Full Moon Rising

We’ve just passed the Spring Equinox in Sydney. You can feel the garden hum when I walk out in the morning to go to the writing shed with all the new colourful floral growth.

I celebrated the Equinox with my women’s spiritual group. As much as I dread the coming summer, even I have to admit this is a lovely time of year with such a celebratory feeling and a whiff of hope in the warmer air. Look at the amazing full moon that I photographed over my garden this week.

The full moon brought me good fortune as I am happy to say I’ve made the shortlist again for the annual Sisters in Crime Scarlet Stiletto Awards to be held in Melbourne in November.

I’m thrilled to have shortlisted as every year the bar gets higher for me to compete. The competition is intense. I have been fortunate enough to previously win many categories including two Kerry Greenwood  Malice Domestic awards and also the coveted shoe itself for first prize in the Scarlet Stilettos. I am hoping one year I will join the few authors who have won a pair of shoes (once you win a pair you are no longer eligible to compete).

This year my good writing friend Liz Filluel is also on the shortlist and so fingers crossed for both of us. I was told by my tarot reader earlier in the year there would be a trip to Melbourne and so this looks as if she was accurate again. I keep meaning to update the blog I did earlier on my reading with her as I’ve had several people interested in exactly what she said but I’ve been so busy with writing. Watch this space.

I’m pushing very long hours on Currawong Manor at the moment as my deadline is October and there’s still a few plot strands to be woven together. I’m really enjoying my time at Currawong Manor and not looking forward to when I have to bid my characters adieu again. There’s been lots of 4am starts and lovely mother friends taking my daughter into their homes during the holidays so I can put the hours in which I’m eternally grateful for.

It would be lovely to take a family holiday and relax. l keep having fantasies of balmy tropical islands or long cruises where I don’t have to do anything except read, write and watch the water go by. Such as this image which I’m drooling over.

I enjoyed Jennifer Byrne’s interview with JK Rowling recently on ABC promoting Rowling’s new book, The Casual Vacancy. I thought Rowling seemed very down to earth for the surreal world she now occupies.

Daisy has just discovered Harry Potter and is totally smitten with Rowling’s creation. She can’t go anywhere without her invisibility cloak and wand.

Along with many last week, I was shocked and deeply saddened by the rape and murder of Jill Meagher, a beautiful young girl who harboured a dream to be a writer but was taken far too early to fulfil her ambitions in a cruel and savage manner. And this death needn’t have occurred – our prison system obviously needs an overhaul.

All women of this country are never safe when they walk the streets alone. We know that there could be lurking predators at any hour, waiting their chance. But when you have a system that releases multiple offenders – the judge had said the man had no hope of rehabilitation – then what hope have we got when the monsters are allowed to walk free?

Out of respect for Jill’s family I won’t say any more but the very least we can do for this young woman’s memory is work to GET THE LAWS CHANGED.

Here’s one of my power spots to share with you near the Spring Equinox. I love to visit here and soak up the energy. No, it’s not my back garden but I feel that I have a connection to this enchanted place. I’ve been blessed with many story and book ideas in this magical garden.

Wishing you joy, beauty and balance in your life and creativity this coming week.

image of garden source HERE

Saints, Tarot and A Haunting Tale

Feisty, determined, caring for impoverished children and education. Willing to take on the established church for her beliefs and loved writing letters. So much to admire in Saint Mary Mackillop. Blessings to all who work in her name on her feast day.
Mercury is now in a more favourable position and the tarot card I selected today is The World which represents achievement and success.
I am reading Kate Mosse’s The Winter Ghosts and somehow the book followed me into my dreams. I dreamt of a man from a small village who was afraid to go to war.
The best books are like restless ghosts and follow you even to Morpheus.     


