire to be someplace else, Lee Mothes began to visualize the island in 1995. Lee wanted a place with a lot of beaches, an agreeable climate, and friendly, English-speaking locals.  He found an ideal site west of Australia after researching the geography, climate and history of the south Indian Ocean. Once the site was chosen, He was then able to write the island's history, and create a detailed road map. Lee then wrote a guide book, produced coins, a flag, and then more maps, many landscape paintings, a few stories about local events and about a visitor named Alan Faramond.

People have found delight in the fact that they can create what they want here - an unleashing of creativity that can be very liberating!

Where it is, and what it is:

New Island from 450 miles up.

The Commonwealth of New Island is situated in the southern Indian Ocean some 950 miles west of Cape LeeuwinWestern Australia.  Known more commonly as New Island, the island stretches 140 miles north to south and about 90 miles east to west, with a total land area of some 12,600 square miles, including its offshore islands. 

Here is where it is!

The official New Island travel map.

New Island’s climate is blessed with sea breezes and seasons similar to those of California or South Africa. The land-forms are old and have weathered long enough to create sandy shorelines, varied high-country, bird-filled marshlands, and fertile hillsides and valleys.
New Islanders are primarily of English, Scottish and Irish origin, with some Russian and Japanese influence in the island's history. The locals have rediscovered ways of living with each other and with nature that go back thousands of years. Mostly emerging from shipwrecks, they arose to provide well for themselves with their gardens, farms and creative ventures; and they have learned to find a relaxed sense of joy. Their cities and towns provide modern amenities, including running water and electricity, but have a peculiar old-world look to them.
Everyone on the island has an equal say through local representation; regulatory government is minimal. Because of their long isolation, New Islanders have learned to protect the island’s forests, rivers, and wetlands. The island’s residents have their quirks, oddities, and unusual points-of-view; while they willingly help each other, live sustainably, and sometimes find joy.

A typical New Island landscape, on the eastern coast at Wave Point.

Contemplating What If...

New Island is based on a "What if" premise, based on the real-world history and politics of what did occur in that part of the Indian Ocean:

What if there was one more island out there, situated in the southern Indian Ocean about 950 miles west of Cape LeeuwinWestern Australia? Suppose it was rather large, with varied climate zones, an ancient geography, and capable of supporting a self-sustaining human population of several thousand.

Given the region’s actual climate, history, and surrounding geography, what animals, birds, plants and sea-life would be found there? And who might live there?

Every place has a history, and where people are involved, some kind of a culture. New Island is no different. The real history of this part of the world would determine what might have occurred on an island situated here.
An early nautical map, originally from the Russian explorer Fabian von Bellingshausen.

There could have been a long-lost paleo-culture that left ruins and riddles. There could havebeen two ships loaded with petty-crime convicts and supplies that wrecked on the island’s southeast shore in 1799. At least one ship could have been predominantly filled with women on their way from England to the penal colonies of Australia. A large bamboo raft bearing nineteen Japanese fishing families could have, over three years’ time, found its way from Kyushu, Japan, to the island’s eastern shore in 1807.

There could have been an arrangement, in 1820, with the Russian government and the island’s residents, to allow the island’s culture to develop on its own, and meanwhile keep the British navy, as well as other European powers, at bay.  The Russians, and later the American CIA, could have conspired to remove the island from nearly every map of the region. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the islanders could have negotiated their independence with a hoard of gold salvaged from a Spanish ship burned in 1830.

These what-ifs and could-haves make up the Commonwealth of New Island today. The place-names in the maps and guidebook, the historical artifacts and documents, and the landscape of the island are all the result of what could or might have occurred from the Late Jurassic period to this day.

New Island wants to be explored...

Sunday, October 7, 2018

A Scene Along New Island's East Coast Path

This is somewhere near Sixheads, towards South Cape. Clouds are building up, and squalls are moving along offshore. The wind is a bit chilly as it is still early spring here.

Courtesy New Island Path System

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

What would you like to see happen on New Island?

