Gallery Gallivanting

I needed a soul lift yesterday so carted myself off to Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA). Ah, ‘twas a feast for the senses. But first . . .

(Above: ‘The Blue Alice’: Charles Blackman 1956-1957 (L) and ‘My left Foot’ (R))
Following another exhilarating ride on one of those electric scooters, during which my ankle had a slight altercation with the heavy back end (see pic), I popped in to the Queensland Art Gallery (QAG) to see if ‘The Blue Alice’ was back on show. Indeed it was. I always look at it with fresh eyes , I always hear music (piano and violin) and I always get extremely light headed. Someone had thoughtfully placed a couch within easy viewing distance and I may have sat there looking at Blackman’s work for longer than I had anticipated.

Eventually, it was on to GOMA where I gorged on all manner of treats for the senses. Unfortunately, my phone went flat so I have no further pics to share but do yourself a favour and check out the current exhibitions if you get a chance. The stand out for me (and for many others, going by the conversations around me) was an installation by Jonathan Jones in collaboration with Wiradjuri leader Dr Uncle Stan Grant Snr AM ‘(untitled) giran’. The work features small sculptures made up of various items like shells, bone and feathers. The sculptures, arranged in a wind pattern design, give the installation over to a flock of birds. Stunning.
With no solid intention, I found myself detouring to QAG again for one more gaze at ‘The Blue Alice’ and it occurred to me that everything I feel about everything I am is right there in that painting.
Anyway, my little day trip definitely gladdened my heart and should sustain me until next month’s Tassie trip when I will, once again, get to roam through the Museum of Old and New Art. Oh! Mona, Mona, be still my beating heart!




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A Big Shout Out for the Big Issue

Everyone knows I’m a Big Fan of The Big Issue  .  . .  especially when I’m in it!
Well, not me precisely, but something I wrote.
How gorgeous is the cover of this Love Issue?

The Big IssueThey tell me we’ll need the tissue box handy for some of the stories including – I’d say – for the true love story of Big Issue vendors Greg and Kelly who rushed forward their wedding date due to Kelly’s spina bifida.

The Big Issue magazine is a fortnightly, independent magazine that’s sold on the streets by homeless, marginalised and disadvantaged people.

Social enterprise at its finest! So please keep an eye out for your local vendor. 

Check out The Big Issue on Facebook: The Big Issue Australia, Twitter: @thebigissue or Instagram: @bigissueaustralia.






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A Beautiful Collection . . . and my work is included

Delighted to receive a copy of the Grieve Anthology (published by the Hunter Writers Centre) which is filled with stunning Stories and Poems about Grief and Loss.

Grieve Cover

I can highly recommend this beautiful collection which is now available for purchase. You can ask at your favourite bookstore or order online through the Grieve Project site

I was chuffed to learn, via the online announcement that my poem ‘Hashtag’ had won the Blue Knot Foundation Award. My poem is not about death but about a different type of grief and one which I think many of us can relate to. # I hope you will check it out, along with the many poignant pieces that make up the collection. I am proud to be in such company.

How is this for a title?
‘I Have the Weight of a Life that is Substantive and Real on my Shoulders’. That is one of the winning short story titles by Sook Samsara.

The three major award winners are:
Justine Hyde with ‘Blood and Bone’
Lisa Jacobson with ‘Not Horses, or Mothers’
Alyssa Sterry with ‘Time’
All incredibly worthy of their winning places. One of them in particular has nestled deeply within me and I doubt it will ever budge.

Anyone who has suffered a form of grief (and surely that is all of us?) will find much to relate to between the pages of this anthology.


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For the Love of Poetry

I’m poking my head out from behind my screen to say – to anyone who is interested – I’m still here. Still writing. Still completely sane for a certain number of hours most days, completely off the rails the rest of the time.

I am probably half way through the first draft of my ocean-themed, sea-sprayed, water-logged novel (which means I’m only running about twelve months behind schedule) but, in the process of dredging things from the ocean floor and peering into the blurred blue/green horizon, I’ve rediscovered my love of poetry.

So anywhere from midnight, through to the witching hours, I invariably find myself hunched over the keyboard, bathed  in a strange mix of lighting – the beige from the salt lamp and a sort of extra-terrestrial green from Wi-Fi gadgets – tapping out phrases and words that sing with impetuous desire.

