, , , ,

We’re always looking for contact, scrolling
But never quite connecting, separate

We never quite connect, separated
By a bubble, a wall around ourselves

Create a wall, a place to hide ourselves
And always longing, yearning to be seen

A longing, yearning for someone to see
Who we are, instead of who we present

To be who we are, not who we present
Terrified to be that real, that naked

Terror of being that real, that naked
Stops us from forming deep relationships

Unable to form deep relationships
We’re always looking for contact, scrolling.

If I only could: or leaving things behind


, , , , , , , ,

Tuesday was the first day of November and for the first time since 2012 I’m not going to undertake NaNoWriMo. I started doing this marathon drafting challenge when I didn’t yet know how to write novels.

A little over a year after I started this blog, the same time that I left a job I resented in favour of going back to uni. I did my first 50,000 words in a month, and since then I’ve done NaNoWriMo ten times, each time I reached my target. Cumulatively I’ve got 500,000 words from these sprints.

This year, I finished editing a manuscript in the last couple of days of October, and I thought about NaNo. I could have worked on a manuscript I started earlier in the year which is a little under 50k words, for Nano, or I could have started a new project. But instead I decided to start working on fun, possibly a novella or short novel. It’s a story a friend and I came up with for a film, one day we might make it, but novels are my bread and butter, so it seemed easiest to get my thoughts and ideas into a shape by writing it as narrative fiction.

The habits and skills I’ve developed over my years doing NaNo will never leave me. I am so glad I have learned to write first (and fast) and edit later–I find it so much easier to shape something when it’s all there, with an ending, than going over what you did last session, fiddling with it, then switching to write something new. I can sprint now, in half an hour I can get up to 1000 words, something I would never have been able to do before.

It feels strange to leave behind something that has been such a prominent feature in my calendar. I put it in my goals for 2022, but now November is here, I don’t have the energy or the determination to make it work. Last year’s version I aimed for 30k instead of the traditional 50k, and it was still tough. It feels right to let this go.

I’ll probably keep NaPoWriMo, the poem a day challenge in April, as I don’t write much poetry outside of that month. I enjoy the prompts, even when I ignore them, and it’s a good boost to my poetic productivity. For fiction, I don’t need it. I am producing at least one novel a year, which is my aim, and it looks like I’ll be able to continue that for the foreseeable future. There might be a time later where staying inside writing every day seems like a good idea, but it’s not going to happen this year. Post-covid restlessness maybe?

I think it shows growth that I’m not cramming all my output into one month, and instead am able to get 100k or more over spread through the year. Or it might just be that, after ten times, my competitive urge has faded. I also can’t rule out that I got old and tired.

Whatever the reason, I have a fun horror story brewing, perhaps I’ll make a collection, and a half-finished romantic comedy novel to keep my readers entertained after Singular Purpose. What good is being a writer if I’m not entertaining myself first? Comment below if you have any creepy pasta stories rattling around that might make a good addition to my horror collection.

Stay safe, and if you’re in Melbourne try to stay warm and dry until the weather sorts itself out and we get to have a summer of some kind.

Cover Reveal – Singular Purpose


, , , , , ,

I’m very excited to reveal the cover for my new novel, Singular Purpose! It’s due for release in February 2023, you can pre-order it here.

Front cover of a book titled Singular purpose, the cover has a woman with two ravens, and is magenta 
Text reads releasing feb 2023

Freya and Jacob thought their powers were gone for good after they saved the world, they were happy with that. Then one chilly spring morning Odin’s ravens reappear outside their Melbourne apartment.

A power-hungry wannabe-God is luring women to his compound in the country. Freya and Jacob’s magical abilities have been restored but will it be enough to stop this new threat?

Or will one man with a god complex trigger the end of the world?

This novel is a sequel to my 2021 novel, Singular Focus, available now in ebook and paperback.

Long Drive Together


, , , ,

Today was dress/tech rehearsal time for the show ‘Long Drive Together’ a new two person play by Neptune Henriksen.

