Real Versus Fictional Blogs

One of the reasons I started a blog was that the protagonist in my novel was a blogger, so I needed first-hand experience. Eight months in, what have I learnt? Did I describe her experience accurately? What will I change as a result? Followers. I made my fictional blogger an overnight sensation, but in real … Continue reading Real Versus Fictional Blogs

DIY Project One: Tyre Coffee Table

The previous owners of our Mansfield property left behind some junk—old car tyres, fencing wire, roof riles—so I’ve taken an interest in re-purposing old things. These creative endeavours have the triple goal of being practical, frugal and clearing the scrap heap. Normally, I leave handyman matters to Barto, but our to-do list is so long, … Continue reading DIY Project One: Tyre Coffee Table

Engineering the Story—How to Write a Novel in 80 Days

I’m a writer. I love words. But before I was a writer, I was an engineer, so I also love numbers. The typical word count for a novel is around 80,000. Non-novelists often baulk at the idea of writing that many words, and no question, it’s a mammoth task. To make it more manageable, I … Continue reading Engineering the Story—How to Write a Novel in 80 Days

Alone at Mansfield

I’m a city girl, born and bred, but this year, Barto and I bought a country retreat near Mansfield, the township gateway to the Victorian high country. Our house is two and a half hours from Melbourne and a fifteen-minute drive from Mansfield—secluded, but not isolated. Perched on a hill, it overlooks Lake Eildon and … Continue reading Alone at Mansfield

Show Day, Music & Dance on the Lagoon

Part four of four in the Music & Dance on the Lagoon series, after Blame It On The Tango and Countdown to Show Day. After months of preparation, weeks of rehearsals and days of tearing my hair out, show day for Music & Dance on the Lagoon finally arrived. Tables and chairs were decorated, the bar was charged and security … Continue reading Show Day, Music & Dance on the Lagoon

Blame It On The Tango

(Part two of four in the Music & Dance on the Lagoon story.) In my last blog, I wrote about the myriad of problems we encountered setting up Music & Dance on the Lagoon. Many of those difficulties were beyond our control, but some were self-imposed. A more sensible person might have decided that writing, co-directing and … Continue reading Blame It On The Tango

Nigerian Gems—In Print At Last

To pick up from where I left off in Tales from Lagos, the publication of Nigerian Gems had stalled. Graphic designer Els Van Limberghen volunteered to do the layout and design; we printed a copy on our home computer and painstakingly glued it together to create a mock up; Judy Anderson, Sara Dobbs and Martha Peterson … Continue reading Nigerian Gems—In Print At Last

Career and the Expat Spouse

The expat financial equation looks healthy for a married couple, but the numbers change dramatically in the case of death or divorce. After I posted Feminism and the Expat Spouse, my dear friend, let’s call her Chloe, shone a light on career decisions from a different perspective. She says, “Giving up our careers, even if it … Continue reading Career and the Expat Spouse

Susan Bradfield: From Physiotherapist to Photographer

To mix things up a bit, I have planned a series of interviews with people I admire—individuals who by changing career path or country, have their own winding narrative. Today, I feature Susan Bradfield, who has transitioned from physiotherapist to photographer and has lived in Melbourne, London, Shanghai and Zurich. Her approach to finding and … Continue reading Susan Bradfield: From Physiotherapist to Photographer