Mar 242012

18 June 2011

A toast
Here’s Keira, the woman from Katoomba in the Blue Mountains who said she was going to New York to find a partner for her brilliant digital publishing idea – and it is a brilliant digital publishing idea – prompting me to say ‘fantastic, I’m coming to New York too!’

Here we are, toasting the journey.

‘I have a present for you,’ she said.

‘Oooo,’ I said, ‘I have one for you too!’

So we closed our eyes and traded presents – and laughed the way we do.


A small statue for me.

A fridge magnet for her.

Liberty, our victory salute to the forces of life that impel us forward into the risky and unknowable unknown; our yes to the universal impulses that tapped two antipodean dreamers on the shoulder and whispered ‘New York, now!’

Keira found her publishing partner, a man of such ambition, motivation and enthusiasm for her project that she is talking to lawyers.

She’s gone now, her journey over, her mission complete. The photo above was taken by the shaky waiter in the cafe where we met before she left for the airpot.

I caught the train out with her. And on my return home, I received the phone call I came here to answer – from a publisher who is over the moon about the possibility of publishing my book.

I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, I’m off to Pennsylvania for the weekend with my friend Veronica. Her dad is in Russia, we’re going to colonise his house and do our washing.

They have great words in the US, long flowy words, big words, loaded words:

Poughkeepsie (not so loaded, but I didn’t know was a real word until I saw it on a sign post)

Not that the last belongs to the citizens of the United States. But we have collectively allowed them to claim it.


It is a beautiful word.

And it encircles so very, very much.


Mar 242012

WINNER! 2011 Independent Publisher Book Award, Best Fiction Australia/NZ

May 13, 2011


The Wonder of Alignment

Yesterday I won an award.

A small award that’s big in little circles – and gargantuan for an antipodean with her eyes on the summit.

The award gives me a gold sticker. It’s not the Pulitzer, but it is American – and that makes me and a whole lot of people I know and don’t know laugh and smile.

Imagine, Hymn for the Wounded Man has won Best Regional Fiction for Australia/New Zealand.

The wonder of this little award is I’ll actually be in New York City to collect it – the awards ceremony is on the evening after I arrive.

This morning I woke just as the new light cleared the darkness from the sky. It’s chilly these days, particularly at that hour, so I rugged up snug and warm in my dressing gown and shawl, tiptoed out the front door and into the shadows, crunched along the gravel in the driveway, padded up a small hill and stood high on a cushion of freshly mown grass, my eyes to the golden glow of the eastern horizon.

And way up high, in the deep blue, I saw them, beaming brightly above the Earth. Though not all of them. Venus, Mercury, Mars and Jupiter all in a line. I saw three. There was a fourth, but it created a V – when according to the astronomer on the radio yesterday the planets were aligning, a straight row. An occasional event. A wonder.

I missed the main game in the heavens, it’s reality eluded me. But I knew from a trusted source, the stranger on the radio, it was on. There is what we observe and there is what is. They may or may not be the same thing.

What I observe is the chaos of my life as I prepare so many little things to make myself ready to go to New York City. What is is that I am going to New York City. I am goi

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