Possum in Autumn Light

Amongst all the beauty of the Sydney Autumn light, Daisy and I found a very large dead possum in the street outside her school.
Belinda Alexandra, my writer friend and best-selling author, tells me I should have turned the possum over and inspected her tummy as she may have had babies inside the pouch. That’s a tip for you if you ever find a dead possum in your street.
 
Belinda is a goldmine of information on such issues as what to do with your constipated goldfish. I’m in awe of not only her scribe skills but her knowledge of and affinity for our native wildlife. Belinda works with WIRES (Wildlife Information Rescue & Education Service).
 If you see a dead possum and she has babies, you will know because her pouch will be swollen and you will see them moving around. Wrap the whole body in a towel and take the possum to your local vet as soon as possible.
I’m reading Belinda’s beautiful book Golden Earrings at the moment (along with a host of other research books for my current mystery). Ghosts, flamenco, ballet, civil war, gypsies. As with all of Belinda’s books, you learn a lot about life you may not have known before.
I’ve written about Belinda before on my old Tale Peddler blog and you can read that post HERE.
I love Autumn – feeling winter beginning to slink towards Sydney. There’s something so magical about walking the streets and seeing all the old lady terraces glow and shimmer in the light.
These photographs were taken as I went to collect my daughter from school today.
It’s comforting to know that at night, possums are dancing on my roof.
Thanks to this week’s WHO magazine, who described Poet’s Cottage as ‘a perfect fireside read’.
My favourite kinds of books are cosy fireside reads.
But just as Pearl’s beauty masked darkness and rage, Poet’s Cottage harbours horror beneath its elegant facade.’ – From WHO
Enjoy your weekend, keep creative. Thank you for visiting me.
And my beautiful friend Liz ran into someone special in Sydney this week or so she tells me…
 xx

A Story in my head buzzing hard

I spent a day lost in the magical light of Norman Lindsay’s home at Springwood.

Can you beat a drystone wall? I grew up loving them and they still have the power to charm.

Wandering into the bush with notebook in hand, it’s easy to believe Norman’s statues are luring you into another world.

A smaller magic outside my writing shed where my David Austin Prince rose proudly displayed its first bloom.

 

The  magical perfume so divine to savour. Hopefully a good omen for my current mystery novel.

 

And I must let you know of an event I will be taking place in for Better Read than Dead bookshop and Newtown  Library Tuesday 31st July . It’s Talking Heads with Josephine Pennicott. I know this is very advance notice and will update nearer to the time. Places will be limited but you can book through the library online or on  8512 4250. Would love to see all who could make it come along so we can chat murder, mystery, families, bohemians, secrets, Tasmanian sea-fishing villages, writing tips and a host of other fascinating topics. Here is the beautiful Newtown library I  shall be chatting in.
I’m really looking forward to seeing The Mousetrap in Sydney with the Sydney Theatre company performing Agatha Christie’s classic.
 I first saw The Mousetrap in St Martin’s Theatre with David in London’s West End and it remains one of my favourite theatre experiences. (Followed closely by The Woman in Black).
This week I also went to my bookclub at Better Read than Dead to discuss Craig Silvey’s feisty and wonderful mystery novel, Jasper Jones.

My daughter has just told me she has a story in her head and it’s buzzing hard. I know the feeling.
This weekend I am going to try to find some time to sit in the autumn sunshine with these two pink magazines I picked up today. I love the beautiful Christy Turlington’s feature in the gentlewoman (one of my favourite magazines).

This photograph of Johnny Depp was doing the rounds on Facebook and of course I cant’ resist ending this post with his sage and beautiful words. Thank you for visiting me. Stay creative. xx
Remember, murder lurks around every corner…

In Lockdown

Hello, I am away for a week in my mountain bolt-hole to finish the first draft of my current mystery book.

I will be taking my laptop but there’s no internet access so anything urgent will have to wait until I return.

David will be staying at home so we will be writing in different towns.

Last night I saw The Best Exotic Hotel Marigold with Artschool Annie. Critics mightn’t have warmed to this one but I loved it as it reminded me so much of my time in India.

When I am old (and beautiful) I want to stay at the Best Exotic Hotel Marigold for the old and beautiful. A very charming movie with some great depth to the characters.

And for those who missed it, here is the file of my interview with Blanche Clark which ran in the Melbourne Sunday Herald.

