April 30 Update

A Greek Matinee is so close to finishing

I love the smell of books, the feel of them in my hands. I can turn pages back to a great turn of phrase or idea I marked with a satin ribbon.

Ψ 2022 April 30 Tattlings Update

Dear visitors and followers,

This last month I’ve been busy tweaking my synopsis and several chapters of my manuscript. Also I’ve been rearranging my writing room, that is, my Scribbly Den ready for moving back in for winter writing.

Something kept tapping in my head which set me to give my full manuscript to Carole, my beta-reader of earlier “first 50 pages”. At first Carole said she didn’t really like the main character because of her annoyance when two old friends show up. Reading on however, yesterday Carol reported of understanding the character’s annoyance. Over late-lunch, coffee, Chardonnay and Tatachilla Pinot Grigio we talked for many hours about books, people and my manuscript.

I’m so pleased with Carole’s comment and thought: that’s pretty cool for a reader to change her mind about the main character.

Word Count: 113,278

Other efforts this month have been focused on learning the ropes of Twitter. Yes I’ve done it. I’ve started to tweet. It’s set up of course regarding A Greek Matinée – the tag is @agreekmatinee

Within a month I scored 152 followers. Not 15k? you quiver with laughter. That’s right. I don’t bulk Follow. I first look at the profile of a would-be Follower and some of their posts before deciding whether to Follow. Do I hear a wee voice saying, She’s selective…? May be so.

I’m tickled that so many people have shown interest by Likes and Following. Thank you all, and thankyou to my loyal Followers here on my webpage.

Tweeting, Twittering and checking out stuff has been an interesting exercise. I’ve learnt curious things about quite a variety of things and seen some wonderful photographs, read lengthy articles and participated in small conversations. I’ve also had to block one person. Parents take note. Please be aware what your children may be exposed to.

Overall Tweeting can be helpful for a writer from tips for beginners through to moral support and insight into the publishing industry. And it gets your name “out there”, an important aspect for a writer.

Books I’ve bought this month:

p60c 4bks 220430

Panthers and the Museum of Fire by Jen Craig
Flâneuse by Lauren Elkin
Grey Bees by Andrey Kurov
Notes from Underground by Dostoevsky translated from Russian by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky.

(The last three came to my attention only through Twitter.)

Although I’ve had very little time to spare this month, unable to resist, I started reading Grey Bees by Ukraine Andrey Kurkov (first published 2018 in Russian; English 2021 with Foreword 2020). Could have been 2022. Today. The cover says “surprisingly funny”. I don’t. Yet (I’m 1/2 through). The only two characters left in village are touching.

Because I read the Foreword online before, I skipped it. Chapter 1 I thought, ‘that was mighty quick to get published.’ Datecheck: 2018. Not 2022. Forgot background. As now, Putin causing trauma. Since 2014.

Grey Bees is a wonderful book and reminds me of The Day Lasts More Than A Hundred Years By Kyrgyz author Chinghiz Aitmatov.

p 60c ii

Oh, dear, earlier this April thoughts kept gnashing in my head, my pencil mark-making on paper. My feathers were ruffled. I thought: I’ve gotta stop this. It’s not the time to start my next manuscript. A Greek Matinée must be my focus. What say thee?

Jump to Manuscript Tattlings Menu:
∴ PI  Restart
∴ PII  The Romance
PIII  Manuscript Progress Tattlings 
∴  PIV  A Writer’s Prescription 
PV  Surprise Discovery  
∴ PVI  Clicks 


The Manuscript Tattlings : A Writer’s Prescription & Surprise Discovery

A Greek Matinée on the brink! Literary Fiction. As wind whips in through my open door I must discipline not to touch Dostoevsky nor Péter Esterházy until… but how can I resist!

I love the smell of books, the feel of them in my hands. I can turn pages back to a great turn of phrase or idea I marked with a satin ribbon.

Tattlings Menu:
∴  The Romance  ∴   Manuscript Progress Tattlings  

A Writer’s Prescription
  Surprise Discovery  ∴  Clicks 
∴  A Writer’s Prescription: 

♦  Words Carefully Chosen 

  marvel at♦  Sentences  ♦   Images  ♦  Considerations ♦  Insight ♦ 

  ♦  Examine each movement, action, trait  What motivation behind each character? What drives them?  Linking past, present, future ♦  Foreboding  ♦  Tension ♦  Intensity, insight, expression (Pear M22 III) ♦  Beauty ♦ 

  ♥   Each ChapterFind Beating Heart  ♥


Surprise Discovery:

Click here to see the Fossils mentioned in A Greek Matinée. How surprised I was to discover after I’d written them in, here they were on display. Thank you Scott. What were they? Frog? Crocodile? Some other reptilian? Something else?

20200124 Fossil cores Plant Snail Fish Croc-vert 400 mauve 3





Manuscript Tattlings : Progress

A Greek Matinée on the brink! Literary Fiction. As wind whips in through my open door I must discipline not to touch Dostoevsky nor Péter Esterházy until… but how can I resist!

