Fractured, by Dawn Barker

Fractured, by Dawn Barker

WARNING: Possible spoiler alert -- I’ve tried not to divulge specific detail in this review, but found I couldn’t do it justice without hinting at some of the events. Dr Dawn Barker, who is also a child psychiatrist, has tackled a courageous topic in her debut novel....

Piano Lessons, by Anna Goldsworthy

Piano Lessons, by Anna Goldsworthy

I learned piano as a child and gave it up at fourteen, a decision I will regret for the rest of my days. My kids now learn music, all four of them. I’m quite, how should I put it, uncompromising, some say obsessed, about their music. Perhaps it's because of my...

Whisky Charlie Foxtrot, by Annabel Smith

Whisky Charlie Foxtrot, by Annabel Smith

This is my second book review for the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2013. I recently finished Annabel Smith's second novel, Whisky Charlie Foxtrot  (Fremantle Press 2012). It is the story of two boys, identical twins, Charlie and Whisky,...

How I learnt there were no lions in Tasmania

How I learnt there were no lions in Tasmania

  I had a few weird beliefs as a child. Some of the stranger ones were: that my grandmother was alive at the same time as Jesus; that the place where I lived constituted the whole world; and that there were about a hundred people in the world and I knew most of...

Medical School Memories

Medical School Memories

  I’ve returned from my whirlwind trip to Tasmania and the Alzheimer’s Australia National Conference filled with nostalgia for the state that was my home for the first thirty-three years of my life: its beautiful people, its undulating countryside, and its lush...

Elsewhere in Success, by Iris Lavell

Elsewhere in Success, by Iris Lavell

Okay, I'm late to the party, but I've signed up for the Australian Women Writers Challenge for 2013. This challenge is for anyone, as it says on their website, for 'male, female, reader, writer, teacher, librarian, bookseller, publisher, Australian and...

A connection to country…

A connection to country…

I read a post the other day by Sue at Whispering Gums about Place in Australian Literature and it got me thinking. I grew up in cold, rugged Tasmania, with hills on every horizon, very few sweeping plains, and very little sunburnt countryside. The Tassie...

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 father died...

A Snippet from the Novel

A Snippet from the Novel

An excerpt from my novel, 'Ida's Children'. LEN'S CAMERA ne 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....

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 the...

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 use...

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...