Loving & loathing for March-even-though-it’s-almost-April-already-eep

March 11, 2017

The 2017 edition…


Gin & tonics. Funny thing about Melbourne. The weather. Ticked over March and Melbourne’s like, WAIT WHAT DID I FORGET TO DO SUMMER? *throws about buckets of sunshine, gentle breezes, & blue skies* WHOOPS MY BAD. So we are having gin & tonics these days, with plenty of fat lemons squeezed to death in the Lemon Tongs of Doom – no, I kid, we gently massacre a wedge into each glass instead, the Doom Tongs are for General Cookery, not cocktails…

Landscaping. I look out our windows and see painted fences (Monument btw- highly recommended) and olive trees and happy green plants and sweet jasmine and bloodthirsty lawn seeking to take over our entire block, and I am content. This is still an IN even though we got it done in January. I bask.

Marshmallow easter eggs. These will be the death of me. It’s not even Easter yet! Argh. Please stop me. Anyone. Please. Nobody? Oh, okay then. *nom nom nom*

Logan. Oh gosh this was a very good film. Less superhero origin movies, more superhero finale movies, thank you. All gritty and brutal and Westernesque, No Country For Old Men with a sprinkling of Mad Max.


Reading. I am doing a poor job of reading so far this year, having only read three books. THREE! Yikes. I’d read 10 books by this time last year. I need to do less Gilmore-Girls-back-catalogue-watching, and more kindle-gazing.

Hass avocados. It’s the season for Shepard avocados now, which I personally believe to be The Inferior Cousin of the Hass. Sure it’s nice how green they stay, but they’re tasteless in comparison. We’ve hit pause on the guacamole days, team.


2016 in review & looking forward to 2017

January 24, 2017
2016 in review - my boys

I like how I manage to get these posts up in January…. juuust.


I read 29 books in 2016. I was so! close! to finishing 30 books but the last one – Life or Death by Michael Robotham – ended up spilling over into January.

I had NO re-reads and NO did-not-finishes. Entertaining new reads the entire year! Goal = tick.

I very much enjoyed the books by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling) in the Cormoran Strike series. And I don’t even usually read crime. One of them in particular has lots of scenes set where I used to live in west London, which made for a very vivid read (& a moment of “why did he just take the tube when it would’ve been faster to walk?”). JK Rowling does plot very well, and I love her vivid descriptions of interesting characters.

The sci-fi Something Coming Through by Paul McAuley was fantastic, as was the post-apocalyptic Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel.

I also finished a few series this year, reading the following books which are all the final books in trilogies: Steles of the Sky by Elizabeth Bear, Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie, and City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin. (Lush, brilliant, and average, respectively.)

And I smashed the rest of Liane Moriarty’s back catalogue plus her latest novel. Lady better write the next one, stat.


Well… I had a baby. No, truthfully, I did get some writing done, but not as much as I would have liked. I embarked on edits of Silver & Iron, which I’m currently still doing.

Goal: finish edits – finish completely! – by end of March. Including a query letter. Begin querying in April.

Then: write shiny new ideas that are shiny!


In 2016…
– I had another baby boy! And he’s wonderful. New people are wonderful. Boys are wonderful.
– We went to New Zealand for Christmas and I finally filled up my sadly empty Kiwiana Tank. Phew.
– My personal fashion concept could be described as Fat Preggo followed by Mum Uniform.
– We did not landscape. Boo.

This year, we have already smashed goal numero uno, which was landscape the back yard! It’s done! If I had written this post on time I wouldn’t have been able to tell you that, ha.

I would also like to figure out some kind of personal fashion concept that excites me. Because sometimes the t-shirts-with-holes-in-them and shorts (if it’s warm) or jeans (if it’s not warm) just… does not excite me.

House goals: Light fittings installed. Recover the awesome old chairs I got at a 2nd hand store. Sew some curtains. Furnish the TV room? Get cabinetry in the laundry? Paint the hallway wall. Wallpaper the toilet? Actually, I have a billion house goals, and only 12 months of the year…. Goal one: prioritise goals.


Loving & loathing for November

November 7, 2016

The 2016 edition…


Achieving a new normal. Mini Sproglet is now 6 months old & I am emerging from the trenches, blinking into the daylight. Hello? Am I still… me? Might I even start thinking about returning to writing? About any of the other million things I would have liked to do this year?

Reading. Lots of good books this year. Other than keeping small people alive, I don’t really think I’ve been up to much else!