I love the smell of books, the feel of them in my hands. I can turn pages back to a great turn of phrase or idea I marked with a satin ribbon.

Tattlings Menu:
∴ PI  Restart
∴ PII  The Romance
PIII  Manuscript Progress Tattlings 
∴  PIV  A Writer’s Prescription 
PV  Surprise Discovery  
∴ PVI  Clicks 

Progress Tattlings – Backwards Order ∴ (2019 to date)

Oh, how many times have I been finished A Greek MatinéeHow many drafts has my little printer trembled with? I like to sit with a cup of tea, pencil in hand as I review each page. Full clean copies? Probably this is my eighth, no, more I’m sure, with numerous freshened page-drops between. But I really am finished. Really! Or am I? What will Carole unearth?

Ψ  Tattlings AFTER midnight 2022 April 04 – jumps :

Ψ 2022 April 30

Ψ Tattlings  BEFORE midnight 2022 April 04 through from 2019:

Ψ 2022 April 04  Ah! some time ago Carole read the first 50 pages of A Greek Matinée. Now, magnificently, she is reading the whole manuscript. I value her comments for she is truly an avid reader of books, member of a book club and impresses me with her insight. Thank you sooo much Carole, I’m indebted to you. As a reader, she challenges me with questions.

PS   Wordcount is 113,280. Maybe Carole will see where I can nibble out a few more words!

22 March 30
  As I said above, it’s settledA Greek Matinée is Literary Fiction.

Ψ 2022 March 28 At each check for current definition of Contemporary Fiction,  Literary Fiction and Genre, I found subtle changes. And changes country-to-country. Initially I thought my ms Contemporary Fiction. But I was mistaken according to some definitions. The story is not set WorldWarII-ish.  A Greek Matinée is set 2016 contemporaneous with Greece’s economic difficulties, aftermath of the failed military-coup in Turkey, war in Syria and arrest of xxxxx xxxx xxxxx – no, I won’t give you a spoiler!

*But imagine my astonishment when this happened while I was on Greek soil! – I’d already plotted this into the story months and months before! Nor is A Greek Matinée popcorn. And it’s not formulaic. Characters drive the story… And now I twitter.

Ψ 2022 March  Ah-ha 😊  wonderfully, I  have gained another beta-reader, a critical reader. Her first question was, ‘What genre?’ Second question, ‘Who is your target audience?’

Ψ 2022 February 01   Today my manuscript stands at 113,320 words (31 chapters in 355 pp double-spaced of course). The last page has 2 lines only.

Ψ 2021 November 21  Into my stable I’ve wonderfully gained another Beta-Reader, a get-up-and-go lady who surprised me with her proclamation that she’s an avid reader, is caught up by my brief, wants to read on. Oh, Happy Day! And her friend who overheard our talk, volunteered also, another avid reader with keen interest in history. Thank you so much 🙂

Ψ 2021 November 01  I’ve become fanatical. And I’ve moved rooms to where I can recline on the daybed with one hand on the manuscript, the other hovering by keys, a pencil or grabbing fresh-brewed tea steaming by Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Demons. The computer’s now on a wooden-seated high-stool next to me whose legs stretch out on a Tibetan blanket-cum-poncho draped over the camel-patterned mattress cover of the daybed. My eyes scan for a better turn of phrase, Subjectivity, or something that could well be deleted. Yes, I went back to earlier chapters although two weeks ago I mentioned I had but three chapters to go to the end of this round of fine-toothcombing. I’ve caught up. Now I have two to go!

A change of room has proved a good idea. The front door is open allowing wind to whip in. I must discipline not to touch Dostoevsky until done, nor Péter  Esterházy. But I will go out with a friend for coffee on Friday to discuss books!

Q: Do I or don’t I include the Appendices originally determined worth their salt?

Ψ 2020 February 01 Manuscript Margins for A Greek Matinée are now set at 30mm. Hummm, that shoots up the pages – just as the Appendices shot up the overall wordcount! I play with words in my old version of Word because Word ’97 is logically organised unlike Word 10 which I find a beast to use and seems untameable. When I need to put the manuscript into a pdf format (for a Pre-sub Reader) I copy the document onto a flash drive, take it away from my isolated laptop (best firewall – Old Faithful never goes on the internet) and plug it into the modern machine to suck the file into that hideous-but-sometimes-very-useful-program which can save it to a mod pdf file. Of course I then have to scan the flash-drive to ensure no virus has infected the carrier pigeon!

Ψ 2020 late January A surprise discovery at “The Museum” after checking out Spiders – The Exhibition! Click Fossils to see what these are – already an element in A Greek Matinée (even before I went to Greece to feed this tale).

Ψ 2020 Am I truly ready to float my baby? Carmel magnificently completed her reading, made good suggestions and challenged the grammar of some of my “sub” clauses!