I first met Neptune at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2015, I had been recommended their work. This new work is a tender, complex look at grief and chanages in friendships. My role is doing the lighting and sound cues from a little booth up the back. I haven’t done this type of role before, but when they asked if I knew anyone who could do it I put my hand up. I hope it’s straight forward and the rehearsals today have laid a solid foundation. I’m cautiously confident.

I’ve done my own fringe shows a couple of times, and it was a lot of work. I have intended to do it again but I’m not sure I’ll be able to fit it in with all my other projects. This is almost like having my own show.

I’d love for you to come along and see the show, you can find tickets here. It’s only a short run, and only in Melbourne/Naarm, so better get in quick.

Enquiries for Neptune can be directed to their email.

All the New Projects


, , , , ,

The last few weeks I’ve been reading The Artist’s Way. A friend of mine suggested a group of us go through the book and support one another in doing the activities. I’ve found the book quite interesting, some of the attitude challenges have been insightful, some of the activities have been fun. I decided some were too much bother and didn’t do them, others I meant to do but haven’t yet.

One of the things I’m exploring as part of the journey is blocking activities, namely scrolling endlessly through social media while watching TV, and have taken up crochet. The first couple of test patches I was making mistakes I couldn’t yet identify, but the third one was pretty good. I’m psyching myself up to try an actual pattern, something that will be a thing, a scarf or hat perhaps to start.

The images above a sample of crochet, and two collages I put together from activities in the Artist’s Way. The book has its drawbacks, and it’s very dated in certain aspects, but overall it has been a positive experience.

I’m also continuing work on various writing projects, a sequel to a previous novel, as yet not titled, and a rewrite of a novel I wrote a few years ago. I have a friend who I’m trying to convince to co-write a screen-play, so far it’s only at the pitch stage, and I am regularly working on my poetry.

The course, as described in the book, seems to be opening up a bunch of new and interesting avenues. It will be interesting to see how long they stick around, but on the other hand I suppose it doesn’t matter. The idea of play in my art practices has been a hard one to get my head around. I’ll persevere in trying to be playful and aim for a child-like glee. I hear it’s enjoyable.

Dawn Chorus


, , ,

A cry rang out in the night
‘Damn it to Hades,’ he said, hopping
Ares had stubbed his toe on the
corner of the four-poster bed

The god of war, all powerful
in some situations, but still fallible
in the half-light of the
very early morning

Aphrodite raised her golden head from the
pillow, ‘why don’t use a light, my darling?
You know how clumsy you are.’
Sighing, she laid her head back down

The heavenly goddess dreamed of a bed
partner who does not snore quite so loudly
or exclaim in pain every time he shuffles
to the privy in the night. Even gods

suffer from small bladders. Eros wandered
past the door, on his way home from a
party, and heard the conversation for the
seventh time, at least.

In his bedroom, Eros flicked his mesh shirt
into the laundry basket and peeled off
his leather pants, before admiring his sweat
slicked body in the mirror.

Vanity was a weakness of his, perhaps
lustiness for himself also. A toilet
flushed down the hall, another cry
rang out as Ares kicked the bed again.



, ,

I’ve been trying to come up with a blog post for about three weeks and so far, nothing good has come to mind, so I thought I would talk about maintenance.

Maintenance is the not at all sexy stuff we do to keep things running – it’s brushing your teeth, or eating healthy or exercising (for the body), cleaning the toilet or mopping the floors, it’s practicing scales and exercises (for music), it’s showing up to write even if you don’t feel like it.

There is an argument to be made that motivation follows action, and not the other way around. One must start doing something to feel like doing it. In a way it helps, because you don’t have to wait until you feel like something to get started, but it also means I have to start before I even feel like it, which can be hard sometimes, especially if things are tough for any reason.

This week I’ve worked on my manuscript a couple of times, I’ve done piano practice most days, I’ve done yoga or a walk or the gym and in most cases I didn’t feel like it. I’m not sure if it’s winter inertia, or I’m having a particularly low energy week, but life feels hard. Getting up for work when it’s under 10˚ C is probably not helping.

