Tag Archives: the magic of words

Sunshine and getting tagged.

It didn’t matter that it was raining this morning (Spring, you missed your cue}. Didn’t matter that the dishes from last night were still waiting for me on the sink, or that the dog put her muddy paw prints all over the floor.

Because inside, I’m sunshine.

And no amount of rainclouds or mud will dampen my spirits today.

Also, the lovely Leslie from Coffee, Pearls and Grace tagged me with some questions:

If you could have one superpower what would it be?

To turn water into wine. Or coal into diamonds. Basically to transform objects. Hey, I’d be a transformer, without the clunky wheels and butch engines though.

Who is your style icon?

Probably Cate Blanchett. I love her elegance and simple style of beauty.

What is your favorite quote?

I have hundreds of them. But recently: “For whatsoever from one place doth fall, Is with the tide unto an other brought: For there is nothing lost, that may be found, if sought.” — Edmund Spenser

What is the best compliment you ever received?

I can’t really think of anything specific. But someone recently emailed me to tell me that Milk Fever was their all time favourite book. That gave me a very warm glow inside.

What playlist/CD is in your CD player/playing right now?

Maxwell – Black summers night is my current favourite.

Are you a night owl or morning person?

Night owl. Definitely. Although due to the weekly school run, I can’t stay up as late as I’d like to anymore. So I have been forced into a better balance. Left to my natural rhythm though, I’d go to bed at 3 and wake up at 11. Lovely.

Do you prefer dogs or cats?

Can’t I have one of each? No? Well, in that case, dogs. Cats don’t need me anyway.

What is the meaning behind your blog name.

It’s the title of my debut novel, Milk Fever. The condition is something cows get when birthing and calcium levels in the blood drop dangerously low. It makes an appearance in the book.
So, now  I need to nominate two other bloggers to tag.

1. shylockbooks.

2. jpcabit.

Enjoy your inner sunshine folks.



Filed under blogging, books, fiction, I should be editing right now, life, Reading, silly challenges, writers, Writing

Stubborn is good

Driving home from school pick-up the other day, my son asked me if it was ever a good thing to be stubborn. I suspected someone had perhaps called him that, so I hesitated to give my first answer, which was no. I said, ‘yeah sure, perhaps sometimes.’ Fortunately, he didn’t expect any examples from  me, because at the time, I couldn’t think of any.

It occurred to me three days later,  as I sat stubbornly, like a pit bull, in front of my manuscript, daring the muse to  ignore me one more time, that being  stubborn, being bloody-minded, being aaarghh-I-will-do-this was a necessary trait for a writer.

Writers need to be not only determined and persistent, they need to be stubborn too. When the rejection slip comes in.  When you can’t write the ending. When the sun is shining and calls you outside. When your friend/partner/blog feels neglected. When cleaning the bathroom suddenly seems more appealing than writing dialogue.

Be stubborn.



Filed under blogging, books, fiction, I should be editing right now, tips for writers, writers, Writing

The Bad Poets’ Society

Despite lots of encouragement, and some late-night, red-wine-fuelled writing attempts, I have come to the realisation that I really do suck at poetry. But you know what? I am not disheartened. I am not going to feel sorry for myself.

Because I have decided to start up a club. [Perhaps just for this week, because I don’t like my chances of sustaining anything that I’m crap at.] A special society for  Bad Poets.

Why not?

I would like to officially open this club with a little poem.


[That wasn’t part of the poem btw]

Ode to Dots

When I stop thinking

I am nothing

Just a dot

That loves pink

Occasionally pulses

And in the morning

Needs coffee.

Well folks, that’s about as good as it gets.  Feel free to add your own poem, or a link to your blog if you’re one of those smarty-pants-poetry-is-second-nature-to-me types and want to make the society members jealous.

Bad poets around the world unite!!

X Lisa

ps. Can I be president please? Now that we’ve got a female PM down under, I think it only fitting.


Filed under authors, blogging, books, fiction, life, poetry, poets, Reading, writers, Writing

Raise your hand if you enjoy self-promotion

I remember the moment when I decided to write a book. Newly pregnant, and feeling creative, I began jotting down ideas in an old page-a-day diary. When I finished the manuscript, I put it aside for a while, and realised after a re-read, that it was rubbish. Sigh.

When baby arrived, the greatest challenge while working on the second manuscript, was battling tiredness and trying to squeeze in time to write during naps, without feeling too  guilty that the housework wasn’t getting done. After the last word was written, I sadly had to admit that it was rubbish too, like the first. So I stored them together where they keep each other dusty company.

The challenge with the third manuscript was the ending; getting it right. There were times when I felt like my brain had evaporated into the sky and I was left sitting there, in front of the screen, an empty shell trying to think with my fingers. But miracle of miracles, I managed to get it finished.

So, the next challenge was finding a publisher. Scary, scary, scary. Sending it out, waiting for a reply – snore – getting knocked back after a year’s journey of “almost accepted”.  Trying again.

With a heck of a lot of luck, I was finally accepted.