Ψ 2019 is closing fast! But hey! Carmel is now reading my manuscript.  A great surprise when she asked me if I’d like her to do so. Thanks a mill Carmel! I’m so pleased I joined the Ancient Civilisations classes with you and Yuri our good leaders! Throughly enjoyed being enlightened about Egypt then passing through Greece and now, Rome. How time flies when we’re doing what we enjoy … delving deeper with our curiosity and insatiable thirst for knowledge.

Ψ And now it’s 2019. A mighty thank  you to Robin who for the second time has read hardcopy of the full manuscript and discussed it variously over coffee. THANK YOU so much Robin for that and particularly asking me this year if I’d like you to read it again (that second time). I still tremble at having made a few spelling errors and a convoluted sentence or two = thanks so much for picking them up!

And thanks to Julia, my ALPHA-READER, for your full reading and comments (happy fishing!). And Nicole, Deanne, Irene and Sally for your various readings of bundles along the way. All so encouraging. I’m indebted to you.

Last year:
And now, A Greek Matinee revisited this April is posted (hummm, flipped, emailed, sent) to friends. What will they say? What will they think of it?

Of course I think it’s a good read and very much would have liked this work of fiction to companion me as I travelled in Greece nineteen months’ ago. Eccentric, yes. Challenges thinking? Yes. And with undercurrents of something sinister afoot, it is loaded with mythology that swings travelling-characters into edgy exchanges, psychological shifts and singular events some, flirting danger.


Lela seemed paranoiac, as if a Party-State black Volga would edge down the street, pull-in close, from its curtained interior a chill-complexioned thug make for…


∴   The Romance  ∴   Manuscript Progress Tattlings   ∴   A Writers Prescription  ∴  Surprise Discovery  ∴  Clicks  ∴



Early April Tattlings

How many full drafts of your manuscript did you print? How many Beta-Readers did you have? Did you think you were finished your story before handing over your ms?

∴  Oh, how many times have I been finished A Greek MatinéeHow many drafts has my little printer trembled with? I like to sit with a cup of tea, pencil in hand as I review each page. Full clean copies? Probably this is my eighth, no, more I am sure, with numerous freshened page-drops between. But I really am finished. Really! Or am I? What will Carole unearth?

Ψ 2022 April 04  Ah! some time ago Carole read the first 50 pages of A Greek Matinée. Now, magnificently, she is reading the whole manuscript. I value her comments for she is truly an avid reader of books, member of a book club and impresses me with her insight. Thank you sooo much Carole, I’m indebted to you. As a reader, she challenges me with questions.

PS Wordcount is 113,280. Maybe Carole will see where I can nibble out a few more words!

Ψ 22 March 30  It’s settledA Greek Matinée is Literary Fiction.

Jump to main The Manuscript Tattlings


Tattling A Greek Matinee March


Ψ 2022 March 28 At each check for current definition of Contemporary Fiction Literary Fiction Genre I find they subtlety change. And change country-to-country. I thought my ms Contemporary Fiction but I may be mistaken. The story is not set WorldWarII-ish. It’s set 2016. A Greek Matinée is contemporaneous with Greece’s 2016 economic difficulties, aftermath of the failed military-coup in Turkey, war in Syria and arrest of xxxxx xxxx xxxxx – no, I won’t give you a spoiler!

*But imagine my astonishment when this happened while I was on Greek soil! – I’d already plotted this into the story months and months before!

Nor is A Greek Matinée popcorn. And it’s not formulaic. Characters drive the story… And now I twitter.

And I’m holed-up trying to whittle 113,310 words to 110,000

Jump to main Manuscript Tattlings where you’ll find random Tattlings, The Romance, A Writer’s Prescription and A Surprise Discovery


papilio aegeus

The butterfly in Wind, Dreams & Butterflies is a female Orchard Butterfly papilio aegeus.

My book “The Butterflies of Australia” by Albert Orr and Roger Kitching, says females are bigger than males and forewing length measured from centre of the wing base to the apex is 62mm.

The native habitat is principally wet open forest of tropical North Queensland but this colourful butterfly has invaded orchards and gardens right along the East Coast of Australia. The female has erratic jinking flight.

My lady would have been more interested in my Murraya tree than me for her larvae like to eat it’s leaves.

I bow to her for she danced round my head before seeking out a choice place to leave her eggs.

And here for you is an extract from a letter in Russian by Vladimir Nabokov, 1924:

All day long I wandered above the hills, searching out wonderful paths, bowing warmly to familiar butterflies.

Wind, Dreams & Butterflies

Oh, my mind, my mind, takes me on adventures I want to share with you. Tales entwined with now & yesterday


p 78 1 Butterfly in Murraya

Joyous day! A visitor flew in and saw me,
Flew round my head, sought out my murraya tree;
Brave butterfly, delicate of wing, dancing with the wind,
Teased by the tail of another cyclone while
Hidden in my jungle fat green frogs croaked.


p 78 2 Wind and Dreams 500

Wind & Dreams

How lovely to sit with a cuppa on my day-bed, cool, after so many disgustingly hot humid days, watch the wind play in the garden, flap blinds. It’s like watching the ocean.

