Black Inc. and Nero: New books ...

Black Inc. and Nero
04.02.16 11:57 am


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Dr Baljit Singh
03.02.16 11:13 am

Knowledge wisdom left behind
HE crosses us the river
In HIS mercy
In HIS way
We meet HIM across the river

HIS doors do not close
They open us forever
All souls together
We meet HIM across the river
Embracing our life
We remember HIM together
HE lives in our heart
HE crosses us the river

Dr. Baljit Singh
Wednesday 18th March 2009

TRUE STORY – 17th century

17th Century
Brown and blue eyes met
Brown boot and suit
Blue simple and elegant
Hands in hand
Church near the roadside

Prayers to meet next day
Meeting next day
Brown belonged to wealthy
Blue to elegance
Nothing much to say
While departing both cried
Lord’s witness
Eyes were crying
If there is one
They promised to meet next life

Dr. Baljit Singh
Thursday 2nd April 2009

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Tasmanian Writers’ Centre: February Events!

Tasmanian Writers' Centre
02.02.16 11:40 am

Portrait © Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

Tasmanian Writers’ Centre HERE for all the events, including Elizabeth Gilbert at the Theatre Royal ...

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Geoff Goodfellow’s Tas Tour ...

Geoff Goodfellow
02.02.16 5:19 am


A Cardinal Sin

I’d best describe myself
       as a submarine catholic

but fifty years ago
       well after my baptism
       my first holy communion
& my confirmation
       i would have likely said –
practising catholic

most friday nights back then
i’d find myself with Father
       kneeling before him
on the carpeted step of the
confessional box
       my little red face
pressed upwards to the grille

& even with that flimsy black
fabric shrouding the grille
       i knew that he knew
who i was
       as much as he knew
that i knew who he was

& after he’d dissolved a few
easy one’s like     i swore
       (he never asked what
particular words i’d used)

& after i’d admitted
i’ve been rude to my mother
       (he never asked what
my behaviour had been)

& after i’d mumbled
i missed mass last Sunday
       (he never asked
if i’d been to mid-week mass)

but always after i’d told him
i’ve had obscene thoughts again
       he questioned me at length –
& lingered over this . . .
       wanting to know each
& every detail

& by george
       i think i’ve finally
worked out why.

Bigger is Better

It is 4:49pm on a mid-June Monday
& i have been scouring
the net & stopped for a break

i read that today Joe Hockey won
the golden toilet brush award
from Parliament House cleaners

the last item i looked over was
an image of Joe Hockey’s $5.4 million
Hunter’s Hill mansion

from my first floor bedroom rental
above St Vinnies on Semaphore Road
i look down onto shiny wet bitumen

at the stainless steel shrouded council bin
stands a middle-aged lady with damp
greying hair & two plastic shopping bags

she is hand fishing for ten cent refundables
in the late afternoon gloom
       she too        needs to find a better job.

• All about the Tas Tour ...


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Dr. Baljit Singh
02.02.16 5:18 am

I do remember
The first day in Australia
At Melbourne Airport
Our friends had come to pick up us

Drizzling at the airport
As if God were saying
Take bath
Before you join us
Hot food with respect and care
Our friends served us
Few years ago had come from India
As if, God had arranged to pick up us

Next morning a turn took
To the main street of Ivanhoe, unknown to us
As if God was walking
To show the place of us
Suited, booted, nervous
Unseen happiness on us
A system was following
Cross the road with us

I never felt
Angels are following
As if, God is everywhere
HE too following us
Today I feel
Australia is of us
As if, God says
Keep walking
Angels continue to follow us

Dr. Baljit Singh
Wednesday, 7th January 2015

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Theatre Royal: Elizabeth Gilbert in conversation with Heather Rose

Chris Gallagher, CEO/Festival Director Tasmanian Writers Centre. 77 Salamanca Place, Hobart 7000. W:
01.02.16 11:44 am

Portrait © Timothy Greenfield-Sanders


18 February 2016

Theatre Royal, Hobart


International bestselling author, Elizabeth
Gilbert, is coming to Hobart in February.

