Lindqvist and King: Horror and catharsis

Dear Mr. Ajvide Lindqvist, I find myself wanting to see your arm, to verify if there is an ‘X’ scarring it, carved by a monster of a policeman. Seeing this scar, I think, might convince me of the existence of horrors beyond this world.   In this year of firsts, I was lucky enough recently…

No justice in truth: My Name Is Revenge / Ashley Kalagian Blunt

Truth. History. Genocide. As an authority figure in Ashley Kalagian Blunt’s My Name is Revenge says, we know how “contentious various narratives can be.” These are the words of a principal to a student, young Vrezh, expelled soon after. Vrezh’s misdeed? He tried to bring to the attention of the school faculty events relating to…

Reading and Taxidermy and Meanjin

This year. This maddening, sometimes wonderful year. I am so thrilled to share a short piece I’ve written for Meanjin – an incredible Australian literary magazine I’ve read and followed since uni. This is a happy tick on the writerly bucket list. I’ve dreamed of my writing being published by Meanjin, and this blog post as…

The Big Issue: Happy-stream-of-consciousness-entry-may-delete-this-later

March 2018: I remember sliding an envelope with two copies of a short story called Roadkill Hour in the mail slot of the post office at Helensburgh, imagining ways I could imbue the package with luck. June 28 2018: “Your Story ‘Roadkill Hour’ has been shortlisted” It was a bad day, without disclosing reasons why,…

By Any Other Name

On tentative little tiptoes I’m overjoyed to share that one of my weird short stories has been accepted for publication in a very cool (and meaningful) publication – but more to come about that later. It’s a precious ray of light in a year I keep euphemistically referring to as “challenging.” As part of the…

Bad Romance: The Love of a Bad Man / Laura Elizabeth Woollett

Who doesn’t love a murderess? Popular culture tropes relish in the fantasy of the bitch, the fallen woman, seductress, but especially in the complete dissolution of the feminine stereotype, that notorious beast – the female serial killer. Women killers feature heavily in Laura Elizabeth Woollett’s The Love of a Bad Man. If the ratio of…

Traumata: Such Small Hands / Andrés Barba

In an afterword by Edmund White, Andrés Barba’s chilling and sparse novella Such Small Hands is said to be based on events in an orphanage in 1960s Brazil in which a group of young girls killed a fellow child and played with her body parts for some time afterward. This point is almost universally noted…

Grief, healing and horses: The writing of Eliza Henry-Jones

It’s rare that a piece of writing moves me to tears, but I’ll readily admit that in the course of reading the novels of Australian author Eliza Henry-Jones, it’s been three-for-three. These books are powerful, moving, and incredibly human. The experience began with Ache, Henry-Jones’ latest adult release. I read it travelling between Helensburgh and…

Journey to the Golden Age

First post of 2018! As of NaNoWriMo last year, I’ve become consumed by this new project, the tentatively-named Cabinet of Wonders. Yesterday the word count of draft zero passed 65K. I’m not sure where it will go, but I’m struck at how transformative the writing process is, especially in a work that traverses time. It…

Writing into the future: Setting intentions

I began writing on this site just over a year ago, inspired by a live talk by author, literary speaker, and all-round excellent person Walter Mason. Coming full circle, last week I heard Walter speak again, this time with a focus on maintaining a writing practice (especially when the going gets not just tough but…