The Hearth (and an update!)


I have been exceptionally quiet these past few months. I have been pretty quiet on the writing front, it is true. But I read at a lovely event called The Hearth on Thursday evening. It was the first time in a long while I’d read publicly, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. So much so, I want to share some delightful photos (credit to Julia Henning), and officially welcome myself back into the site I set up some months ago (haha… ).

It’s been a funny old time of it recently. After the dizzying high of Sydney, the past few months have seen me take a bit of a beating, and some highfalutin ideas come crashing down to earth. A lot of things I had taken as constants (despite their relative newness) were stripped away, and I found myself back at square one. It is in that square that I am still somewhat situated; and whilst I am gently nudging my way back by creating a more consistent workload for myself, I do feel that this year has not gone on as it began, and it is highly likely it won’t end that way either (though, I do not want to cast speculations. I am, at heart, an optimist and a dreamer).

The Hearth, in many respects, represented a return to form for me. After months of silence, where my work never saw the light of day (and when it did poke out its head, it was rejected; I’m not complaining about that, it is expected, but it’s never nice), I experienced terrible nerves the day of. Like I said before, I had not read publicly in over a year. I did not doubt my ability, but equally, I wasn’t taking any chances. My pride had taken a severe beating, so I could not fail this time.

The feedback on the reading has been, overall, positive, and I want to thank the Hearth Collective – Lauren, Alicia, Mel and Emma – for not only giving me such a wonderful platform to kick myself off from, but also allowing me to share the evening with other such talented writers. There was a lot of love in the room that evening.

So, with a slew of unplanned days ahead of me, I will be doing (or endeavour to do) more semi-regular posts, on plays/films/TV I have seen, opinions I have, or updates on what I am working on. I imagine I’ll start out trying for once a week, probably on a Sunday or Monday, then fall back to bi-weekly, once a month, once every two months, and so into oblivion. But in all honesty, I hope I can keep it regular and plentiful. I have a few posts planned for the next few weeks, so watch this space. I may even have one by tomorrow.

Anyway, enjoy these lovely photos, and I’ll be writing soon.

Much love, CJ xx

Holding an audience rapt by barring the exits and turning all the chairs towards me
‘I don’t know what I want to say. But I’ll say it anyway.’ (I imagine whatever it was I was grasping for amounted to this)
OK but I really like this picture. No scornful comments here. Just love.
Q&A after the readings. It’s hard to hide when you’ve got nothing to say and a mouth that won’t shut up.
Another genuinely lovely picture; sharing a laugh with the superbly talented Grace Chipperfield.

SYD2016: Home

Not my photography: how in hell could I take this?? Credit in picture.



It’s happened, I’ve done it. I’ve become a writer cliché. I’m writing in Starbucks.

It’s Tuesday, 2nd of February, and I’ve been in Sydney all of 20 hours. In that time I have walked to the Quay and back, and watched the second episode of the X-Files revival. As far as holidays go, this one is shaping up to be a doozy.

I don’t know if I can term this a holiday though. Between now and Saturday, most of my time will be spent being a tourist. But this is mostly because I bring in tow with me someone who has never been to this city (not a criticism, just an observation). But I don’t feel like a tourist. I feel quite comfortable. I’ve been in Sydney so many times over the last year (well, three times—in terms of travel, this is the most I’ve visited a place outside South Australia because OF COURSE Moonta doesn’t count, that place is like a second home). So Sydney, too, feels like a second home. A bigger, grosser, more observable home, but home nonetheless. I feel like this is a good thing.

I’m in Sydney to be a part of the rehearsals for ATYP’s Voices Project: All Good Things. Tonight I’m going to their first dress run, and I’m pretty goddamn nervous. I don’t know why. Perhaps it’s because this is the first time I’ve felt like “imposter syndrome”—like I’m a fraud, like I’ve cheated my way to where I am right now. But I don’t feel like I don’t deserve this; I am very proud of my small achievement. I just can’t shake the feeling that someone’s going to turn around and go ‘Sorry, there was a mistake, you need to go home now’.

Because there’s that word again. Home. There is every chance Sydney could reject me—no matter how much I run towards it, no matter how comfortable I feel here, no matter that I could conceivably call it “home” too. I feel that in the constant thrum of foot traffic on George Street, a huge artery that runs right through the CBD. Nobody’s going to stop for you (not that I’m asking them to), so if you can’t go with the flow get the hell out.

So I guess I feel like a fish out of water. Wow. I must be the first person to feel that way.

Just like I’m the first person to write in a Starbucks.

Hello World…

Hello fan,

If you have found this page, that means you either know who I am or are terribly lost. If the latter, please find your exit to the right and kindly close the door on your way out.

IF, on the other hand, you are here entirely of your own volition, welcome! On here you will find my bio, links to my work and ways to contact me.

I hope you find what you’re looking for on here.

All my love,

CJ xx