Today is the day. It’s my daughter’s birthday, not mine, but if past years are anything to go by, today will probably be the day I get several text messages from old friends. It might be a friend who hasn’t heard from me in ages, but has been reminded by a glaring yellow poster and the letters R U OK? that they do know someone who was open about being suicidal, and maybe they should make sure they’re not thinking about killing themselves today of all days. Or it might be someone who has typed up one heartfelt message and sent it to half their address book, being prompted to check in with everyone they haven’t been able to connect with in a while. It might be a friend I confided in recently about some of the personal stresses and problems I have at the moment. I love these friends and appreciate them, truly, but I don’t know what to do with their messages.
Buckle in, because this is a long one. I’ve been stewing on this since the announcement was made last week. In the midst of a pandemic where people turned to the arts for entertainment and levity and catharsis, the government wants to make students pay more for creative arts. In the midst of worldwide protests against racial inequality and police brutality, the government wants it to be more expensive for students to study ethics, social studies and political science. As attention is drawn to a broken legal and corrections system, they want to make it more costly to study law. As many gather in the streets to protest ongoing injustice and long-term impacts of colonialism, the government wants to discourage young people from studying history. In the midst of ceased production of many regional newspapers and further funding cuts to independent media like the ABC, the government wants students to pay more for communications. There’s many reasons to be angry. But now that I’ve cooled off a little and looked closer at what exactly has been proposed, here’s eight reasons you should be opposed to these changes to university funding.
I’ve seen a lot of lies on social media in recent weeks. Covid-19 as a biological weapon. 5G towers. Wind farms. Being forced into a cashless society. Politicians didn’t say what they said. Schools are reopening next week. Even, sadly, “I have to pick up my ER doctor husband’s dead body” (be careful who you follow on Twitter). But perhaps the most persistent lie I see is phrased as a question:
I have a child on my lap as I type this one-handed, which pretty much sums up what reading and writing has been like for me lately (who knew almost-three year olds were so needy?). But if I don't post soon, I'm going to forget what I thought of these books! Here are a few sentences on: Replica by Jack Heath Whisper by Lynette Noni Gravity is the Thing by Jaclyn Moriarty The Accusation by Wendy James
Hello wonderful people! I have dropped off the face of the internet a bit lately, but that's just because I'm a master procrastinator so my to-do list is growing ever longer. I am about 2.5 chapters away from the end of a complete draft of the next book I've been working on, and when I can push myself to the end I'm excited to get into editing. I've also been reading a lot of other works-in-progress for fellow writers and there are SO MANY AMAZING BOOKS out there that haven't been published yet. I will be eagerly sharing here when they are available, because these people are talented.
My cats are growing bigger, my days of changing nappies are now over thanks to my youngest child toilet training, and the soccer season is in full swing. It's been a whole year since The Things We Can't Undo was released! Thank you to everyone who has read it, reviewed it, recommended it to someone, or bought a copy for a friend. I've also been working on a couple of short stories and have a non-fiction article coming out shortly in The Big Issue, so keep an eye out for that. I've been reading a bit less, but I do have some quick thoughts to share about what I've read lately: A Thousand Perfect Notes by C. G. Drews, Paper Cranes Don't Fly by Peter Vu, Nothing by Annie Barrows, Someone to Love by Melissa de la Cruz, and Ballad for a Mad Girl by Vikki Wakefield. These are all YA books, but as we know by now, YA is full of great quality books that anyone can enjoy.
It's been way too long since I've blogged a review, sorry! I have still been reading, so today, here's my thoughts on: Don't Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult Take Three Girls by Cath Crowley, Simmone Howell and Fiona Wood Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver The Gulf by Anna Spargo-Ryan
Have you read any of these books? What did you think?
It's that time of year! The time your bookshop membership earns you lots of rewards as you visit for OTHER people as well as yourself. Or the time that you go into a bookshop, despite not usually frequenting them, because you've got family or friends who are book dragons* and you love them enough to want to get them something they'd really like for Christmas. But then! You get inside, you look around, and there are SO MANY BOOKS. Where do you start? It's okay. I'm here to help. *twitter user @bookdragonism encouraged me to replace "bookworms" with "bookdragons" because... well, because it's cooler.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! How time flies since I wrote my last holiday letter. 2018 has been a big year for our family, and I hope it has been exciting for you and yours.
Our eldest son, Lamont, had his preschool graduation last week. How proud we were! He was honoured to receive the award for “most likely to succeed at public school” and to co-share the title of Valedictorian with his young friend Persephone Huntyr-Griffin who won “most likely to succeed at private school”. We will miss Persephone next year; watching them play trivial pursuit was so endearing.
It's school holidays here AND it's been raining, which of course meant I've been able to read a little bit (never mind the lack of writing being done). Below are my thoughts on three quite different books - UK YA fantasy Ink and Bone, Australian YA contemporary/mystery Pocketful of Eyes, and new release Australian mainstream fiction Nine Perfect Strangers.