Friday, 15 April 2011


When I was eighteen I very nearly became a journalist. I called up the features editor of a big newspaper in my city and said I was going to interview John McEnroe. McEnroe at the time was a swearing, racquet-throwing idol for me, but the closest I ever came to him was grazing his arm as he passed through an annoying, off-the-court crowd.

However, needing to maintain the attention of the doubtful features editor, I claimed I had an interview with Ivan Lendl instead. Ivan, cold-blooded Czech champion, stared me down in a tiny elevator I managed to squeeze into in his semi-posh hotel (Kings Cross Sydney in the 80s, pre-terrorism, general snazziness). In my shaky suburban voice I asked the tall unearthly-looking man for an interview.

Ivan Lendl said No and when the door opened he walked away.

What was I thinking?

However. Still determined to maintain the attention of my adopted and now smirking editor, I hunted down someone else. I went down to the tennis courts, found a big sweating American player on a bed being massaged. Third rate, Steve Something. He was happy to be interviewed. They actually ran the piece. No picture of the player. No picture of his moustache. I was thrilled. I was a journalist. My parents were utterly relieved my pretensions to become a writer would disperse.

And it lasted. The next guy I hunted down was the fastest water skier in the country. He was local. I was so frigging charming he asked me out. And there was a photograph too, sure the copy was small, a big photo of the a guy holding on for dear life in a helluva spray. Wayne Something, it was miles before the internet.

This from the dreamy girl who grew up on Simone de Beauvoir and D.H. Lawrence and was determined to flee to Europe.

And did.

Friday, 8 April 2011


More work sent to a good home so delighted was I yesterday heading back to Veneto from the mushy Tuscan ski slopes. Dee-lite! It's with the very hip Kerouac's Dog Magazine and to be published in fine hard copy (300 pages of chic photography and quirky words) in October, Issue 4. I've been told the magazine sells out quickly so copies have been ordered. Have a peep at the site and you will understand why.

The funniest was, as we drove through the milky light of the green plains with spring so vigorous and the mountain edges gone, that I told my twenty-one year old the story. My young man/baby-in-the-basket, who doesn't know it but he was witness to my first story acceptance decades ago, when he truly was a babe-in-the-basket on the floor of our old chunky house in Mogadishu, Somalia.

He listened as he drove, he really did.

Hey, he paused, seeming to weigh it all up, making me feel like the desperate kid. That's good Mum, that sounds really good.


And what else? 'Janet and the Angry Trees' is out online in Australian Reader. Do have a look! A Ghanaian streetworker living in northern Italy uses her village-life skills to become a carer for her lover's ancient parents, who have been discarded by modern, brash Italy.

Tears in the Fence, a lovely literary review where my story 'At the Malga' will appear in Issue 54 this year, desperately requires subscribers. Don't let another review go down!

Friday, 1 April 2011

cherry blossoms

It's been a long haul and suddenly sweaters are off and arms are bare. I am ready to regenerate the mind with green fresh growth, pruned a little, if it should become too vivacious.

I am closing off with the snow which has become gluggy and unpredictable of late, noisy and slushy so that I feel I am on a pair of water skis. I feel like real water, I am ready to roil up and down the pool.

Good news has come my way. Not a publication, but a story with a prestigious magazine which after a year is in the 'final phases' of consideration. Pray with me! I would love to find this baby a home. I also have another reply coming soon, I've been assured.

It's enough to drive one bonkers. Forget love, the words are ringing in my head. The cherry blossoms are buzzing.