Teaser Tuesdays: Jewels and Ashes – Arnold Zable

Posted on 3 August 2010. Filed under: Teaser Tuesday | Tags: , , , |

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


The Vistula was a retreat from the tumult, a comfort, full of stillness, such a contrast to what was happening in the bowels of the city. Ferries and barges steamed by, and the vast expanse of water hinted at broad estuaries that meandered into oceans he would one day cross to gain access to a new life.

Jewels and Ashes – Arnold Zable

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How Aussie are You?

Posted on 18 June 2010. Filed under: Memes | Tags: |

I pinched this meme from Reading Upside Down who found this meme at Tina Gray {dot} Me, who apparently borrowed it from Flawed. It’s like the circle of life, but with blog content rather than cute animated Disney characters. I don’t normally do meme’s but I thought this was fun.

Well, here we go, I’ve highlighted all the one’s I’ve completed and added some extra comments in brackets here and there (you might want to remove these if you copy & paste the list for your blog). I have a score of 53/102, which is way better than I expected but there were very few sport questions.

How many of these things have you done?

1. Heard a kookaburra in person. (My OH had his steak stolen from his plate one night while camping and then fended off another one with his elbow when it tried to take some from my plate)
2. Slept under the stars.
3. Seen a koala.
4. Visited Melbourne. (I live in Melbourne, does that count?)
5. Watched a summer thunderstorm.
6. Worn a pair of thongs. (Can’t say I enjoyed the experience)
7. Been to Uluru (Ayer’s Rock)
8. Visited Cape York.
9. Held a snake.
10. Sang along with Khe San. (only on the radio)
11. Drank VB. (possibly but I’m not prepared to mark it as I don’t know, I’m not really a beer drinker)
12. Visited Sydney.
13. Have seen a shark.
14. Have used Aussie (and NZ) slang naturally in a conversation.
15. Had an actual conversation with an indigenous Australian (Aboriginal).
16. Eaten hot chips from the bag at the beach.
17. Walked/climbed over the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
18. Used an outside dunny, and checked under the seat before sitting down. (We had an outside dunny when I was young, I recall using it with great trepidation and I know we had red back spiders in that general area)
19. Seen Chloe in Young & Jackson’s.
20. Slept on an overnight train or bus.
21. Been to Sydney’s Mardi Gras
22. Have gone bush-bashing.
23. Taken a sickie.
24. Been to see a game of Aussie Rules football.
25. Have seen wild camels.
26. Gone skinny dipping.
27. Done a Tim Tam Slam.
28. Ridden in a tram in Melbourne.
29. Been at an ANZAC day Dawn Service.
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.
31. Held a wombat. (Had a baby wombat climb into my lap and try to snuggle in for a sleep in Tasmania)
32. Been on a roadtrip of 800km or more.
33. Seen the Great Australian Bight in person.
34. Had a really bad sunburn.
35. Visited an Aboriginal community.
36. Seen a redback spider. (far too many times)
37. Have watched Paul Hogan.
38. Seen Blue Poles in person. (and wondered why I didn’t do the same thing, we could use the money)
39. Wandered barefoot in the bush/outback.
40. Eaten Vegemite.
41. Thrown a boomerang. (it didn’t come, I’m a bit incompetent)
42. Seen the Kimberleys.
43. Given a hitch-hiker a lift.
44. Been to Perth.
45. Have tried Lemon, Lime and Bitters.
46. Tried playing a didgeridoo.
47. Seen dinosaur footprints.
48. Eaten Tim Tams. (it doesn’t say ‘enjoyed Tim Tams’ so I do get to bold this one, I don’t actually like them)
49. Been to Darwin.
50. Touched a kangaroo.
51. Visted the Great Barrier Reef.
52. Listened to Kevin Bloody Wilson.
53. Killed a Cane Toad.
54. Gone to a drive-in theatre. (my aunt lived next to one so as well as actually attending one we could watch the move from her driveway, I saw Herbie, The Love Bug from her driveway)
55. Have read and own books by Australian authors. (I’m a big supporter of the Australian writing industry)
56. Visited Adelaide.
57. Know the story behind “Eternity”.
58. Been camping. (We were camping when the kookaburra took my OH’s steak)
59. Visited Brisbane.
60. Been in an outback pub.
61. Know what the term “Waltzing Matilda” actually means. (I used to know this, but I’ve forgotten)
62. Gone whale watching.
63. Listened to Slim Dusty
64. Own five or more Australian movies or TV series. (If I’m able to include the Countdown Reunion, two series of Aunty Jack (I also have the record of Aunty Jack which I bought in the 1970s) and 3 series of Chaser then I just squeak it in)
65. Sang along to Down Under.
66. Have stopped specifically to look at an historic marker by the side of the road. (mostly dragged over to look at historial markers)
67. Eaten a 4′n’20 pie.
68. Surfed at Bondi.
69. Watched the cricket on Boxing Day.
70. Visited Hobart. (attended a conference in Hobart)
71. Eaten kangaroo.
72. Seen a quokka.
73. Visited Canberra. (for my sins)
74. Visited rainforests.
75. Used a Victa lawnmower.
76. Travelled on a tram in Adelaide. (I missed out on this one as I was the driver and met the tram at the other end, they only travelled one way)
77. Used a Hills hoist.
78. Visited Kata Tjuta
79. Used native Australian plants in cooking.
80. Visited the snow.
81. Chosen a side in Holden VS Ford. (they’re just cars, why the debate?)
82. Visited the desert.
83. Been water skiing
84. Read The Phantom.
85. Visited Parliament House.
86. Gone spotlighting or pig-shooting.
87. Crossed the Nullarbor.
88. Avoided swimming in areas because of crocodiles.
89. Listened to AC/DC.
90. Called someone a dag.
91. Voted in a Federal Election.
92. Have been swimming and stayed between the flags.
93. Had a possum in your roof.
94. Visited the outback.
95. Travelled over corrugated roads.
96. Hit a kangaroo while driving. (No, thanks heavens)
97. Been well outside any mobile phone coverage.
98. Seen an emu. (had an emu try to pinch our lunch. Did you know you only have to be taller than them to scare them off?)
99. Have woken to the smell of bushfires.
100. Subscribed to RRR.
101. Patted a pure-bred dingo.
102. Seen the Oils live.