Elizabeth will join Tasmanian author,
Heather Rose in conversation at the
Theatre Royal to discuss her latest book
on creativity, Big Magic and how she
came to write her acclaimed novel,

The Signature of All Things.

A Tasmanian Writers Centre Event

Elizabeth Gilbert in conversation with Heather Rose

“Gilbert has established herself as a straight-up
storyteller who dares us into adventures of worldly
- New York Times

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Leonie Mickleborough LWFHA Coordinator
01.02.16 5:34 am


The Tasmanian Family History Society Inc. will be making an award for a book on family history in 2016.

The Lilian Watson Family History Award honours the memory and the contributions to genealogy and family history of Mrs Lilian Watson who died in March 1996.

The award is for a book however produced or published on paper, dealing with family or biographical history and having a significant Tasmanian content.

A definition of ‘significant’ is contained in the Conditions of Entry.

The competition is open to the general public as well as to AFFHO members.

The 2014 Award was won by Lorraine Dooley for Building on firm foundations: the Cooper family in Tasmania: stonemasons, builders and architects. The winner of the 2015 Award will be announced and presented at the society’s Annual General Meeting at Ross on Saturday 18 June 2016.

The Conditions of Entry and Entry Forms are available from the TFHS Inc. Branch Libraries or by applying to the Family History Award Co-ordinator, PO Box 326, Rosny Park, Tasmania, 7018 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  These forms may also be downloaded at

The closing date for entries is 1 December 2016

We would be grateful if you could please include details in a forthcoming journal or newsletter.

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WIN ... !x Vanishing Villages and Vanishing Cellulite

Paula Xiberras
29.01.16 3:15 pm

• TT has a free copy of The Enchanted Island to give away. Simply email, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) . As usual, first in, best dressed!x


The vanishing of villages might be worth scientific investigation, but in our appearance driven culture, vanishing cellulite, well, that might be considered the priority scientific discovery of modern days.

A mythical disappearing island and a new age treatment for cellulite are both explored in author Ellie O’Neill’s latest novel. I discussed these topics when I chatted to Ellie recently.

Ellie has never been to Tasmania but tells me as we chat that it is on her bucket list. Ellie is originally from Ireland but now makes Australia home, as it says on her blurb ‘initially because of love and now 2 babies later!’ After 6 years Ellie has found it an easy transition to the Aussie weather; ).

Ellie’s new novel ‘The Enchanted Island’ is written in the genre of magical realism in part informed by her interest in Sci fi. The novel is set in a modern day Ireland that includes in its geography the fantasy island of Hy Brasil. For those considering visiting Hy Brasil, well, it doesn’t really exist except as far as we know possibly in the very distant past and in mythology. The island was a fixture on ‘ancient maps’ up to the 1800’s and is located on the west coast of Ireland. A mythology grew around it as the home of a superior group of people like those that lived 6000 years ago on Atlantis. The belief was that Hy Brasil could only be viewed every 7 years and was encased in haze the rest of the time.

In Ellie’s novel ‘The Enchanted Island’, Hy Brasil does exist as part of Ireland with a population says Ellie ‘just outside the radar’ of the mainland of Ireland, something similar to the very real Aran island. Ellie says her novel bends reality like one of her favourite authors, Stephen King does in his books.

Ellie’s heroine as we meet in the early part of the novel is a little self-centred until she learns to adapt to the more relaxed style of life when she is sent to Hy Brasil by her boss to obtain a signature of one of the residents to allow a bridge to be built between the island and the mainland.

As well as becoming a little less focused on herself in general along the way she does however discover a cellulite banishing product and believes quite unselfishly that she must explore this cure for womankind.

Experimenting on herself she tells us that ‘the after photo was such a thing of beauty that even Michelangelo would want to travel in a time machine to capture it for some ceiling art’.

‘The Enchanted Island’ by Ellie O’Neill is out now published by Simon and Schuster.

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Dr Baljit Singh
29.01.16 5:53 am

Secluded sits on his chair
Surrenders to outside forces
Also to the beautiful one
As if, life is the name of seclusion
Afraid of everyone

Time ago this disease caught him
As if, known to everyone
Out of clothes
Urban, and to the rural ones
Less than less to everyone
Sitting in his chair
He remembers in good heart everyone
He has become a ‘let go member’
Who once upon a time
Was in the heart of everyone
‘The secluded one’

Dr. Baljit Singh
Wednesday 27th January 2016

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“Most Hipster Publication in Australia” - New Issue Launched

Ben Walter
28.01.16 7:47 am

The fifth edition of Australia’s quirkiest literary journal was launched in Tasmania this week.

