Monday, April 30, 2007

Top 100 Aussie Blogs! (And I'm # 50!)

Isn't it great that a country with 20 million people can produce such great blogs!

Check out Meg's Dipping into the Blogland blog with the unending job she has created for herself of listing Australia's top 100 blogs ... what a job! good on you Meg!

Hey I was happy to see that last week I was ranked number 50!

I mean how cool is that ... lots of great Aussie blogs to check out and heaps from over here in WA as well.

"Australian's all let us rejoice ..."

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Long Table Lunch

I was invited to the Celebration of Women Long Table Lunch yesterday ... the invitation came from the lovely Debbie, Managing Director of Aurenda and her team of injury management specialist... and what a great day it turned out to be. We are finally getting some rain here in WA which is fantastic, and the downpour didn't affect the fun atmosphere created by the organising team. 850 women (well there were a couple of brave guys) attended the lunch which has been designed to raise funds for the Breast Cancer Foundation of Western Australia and commemorate courageous Western Australian women who have sadly lost their battles with breast cancer.

There were auctions, raffles, great music by Our Generation, fun comperes, respectful commemoration and some serious fund raising going on - and a collection of WA Women getting together to have fun while supporting such a worthy cause.

I think it's a shame that we have to fund raise for something like this ... but there you go, the support by Perth's business community was outstanding ...

What a lovely way to start the week ...

Friday, April 27, 2007

Journal Circa 1939

I have this lovely piece of art in my hands ... an old journal from 1939. I usually only collect journals with some writing in them, but this one is so lovely ... a hardbound book with a partial leather binding ... it's an executive journal, from England.

I love that journals (even blank ones) seem to record some of the most ordinary parts of our day.
And to be honest, the best parts of most days are the ordinary ... aren't they?

Here are are some interesting facts from April 27 1939 ... It was the 117th day of the year ... and there were 248 more to go until 1940 ... It was Thursday ... The sun was expected to rise in London at 0542 and set at 2015 - with lighting being up at 2115 (hmmmm what did people do for that hour in between one must ask?). It also says "High water London Bridge 8.16am and 8.38pm" .... anyone got more than an educated guess as to why that information was important? What is very quaint ... is the saying for the day (don't forget that this is an 'executive's diary'):

"What a slow and gloomy affair the day's shopping would be if the housewife could not believe a word she was told".

More later ... when I stop giggling.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

So sad ...

I can't believe it ... I have released two books into the wild for the Book Crossing project ... and while I know they have been picked up ... there is no journal entry for either of them ...

I hope those little books are doing ok .... travelling all alone out there ...


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

ANZAC Musing

I am not a proponent of war. But I support the democracy I call home here in Australia, and that means understanding that sometimes we might choose to fight on foreign or home soils.

I am not a proponent for glorifying killing at any level. But I do support the celebration of ANZAC day and the spirit we have created around the ANZAC legend.

You can't be Australian and not be moved in some way by ANZAC Day celebrations.

Here in Perth, on a cold wet dark morning, over 40,000 people met for the simple dawn service in Kings Park. Thousands more went to other services around the State and the rest of the country. Aussies also travel to Turkey as a pilgrimage ... all in the name of the spirit of ANZAC.

You can't help but be moved and want to make sure that somehow we retain the lifestyle we have created, as Australians, and to better it somehow. From the ANZAC spirit of mateship, larikinism, courage to adventure, they are all qualities that make Australia what it is today. Anzac Day makes me less cynical than I do after listening to daily news reports of senseless violence, wasted water and natural resources, and the inequities that exist on a day to day basis.

For today, ANZAC day ... I feel like I can think about the things we all have in common here - and how proud I am to be Australian - even if I wasn't born here.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Another writer in the family

They say creativity runs in families, and I suspect its true. Seems most of my brood have a creative streak in one of the arts ... and use their talents in various ways.

I suppose I shouldn't really be surprised ... my dad was a magician, my mum a music teacher, my sister is a painter, and I have a brother that ties flies for fishing that are pieces of art. We can all hold a tune as well.... but I was the only one that ever
seemed to write or had a calling for writing (hey guys .... leave a comment here if I am wrong here and you have just been hiding it for years!).

But of course you need to look further than this when it comes to the creative stuff ... and my Uncle Stanley was a keen letter writer and also a poet.
I never met Topper (as he was known by family) as he was killed in action in the second world war, but his memory has been kept well alive for all us kids, by my mum who loved him dearly. My brother was even named after him ... (the mad fisherman, fly tying brother)

He was in the Canadian Forces as a Private in the North Nova Scotia Highlanders Regiment. At once point he was stationed on Kiska, an island in the Rat Islands group of the Aleutian Islands of Alaska.

