Solving problems and uplifting the heart – Mary Quant and Sand Talk

January 31, 2022 at 7:19 am | Posted in Indigenous knowledge, slow blogging | 2 Comments
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Slow blogging and fast tango

Have I put new meaning into the concept of Slow Blogging? It’s been quite a gap. In it I finished another novel and settled into a new house in a new town – a small town bristling with fascinating, friendly people and plenty of things to do (between bouts of Covid lockdowns). I can even dance tango, to some extent. (Between lockdowns and no partner-swapping, given that it’s palm pressed to palm and us breathing in each other’s faces.)

Haven’t written a blog for so long because they take a day or two to write, days in which I could finish or rewrite a chapter of my new novel, A Late Flowering, or read a whole book. And so many wonderful books to read! Most blogs are brief and not the book reviews mine essentially are, which I used to write for The Canberra Times and a few journals. Over the years I’d written about 100. Remember what George Orwell said about it? ‘Book reviewing is like pouring your immortal soul down the drain, one pint at a time.’

But writing them taught me much about the writing of books and gave me a chance to air my preoccupations publicly and engage in a dialogue with readers, which I enjoyed. And I was paid plus got to keep the books, which isn’t necessarily the case with blogging. The truth is, much motivation for taking this up again is so I can tell potential publishers I have one – they take a dim view of writers with not enough online presence. And the publisher’s publicist won’t read this – she’ll just want to know that I’ve got one. So there you are, dear reader, I’ve let you in on a secret but I do still appreciate you. I know how many other claims there are on your time.

Tim Ferriss (another tango dancer)

Should I take a leaf out of the blog format of Tim Ferriss, that entertaining young lad I’ve done blogs on before? (Interesting how some whizz kids retain that early prodigy ‘flavour’ into middle age!) He fills in a sentence or two under these headings:

Continue Reading Solving problems and uplifting the heart – Mary Quant and Sand Talk…

Changing lives – making lists and having fun

December 12, 2017 at 3:19 am | Posted in Christmans presents, libraries, list-making | Leave a comment
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Why write?

‘It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by.’ I’ve quoted Vita Sackville West https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vita_Sackville-West before but this bears repeating. Writing or any activity that produces something will prevent that feeling of empty past days. But it should also be remembered that Vita Sackville West probably had servants. So if she didn’t write on a given day, perhaps she could do nothing if she felt like it.

Few of us have that luxury now. The days of most people, even if they’re wealthy, are filled to overflowing with too many things to do. (I’ve met two super wealthy people and even at a dinner out I never saw them relax – they’re always on the mobile, checking some crisis in the China factory or whatever.)

There’s another quotation I like:

‘Lists are the butterfly nets that catch my fleeting thoughts…’ by American blogger Betsy Canas Garmon.

Continue Reading Changing lives – making lists and having fun…

Professional and literary worlds

April 7, 2013 at 1:14 am | Posted in Books | Leave a comment
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Thank you for your interest in my blog, and yours are really interesting – work has been too busy to respond properly but after the Conference is over, I will. Huge Conference is on now – more than 1,000 delegates. So, I am in beautiful Adelaide in the Media Room of the biggest venue (Adelaide Convention Centre) I and probably you have ever seen. So no proper bog this week, just an apology of sorts because semi-frantic with interviews and writing about rural health so no time to do my own writing, not even a blog! Head crammed with things you wouldn’t want to hear about – except for my favourite strand of all this: Arts and Health. Always interesting, inspiring and incredible. But that strand starts tomorrow.

And by next week I’ll have also been to some vineyards – for all those antioxidants in red wine, of course. Only have time for one literary note, but what a note: Maggie O’Farrell’s new novel, Instructions for a Heatwave. Set in the big heatwave of 1975 in London plus some of it in Ireland – the novel plus the heat! Wonderful novel about the extraordinary in ordinary life. A family so plausible and recognisable that you feel you really know them through and through by the end, with the sibling differences and familiarity, the misunderstandings and the warmth, the craziness of one’s parents and the differences being the eldest or youngest makes – all that family stuff expressed so poignantly. I was so glad to be immersed in that world before being sucked into a week of professional milieu – not that that is not interesting, and it’s certainly worthwhile, but: it’s not fiction, it’s not literature, even though I can use my literary background and way with language in its service. I love health, sure, but I love the literary world more. I consider myself lucky to be able to write about health for a living. But I so enjoyed the immersion in that beautifully written and gripping novel before this Conference took over my life completely.

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