15 Reality rolls and donuts

Where is it?  The momentous change in attitude that’s supposed to come when you’ve faced a pivotal moment in life? Did I miss it? Apparently, because life is still life, is still life. As each day rolls by, it amuses me that I continually think I almost feel like my old self, but I never […]

How to punctuate dialogue

Picture of gold punctuation marks

Advice given is based on the Australian Style Manual (ASM). Dialogue punctuation is an area of fiction writing that often baffles new and experienced authors alike. Here you will find simple explanations on how to punctuate and lay out your dialogue, plus the difference between direct dialogue, indirect dialogue and internal dialogue. Single or double […]

Hardcopy 2018 – autumn in Canberra


I laughed in shock and wobbly excitement when Nigel Featherstone’s email dropped into my inbox, offering me a placement at Hardcopy 2018. If you haven’t heard of it, Hardcopy is a professional development program for Australian writers, run by the ACT Writers Centre at the National Library of Australia. The program is held yearly (alternating […]

14 Hump month moonscape


If you were to run your fingers through the steampunk regrowth on my scalp, you’d feel a moonscape – a field of shallow bumps and craters stretching above my right ear,  back to front. It’s fascinating trying to imagine what it looks like, when I can only sense by touch. And I find myself doing […]

13 Walls to climb

Annie_Headshot 2018

I’m lying on a table, glad there’s a cloth over my eyes so I can hide my tears, although I’m sure my occasional gulping breaths are giving me away. Sarah is hurting me – in a good way – trying to drain my blocked lymphatic system through deep massage. But far out! She speaks softly, leaves […]

12 Strength in healing

My scars are not ugly; they’re testimony to the skill of my surgeons. Strength It’s been a week of being surrounded by strong women who have nurtured me, held me up, made me laugh and think outside myself. A week of family connections. A week of starting to pick up the pieces of my work […]

11 Home and healing

I’m home and patiently healing. It’s bliss. Truly ruly. I’m planning on returning to work next week (from home). And yes, yes, I will pace myself and take naps whenever I need to. Purrrrr. Endone is still my friend. I lost my brave Thursday, I lost my brave after leaving the HDU (neuro ICU ward […]

10 I’m still here

Remember how I was joking about having ‘lasts’ last week? Well, I’m one hugely lucky girl (and I don’t mean my new George Foreman-style swollen face). The initial surgery went well but was longer than expected. I hit the surgery table at 7.30 am and got to recovery 11.30 am, waking up around 1.30 pm. […]

9 Pre-op quickie

It’s been a funny week with lots of black humour about last coffees, last cheesecakes, last gigs, last Walking Dead episodes. Some friends have found this hilarious, others horrifying. Laugh, damn you! Nine o’clock tonight I’ll be having a final MRI with GPS tracking dots – I’m going to ask if I can have some […]

8 The equaliser

Odette the Ostrich

Before I get into the nitty gritty stuff, I want to share this: I have some strange and hilariously wonderful friends. Meet Odette the Ostrich. Thank you Annie and Wendy. This poor birdy looks like I feel his morning – we both could have done with a sleep in. I suspect, also like me, she prefers […]