Only three copies of The Picton Grange Quarterly Review are printed for its readers. These are
offered on social media – the first three people to respond to the launch announcement receive the
copies for free, providing they are willing to keep to the rules: to read the journal within 48 hours,
before offering it up for free on their own social media platforms.

“We were described by one Twitter user as ‘the most hipster publication in Australia’ – I’m not sure
how I feel about that,” says the editor, Tasmanian writer Ben Walter. “But I’m pretty sure we’re the
only one with a visitors’ book.”

The fifth issue features two pieces by the poet and academic Pete Hay. The journal is a short read,
narrow enough to fit in a DL envelope, and projects a distinctive design by Nick Gross.

“I like to think that the copies keep circulating forever, giving us a wider readership than the
mainstream literary journals,” says Walter. “But they probably just end up down the back of people’s

Further information is available at: h ttps://www. f acebook . com/ p ictongrange/

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February new releases from Black Inc. and Nero

Black Inc. and Nero
27.01.16 10:31 am


Here are the February new releases from Black Inc. and Nero ...

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Passionate Palatial Page-turner

Paula Xiberras
25.01.16 6:33 am


‘A grand piano burns in the night, a séance promises death or forgiveness, a fire rages in a snowstorm, a painter’s final masterpiece inspires betrayal, a child is given away’.

The above blurb on Julian Leatherdale’s first novel ‘Palace of Tears’ immediately captures the reader.

This debut novel is a Gothic fiction masterpiece. The gothic genre, Wikepedia tells us, usually comprises elements such as ‘horror, romance and the demise of characters’ ironically perhaps with ‘a pleasing sort of terror’.

‘Palace of Tears’ includes these elements and more.  There is horror with a childhood tragedy, forbidden romances, the loss of some characters and the recovery of others, all with a suitable level of fear and terror. There are ghosts imagined and perhaps some real, a burning piano does so with drama and a visual artistic masterpiece is created.

The main protagonist is Angie who we meet as a child and who, through the novel grows and changes.

The novel demonstrates that even in chaotic circumstances there is evidence for the existence of fate as events unfold that redress the balance and achieve reconciliation for characters past mistakes.

The fictional ‘Palace of Tears’ is based on a real palace of tears, Mark Foy’s hundred year old Hydro Majestic, a cliff clawing and crawling hotel on The Blue Mountains. 

In the novel Mark Foy is represented by showman or ringmaster Adam Fox who like an Australian Barnum creates a cornucopia of curiosities, including mermaids to his mysterious mountain mansion as well as entertaining celebrated stars such as Dame Nellie Melba.

Julian is a fan of Kate Morton and Thomas Hardy, the latter who he says he finds inspiring for his ‘mastery of landscape, employment of outrageous plots and incredible coincidences’.  Factors Julian employs in the novel and in the tradition of gothic fiction Julian ‘withholds the big dramatic reveal from the reader until the very end’ and what a reveal it is. You might find yourself re-reading some earlier chapters to see the evolution of the surprise.

Mirroring the palaces position on a physical precipice are the characters themselves teetering on their own psychological precipice, the echoing effects of the childhood tragedy.

On a social level the novel also explores the attitudes and reactions of the time and setting on the novel on the German residents of Australia. Julian is particularly sensitive to their plight as he subconsciously recalls his mum once dated a German boy.

Julian is familiar with the landscape of his novel as he himself lives in the Blue Mountains. With a background in theatre (Julian visited Tasmania for a Uni drama festival performance from which he fondly remembers the friends he made). Julian is from a theatrical family with his parents actually meeting in their amateur theatre group in St Kilda.

‘Palace of Tears’ is out now published by Allen and Unwin.