Is being an adult progressively adding more maintenance tasks to your list to feel vaguely normal? In my memory I didn’t worry so much about stuff when I was younger, but maybe I’m misremembering. I feel much less fun and spontaneous – my back pain, and ankle injury and the whole pandemic thing didn’t help with that either. Maybe I’ll get back to feeling spontaneous. Maybe I’ll want to create more, rather than relying on starting an activity and hoping I’ll get into it once I’ve begun.

I had coffee with a former work colleague earlier today, though more correctly my former boss, and we had a lovely chat about life, the universe and everything (with a long detour to cults started because I recently read the Book of Revelation and wow, was that a trip, I digress). As I went back to my car to head to my exercise physiology appointment, I found I had a parking ticket. I was in a zone where I had to pay for a ticket, but I had misread the sign and assumed it was two-hour free parking, not two-hour paid parking. I was annoyed because it’s another in a long line of expenses (let’s not even get into the cost of vegetables or petrol at the moment) I have and it would have been avoidable if I’d been more careful about reading the sign. The annoyance spread through the rest of the day, something I feel might not have happened when I was younger.

I guess I’m worried I’m becoming boring and curmudgeonly and I’m not even that old! On the other hand, the world has objectively been through a very bad last couple of years, so perhaps I should give myself a bit more time to get over the trauma (and ongoing stress) of the COVID-years.

I’ve had this blog for over a decade, and I have been posting semi-regularly to it so I think I can say I’m maintaining it. Here’s to trying to find more joy in maintenance.

Houndstooth: a book launch


, , , , ,

I’ve been a bit quiet here on the blog, not for any reason apart from life getting the better of my time, including starting a new day job.

Yesterday I was lucky enough to attend the book launch for my friend and poet, John Lowe’s collection Houndstooth. It was held at Brighton Library, a bit of a trek for me but worth it, and attended by around thirty people, friends, family, fellow writers.

I know John from my poetry group, I’ve workshopped various poems with him for several years, and have enjoyed the opportunity to give and receive feedback.

John was introduced by Chris Ringrose, a poet, academic, and member of our group. His insight were helpful in gaining a deeper understanding of the poetry in the collection.

I decided to mask, even though it’s not required. I go out into the world a lot more these days, I still wear my mask most of the time in large groups and in shops.

It’s too early to claim that we’re back to a pre-plague way of life, and we need to keep safe as we need to but it’s so lovely to be able to go out, to support the arts, especially the work of people I know.

Poetry and travel


, , , ,

For the last thirty days I have been participating in the NaPoWriMo challenge. I have undertaken this challenge the last few years, and have found it valuable if not always easy.

This year I followed the prompts for each day, all except for the final day as I’m up in Sydney visiting a friend and didn’t have access to the poetry books at home to do a cento. Also, a cento seemed like a lot of work choosing lines from other poems to collate into a new one.

It has been strange travelling in this COVID-conscious world. The daily case numbers in Sydney are comparable to Melbourne, but mask wearing up here is much less common than at home. I guess we’re all still a bit traumatised after our two long lockdowns.

It was strange thinking about getting on a plane to come up here, but once I was there waiting to board it seemed normal. Most people were masked in the terminal, maybe 75%, and they were very clear on the plane that masks were mandatory. It was fully booked, so I wasn’t used to being so close to so many people, but I coped.

I’ve written a few good poems as part of this year’s NaPoWriMo challenge, and a few that might not make the cut. I’m sure you’ll see a few on this blog in the coming months and maybe in the next poetry chapbook I release (no dates for that, it’s still in the concept phase).

I hope you’re all doing well in the change of seasons; the weather has been varied to say the least. At least up here in Sydney I don’t need to worry so much whether I have a jacket and umbrella with me.

I sing a song


, , , , ,

I sing a song to pass the time
all the hours from waking to sleep

I sing a song of seduction
to flirt and flutter when speaking is too hard

I sing a song to comfort myself
for company through the lonely stretches

I sing a song of righteous indignation
for courage to challenge injustice in the world

I sing a song of lament
for everything lost and dying

I sing a song of exhaustion
for every time I fought the same battles

I sing a song of solidarity
for all my siblings in all our struggles

I will sing a song of new beginnings
and promise, to a new world we create together.