    A back road going somewhere on New Island's eastern coast...

New Island has been sort of my alternative residence since the mid 1990s. I've had a lot of fun writing the island's history, drawing the maps, creating the coins, flag and all the other documentation from paintings of the landscape to the land-claim deeds. 

I've also enjoyed sharing stories here about events on New Island and about some of its residents and visitors, such as Alan Faramond.

Now I've come to a weird place - where should New Island go from here? What should happen to or on New Island that would be REALLY COOL?  

What would you like to see happen there?

--more stories, such as Alan F. goes to Roger's Dreamland?
--a major geologic change, such as volcanic Mt. Hayes erupting?
--a major discovery, such as finding out who the Old People were? and what happened to them?
--a deeper look into the mysteries of New Island's existance, of Roger's Dreamland?  
--more on the spirituality of New Island? The politics? The locals?
--tell me something that you might want to see: ___________________________.


--Does New Island feel, on some level, like a real place to you?

--If you somehow "knew" it was real, what would you do there?

I'd really like to hear your thoughts or questions! Use the comment box or send me a note to



Friday, August 19, 2016

Everyone Should Have Their Own Private Beach House

...or Mountain Retreat!

A cottage of your own with a patio and plenty of private beachfront is easily attainable...

...or maybe you would like a place right over the waves! 
Any kind of house (or farm or retreat) is possible 
along the hundreds of miles of New Island's shoreline.

Of course not everyone has $1 million to spend on such a place, not to mention the cost of taxes, upkeep, insurance, utilities and all the rest to maintain the place. So...

New Island is a place that allows you to build your own dream home, beach house or retreat. You may claim a building site on the island and create your own place there. You will get a deed and a custom-drawn plat map for your site, plus a painting of your second home, farm, shop, studio or other retreat. Your site is unique, and YOU choose where to locate it on the island

Here's how this works:

1. Explore the island. To get started, go to New Island! This website has a ton of information about the island and some of the things that go on here. The Citizen Package has everything you'll need to help you further explore New Island, and to decide where you want to claim a site of your own. Follow the link below to receive the New Island Guidebook, maps, boat and train tickets, a New Island coin, postage stamps, and a green card to prove you are a New Island citizen!

The Citizen Package ($55) contains all the materials you need to start 
exploring and enjoying New Island.

2. Become an Owner, then claim your site. Once you become an Owner, I will help you locate the right building site for you by answering any questions you might have. You can then let me know what size painting(s) you prefer.

3. Build your Dream Home. From the location you have chosen, I can then help you create your Dream Home. Once we consult on the type of house or other place you might want to create, I will then make a sketch of the look of the place based on your desires. When you approve of the sketch, I'll proceed with your painting. 

Your site will be pictured with the dream house or other retreat you might want to build there. We can include an insert of the view from your site or a floor plan in the painting as well.  See the examples below.

4. Receive your design sketch and your finished painting. I will include the original pencil sketch with the watercolor of your dream place. Once your painting is completed and shipped, I will include your project, with your permission, on the Owners' Page on this website. You'll see what others have built on the island as well!

Here are the Packages to get you there:

The Citizen Package includes the New Island Road Map, the Guidebook and other New Island documents and artifacts, as shown above. Use this link to order yours for $55:

The Owner Starter Package includes your deed and a hand-drawn plat map of your site. The Owner Packages include an original watercolor painting of your dream place. They also include free consultation to help you select your site on the island, and to design your dream home.

Package prices vary with the size of the original watercolor painting you choose:

Citizen Package - everything but the deed, plat map and the painting: $55.
Owner Starter Package everything above plus the deed and plat map of your site: $200 
Owner Package with deed, plat map and an 11" by 15" painting - $900. 
($845 if you purchased the Citizen Package, $645 if you purchased the Starter Package.)
Owner package with deed, plat map and a 15" by 21" painting - add $300.
Owner package with deed, plat map and a 21" by 30" painting - add $700.
Extra paintings can be ordered beginning at $500. for a small watercolor.
Inserted images added free of charge on the 21" by 30" painting.

