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Life

Thumbs up to Mary – and Lilith

By | Life | No Comments

Mothers Day is complicated for me, because my son is non verbal, and has severe autism, and so a special occasion without presents for him, or cake, or a party, would have no meaning in his world. I’m very happy to make these things happen on days like Christmas, or his birthday, but not for myself. That would heighten the sense of the absurd that already hangs about ‘mothers day’ for me like the faint whiff of a chemical air freshener that I can’t quite separate from the perfume of fresh flowers. It’s manufactured to a certain extent, and then, on the other…

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This is my Reward

By | Life | No Comments

I think about The Hero’s Journey and Structure a lot. Like, a lot a lot. I love working with and thinking about rhythm, patterns and structure in all aspects of life, especially music, daily and yearly rituals and routines (a glass of wine, and planned holidays are essential) – and most of all, storytelling, which is where theory becomes practise for me, as I work to become the best novelist I can be. At present, I’m particularly thinking about The Hero’s Journey in relation to my writing career and the publishing industry, because on June 3rd at Vivid Festival in Sydney I’m going to be presenting…

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The Outsiders

By | Life, Storytelling | 2 Comments

I’ve always felt like an outsider. I was born late, the last of my generation in my large extended family. I was too young to participate in my family’s life while it was all happening, and by the time I reached those milestones of family holidays and celebrations, I often as not did them with just my mother, or by myself. As I grew older I went to schools in other, far flung parts of Sydney – many long bus rides away. The area we lived in – Glebe – was mainly a slum then, and I was a middle class…

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The Female Face of War

By | Life | 2 Comments

“He’s afraid now that I will remember the wrong thing. That I will tell it not the way I’m supposed to,” says a woman in Svetlana Alexievich’s book about Soviet women’s experience of fighting in World War II, ‘War’s Unwomanly Face’. It applies to women’s experience of conflict and war everywhere, though: Once women stop being victims, and become combatants, physically, or psychologically, they are met with unease. Women are silenced on the topic of war, by men and women, and also by the traditions and genres of journalism, history and publishing. “We usually think of wars as something that men…

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Is there a point to worrying about stuff that might happen?

By | Life | 5 Comments

It’s not that I didn’t worry before my son Leo was born that he would have autism. I certainly covered that. In fact, a few years ago, I phoned a therapist I had talked to before deciding to have a baby, and after I’d caught her up on the events of the last few years, she breathed down the phone in wonder – a wonder that I was later quite proud of, I mean it must take quite a bit to impress a therapist, right? You think they’ve seen it all but then there’s you … Anyway. ‘It all happened…

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