Flying Pony

This is for spring and hail, that you may remember

a boy and a pony long ago who could fly

These lines from Les Murray’s poem Spring Hail are a perfect synthesis of my twin passions, writing and riding. Both of them are things I dreamed about doing more of when I was younger but never quite seemed to find the time for. Both require discipline and courage. And both have become essential elements of my life rather than just hobbies. 

Reading through Spring Hail again, I  remember the way it showed me how words can create a whole world for you to dive into and lose yourself. When I read this poem as a teenager in my high school English class, I sat on the log with the boy in the poem, listening with my skin to the secret feast of the sun and a few lines later charting the birdless winds with silver roads.

Now, through my writing I do what the boy did by the end of the poem – fly with my imagination to wherever the words want to take me. This blog is about writing and following your dreams. And connecting with others who are doing the same.

I Hope you Enjoy My Blog

Books Spark Joy with Barbara Hannay

Welcome to the latest edition of Books Spark Joy where authors talk about the books that make them sparkle and what’s on their shelves. This week’s guest is Barbara Hannay.

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Books Spark Joy with Leisl Leighton

This week’s guest on Books Spark Joy is Leisl Leighton. As a child Leisl’s literary heroine was Anne of Green Gables. Leisl’s stories have won and placed in many competitions in Australia and the US, including the STALI, Golden Opportunities, Heart of the West, Linda Howard Award of Excellence, Touch of Magic and many others. She is addicted to the Syfy channel, and her shelves are full of fantasy and paranormal books and scifi DVDs.   Over to Leisl … Books for me are necessities. I can’t do without them. I need one with me at all times – whether a physical book or a digital book, it no longer matters – because no matter what the day has brought, if I can sink into a good story at various points in the day, I can let go of everything that is me and become everything that is someone else, and it helps me find my peace.   I have heard many writers say that they have no time to read, and for me, this is crazy talk. I write because I love reading and without reading, there would be no writing. I fill my muse by reading and reading and reading, historic, regency romance, paranormal romance, sci-fi, fantasy, steam-punk, romantic suspense, chic lit and contemporary romance novels. The only thing I don’t read when I am writing, is a book that’s too close in genre to the one I’m writing in – I don’t want to be influenced in the wrong way while writing my own book, so that is one rule I do have about reading and writing.... read more

Books Spark Joy with Mel A Rowe

This week’s guest on Books Spark Joy is Mel A Rowe and she has a special giveaway for readers (keep reading to find out more!). Australian Bestselling Author, Mel A ROWE is a Writer and Weekend Wanderer, trying not to get too lost outback of Northern Australia. Besides random road trips, fumbling with her camera, and annoying her family with her bad singing—it’s her novels she enjoys creating the most. Suffering from an allergy to all things corporately serious, Mel’s novels are dished up with a dash of drama, witty humour, and quirky family units. Known for reinventing romantic versions of home, Mel takes her common characters on an uncommon journey that leads from boardrooms to billabongs as they try to find their own HAPPILY EVER AFTER.     Over to Mel … SURVIVING IN AN OUTBACK BOOK DESERT. The NT’s (Northern Territory) outback destroys books, and that’s where I live—in a freaking book desert! Until Pamela Cook posed the question, I’d never realised my eclectic book collection had spread throughout my house. Cookbooks are in the kitchen—shocker, right!  But they’re vintage CWA (Country Women’s Assoc.) cookbooks I’d inherited from my grandmother. My mother annually mailed me her local fundraising editions to wherever I was working at the time. Yep, the CWA recipes made it to Papua New Guinea’s hinterlands and many beaches on deserted tropical islands in the Torres Straits. I’m surprised they lasted…maybe because those ladies stapled or tied their editions together with ribbon. Continuing on our book tour of the humble abode, you’ll find an old-school atlas, tropical gardening manuals, and Australiana reference books. They stand next to the... read more