Memories swim with the sounds of the blinds thumping, snapping this way, that; sounds my sail made as I turned a wild gybe, tacked this way and that careering through boisterous weekends with children and friends.

Oh, how lovely the wind. Unbelievably yesterday I put on a pullover. I’d not worn one for years at this time of year but the drop to 25° is quite chilly for me.

I sit by my window and dream of places and people I once knew. And others soon I hope to see in far-off places across the sea.

Oh, my mind, my mind, takes me on adventures I want to share with you. Tales entwined with now and yesterday. My bag is nearly packed. What about yours?


Did you like my funny little proses? How did they make you feel?

addendum: jump to identity of my visitor papilio aegeus


Chili, Grape, Hazelnut Porridge

A recipe from Elizabeth. Quick and easy breakfast hot or cold.

Here’s a quickie breakfast with a kick to start your day:

Empty 2 packets of Rolled Oats “Roasted Hazelnut & Cinnamon” into a microwaveable bowl.

— you can easily prepare your own with traditional rolled oats. I find the packeted stuff too fine. Cooking will take a little longer —

  • Add milk as directed on the packet – I put 50/50 water and milk.
  • Wash, gut and finely chop up chili,
  • Wash large seedless black grapes – I use Midnight Beauty,
  • Add chili and grapes to the porridge bowl.
  • Stir. Cover loosely with baking paper.
  • Microwave for approximately 90 seconds *Follow instructions on the Rolled Oats packet.

This breakfast can be cooked or enjoyed raw.


Parsnip, Blueberries & Salmon

A recipe from Elizabeth

I love parsnips what about you?

For this recipe you will need a parsnip per person, some sliced Chinese cabbage, chopped broccolini, finely-minced hot chillies, fresh salmon, grapeseed oil, balsamic vinegar, slices of purple onion, a slice of lemon for each piece of fish and sprigs of parsley.

Wash all vegetables and fruit.

Peel the parsnip. Cut into slices about a quarter of an inch thick. At the big end of the parsnip I split that down the centre before slicing.

In a heavy based frying pan (mine is cast iron) gently heat the grapeseed oil.

**Be wary: I found grapeseed oil spits so, often I put a lid on the frying pan to calm it. And due to perceived health benefits I cook at medium heat.

To the heated oil add the parsnip stirring regularly to cook evenly.

When nearly cooked make space to add the *salmon.

*If you like your salmon fast-cooked at a higher heat, cook it separately.

When the parsnip is cooked spoon it into a vegetable or eating bowl.

To the frying pan alongside the salmon add the blueberries simply to heat, not cook. Spoon them over the parsnip.

Turn over the salmon. Take care not to overcook it. When done, put on a plate for it to rest.

Stir-fry the Chinese cabbage in the same pan. When nearly cooked add half of the finely minced chillies. When done spoon over the berries.

To the same frying pan add the brocollini and remainder of minced chillies.

When cooked add them to the vegetable bowl. Give them a good stir and put the salmon on top.

Decorate with the onion slices, a twist of lemon and sprig of parsley.

Drozzle balsamic vinegar over the lot to taste.


** Grapeseed Oil vs Olive Oil: Nutrients, Benefits, Downsides

I’d  checked out this site www . healthline.  com   (close gaps when you type that into your browser, doing your own “safety checks”)  to decide this oil or that oil. Both apparently have great health benefits. And of course downsides. You have to make your own balanced decision, eh?!


Heavy Reading & Marshmallow

The Devil has all the best tricks

Today I was told I do some heavy reading. That made me pause. I suppose I do. Well, just look at the stuff in previous posts. But also I do marshmallow, as my daughter calls it and heaps between.

books heavy 400

This slither represents some of my books in the dining room. In the lounge and my “library” many, many more march on long shelves while others sprout up in stacks here and there.

Some of my favourite reads are Delia Owens Where the Crawdads Sing which made me cry, The Day Lasts More than a Hundred Years by Chingiz Aitmatov, of course Ioana Pârvulescu‘s Life Begins on Friday, Ovid’s Tristia and Ex Ponto… Oh gosh, I could go on. But, if I were relegated to a deserted island, these four books I would smuggle with me. I wonder if I could also slip in Péter Esterházy‘s books and Fyodor Dostoevsky‘s? I’d need several trunks me thinks.

Ahead of me I have heaps of reading recommended by several people who have kindly left comments (Thank You again) and from my own list. At present it’s a battle with reading, writing and pulling out weeds from my garden as heat and humidity make them think they should turn my yard into an impregnable jungle! The sea is too rough to even walk along the beach today.

Did I mention before Jack Faust (The Devil has all the best tricks…) by Michael Swanwick. As William Gibson says it’s “Madly ambitious and brilliantly executed, recasting the entire history of science in a wholly original version of our culture’s central myth of knowledge, power, and sorrow.”


