a wintery writer’s retreat



A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be able to duck off for a few days on a bit of a writer’s retreat. I’d never done this before and – to be honest – was very apprehensive. What if I got there and couldn’t write? What if the place I was staying in was uninspiring? What if it was just an outright bad idea? What if, what if, what if! Thank the writing gods, within the first few minutes of arriving at my wee cottage, all my niggling (and let’s be honest – ridiculous) hypotheticals were well and truly put to rest and I was able to write solidly every day.

The cottage I stayed in is one of three accommodation options at The Baldessin Press in St Andrews. It took me only 40 mins to get there from my inner city residence (!) and it was just divine. Surrounded by trees and veggie gardens and orchards and roos (yep, roos!) you feel like you’re an entire world away from the city. Continue reading

on gratitude

A little over a month ago I went to a panel discussion at the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) on adapting Christos Tsiolkas’ The Slap for television. The discussion was both fascinating and confusing with at least three or four clashing opinions on how best to adapt a written work for the screen. There came a point in the discussion though, when a member of the audience commented on one of Tsiolkas’ characters – Manolis – in relation to how The Slap presented what it means to be Australian. In response, Tsiolkas voiced some ideas that spoke to me on a very personal level.

image by armaggesin

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unplug with something classically basic

It’s so easy in this  Facebook – Twitter – iPhone – Google+ – crazy world of ours to forget the simple things in life. More often than not I find myself too busy or just plain ol’ too apathetic and disinterested to take the time to appreciate those little gems that should make me go “ah”, like the tomatoes in my sandwich (handpicked by grandpa from his garden – YUM!), or the flowers that have just bloomed in my neighbours’ front gardens (magnolias). I seem to rush around my days wearing blinkers a good 70% of the time and then being too exhausted that other 30% to notice anything constructive to my wellbeing. What is this?

Whatever it is, it goes further than just not noticing flowers and not appreciating sandwich fillings. It’s something that’s taken over our lives (not just mine) and a teeny piece of me fears that it’s what others seem to (happily) call ‘progress’. Is it? It can’t be! Oh dear…it is… Continue reading