Have a read ... even on a hot Aussie summer's day you can feel the cold from this poem he wrote ...


Maybe God was tired, when he made this little Isle,
He took the things left over and put them in a pile.
He dropped them in the ocean, and paused then for a spell,
Then said, "I'll call it "Kiska". This earth must have a Hell!

And what a hell this "Kiska" is, so misty, damp, and drear,
and grows upon the soul, for there's no sunshine here.
Where the fog rolls up the valley, and the clouds drop o'er
the hills. Where the rain comes down in torrents,
and the wind is never still.

Where in your daily duties, you plunder in the mud.
Where the whirling, sweeping westerlies, coagulate your blood,
The dampness penetrates you, to the marrow of your bones,
And you wake up in the morning, with aches and pains and groans.

When in the dead of summer, you shiver in the cold, and
the hardships that you suffer, turn young men into old.
Where there's no entertainment, no music, joy, or mirth.
Oh! What a place this "Kiska" is, it's really hell on earth.

And in the midst of winter. When all is ice and snow. You
have your furry blizzards, when the north wind starts to blow.
It steals away your senses, it knocks away your pride.
If ever I get off this lonely Isle, I'll ne'er come back again!

(The Canadians built a monument to their dead to friendly fire, out of captured Japanese 13.2mm cartridges. A few years later, reportedly, Japanese fishermen broke the memorial.)

Kiska has an interesting history of its own ... click here if you're interested ... It's been listed as a National Historic Landmark by the USA due to its involvement in the second world war ...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

TV Seredipity

There are some who say that unless your blog is totally about TV or entertainment, then it is poor taste and very low brow to discuss Television on blogland ...

Well right now I disagree. TV IS a part of my life ... as a writer I love reality TV for getting character ideas and good fictional drama is creatively stimulating ... so there!

Having admitted TV is a little joy I partake in I must comment on some serious serendipity happening on Australian TV (this is as low brow as I ca get ha ha!) ... my fav show in the whole world is West Wing ... (at the moment ... many dramas have been given this personal award from me in the past too!). For Aussie viewers it ends this week on ABC on Saturday night - it finished in the USA this time last year! I am addicted to the series and am seriously grieving already!!!


Life is always in balance ...

Because BIG BROTHER is coming back on Sunday evening here in Australia ...

There is reason to the Universe after all. *sigh*

Why would you live anywhere else ....?

One of the things I really appreciate about living the writer's life is making it your job to listen to people, watch people, visit new places, and observe everything around you as if you are seeing it for the first time.

I am mid interviews this week for a number of articles I am working on. All really interesting people with viewpoints that I really want to hear, and so much to learn from them. I love it! While you have to play the hermit a lot as a writer, you also have to at least have an interest in people ... maybe even like people!!!

One of the fun things about going out to interview people is that you go to parts of your own city that you haven't discovered before or haven't been to for awhile.
Yesterday I had the absolute pleasure of going to the wharves... it brought back so many memories ... and was fantastic for people watching.

The woman I interviewed talked about Perth and Australia and the lifestyle we have here ... got me thinking ... and got me feeling cheerfully abundant about the ordinary side of Perth, the part I take for granted - the temperate weather all year around, the white sandy beaches with turquoise blue waters, the parklands, the bordering wheat fields and desert, the south west forests and the laid back life style. I honestly ask myself ... why would I live anywhere but Perth?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Cartoon Diaries

Gees I wish I could draw!

I've always wanted to be able to draw - I've tried and tried and tried. I even suck at playing Hangman I am so bad at drawing ...

Cartoon diaries are a really interesting genre of diary.
You could say that they started with the cave drawings of ancient times. Other examples include the political cartoons in the local newspaper - chronicling the events of our time.

The advent of a personal cartoon dairy dates back to the 1960s - and to continue on today.

Here's one you can check out (Where this pic is from) ... Spaniel Rage... very creative and emotive in a way that I sometimes think words fail to achieve (did I say that as a writer? Wow!).

If anyone has another example I would love to link to it ... as a non drawer I am totally intrigued by the whole concept ...

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Release Your Books ... Set them Free!

I am releasing this book to the wild!

I joined Book Crossing ages ago and have been meaning to release a book ... finally I get around to it. As I mentioned a couple of posts ago I have been reading Susan Howatch's Starbridge Series. I ended up with two copies of Scandalous Risks so one is now off in the wild ...
n. the practice of leaving a book in a public place to be picked up and read by others, who then do likewise.

(added to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary in August 2004)

You can trace its journey on Book Crossing.

