Paul Kelly and Shakespeare: Be still my beating heart

Astute readers will notice it has been a while between drinks on the old Wine, Women and Wordplay.  That’s because the woman (me) has had an… interesting… year.

But lately, I’ve been feeling better (yay!) and last night, I discovered something exists that makes me very happy indeed.  Paul Kelly has set Shakespeare sonnets to music!  And put out an album!

As an example, take this glorious thing:

This video is a fan creation, I believe, but it’s cool and trippy, so I thought I’d include it.  If you find it too distracting, you can find the plain version on the Paul Kelly website (link above).

For those of you poor souls who haven’t come across Paul Kelly, he’s an Australian national treasure (as far as I and his legion of fans are concerned, anyway) who writes great songs, including the one below, which is one of my theme songs and which I might have to have played at my funeral.  (It makes an excellent theme song for all of us who have an inability to say no and a near-terminal case of ‘how hard can it be?’)

There’s also this anthem from my youth:

And another gorgeous thing, which I haven’t heard anywhere near enough and would actually be lovely for a funeral (since my funeral will probably be in a church, I might have to save ‘Dumb Things’ for the wake…)

And that’s just a tiny sample.  He’s been making music since 1974 and he’s not showing any signs of stopping, thank goodness!  If you aren’t familiar with his work, start now.  If you, like me, haven’t listened for a while, enjoy these to start with and go and buy some more!

I hope your year has been much duller than mine, in a good way and here’s to a quiet, lovely Christmas and new year!



Little Gems contest placegetters

So this happened… I’m so happy they liked my little story!

Romance Writers of Australia

Congratulations to our Little Gems prizewinners:

Equal First prize: Courtney Clark Michaels and Imelda Evans

Second prize: Shannon McEwan

Equal Third prize: J. Keneally and Rose Pearse.

In addition, the following authors have been invited to participate in the 2017 Little Gems Onyx anthology:

Heidi Catherine
Kat Colmer
Frances Dall’Alba
Fiona Greene
Jillian Jones
Caitlyn Lynch
Fiona Marsden
Jane Newton
Stella Quinn.

Congratulations to all our entrants – the score required to reach the anthology list was high and as you can see, it was very difficult to separate the stories! Thanks as usual to all our volunteer judges, and the contest manager Lis Hoorweg.

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I have some blogs waiting to be finished, but my friend Clare said this and I agree wholeheartedly and couldn’t have said it better. THROW KINDNESS! DO IT TODAY!


There’s a sign on my son’s school door. It says, THROW KINDNESS LIKE CONFETTI!

I love this. But until today, I loved it in a kind of abstract way. Like, aw, that’s sweet, my son’s teacher is warm and fuzzy.

Today, I started to see it in a new way – as a sage piece of advice worth heeding literally.

In February 2014, Charlotte Dawson tragically suicided after being trolled relentlessly by vile cowards. She engaged with them, and she bore their insults; she took their horrible, baseless epithets, to heart. As most of us would. They were relentlessly evil.

And her life ended.

These people, I have no doubt, murdered her. Not with a gun, nor a knife, but with a weapon that is now accessible to EVERYBODY and at ANYTIME. Without exercising good judgement, it is a weapon that people can wield even accidentally. How easy it is to be sassy and…

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What’s your weakness?

It’s official.  When it comes to garlic bread, I have no chill.

I always cook more than I need and then the only thing that stops me from eating all that I’ve cooked is manners.

But that doesn’t work if there’s no one else there, or the only one who is has already had enough. Then it’s just me and my certain knowledge that my gall-bladder-less body will punish me violently if I continue.

So far, the fear is winning.  But once my stomach has settled, I make no promises about these leftovers.

What about you? Do you have a food kryptonite?

Thinking of applying for Britain’s Hardest Grafter? Read this first.

Stark and scary and brutal and true. ‘Poverty Porn’ seems to be a new thing and I hate it. I hope this wretched show and all like it are soon cast into the abyss where they belong.

EDIT: The original link included here to a post by Jack Monroe, doesn’t work any more, but the post is up elsewhere and you can read it here


TwentyTwenty productions are looking for applicants for a new television show that has been described as ‘Benefits Street meets The Hunger Games’. Are you thinking of applying for the chance to win that staggering £15,000 sum? Here’s what you should know first – and I am probably doing myself out of ever getting another job in television by writing this article but you know what? Fuck it. Because I wish someone had told me.

1. Only one of you will win that £15,000. It’s also classed as ‘earnings’, so you will have to pay tax on it, and National Insurance contributions.

2. The rest of you will be ‘recompensed’ ‘not less than the National Minimum Wage’ for your time on the show. Bear in mind that the people you will be surrounded by, the presenters and camera crew and the ubiquitous ‘celeb’ they’ll roll out here and there, will be…

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How to save your own life.

