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Writing Spirit
Interests: Food, family & stories
Recent Activity
Have you ever met someone who you instantly connected to? I met this woman Tess Woods at a HarperCollins Books Australia event. We talked for about five minutes (mostly about dessert). In that time I found out that she lives in Perth, her background is Eqyptian, and that she has... Continue reading
Posted Oct 8, 2016 at The Tribal Tomato
In a few days, it’s going to be a year since my mother had a stroke. She lost her ability to speak clearly, to put words in order, to say her loved one’s names. She forgot how to read, and for months, was confused about where everything was in her... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2016 at The Tribal Tomato
On Monday 6 June I will be running a full-day workshop on writing annual reports. It will be held at Writers Victoria, Melbourne. A well-written annual report tells a powerful story – but many people see the process (and the final product) as dry and boring. Learn to deliver concise... Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2016 at The Tribal Tomato
For years, I have been trying to get my kids to eat fakes. They titter at the rudely-named dish (it’s pronounced ‘farkhes’), and then promptly reject it. Fakes (brown lentil soup) was a staple dish of my childhood – along with other traditional Greek legume dishes including gigantes (‘giant’ beans)... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2016 at The Tribal Tomato
It's hard yakka being a creative writer. You need to be discipled. You need a hefty dose of faith. And you need to ditch the voice that says it's not good enough. What about talent I hear you ask? A bit of that doesn't go astray, but it's not top... Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2016 at The Tribal Tomato
Our son turned 13 recently – and all he wanted for his birthday was a new room. It’s seems a big ask, but given the circumstances, it’s a reasonable request. Ten years ago, he was allocated the smallest room in the house simply because he was the youngest, least assertive... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2016 at The Tribal Tomato
You know it’s a comfortable friendship when you don’t panic even though your friend of 30 years (give or take a few months) is coming over to brunch and there's not much in the pantry and fridge. Herein lies the dilemma: Do you rush out to the supermarket and buy... Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2015 at The Tribal Tomato
There's another clever photographer in the family - our son Emmanuel is a finalist in the Moran Prize 2015 Secondary Years 7-8 category - with a portrait of our neighbour Stefano taken at last year's pizza party at ours. If Emmanuel wins, there will be extra pizza and bubbles going... Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2015 at The Tribal Tomato
‘The first person to see snow gets $5,’ says my husband. It’s a cheap shot to raise the energy levels in the car, but it works. The kids perk up, start paying attention. It’s grey and misty up on the mountain; even the denuded trees look cold. Our 14-year-old would... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2015 at The Tribal Tomato
What happens when five internationally-recognised street artists, an Ethiopian cafe owner, a truckload of helpers and a volunteer with an extraordinary vision get together? Read this article I wrote for the City of Maribyrnong to find out. Mural image courtesy of David Russell Photography. Image of Brian MacManus (left) by... Continue reading
Posted Jul 27, 2015 at The Tribal Tomato
Want to write but don’t know where to start? Are you lost in a mess of notes and half-started pieces? Or are you holding onto your manuscript because it just might not be good enough? Join the other procrastinators and get on the road to redemption. Part bookish boot camp,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2015 at The Tribal Tomato
A vintage unicycle, a rare 1960s Giorgio Armani Crocodile skin handbag, a 1950s wooden skateboard, a 1970s handmade white velvet drinks bar and a full glomesh vintage dress... These are some of the things Danielle Hazen has collected over the years. And now she's finally got the space to house... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2015 at The Tribal Tomato
It’s hard going working out what to eat most days. The weather, what’s seasonal, and what’s at hand in the fridge and pantry all play their part. Today, it’s cold outside – rain threatens. It's the last day of autumn and we're talking about lighting the fireplace for the first... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2015 at The Tribal Tomato
Pink-eared Ducks, Stilts and Raptors: Amateur birdwatchers Ros and Thomas Nataprawira wax lyrical about the thriving feathered bird life in Melbourne's inner-western suburb of Footscray. Check out their story in this post I wrote for the City of Maribyrnong News. Image by Thomas Nataprawira Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2015 at The Tribal Tomato
I live with a very clever photographer. He takes most of the photographs for this blog. He does it all very quietly. He doesn't get paid. And he doesn't complain. But now, he's gone and done it again. This time, he is one of the finalists for the Head On... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2015 at The Tribal Tomato
It's a long way from Burma to Braybrook. Recently, I had the honour of meeting Jacob Thang, an enterprising refugee from the Chin State who has set up his own business in a bid to help himself and others from his community find work. Read about it in this post... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2015 at The Tribal Tomato
For weeks. tomatoes from our garden had been sitting in a large glass salad bowl, ripe and fulsome. As I used each one of them up, and my husband George stopped bringing more in, I put them in progressively smaller bowls. Finally, there weren't enough to fill a bowl -... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2015 at The Tribal Tomato
I love stories. And more and more, my work involves hearing them, recording them and sharing them. Does my work help pay the mortgage? It's getting there. No one said it's easy running your own business. The perks? Being home when my kids come back from school. Hearing rosellas from... Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2015 at The Tribal Tomato
I remember crusty just baked bread, rubbed with juicy tomato flesh, swimming in a puddle of thick green olive oil…. So you want to write about your life, or that of a loved one, but you’re not sure where to start? Maybe you have a few ideas, a bunch of... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2015 at The Tribal Tomato
Some years ago, I took my mother away for the weekend. It was hard work getting her to agree to come – the idea of putting her needs over those of my husband and children was anathema. Still, once I’d booked the accommodation, she begrudgingly agreed. I’d planned all sorts... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2015 at The Tribal Tomato
'I could make some pizza dough,' says neighbour Joe. 'I think George will take care of that. He's become quite the expert on making large quantities of pizza dough. You know, what with having a wood-fired oven and all...' I'm inviting Joe and his family to what is fast becoming... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2014 at The Tribal Tomato
Some weeks ago I visited a number of op shops in Melbourne's west - what I found there surprised even this seasoned op shopper - if you want to know what treasures I found, and who Wendy the Wonderful is, just click on the links. Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2014 at The Tribal Tomato
It’s been two and a half years since my lovely friend Katerina passed away. It seems less, and more, than that. I miss her ready laugh, her wit, her cheeky spirit. But, selfishly, most of all I miss our easy friendship. Often she comes to mind unexpectedly – when I... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2014 at The Tribal Tomato
The smell of Marlborough cigarettes; the din of soccer finals on TV; the sound of dice against a backgammon board - my lover and I let it all wash over us as we drink cognac in the little seaside café. Outside, the rain pelts the muddy pot holes of the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2014 at The Tribal Tomato
Our lives are so big. Where does one start in making sense of and recording one’s life story? Digging up memories and stories, and finding the overarching theme or themes of your memoir, is like digging into soil – you never know what you will find. I believe you need... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2014 at The Tribal Tomato