In Edward St Aubyn’s ‘A Clue to the Exit’ (2000), successful screenwriter, Charlie, is given six months to live and decides to use the time writing an important novel about death. All very serious sounding. But also, as a reader should expect from St Aubyn, a hoot. Charlie’s literary friend Lola always thought he had … Continue reading What is it about writers writing about writers writing?
I often read by word-of-mouth, taking recommendations from trusted friends and persuasive book reviews. Otherwise, I’m a pedestrian buyer of books. By which I mean, I walk into places – book shops, school fetes, charity fairs – and see what takes my fancy. I judge a book by its cover. By the name of the … Continue reading Contender for Best Title Ever?
Reminiscing is like pulling a hanging thread on your hem. Once you start, it’s hard to stop. After uploading my last post, I unearthed another poem inspired by owning a dog, namely Danny the Shetland Sheepdog. They grow a lot of hair which just isn’t fair in the Antipodean summer heat. A good clip is in … Continue reading Urban Lions
I saw a Shetland Sheepdog down the street recently. I did not go up and coo over this ‘mini Lassie’ as many passersby used to when I had my sheltie out for a walk. But I was hit with nostalgia. My sheltie, Danny, inspired some adoring poetry in his time. Danny has since gone to … Continue reading Looking Like Your Pet
There was a best-selling book back in the 1980s. At the time, it felt like the peak of self-help advice. The only one of the rules I remembered from Robert Fulghum’s ‘All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten’ (1986) was about holding someone’s hand when you cross the road. The writing rule that … Continue reading Show and Tell
Every now and then I get a bee in my bonnet and decide I should fill some of the massive gaps in my reading career. Enter Raymond Chandler. One of Chandler’s Philip Marlowe detective novels, ‘The Long Good-Bye’ (1953), was recommended by Ann Patchett in her book of essays, ‘This is the Story of a … Continue reading Clichés in Motion
Is there a better venue for a poetry reading than a park on a lovely, sunny spring day? Well, a bookshop has got to be good! I’m looking forward to an evening of poetry at Rabbit Books in Wagga Wagga this coming Friday. I’m especially looking forward to hearing the poetry of Joan Cahill and Connor … Continue reading Poetry in a Bookshop