I shall add that to my slowly getting there media section. I am very slow with updating my website, But as the character Sonny, says in The Best Exotic Hotel Marigold, ‘ everything will be alright in the end. And so if it’s not all right. It’s not the end.’ Enjoy your week. Keep creative. Thank you for visiting me. xx

Rainbow on a rainy night

Hello,
the beautiful Belinda Alexandra is not only a wonderful storyteller but also happens to be an angel when it comes to helping out wildlife and animals. And so when she requested I help to try to place this very pretty rescue cat, Rainbow I couldn’t resist.
 I’d take her myself except my Smuchie cat would never speak to me again. If you live in Sydney and could provide a loving home for Rainbow, then all the information you need for her is HERE
I was sent this beautiful photo today of Poet’s Cottage at the airport. And friends have been kindly sending me photos of when they see my book out in the wild making her way.
Here’s a link also to a recent radio interview that I did with Penny Terry of ABC Tasmania if you would care to listen HERE.
And apart from that – it is school holidays. I have been busy with playdates, cinema and trying to finish the first draft of my latest mystery.
Tonight it is raining in Sydney. The weather has suddenly become crisp and cold and I’m heading to bed with Agatha Christie. xx
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. – from The Lorax by Dr Seuss

Doing the bed dance

carla - image by carla coulson

I’m so thrilled to announce that I won the photo shoot in Sydney with the amazing Carla Coulson. I’ve loved Carla’s work for years and so I cannot wait to meet her in person (and it’s also perfect timing for a scene in my current book that I’m writing). Although I’m nervous at the thought of being photographed by her – I’m overjoyed that I shall be able to work her work at such close range. Thank you, Carla for selecting me and if you don’t know her work – check out her beautiful new website HERE and I highly recommend all her books if you enjoy photography. xx

Airport Grooviness

Today was one of those teacher’s days off. I played Lego with my daughter all day. I am not a Lego lover in any way shape or form. I’ve just reached the final chapter of the first draft of my Currawong mystery and so intensely frustrating to have to stop AGAIN. But my lovely writing mate, Nathan Burrage cheered me up when he sent through this picture of Poet’s Cottage at the airport. How divine to see it presented and looking so grand whilst I sit at home constructing Lego cars. Thank you, Nathan! xx

A House with a Tale to Tell

One day I will organise myself to do a proper media section for my Blog. But at the moment I’m still doing publicity for Poet’s Cottage and finishing off the first draft of my Currawong book. For now, here is a peek at the article that appeared on my in Sydney’s Sunday Herald.  If you press on this link HERE, you can read it. Thank you to my writing friend, Richard Harland who owns a scanner and knows what to do with it. xx

A House with a Tale to Tell Josephine Pennicott in Herald

Monday with Sexton – Witch of Words

The Truth the Dead Know
Gone, I say and walk from the church,
refusing the stiff procession to the grave,
letting the dead ride alone in the hearse.
It is June. I am tired of being brave.
We drive to the cape. I cultivate
myself where the sun gutters from the sky,
where the sea swings in like an iron gate
and we touch. In another country people die.
My darling, the wind falls in like stones
from the whitehearted water and we touch
we enter touch entirely. No one’s alone.
Men kill for this, or for as much.
And what of the dead? They lie without shoes
in their stone boats. They are more like stone
than the sea would be if it stopped.
They refuse
to be blessed, throat, eye and knucklebone.

