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 It was at university that I first encountered the term empathy.  I had been practising it—as much as any adolescent practises empathy— I just hadn’t known what it was called before then. My lecturers described empathy as the act of imagining what it was like to be in another person’s situation. They said it was […]
When I was seven, my family moved from Sydney to Hong Kong. I remember my first day at school. I remember the teacher asked a girl called Randee to look after me. I remember that Randee had brown eyes and black hair and that she was half Filipino and half English. I don’t remember that […]
In 2010 The Guardian published an article called Ten Rules For Writing Fiction. It was a compilation of famous authors’ top ten tips. Richard Ford’s advice stood out to me. His first rule was: Marry somebody you love and who thinks you being a writer’s a good idea. This advice sounded like inherently sensible advice […]
I recently discovered my high school yearbook. In it, I found my eighteen-year-old self’s life goals: to become a paediatrician, to marry a Spaniard (I was madly in love with Antonio Banderas at the time) and to pen a novel. They were tongue-in-cheek aspirations. Some were more so than others. At the time, I was […]
I've just returned from the Perth Writers Festival where it was wonderful to speak about Bloodlines. There were other fledgling writers in the audience, and they asked, how did I do it? How did I pull off writing a novel?
Ten years ago, I left teaching to travel and do volunteer work abroad, and I planned to honour my childhood dream of writing a novel. Yet, ironically, even though I had more ‘free time’ I never actually started. It wasn’t until I undertook a PhD in writing that I began to hone my focus on […]
From the window, she stares down at the people clumped under trees, or sitting on the back of utes. She watches women walk along the muddy street in their bright, puffing meri blouses, billums stuffed with kaukau, taro, yam. Mangy dogs run by, nipping at each other, head toward the beach. ‘What do they do […]
Barefoot, toes digging into brown dirt, I survey the old tin milking shed and cobbled-together chook yards … all empty now. Large white turkey feathers have gathered along the fence line, and curl over like small waves, ruffling in the breeze. I look over to where dad kept his dog. Gone. Then down the hill: […]
Past/Future/ By Andrew_Taylor My son is a conservator. His job in Canberra is to make sure that documents, maps, photographs, anything recorded on paper in the National Archive, is kept in good condition and made presentable to researchers of the future. Old style ‘restorers’ who attempted to repaint or rebuild what they thought the original […]
Reading is a two-way activity. As such, it stands at the door of poetry, looking both in, and out. Like the Roman god Janus. I’ve written elsewhere about how important it is to read your poetry aloud to yourself as you’re writing it and revising. If you can’t read it naturally, if you get tripped […]
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