the first time I saw snow (on the way to Cappadocia)

Location: Cappadocia, Turkey
Year: 2009

I’m pretty sure I will forever be remembered as the annoying Australian who wouldn’t shut up about seeing snow on the bus ride from Antakya to Cappadocia. To be fair, it snowed once in my hometown (July, 1996 ) in the Adelaide Hills, but it was pretty much glorified frost that lasted a few more hours than usual. It wasn’t cold enough to snow when I made it to Goreme, a small town in Cappadocia, Turkey, but one day I went out to the Ilhara Valley, and that’s when I got to take my first step on snow.

Notable YA reads of Jan/Feb

January

The Impossible Knife of Memory

Laurie Halse Anderson is an auto-buy author for me, and when I found out The Impossible Knife of Memory was released earlier in AU than the US, I tracked it down quick smart. And it did not disappoint. Anderson writes in a way one can only be envious of. The book itself is heartbreaking and marvelous, bringing light to the not-all-that-understood issue of post-traumatic stress disorder and the impact it has on families.

February

The Intern

Gabrielle Tozer‘s The Intern is a heartfelt and easy read. I really enjoyed Josie’s voice; she’s a kind, genuine character who has a refreshing outlook on the world. I was also surprised at how I wanted to read more about the magazine world (I really thought I wouldn’t be interested in this).

The Last Girl

The Last Girl by Michael AdamsĀ  is intense and action-packed. And such a cool concept. Recently I’ve been contemplating just how much I want social media in my life. Coming from an applied linguistics background (nerd alert), I’ve always been interested in how the amount of input we receive (especially via the interwebz) can manipulate our thoughts and language, to the point that it actually scares me a little. This book did not put my fears at ease! Looking forward to the sequel coming out in March.

Not giving up my day job

I am extremely grateful that, after 6 weeks or so of uncertainty, I can keep my job working with young asylum seekers.

I work with an NGO, and as you can imagine, given the current political climate regarding asylum seekers, things have been a little bit tense for both the clients and staff.

The good news is that I have been offered the hours I want, which hopefully means I can get back to writing some more. I have a story to tell and I’m pretty keen to get it down on paper as quick as I can.

I’m also in the process of applying for an Arts SA grant for a mentorship with a South Australian author. It’s my first shot at grant writing (an art form in itself!), but I figure you’ve got to be in it to win it. Will keep you posted.