I have always loved writing. From the moment I had a crayon in my hand and realised I could make a mark, I have been scribbling things everywhere. As a small child, I discovered that crayons melted and I made a mark by watching the colour dribble down the outside of the heater. Then I learned that it was not okay to make marks on the house, so I became a little more covert in my mark making. I pulled my bed out from the wall and drew on the walls behind the bed.
I wrote my first book when I was in primary school. Unfortunately, my excitement was quashed by mother as she felt that it was too formulaic. I continued writing in my journal, letters and stories. It was a long time after that I decided to pursue writing more seriously.
My writing is published in The Victorian Writer, the Hunters Writer Centre Grieve Anthologies, Shaping the Fractured Self: poetry of chronic illness and pain (published by UWA Publishing) and other anthologies as well as:
- my newsletter on Substack
- a blog series on my mother’s journey from prognosis to death
- School News
- The Flemington Kensington News
- and more
The following manuscripts are my current ones I am working on with the aim to have them published.
The Needleworker’s Daughter (working title)
This is inspired by my First Fleet convict ancestor Ann Sandlin and her daughter Elizabeth Boulton. It asks the question of what decisions a mother may make for the betterment of their child’s future.
The idea for The Needleworker’s Daughter came to me while I was reading a book about my ancestor. It was a book problematically titled ‘Founders of Australia’ and I followed the trail of Post-It notes that gave me the scant facts of my ancestor, a female convict. At the time, my mother had recently died, and with her loss at the forefront of my mind, I began to speculate about my ancestor’s relationship with her only surviving child, a daughter, whom she left as a ten-year-old at the first Australian orphanage. Questions began forming in my head: How is it possible for daughters to know the younger personas of their mothers or ever understand the decisions they were forced to make? This story plagued me and would not leave me until I began to write to find the answers to my questions.
Don’t be Weird (working title)
A third manuscript that I am working on is set in modern day and asks the question: what is it to be normal?
My new manuscript has the feel of The Office meets a school library. I took up improvised comedy at The Improv Conspiracy during the second year of COVID (2021) and it has played a large part in injecting comedy into my world. I’ve always loved a bit of absurd comedy and this plus drawing on my time when I worke in a school library has informed the new manuscript.
Dry Lands (working title)
This is aimed for the young adult reader is set in the near future and asks the question: what happens when the rain stops?
Juliet’s Blanket (working title)
This is a picture book that explores sharing and another about being responsible. I am planning to illustrate it and am having a play with that at the moment.