If you’ve been following me on Instagram you probably know I’ve sprinted my way through Draft 1 of The Rush of Stone. Now I’m dialling up the other part of personality, Methodical Me, to work on Draft 2. 

  • Step 1 Create a prompt sheet for revision. 
  • Step 2 Work over Draft 1 and check off the prompts.

Let me know on Instagram or Facebook if you’d like a copy of my Second Draft Prompt Sheet and I’ll send it to you once it’s up and running.

Book Recommendations

The Animals In That Country

by Laura Jean Mckay

Book cover featuring a goat and a woman

What if animals could speak? What if we could understand them even when we didn’t want to? What if we didn’t like what they said? What then?

Pandemic literature is often formulaic but Laura Jean Mckay’s novel is at the other end of the spectrum. It a shocking story about a virus that shoves the language of animals into human heads.

The book’s subtlety and literary style have turned off some genre fiction readers but anyone who enjoys revelation, that realisation that there’s another way to see something you thought you understood, is going to love this book.

Five stars for Georgette for recommending it to me and many, many, many stars for Laura Jean Mckay!

The Absolute Book

by Elizabeth Knox

Bookcover with view of sky through trees

I focus my reviews on books I enjoy but sometimes I might not like a book but still find it interesting.

The Absolute Book is interesting but I didn’t like it. It’s a portal fantasy novel with gods and plenty of life and death dramas.

On the positive side, I liked the way Elizabeth Knox worked with the revenge theme and gave it a decidedly feminine lens. The internal stories were lovely and the mysterious magical object was interesting.

On the negative side… I know that there are plenty of brilliant exceptions to the rule that you should show and not tell, but I felt told and when that happened I lost my emotional connection to the characters and story.

It’s a good book but not for me, unfortunately.

False Witness

by Karen Slaughter

Book cover featuring two girls in a tunnel

I have lots of theories about why women like reading murder mysteries in spite of the predominance of stories where horrible, gruesome violence is directed toward us. My current theory is that we live with a level of fear and danger throughout or lives so reading about the application of justice is really satisfying.

I’ve enjoyed reading Karin Slaughter’s novels for many years but I particularly enjoyed this one. It’s a story about a complicated relationship between sisters, made more difficult by addiction.

I liked Slaughter’s characters but most of all I really enjoyed her writing about the animal-loving humans in the story. There was so much humour and gentleness in those moments.


Patrick Bonello and I are making fortnightly episodes of our podcast, OK Smart Ass. If you haven’t listened, please do. It’s all about tech and society and gadgets and culture.

What have you been listening to and watching this month?

I’ve been hooked on Australia’s Coronacast podcast with a side serve of the ABC’s other fine offerings such as China, If You’re Listening (podcast) and Ms Represented (documentary).

My Newsletter