Thursday, August 24, 2017


I've been feeling a bit weepy today and I know why. I've been writing books, and that's always a decent part of my malaise. When I say writing books though, I mean today I've been actually making books and writing in them.

It's a very different process to sitting at the lap top for days, months, years on end. Hand-writing a book is more personal than a blog or twitter post. It's more personal than a year of track changes exchanges between editor and me. I know all this. Try writing twenty of the buggers out by hand. This was my intention; to make and write something ridiculously over-personal, a human printing press, over and over again.

Still I was ambushed today, quite unexpectedly, by the act of hand-writing a tale for the public to read. These little concertina and booky book critters are for the Southern Art Trail, and they are my (strange) contribution to a visual arts exhibition. The stories are about death, decay and rebirth, and focus on the amazingness of fungi and the inter web of mycelium.

'It's the first year anniversary that is the hardest,' an older friend said to me just after Bob died. 'That's the tough one.' She said that after that, your memories gentle and become warmer, not so much pain, not so raw.

Today, the weather is the same as it was last year on this day. It was sunny last year. Ridiculously beautiful. Calm. The winter sun slanted through the car window as I read his text message when I came into range at the end of the Broke track. Everyone thought Spring was happening ... and then she died in the early hours.

Today I hand wrote some books about the day I was driving through the forest listening to Bach's Kyrie and had somehow reached Selina's hospital bedside in my mind. It turns out that she saw me and I saw her and we were five hundred kilometres from each other.

It's just coincidence that I am writing these books today. Yesterday, I cruised the bookshelves in Tom Collins House and found the book she wrote 'Ring the Shed'. I held it up to the light and stared at her name.

Tonight, good friends are having a knees-up for her in Albany. I wish I could be there. But know, I am hand-writing about that day in the forest, dear lady. I think you would understand what I am trying to say x


  1. Thank you for sharing with us the grains and grist of what moves you deeply.

  2. Book art is a big thing over here. I have not got my head around it because the art is seen as bigger than the words. Hours designing the pages, seconds writing some crap. Yours are my way round, the words are the most important part, and the pages follow.

    1. Really interesting Rachel. I was asked to take part in the (Visual) exhibition as a literary response and it did my head in for ages. In the end, I thought that seeing as I write books, I will write some books!
      Physically making books is a lovely process but in the end, it is the text, the blood and guts, that matters for me.

    2. The typos are funny. Not cut, paste or delete.
      Handel's 'Requiem' made it into a few copies before I remembered that he'd written 'The Messiah'. Adds to the intrigue, I guess :¬)

  3. Mycelium rears its beautiful head...

  4. Lovely books. Hope you are OK. Drop in if you are in the vicinity Sarah. XX