Site Updates 2022

Direct link to New Stuff or Update of earlier Posts and Pages. Hope you like ’em.

Ah! The Year of the Tiger! I feel I should be promoting a different manuscript but there it is, A Greek Matinée whistling in the wings.


Dear Visitors, this page gives you links to latest posts and alterations on my site. I’d be delighted if you would leave a Comment and/or Like on pages you visit 🙂 Easy-peasy! The menu above leads to all sorts of things. I’m interested too, what you think of my encounter with Lela. Thank you.

Here’s an easy link to become a valued >Follower

2022 April 30 April 30 Tattling Update (New) with Tweeter

2022 April 09 Early April Tattlings (New)

2022 April 01 It’s settled! A Greek Matinée is Literary Fiction.

2022 March 29 Tattling A Greek Matinee (New) Manuscript Tattlings (Update)

2022 February 20 papilio aegeus (New) My butterfly is now identified.

2022 February 15 Wind, Dreams & Butterflies (New) and another recipe for you to try: Chili, Grape, Hazelnut Porridge (New)

2022 February 06 The Journey Begins (Update)

2022 February 05 Parsnip, Blueberries & Salmon (New) A recipe for you.

2022 February 04 Heavy Reading & Marshmallow (New)

2022 February 02 Simon’s Books & Boots article on Mary Beard’s A History of Ancient Rome (New)

2022 February 01 Manuscript Reader Comments (Update)

2022 January 27 Manuscript Reader Comments (Update)

2022 January Genre (Update)

Below are a few links from the end of last year’s page.


Beta-Reader Cues & Prompts

Utterly too early I approached a Literary Agent…

Updated 2021 November

Truly, utterly too early I approached a Literary Agent – hey, Writers, don’t rush into a submission, ensure you’ve had a good selection of Beta-Readers first – and, considered what they’ve said. If two point out an area to address, like finding a hole in the plot or some other hiccup, that needs a revisit! Fortunately I’ve been sailing on well but early this month I re-arranged a sequence for more logical flow and chopped a few more words.

This year I’ve refocussed, taking onboard late critiques, acting on them as I see fit and resuming the generously given comment from an agent two years before. A single word. But truly important for a writer of fiction. Subjectivity. This was my initial stumbling block after years of industrial writing and journo stuff. Photo-journalism, newspaper and magazine articles.

Thanks to you all, my Beta-Readers. And my Alpha, dear Julia. Your support and encouragement is seismic.

And here are questions to consider!
  • Does A Greek Matinée have clear commercial appeal?
  • The story should appear marketable like, who do I see as the potential audience for my work?
  • Is A Greek Matinée unique? Of course I reckon it is!

What should a Beta-Reader of a manuscript look for in their reading? What do I want from my Beta-Readers?

I appreciate heavy critique. Honest critique. (I’m way beyond needing my back stroked!)
Although I’m thin-skinned, I won’t take offence. I need to know the faults, weaknesses:

  • Does the opening draw you, my Reader, in (should it be pushed higher?)
  • Does the writing create strong (emotional) impact?
  • Do scene ends tempt you to read on?
  • Does the end of a chapter satisfy you to want to read on?
  • Do sequences of conflict and resolution flow smoothly?
  • Are holes in the “plot”? Is something missing?
  • Are the characters well-rounded (even the er, naughty or unpleasant ones)?
  • Is anything superfluous? – a word, a phrase, whole scene?
  • Does any part of the story not make sense, is confusing? Why so? I need to know the why-sos so that I can reconsider a better approach – without giving away where a herring (red or not) may lead.
  • Characterisation: Actions are consistent with personalities? Personalities well-rounded?
  • Dialogue: Natural and intune with character-personalities? Advances the scene?
  • The end is satisfying?
  • How do you feel after reading the manuscript?
  • What stood out for you?
  • What are the weaknesses?
  • What did you most get from the story?
  • Did it deliver its promise? Its promise from the beginning?

I’ve read my manuscript so many times I’m blind to even small mistakes like typos, an inadvertent pronoun or tense switch. My brain lies to me because it interprets what my eyes see into what it believes a better way to go, being all too “knowing”!

When giving hard-copy of the manuscript to Pre-Submission Readers, my Betas, I ask them to feel free to make notes on manuscript pages as they read, that they can put their thoughts and comments there (even if “Oh! I like this!”) but also I give them pen, paper and sticky-labels as some like to write longer (oh so appreciated) feedback as they progress 🙂 (I read somewhere that another writer was given chapter-by-chapter feedbacks predicting what they thought would happen next!)

Happy days!

Hemingway said: Go after sensitivity not perfection. Control subject matter. Make it beautiful.

Now, two questions for you: What are you presently reading? and, are you writing?

But first, see some Visitor Comments below, perhaps leave one yourself and, give me a Like! Tee-hee heeeee!