This trailer for Wonder Woman. All the feels. When she says “It is our sacred duty to defend the world” – oohee! This lady? Well damn. She looks oarsome. Hopefully I will get to see this on the big screen.


Query letter writering. IT KILLS ME. I suck at this! Maybe with the next book I’ll write the query first and then base the story off it…

Still no back yard landscaping. We have been in this house almost an entire year. The less said about this, the better.


Loving & loathing for July

July 1, 2016
Loving & loathing for July 2016

The 2016 edition…


We has a front garden! With the shutters, driveway, fence, letterbox, path & gate our house actually looks like a finished house now… at least from the front… nevermind the backyard which currently resembles World War 1 France.

Pantry shelves. My dad built us some sweet custom joinery! He’s such a craftsman. Still need to get some baskets and finish off the Sorting Out Of Things, but I love having an organised pantry. Including a specialised nook for the breadmaker… which leads to…

Fresh bread! daily! Crunchy and crusty, soft and warm, with a thick smear of salty NZ butter. All you have to do is remember to set it up the night before, to wake up to the warm smell of baking bread filling the house in the morning.


Sleep. Not much of it round these parts lately. Eh. This is not unexpected!

Not getting shit done. Simply the reality of having a toddler and a newborn, but it’s hard to adjust to. (At least, even though I am sleep deprived, I have more energy now than when I was pregnant. This is nice.)

paper + screen

Some early books of 2016

February 5, 2016

With much vigour, I threw myself into the task of reading last month. Funtertainment! quantity! being my goal. MOAR BOOKS THAN 2015. I drank down 6 entire books… which is a lot for me. Hopefully going towards a nestegg that’ll allow me to slack off in future months. Because I probably will when there is another sproglet in the housedom and my brain has LITERALLY SHRUNK and I am existing on 5 seconds of sleep + mugs of Nespresso by the dozen + pure hormonal bliss/despair and the most I will be able to concentrate on is Daily Mail headlines.

Kicking things off, I discovered Marian Keyes published a book in 2014 that I hadn’t read yet. 2014! How had I not known about it? Perhaps I was wrestling with The Luminaries at the time? Anyhoo for some reason, two years later, I stumbled across The Woman Who Stole My Life. Solid Marian Keyes story. Solid.

Twas followed by Brooklyn Girls: Coco by Gemma Burgess (if the Babysitters Club were all growed up & living in NYC & not babysitting anymore, sort of?) then Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty. Erm, cripes, only 2 of Liane Moriarty’s books left for me to read! Better save em for later.

Next I fell into Steles of the Sky by Elizabeth Bear, which closes out The Eternal Sky trilogy. I read books 1 and 2 exactly two years ago so I had a wee bit of trouble to start off with remembering who was who & what was going on but oh gosh. It almost didn’t matter. This is lush, wonderful fantasy. I wish it went on forever. I wish there were more books like these ones.

Then I read Techbitch by Lucy Sykes & Jo Piazza (Devil Wears Prada goes digital) and Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (80’s gamer geek wish fulfilment fiction!)


Loving & loathing for February

February 2, 2016

The 2016 edition…


Afternoon siestas. Thank you, Peppa Pig, for being such a great babysitter.

My new chair. This is my lovely writing chair *pats chair* Isn’t it lovely? I have been coveting this beauty for a couple of years and now we are – at last – in the new house, it was mine to snatch up (and on sale too!) Currently it is stationed at the kitchen table, awaiting delivery of my desk-slash-table. Ordered that from Freedom Furniture, which as you know, requires Chinese monks who have taken a vow of silence to climb a mountain under the light of a blue moon to chop down the timber by hand and then construct the table blindfolded before it is strapped to the back of pilot whales and ferried to Australia following the prevailing ocean currents. So, still a few weeks to go before that turns up. (Remind me not to order stuff from Freedom again.)

The Fridge. The marvelousness of being able to buy watermelon & bottles of sparkling water. Of only going to the supermarket once, maybe twice, a week. Appreciated.


The dustmudfest around our house. I’m soo sick of it. Can’t wait for a driveway, which I will hose down regularly with much reverence like a true blue Australian. (Actually I don’t know why Aussies hose their driveways so passionately. Is it the general dustiness of this grand sandy country? Are they just mad on concrete?)

Heat. I never thought I’d write this… ever… but I am actually looking forward to cooler weather. Turns out pregnancy & summer aren’t such great bedbuddies, even for a cold blooded creature like myself.