Just one more switch with which I flail myself


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Ending 2017 on a High

In a year of some incredible highs (and to be honest, a couple of difficult lows), it is a delight to end on a note of surrealistic loftiness.

Followers of this blog will know of my admiration for Lisa Hill of ANZ LitLovers. She holds the literary spotlight for Australian and New Zealand authors and spreads news and thoughtful criticism to the world.

So to have my book of short fictions Flame Tip featured amongst some real standouts in Lisa’s favourite 2017 reads was astounding. As I read on and discovered I had made her shortlist, well, I must confess words failed me.

But wait . . . there’s more.

2017 ANZLitLovers Australian and New Zealand Best Books of the Year

 Oh my!




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Time Out

There are times in a writer’s life when a certain amount of withdrawal seems necessary.
Time for serious writing.
Time to smell the geraniums and eat sensibly and swim and get some fresh air.
Time for serious writing.
Time to stop worrying about uploading this and tweeting that and commenting here and liking there.
Time for serious writing.
And I am writing. Seriously and well [I think].
And hopefully I will have things to share with those who are interested in the not too distant future. I am always contactable. Still always happy to read and edit and help out if you need me. I’m easy to find. Here with my fingers on the keyboard, working earnestly, honestly and happily on what I think are my best creations yet.
Of course, that’s what all writers say.
All the time.


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Young Tasmanian Writers’ Prize

I was delighted and honoured to judge the Senior Section of the 2017 Young Tasmanian Writers’ Prize and I can tell you that there is some exceptional writing talent in Tasmanian secondary schools. The winning entry by Ben Smith Noble will be published in the December issue of  Tasmania 40°South. I do hope you get yourself a copy as I think you will be astounded by the work of this gifted young writer. I expect Ben Smith Noble is a name we will hear often in the future.

Here’s the announcement:
Forty South Publishing and the Tasmanian Association for the Teaching of English (TATE) are pleased to announce the winners of the Young Tasmanian Writers’ Prize 2017 as judged by Karenlee Thompson (Senior Section), Anne Blythe-Cooper (Junior Section) and Penny Lane (Peter Sharp Memorial Award – Junior Section). 

Senior Section: Years 10-12
Winner ($300, publication in Tasmania 40°South, December 2017 issue)
Ben Smith Noble, Taroona High School – Napoleon, or, the musings of Mr Pink

Runners Up ($30 gift voucher courtesy of Fullers Bookshop)
Sigourney Costa, Elizabeth College – The visitors
Emily Fereiro, Elizabeth College – As strangers prepared

Freya Cox, The Friends School – A colour of loss
Melina Fullbrook, Kings Meadow High School – Words

Junior Section: Years 7-9
Winner ($300 plus publication in Tasmania 40°South, December 2017 issue)
Connie Genaris, Ogilvie High School – Apple Juice

Peter Sharp Memorial Award 2017 ($100 plus publication in Tasmania 40°South, March 2018 issue)
Kirra Watkins, St Aloysius Catholic College – Turbulent Seas

Runners Up ($30 gift voucher courtesy of Fullers Bookshop)
Katie Johnson, Taroona High School – The edge of the world
Ishtar Lintner, Exeter High School – Taking flight
Mabel Sward, Ogilvie High School – Candy store

Isaac Burns, St Aloysius Catholic College – Hunted
Zara Casimaty, St Michael’s Collegiate School – Taking flight
Samantha Collins, St Michael’s Collegiate School – The wolf pack
Mia Cooper, Ogilvie High School – Flames are alive
Sarah Jaeger, St Michael’s Collegiate School – Mirror of deception
Kara Landsberg, Exeter High School – Blurry face
Miriam Langford, St Aloysius Catholic College – Last laugh
Lucy Nicol, Mt Carmel College – Katherine’s snafu
Kate Poynter, Taroona High School – Laughter
Annwen Roberts, Taroona High School – Destroying the wall
Guy Robertson, Taroona High School – Through the sparrow’s eye
Noah Sward, St Aloysius Catholic College – Things change
Kirra Watkins, St Aloysius Catholic College – Music of the dead

Congratulations to all the finalists. Also to be congratulated are Tasmania 40°South and Fullers Bookshop for their work in fostering young writing talent. 





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