If you use this meme on your blog, come back and leave a comment, or go back to Reading Upside Down and leave a comment there.

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2009 Aurealis Awards

Posted on 24 January 2010. Filed under: Awards | Tags: , , |

Australia has some absolutely awesome authors and there are awards during the year to recognise their brilliance. The first one of the year is the Aurealis Awards and when I read the list of finalists I was stoked to see Trudi Canavan on the list and then waited with bated breath to see how she went, naturally she won the Best Fantasy Novel category and I’ll see if I can get her to say a few words here but I won’t promise anything.

Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine was mentioned twice as two of the short stories they’d published were nominated, that issue must have been a bumper of a magazine as they were both from issue 40 and one of them won. It’s a great little magazine and I have a subscription. I’ve managed to collect almost all of the 42 issues and they have some wonderful stories. They only publish quality work, I know as they turned down my poem even though I’m friends with the Slush Mistress of the time. I’ll have more to say about them in a future blog when I talk about slush piles.

Congratulations to the winners of the 2009 Aurealis Awards!

The winners were announced at the thirteenth annual Aurealis Awards ceremony at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts in Brisbane on Saturday 24 January 2010.

And the Winners are (taken from the Aurealis website):

best science fiction novel
Andrew McGahan, Wonders of a Godless World, Allen & Unwin

best science fiction short story
Peter M. Ball, ‘Clockwork, Patchwork and Ravens’, Apex Magazine May 2009

best fantasy novel
Trudi Canavan, Magician’s Apprentice, Orbit

best fantasy short story – Joint winners
Christopher Green, ‘Father’s Kill’, Beneath Ceaseless Skies #24
Ian McHugh, ‘Once a Month, On a Sunday’, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #40, Andromeda Spaceways Publishing Co-operative Ltd

best horror novel
Honey Brown, Red Queen, Penguin Australia

best horror short story – Joint winners
Paul Haines, ‘Wives’, X6, Coeur de Lion Publishing
Paul Haines, ‘Slice of Life – A Spot of Liver’, Slice of Life, The Mayne Press

best anthology
Jonathan Strahan (editor), Eclipse 3, Night Shade Books

best collection
Greg Egan, Oceanic, Gollancz

best illustated book/graphic novel
Nathan Jurevicius, Scarygirl, Allen & Unwin

best young adult novel
Scott Westerfeld, Leviathan Trilogy: Book One, Penguin

best young adult short story
Cat Sparks, ‘Seventeen’, Masques, CSFG

best children’s (8-12 years) novel
Gabrielle Wang, A Ghost in My Suitcase, Puffin Books

best children’s (8-12 years)
short fiction/illustrated work/picture book
Pamela Freeman (author), Kim Gamble (illustrator), Victor’s Challenge, Walker Books Australia

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What is Australian?

Posted on 13 January 2010. Filed under: Rant and Rave Time | Tags: , , |

This is a topic that’s been examined in so many ways and by so many people and I really need some help here. I’d really like other people to tell me what they think. People tell me I’m unAustralian because I’m not interested in football, or in fact any kind of sport, but how is that possible? I was born in Australia and I’ve lived here all my life, my parents were both born in Australia as was one of my grandparents. I live here and was born her I must be Australian but according to those people I’m not. Let me give you some more thoughts and bring you to my questions.

I have two subcategories on my website called Australian, one under Teens and one under Adults. I haven’t examined the categories too closely, if something appears to have come from an Australian author it goes there and that’s all very well and good but each book could easily go in one or more categories. John O’Grady (AKA Nino Culotta) could be in either Adult or Teen and could also be under Humour while some of his books could be under Memoir. They are very fluid and it’s sometimes challenging to know where to put them. The problem comes with people like Kathy Lette and her husband, Geoffrey Robertson QC. Both were born in Australia and every reference I can find on the web refers to them as Australian but it always puts the word expatriate in the same phrase. So, judging by the use of the word expatriate, they’re Australian but they don’t live here.

And here is my problem. I’ve been handed an idea on a gold platter and I’m trying to make it work, I’m going to put a lot of effort into it this year and I hope it will work because if it does it will promote Australian authors. This is where the problem lies, it will be restricted to Australian authors but should they be people who are currently living in Australia or are expats part of this definition of Australian? The idea will be to support and promote the Australian writing industry and I just need a little help with the definition of “Australian Writing Industry”. Can I include people like Kathy Lette, Geoffrey Robertson or Merridy Eastman even though they’re not living here? Is that helping the Australian Writing Industry? Will that mean Australian writers and their support network, publishers, agents, booksellers etc will benefit or is it just benefiting those authors?

Anyway, I’d really appreciate your thoughts. You can comment here on the blog, on Twitter, Facebook, but only if you know how to find me because I don’t know how to give you directions, you can even email me. Everything you say will be put into the thought processes and help the final decision.

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