novel concepts

It’s both a good sign – in many, many ways – and also very frustrating that I’m actually in a ‘let’s get working on this story’ frame of mind right now, when, for all practical intents and purposes, it ought to be my bedtime right now. And experimenting with caffeinated beverages again over the past couple of days has produced mixed results.

But I’m actually getting excited about how this ‘novel’ – I hesitate to call it that, because it’s still very fragmentary, and has a long, long way to go yet before it’s anywhere near pre-editing completion, but that’s what it ultimately is – is progressing. I have many documents full of bits to tie in, I actually have a reasonably workable storyboard to get my way through. And I, as of today have a ‘first draft’ document that is tying all of these bits and pieces – varying from a couple of hundred words through to several thousand – together, bit by bit.

I have no idea how marketable this story would be. But it’s important to me, and I think it could prove important to other people too. Whilst in some ways it will be a floaty frivolous hippie Brigid Lowry esque (who is pretty much my favourite YA author) tale, it’s also got the key component of a pretty damn sick teenage girl at the heart of it. Sound familiar? Given how rife things like IBS are these days, and the fact that I’ve never seen mention of Crohn’s or colitis in a novel, let alone one for teens who may well feel they are some kind of super-freak (thank god mine didn’t come along until post-adolescence), I’d like to think that there’s potential readership. Groovy reading for everyone but particularly relatable and necessary for the sixteen year old riot grrrl who’s just been told her colon’s pretty much eating itself. There’s got to be a few of them out there.

Plus, the working title makes me giggle and groan in equal measure. cool-itis. Yeah.

On your local bookstore’s shelves…. one day!

for katarina stratford (365 pieces – january 9th)

trying in vain
to name
ten things i hate about you

because when you’re not here
it would be easier

let me count the ways

i hate, i hate, i hate
i hate that you’re not here.


i hate that i’m not there.
(especially this one)



there should be more
there must

and yet

absence is doing
what the wise folks say

this heart grows fonder / brighter / wider
while you’re away

so mostly
as so eloquently is was put
(julia stiles pouting ponytailed relatable riot grrling voice)

i hate the way i don’t hate you

there’s nothing can be done
you’re mine

deal with it, bitch.

eleven eleven (365 pieces – january 8th)

i remember when two times of day mattered more than most
and every day, eyes were alert to them
and the wishes that the seconds carried away with them had variety
except for the one constant
let me stay, let me stay

let me stay


tell me those days aren’t done
i wish

i wish with all my might that i could go back there tonight
with all my heart, i swear upon greenwood graves
crossing over bridges and oceans and time zones and time itself

with all my heart, as it beats
it is full of blood and full of love
because that’s what hearts are for

hello, possums! (365 pieces, january 7th)

When we had a spare moment, and money for petrol, we hit the road. When there’s no air conditioning or fans at home, driving with the windows down is the best way to breathe free, I reckon. Palm out in the air, surfing up and down and coming perilously close to road signs, and the occasional cyclist, helmet dangling and bucking against the handle bars.

“Safety is sexy!” Kelly yells as we pass one by, before bursting into giggles as we round the next bend. Here, it’s bush country, and we’re the only thing moving, us and the gravel in our wake. The forest is silent, still and ancient all around, only the road to show that humans have been here, only fresh roadkill to show that it’s been any time recently.

“That’s five,” Jack says from the back.

“Five what?” I ask.

“Five possums slash rabbits slash insert name of mammalian pestilence here.”

“Five since where, though?”

“Since I started counting, five minutes ago. One per minute, baby.”

“Ew, can you not?” Lauren is behind the wheel, and as such, her word is law. Still, in the rear view mirror, I can see him mouthing numbers as we pass by stretched out mounds of bloodied fur. 

We drive on.

iron sand (365 pieces – january 6)

will o’ the wisp
i shall call it
the dancing black ghosts of a sand handful tossed
into the air, caught on winds from afar
see how they tumble about with their sisters
together, then drifting, then formless, now gone

sun warmed shadows beneath sun warmed feet
and altogether too hot to handle

how the dunes rise and fall
and rise
and fall again, shuddering sand castles brought to their knees
by pounding feet trailing towels and supposed life
among these bleached leaves
the heart of these small mountains

and the sea
and the cliffs
and the sky
and the ferns
and the estuary
    (a moat to keep the wary out
            / no place for the unsure here)

and the way the sandflies dive and 
try to take our blood
it’s yours, take it
there is iron enough for the both of us
so gritty in my sandwich.


a city in shades of grey (365 pieces – january 5th)

that is all the rain-world knows
a palette tainted by torrid prose
but still, that’s the way it goes
even as erotica draws to a close

the world still shines in shades
of grey, not fifty, but thousands
each nuance painted by another hue
unlimited and endless / 

then the sun breaks through

and all the shades of grey
are turned to colour and to light
until time comes when day is done
and blackly falls (twi)light


(not my finest work… i also wrote a shockingly awful sestina today, but let’s not even go there. but STICKING TO THE PLAN.)

labyrinth (365 pieces – january 4th)

I will pick my path around piles
built tall from trees once taller
but still tall enough
an end never in sight
words covering every surface
none could comprehend them all
this number recurring
nine seven
nine seven 

in starlit bookish niches
inching scavengers bending night
into several broken nocturnes
inside, such blissful nonsense.

nine seven eight / you’ll never be late
your friends in the pages will wait and wait and wait.


hospital haiku (365 pieces – january 3rd)

on ward thirty two
needle in my savaged arm
watch a bruise blossom

how the rain falls now
poems for the soul that cries
every waking hour

this is infusion
my arm is a-lure-ing and
meds put me to sleep

taste the bitter pill
feel the clammy summer air
give up / write haiku

air like coffee grounds
a mind full of similes
and disinfectant

january 2 (365 pieces)

january 2

she likes to think she’s representing the every-woman
the one hollywood had her believe in
who wept into tubs of ice cream
and didn’t know what to believe in

it’s sorbet, because here too
she’s part of the disaffected lactose-free city slicker generation
but she digs in the spoon anyway, cold lemon kisses
looking at the opened bottle of champagne
one glassful gone, the rest remaining, fizzling out
between the well-intentioned exercise dvds
the giant christmas-gift chocolate bar
the pine needles on the floor

she doesn’t know / she isn’t sure
what she’s supposed to be celebrating for

a fashionably late resolution; a new project

Well, I’m biting the bullet – I’m going to do it, and if I’m typing it up in a public blog entry, then it must be true. I am going to write a poem or small prose piece/excerpt every day. I swear it. It’s probably going to be impossible, and yet, here I am, saying it. A few years ago, I would have said that it was impossible that I’d have a chronic disease, impossible that I’d be in a long-term relationship with a guy, impossible that I’m  still deciding whether or not to go to the Amanda Palmer show later in the year.

So, let’s do the impossible, and actually get some words out there.

I’ll have to play catch up for yesterday, but be prepared, 365 pieces in 365 days are on their way.