Late last week, I had something of an epiphany. Epiphanies for me are quite small. They are things like, “the supermarket is just like an indoors version of the outside, but with biscuits, which you love” and “you are probably not going to fly off the world and into space unless something drastic happens with poles and space-time”. My recent epiphany was just that I could probably drive to my kids’ other house without freaking out. I haven’t been there for months, due to craziness and unwillingness. And look, mostly unwillingness. But my ex-husband has broken his collarbone and can’t drive,…

The only time I’ve been to Sunshine, I nearly bought a 1983 pea-green Commodore. I didn’t even have my license, which is actually probably the best time to buy a pea-green Commodore, before you know what driving a car is supposed to feel like. My boyfriend (later, my husband; still later, my ex-husband) wanted me to buy it, so we would be matching. He had a maroon-and-silver-two-tone Commodore with red velour seats and a red velour ceiling. One day I poked holes through it with the end of my cigarette. If anything, that made it more like the set of…

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…