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In some writing workshops, there’s an inverse ratio between how closely someone has read a story and how much they’ve got to say about it. I’m a diligent reader. I pay attention to the stories people have submitted; some might say too much attention. My friends judge me as intense. The judgement of others tends […]
I don’t know many writers. In the town where I was born no-one ever admitted they were a writer. Contemplation was an illness, and its practitioners were people to be avoided. Perhaps nobody wrote. Or perhaps the irrigation plains of northern Victoria were so plain that people thought they couldn’t write about them. I decided […]
Flannery O’Connor was born in 1925 and died in 1964. Whenever I read those dates, I wonder what she might have written if she’d had a few more years. YouTube has a video of her reading ‘A Good Man is Hard to Find’ in her sardonic, Southern drawl. It’s a serious story, but in the […]
[The following is an excerpt from a work in progress—a piece of creative nonfiction which, as the title suggests, I have been developing slowly for some time…]   I take my glasses off to swim. I leave them tucked in the folds of my discarded dress, follow the softened outline of Lucas’s body down and […]
There is a power in riding a horse. This is a sentence I have written many times, in several different contexts, but it is an idea I find myself coming back to again and again. The power isn’t just one of mass, or force, or brute strength. I’m not sure I know exactly what it […]
When I was fourteen we spent several weeks chasing summer in France. The majority of my family are readers—apart from my youngest brother who wouldn’t know how to open a book. Towards the end of the trip we camped in Carnac, a place famous for its standing stones and Asterix and Obelix. There was an […]
The sun highlights a large spider web in the bathroom. It doesn’t look like the conventional webs that appear on Instagram with their perfect shape and pretty droplets of dew coating the fine strands. This one resembles a labyrinth with multiple layers, and it is dusty. It reminds me of how a story can unfold. […]
There is an ancient marri in front of the house that leans on a precarious forty-five degree angle. I found it one day when I got lost (again) wandering in the bush. Part of the trunk is darkened from old bush fires and the bark on the northern side is rough and protrudes unevenly, ready […]
Away from the sounds and busyness of the city the senses come alive. Perhaps it is the familiarity of the drive south, from Bunbury to Walpole. I’ve now been doing it for over twenty years. The first trip was as a backpacker late at night in a car full of new friends. I remember the […]
My most sustained attempt to quit writing forever was in the mid-nineties. I’d completed a novel that was greeted with indifference by publishers and was courting self-pity. I’d been writing for two decades, experimenting with scripts, comedy skits and short stories for adults and children, but had met with little success. The sensible course of […]
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