Restless legs. Insomnia. Difficulty reaching feet. General exhaustion. All that jazz, and more than 3 months still to go…


Exploring the hood: Pipemakers Park

January 22, 2016

One hot morning a couple of weeks ago, I threw the sproglet into the pram and pushed him across the bridge to see if we could reach the mall and by chance! discovered this weird, overgrown, dilapidated, wonderful space. Something about it made me think of the crumbling Oz as Dorothy rediscovered it, destroyed by Mombi & the Nome King. A post-apocalyptic park where scary critters might be hiding in the shade, history lost to tumbled stones. A place where old pipes stood on end to form a portico draped in unkempt grapevines, chipped mosaics led into the cracked concrete foundations of long-gone buildings, a fig tree drooped under the weight of green unripe fruit, birds sang in thorny bushes, old rail tracks went nowhere next to an overgrown dell, rusted signs stood watch beside wavy yellow grasses.

The park was built in the 1980s over the remains of old factories – meatworks, and pipeworks – and possibly has not been maintained since then. I was enchanted by its decrepitude, so I took my boys back there during the holidays to explore and have a picnic in the summery sun.

Pipemakers Park

Pipemakers Park

Pipemakers Park

A magnificent place to run around.

Pipemakers Park - mosaic

Lots of mosaics.

Old foundations

Pipemakers Park - old pipes

We ate raspberries and donuts in the shade of an arbor.

Pipemakers Park

Pipemakers Park - the meat trail

Found a few signs for the ‘Meat Trail’. Very intriguing…

Pipemakers Park

My favourite of these signs was barely legible, proclaiming the zone to be the ‘Garden of the Future’… well the Future is Now, and turns out it’s mostly weeds.

Pipemakers Park

Came across a mini caravan park where they must be doing some filming for the Reno Rumble TV show (remind me to watch it now) – what a lovely place to camp, beside the river!

There’s a free community bike workshop set up beside one of the old factory buildings, and lots of bike riders and walkers enjoying the riverside. But evenso, there’s something a little sinister about the park, with the quiet still, the ruins, the places to hide. That little thread of unease in the atmosphere only makes it a more interesting place to explore. I hope it doesn’t get fixed up any time soon.


2015 in review & looking forward to 2016

January 21, 2016

It’s still January! So this post is still legit! I’m totally scraping it in.


I read 21 books in 2015. Not a great year but at least it was more than 2014 (although 2014 was skewed by The Luminaries which should really count for at least eight books, don’tcha think?)

Three were did-not-finishes.

Two were rereads (Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer, and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells).

I discovered Liane Moriarty in the latter months and burned through a bunch of her titles. Love her stuff. She’s a bit like an Australian Marian Keyes.

My favourite three reads were The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers, The Passage by Justin Cronin, and Little Big Lies by Liane Moriarty.

This year, I want to READ MOAR. I’m going for quantity, and for entertainment. I’m thinking about fun, about popular fiction, rollicking sci-fi and engrossing fantasy. I will limit my threshold for boringness. If a book isn’t gripping me within the first few chapters, I’ll be moving on – no wasting time ignoring it and reading magazines instead…


I edited and finished Silver & Iron (erm, mostly) (previously known as Rukan). I mean, holy shit. A book practically completed – the first one I’ve ever got to this point – that’s a pretty big win for the year. Nothing else got done. A few meandering thoughts on other stories, some poking at short pieces. I was consumed by that book.

This year, I want to send Silver & Iron out into the big wide world. And I want to get a sizeable chunk written on the first draft of my next story. It’d be nice to do more… a short story or two, a finished first draft… but I’m trying to be realistic about my capability.


In 2015…
– We built and moved into our new house!
– My personal fashion concept could be described as STAGNANT. With a side of Mum Bun Hair.
– I lost a pregnancy 🙁
– I did some adult beginner ballet lessons & luffed them
– I suffered some serious New Zealand homesickness
– My sister briefly lived in the same city as me (yay!) and then moved (boo!)

This year, I want to get the driveway, landscaping and window furnishings completed for our house. Hopefully also: a few light fittings in, and some cabinetry.
And I would like to just, at least, try – a little bit – to get regular haircuts like a normal person. And get some new boots come winter where the zips actually zip.
And we are expecting another sproglet now, which is sure to throw a spanner into the works of all the aforementioned goals…!