Another one bites the dust

I feel sorry for Julia Gillard today. I really do. I thought she was great and I never got why she was so unpopular. The woman put up with so much appalling behaviour from male politicians, the media and the public. She is one tough cookie, strong and unshakeable.

Her last day as Prime Minister was possibly one of her finest. She got on with the job all day and then called the ballot with such courage. In defeat she was impressive.

I also feel a little guilty for liking Kevin Rudd. Sure he's a bit of a narcissist but so am I and because I am a narcissist, I am drawn to others like me...because...well...because they are like me. I'm ruthlessly ambitious, just like Kev. And I am incredibly vengeful. I don't forget a slight and I like to balance the score card whenever I can. So I understand his resolute need to get back on top. I relate to his aching need to be wanted and needed. Yes, he has a Messiah Complex but is that such a bad thing? I want an Academy Award and to be the Australian of the Year sometime. I'm not content to be a big fish in a small pool. I want to be the biggest fish in the most ginormous ocean. If I ever did get into politics (I did study a unit at Uni called Modern Political Ideologies...I just like saying those words)....I wouldn't want to be a Minister of Whatever...I would want to be head honcho...not even Prime Minister but a self-contained Dictator.

But narcissism aside, the Labor Party was going down in flames. I think the fire was being fanned by idiots in the media and Abbott's naysaying shadow men. The rest of the world was laughing at us....we had a good strong economy, a kick-arse leader who made the boofhead blokes sit up and listen and be accountable for fanny jokes. We have great healthcare and are living the dream in Australia....and we were grumbling and whingeing about it. But, for whatever reason, the polls indicated that the election would be a complete slaughter and so...the people demanded Kevin. And here he is, back with that smile and a renewed vigour and supposed new-found humility.

I don't want to see Abbott in power ....just those two words in the same sentence fill me with dread. So I stand behind Kevin and wish him the best. He has that certain something and he has fire in his belly.

So, Julia. Good luck in the future. You are a legend. And Kevin......put on the war-paint and go Braveheart on Abbott's arse. You can do it!

Stream of Consciousness

Cold. Eight year old foot wedged between my sleeping knees. Streak of sunlight piercing the curtain. Bright but icy. Grumble of garbage trucks and a sprinkle of shattering glass into the tray. A siren squealing down Old Cleveland Road.

Up and a slide into ugggghhhh boots, shiver into a soft red robe. Shuffle to kettle for a brew of green tea and superior anti-oxidants. Wash up last night's midnight snack plates. Throw some towels into the laundry. Slam dunk. Good shot.

Check the emails. Check Facebook. Porridge with almond milk, cinnamon and cranberries.

Stirrings from slumbering sugarplums. The sound of a Nintendo DS cranking into action and a call for the Weetbix, toast and hot chocolate. The short order cook goes to work.

Today, I embrace school holidays and a week off work to scrub my house into a sparkling wonderland for soon-to-be final inspection. I am cleaning with bleach, hot soapy water and a toothbrush. No mouldy smudge will go undone. Windows. Dusty fly-screens. THE OVEN!

Too cold to garden. Wait til the sun rises high and thaws us whining Brisbanites out.

We need to locate a new copy of BATMAN Arkham City for the X-Box 360 as it broke on the first day of school holidays. Go figure.

Co-ordinate a dinner date between my adult sons in Sydney and my visiting sister and mother. Party planner from afar.

Wait for my literary agent to ring me with good news. Any news. Just news. Something shiny and new.

Begin to think about Tax. Change my mind and shove that aside to make beds.

Shopping. My mind turns to shopping and I think new woolly, toasty, cosy jumpers all round are in order. As we move closer to Antarctica it will undoubtedly grow colder. As we inch south so shall the mercury.

Seventeen sleeps and we can't wait.

Now we begin to move the junk to the garage for the impending week-end garage sale.

It's nice to have some time off to play with the kids, spring clean and unwind. No pressure to find words, weave stories or sift through facts and figures to write a stirring report. I love to write but sometimes my brain likes to take a break. Only a little one.

That's Tuesday morning so far.  


