The Missing Bits


The Missing Bits

There’s a kind of hush all over the house like a great gaping hole has filled with the absence of you. You came to me as a warm wriggling ball that squeezed into the palm of my hand. You fitted me. Always. Our time was too short, too quick and life tossed too many things your way. Cruel things. Things you took in your stride. But you were always like that. The strong one. The brave one. The one who laughed at everything no matter what. And already I miss you though you have barely been gone a day.

I miss waking up next to you.

I miss hearing you snore.

I miss the clack of your toenails against the floor. There are demons inside me, battering away, beating me up. Not letting me off the hook. I feel like I have betrayed you. Took you before you were ready to go. But I couldn’t let you struggle in pain. Despite the fact you were willing to carry on just the same.

In this well of sadness inside me I feel I could possibly drown. Nothing feels right without you. The memories link me back to the life that we shared. Remembering the way you used to stand at the keyboard, your paws on the space bar. My own budding novelist, back in the days when you could still jump. I miss the way you romp through the house on your unsteady legs. I miss finding dead moths and half chewed pegs.

I miss the squeaky farts you did against the polished floor. I miss how you stole Little Dog’s toys with the swipe of a paw.

I miss hugging you. Because you fitted me. Always.

I miss the greatness of your presence that filled the space of this house.

I miss how the house used to feel before.

I miss the sound of your tail banging as I open the door.

I miss your dribbly nose. I miss the press of you against me at night. I miss your head on my foot as I type.

Last night as I lay awake through a quiet, lonely night, I saw you again. You were fit and well and running free. And you were smiling that smile that you had just for me.

Yesterday, when I held you in my arms that last time, and you drifted away, I think you took a little piece of me with you. I can feel it today.

Moo and I went to the sea after you left. And the first dog we saw was a Cav, like you, bouncing along the beach – the way you should have been able to. And then later, an eagle soared overhead and I pretended it was you, unfettered, and free. The way you should be. And I know that in time the memory of your wagging tail whipping buttery love through the air will finally wipe out my demons. And the image of your wide smiling face will replace all the hurt and fill in the hole. And somehow through the grief I will find my way back to our happiness, with you tucked up inside me.  Because you fitted me. Always.

Run, baby boy. All the way home.


An Evening with Shane Thamm

IMG_0030On the eve of the CYA conference in Brisbane,  a group of us headed to Avid Reader Bookshop for the launch of Shane Thamm’s YA debut novel  ‘My Private Pectus’. We arrived to a packed Avid, standing room only. I managed to weave my way through the crowd for a prime seat on the front step. It was the perfect position to listen to Shane as he read us an excerpt from the book. It was one of the best readings I have ever heard at a launch. He stood confident and read with such passion and intensity – I was lost in the world he delivered.

His book brings to light the condition of Pectus Excavatum, a medical term for hollowed chest. Pextus Excavatum is the most common congenital deformity of the anterior wall of the chest, where the ribs and the sternum grow abnormally.  This produces a caved-in or sunken appearance of the chest. It sometimes develops with puberty and can affect cardiac and respiratory function as well as cause considerable discomfort and pain, particularly psychological pain. Coming from a paediatric medical background, I have seen the stress that this condition causes not only for the child but also the parents.

I love that this book gets a condition like this out in the open.  I have my copy on my “To read” pile and it’s approaching the top of the pile. I am looking forward to reading it. It was lovely to meet and talk with Shane at the launch and great to see him at the CYA conference the following day. He is delightful.  My Private Pectus is published by Ford Street Publishing (

To learn more about Shane visit:


Shane signs copies of My Private Pectus


Reading an excerpt


Signing my copy

The Interrogator – Meeting the Man

DSCN0624I have finally taken the plunge and dived into the world of thrillers. Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting JJ Cooper, author of The Interrogator (published by Random House Australia). JJ was signing his debut novel at a bookstore near where I live, so I took the opportunity to go forth, purchase, meet and support. I have mentioned this before in other posts and yet still I can’t help saying it again. I am continually amazed, as I travel through this writing journey, at just how generous and encouraging other writers are of each other and of newbies like myself. 

The networking opportunities available today have helped me enormously. Without internet connections, I may never have hooked up with JJ and benefited from his wise words. He encouraged me as a writer to stick with it and to believe in the story I am telling. I tend to get so caught up in the structural side of getting it right that I forget that there is a wonderful story to be told. His words have made me revisit the magic that made me begin writing my novel in the first place. He was so generous with his time and I am so grateful to him for sharing part of his writing journey with me. The ripple effect of his words have lingered with me today as I journey back into the “story” of my novel and start telling it from the heart.  His words about discipline ring loud as well – about turning up to the page every day and going to work.

A visit to his blog site offers even further food for thought. His blog has a wealth of information for writers. As does his website. I’m itching to read his book, have taken a peek at the first few pages but for now have a word count of my own to produce before I can indulge myself. It shall be my reward when my work for today  is done.