Here are my next bunch of browser windows. Because it’s an easy post to do, and because I know you will be curious*

1. I think I’ve mentioned before that I consider twitter and this blog (and sometimes facebook) tools of curation, where I come across things of interest, and gather them. Plus I’m a sucker for a list, which is why this list of favourite longform reads from 2015 stayed open in a browser window for a while, waiting for me to go back to it. I never do really (do you?) until it’s time to close them down, and decide whether they survive in url form, or are released like a butterfly back into the air. I do love a longread, so much, but (surprise surprise) don’t have much time to indulge. Hence the gathering and keeping for ‘later’.

24 Longreads I Loved in 2015

2. Often publishers like to hear about a book in a way that will help them with their marketing (eg It’s “Aliens meets 50 Shades”, sometimes called the high concept type of novel.) As a writer I’m always grappling with the hardest thing about writing (for me) which is talking about it, what it means, and sometimes, even, what it is. So I love these types of articles that tell me there’s only seven types of stories or plotlines, or three, or five. They can be about archetypes and characters or plots. I can’t get enough of them and

All Stories are the Same


Not so much diabolical or sinister as creepy.

This is how the writer of this article describes Hitler’s Mein Kampf, published for the first time (legally) in Germany recently. I haven’t read the text and am unlikely to. I don’t know what I think about the potential dangers of it. I don’t believe in censorship in a general sense but words are powerful.

Does “Mein Kampf” Remain a Dangerous Book?

4. I have developed a fantasy over the last year or so about walking somewhere long and far. In Ubud last year I met a woman who had done the long pilgrim walks in Europe. I read Sophie Cunningham’s essay on walking. And right now Anne Buist and Graeme Simsion are walking the Camino from France to Spain. There’s something about it that has caught my imagination in an enormous way, so occasionally I come across pieces that I want to keep for future reference. I would love to hear from anyone who has done a long walk or wants to. Want to do something together?

Visit the Great Ocean Road
The Great South West Walk

5. I’ve had acid reflux for what seems like fucking forever. I’m always on the hunt for natural cures. Now it’s apples.

How to treat acid reflux with apples

6. I’ve had some quiet ideas for a while to do something writerly with Broome and pearl diving. I am so attracted to pearls, more than diamonds, much more than diamonds, or any other of those coloured gems. I haven’t read Anna Funder’s pearl story, written with funding, I believe, from Paspaley (commissioned might be the more cynical term).

I have had cumulatively maybe more browser windows open with Pearls than any other topic. Maybe.

‘It’s not for everyone.’ The hot, dangerous work behind the lustre of the world’s best pearls 

7. How important do you think novel titles are? I clearly have some residual feelings about mine as it wasn’t my original one and it was changed to a more marketable one (read more commercial one.) So I am girding my loins for title-battle for the next one, and so am ALWAYS interested when I see something – anything! – about titles. Le sigh. I was on a walk a few months ago when I reckon I came up with the perfect title for that first book, but I’m not going to say what it is here, so don’t ask 🙂  Moving on!

How to come up with a great title.

8. There have been a couple of reader comments on my book, and that some of the language was crude and that’s fine. I’m really interested in language, and how some words are deemed to be more powerful than others. I am really sweary in my life, so that book was toned down because a reader had suggested too many fucks is not good so I took some out, but there are still some there. They are mostly in the voice of a vulgar, crude young man who hasn’t really worked out his shit yet, so, yes. They had some work to do. This article might have caught my eye for the above reason, or for another. I don’t remember now but it looks interesting.

On shit: profanity as Weltanschauung


At that same age, maybe when I was 25 and already had a very powerful love story going on, I thought, well, it’s weird how you never see on screen, at least on commercial movies, something close to what I was experiencing and my other friends were experiencing—the obsession when you’re having sex and kissing the same person over and over. That is very feverish. That is sometimes self-fulfillment but also sometimes self-destructive because you turn blind to the rest of the world. I said, “Why has nobody made a movie like this? I wish I could see this.

I’m not sure if I came across this in my teaching work or not, but I liked the above quotation, the idea that yes, films don’t show the lingering kissing that can happen when you are so swept up and made feverish by and with another person. I guess I thought I might look this film up, but I can tell you I haven’t yet. It just became another open browser.

Gaspar Noé: “For Most Men, The Penis Is An Enemy”

10. In many ways I’m a super contented person, but in other ways I’m restless and it seems like I’m ALWAYS looking at houses online, and can range from country Victoria to far-flung suburbs.

This url I was obviously checking out country spots two hours drive or less from Melbourne.



*This may well not be entirely true