I wasn’t naive enough to imagine that I could now sit back and relax.  But the thought of promoting myself was scarier than sending out the manuscript in the first place. Not that I’m shy; far from it. I’m happy to step onto a stage, I’ll easily chat with a group of strangers, but selling myself and the book in the process, well, that had my knees knocking.

The publisher does most of the hard work, but they took a risk on me and I want to help them.  My biggest fear was that they’d regret taking me on. Ah, the insecurities of a writer!

So, how do you feel about promoting yourself? Easy? Terrifying?Any tips?

I found a great little article (link below) thanks to John Kremer, who you can find here: http://twitter.com/johnkremer


May we all be courageous, despite knocking knees.


Filed under authors, blogging, book launch, editors, fiction, launches, life, opportunity for writers, Reading, writers, Writing

I love libraries

Let us just consider, for a moment, the humble library. It is a place full of books.  That fact alone is enough to secure a place in my heart. But wait, it gets better; not only is this place full of books, but the kind people working in the library will let you take these books home free. As many as you can carry. And I can carry a lot!!  Yes, free.  Grab as many as you like and then take them home.

Or alternatively, flop onto one of their couches and read, read, read, until you escape your body. When you lift your head, you will be surprised to notice, through blurry eyes, that you are not in the middle of a desert, out in space, inside the head of a murderer, you are safe and sound in your local library, surrounded by other book lovers.

And gone are the days of the sour faced, nasty, finger-glued-to-lips librarians frowning at the three-year-old having fun discovering a pop up book, or the old guy laughing in the autobiography section, or the teenagers using the computer to look up something for their Art History project.

These days, they’re friendly, they’re warm, they’re even sexy. Who wouldn’t want to hang out in a library?

So, I’d like to officially offer my love and appreciation of libraries and librarians around the world for sharing the gift of books, and making me feel at home.

Hip hip hooray!!

Which library do you love?

My favourite is Yarra Junction.  I’ll be having a launch there of  Milk Fever on Saturday 10 July at 11am. All very welcome. I warn you though, the librarians here are so gorgeous and friendly you may not want to leave!

* Here is a terrific article. Thanks William. Click here to read.


Filed under blogging, book launch, books, fiction, launches, libraries, Reading, writers, Writing

I wish I’d written that…

When I was studying music at college, I went to the movies with a boyfriend, also a musician, and just before the movie began the THX theme started playing. On screen, appeared the words, The audience is listening.

The  music theme is simple. It consists of two notes; one high, the other low. And they slide towards one another.  So, the high note descends, the low note rises, until they become one note.

Beautiful.  Stunning. A whole world of meaning expressed with humble simplicity.

My boyfriend leaned towards me and muttered out of the corner of his mouth, “Damn, I wish I’d written that.”

I didn’t get it at the time. But now, through reading I understand exactly the longing and frustration my friend experienced in the theatre that day. When something is brilliant, and simple, one feels as if it was an object of great value, plainly in front of your feet, for all to see, but overlooked through laziness or inattention. Two people walking along a street, one spots the fifty dollar bill on the pavement, the other only notices the rubbish  in the gutter.

These gems slip by us if we’re not careful.

If a piece of art is complex and brilliant, something in the league of Shakespeare, or Mozart, for example, it is appropriate to simply bow down to the master, and acknowledge that the art has passed out of a mortal’s reach. And that’s okay.

But when a writer, artist, musician finds brilliance in simplicity, one can’t help but feel slightly envious. I wish I’d thought of that, written that, composed that.

There is a part of me that enjoys the experience too. I’ll read the same sentence over and over, letting the elegance of it fill my head, wishing I’d had the foresight to discover such simple beauty. I’ll dissect the sentence. Examine the words from both sides, searching for clues. But sometimes, there are no clues, nothing to discover, just simple prose.

And I’m left thinking, once again, Damn, I wish I’d written that.

Who inspires you to try harder? To reach a little further with your own writing? Who leaves you wishing you’d written that?

For me, it’s Rose Tremain.


Filed under authors, blogging, books, editors, fiction, life, music, Reading, writers, Writing

If books are like babies, then blogs are like lovers

I must admit, dear blog, you are definitely exciting to be around. I love spending time with you. You make me laugh.  You’ve made me cry but I forgive you. When I’m with you I see the world through different eyes. You’re full of fun and occasional mischief, you’re intelligent too. I love your sense of humour and appreciate the way you lift my spirits when I’m feeling down.

But you are very addictive.  Aren’t you?  I’m sure I’m not the first to tell you this.  And I sometimes wonder how faithful you are. I suspect you lavish attention on other people when I’m offline.

So, I’ve decided to cut down a little.  No, I couldn’t give you up completely. You know I’m hooked. But the baby is almost due, and the house need cleaning and someone has to do the day to day mundane household chores. And you certainly won’t.

Did you hear me?


You know the saddest thing is; you won’t even know that I’ve gone….




Filed under authors, blogging, books, I should be editing right now, philosophy, Reading, writers, Writing