My Genre

Identifying my Fiction Genre challenged me. Why? Had Computer Tags confused me such that a Cross-Over could be considered?


Literary Agents, Publishers, Retailers and Libraries (seem to) prefer one elected Genre although I note in earlier years often a book was catalogued with several Categories

I love the smell of books, the feel of them in my hands. And I can turn pages back to a great turn of phrase or idea I marked with a satin ribbon.

Is multiple-cataloguing unique to non-fiction like Byron Akyanoglu’s The Taste of Honey, Peter Thompson’s Pacific Fury, Sandra Lee’s The Promise?

But Rafik Schami’s fiction, The Calligrapher’s Secret, lists four Categories.

p38 4bks BA PF SL RF

I suppose that came with reading mountains of non-fiction. And then, coming to grips with Tags for Posts!

For A Greek Matinée, I had chosen Contemporary Fiction as the Genre (noted in my post Contemporary Fiction, Genre – A Perspective, and considering A Greek Matinée ) while I was immersed in early stages of creating my manuscript. Then I changed it to include sub-categories! Now I’m back to Contemporary Fiction. Keep it simple! However, A Greek Matinée is Literary Fiction.

The story is set in contemporary times with characters who are thrown together on a journey, swivelling through personal and social problems. Boundaries were extended as the main character became enthralled by mythology and legends. To her the figures and creatures are very real so as she sees them, those ancient characters face their own difficulties and complications.

Computerisation? Tags? Meta-tags? Reading a book on a luminous screen? Every day life becomes more complicated. Eyes glue to screens. Bums get bigger. Sadly hours spent browsing in sizeable establishments with books shelved floor to ceiling are fast becoming a thing of the past. But,

I love the smell of books. The feel of them in my hands.

I can turn pages back to a great turn of phrase or idea I’d marked with a satin ribbon; keep my finger where a map clearly shows where the story has moved to like in Harry Sidebottom’s Warrior of Rome (“a rollicking page-turner”), Christian Cameron’s Tyrant series (great action story) and Giles Milton’s White Gold– all great reads and the non-fiction Along the Enchanted Way by William Blacker.

p38b 4bks HS CC GM WB

But soon, I’ll enter a magical bookshop in Romania, Cărturești Carusel (http://carturesticarusel.ro) located in the Old Town (Strada Lipscani 55, București 030033) — “The prettiest bookshop in Romania”   — a restored 19th Century building confiscated during the Communist Period but in 1990 returned to the Chrissoveloni family who were in  possession of it in 1903. The bookshop spreads over six levels totaling 1000sqm. It is open 1000-2200. What a great idea the late closing hour for booklovers! That’ll be when the world recovers from the present crisis. I was booked to go early 2020. Then all flights and stuff of course were postponed.

Keep safe everybody. Love and respect is key.

And now it’s 2021. Still the world trembles and we’re not permitted overseas travel. We’re, rightly for our protection, locked in our state. Oh yes, we can travel to NSW or Victoria where their cases of the dread disease are skyrocketing, but we will not be able to get back into Queensland our home – without rare special permits, lengthy delays, seemingly never… and if we are lucky to cross borders, we’re whipped, rightly, into quarantine. Those southerners are not allowed in. How lovely for us to go to a restaurant, meet with friends. Sip coffee together. Walk on the beach.

December 17 2021. Border with NSW opens. I don’t think this a good idea. We’ve been so lucky to be relatively free of the problems down south.

2022 January. Now we too are stressed, overstretched, masked and trying to keep safe. How long can we hold our breath? And extraordinary weather events beset us – as is happening in the northern hemisphere. Has Earth finally reached the end of it’s tether? Retaliating for our not looking after it better?


Site Updates 2021 2020

Direct-link to New Stuff or Updated earlier Posts and Pages – Hope you like ’em!


Dear Visitors, your Likes and Comments lighten my world and can trigger conversation. Leap to a piece to leave a Comment or Like of its own 🙂 Easy-peasy!

And now it’s Christmas! Season’s Greetings to you all and let’s hope for a fabulous 2022. Site Updates turn a page.

This old page will be accessible from Site Updates 2022

2021 November 28:

2021 November 21:

2021 November 17: Quickie Snacks (New) includes Walnuts, Medjool Dates, Cumin infused cheese and Feta and my take on Tzatziki. On my Chess Day, we all bring a contribution for Morning Tea. Recipes Updated with listing the new four with Buttons. And, tomorrow’s tomorrow, Me & Books tweaked.

2021 November 02: Rain (New) A poem as rain fell and a baby huddled on a frond inches from the sodden ground. “The Manuscript” Tattlings (Updated)

2021 October late: Me & Books (Updated), Asemic Writing in Wet Sands (New), Eclectic Readings from My Stash (which is under construction but does have some Button-Jumps to several authors including Peter Esterhazy (New), Anstey Harris, Di Morrissey, Kayte Nunn, Jodi Picoult. And, perhaps sussed, how Smart-Phone users and non-WordPress visitors can become a Follower with ease: Go to page In Wet Sands – Ebbs and Flows and scroll down to the pink form and you should be able to “sign in” through your familiar platform 🙂 Welcome! Give it a whirl!