Read and Release at

All you readers and writers out there ... set a book free. It's fun. You might want to check out "wild releases" in your local area on the Book Crossing site too ... it's kinda fun to see where people are leaving books in your local area. What goes around comes around remember?

The Discipline of Writing

Every writer faces this ... every writer has techniques that work - and then days that don't. 'How to' books are filled with tips and techniques ...

Yet in the end, the journey of writing is laced with very personal ways and means to deal with the act of discipline. Not the whip brandishing kind, but the 'just sit there and write' kind.
The main enemies of a writer's life are procrastination, distraction and lack of passion - and all writers suffer these from time to time.

The difference between a productive day and an unproductive day is huge. You feel different at the end of the day and the cycle of each is hard to break. Productive doesn't only mean how many words you write - it can be linked to research and experiencing things that are essential to the art of what you are writing too. I think it's really important to remember that reading, listening to others, trying new things and sometimes, especially if you write fiction, sometimes just day dreaming is a part of the writers productive tool kit ...

Of course in the end you still have to face that blank page or computer screen ...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Button, button, whose got the button ???

We all have dirty little secrets right? Well I'm coming out of the closet with mine ... well one of mine anyway.

It's my button collection. A source of rolling eyes from my kids, raised eyebrows from my partner when I buy more on e-bay, and a source of laughter behind my back from some friends ... though there is one friend who 'fessed up and said she collected them too
... So you see, your dirty little secret might inspire others to tell you theirs ...

I'm not a particularly focused person at the best of times, so you can imagine my collection isn't catalogued (much!) or in any particular order, and I am not an obsessive type so I actually don't even know alot about buttons on button collecting. I just like the things.

It all started when I had a huge jar of them from various sources and I kept adding to it. I actually used to bring out the jar and a tray when the kids were sick in bed and we played all kinds of games with them (I am good at imagination games ... thus a writer, but not an obsessive one!). (So you see kids ... it could be seen to be your fault I have that collection you roll your eyes at.)

Some people take it all so seriously and have the most amazing historical or themed collections ... mine just sit in jars - one is even colour coded which impresses me no end! I have recently started buying vintage buttons still on their old cardboard backings and they sit in a gorgeous treasure box I got as a birthday present.

What do you do with them? Well like any collection ... I suspect it's just about having them ... not much more than that really ... I found a source of sites if you're actually interested in button collecting ... there is obviously alot more to it than I originally thought ... but I'd rather spend my time on e-bay ...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Fruit Tuesday!

Seriously ... I do think that we need to declare the first Tuesday after Easter, 'Fruit Tuesday'.

Enough of the hot cross buns and chocolate eggs... today, turn to fruit for redemption. Happy Fruit Tuesday!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

We're getting hitched!

Phew! We finally set a date and are taking the final plunge!

For those of you who know us, you'll know we haven't rushed into anything ha ha! Getting married just kinda slipped our wee minds for awhile with all the adventures we have been having. And now the time has come.

It is kind of like eloping without all the secrecy.

We have decided to be oh so totally selfish and we are flying over to the Gold Coast and doing the deed over there on the Pacific Ocean. We're having all the usual wedding trappings - only without a guest list of thousands - thus we get to do everything the way we want to. How clever is that? Even better? We get to spend our holiday time over there just having a good old fashioned party for two - our honeymoon starts the second the ceremony finishes this way!

It's been a hoot trying to organise everything from over here on the West Coast. The kids have been holding the whole secret with us ... but now the word is out. Married life here we come!

How many days till July 16???? (too many)

Friday, April 06, 2007

Living at Starbride for awhile ...

A good friend of mine has added to my list of addictions by introducing me to the Starbridge Series written by Susan Howatch. One of the many wonderful things about being a writer is that you must read. One of the even better things about being a writer is having other wonderful writer friends who lend you their entire collections! I mean how lucky can you get?Despite the fact these books were published over a decade ago now, they are entirely timeless.
The characters' lives are weaved throughout the series so you feel like you never have to say goodbye to your favourite people.

I saved the last of the series of six until Easter weekend to read as a treat ... so I'll be back at the other end of this addiction ...

Monday, April 02, 2007

Check out Mother Inc ...

Hot off the press!

One of my articles 'To Work or Not to Work' has been published on a great web site for Mums (and Dads!) called Mother Inc. here in Australia. Check it out if you have been struggling with the decision of whether (or when) to go back to work now you're a parent!

And to think you were starting to think that I hadn't been working while I had my little break from Blog Land!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

No excuses except to say "I'm Back"!

I'm back!!!!!!!!!!!! No excuses or anything on my part. I'm back. Been productive to say the least ... it's kinda nice to be back here ...