Here are some actual Dream Home projects:

A larger stone house, with veggie garden and cat,
on the eastern coast near the settlement of Sunrise.
(a 15" by 21" watercolor)
Another view of the same house, with the Wicklow Mountains in the background.
(a 15" by 21" watercolor)

A sculptor built his dream residence, studio and gallery further up 
in the Wicklow Mountains, overlooking Otter Bay.
This 21" by 30" watercolor includes the view from his house and its floor plan.
This 8" by 12" concept sketch, in pencil, was included in the package.

Judy and Lyle just completed their dream home on New Island's northwestern coast,
next to the ocean and the Yellow Hills Wandering preserve.
Here is the pencil concept sketch completed before beginning the painting.

Sophia St. Andrew, who actually lives in Tasmania, 
established her own mansion and museum
near the town of Skegness, on Putney Bay. 
(detail of the original 21" by 30" watercolor)

Here are a sample deed and plat map:

Trish de Beaupre claimed a site near New Island's northernmost point, 
and received this Grant Deed.

Ms de Beaupre's chose a site in Section 1, at the northern end of New Island.
Her building site is marked on Plat 2, and described on the deed above.
The plat was drawn up specifically for her, 
since she was the first to claim a site in that area.

All 34 sections are described in the New Island Guidebook.

Contact the artist, Lee Mothes, with any questions, or to claim your New Island building site and create your Dream Home.  

Write to lee at: or call him at 920-858-2636.

Thank you!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Yellow Hills Tower House is Finished

The Yellow Hills Wandering Preserve is adjacent to Judy and Lyle's new round house.
Their deeded site enjoys both ocean and river frontage.

On Petrel Bay, next to the humble but all-year-flowing Wonder River, Judy and Lyle's house-and-inn has been completed. It is situated along the North Bight Path, so it is easily accessed by hikers and wanderers passing through. Judy and Lyle's site is guaranteed by the deed below issued by the Commonwealth (me!).

Building sites on New Island include a plat map, the deed above, and a painting of the owner's dream place. Owners may choose the location of their site using a map of the island.

A map of Section 2: Judy and Lyle picked their site on Plat 11,
which is marked in red on the plat map below. 
They are the first to claim a site on this plat.
Others claims on this plat will be marked Site no.2, Site No. 3, etc.

Anything is possible in one's imagination! 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Tower house to be built in the Yellow Hills

Client's concept of the house, sketched by the architect.
Stonemasons from Beaulah will camp out on the site and
build this tower in the upcoming weeks. 

Just north of the Yellow Hills Wandering Preserve on the island's northwest coast, Judy and Lyle, from Wisconsin, USA, will build their dream getaway place. They will occupy the top two floors, while the ground floor will be made available as a hostelry for travelers. The North Bight Path, which passes just to the right of the house in the picture above, is a popular trekking route!

Stone masons have been hired and are now collecting sandstone from a nearby hillside for the project. The site adjoins the Wonder River (visible in the foreground, above). This is a short all-year stream fed by generous springs a few miles inland. Water access is important since this site is at the edge of the Sheffield Desert. However, there is enough rain to sustain wild geraniums, poppies and ghost-gum trees in these hills. 

Here is where it is:

New Island is situated in the Indian Ocean west of Australia, but it can be challenging to find the place in reality.
See other posts to learn how to get here.

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Mysterious Disappearance of the Scroll People

