22 Drive Me Mad #postitnotepoetry

drives me mad

It is with wry amusement I watch certain aspects of the city grind to a halt when it rains…even the Internet runs slower in wet weather (when I lived in the country in the last 1990’s it would actually clap out altogether).

The author brain starts to stew ideas for how rain could totally disable a city–permanently. Not flood a city, but the act of raining. But that’s for another adventure another day.

Inspired in part by the very slow drive to school on Tuesday morning and Rob Cook’s crooked post it note narrative from the same day about certain kings of England.

Farewell The Dragon!

dragonI’m coming back to a draft of this post, almost two weeks after I sat down to write it: two weeks into the new year. To say I’m not quite ready to let go of the Year of the Water Dragon is possibly the understatement of the last 13 months.

I washed up on the shores of The Year of the Dragon, burned out, disillusioned, without confidence or trust in my abilities as a writer. 2011 was my annus horribilis. I wasn’t sure what would come next, only that I didn’t want to go back to where I’d been.

In the end I decided I wanted to fall in love with writing again. I wanted the deep immersive transportation to another place, to completely inhabit another person’s skin. I wanted the experience of writing when I was 17 and juggling a novel with completing the HSC.

From a business perspective it was time to tidy up loose ends, to stop being a serial starter, to get over the addictive buzz of the new and finally clear the decks.


Love is always a bit of a gamble. So I paired my year of falling in love with the Write Anything call to write dangerously… to get out of the comfort zone. For me, the comfort zone had been for too long, about doing nothing.

Post Marked: Piper’s Reach provided the heady infatuation that grew into something big and wonderful and amazing…and around it my writing flourished. Working with Adam has been a dream, a blessing, a ride full of laughs intersected with moments of serious introspection, inquiries about the colour of toast, planned spontaneity and a ping-pong return of ideas and music. It is proof it only takes on person who believes in you, your abilities and crazy ideas to lead you back to the core of believing in yourself.

From Piper’s Reach came the first flowerings of brand new short fiction. From my shift in focus and routine came the space to write. From tackling unfinished publishing projects came the impetus to return to unfinished pieces of my own writing and complete them.

Did I fall in love? Yes I did…at that deep level, where the world dissolves and disappears, where you find yourself with your heart caught in your throat, heart pounding, holding your breath in anticipation.

I also managed to push just about every boundary in my writing in terms of what I had done in the past and what I was prepared to have a crack at.

In thirteen months, I:

As an editor and publisher, I:


These things don’t happen in isolation. I’d like to thank the following people (in no particular order) for the support, the helpful shoves, the investments in my work and help they gave so generously in 2012 (many of them without even realising!):

Dan Powell, Stacey Larner, Tom Dullemond, Alan Baxter, Laura Meyer, Josh Londero, Jessica Bell, Tiggy Johnson, Daniel Simpson, Benjamin Solah, Melanie Selemedis, everyone in the Sub-Committee Facebook group, Paul Anderson, Peter Ball, Alex Adsett, Paul Landymore, Aimée Lindorff, Meg Vann, Nicky Strickland-Cavalchini, Damon Cavalchini, Jason Nahrung, Andrew McKiernan, Kate Eltham, Lesley Halm, Matthew Lamb, Amy Stephenson, Rowena Specht-Whyte, Tehani Wessely, the literary Mix Tapes authors, Jon Strother, Devin Watson, Dale Challener Roe, Jen Brubacher, Zena Shapter, Lily Mulholland, Nicole Murphy, Jane Virgo, Jack Dann, Janeen Webb, Paul Phillips, Jo McClelland, Susan Talbot, Amanda Roche, The Elyora Brains Trust, the readers of Piper’s Reach, Rus Vanwestervelt, everyone who bought an eP publication, Ty Dawson, Erica Blythe, Greg McQueen, Ron Cleghorn, Leanne Cleghorn, Kate Campbell… and three very special guys:

Adam Byatt, Dave Harris and my Mr D.

This concludes transmissions for 2012 and the Year of the Water Dragon. Thank you for giving me back my passion, my grounding and my will to write again. Roll on the Year of the Water Serpent!

21 Melody of Tomatoes #postitnotepoetry

tomatoesToday’s poem came from a few different sources and is dedicated to Adam Byatt…who kicked off the cogs with this Tweet earlier today: @PeevishPenman I let ideas compost, waiting for the tomato plants to grow so I can turn the soil. Or I experiment with other forms.

It made me think how we there would be worse things to aspire to, than the tenacity of a tomato plant.

Several years ago we had organic yellow cherry tomatoes sprout through our paving. Not only did they survive, they managed to cover half the patio – because we were intrigued to see just how far they would go.

And these were the the great-great grandsons and daughters of tomatoes consciously planted in the garden seasons earlier!

This year I gathered the wild tomatoes up and planted them in a huge pot on the verandah to stop them going quite so wild. In my heart, I couldn’t just pull them up and toss them.

The title was inspired by another of my very mild superpowers…the misreading of signs and packaging. Any guesses what the original packaging on the tomatoes said?


20 Dress #postitnotepoetry

dressInspired by my green dress (caught in traffic with nothing more exciting to look at) and simple joy I have of spending time with my friends’ daughters. I realised, after the comment Rob Cook made on the poem, that this is as much about wanting to recapture and hold onto the innocence and sheer joy of being a little girl, as much as it is a homage to simpler days.

I understood that behind every, “Wow that’s a gorgeous dress, wish they made it in adult sizes” I say is more than just a longing for the right cut of fabric.

19 Sixty-Seven Yards #postitnotepoetry

paisleyMy friend, and ardent supporter of my writing, Susan Talbot gave me these gorgeous post it notes at school pick up yesterday. The first thing I thought was paisley and all the ways I could describe paisley print without coming out and saying it. I wanted to write something light-hearted and silly, but as is my want, it didn’t quite come out that way. At a push it’s whimsical.

I worked on this while waiting for my writing date this morning with Rob Cook… and couldn’t believe an hour passed in crafting these few words. Tip of that hat to Sean Wright for introducing the cinquain form. There is something to be said for working between strict boundaries.

There are bonus points, or a chance to offer up a topic for a poem before the end of the month, to anyone who can decipher the title.

18 Solacium #postitnotepoetry

solaciumThis was written last week, in the wake of a bunch of difficult stuff coming  to a (temporary) resolution. It seems more pertinent today, sitting on the other side of a decision I don’t feel entirely comfortable with. There would be such solace in sinking below and leaving the bad feelings behind, even for a few moments.


17 Absurde #postitnotepoetry

teapotMy failed attempt at being frivolous – something of the latest dare in the Post-It Note Poetry group. It was a nice bit of light after all the rather dark poems of the last week, though I think I’ll have to resort to an ode to my new mop if I am going to pull off being a bit silly! Tomorrow we return to the dark morbid underbelly.

Note: absurde is the French word from which we derive absurdity from.