Thought-Provoking Fiction


yin yang cricket ball 500pxI thought I’d weigh in with some thoughts about the cricket ball tampering issue. Given my value on 'The Whole News’, I’ve been pleased to see that the latest conversation about this issue has questioned the punishments awarded to the ‘guilty trio’.

I don’t follow cricket at all, and I’m no sports pro but I do have an appreciation of universal/natural laws and I don’t believe that any event is one-sided - either good or bad. It seems to me that there’s quite a bit of scapegoating happening here because we humans, we Australians, are loath to be completely honest or completely responsible.

One compelling (and uncomfortable) universal law is that the world is our mirror, so whatever we see ‘out there’ is also ‘in here’. If we label those men as cheats, we must be willing to own our own cheating nature. Everyone cheats at some time - whether it’s over our tax or something as apparently innocuous as a board game. Can all the people pointing fingers at Steve Smith, Cameron Bancroft and David Warner own their own cheating trait?

Any time we hear blanket statements and generalisations that something is either wonderful or horrendous, another aspect of that same thing is probably being ignored. There is not one nation in the world that is completely admirable - each one has its shameful history, its poor human rights record, its cruelties and stupidity. That includes us in Australia. We have many admirable traits and many shameful traits. Clinging to the myth that we are all fair and good sports and mates and a classless society is simply not the whole story, and this exposé is humbling in a useful way.  

I’d like to acknowledge Smith's, Bancroft's and Warner's courage in owning their misdeed. If they were being cocky prior to that experience they have been well and truly humbled. This is the benefit in the pain: they are learning an important lesson, and while it hurts, it will help them grow and mature far more than if they’d just carried on being 'the golden boys'. Their characters will deepen. They will be more understanding of and compassionate toward others. I hope that David Warner, who is still bearing the brunt of Australia’s righteousness, can hold himself together through this painful period, learn his lesson and keep his head up in the knowledge that not one person who is criticising him is flawless.

Poor decisions, carelessness, shoddy work, mistakes made by rushing - all of these things can hurt us but they are how we learn, evolve and grow, and that’s their value to us.

– Two words that balance abuse, violence, humiliation and paralysing fear.

Rabia Siddique

On Friday my new husband and I were part of the opening ‘ceremony’ for the Professional Speakers of Australia National Convention. We were there as dancers in a fun presentation with the ‘grandfather' of professional public speaking in Australia, Winston Marsh, and his lovely wife Lauris, who has supported both Winston and the speaking industry for many years. For most of the rest of the weekend we were at leisure - a mini honeymoon since we haven't had ours yet after marrying three weeks ago. (It's coming up! Europe this June...)

But we were also invited, by conference convenor Glenn Capelli, to sit in on the Saturday morning session #PSABraveHearts.

Five women shared their stories of extraordinary bravery:

sunset hands love heartLove and infatuation have often been confused. The giddy falling-in-love period is a delight and a rush, and at first it's sad when that stage fades away and we begin to encounter the fires and trials that mature our love. But if infatuation grows into a stronger, steadier, deeper love then the loss is really just a transformation, as anyone who is in or has been in a long-term committed relationship understands. 

festive mealOn Boxing Day we had lunch with friends and one woman, who had just read WANTED: GREENER GRASS, commented that my new novel would be a raging bestseller if it weren’t for the ‘personal growth bits' in the book.

‘People don’t want that sort of thing,’ she said.

Xmas gift

If you’ve ever received a Christmas or birthday gift that was wrapped so beautifully that you didn’t want to disturb the packaging you’ll know that, much as you admired the presentation, you wouldn’t dream of keeping the thing sealed and intact – you just naturally rip into the sticky tape and open it up. 

It struck me, as I was wandering around Woolworths this morning and listening to Christmas carols, that intuition is like a surprise gift.

I was very touched by the turn-out for the launch of WANTED: GREENER GRASS, and especially delighted by the response from the first readers who are now finishing the book, such as:

'Enjoying so far... It's one of those books you have to keep reading... I love it. I found it hard not to highlight sentences I loved. The ending is so up my alley. You asked at your launch if we would like to know what happens next. Hell yes. Do it.'

'Started and finished your book today. Love it.'

Thank you to everyone who came along to celebrate with me!

Mira Tjakraatmadja

The process we went through in finding the right cover for this book was very drawn-out and frustrating! You just wouldn't believe how many concepts we explored before we ended up with the gorgeous cover we now have. I reckon, all up, close to 15 ideas. One of them ocurred to me at 2 o'clock in the morning. I got out of bed and sat on my office floor sketching and cutting and pasting and thought I'd found it! But there was always something that wasn't quite working, whether it was with the cover, the title, or the subtitle. 

Wanted_Greener Grass cover

My new novel, WANTED: GREENER GRASS – A novel about love, envy, and a crazy kind of courage was launched by Dr Rosemary McCallum on Sunday 26th November at The Highway Gallery in Mt Waverley. (We also launched my new song, ‘Looking For Me’)  

I wanted to create something I’m calling ‘Conscious Chick-Lit’: a light romance with some depth. So far readers are saying it delivers that.

This novel is about envy, relationships, and the journey we go on in figuring out what we really want. While I wrote it as pure fiction there are definite overlaps with my own life. If you’ve been following my blogs you’ll be aware of the bizarre ‘life imitating art’ experience I’ve just been through. 

Engagement ring'Greener Grass' was the working title I gave my new novel because I wanted to explore the idea that we tend to think something else will be better than what we currently have. No wonder I was taken aback when the new man came into my life and I found that my life was imitating art: my long-time dream of a life partner who would share my interests was being realised, just as it is for the main character in my novel. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, my blog about the new novel and my seismic life changes is here.)

I've since changed the title of the novel for something more unique since those two words are already in great use (for novels, books and lawn mowing businesses!), and I'll announce the new title soon.