Everyone’s experience is different but in my case when giving birth I really wanted to die about half-way through and by the end I was amazed that more women didn’t die in labour. Well, a lot of women around the world do still die in childbirth. I’m not a fashionista by any means but if I had to pick a favourite model it would be Christy Turlington Burns – more for her interest in comparative religions and her good works than her catwalk skills.
This Mother’s Day, Christy is trying to get the dreadful statistics out about maternal mortality. A woman dies every 90 seconds through complications of pregnancy and 90 per cent of the deaths are avoidable. They are really sobering and scary figures. Christy also experienced a difficult birth when things started to go wrong. Through rejecting all the normal trappings of Mother’s Day, Christy helps to advance this cause through silence. As you can imagine, she has been heavily criticised for suggesting mothers disappear on Mother’s Day and reject their normal celebratory activities. Find out more about this cause at her site, EVERY MOTHER COUNTS HERE.
And if that’s not to your interest – you can find a really snappy and snazzy interview with funky mum, Helena Bonham Carter HERE.
If funky Helena doesn’t make you swoon (I LOVE Helena) then perhaps all the incredibly hip, stylish and too-cool-for-school mums at THE GLOW might inspire you. These mothers are not my reality of motherhood at all, I have to add. How I wish…
In my fantasies my loving child bestows kisses upon my brow in my incredibly boho styled home, whilst I lounge around in my designer jeans.
My reality is heart palpitations whilst trying to juggle school-runs, playdates, lunches, notices, homework, domestic artistry and writing a book sandwiches in between it all.
Whatever type of mother you have or are – Happy Mother’s Day for Sunday 13th. Motherhood – the most important and hardest job of them all. And if all else fails – you can
always dress as a swan like Helena.
‘BONHAM CARTER: Yeah. You do go back. I think if you’ve got a child, you’ve got to show them how to love life and what the goods things to do are—you know, the perfect mouthful. That’s what I’m really into showing them. How do you make the perfect mouthful? Different textures, different temperatures—ice cream and hot chocolate. So we like making potions and so you mix it all up. I love that. And I love what I get back from them, which is imagination and play.’ – taken from Interview magazine

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.


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.


My father died on the 4th of this November. By some strange coincidence a character in Poet’s Cottage dies at the same time. I’m not surprised because the creation of Poet’s Cottage and my father’s own journey with his cancer ran parallel lines at times. Even as I sat at his deathbed holding his hand, I was checking final proofs. My father, who supported my writing so much, would have approved.

My father was a huge inspiration on my writing and shared my love of words and nature. 

My most grateful thanks to all the Gibson Ward in South Hobart Nursing Staff, Dr Robert McIntosh and Millington Funeral Home for their loving care.

I know my father’s spirit survived his physical death. I will always look for signs from him and have had a couple already including the most remarkable dream of a blue butterfly the night following his passing.

On the 8th of November, four nights after my father’s death, I woke at 3.28 am and wrote the following lines in my journal.

Communion, time for communion, the moon is waxing. Full, round and glowing. Like bones or the eye of a benevolent god. All ships must come to port. I am not afraid. For you are here. The moon outside the window is whispering not the end of the tale but the beginning. Singing the ancient lullaby to ensure a smooth and sacred passage over uncharted waters to the land of the ancestors and the eye of the moon. I do not sleep. I think of all the great ships who must come to port, the first and last breath and the sweet moments in between. Between the bones, the rigging, lies sacred flesh, a will to live and a blackbird drinking in a birdbath. It is 3.28 am. My father at 4 am took his last breath and swallowed the luminous moon.

Thank you to all the kind people who sent me emails and love and my friends who realised where I had disappeared to. Thank you to Pan Macmillan for support and of course my wonderful agent, Selwa Anthony. It meant a lot to my family that my father was so happy with all the good news surrounding Poet’s Cottage and my other book being picked up before he died.

There are no goodbyes between my father and myself. At the same time, I feel shattered and grief-stricken and thankful that I am checking the proofs of Poet’s Cottage. Words, stories, books have always been my refuge. I will hide myself away in the writing shed and hope my heart will start to beat a little stronger as the days pass.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, — I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! — and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning