Three Visits to Dahab (Egypt)

Michelin Map - Dahab, Egypt

Is it wrong to want our favourite places to stay the same? Probably. It is over twenty years since I last visited Dahab. I have read tourists still flock there from all over the world. Aspects of Dahab’s villages and surrounds must have changed beyond recognition for this “old timer”. Of one thing I am sure, the sunrises and sunsets at Dahab will still be stunning! Continue ReadingThree Visits to Dahab (Egypt)

Thanks, Ian St James Awards

Ian St James Awards

In their heyday, the Ian St James Awards offered the biggest fiction prize in the UK and Ireland for unpublished writers. I submitted several short stories to the awards from 1992 to 1995. None were finalists, let alone winners, but the critiques provided by the judges inspired me to keep writing! Continue ReadingThanks, Ian St James Awards

Bedtime Stories and Teenage Readers

50 Great Bedtime Stories

My son was born at 5:36 am on the 2 June 2002. It had been a long night, and it was a long day (admittedly, more so for my wife!), and when I went home from the hospital that evening, it was with the surreal realisation I was now a dad. I decided my first dad-duty would be to buy a book of bedtime stories. Continue ReadingBedtime Stories and Teenage Readers

An Editor’s Magic Touch

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It’s little wonder many writers thank their editors in forewords, dedications and acknowledgements. As I’ve found writing book reviews for Writing NSW, editors have a magic touch when it comes to reviewing a writer’s work and suggestings edits. Whether there “aren’t many edits” or there are “structural” problems with the writing! Continue ReadingAn Editor’s Magic Touch

Do You Reread Books?

Penguin Books Australia on Facebook

In a Facebook post last year Penguin Books Australia asked, Do You Reread Books?  And if so, What book have you reread the most? I’ve kept all my favourite books with the thought of one day rereading them. And then I start a new book, it becomes a favourite and is added to my bookcase to read again … one day! However, there are three books I have reread, at least once. Continue ReadingDo You Reread Books?

More Albums That Changed Your Life (Part 2)

Albums that Changed Your Life - Queen, A Day at the Races

The purpose of the Albums That Changed Your Life blog post was to unleash me from the constriction of the Facebook challenge rules and write a short piece about each album. But even a “short piece” about 18 favourites ends up being a long blog post, so I’ve split the post into Part 1 (albums 1-10) and Part 2 (11-18). Continue ReadingMore Albums That Changed Your Life (Part 2)

Albums That Changed Your Life (Part 1)

Favourite Albums - The Babys

A friend nominated me for a recent Facebook challenge. If you haven’t joined the movement to delete Facebook, you will have seen it, “Albums that changed your life”. It also appears as the “Ten album challenge”, the “Pictorial music challenge”, the “Seven all time favourite albums” or as “what-the-heck, I’m just posting my favourites!”   Continue ReadingAlbums That Changed Your Life (Part 1)

Writing Can Be Lonely

Lonely teaspoons

Writing can be lonely, especially if you’re living on your own in a cramped flat, in another country, far away from family and friends. So when I lived in England in the early-1990s, I volunteered to work one afternoon a week at the local Oxfam shop, to get away from my writing desk, to get out of my flat, and to meet and mingle with people. Continue ReadingWriting Can Be Lonely

Grammarly – My Editor and Proofreader Friend

Grammarly Grammar Check

There were many grammatical errors, typos and howlers over the ten years I published my dog club newsletter. In my defence, I caught most of them during the final read … after I’d photocopied it! Oh, how I wish I’d had my editor and proofreader friend, Grammarly, back then. Continue ReadingGrammarly – My Editor and Proofreader Friend

The Vietnam War – Boy from Perth’s Perspective

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As a kid growing up in Perth, W.A., in the 1960s and ’70s, I didn’t learn about the Vietnam War from classroom history lessons. Vietnam and the broader Indochina War were on our radio and TV news every morning and evening, and in the front page headlines of our daily newspapers (though unlike some of my precocious school friends, I can’t claim to have read beyond the headlines). Continue ReadingThe Vietnam War – Boy from Perth’s Perspective