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Avery, a Free Bird

Paula Xiberras
24.01.16 4:35 am


Author Charlotte McConaghy hasn’t been to Tasmania as yet but with an aunty living here is keen to visit. Last year we chatted about the first instalment in her new science fantasy series ‘The Chronicles of Kaya : Avery’

The title of her book and eponymous character, Avery, has a name that means ‘to rule with elf wisdom’ and also means a ‘counsellor, sage and wise’.  These definitions fit well in this science fantasy novel, even though the characters that populate the book are not exactly elves but mythical beings nevertheless, Avery is also wise and provides good counsel.

Charlotte’s work is a combination of science fantasy and fairy tale and an amazing fact about this novel, Charlotte confides in me, is that the prologue visited her in a vivid dream! In fact Charlotte said ‘it laid out the story structure’ completely to her.

It would seem fate then that she should write this story down. The poignant theme of the novel is a rule of the world her characters inhabit, that people are bonded to their one true love throughout life and when that one true love passes away so do they. A rule that most do not rebel against until Avery, whose one true love has died rekindles romance with another, who convinces her that instead of giving up on love she will absorb that love and go on to share that love again.

Charlotte said the story is’’ pure storytelling and involves ‘simplicity’ in telling very human stories but because they are in the science fantasy genre they can involve storylines that might be impossible in the real world. The science fantasy author has devices (dare I say at their fingertips) where they can include melodrama and use metaphor to tell their story and even stretch reality with characters like eight fingered princesses!

One of the threads in the novel includes a possible reference to the fairy tale of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ with Charlotte’s characters Rosalyn and Thorne, literally, the Rose and her (much beloved) Thorn.

When I mention this reference to Charlotte says she didn’t consciously make the connection but agrees with Morris Gleitzman’s idea of the ‘magic spaces’ where author and reader meet in their shared interpretation of a text.

Avery is out now published bv Random House.


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Dr Baljit Singh
24.01.16 3:08 am

Oh my beautiful
Oh my merciful
You are so beautiful

I am that kind rose
Who never blossoms
If you keep me with you
You would not need any smell
Oh my beautiful
Oh my merciful
You are so beautiful

You may not find me
I may not find you
You are so beautiful
Somebody might find you
Oh my beautiful
Oh my merciful
You are so beautiful

You may gather pearls
You may gather stars
Still I say to you
I am your little star
Oh my beautiful
Oh my merciful
You are so beautiful

Dr. Baljit Singh
Thursday 14th August 2008

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Hester and Harriet, Spier-ed into action!

Paula Xiberras
23.01.16 10:29 am


I recently had a chat with English author Hilary Spiers, to talk about her new book ‘Hester and Harriet’. Hilary says she hasn’t visited Australia as yet but has visited ‘our cousin’ New Zealand where she spent 5 months in 2006.

In Hilary’s novel ‘Hester and Harriet’ she has given us some unique heroines, two widowed ladies that in spite of their reaching, er, hem, retirement age, they are finding a new lease on life away from their comfort zone of home baking and relaxing reading, to solve a local, extending to international, mystery. The names of the characters intentional or otherwise give a clue to the ladies nature. Hester means bride (which she was and maybe will be again) and also means ‘star’ and Hester is most definitely following her own star! Perhaps ironically her sister’s name, Harriet means ‘home ruler’ and as we have stated although she with her sister rules home and hearth it would seem she’s not ready for the sedentary life just yet. As Hilary says ‘sometimes life takes you where you least expect it’.

The novel opens with the ladies working on an excuse to prevent them having to spend their Christmas with their not so close cousins. Fate intervenes when a chance encounter with a seemingly lost young lady and her baby appeal to the ladies soft hearts and compassionate gesture to take the young lass and her baby home, to pamper a little or at least give the basic essentials of food and shelter. It is only when strangers start calling at their house asking after a young woman that the ladies find something more devious is afoot. With the help of their young nephew, who is also adverse to a family Christmas, and a loveable local homeless gentleman in the finicky and fabulous Finbarr, they do some sleuthing.

Hilary has turned our perceptions of retirement age people in more of a reverse than the ladies accomplish with their car, giving hope to all of us that an exciting, casual career life really can start after formal work ends!

Hester and Harriet is out now published by Allen and Unwin.

