Heating & Cooling by Beth Ann Fennelly

Fifteen years ago, all of my work was around writing – I was fortunate to be a paid blogger (long before popular blogs offered writers ‘exposure’ rather than money), and I also did some technical writing. When people discovered what I did, they invariably asked, “So, are you going to write a book?” No, I’d say, stating that although I liked to read books, my attention span was too short to write one.

But when I read Beth Ann Fennelly’s Heating & Cooling, a collection of ‘micro-memoirs’, I thought that a micro-memoir writing project was something I could attempt (not with a view to publish, simply for my own record). Vignettes, with no chronological order, seems doable. Continue reading

My MWF 2022 Reading List


The Melbourne Writers Festival program has been released. I’ve booked lots of sessions and realised that I will have to get busy reading in order to be across the books that the authors will be speaking about. On my reading list: Continue reading

Fierce Attachments by Vivian Gornick

I went to a workshop last week about schema therapy and our attachment relationships. I am a bit obsessed with attachment theory because it pops up in so many ways for my clients (or does it pop up because I look for it?!). It’s particularly relevant in terms of adult relationships and how a person grieves. Anyway, that’s a long way of explaining that I selected Vivian Gornick’s memoir, Fierce Attachments, because of the title. How could I not?

The blurb states that Gornick ‘battled’ with her mother for independence.

My mother’s wishes are simple but they are not negotiable. Continue reading

Wintering by Katherine May

The subtitle of Katherine May’s memoir-meets-nature-writing, Wintering, is ‘The power of rest and retreat in difficult times’. The subtitle might suggest a how-to guide for coping with pandemics but that’s not the case.

Instead, May’s gentle book examines the cues that flora and fauna take from the weather; and the human response to the cold, including winter recreation (saunas and rolling in snow); and rituals and customs.

Plants and animals don’t fight the winter; they don’t pretend it’s not happening and attempt to carry on living the same lives that they lived in the summer. They prepare. They adapt. They perform extraordinary acts of metamorphosis to get them through. Continue reading