let me explain…

image courtesy of Barbara Malagoli Martino

image courtesy of Barbara Malagoli Martino

This post has been a long time coming.

A very, very long time coming.

It’s been almost exactly 11 months since my last post. And then it had been 7 months between posts before that. So, please, let me explain.

I’ve been unwell. Quite unwell actually. I’ve spent the last two and a half years in and out of hospitals, struggling to manage my mental health. For those two and a half years, life stopped. Continue reading

the 11 (writing) commandments according to henry miller

On my quest to find my own writing routine I stumbled across these gems from Miller and just had to share.

Hope you get as much out of them (all these years later) as I did.

’til next time xx

Work Schedule taken from Henry Miller on Writing

just where has smartykat been?

Lately I’ve had a few of my darling smartykat followers contact me and say, “Where are you?”, “Where have the posts gone?”, “I want mooooooore!”, so I thought I better pull my finger out of my butt…on hole and give you all a bit of an update. Never fear, smartykat is ALWAYS here, just not necessarily always in her blogging form. Here’s what’s been taking up S.K.’s time:

THE novel

Yes, I’m still plugging away at my debut novel and yes, I’m still absolutely loving the process. 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

juicy fruity inspiration

Lately it seems as though wherever I turn, inspiration follows. Perhaps I’m more open to it; perhaps it’s this glorious spring weather (I do tend to feel quite different in different seasons – maybe spring’s the season to feel ‘lighter’). Either way, I don’t really care as I’m quite enjoying this feeling of fruitfulness – so much so that I thought I’d take a quick little moment to share some of my sources of inspiration.

BOOKS

I simply cannot stop reading. Let me repeat this to make sure that you understood – I simply CANNOT stop reading. Any spare moment I have, my head’s in a book… or five. And if I’m out, I’m buying books. Isn’t it obvious that that comes with the job, you say. Well yes it is bloody obvious but it doesn’t make it any less expensive or life consuming for my poor dear spouse. Here’s a wee glance over my latest purchases and reads: Continue reading

salutations from MWF ’12

Salutations, dear followers, from MWF ’12… and what a festive festival it’s been so far!

As much as I’d love to share EVERYTHING with you all, I just don’t have the time or blogging capacity or memory to do so. SO, instead, what I thought I’d do is give you the best of the best and share some festival highlights straight from the mouths of the literary greats.

If you’re not booked in for a session, jump online and snap up whatever you can put your pretty little paws on. Writer – or otherwise – you’ll be enlightened, inspired and enthused. I promise!

Wherever possible, I’ve tried to include a link to the author’s webpage – or the closest thing to it. Enjoy!

xx SmartyKat

ON IDEAS:

they have to be undercurrents in society… if they’re overcurrents and they’re obvious, well that’s just journalism.

Deborah Robertson Continue reading

like Augustus in the chocolate factory

A short little while ago, I attended a literary tour at Heide Museum of Modern art titled They Also Wrote. Run by Judith Hughes, the tour focused on Heide as a haven for aspiring writers and a meeting place for artists in general. Well, I was like a child in a candy store – more specifically – Augustus in Wonka’s factory! The tour was comprehensive and at the same time, so inspiring. Did you know that Sidney Nolan couldn’t decide whether to become a painter or a writer? Or that there’s a rumour on the good ol’ mill that Miller’s Autumn Laing is based on Sunday Reed? I didn’t. I’m so glad that I went… and it was all FREE. Can you believe it? ’tis always worth keeping an eye on the happenings at Heide (you can do that here). You never know what you’ll stumble across. Continue reading

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

Criterion Issue 2

Last night I went to the launch of the second issue of a new arts publication Criterion. This month’s issue “Artistic Struggles” featured one of my articles, The Limitations of Expression. Produced and edited by Yalei Wang, Criterion is a breath of fresh air in the arts realm, focusing on “what making art and being an artist is about” – it’s written by artists for artists. At the moment limited copies are being printed so if you’d like to get your hands on one, your best bet is to try The Paperback BookstoreKings ARI or Seventh Gallery where it’s being stocked (Seventh will be stocking Criterion from the 22nd of August).

Questions? Submissions? Looking for a copy of Issue 2? Email criterionmagazine@live.com.

Want a copy of my article? Contact me.

a little morning writing exercise

The dog outside the window where I’m sitting is trembling in its skin. It knows how I’m feeling.

The music inside the cafe where I’m sitting is wheezing through the speakers. It knows how I’m feeling.

My pen, angled against the page where I’m sitting is not moving. It knows how I’m feeling.

Good morning.

The inspiration is there, dripping constantly like a leaking tap, but not much more is happening. The drip, drip, drips are build, build, building. Inside I feel water logged and burst worthy. Water balloon like. But the balloon of me is sealed tight. Knotted perfectly. Nothing, is escaping. Not a single one of those teeny drips.

An outpouring is inevitable. It’s just a matter of when; when those laborious waters will break so that I can birth the beast within – I say beast but I mean it in the most affectionate of ways.

Waters come forth. Surge. Creativity, I will you. Flow. Preferably now. If you have to, later.

I’m here. I’m waiting. Let’s go.