Showing posts from January, 2011



I've been wondering what makes us Australian? And what makes Australian writers? I'm boringly Australian - I was born here, my parents were born here, their parents were born here and I think 99% of THEIR parents were born here. If you look back far enough we have the perennial bloodstock of English, Irish and Scottish- add a touch of Spanish and for some reason Nova Scotia (I think someone was 'sent' there) - and that's me. Australian.

But what makes an Australian writer? If we write about lamingtons and Vegemite- does that mean we qualify? If we write about harsh rugged landscape, heat and drought?
But the majority of us live in the suburbs, surrounded by coffee shops and small boutiques - within walking distance to public transport and shopping centres. So if we write about the suburbs, about inner city high rises and racial violence, if we write about the small domesticities of every day life, the struggling concept of family and of relation…


At work last week a patron came to the desk, frustrated because the catalogue told her the book she was after was on shelf but she couldn't find it. Quick glance at the catalogue and I found the book she was after, in the YA section.

No, don't want it, she said.
I checked the title and author. This was the book she was after.
She refused, saying she wouldn't read a kid's book.

Frankly I was surprised. Especially after Stephenie Meyer's success with the Twilight series- that has people from all ages reading her books. ( I remember one elderly lady requesting Twilight saying her grand- daughter recommended the book ). The same happened with the Harry Potter series, some books catalogued in the children's area, the later, darker ones in the young adult area- and how many adults read those?  I really thought that the whole 'young adult is just for kids' attitude was well over.

I read a lot (one of the joys of working in a library) - and I don't limit my…


I have my Nan's china cabinet in the lounge. It's nothing fancy but it houses bits and pieces, odds and ends, bits and bobs. Nothing in the cabinet is worth anything, but it (like the cabinet)  is full of memories .
 There are the Babushka dolls Steve bought back from Russia- the glass candle holders painted with Christmas decorations we bought back from the Christmas market in Cologne - the plastic Eiffel Tower that the man in the grubby coat beside the Seine was selling ( 5 for 2 Euros )  -  the tiny Delft plate from Amsterdam. Little trinkets that instantly remind us of a great time and place.

But there are others...
The first is a doll's tea set. Very tiny, very delicate. It was my mother's and I never knew she had it until it was given to me, years after her death. I also have some of her cup and saucers, none match, but they were her 'special' ones, the ones brought out only for visitors. 
There is also the teddy bear. Frankly I don't remember him at all…


That is the question. Do you....make goals that is?
I know quite a few people refuse to make resolutions or even set goals - they believe what will happen will happen and that you should open yourself to the bigger picture. Which works for some and last year I made a determined effort to say 'yes' to as many opportunities that floundered my way.

However I know that if I created no goals I would do bugger all. It would be one long reading and relaxing and getting-not-much-done-fest. Which works at times. I won't deny that there are times when you need to put the world on hold and just do nothing. It recharges the batteries, and sometimes makes you realise what EXACTLY you want to do, not what you feel you SHOULD do. Big difference.

But when faced with a whole year of unplanned-ness (is that a word and if not can I make it one?) I find it daunting. And I do like to have a direction to head in. Notice I'm saying direction. I've learnt, that for me, goals are mainly a …