This. This is why I cannot forgive Belle Gibson or any of her ilk, who make money off desperation with no care for the results. Real life and real science can only tell you the truth. Hard to compete with shiny, sexy lies…


December 11, 2013 was a golden day.  I remember it well, how sunny it was, the light that shone through the window and lit up my children’s hair as I looked at them in the rearview mirror.  I told them we would take them to the beach that night, and we talked about how much we were looking forward to santa, and our annual Christmas holidays.  It was a day so filled with promise.  It was, in fact, a LIFE filled with promise.

We never went to the beach that night.  Instead, the children marked their afternoon being minded by the staff in an endoscopy clinic, while a doctor showed my husband and I a photo of a large, obstructive, and he assured us, definitely malignant tumour in my bowel.  Further scans showed that it had jumped ship to my liver and the fight was almost certainly going to be…

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Hello world!

Hello friends

So, once again I’ve been away from the blogosphere for a while. There are all sorts of reasons, but one is that I had some quite overdue tax returns to do. No, I’m not saying how overdue, but let’s just say that banks keep back copies of statements electronically these days…

But now they are done and with the accountant and that monkey is off my back. Huzzah! So I got up this morning full of pep and ready to do some baking for the fundraising High Tea I am hosting on the weekend. (For 150+ plus people. Yes, I volunteered. No, I don’t know what got into me either.)

But then I looked around my house – something I haven’t done much of lately, between the taxes and just feeding people and trying to keep up with all the other volunteering and carry-on of my general life – and I had to laugh. I have many good qualities, I’m sure, but housekeeping clearly ain’t among them.

My sister is dropping in this afternoon for a flying visit (from another State) and I’m thinking that before she gets here, it might be a good idea to sweep up the dead cockroach from the entrance hall, pack up the 4 teapots and a jug on my bench (for the High Tea), get rid of the decorative spray of cocoa pops on the kitchen floor, deal with the piles of mail before they become a OH&S hazard and give the bathroom at least a lick and a promise.

And I think I have at least two things I need to post to the interwebs on behalf of the Romance Writers of Australia this morning too.

The baking might have to wait.

What are you up to today?

While I was making other plans…

I have several posts on the boil, but the ideas in them seem to be taking a while to uncomplicate themselves and come out clearly.  (It’s not helped by the fact that the scene I’m working on in the WIP is proceeding at glacial speed; I’m distracted.)  So in lieu of a real post, I thought I would share this.

Feel free to ignore the bit at the end about the pandas (or not, Graham is always good for a laugh), but the bit at the start with the dude in the box made me laugh out loud.  If you are at all Whovian, watch and giggle:

Or, if your fandoms are otherwise, check out this Cheezburger post.  It includes 10 quotes from favourite movies and TV shows that are all about picking yourself up, dusting yourself off and pushing on, even if times are tough.  It’s cute and includes a couple of my favourites, namely the Dumbledore one and the one from my favourite fish, Dory.  I quite regularly remind myself to ‘just keep swimming’!

(It’s possible that Dory isn’t my only favourite fish.  I am also very, very, taken with Bruce the shark, but he is less cheerily encouraging and more terrifying.  Although his stalwart efforts to treat fish as friends not food, in the face of his addiction, is admirable.)

Exhibit A, demonstrating both the fabulousness and terror of Bruce:

Hope your week is going well.  Wish me luck with this scene and posts o’doom!

Reality 301 with @heidicullinan

Recently, a disgruntled writer perpetrated a stunningly rude and unwise rant about writing on her unsuspecting readers. Many people (unsurprisingly) took it amiss. The wonderful Heidi Cullinan, though, wrote a balanced and sensible response which deserves reading by anyone who wants to make a living in this art form. Thought I’d share it with you.

Going your own way

I was going to have a rant.  I read something about writing process that gave me the irrits, and I was going to have a rant.

But then I got to thinking (it’s my curse, being able to see things from both sides) and I decided that there was something in the advice, even though it irritated me, so I have been giving it some more, less ranty thought.

There will be a post in it, but in the meantime, the gist of what I wanted to say is:

Do what works for you.

If it’s writing like a mad thing, then editing at leisure, do that.  If it’s writing at the kitchen table after everyone is in bed, do that.  If it’s doing most of the work in your head, then writing the thing in almost one draft, do that.  Whatever gets you to ‘the end’ and makes you happy with the result is what works for you and don’t let anyone tell you it’s wrong.

And now, in celebration of doing things your own way, my latest favourite musical group, Walk off the Earth, with a great a capella cover of Taylor Swift’s I Knew You Were Trouble.

I should have got onto them much earlier, as they were the ones responsible for this clever cover of possibly the most covered song in the history of the internet, Gotye’s Somebody That I Used To Know.

I was amused to discover this little more recent send-up, which made me like them even more:

And finally, perhaps the best example of my point, of doing it your own way, this great cover of the Beatles From Me to You.


Have a great day – your own way!