Saturday, 11 November 2017
"The arts have become spectator sports. We read, we watch, we peruse, we listen. And if we ‘do’, its value is measured in money or clicks or fame. And I think that’s wrong. [...] The act of creating is an end in itself, whether you are ‘good’ at it or not. It should be done for its own sake."
Friday, 3 November 2017
Thursday, 2 November 2017
Wednesday, 1 November 2017
Tuesday, 31 October 2017
Monday, 30 October 2017
Tuesday, 10 October 2017
When they were all very young my father's little sister Patricia, who he adored, married his best friend Ken Cook. They were all involved in the Sydney theatre scene and then the early years of television. Ken wrote a book called Wake in Fright, which more than fifty years later has just become a TV miniseries.
|Patricia between pre-beard Dad and Ken|
Even before those early Christmases, I suspect, Dad and Ken drifted apart. When I finally realised how close they'd once been, I couldn’t make it make sense - they were polar opposites, if you discounted the beards. Even there, I remember Ken’s as a wild shaggy bush while my dad's was meticulously maintained.
The stories Dad told about his and Ken's young years were hard to reconcile with my urbane, cautious and reserved father. What could possibly have persuaded my law abiding dad, who wouldn't go within metres of anything that looked like a drop, to walk home late at night across the arch of the Harbour Bridge after visiting girls on the North Shore? Nothing but the influence of Ken's large personality.
Dad also mentioned once that he'd taken blood soaked clothes to a laundry in Kings Cross and the proprietor hadn't batted an eyelid. You could never be sure if Dad was just trying to get a rise. At any rate, I didn't take the bait, so although I had every reason to believe it was true, I didn't know why.
Sometime after Ken died, a print of the film of Wake in Fright was found. All of us - my mum and dad, Ken's kids and my sister and I - turned up to the Chauvel to see it. Maybe it was there that Dad mentioned the weekend or so he spent with Ken in Broken Hill.
Dad abhorred violence, and if he explained why they decided to go roo shooting I don't remember. At any rate, they'd been told there was good shooting on a particular farm, but when they got to the farmhouse, the farmer was at the pub. Not to worry, the pub was on the farm too. Once tracked down, the farmer had just one question for them: 'Do you know what a sheep looks like?' 'Yes,' replied the two city boys. 'Well, don't shoot them.'
After an unsuccessful day, Dad and Ken returned to the pub to look for a lift back to town. A couple of locals would take them, but they still had some shooting to do. The ute only had three seats so Dad had to sit in the tray. The locals bagged animal after animal, cutting off the tails, leaving the rest of the carcass, and tossing the tails on top of those already bouncing around in the back … and Dad.
Finally, the shooters were ready to turn for home, after a drink of course. If you didn't drink with a man, there must be something wrong with you. The four of them stopped at every pub between the farm and Broken Hill, and pubs weren’t in short supply. And of course at every pub, they each shouted a round. In the wee hours of the morning the shooters dropped them on the main street. They were both well and truly worse for wear and Dad was soaked in roo blood. And for being good sports, they were handed a roo tail. Carrying it betweeen them, Dad and Ken weaved their way in the direction of Ken's lodgings.
But the local cop recognised drunk and disorderly when he saw it. For sure, they were spending the rest of the night in the lockup. He looked them up and down. 'That's a very nice roo tail you've got there, boys.' Even in their inebriated state, they knew the right answer. 'Why officer, would you like it?' And they were allowed to stumble home.
Then there was the breakfast barbecue at which all the other guests turned up with a slab of beer or a bottle of whisky and when that was finished, discussed who could get what from home, itemising their stash with ‘that'll have to be drunk, too.' One of the women had come for a couple of weeks' holiday but during the several years that had passed had never been sober enough to get herself on a train – a real life John Grant. And there might have been a story about the local cop offering directions to the two-up school, but I didn't write it down and can no longer be sure if I remember it or read it.
By the time I got around to asking for more, the fragments were mixed up and unreliable. Disease white-anted Dad's studied civilisation and grasp on the past and present. On his lucid days, he often thought we were in his childhood home, and while he seemed to recognise me, I suspect I was his sister. And that was okay. I know how much he loved her.
More about my dad - Diversity at heart of design success
More about my dad - Diversity at heart of design success
Friday, 29 September 2017
Sunday, 20 August 2017
Wednesday, 16 August 2017
Read more here.
Saturday, 12 August 2017
Tuesday, 8 August 2017
Saturday, 5 August 2017
"What it isn’t is action packed, what it isn’t is pacey- what it is, is a very interesting , thought provoking fly on the wall look at the experience of an everyday surburban family of four, as they struggle to ‘wait out’ the pandemic of ‘ Manba’ that is sweeping the globe.
I would encourage fellow readers to pick up ‘ Before this is over’, for a gentle, intriguing and thought provoking read."
Monday, 31 July 2017
Monday, 24 July 2017
We also don’t have a generator."
Neither do I.
Wednesday, 19 July 2017
Read more here.
Wednesday, 12 July 2017
"What is scary to think, and I think many readers will consider this, is whether something similar to this scenario could possibly one day become a reality. This isn’t your zombie apocalypse kind of stuff, this is actually a more terrifying prospect!"
Wednesday, 5 July 2017
Sunday, 2 July 2017
Nice way to end a weekend -
"Like many, Hannah’s motivation is in protecting those closest to her and Hickie does an amazing job of bringing that need through in her writing. Hannah’s love and fear are so palpable that it pulls the reader through the story, making it a truly intense reading experience."
Read full review here.
Thursday, 29 June 2017
A Canadian perspective!
Review on Clues and Reviews -
"This is not a zombie book or a sci-fi novel; in fact, the entire time I was reading, I was filled with anxiety as my mind raced with the probability of this scenario. This book was so much than a novel of realistic horror; this novel is a character study in human survival, the nature of people in crisis and the lengths people go to in order to protect their own. If nothing else, this novel will leave you thinking."
Wednesday, 22 March 2017
Monday, 6 March 2017
Friday, 27 January 2017
A gorgeous new cover for AfterZoe from my friend, the very talented Tanis Dennis! Rolling out into online stores over the next few days. Evocative and beautiful. I'm looking forward to holding a paper copy in my hands. Thanks Tanis.
(Also in the next few days on Amazon as a paperback and orderable in bookstores.)