Beautiful Things, Life

My nanna the mortal

October 30, 2014
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A while ago, Michael’s grandfather died. He was in his mid-90s and had been deteriorating for some time. Nothing specific, just age and frailty.

I called my nanna and told her of this.

It’s sad, I said, but he had a good life.

She was perplexed. Why did he die? she said. What did he die ofWhat did he die of?

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Life, Womanhood

What I didn’t learn about feminism from my feminist mother

October 28, 2014

My mother doesn’t take shit from anybody. She is kickarse in all the ways available. She is an empowered and balanced and amazing woman. If she weren’t my mother already, I would wish that she were. Probably. No offense to my other, hypothetical mother. As far as role models go, she is the cream of the crop. She is a woman doing things in multiple STEM fields, being a caring and supportive mother and grandmother, and looking young and hot always.

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Book Reviews

Book Review: Not That Kind of Girl

October 20, 2014

Not That Kind of Girl

by Lena Dunham
Random House 288 pages

In their words: Fearless, smart, and as heartbreakingly honest as ever, Not That Kind of Girl establishes Lena Dunham as more than a hugely talented director, actress and producer-it announces her as a fresh and vibrant new literary voice.

Late in the night, I sometimes click on New Post and unravel two-to-three hundred words of some memory I have: bushwalking with shoes full of leeches, the vinyl couches in my childhood doctor’s waiting room, buying clay from the little studio down the road. I love these stories. I write and reminisce and smile and cry and laugh. Here are my stories. Here is my patchwork quilt of life.

Somewhere during the writing process, I realise that I’m the only person who will care about it. No one else can relate to the memory. No one else will have an emotional response to catching two buses to visit my boyfriend, or to eating bain-marie noodles in a dirty food court. So I save the draft and never look at it again.

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Life, Storytelling

A quest for love at Port Jackson

October 14, 2014
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When I was in my late teens, I went to Sydney to search for the person I loved. I had had my heart broken and I cradled its pieces in my carry-on luggage and we went to look for a new start together.

In the first weeks I was there, I shared a bedroom with a friend of a friend, in his parents’ house. It was a ways up the North Shore, and I slept on the train in a way I hoped was adorable and would attract suitable men or women. In the evenings I bought a bit of deep-fried chicken and bacon in pastry, and once a week we went to the RSL for dinner and trivia. I was never certain whether we were romantically involved, but I slept on his floor and he didn’t wear a shirt to bed, and after three weeks he bought me a necklace.

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Life, Loss


October 8, 2014
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The bleeding starts on a Wednesday morning. We are sitting at the counter, and he is drinking coffee and I am drinking orange juice, and through the window we can see the breaking waves. We are drinking and watching and talking, and if I let myself drink and watch and talk I can forget how I am coming unstitched in my guts.

After an hour we get up from the counter and I go to the bathroom, and I know I will see it there, the red smear, but I go anyway and I wipe anyway and I breathe in and out anyway. I hold the paper in my hand and I look for the window that will show me the sea and I stand there for minutes or days, and the patchworked paper looks back at me.

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Book Reviews

Book review: The Wife Drought

October 6, 2014

The Wife Drought

by Annabel Crabb
Random House 288 pages

In their words: The Wife Drought is about women, men, family and work. Written in Annabel Crabb's inimitable style, it's full of candid and funny stories from the author's work in and around politics and the media, historical nuggets about the role of ‘The Wife' in Australia, and intriguing research about the attitudes that pulse beneath the surface of egalitarian Australia.

With thanks to Random House for providing me with a copy for review

Did you know that women who earn more than 66% of the total household income actually spend more time doing housework than women who earn 50% of the total household income? The Wife Drought offers this and all manner of other depressing factoids, and they are certain to resonate with women (especially mothers) everywhere.

When I was a new parent, I had a “wife”. Lily was a little baby, and I worked for myself full-time. I was 23 and I was tired for every waking moment, and all the times in between. My then-husband worked on Saturday nights, but otherwise his role was to undertake parental duties while I worked. I had an office away from the house, but I also worked from home sometimes.

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NaNoWriMo, Writing

5 ways you must plan for NaNoWriMo

October 5, 2014
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I’m not very good at preparing for NaNoWriMo. Most of the time I get to November 1 and write a sentence and then wish I’d spent more time figuring out what the next sentence should be. But if you’re the kind of person who chooses to shame and embarrass people like me, here are my suggestions for starting the month with a bang instead of a scrawl.

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The homesick agoraphobe

October 2, 2014

For the first seventeen years of my life, I hung around in a very nice part of the world called the City of Burnside. I was born in Burnside Hospital, and for seventeen years never lived more than three kilometres away from it. My friends were down the road, around the corner. For ten years I walked to the very same pizza shop, the very same deli, the very same fruit shop. At the fruit shop they had apricot bars dipped in chocolate and they were seven for $2, and for ten years I bought fistfuls of them and ate them at the very same park. I love Fruchocs and Haigh’s and Balfour’s custard tarts and Vili’s chicken pies and people who pronounce it as “dahnce”, and the Norwood Oval and Coopers Pale Ale and buying rambutans at the Central Market and catching the O-bahn bus.

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5 tips for winning NaNoWriMo with your head intact

September 24, 2014
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I have written about winning NaNoWriMo before. But on the off chance that you’re looking for some actual tips, and not just line after line of my whining, here is this post.

For those of you not in the know — and I expect that’s probably no one, given you are currently here for tips — NaNoWriMo (henceforth Nano) is when a bunch of people around the place spend 30 days trying to find the laxative that will send a novel careening from their writer intestine. More specifically, it is when people who hate themselves and each other write 50,000 words in the month of November.

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