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In night we cannot

Dr Baljit Singh
22.01.16 5:13 am

In night, we cannot
In life, we tell truth and lies
Dreams surround us in nights
Real is life

I did not know before birth
After birth I realise
Birthdays and marriages beautiful
Some truth, some lies
Imagine if no one to surround
How would be life?
No one to listen, truth
No one to lie

Long reach are dreams - why
Dreams surround us in nights, real is life
I walk on stones; I try making life
Some truth, some lies
Do not get into depression; enjoy life
After putting hair dye, she could colour her life
I too looked into the mirror
I said, death is not life

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Baljit Singh
20.01.16 5:30 am

A successful life has certain norms
Without them we do not pass through
They roam around unnecessarily
With grace marks, we let them through

Englishman – The Director
He is successfully taking us through
On some loafs of bread they live
Embarrassments and humiliations
They live through
When in love
One-sided love they lived
Never happened ‘love affairs’ they pass through
They never get to know what they are going through
The remembrance of his beloved has let him through

Through the gate of success
Where many are living
Why let them out?
With grace marks, we let them through
Dr. Baljit Singh
Saturday 2nd January 2016

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The Oldest Foods on Earth ...

via Rob Walls
18.01.16 3:49 am


“This is a book about Australian food. Not the food that European Australians cooked from ingredients they brought with them, but the unique flora and fauna that nourished the Aboriginal peoples of this land for over 50,000 years. It was to try and understand why European Australians have almost entirely rejected these foods for over 200 years that I wrote this book.”

We celebrate cultural and culinary diversity, yet shun the foods that grew here before white settlers arrived. We love ‘superfoods’ from remote, exotic locations, yet reject those that grow in our own land. We say we revere sustainable local produce, yet ignore Australian native plants and animals that are better for the land than those from Europe.
In this, the most important of his books, John Newton boils down these paradoxes by arguing that we need to eat the foods that will help attune us to this land and, he believes, play a part in reconciling us with its first inhabitants.

Along the way, he documents the devastation visited on the indigenous inhabitants by our forcibly removing them from their food sources and the foods that had nourished them.

Newton also shows how the tide is turning. European Australians are beginning to accept and love the flavours of our own foods, everything from kangaroo to quandongs, from fresh muntries to the latest addition, the magpie goose.

And working with and learning from indigenous Australians, new and sustainable industries growing these foods are taking root around the country.

Newton’s argument for this change is made more persuasive by recipes from chefs such as Peter Gilmore, Maggie Beer, and René Redzepi’s sous chef Beau Clugston who show that cooking and eating the native fruits, meats, herbs and spices that sustained people for millennia is nourishing – and delicious.

This is a food book that will change the way you look at Australia.

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Genetic Generosity

Paula Xiberras
17.01.16 5:28 am


Last year I spoke to the lovely and accomplished author Polly Samson from her home in the UK. We were chatting about her latest novel ‘The Kindness’.

Somewhere tucked away in Polly Samson’s novel ‘The Kindness’ is a conversation among characters, one being a medical researcher who explains some work he is doing on ‘Capgras Delusion’, named for the French doctor who discovered the condition. ‘Capgras delusion’  is a disorder in which a person holds a delusion that a friend, spouse, parent, or other close family member (or pet) has been replaced by an identical-looking impostor’.(Wikepedia)

Although a literal, physical replacement of an ‘identical looking imposter’ does not occur in the novel however, metaphorically a character in their actions might be seen as those of an ‘imposter, even if those actions were done as the title suggests ‘as a kindness’

The novel is about the love story of the aptly named Julia and Julian, their union seems to be a marriage of soulmates. Julia arrives at the marriage after an unhappy partnership with a man who keeps her captive, in the same way he keeps his pet falcon that he gets Julia to regularly takes out for its and her brief moments of freedom (An interesting fact is that Polly did a course in falconry to prepare for the detailed description in this part of the novel). It is at one such moment of freedom that Julia meets Julian, hauntingly the background of their meeting features the sound of the falcon dealing with its prey, perhaps an ominous warning of how their love might cause them to ‘devour’ each other.  The couple marry and go on to achieve perfect happiness with the eventual birth of their daughter Mira. The young baby Mira is described by Polly in an example of the most perfect imagery that is a hallmark of Polly’s writing. In describing the newborn Mia as angelic in how ‘her fingers play an invisible harp’.