Moving House

Moving house is listed as one of the greatest stresses we can endure on all those funky stress lists that pop up from time to time. It's there alongside losing a loved one and divorce and going bankrupt. I wouldn't put it in the same ball park as losing a loved one....believe me...it's nowhere near as bad as that...but it's bad. It's stressful. It's terrifying and a little bit exciting as well but in a really big roller coaster way.

Am I doing the right thing? I've become settled if not overly comfortable in my renovated Queenslander. It's been home for a few years now and some great things have happened to me while I have lived here. I started a new chapter, a new life here and even though the place doesn't have a bathtub (I kid you not...three toilets and showers and no bath), I'm going to miss it. The rabid possums having rave parties in the roof, the sounds of sirens along Old Cleveland Road, the neighbours in the unit block next door.....no, I can't back that up....no, you neighbours, I shall miss you the least.

But life is change and growth and my ever shrinking family has outgrown this little place. We seek new digs and a bathtub  (and there is the little matter of having to relocate for work).

The first thing I did was give official notice here on my rental house. That was setting the destination. A date. Next I chose an actual destination. That much must remain a secret because I like to keep my whereabouts to myself. I can say I am seeking water and proximity to good schools and wonderful friends. Closer to my work ...and closer to those I will be writing about.

I booked a removalist and that brought out the paranoid neurotic in me. I was sure every place was out to get me...a scam, a Nigerian scheme set up in Brisbane solely to steal my hefty deposit. Needless to say, I think I have ended up with someone reputable. Do you know that removalists charge about ten dollars a book....or so it seems...? My library rivals the Brisbane State library and I have had to be ruthless and discard stupid books that do no more than fill shelves...did I say Dan Brown? No I didn't but he's not going to take up space in a box, nevertheless. I have sent bags and bags to Lifeline and will be throwing a wing-ding garage sale and Woody and Buzz will be up for grabs. Sorry guys.

My greatest obstacle to date is finding a nice Property Manager who will help me find exactly what I'm looking for. Luckily they do exist and yet so many are ...well...I don't really know because they don't answer emails, queries or their phone calls. They are elusive and very hard to pin down. However...two of many have been bending over backwards to help me out. They understand the difficulty I face in moving while working and juggling career and motherhood and packing and organising etc....I am so busy I had to pay a stranger (friend of friend of friend) to inspect a property for me because it would have been easier for me to get to Timbuktoo than to the designated inspection time. God Bless him for doing it. I work. To pay rent. So it's hard to take time off to inspect a place and still convey the idea that I have a good work ethic! I tell you.. this process is harder than juggling cats.

I haven't found what I'm looking for yet....I pray that the right place is waiting for me and will pop up just as I need it. But I tell you, the whole ordeal of moving,  is STRESSFUL!

My plan is to buy a cottage by the sea in a few years and then this rental rigmarole will be a thing of the past.

I tried to do some meditation to an Indian CD I have this morning and the man singing annoyed me so much I frisbeed the thing across the room.

You know what I need? A deep soothing bubble bath! But I can't because this blasted place doesn't have a bath. Thank God I'm moving! No bath! Honestly!

The Emerging Writer 2013

Well it's that time of year again...when the fabulous Emerging Writers Festival publishes an anthology of articles and essays by writers for emerging writers. This year's book is filled with great ideas for all kinds of writers. Learn about the bread and butter stuff like negotiating contracts and how to get paid writing gigs, to the more whimsical stuff like how to catch that wave of inspiration and how to deal with writer's block. And this year, there I am writing alongside the great and powerful likes of John Birmingham, Alice Pung,  Shaun Tan and Charlotte Wood....

I was really chuffed to be included in this year's collection and wrote a piece entitled The Memoir: Inside and Out. The editor, a fine fellow who goes by the name of Andre Dao, was kind enough to let me share this extract from my contribution....I drew on the experiences and recollections of fellow memoirists Benjamin Law and Kate Holden to bolster my argument that it is a pitfall of writing memoir that you can unwittingly become more readily identified with the character of your book (your younger more foolish self) rather than the writer, the mind behind the pen.

The book is a must have for anyone wanting to take the leap and become that elusive and often misunderstood creature - the author.


Click here for the opening snippet of my piece as a teaser.....

Here's a link to the book. Buy it. Go on.



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