Romance novels aren’t generally the place for political discussions. After all, the guaranteed happy ever after is seldom what we get from our politicians More seriously, discussing politics usually ends by annoying someone, if not everyone, and frankly that doesn’t seem worth the hassle. I save my political opinions to share with the car radio while driving — um, yeah, I’m the crazy lady talking to herself in the car. Fortunately, these days, people just think I’m on a hands-free phone.
So why am I so proud to say that my about to be released romance, It’s Love, Dude, has politics in it? Because I’m fudging what I mean by politics.
“Politics” has a stinky smell because we often use the term to describe the bad behaviour of bickering politicians. But the political system in Australia is actually robust and makes our lives better. I wanted to celebrate the role of local Members of Parliament (MPs) who without fanfare just get on with the job of representing their communities, helping and fighting for them. So when I “met” my heroine Molly I knew she worked for her local MP. She loved living in her town and being the point of contact for people who needed help navigating government bureaucracy or getting an unfair law changed or simply having someone listen to them. It was about giving back to the community that supported her.
One of the joys of reading and writing romance novels is this glimpse into other people’s lives, and the chance to celebrate the good things we sometimes take for granted.
Woylies are my cute marsupial hook for It’s Love, Dude, but they’re very far from the only cute critter in Australia.
My own bilby
You know about our kangaroos and wallabies, emus (not necessarily cute — stabbing beaks and wicked feet), Tasmanian devils and wombats. Then we have the weird but adorable platypus and the prickly echidna. But my absolute favourite are numbats, although bilbies run them a close second.
Project Numbat tells you all about these ant-eating cuties and what is being done to save them. Also, I absolutely love the painting Nosy Numbats by local artist Gilly Huber, well worth clicking through. N is for Numbat shows they can even be elegant.
The bane of my blog-life is tiptoeing around infringing people’s copyright. There are some absolutely fantastic numbat images online. Just google.
Numbat is the Nyungar people’s (south west Australia) name for the animal. Looking that up I came across the etymology of “bung“. It’s a Yagara word. You didn’t need to know that, but I was interested. Bung means broken. As in, “the TV is bung” and you all stare in horror at the dead screen.
Medium is one of the new social media that I’ve been interested in for a while, and yesterday, I received an invitation to post there. Yay!
If you haven’t heard of Medium, this is its explanation. And this is my page.
The potential for conversation and collaboration on ideas is so promising that I’m excited.
Sometimes life holds some joyous surprises. I wandered into Perth on the weekend and ended up visiting the Art Gallery of Western Australia. Since I can never work out who holds what copyright, I’ll share an old photo of the gardens outside it, rather than the artworks inside — which is a shame because the art is good.
Anyway, once inside the gallery, I pursued my usual strategy of not knowing what I wanted to see, but just looking. That brought me to the Your Collection 1800-Today exhibition and in particular to its Your Collection 1800-1920: Here and There section which was housed in the older section of the gallery, a location that worked perfectly.
Having a memory like a sieve, I can’t tell you the names of the artists or their creations, but I saw wonderful old glass, paintings of life a hundred years ago and fabulous watercolours and sketches of Fremantle and Albany. The latter was fun to try and match current day landscapes to those of more than a century ago. I do remember that a painting by Arthur Boyd finally showed me why he’s so famous. Though I wish I could remember its name! The mountains in the background heaved with life.
The exhibition was a lovely experience outside of time. Quiet, reflective and yet humming with the energy of much-loved art. It reminded why I like the Art Gallery of WA: It always offers a visitor a welcome and a gift.
It was blowing a gale, but ever intrepid in pursuit of running-away-from-current-manuscript, I ventured out to snap some photos of Fremantle mid-week. Above is Bathers Beach. So is below. And the very last snap is just a back gate … just to prove Fremantle is more than gorgeous beaches
Thanks to Sonya Heaney for introducing me to 500px. I now have a page there.