Happy Oz day, mate!

Today, on Australia Day, we celebrate our privilege to live in a democratic country, with clean air, clean water, fresh food, good health care, accessible education for all and a beautiful, extraordinary, challenging, inspiring landscape. Everyone loves the land of their birth – we get that – but we also understand why so many want to leave their homeland to live here instead. Why wouldn’t they? It’s the best place on earth. I met a chap, who’d emigrated from Ghana, who told me that living here was like living in Paradise. Today will be the day many people will become citizens of Australia. Welcome to Oz! Thanks for wanting to be one of us. I was very moved to see the finalists in the Australian of the Year award. They were a diverse...

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It only takes a spark

Earlier this week, I was working on a client’s manuscript… (Actually, I’ve been working on this one so long the client is now a good – although living in another hemisphere – friend.) As I was saying; I was working on his manuscript tidying, correcting spelling and rethinking the structure of the entire chapter. I had a little stray thought: Perhaps I should forget my own dreams and concentrate on helping others fulfill their’s. After all, I think I’m reasonably good at being an editor. On the whole, my clients do well. Some have even won an award or two. Maybe this is my “great calling” and writing is/was just a daydream? There’d be no shame in accepting that fate. Editors are necessary people in the...

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Sea, sand and butterflies.

The munchkins came for a sleep-over with The Old Boy, Rex and me. As it’s summer time here in the Land of Oz, we decided after tea to take them to the beach for a swim and an icecream. We brought the Wonder Dog with us. I had visions of a nice stroll along the sand, perhaps letting the beast off the lead for a splash in the water with the kidlets, a soft sunset glow on the horizon… When we got there we found the place was packed. Seems like every second person in town had the same idea. Finally found a park, unloaded the car and set off along the white soft sandy 50 metre path through the dunes to the water. The Old Boy carried the towels and a water bottle. I handled my walking stick, the dawg and a large bag. By the time I’d struggled through...

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Tolkien’s women

I had an interesting chat with a friend on Facebook re The Hobbit and I thought I’d drag the conversation/discussion/surely-not-an-argument here to my little blog. Someone had posted an article decrying Tolkien’s perceived misogyny, or at least his ambivalence towards females, and my friend had shared the link. The question was, “Why are Tolkien’s worlds so devoid of females? How did we get hobbit/goblin/orc/dwarf families if there were no females?”  Good question. “And, where are the strong role models for girls, in Tolkien’s books?” Another good, but different, question. If one reads the books – The Hobbit and then the Lord of the Rings trilogy – it soon becomes clear that there are female...

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