Blog #1 2020: In which I pave the 2020 road with a few good intentions.

Well it’s 2020 and I can’t believe most of January is gone already. Could everyone just slow down a bit till I catch my breath!

I did a quick check and saw that in 2019 I only managed 7 blogs in total. 7! That’s pretty dismal even by my appallingly low standards. This year my goal is AT LEAST a blog a month. Ideally I’d like to get to 20. Yes I’m aiming for the stars and hoping to hit the moon! (More likely I’ll just skewer some poor unfortunately soul who happens to be passing by.)

I’ve also set myself another reading challenge. Last year my target was a very modest 30 books. But I know you’ll be impressed to hear that I actually managed an even more modest 20 books. (Perhaps I should stop sounding out all the letters when I read?)

Anyway as a quick recap, here’s what I read in 2019.

And my favourite? Markus Zusak’s Bridge of Clay.

This year I’m doing a 20 for 2020 reading challenge which I’ll hopefully smash. I’m also making it my Year of Indigenous Reading so I’m aiming for at least half the books I read to be either written by Indigenous writers or to be about Indigenous history and/or culture.

I’ve already made a start. My first book for 2020 was Bruce Pascoe’s remarkable Dark Emu. What a great way to kick off my reading year. Every Australian should read this book. It’s so brilliant to hear that the ABC will be doing a TV series based on it.

As for my writing goals for 2020, they include finishing off the manuscript for the serious YA novel that was the basis of my Queensland Writers Fellowship (still a way to go) as well as completing a new picture book text. If I can do those two things I’ll be more than happy.

My first ever writing award was in 2003. I won a micro short story competition as part of that year’s Brisbane Writers Festival. My most recent prize was the 2019 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for YA fiction for THE THINGS THAT WILL NOT STAND. I’ve just had the certificate framed and added to my wall of ‘How the hell did that happen?’

Of course I can’t talk about the new year without mentioning the horrendous bushfires that have engulfed and destroyed large areas of Australia in the past months resulting in a devasting loss of property, lives, natural habitat and wildlife. When they speak of animal losses in the billions it is heart-breaking and overwhelming.

We all – Australia and the world – have to do so much better in taking care of our planet and counter-acting Climate Change.

So it is a strange and somewhat bitter irony that one of the great moments of joy I’ve had this year was when I spotted a wild koala in a reserve of native busland that is part of my regular walk.

I was born and I’ve lived in this area of Brisbane most of my life and I never in my wildest dreams imagined there were koalas anywhere near here. Apparently there’s a small group.

I can’t tell you how happy I was the day I spotted this little guy so close to where I live.

Of course the greatest joy of 2020 is that for the first time in our lives, my wife and I get to start a year as doting grandparents!

Our first grandchild was born towards the end of last year in September and I’m sure you will be shocked and surprised to hear that she is smartest and most beautiful little girl in the entire world. (It’s true. You can fact-check it if you like.)

That’s it. My blogging for 2020 is off and running.

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas filled with family and friends and that 2020 pans out just as you would want it to.


PS: If there’s anything in particular anyone would like me to blog about – eg books I’ve written, reading, writing in general, being an author, influences, why my modelling career never took off etc etc – or if you have a question you’d like me to answer, please post in the comments. Love to hear from you and it could help me achieve my 2020 blogging goal.

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2 Responses to Blog #1 2020: In which I pave the 2020 road with a few good intentions.

  1. Good choice for Marcus Zusak
    His ‘Book theif’ and ‘I am the Messenger’ are one of a kind too


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