A new book. Argh, run screaming!

So. It hath happened. Wildflower Hill has hit the shelves. My bestie took this photo at the airport, so I have evidence. There’s always an awkward feeling of vulnerability when I have a book published (yes, even after 21 occasions). It’s almost impossible to explain but let me try. Imagine you are at the supermarket, and you look down and realise you are wearing only your underwear. People may be appreciative of you in your underwear, but nonetheless you feel exposed. Later, when you go home, you try not to think about it, but your mind returns to it again and again. What have people seen of you? What do they now know or presume about you, from that moment of exposure?

You may remember Wildflower Hill from such tortured posts as this and this and this. But now it is a real book in the world and real people will read it and they will have their opinions. Oh yes they will. Some of them will write and tell me their opinions, which is always nice if they like the book; but is a form of torture if they don’t (not because I can’t handle criticism, but because the accepted wisdom is that one does not write back snarly emails full of swears) (oh, and I lied: I also can’t handle criticism). Also, there is book promotion to do. This involves being interviewed and having my photograph taken. Do you like having your photograph taken? Yes, well, now imagine that the photographs are printed in public places before you even know whether or not they make you look like a half-witted yet slightly lascivious Amish milkmaid.

All of it makes me want to crawl under a rock and hide, but there is still that little part of me that hopes that people will read my book and like it, and like the people in it. Because for a little while, when I was writing it, they meant an awful lot to me.

Wildflower Hill

In 1920s Glasgow, Beattie Blaxland falls pregnant to her married lover Henry just before her nineteenth birthday. Abandoned by her family, Beattie and Henry set sail for a new life in Australia. But life is not about to follow the plan that Beattie had hoped for and fate will play her a cruel hand… In 2009, London, prima ballerina Emma Blaxland-Hunter is also discovering that life can also have its ups and downs. Unable to dance again after a fall, Emma returns home to Australia to recuperate. But on arrival she is presented with some surprising news – her recently deceased and much-loved grandmother Beattie Blaxland has left her Tasmanian property to Emma. Told through the eyes of a young Beattie Blaxland and a contemporary Emma Blaxland-Hunter, this is an emotionally charged, seductive tale of self-discovery, secrets and surprises.

“evocatively written” – Australian Women’s Weekly
“the reader is helpless to do anything but turn the page” – Bookseller & Publisher Magazine

Politicks and Ladies (swear warning)

I’ve hesitated to write this post, because there’s an old-fashioned part of me that warns me never to speak about politics (or money or religion) in polite company. But I figure this isn’t polite company necessarily, and I do so want to say a few things.

I’m an ALP voter. I like their whole social justice, spend-money-on-education ethos, even if sometimes they are a bit dodgy about holding strong on those things. I hate the Coalition, like, with a passion. Rich people moaning, that’s what they are to me. (By the way, I’m not going to publish any comments from Coalition supporters, so don’t bother posting them. It’s my blog and I’ll do as I damn well please).

So then we had this election and WTF? W? T? F?

I know there was a lot of shit going down, but I have a horrible sinking feeling that gender played a big part in the WTF-ness that was Saturday’s election. First, when J-Gill took over, everyone was all like, “oh the union heavies put her in there”. Implication: women are always men’s pawns. Then, the media were all like, “this is what she’ll look like old!”, “this is what she looks like glamorous!”, “she has red hair!” Or, if they weren’t talking about her appearance, they were all like, “she’s going to move her boyfriend into the Lodge!”, “she’s setting a bad example for women on marriage!”, “she’s only got one piece of fruit in her fruit bowl!” I mean, FFS, people. F. F. S.

And then, because she knew she was already pushing shit uphill with a pointed stick cos she is a lady, she took such a conservative line on everything. Boat people? Really, Julia? Those 1500 or so poor, sad bastards that struggle into our country every year because they would rather spend weeks on a leaky stinking boat than stay where they live because shit is THAT BAD for them? And gay marriage? Really, Julia? As a defacto-living aetheist, like you give a shit about marriage-is-an-institution and God and whatever. I reckon she knew these were dumb, conservative things to say. But when you’re trying to get elected while in the possession of a vajayjay, I guess you try to appear as unthreatening as possible.

And then there’s Tony Abbott with his misogynist bullshit about virginity being a “gift” for the right guy. When do the ladies get their gift in the bedroom, Tones? Oh, by the way, I don’t want my gift from you. Unsexiest man EVER. (And yes, I can say that cos it’s MY FRICKIN BLOG).

And amongst it all “working families” “working families” “working families”. I work. I have a family. Is that me? Cos I don’t recognise myself in your anti-boat, anti-gay, let’s-just-wait-and-see-on-climate-change bumwank.

So now we’ve got what they deserved, a hung parliament. I kinda think WE deserved better. We deserved a viable alternative to the Tweedledee/Tweedledum BS that is the two-party lockdown. If God had meant for us to vote, he would’ve given us candidates.