My writing To Do list

This time next year, things will have changed.

Study will be over and I will reclaim 24 hours in every week.

That’s a lot of hours.

Ten of them may be given back to work, but the rest will go back into the creative well: writing, art journaling, writing, exercise. Did I mention writing?

Day trips on weekends will become a guilt-free reality and my camera will be getting the workout it deserves.

I will no longer be afraid of green thumbs: I’ll be digging in the dirt and planting vegetable seeds, and getting a little colour on my skin. Whether a bounty of fresh greens will eventuate, I’m unsure; but I will be reacquainting myself with a garden that I have been ignoring for the past ten years.

There are so many other things, people, places I’ve had to ignore for the past two years, but with patience and determination, I know they’ll wait for me.

Only 12 months to go…

This is my first post in the The Daily Post’s Writing 101 challenges: Daily Posts.

Loving and lurking in libraries

You must write every single day of your life… You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads… may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.

Ray Bradbury

There’s an urgency in this quote and I love it. I’m happy to lurk in libraries and climb library stacks, though I can’t say I’ve done much of either in the past decade.

It reminds me of the bucket list concept. If I had one, visiting ancient libraries around the globe would be on there.

I have beautiful memories of country town libraries from childhood. I’d be crouched on worn carpet or sitting in light-filled corners, surrounded by a sea of book spines and hoping to find that one book that was meant for me, that would change my young life.

We could all do with the occasional lurking in libraries.

Films on my watch list

So many movies; so little time.

While I’m soaking up literary tales at the Melbourne Writers Festival today, I’ll leave you with a selection of films I’m hoping to watch very soon:

1. The Secret in Their Eyes
A spanish crime thriller, an ex-legal eagle who is writing a book, and an incredible ending, or so I’ve heard.

The Secret In Their Eyes

2. Her
I’m curious, though cautious about this one. Another ‘lonely writer’ seeking solace? I just want to see what everyone’s raving about.


3. Populaire
1958, typewriters, Romain Duris. Enough said.


4. Blue Is the Warmest Color
Love, loss and a coming of age tale for two young girls.


5. The Trip to Italy
I like these guys, and I heard it’s a rather intelligent and entertaining film.


What’s on your list?

For readers and writers: the Melbourne Writers Festival


If you’re a reader, or a writer, who happens to live in the vicinity of Melbourne, then this event needs no introduction.

The 2014 MWF begins tonight with Helen Garner providing the Opening Night Address. Alas, my festival experience doesn’t start until tomorrow. I’m giddy with anticipation, as I know my mind (and my trusty old notebook) will be overwhelmed with story ideas by the end of the day.

This is my fourth visit to the Festival, and every year something magical happens. I sit there quietly in the audience and listen to an authors describe their writing process, their inspiration, and how their characters were born. And by the end of the talk I feel slightly changed.

I’m sure this harks back to the ‘olden’ days of sitting around in a circle, captivated by tales from the mouth of the storyteller in the middle. Oral storytelling is a little bit dead these days, so it’s nice to revive it for a while at a festival like this.

Now to the talks that I’ll be attending tomorrow (let the giddiness begin):

  • a conversation with Hannah Kent of Burial Rights
  • a discussion about the power of reading to change lives, and the downsides of a life without books
  • a look into selfie culture and the new book The Life of I: the new culture of narcissism
  • the hidden secrets of the museums and galleries, archives and private collections that fuel Stephen Fry’s QI
  • a conversation about love, obsession and desire in literature between American novelist Meg Wolitzer and Emily Bitto

And that is just the first day.

Demian: I live in my dreams

I live in my dreams – that’s what you sense. Other people live in dreams, but not in their own. That’s the difference.

Hermann Hesse, Demian


I read this book when I was a teenager while everyone around me with any sort of literary street cred was reading ‘The Catcher in the Rye‘. The story and style of Demian appealed to my senses so much more. I’d hate to re-read it though, in case the memory is shattered.

This quote appeared today as I flicked through my newly received first issue of ‘Australian Womankind’ magazine (another thought provoking must-read). Perhaps it’s a sign that I should be daring and retrieve the worn copy of Demian from my bookshelf.

Accessories for booklovers

Today I’m reflecting on the pleasure of reading, and the literary accessories that go with it:

1. The Book Seat

You’ve never heard of The Book Seat? You are missing out in a big way. It’s like a mini-bean bag to hold your book or e-reader. My Kindle loves it. I’ve had the ‘Cinnabar Red’ book seat for years, however I made the mistake of over-praising it to my husband and gave him mine “to borrow.” It never returned. A second book seat was purchased soon after.


2. Kindle Case

Yes, it was pricey, and yes, it is beautiful. It has names of cities etched into the cover and the texture feels wonderful. I’m generally fussy about book covers, and given this is representing ‘all the books’ in my e-collection, it has to be something I adore.

Kindle Case Verso Artist Series

3. ‘what i read’

A seriously small book, perfect for jotting a few notes on the books that I’m reading. I jot down things that I believe worked or didn’t work for each read, as checkpoints for my own writing. It fits nicely into my red handbag; there’s definitely a theme going on here.


4. goodreads

This is my favourite ‘virtual’ accessory. I love the range – there’s lists, quotes, trends, activities, personalised bookshelves, authors, people to follow, awards, widgets, and a really good newsletter. The reviews are fun; the love/hate relationship that people form with books is fascinating.



I collect loads of these, courtesy of friends, bookshops and The Book Depository (who, when they put a shout-out for people to design their own bookmarks, they received 4,000 entries). You can go see the talented works of the winning illustrated bookmarks.

  If there’s a bookish accessory that I have not included here, please educate me.