The happiness at Mira’s birth is juxtaposed by incomprehensible sadness when Mira becomes ill with a life threatening illness.

Which brings us to the main theme of the novel, a discussion of what is family? It is true stories from Polly’s own life that inspire, inform and attempt to answer this question. As well as her mum and dad, another male would be a father figure to Polly in her life. In her novel Polly considers that genetic parenthood is only one of the ways of becoming a family.

A tender symbolism employed in the novel is a parent treasuring a baby shoe. This event was taken from her own life when she discovered that one of her own ‘fathers’ had kept one of her baby shoes. In the novel Julian retains the baby shoe of his daughter Mira and one day when she is all grown up shows her the shoe.

“the little shoe was red leather scuffed to pink across the toes she sat on his chair and pulled the strap back and forth through the silver buckle fixed it at its usual hole (and) looked up and smiled at him.”

This scene perhaps illustrates that all families, however they are formed have moments of displacement but beneath it all there is the fundamental desire to fit together and ‘The Kindness’ reminds us that worthwhile relationships require work and many attempts before they, like the shoe fit into place.

‘The Kindness’ is published by Bloomsbury.

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Aussie Fiction Queen’s Musical ‘Rain’

Paula Xiberras
16.01.16 5:33 am


Di Morrissey hasn’t been to Tasmania for a year or so, she tells me, when we chatted last year, but adds she is a regular visitor with her good friend Robert Dessaix, a Tasmanian resident.

Before I have the chance to ask her Di informs me ‘many others have’ asked her my intended question of will she write a book set in Tasmania? Di and her partner may even bring their motor home ‘lady’ to Tassie for her research.

Di is well known for meticulous research and seamlessly incorporating information and history about Australia in many of her novels, making them educative as well as entertaining.

Even so, Di says although she enjoys incorporating history in her contemporary fiction she does so without being ‘preachy’. Di has the knack of travelling to different places and being able to absorb the essence of the places ‘like blotting paper’ and interpret them in the Morrissey way.

In her new latest novel ‘Rain Music’, Di weaves romantic stories around the major focus of the novel, an exploration of the relationship of siblings. It was a challenge for Di who is an only child but one she achieves. Di tells me many readers have already told her of how well she has constructed the siblings story as they encounter some life changing experiences in their travel, one such experience is to catalogue the letters of early settler, Sister Evangelista, a nun sent from Ireland to teach in the new country. Di had the idea for incorporating this young woman’s story into her book after travelling to James Cook University for her research. Looking out from Sister Evangelista’s former convent room at the university, she imagined the thoughts of the young woman in a new and strange land. Later Di was to discover a coincidental connection with the sister whose full name was Sister Mercy Evangelist Morrisey! Sharing a surname as they do, Di couldn’t resist making her namesake a pivotal character in her novel.

Di who has wanted, or known she would be a writer from age 7, has now written 23 books and is warmed by stories of readers who have inherited their collection of her books from their own mums. This familial connection fits in well with the family theme of ‘Rain Music’.

Rain music is out now published by Pan Macmillan Australia.

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Black Inc. and Nero: Mother’s Day new releases

Black Inc. and Nero
15.01.16 1:00 pm


Here are the Mother’s Day new releases from Black Inc. and Nero. Click on each book cover below to download a media release.

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Hobart’s Halcyon Days

Paula Xiberras
13.01.16 5:57 am


Well what is one of the most fantastic nostalgic holiday presents for Hobartians has finally arrived … ‘The day in Hobart’ colouring book!

The author Brady Michaels, who had been living in Melbourne for some time, was approached to produce a day in Melbourne colouring book. As a previous Hobart boy Brady requested he do a book on his home city too.

At a time when a plethora of these artistic, interactive, pastime paperbacks are proliferating, this one is a uniquely gorgeous gem.

Created by Tassie boy Brady Michael, who grew up in Queensland, after his Mum who was born in Geeveston travelled with her husband to a cane farm in MacKay.