2021 October 15 Tech Prob: Follow from Phone not triggering (New) despite 2 hours of effort! It does seem to work if you are a WordPress Site holder.

2021 October 14 Eclectic Readings from My Stash  (New) Four titles so far commented upon – Anstey Harris, Bertrand Russell, Geraldine Brooks, Di Morrissey

2021 October 12 In Wet Sands – Ebbs and Flows   (New) and herewith update on Follow button problem: now it may be working properly 🙂

2021 October 11 Asemic Writing   Asemic writing written by trees, the wind, seaweed on the sand, termites and me. (New) Thanks bluebrightly for the word! I’d not known my “writing” and squiggles in my art had a name 🙂  And Thanks to The Metropolitan Museum of Art – https://www.metmuseum.org  for the five pics of cuneiform writing 🙂

2021 October 10 Tech Prob: Follow Button not triggering (New because several people have not had their efforts to Follow trigger. I’m trying to suss out what I’ve done wrong to the site. Maybe you can help?);  My Genre (Updated); And coming soon, Asemic Writing. My manuscript editing is up to Deeds of Men.

2021 September 27  My Genre (Update with pics and jump for the fabulous bookstore in Romania – at their site, scroll down for heaps of pics of the restored building). Now I’m off for more editing of my manuscript – I’m honing in on Chapter 23 Guilt and Honour.

p34 8 bks of p38

2021 September 26  Today, tidying, compacting, fixing, updating. Some menu items now leap to sub-menus to give you better paths like [Poetics] and [Book Hop]. [Brain Expanding] zaps to the new Expanding Our Brains Menu which gives links thus (but listed tidily):   Expanding Our Brains  – bright fruit, leafy greens, walk and Aristophanes   Expanding Our Brains ii – Meta-Tags and the Ocean   Expanding Our Brains iii Frogs  – Aristophanes Frogs Βάτραχοι. Don’t you just love him? – Brain Food   Expanding Our Brains iv Ken  – a puzzle   Jumping with Hoops – oh those Meta-Tags and Keywords – learning computer stuff. Now I’m off for a much-needed cuppa and shelter from the wind that’s shaking the door.

2021 September 24  Books 21+ (new) **  Book Encounters tickled.


2021 September 18  Poetics …. now I’m off to tend garden, body and that ms!

2021 September 17  Book Encounters  **  Fennel   A quick easy recipe. Great either hot or cold.

2021 September 14  I’m back! **  “The Manuscript” Tattlings  **  Beta-Readers  **  AGM QUESTIONS – Can you help?

2020 May 01 Page (child of Art Endeavours): Seas to Red Centre 19plusOne : Painting Explorations From the Sea to the Red Centre amongst Trees and Creatures. Turtles, Fish, Crabs, Forests, Plains, Mountains, skeletons and saints, tigers and snake.

2020 April 07 Post: My Genre

2020 March 31 Post for My Garden: Golden Orb-Weaver & Jumping Spider and,  Some Books I’ve Read This Year 2020 up to March 31  which includes books currently I’m reading.

2020 March 08 New Page: Some Books I’ve Read This Year 2020

2020 February 25 Updated: Words and Phrases regarding BC/AD vs BCE/CE, retaining historically used characters BC / AD which now can be interpreted:  Backwards Counting / Advancing Date means databases remain unscathed.

books selection

2020 February 23 New Page Eclectic Collection: Books, Authors, Words & Phrases which is parent of:



Writing and Reading with sand between my toes … Orhan Pamuk, Peter Esterhazy, Harry Sidebottom, Umburto Eco, Ioana Pârvulescu, Delia Owens, Ovid, eclectic collections and, sobering thoughts as I flew over Roumania…

