I’m a Scandi TV addict.  Ok?  I am. Everything Nordic, no matter what the topic—and let’s face it, it’s usually the topic of crime—I’m on it. I watched Midnight Sun, smorgasbord-style, all I could eat, back-to-back episodes, could not help myself, in one sitting.  I will gorge myself, without a shred of guilt, and also without a shred of regard for how badly written some of this stuff is.Read More →

I love the number three. Dramatically speaking, it’s a miracle worker. Three is the smallest number of elements you need to create (or break) a pattern.  And your audience likes patterns, almost as much as they like it when a pattern they learn is broken. Three is a destabilising number, too. Three is a provocation and a conflict all by itself. Three is born to tell stories. Count on it.Read More →

Even if I never do half the things I plan on doing this next year, I will be silly busy and having me a hoot! So, the “how to read more” list was a little Facebook meme that came my way this morning, and I’m sifting through the advice, making plans. Read More →

I once watched a huge python in the rafters of my tropical house slowly shed her skin. Back and forth she slithered for ages. She brushed herself against the exposed wooden beams over and over until her raggedy old skin got caught on a piece of splintered wood, then she just let that skin rip and fold backwards and ripple clean off her body. It was like watching a stocking being sexily peeled off a woman’s leg.  Out she slithered, fresh and glistening.  Well pleased with herself, she was. A new beginning.Read More →

I was listening to an interview on ABC with Kate Mulvaney, an Australian playwright, and she was being asked about her small-town beginnings, her childhood and how that has shaped her work. Small-town country life, being bullied, an early near-terminal illness, long periods of hospitalisation, splintered relationships—these and other profound factors added up to an award-winning storyteller. It got me thinking about how writers are put together, what makes them want to write, and what gives them this enormous insatiable love of stories? Read More →

  So, this is Christmas…. and what have you done?  Never was there penned a more loaded line in a Christmas song. John Lennon and Yoko Ono knew the gravity of the line, having written it in 1971, at the height of a dreadful and intractable war in Vietnam, and after years of political activism to encourage peace. That opening line is an interrogation of our personal morals that stands true and straight today, enough to bring stinging tears to my eyes the very second I hear them. As Christmas songs go,  Baby It’s Cold Outside, it ain’t.Read More →

A good few years ago, an Australian dramaturg I know stated the obvious (dramaturgs are good at that, and, damn it, someone has to do it); love first, then disaster, he said with power and panache as if it were a profound elemental truth of the world in general. I’m going unpack what the statement means, and then I’m going to point out the obvious—we don’t use this piece of advice enough when we are writing.Read More →