Books Spark Joy with Jennifer Scoullar

This week on Books Spark Joy, meet Jennifer Scoullar. Jennifer writes Australian Fiction with an environmental message. She began writing as a child after reading Elyne Mitchell’s The Silver Brumby. After a career in law Jennifer picked up her pen and began writing again, an experience she describes as ‘coming home’. She lives with her family at Pilyara, a beautiful property in the mountains that was left to her by her father.   Over to Jennifer … There’s an old saying that goes, ‘A home without books is like a room without windows.’ My books live all over the house. There isn’t one room without overflowing shelves, looking like an overstocked secondhand bookshop. That said, I’m not a hoarder, and do cull old books occasionally. I’m also happy to lend books ‒ which is a back door way of culling, because I never get them back 😊 There is some method to my madness, and I have a rough organisational structure to my library. I keep classic literary fiction in the lounge room. Some tragic tales I may never return to, especially the ones where the lovers die, then the family dies, then the whole village dies. I’m a sucker for a happy ending. I’m also unlikely to re-read incomprehensible books like Finnegan’s Wake, The Sound And The Fury and Tristram Shandy, or historical set pieces by Jane Austen and Thomas Hardy. But there are other classics that continue to inspire me. Thoreau’s Walden is a masterpiece. Authors like John Steinbeck and Mark Twain are perennial favourites, as are Australian women writers such as Henry Handel Richardson, Miles Franklin and Nancy Cato.... read more

Books Spark Joy with Jennie Jones

This week’s guest on Books Spark Joy is Jennie Jones. Jennie is one of the first writers I connected with when I started my publishing journey and it’s been such a pleasure to see her career go from strength to strength. Jennie writes stories about love, life, laughter and everything between. A proud Australian with equal pride in her Welsh roots she wrote her first book seven years ago and hasn’t looked back. She now has eleven published novels under her belt in the genre of small-town and rural romance and is currently thoroughly enjoying working on two women’s fiction novels for HarperCollins/Harlequin. One a dual timeline with heartbreaking issues from the 1940s through to the 1970s that still resonate today, and the other about a contemporary Australian family dynasty on the brink of losing everything.   Over to Jennie … While I’m not quite a full-on neat-freak I am the kind of person who likes symmetry and aesthetically pleasing visuals, so my bookshelves are a place of honour for a number of special items in my life, not just books. Although books are the main value-added attraction of course.   Apart from the odd photo frame (my paternal grandmothers in this instance), I tend to keep objects alongside my books that resonate with quiet contemplation and the cosy passing of a rainy afternoon. Like playing cards, and the old dominoes box I’ve had for years, along with the odd little knickknack.     I don’t keep every book I read and space isn’t the only reason for this. It’s because I don’t like to hold on to something... read more

Books Spark Joy with Darry Fraser

This week’s guest on Books Spark Joy is Darry Fraser. Apprenticed on a number of contemporary novels in her early career, Darry returned to writing her favourite genre, Australian historical fiction in 2016. Her first published novel, Daughter of the Murray, began a series set in the 1890s on her beloved River Murray. Darry’s books are set in a rural landscape, and her new novella, Edge of the Blue (2019) is set on fictional Australis Island, which very much resembles her home. The Good Woman of Renmark is due out November 2019, and is the last in the Murray series. Darry lives and works on wild and beautiful Kangaroo Island off the coast of South Australia.       Over to Darry … My love of Story and books has always been there and by the time I was capable of physically handling a book, I was already enthralled. Story captivated me: the action, the adventure, the characters, the setting. Good vs evil, and I always loved it best that Good won, of course, at least in Story. That might be why I tend to write Happily For Now, no matter what genre. I love to read and also to write a really good Not So Happily At All, but in this day and age, an uplift is always sought after. As soon as I had pocket money, the book buying began. I’d always had books given to me, as well, and early in life had learned the wonder of libraries. However books came to me, I loved to hold the tomes in my hand. Over the years there were many, many books... read more

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