Brady now resides in the Southern Midlands where he and his partner are renovating on a seemingly idyllic piece of land that includes ‘a church, cottage and schools’. Brady’s return to Tassie is after 17 years in Melbourne where he coincidentally happens to be while we speak.

To be more precise Brady is situated in a pop-up colouring stand presided over by large blown up pages of his other colouring book ‘A Day in Melbourne’. The Melbourne public are invited to approach, take up a pencil and preferably put down a whole lot of stress by collaborating in the colour in; they are encouraged to even add details and extra features if they like.

Brady did a similar event albeit on a smaller scale at Tasmania’s state library where participants were encouraged to colour in the Salamanca page of his Tassie colouring book. He wants people to be ‘instinctively creative and feel free to break the rules and follow their imagination’.

This book, says Brady is a little different from other colouring collections on the market as it doesn’t include repetitive mandalas but instead features the icons of the city. For Brady who lived on the Glebe and regularly walked by the railway fountain it has etched a poignant image into his mind. He suggests, that with its plentiful seating and indeed in many other icons illustrated in the book, artists should take the book out, sit in front of their preferred icon and do some ‘live’ colouring.

Brady tells me he had two interests at high school, art and creative writing. He did consider doing a Bachelor of Fine Arts but saw it as more academic than his type of art which was more veered to the commercial side of things. So Brady opted for journalism and completed a Bachelor of Arts degree instead.

Brady says people need a reason to leave their busy lives’ in front of a screen’ and colouring just happens to fit the bill or should that be ‘page’.

A day in Hobart is out now, published by New South Press.

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Dr Baljit Singh
11.01.16 6:34 am

New insights, new horizons
You brought me inside here
Nervous, but happy
My body flew in dreams here

New challenges, new learning
The rain kept me going here
I did not see drought
I flew neither by wind, nor by air
Self-sustainable, amiable
I got her warmth here
Some mornings and evenings in despair
It never went air

All my imaginations
God make us pair
Someone loves me
New insights, new horizons here

Dr Baljit Singh

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Understanding Jesus and Muhammad

Paul Arnott, Acorn Press
11.01.16 4:57 am

A book to be launched in Melbourne this Wednesday suggests that ‘the future of our world may well depend on how the interaction between Christianity and Islam and the civilisations that have emerged from them plays out.’

The book by Dr Bernie Power is called Understanding Jesus and Muhammad and compares the lives and teachings of Muhammad and Jesus.

He holds degrees in Science, Arts and a theology, and uses the original texts of both Islam and Christianity to compare the teachings of arguably the two most influential individuals who have ever lived.

Bernie Power, who has spent over twenty years working with Muslims in Asia and the Middle East, says that ‘the goal of the book is to open up the lives of Jesus and Muhammad and to present the similarities and differences between them. The reader is encouraged to explore widely and to discover more about these two important personalities and the faiths they have inspired.’

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Transportation Press ...

Rachel Edwards
11.01.16 4:48 am


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TWC: Elizabeth Gilbert Coming to Town! February 18th, 2016

Tasmanian Writers' Centre
11.01.16 4:27 am


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Ten principles for fair contracts

Australian Society of Authors
06.01.16 1:53 pm

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Majestic Margo

Paula Xiberras
15.12.15 6:09 am


The name O’Donnell derives from the word ‘Domhnall’ which means ‘ruler of the world’ and indeed Irish singer Margo O’Donnell has ruled the world in her reign as Ireland’s premier country and Irish singer for 52 years.

I was fortunate to speak to Ms O’Donnell about her career and her new book which recounts humble beginnings and joy in the simple but fundamental things of life. To this day Ms O’Donnell maintains that same humility and holds high in respect her fans who she prefers to call friends.

Nowadays Margo is semi-retired and living life in ‘the slow lane’ she tells me. She doesn’t tour anymore but still does concerts in Ireland and will always sing and record. Margo looks back fondly at days on the road taking her music around the world including Tasmania.

Margo O’Donnell remembers her visit to Tasmania in 1994 as ‘a bit of a whirlwind’ section of her Australian tour and recalls the beauty of Tasmania, a beauty at the time she wasn’t able to appreciate fully due to rushed rehearsals and to her falling ill while on tour, later she would discover she had a rare blood disease called dyscrasia.

