Varuna 2016 Day 3

This was my office today   Dinner last night: Sheila’s smoked cod on baby potatoes with asparagus in egg and cream sauce and roasted tomatoes. Dessert: fresh sliced oranges with toffee praline. Current word count: 14 977 Number of chapters: Part 1 now includes 9 almost full draft chapters, still at about 60% old/40% new but now I’ve…More

Varuna 2016 Day 2

Dinner last night: Sheila’s curry and dips selection. We hardly spilt any. Thanks to the awesome Jake Cunningham at Katoomba Ink for my spontaneous mangled Foucault tattoo. This little bit of ritualised torture was exactly what I needed to get those ol’ creative juices flowing.  I considered a panther at the end because I wanted longer with the…More

Varuna 2016 Day 1

Current word count: 87 084 (Final PhD draft) Number of chapters: 10 Biggest achievement: Arrived at Varuna, this time I am in the Bear Room. I’ve unpacked, stacked my notes, post its, current copy. Dropped into Katoomba and booked a two hour tattoo session tomorrow for the Foucault quote about truth speaking I’ve been planning since…More

Sad news but good feedback

So I just got feedback from the publisher who was reading the book. The sad news is that they’ve decided it’s not quite ready for publication yet but this came with some amazing and formative feedback. Right now I’m putting everything I’ve got into getting the thesis submitted before October so I can deal with…More

Oh Varuna, can’t I just live there?

Varuna, Oh Varuna. It doesn’t feel like words will suffice but I suppose I can convince them to. I was sharing the house with five other women. On the first night when we all met around the open fire, Janisis, the Varuna CEO said to us: ‘It’s not so much the lack of interruptions here,…More

And the winner of the 2014 Varuna PIP is…

Angela Williams! It couldn’t have been more poetic. I was at the first round of the 5×5 Roller Derby tournament, my first ever gig as a tournament head official. Ten participating teams, a ridiculous number of officials. Head reffed an absolutely insane game which ran over time, dealt with the first injury of the season,…More

A decomposing rat – or happy fourth birthday to my prison trauma

There is a dead rat lying in the gap between my psychiatrist’s building and the medical centre next door. It’s a big rat, at least 30 cms head to butt. It’s been there for a long time, skin is rotting off it in silvery shreds, white stick ribs glowing behind and between them. There’s pot…More

Made the Varuna PIP shortlist!

Back in 2011 I decided that I wanted to win this thing called the Varuna Publishers’ Introduction Program. Basically it’s a way to bypass the slush pile and get your manuscript read by an editor at one of the big publishing houses. So I overcame the crippling fear of rejection and submitted. And it seems…More