MONA, QUOLLS, MEDIUMS AND A CANNY WITCH

I hope you had a lovely Christmas and New Year. We escaped to my favourite place on Earth – my home state of Tasmania – for a family Christmas.
I sighed over houses in Bellerive.
Ate fish and chips at Mure’s
and saw the incredible MONA gallery which has to be one of the most exciting venues for contemporary art in the world. A must-see if you’re heading to Tasmania and really worthy of a blog post of its own. Hats off to the flamboyant David Walsh, who chose to put the fortune he made from gambling into art.
Bless you, David Walsh, for creating such an exciting and rich exhibit for Hobart. Not all of the works were to my taste but that’s part of the fun. You select what you love and hate with the O machine that you carry around; you can also see how other visitors voted. I found the Poo Machine really silly (I couldn’t stay in the room with the stench) and the Vagina Wall wasn’t really my cup of tea, but it’s all interesting. It wasn’t as shocking as I imagined but then I did spend three years at the College of Fine Arts so it takes a lot to rock me. But MONA was way, way better than I had envisaged it would be.
We journeyed to Bruny Island for a few days where we fed wild quolls, watched hard-working fairy penguins and shearwaters return from a day at sea, and explored desolate beaches.
Daisy swapped television and city streets for nature, no shops, very late nights with our wildlife watching and the most pristine air and views imaginable. Not to mention the most luscious food on the planet. If you haven’t eaten fresh Tasmanian raspberries, just-picked peas in the pod and my total favourite of them all – pink-eye potatoes – then you must or bust. I’m always a glutton in Tasmania and the owner of the unit we stayed at on Bruny claimed the food is better because the climate encourages a slow growth which makes all the food tastier.

Josephine Pennicott and Daisy on Bruny Island

 

When you have a parent die so near to Christmas, the day can never be as magical as it would have been. Despite the silence that fell upon us at times there were many treasured moments.
I love the fact my daughter is still so innocent and believes so strongly in the magic of Father Christmas. She did ask David why so many of her toys were made in China. As he paused to consider a reply, she said with a triumphant chorus, ‘I know! It’s because the elves were lazy and bought them from the shops!’
 
It’s always so difficult for me to return from the shimmering beauty of my home state. Returning to Sydney on New Years Eve, we were greeted by the rudest taxi driver you could imagine and the usual long queues at the airport and gritty industrial city streets. ‘Welcome back to Sydney’ I sighed to long-suffering David who knows he is now in for several months of me frantically trying to come up with every reason why we should all relocate to Tasmania. I can spend hours surfing Domain, dreaming as I cluck over the houses and prices. ‘If we sell up here, we could buy a house and a boat in Tasmania’ is my current, cunning lure to my Sydney-loving man.
My daughter is home on school holidays which always impacts on my word count. Just before Christmas, I had the agony of my new laptop falling from the bed, breaking the hardrive and I lost a week of unbacked work on my Currawong Book. Luckily, my characters are patient with me. This book is different in that a lot of it came to me already fully formed – unlike Poet’s Cottage which flowed as I wrote. I knew from the beginning with Currawong Manor, where it was heading and all the character’s secrets. Hopefully, it will work. The first draft is always a vexing time and often it feels as exciting as my Foxtel guide.

Josephine Pennicott and Allison Dubois

And I have launched into 2012 with a very spiritual week ahead. As you can see from the photograph which I posted on my Facebook, I once again was in a VIP audience with Allison Dubois of Medium fame. Alas, no connection was made for me but many interesting and poignant stories from the audience, including a suicide and a murder case which Allison channelled a lot of information through. It’s the second time I’ve been in the VIP audience and although disappointed not to be selected for a reading, it’s always emotional to witness the shock, elation and tearful joy of people who receive strong readings from Allison.
On Saturday I visit renowned witch and tarot reader, Ly de Angeles who has quite a reputation for giving you the hard truth. You can read more about her death prediction to one of her clients HERE. I’m looking forward to meeting with Ly as I’ve read quite a lot about her over the years. She sounds like an amazing character and I’ve wanted to have a reading with her for years. Fingers crossed for this session…
Wishing you a magical 2012. May this year be the one that you follow your Bliss, appreciate the present moment and live the amazing life you deserve. I’m very into Gratitude at the moment and have started a second blog to journal online a year of gratitude. I’m not expecting anyone to follow this one but I do feel it’s important for me to appreciate what is here right now as I tend to always be focusing on the absence. I’ll post a link when I get it up and running. 
Here’s to being present and appreciative in 2012.
Thank you for visiting me. xx

Tattoos

Looking at this wonderful photo of Johnny Depp, which as usual I’ve swiped from the fab site Depp Impact, I’m very taken with not only his dapper vest (love a man in a vest) but his body art. I already have two tattoos – a Caduceus on my upper left back representing writing, printing, healing and on my left leg a daisy for when my flower was born. Since my father’s death, I’ve been toying with the idea of engraving a blue butterfly on my left writing arm as a symbol of transmutation, transformation, celebration, death and new life. Enjoy your weekend. I hope it is filled with blessings and beauty and thank you for visiting me. Here’s some lovely Handel, a piece my father always loved.