The abandoned site near Mojo Point, where the Scroll People tried to start a community.
      The sparsely populated northeastern coast has historically been visited upon by outcast groups attempting to settle on it's often steep slopes. The Japanese fishing families, who arrived in 1807, and are still there, can lay claim to being the first.
      In the early 1970s, about 35 quasi-religious seekers who called themselves the Scroll People hiked to this blustery spot (above), and built crude huts out of local stone and some canvas they brought with them. They were certain the world was going to end very soon in a nuclear holocaust - it was written on The Scroll, which they claimed to have found in a cave. They had lived communally in Putney, but their constant pleading with people on the street to "End all wars now!", and then ask for money, aroused the attention of the local Soviet authorities.
      After two of their leaders were sent to a work camp for six months for "public nuisance behavior", the group, led by the wild-eyed Carla Fingle, packed up all they could carry and took the Islebus from Putney (with a change-of-coach in Wheatland) out to Oakland. They then hiked the remaining five miles to the remote beach shown above.
      At that time, the group was thought to include 27 adults and eight kids, all in pretty good health, according to neighbors in Putney. They often came in to Oakland for food and supplies, though they told the locals they were, "on their way to complete self-reliance". They never applied for Tribe status.  They eventually became more secretive, and showed up in town less frequently. Since their area was far from the Path System they saw few visitors, and increasingly discouraged those who ventured too close.
      About six years after arriving, they completely vanished, leaving only some piles of stones that were once the walls of their dwellings.

      The mysterious Scroll, somehow preserved, was anonymously delivered to the Putney Library in 2005. It indeed foretells the end of the world, and outlines the causes and subsequent scenarios, names the world leaders responsible, and offers a dateline beginning in 1962 (the Cuban Missile Crisis) and ending in 1999. It was written in elegant longhand on eighteen feet of sheepskin vellum, and is thought to be the original. 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

66. Spring in the Fall

Wild poppies and desert miandra blooming near Capricorn Point, on the northern coast.

Alan's spirits were much improved once the rains finally let up. There was so much rain that a few weeks later, wildflowers covered most of New Island, especially in the usually dry north. 

Alan's spirits were also much improved when Michelle showed up, on her own. They spent the rainy days hunkered down in his apartment, only venturing into Hazel for groceries and sometimes supper at Rudy's Place. They both had much to talk about - stuff that was in the recesses of their minds, but that, for whatever reason, they could not quite verbalize before. 
What did Michelle plan to do?, what did she need?
What did Alan really want, or need?  Does he want to hang out with Michelle? (Yes.) Should he continue with his 105-picture assignment? (Probably.) 
So what are they going to do? (We'll see.)


I'm taking over for a while while Alan figures things out. 

In the next several posts, I'll spotlight places on New Island that might be of interest - and tell a little about these places. (Every place has a story!)

Stay tuned!

Lee/Rusty Mothes

Monday, February 22, 2016

65. Michelle (This is the last entry of the story of Alan, for now. Scroll back to Post no. 1 to begin.)

Like anywhere else, New Island sees its share of rough weather,
which may persist for days on the southern coasts.

Alan was speechless, and then he stuttered... 

"Michelle! How, um... Wow!"
"Well, I hope you're glad to see me."  
"Oh, yes...yes I am.  Come on in, I'll take your pack and your coat." He hung up her dripping coat on a hook by the door, and helped her take off a large backpack he didn't know she owned.

"Oh, you're pretty wet," he said. I have some dry clothes, or a robe if you want to change." 
"That would be nice."
Then he practically ran into his bedroom and put some some sweat pants and a flannel shirt on his bed. "The room is yours," he said, "I'll make some tea," and then just as briskly he went into his kitchen to heat up the kettle.

She came out a few minutes later, her wet hair combed back, and looking tired yet robust after being in the weather. 
"How are you feeling?" he said, as he stood in the kitchen doorway. 
"Tired, weary, and very glad I made it. I uh, hope I'm not disturbing anything..."
"Oh no, I've been sitting here for several days, really, waiting for this rain to let up so I can continue my sketching assignment. You're lucky I wasn't out there somewhere."

"Got a hug for me?" she asked. 
So they stood there for several minutes while the kettle began to shriek. 

"Here, let's sit, he finally said, and he poured the hot water into two large mugs. "I hope you like Scottish Breakfast..." 
"Oh, yes, anything is fine actually." Um, do you have anything to eat? I only had a snack on the train ride."  
"Oh, sure,, how about a couple of eggs and maybe pancakes? I'm getting hungry too.
"That'll do it," she said with a grin.