Someone sent me this question on ask.fm: It’s interesting that Amanda Palmer is the kind of person of whom people ask this question. There’s a certain loadedness to it: you wouldn’t say “what do you think about Nelson Mandela?” or “what do you think about people who distribute food to the homeless?” Amanda Palmer demands the question because the way she behaves divides people. I won’t leave you hanging: I think a lot of what Palmer puts out there is pretty self-centred. She speaks widely about the importance of making connections, of being philanthropic with art and of being an…

new-year

Every year at about this time, I have this conversation with at least one person. ANNA: Happy New Year! PERSON: Oh, happy New Year! [pause] Oh no, I shouldn’t have said that to you. I meant to say, try to have a happy year. ANNA: What? PERSON: You know, I hope it’s not too bad. I hope your year has happy moments in it. And then I buy another box of shortbread or whatever, and the other person in the conversation goes away and presumably thinks about how insensitive they were before managing to rectify it without being caught.

I read a bunch of books in 2014, most of them written by Australian women. Big ups to me. A lot of them were excellent. Most of them, probably. However, choosing five favourites from my pile was not difficult. There were clear standouts. Remarkable books that have burrowed into me and stayed there. I love Australian fiction because so much of it tells ordinary stories through magic. There’s been a lot of debate this year about the acclaim-worthiness of the work we produce in this country – that maybe it’s a dull, cynical circle-jerk. But in many of these books, the…

My brain is flooded with memories: things about the school lamb that left droppings all over my dad’s car, and nanna’s porch full of orb weaving spiders, and the time a couple of louts stole our lawnmower while we were on holiday. Here’s a thing: I have now been going to my counsellor every week for four months. Some weeks I think I don’t need to go, but I go anyway and we find something to talk about, and sometimes we go 45 minutes over time but she doesn’t charge me any extra. I’ve been seeing her since 2009, when…