Margo grew up in Ireland when the only phone to access was the one at the local post office and to do so you had to book it in advance! This may seem unduly inconvenient but there was a certain charm about this childhood as well.

When Margo was born she was slightly sick and so her parents wished to baptize her in the hospital, with no Godparents around a young girl who had been admitted to hospital for her appendix to be removed and that had befriended Margo’s mum Julia was asked to be Margo’s Godmother and her Godfather was a gentleman visiting his wife in the hospital. Still today, Margo keeps in touch with that gentleman’s daughters who call her ‘sister’.

Margo’s own dad was her hero,’ a great and special guy, wonderful,’ a man who, for her ‘he hung the stars’ this wonderful man she also describes as being ‘on loan’ and explains how the family lost him too soon. Her dad also had what her mum called ‘the cure of evil’. He was the seventh son of the seventh son, this relationship granting the person the ability to facilitate cures. She recounts the story in her book of how her dad cured a woman of a facial problem and how he also cured Margo herself of a growth on her finger.

When her father passed away he asked Margo to take care of the family, she being the second oldest and with her elder brother being not well at the time. It was a big call for the young girl but one she took on gladly. Taking care of the family meant fi Margo had to put aside her plans to study nursing and for marriage and family to make a career out of her natural talent for music. The first band Margo joined was The Keynotes, an Irish showband. This year Margo celebrates 52 years in music, she admits she has walked some dark roads to find the light at the end of the tunnel but that her strong spiritual beliefs have seen her through those Difficult times. Long may this lovely lady’s reign continue!

Margo’s autobiography is out now and published by O’Brien Press (Ireland).

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Moonah Arts Centre, Krissy Kneen: Just Write It, and Between the Sheets ...

Rachel Edwards. First published November 25
14.12.15 1:30 pm

Pic from Crikey HERE, where there’s a good read ...

Just Write It AND Between the Sheets, two days of writing workshops with award winning Australian novelist Krissy Kneen.

Krissy Kneen is both prolific and award winning when it comes to writing and she is returning to Tasmania to offer two days of workshops on January 9 and 10 at the Moonah Arts Centre.

She is the award-winning author of Steeplechase, Triptych, an erotic adventure and the Thomas Shapcott Award-winning poetry collection Eating My Grandmother. Her most recent novel, The Adventures of Holly White and the Incredible Sex Machine, was published to critical and popular acclaim earlier this year.

She is also considered the best contemporary writer of erotica in Australia and day two, Between The Sheets, of the workshops will be dedicated to writing sex, and finding a unique erotic voice.

Day one is Just Write It and it will focus on negotiating the discipline of writing and writing a first draft within a year.  Krissy always has a book project on the go and is always asked how she manages to write books so quickly. In this workshop she will provide participants with advice on planning their books, and their writing practice and how to make sure the creative project is both started and finished within a year.

Tickets are available for $170 for each of the one-day workshops or $280 for the whole weekend with delicious food included.

The event is a wonderful opportunity for writers in Tasmania to hone their craft in these two popular areas of writing.

The workshops have limited places.

For further information contact Rachel Edwards – .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Tickets are available here –

TESTIMONIALS from the attendees of last Tasmanian workshop run by Krissy:

“Beyond my expectations, I learnt so much from the exercises”

“Fabulously ground and professional and honest”

“Excellent, direct and tasteful”

“I was overflowing with ideas and I felt strangely liberated”

And the food …

“Divine! Beautiful food”


“Awesome food!”

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Dr. Baljit Singh
14.12.15 4:31 am

Dear God
My eyes were, dried out
Why did you fill them again?
Anyway, I like it when it flows
It nourishes me again

In her remembrance
Yet uncertain
What really impressed her?
She loves me again
Dams and rivers wait for rain
They cannot dress up again
My music, my poetry has reached a point
I don’t think; it would impress her again

She is a true love; she is above her gain
But I dress up usual, I want to revive again
Sing songs with my heart, and cry
I want to feel true love, dear God, to impress her again
If dams are dried out elsewhere
Fill them again
Very fortunate I am
You have filled my eyes again


Dr. Baljit Singh (above)
Friday 11th December 2015

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