What to write? I’m a 30-something year old woman from Sydney, notorious for changing her mind. I have a cat named Seraphina Nightingale, which I’m told is an embarrassing name (although she’s never said anything about it.) I’m currently working in publishing but have had a few jobs in my time: children’s bookseller, marketing assistant, sales rep, and most soul-destroying of all, high school English teacher.
I have a vague idea that I might try and write a novel (just toss off a masterpiece in a few spare hours, she says airily.) It’s harder than I thought, though, (shock horror!) and most of my time seems to be spent procrastinating. I thought a blog, then, might be a good way of helping me find my momentum as a writer.
So, what will this blog be about? (And why do I feel inane questions are a good way to begin paragraphs?) I’m a big reader and love being immersed in the world of books. I have too many favourite authors to list, although Virginia Woolf, Lionel Shriver, Anne Tyler, Joyce Carol Oates, and Sonya Hartnett would have to rate a mention. I do actually read men as well. I read a lot of Australian literature, because it is important to do so. I also like children’s and teen fiction, which I feel is often a lot braver and more experimental than adult fiction. I love poetry too, though it’s something you tend to graze on rather than plough through in a linear, determined fashion. Lately, I seem to have been reading a lot of stuff about women who live in shabby boarding houses in the 1940s and 50s and spend a lot of time washing their stockings in the sink and having dinner with married men – Jean Rhys, Edna O’Brien – that type of thing. This blog will mainly be a forum for me to write about what I’m currently reading, then (well, that and to complain about the cat.)
Food will probably also feature. I’m a vegetarian and love foreign food, particularly exotic dishes with guttural names which require ingredients that can only be sourced from far-flung regions of the globe, accessed by only the most intrepid explorers. I’m an inventive cook and insist on making dinner most nights, much to my partner’s dismay: he’s a dedicated francophile with a violent chickpea aversion who tends to think of my food as something to be endured rather than enjoyed. (He does make an exception for my honey cakes though.)
In addition to books and food, I might also write about mundane day-to-day things that take my fancy – silly things overheard on the bus, the silken appearance of the bay at sunset, my herb garden, fresh flowers arranged in vases…
Other things about me: I like sketching, yoga, red wine, drinking endless cups of coffee, owls, good conversation, lighthouses, walks, jokes involving talking dogs, rain on tin roofs, mountains, dinner parties, shawls, doing crosswords to stave off Alzheimers, advanced mathematics and sarcasm (see previous interest). My dislikes include filling out tax returns, toastmasters, new age books, and technology (everything breaks on me, from computers down to doorhandles – it took me 3 years to figure out how to use my phone. I still can’t work out how to close my step-ladder.)