I’ve been asked to be on a panel at the Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival and I’ve been trying to quash my anxiety with this kind of thinking:


The teaching job has been demanding and I’ve barely touched my writing (save for one blissful morning when I finished a new short story- the kids were at my parents!). I find it difficult to write when my sentences are punctuated with ‘MUM!’ and my heart positively races when I hear them coming like a little herd of rhinos, horns primed to tear me away from an elusive idea. I tap away furiously, nodding and smiling at them, but they’re not stupid; they up the ante and I’m forced to let it go, hope that the idea returns to me (they never do!).

The children are asleep so here I am…

I have a plan, and I DO love a plan.

1. Polish my new short story and enter the ELIZABETH JOLLEY COMPETITION (due May 31st)

2. Redraft ‘The Quickening’ again and submit to the WRITING WA AWARDS/MENTORSHIP COMPETITION (due May 31st)

3. Begin to write notes for the next novel. I have a character, Libby, waiting in the wings, suggesting that I move my butt and get on with her story. She’s pretty assertive….

So, now I know who to invite (along with Stephen Fry and Alain De Botton) to my imaginary ideal dinner party: China Mieville and Margaret Atwood.  I’ve developed a a bit of a crush on both of them. Today I witnessed that beautiful marriage of towering intellect and humility (not to mention wonderful, down to earth humour). There were none of the affectations you might expect from such lauded writers. I genuinely had goosebumps THREE times (and a number of belly laughs!) Gush, gush, gush!!!

This is a picture of Margaret Atwood photographing China Mieville’s tattoos.