Monthly Archives: May 2014

Soapbox # 3 Road Signs

Every now and then, I wander off my usual writing topic when I feel the need to vent about something. I’ve been doing a spot of driving of late so from my soapbox I have these four points to make:-

  1. In Australia, there is a very simple rule when driving on our roads: Keep left unless overtaking. At least I think it is simple, but it seems to me that every second driver cannot grasp the concept.
  2. Why, oh why, must we have lights flashing constantly to tell us to pay our tolls, watch our speed, don’t drink and drive! The lights give me a headache which makes me dangerous on the road. Yesterday, I copped Distracted Drivers Die flashing till it almost blinded me in one eye. Well, if distracted drivers die, why are you distracting me by flashing these words when I’m trying to concentrate on the road at 110ks per hour?
  3. Speaking of distractions, it might be time to outlaw the erection of crosses and flowers and other monuments on roadsides. These sideshow alleys of mourning on public property do not enhance either our concentration or our driving skills.
  4. Speed Camera ahead. Okay, if you must raise extra revenue. For Road Safety. What the? Every time I come across a speed camera sign, I see people jamming on their brakes (even though they were not speeding in the first place), putting other drivers in jeopardy and slowing the previously perfect pace of the flow of traffic. For Road Safety indeed! Really? At least be honest.

I’ll climb down of the box now and go and have a nice cup of tea.


Filed under General Interest

Six Degrees of Separation (via the printed word)

When I saw my book mentioned in a ‘six degrees of separation’ post at ANZ Litlovers, I was rather chuffed, so I’ve decided to have a go myself.  Run by Annabel Smith and Emma Chapman, this month’s book is Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar.

bell jar

Any mention of Sylvia Plath brings to mind her battle with clinical depression and her ultimate suicide, a subject which is beautifully captured in Antonella Gambotto’s The Eclipse: A memoir of suicide.


Gambotto’s name reminds me of an interview I read in an anthology of hers a long time ago. It opens with a quote from Richard Neville who says: ‘I think everyone wants to be Oscar Wilde’. Dear Oscar, a man so widely quoted.  Despite a wide body of work, I think he only published one novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, which is usually classified as Gothic Horror.


A classic Gothic Horror novel (and one of my favourites) is Bram Stokers Dracula, a story told largely through documents and letters (epistolary).


A great contemporary novel written in the epistolary form is Lionel Shriver’s 2003 novel We need to talk about Kevin which won the 2005 Orange Prize.

talk about kevin

Whenever I think about the Orange Prize, The Idea of Perfection comes to mind written by Kate Grenville, one of Australia’s best known authors.  I can’t think of a better place to end.


Fancy having a go yourself? Here’s the rules…







Filed under Uncategorized

Josephine Ulrick Shortlist Announced

The 2014 Griffith University Josephine Ulrick Literature Prize shortlist has been announced.

Unfortunately, my name is not on that list.

We send out our ships and hope that one comes home with the goods…


Congratulations to Loren Clarke, Nicholas Brooks, Madelaine Lucas, Luke Johnson and SJ Finn. The winner will be announced on 9th May. Good luck all and I look forward to reading your short stories.



Filed under Writing