Book Review: The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger


What a disappointment! This is the latest in a long line of “classic” books that when I finally get around to reading them, they aren’t worth even a fraction of the praise that has for so long been doled out and certainly weren’t worth the time spent reading them. Continue reading

Should You Have a Blog, Too?


Maybe my immediate answer to this question should be no (after all, I don’t want too much competition for the reading time of the audience out there) but there has been an explosion in blog numbers in the past few years and I’m hardly one to lecture others – after all, I’m relatively late to the party. I’ve only had my blog for about nine months.

But my more considered response is to think about why you are contemplating starting a blog and to make sure you understand what is involved. Here’s some pros, cons and tips that might be able to help you decide. Continue reading

Plot Cliches You Should Avoid Like the Plague


This has happened to everyone so often it’s a plot cliché in itself. You’re watching a TV show or a movie or reading a book and instead of being surprised by what happens next, it has you rolling your eyes either because you saw it coming a long way off or because you’ve seen the exact same plot point in about a thousand other TV shows, movies and books.

Now the list could potentially be as long as the proverbial never-ending piece of string but here’s a few humdinger plot clichés to be avoided if at all possible (and it’s almost always possible). Continue reading

Where Do You Write?


“I am a completely horizontal author. I can’t think unless I’m lying down.”
Truman Capote, The Paris Review, Issue 16, 1957

Who would ever have thought it? Certainly not me. But I have something in common with Truman Capote. Partially. When I’m not working a second job, I do all my writing in bed. Sitting up with all the pillows propping me into position with my laptop on my thighs and my notebook open next to me. When I am working a second job, and my second jobs are always office jobs, I write at my desk on my lunch break and then come home at the end of the day to do more writing in bed. Continue reading

The Myth of Equal Opportunity


In Australia and many other Western countries, the concept of equal opportunity is enshrined in law and embraced by employees as well as most employers. These laws cover protections that, while considered basic rights now, have generally been a result of hard-fought battles in past decades.

These rights include bans on discrimination on the basis of age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy, race, religion, disability and probably a few others I’m forgetting. While they don’t guarantee that discrimination doesn’t happen (that’s an impossibility in a workforce populated by fallible humans – as we all are – and a world that seems to struggle more and more with intolerance), they provide assurance that victims have recourse and perpetrators must answer for their actions.

But sometimes equal opportunity is incorrectly equated with equal ability. Just because employees are equal doesn’t make them the same. So here’s a rather unfortunately lengthy list of things that can make the playing field of employment opportunities more uneven than we would like. Continue reading

Sex Scene from Liberty’s Secret


If you haven’t read Wednesday’s post on the art of writing sex scenes, well, you don’t really need to but it might lessen my embarrassment when you read today’s post.

The following is the sex scene I wrote for Liberty’s Secret, the best of the three romance novels I wrote in the late 1990s and early 2000s (although I never attempted to have any of them published because I realised I wanted to head down a different writing path – now I call them practise novels). Continue reading

Let’s Talk About Sex (and the Art of Writing Sex Scenes)


“If you don’t like sex, don’t write about it. If you are inhibited about sex, don’t write about it. If you are uncomfortable in any way about sex, don’t write about it.”

Emma Darcy, The Secrets of Successful Romance Writing

I’ll add one more to this: if you are bad at writing sex scenes, don’t write about it. Continue reading