Posts

Reluctant then happy

Feeling the cold, I’d hoped to avoid actually spending time with the two grandsons in the heated pool at Rosebud, but no, I was part of the job. The older one bobbed and dipped, splashed me (of course), torpedoed; his new confidence inspired me. P took the younger one for his enthusiastic lesson. Then the older one had his lesson and it was marvelous to see how he embraced it, learning to…

Tales of why

Love’s Executioner by Irvin Yalom feels like the kind of book you only read when desperate. Why are we here? Why go on? And truth be told, I’ve had it prescribed (gently) to me. I’m a tenth of the way through and can relate that it is riveting.

Newsletter quandary

In a different world, I would never have commenced this nuclear book. By now I would have pumped out ten or even twenty sparkling murder mysteries set in Melbourne, in the financial services sector, over the 00s and 10s. I’d have sent out regular newsletters, maybe monthly. I would hope to have assembled fans and friends, and I’d have regularly yarned to them in my newsletters…

Old boots new walking

These boots have seen so much action: long hikes, brutally tough remote hikes, country base camps, day walks… But I stopped walking last year, needing time to write and live. Walking takes time, the more complex the walk, the more time it sucks out of you. But a challenge beckons. In eight weeks time, we hike the Cape to Cape trail near Margaret River in Western Australia. The seven days…

Learning to love winter

Melbourne winter is mild, not all that cold really and not beset with fog, and my friends laud clear-sky, crisp days, but I’ve always hated the three months of dreary cold. Chilblains, that’s what I endure. Over the past half decade, I’ve managed to find a way to spend at least a strategic fortnight in warmer climes, but not this year. The most challenging aspect of winter for…

Does music help?

During my corporate career, every day threatened to engulf me. So I was assiduous in carrying around a Sony Discman tethered to noise-cancelling headphone, plus half a dozen CDs. Listening boosted me. These past few years, music seems to have been a hindrance rather than a help. I’ve decided to have a fresh go. Now it’s an iPhone plus Spotify. Now it’s an older person’s…

Work immersion

I can’t say the recent past hasn’t taught me heaps, about resilience and friends in particular, but real drafting has been scant. The best place to dive in is an ideal cafe, and mine is Finders Keepers, in suburban Melbourne. As a bonus, trams rattle and clunk past every ten minutes.

Clunk clunk

As a writer, are you an outliner like Graeme Simsion (check out his The Novel Project) or a pantser like Lee Kofman (check out her The Writer Laid Bare; I’m about to sink into this!)? With my murder mysteries, I was the former. With my albatross-on-neck nonfiction project, I have been the latter, simply because I could never see how to conceptually organize the material. Well, now I can…

Pierce the fog

Looking back, I’ve lost a month of work efforts to Covid, a very hectic trip, and ten days of laziness conferred by cold/cough symptoms. Ever is it thus, ever is it thus. Ever is the need to restart, to thrust aside the easy mist of challenge, and to settle back into the real work. I know the first steps: get back into an early routine. Exercise early. No Twitter or email before noon. Hour…

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