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December, Already!

What has happened to the last four months? Somehow, all of a sudden, it’s December!

Actually, a lot has happened since my last post, but here are just a couple of highlights.

September involved a delicious month of travel. I always come back from going anywhere with my head crammed full of story ideas, some of which will probably find their way onto my website next year. Exploring the globe is great, but I don’t need to go far to see wonderful things. The natural world on my doorstep is always full of surprises. Even on a morning walk there is much to see and write about. I drive the dog nuts stopping every few steps to photograph an intricate bush flower, or look more carefully at an ants nest.

An Opening

This year I've been lucky to be involved with Mounted, a community-based art space run by friends, Mark Denny and Julie Parkin. On November 16, Mounted Art Gallery held their second major exhibition which was a wonderful collaborative project involving 13 artists and writers. The writers and artists were paired up and then it was up to them to decide how they wanted to work together. Some writers used an already created artwork as a stimulus, others created something jointly, or based on a common theme of interest. It was a privilege to coordinate the writing part of the exhibition and a big thanks to artist Carole Best for ALL her help in formatting the printing for the story panels which were hung in the gallery next to the artworks. Such diversity in both art and writing! About 70 people came to the opening and the writers read their work before the audience moved in to the gallery to view the art and stories. It was a super day with, thankfully, no wind and no fires threatening. Ben’s home brew went some way to spread the happiness and there was much good conversation, fun and community spirit.

A launch

This year, Four W celebrates 30 years of producing its yearly anthology of new writing. FourW Thirty New Writing – Pearl had its Sydney launch at Gleebooks on Saturday 7th of November. It was great to be able to attend and be one of the readers and I’m very grateful to David Gilbey and the Booranga team for including one of my short stories this year.

And two beautiful books

Before I go, I must mention my latest stand-out read for adults, Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout. Love. Love. Love. In her deceptively simple prose Elizabeth takes us on a journey through Olive’s world with such insight and heart. Click on the link to read the Guardian’s Review, if you want to know more.

For children, my favourite picture book this year has to be Peter Carnavas’s, A Quiet Girl. A celebration of the qualities ‘quiet’ people bring to the world, it’s simply a beautiful book!

As I write, NSW is currently experiencing frightening bushfires. Keep safe everyone and may the new year bring us some desperately needed rain.

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