You will find links to William Van Zyl's unique writing and sketches on this website. He is a keen sketcher and uses watercolours to tell stories and annotate his work. Several websites are available to explore - see the list below. The author has created an extensive range of resources in many different genres (fiction and non-fiction). It includes exciting articles, great lesson plans, unique stories, excellent biographies, fine eBooks, in-depth academic work, poetry, and more. Also, listen to the podcasts of some of the articles on Podbean and Spotify - The Extravagant Podcast. See the links below.      



Design and Visual Communication (DVC),
Product Design,
Writing Skills
Sustainable Architecture,
DIGITAL technology,
computer programming,
 academic writing,
academic articles,
Spiritual Articles,
Global Citizenship,


William loves sketching and working with soft pencils, ink (fountain pens), and watercolours. He includes images from his sketchbook and shares it with viewers. His sketches add an additional layer and depth to his work.

Find his published work (EBOOKS) at Five House Publishing: HTTPS://FIVEHOUSEPUBLISHING.COM/



    Some of the articles - blog posts:

SHORT STORY - 'The Fox, the Badger and the Megalodon Shark Tooth.' From the author’s sketchbook (diagram of the tunnel): The ‘burrow’ found on Mars. See the badger fossil against the wall, and the shark tooth on the floor of the burrow. The fox and Jason (the dog) are on the far right hand at the end of the ‘tunnel’ (watercolours and ink). Read the full story at

Sketchbook: Megalodon Shark tooth fossil (watercolours and ink). Credit: The Author.  

He also has a keen interest in developing his writing skills. Here is a recent article. 

Leaving Your Comfort Zone Requires Courage. A Brave Move Will Make You More Efficient! A Lesson from 'The Little Prince' (Famous Novel by French Writer: Antoine De Saint-Exupèry 1943).

Get into the enhancement zone!

From my sketchbook: Antoine Marie Jean-Baptiste Roger, comte de Saint-Exupéry, simply known as de Saint-Exupéry (French). 29 June 1900 – 31 July 1944. Antoine was a French writer, poet, aristocrat, journalist and pioneering aviator.   

EXERPT FROM THE ARTICLE: The famous novel by Saint-Ex – a children’s book written in French – is about a young prince who visits various planets in space, including Earth, and addresses themes of loneliness, friendship, love, and loss. The Little Prince makes observations about life and human nature. The book is said to have many layers of life lessons locked into an unusual story. Hundreds of people have commented that the lessons they have learned from the book have impacted their lives.

After writing a recent article on the famous novels Moby Dink (Herman Melville) and Macbeth (Shakespeare); I was having a very healthy smoothie in the morning with my wife – and I must mention ‘Googling’  Indian Food benefits for brain health – we had some exciting discussions around challenges as people get older. The discussion turned into a debate. Think about the challenging position a newly elected president places himself or herself is – for example, Joe Biden of the US (78 years young).

In this context of retirement and the activities in nursing homes, the debate intensified. To support some of the statements I will use the exciting novel, The Little Prince, by Antoine, which includes just so much creative writing and ideas. Pure fiction. He has been adventurous – flying aeroplanes. It seems like his novel’s inspiration cames after he crashed in the Sahara Desert while endeavouring to set a new world record for the fastest time from Paris to Saigon. It is believed that the catastrophic event inspired him to write the novel...

Read it online:


* Click, hold down and scroll on the far right hand side of the Podbean player below to see all the episides (horisontal small slider (scroll). 


Five House Publishing is the website where you will find many free resources from the author.  


Here is a great short story with cool facts about Mars, A Dachshund, A Megalodon Shark, Badgers, Red Foxes and more (eBook).    


Read the interesting story (fiction) of the stunning events on Mars! Link to the full story:


Back cover of eBook.


