MWF ’15

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The 2015 MWF has come and gone for yet another year so I thought I’d share some of my scribbles. Although it wasn’t my favourite MWF, it was so lovely to immerse myself in the creativity and ideas of like minded people and to soak up all their wordy goodness. This year, unlike others, I found myself wanting to note take less and enjoy the moment more so, that’s what I did! Before you ask, I’m still undecided on as to which session was my favourite – I keep to-ing and fro-ing between Will Self’s interview for Books and Arts Daily and Coetzee, Kennedy & Malouf: Three Stories. Sessions I attended and favourite little gems below. Continue reading

the week(end) that was

Greetings all, and happy Saturday!

I’m well and truly back from my cheeky little trip to Port Fairy for the Ex Libris Festival of Words and thought it was about time that I shared some highlights with you.

Port Fairy is little but, don’t let it deceive you, it most definitely is not sleepy as I recently discovered. In fact, it’s anything but! Having just been to a heap of MWF events, the Ex Libris festival was a nice way to relax and wind down with like minded people. Continue reading

all good things must come to an end… and a wee announcement

They say that all good things must come to an end and, although I don’t disagree with the saying (after all, all things come to an end don’t they, so why should good things be any different?), I don’t love it. In fact, I don’t even like it. So, when the best book I’ve read in a long time came to an end a few days ago I was less than impressed and have been left nursing a horrible emptiness. Yes, I know, I probably should have realised at page 931 of 932 that the book was nearing its conclusion, and I probably did have a bit of an inkling (!), but it still didn’t prepare me for the  post biblio-tic stress that I’ve been experiencing. Night sweats (I’ve been falling asleep in front of the heater now that I don’t have a thrilling read), heart palpitations (what to read next?!?), flashbacks – I’ve experienced it all – and all because of a book. I shouldn’t say a book because it isn’t just any book that I’m talking about. It’s Murakami’s latest “doorstop” of a masterpiece (it really has been described as a doorstop and probably fairly so – it’s big) 1Q84 (pronounced “nineteen eighty four”). Continue reading


So it’s finally here. The new interview series that you’ve all been waiting for!

Who better to open the series for a wordy blog like mine than a writer? Introducing (for those of you who don’t already know him) Luke C Jackson. By day, Luke teaches and by night he writes; stories of secrets and spies; exotic cities and robots. Well… not really. Luke does write and he does teach but not as dramatically as I’ve made you believe. Just thought it would be fun to get all ‘opening night’ on you. Drama aside, Luke was a pleasure to interview and more than generous with his wisdom and time. For all that boring resume-ey stuff check out Luke’s website. Otherwise, enjoy the interview.

A few days ago while walking the dog and pondering what approach to take for this interview, I stumbled across a pile of metal bits and bobs at the foot of a shrub – old lock barrels, screws, some hinges (I think – my bits and bobs knowledge is far from extensive!) – so I took a photo of them and sent it to Luke with a caption that read, Dead robot?. His reply was typically Luke, Maybe a robot waiting to be put together. And it could have been. It just wasn’t the first thing that I saw because I’m a pessimist. Luke, on the other hand, is the eternal optimist. Read and learn…


I always knew I was a story teller.

You have to be optimistic / confident / thick skinned in this industry, according to Luke. So how did he ‘make it’? Hard work and self belief. And natural ability? Surely you need to be able to put words together in some sort of decent arrangement to call yourself a writer? No? Sure. But for Luke this probably only accounts for 30% of what goes on, the rest is just putting in the hard slog. What’s that Edison quote? Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety nine percent perspiration

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christmas surprise

My entire life, I’ve offered the same response whenever anyone has asked me what I’d like for Christmas: books. Big books, little books, good books, trashy books. Just books. However every year I’m met with a sack full of Christmas present disappointment. Maybe it’s under the socks? No, that’s a nail file. It could be hiding under that low fat cooking magazine? No, that’s just a book shaped body wash.

This year, I must have done something right because Santa heard me… well it was actually my mother in law but hey, Santa / mum – not much difference right? Those of you who follow me on Facebook will know that I was ecstatic to find on Christmas morning that I had received both the DVD and the book of The Bridges of Madison County. I must confess, ordinarily it would never be a book that I’d pick up to read / buy for myself but because it was a gift (and my MIL had raved about the film) I figured I’d give it a go. Continue reading

jess rudd on ruby blues


We all know what the struggle to juggle work with life feels like and how impossible it can get at times. Should we pursue the relationship or put in the overtime? Go to that birthday party or meet that deadline? Work or play?

This week on Open House, Jess Rudd author of Campaing Ruby and now Ruby Blues, joined Leigh to discuss her latest writing venture which addresses this work / life conundrum.

Unsure whether we “can have it all”, in Ruby Blues Jess explores themes of balance and priorities – in particular for women in the workforce. One thing that became particularly salient to Jess while writing her latest Rubyinstalment was just how unsupportive women in the workforce are of each other. Although Jess can see where the origins of this inability to be supportive come from – with a lack of senior positions available to women – she, nonetheless, would like to see things operate in a more positive manner in the future.

When asked about her writing process, Jess likened it to spending time with “imaginary friends” that she simply “commits to paper”. Despite this sounding like an easy and enjoyable enough process, Jess is unsure whether she’s ready to write a third Ruby book just yet. As with any friendships, there can come a time when you’ve spent a little bit too much time with each other, and at the moment this is where Jess stands with Ruby!

To hear more about what you can expect from Ruby a second time round and about what Jess has to say on the current state of the Kevin versus Julia debate, tune in to the rest of her interview with Leigh below.

Open House: Author Jess Rudd on her new book “Ruby Blues” by 899lightfm

it’s time to go shopping!

It’s the first of the month and that means… time to go book shopping! This month’s review is of Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore which means that you can go into The Book Grocer Northcote and pick it up for only $10!

Hope you enjoy the review (and book) xx

Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami

Words without letters.

Standing in the shadows of the door…

The drowning girl’s fingers

Search for the entrance stone …

Outside the window there are soldiers,

Steeling themselves to die …

And so plays out the symphony of Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore. His language beautifully bare; his story, however, labyrinthine in meaning. This novel takes its reader on multiple journeys through time and space, music and philosophy, history and literature. Each page sounds beautifully with Murakami’s wisdom and skill in this tale of love found and lost that spans timeless decades, punctuated by memories alone. Continue reading

ditching my freedom for a trip to the tropics

Those of you who follow my blog will probably be wondering whether I’ve finished reading Franzen’s Freedom – and the answer is yes, I finished it last night. What did I think?

I was impressed without being blown away. The Corrections had set me up for another masterpiece and although Freedom probably is a masterpiece in comparison to the works of other similarly contemporary writers, compared to The Corrections, it fell just short for me. But, as my husband was ever so quick to remind me every time I opened my mouth to utter, “but it’s not The Corrections,” –  I shouldn’t compare because no, it isn’t The Corrections, it’s Freedom. And the idea of freedom (whatever it means today), it most definitely explores. Continue reading

have a cuppa with Capote

I only recently discovered The Paris Review Interviews while working at a bookstore. Like anyone who has worked at a bookstore knows, most of your time ‘working’ is spent plodding along aimlessly whilst at the same time trying to maintain a relatively vertical position (as opposed to a horizontal one on the plush bookstore couch) so as to give the illusion of busyness to potential – seldom actual – customers. I thank the literary gods for this ‘work’ now as it was my key into the most intimate of relationships with some of my most adored and admired authors. Today, I thought I’d share snippets of those relationships with you…

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