Family Secrets

Family Secrets

Between August and October 2010, I had a couple of long telephone conversations with my grandmother in Tasmania. She was 88-years-old at the time and I wanted to learn as much about her life as I could before she inevitably left us. And I did … Nan’s...
A Snippet from the Novel

A Snippet from the Novel

An excerpt from my novel, ‘Ida’s Children’. LEN’S CAMERA One night he came out, full as a boot and holding up a cardboard box as if it was a priceless antique. ‘I won! I won!’ he kept saying as he came over. He’d won a raffle and had a choice...
2. Trusting My Voice

2. Trusting My Voice

I think I’ve learnt to do this. Finally. When I started writing, I was embarrassed to show my ignorance, so I tried to sound literary. I’ll show you: ‘The mountain rose out of the horizon and watched over and nourished the district, like a good mother. She sent...
1. Toss the Plan

1. Toss the Plan

Yes, I have a first draft. It’s complete – well, as complete as a first draft can be. It’s printed and sitting on the desk next to me: a pile of A4 paper that looks nothing like a novel. I’ve learnt a lot from writing this draft. Practical things, like how to...
On Squares and Pegs

On Squares and Pegs

Oh, to be round and able to fit into that hole that society has for us. Round is neat and smooth and I’m surrounded by round pegs everywhere I look—at my kids’ schools, my old work colleagues, when I go to the shops. People who can slip into the peg holes society...
In Memory of My Father

In Memory of My Father

It is one year today since my father passed away. He had Alzheimer’s and over the preceding year I’d watched his brain and body decline. The day before he died, I walked into his room at the nursing home and did a double take: I thought I was too late. He was lying on...
Coming Out

Coming Out

  Okay, I’ve decided it’s about time I came out and told everyone that I write. There, I’ve said it. I’ll even say it again: I write. That must make me a writer, although I feel fraudulent saying that. It feels strange,...