Violent wind storms of the past had whipped orange dust into the atmosphere, and it had settled in a myriad of fiery orange hues. The landscape is a combination of dirt, sand and rocks – a deserted relief. As I peer out of my helmet’s visor, I raise my white-gloved hand in front of my face to shield me from the worst of the Sun’s futile glare. Walking in the spacesuit is difficult, it is bulky and uncomfortable. Where there are rocks, my footsteps disappear as if I had not been there at all. My air supply is low – the red light on the side of my visor is flashing – I have to return to the pod to top up.  

I am lonely here. I think Jason is alone too. It is so quiet here, not a sound: no birds, no cars, and no neighbour chatter. I can’t even hear the wind. I miss the happy noises of animals and the friendly voices people.

I am hungry — Jason too. Jason is going to be very disappointed in his lunch today. It is the same as yesterday and the day before—synthetic minced meat in a tube – grown in a lab. I am going to try the spinach and potato mash for lunch today or maybe the pasta with tomato paste and synthetic beef. All our food is mashed into large tubes. Some of it has small chunks in it, just to break the monotony of the mash. In fact, all our food is mashed up and stored in tubes. I miss Earth today. I feel so sorry for Jason.

While we were standing outside, about a kilometer away from our pod, something unexpected happened. Jason saw the movement too. Immediately, instinctively, he chased after it.

‘What was that? Was it a shadow?’

I had the shock of my life. What is going on?

“Come back, Jason, Jason!”

Jason can’t hear a thing. We are now both low on oxygen! I decided to run after him. We are getting further away from the pod.

“Jason, Jason!” 

“Come back, Jason!”

A red furry animal dashed for fifteen meters and then disappears into a hole. It looked like a large dog.

What? Am I dreaming; an animal alive on Mars!


The hole looks like it had been drilled by a machine of some kind. It is large. Someone must have dug this hole? But, we are the first astronauts living on Mars. Had people been drilling and excavating the red planet before us? There is absolutely no record of that.

Jason is down the hole – somewhere – behind the ‘thing.’  

‘I have to save Jason.’

My head and chest-cam are switched on. But, I have decided not to contact the base station where we live. I don’t want to alarm the other members. I want to investigate first.

The hole – which becomes a tunnel of some sort – is big enough for me to fit in comfortably. I went onto my knees and started to crawl down at a steep angle, laser gun in hand. I switched on my additional headlamp LEDs.

‘Am I doing the right thing?’

After five minutes of very slow crawling, I see a burst of movement that attracts my attention. It is shadows against the wall. My heart stops for a moment. The white-and-copper coloured tail is just visible as the tunnel makes a slight curve to the right. I move slowly towards the creature; careful not to make a sound as to startle it. The white, grey, and copper coloured fox turned its head slowly towards me. It can see me coming.  I am stunned as our eyes lock; it is sizing me up with its honey-coloured eyes. I reach out slowly to him, and in a flash of copper, he races past – running over me – and out of the hole. The fox moved like lightning. I haven’t even had time to move a muscle – he flew over me like a jet.

‘There is Jason, there is Jason! He is alive!’

I tried to turn in the hole, but it was just too narrow. I backed out feet first. On my out, I bumped my head against a big rock. I looked up and to my left was an unusual shape.

‘That is black and white hair – it is the fur of an animal!’  

“It is a fossil, it is a fossil! I can’t believe it, it is a fossil of some kind!” I shouted.

What we have been looking for – life on mars – I have just found! This changes everything! 

I switch on the two side lights on my headpiece. I sit on my knees and turn to face the fossil.    

‘I can’t believe my eyes!’

In front of me – staring at me – is the fossil of a badger. I know badgers because I have a particular interest in them. The full length of the badger is displayed, I can see the entire length of it. It is like a cross-section of the animal. Every single bone is intact. The skeleton is surrounded by the skin of the badger – a thin line around the bones. The fur looks new and fresh as if the badger died yesterday. This is the find of the century. The humans on Earth will be excited when they receive the picture and the news... 





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