About Me, Books & Things, Quick Sketch in Flight, The Manuscript, Contact Me
  • A Greek Matinée is a work of fiction which obsessed me for several years right up to this moment which swells and shifts as if I’m possessed. Of March 2022 the manuscript is finished and I’m setting off on the road of finding a Literary Agent! I know it can be long. I’m ready! Oh what joy it will be when you can read your own copy all nicely bound by a great publisher! Who will it be?
  • A Greek Matinée is a tale set mainly in Greece. In 2016 I’d travelled there to immerse in things most Ancient, walk streets and pathways of our “cradle of western culture”. Prior to flying to Greece I’d been plotting A Greek Matinée, poring over  Greek histories, tragedies, comedies (link to Some Books and Stuff Pored over for A Greek Matinée), “sorted out” gods and, hoping to decipher even one word on an ancient stone, I attempted to learn to read Attic Greek one of the ancient languages spoken in some of the then City States. What a thrill when I actually recognised some bits of inscriptions! I’d swum in the Mediterranean Sea too! Seen Poseidon in a whirling fury soaring to the sky.
  • Yonks ago I’d finished an umpteenth fine-toothcombing and reduction of another story: Tigers in My Teacup which deliberately I put aside for A Greek Matinée which further developed and confirmed my style. My knowledge expanded in great leaps too and maturity blossomed – well, I think so! Tigers and another manuscript now badly need revisits! Maybe those two mss along with all my short stories I wrote as a member of a writing group were my next-level trainer-wheels having long-outgrown the baby-rollers.
  • I’m a member of Friends of Antiquity at University of Queensland, Royal Queensland Arts Society, Queensland Writers’ Centre, Probus and U3A where in 2019 I attended classes “Ancient Civilisations” as well as poetry and playing chess. Oh yes, and energising-socialising through Greek Dancing. For years I’ve been playing chess – although you’d not believe it if you were to play with me! ASA logo 100And now I’m an associate member of Australian Society of Authors.
  • Sometimes with pleasure I still labour with learning to read Attic Greek and almost daily – joyfully – Roumanian which has some similarities to Turkish of which I’d gained a smattering to survive travelling alone along the Black Sea coast where English seemed mythical after thriving on a marvellous tour and attending calligraphy (Arabic) classes in Istanbul – with the Master Calligrapher!
  • Oooh, here are Rough Travelling Sketches made inflight to UK 2016 before my adventures in Greece and second splash in Turkey – a military jet roared past but also I saw a plane smoking low down.

160904 An Eerie Silence over Turkey 400 and Sobering Thoughts p02

  • Had it been shot as we passed?
  • Nervously I ask: what will I encounter in Roumania soon!? (Some of the books I’m reading prior to departure are noted below.)
  • 2021 Update: Roumania? last year? this year? Oh dear, due to the ongoing pandemic sadly gripping the world, all overseas travel from here is banned. My paid-up fares and stuff are fluttering as coupons as thousands of other travellers drift in the same predicament. I do hope EVERYBODY, from the stranger on the street to the teams of front-line workers keep as safe as they possibly can – and have access to The Jab, roll up their sleeve for their shots, now that it’s been developed against this deadly virus.
  • During lockdown 2021, blow me down! I bought online  Viitorul începe luni by Ioana Pârvulescu which is printed in Romanian. So, what fun to try to translate it into English, find the right word and concept this fabulous author crafted in her own language. Ioana Pârvulescu is the award-winning writer of Life Begins on Friday.
  • I’m an avid reader. If the book is of an ancient non-English author, I’m a fan of having the original script opposite English translations like Apollodorus The Library, Ovid Tristia, Ex Ponto, The Art of Love and other Poems, Hesiod The Homeric Hymns which includes Works and Days, Theogony, The Shield of Heracles and other works. But as you see in the above para, not always an English translation is available.
  • I also enjoy more modern authors, Ioana Pârvulescu, the remarkable Delia Owens, Christian Cameron (I’m really sorry I turned down his invitation to join in an historical re-enactment in Greece prior to my planned trip there), Harry SidebottomUmburto Eco, Giles Milton, A.S. Byatt (though I struggle with Possession), of course Orhan Pamuk (got five of his books – did you recognise the right-hand pic of the montage at the top? I took that pic when I visited his … yes … Museum of Innocence); and after Peter Esterházy’s Celestial Harmonies, I loved Jack Faust by Michael Swanwick . And I’ve read The History of Bees by Maja Lunde (which I gave to my daughter-in-law – she’s an apiarist). At first I wasn’t sure what was going on as the first scene is in the future. Deeper in as I slid into the third time-frame going backwards, it clicked. A jolly good read. And there are these:
An eclectic mix – my library contains over a thousand books not to mention archaeology magazines and now, Christmas pressies!! due to my pending trip – Yes, Roumania with a flit in Budapest: Peter Esterházy again.

Books for AGM 2 4B


  • My Interests: Writing, Reading, Gardening, Swimming in the Sea, Art: painting, drawing, printmaking (intaglio, lino cut, woodcut); Travel, Ancient History, Archaeology, Playing Chess and of course, Family.



  • There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the infinite passion of life. Ambrose Bierce
  • Did you like the photos I took in Athens and Istanbul for my signature strip?
  • What are your thoughts on all this? Below there’s a slot for you to leave a Comment [Leave a Reply] I’d be delighted if you left me a comment 🙂 
  • I do hope you will become a “Follower” of me, my site. Someday you may will find a novel of mine on the shelves of a bookshop 🙂 perhaps your favourite!
  • If you had difficulty becoming a Follower I apologise. The [Follow Elizabeth] button now works. On a computer it’s at the top right. On a Smart-Phone it’s way down the bottom past Comments! If you’re not a registered WordPress person, the pink form in my In Wet Sands – Ebbs and Flows is easy and works from a Smart-Phone! As with Life nothing stays the same, things change, sometimes at an alarming rate. Sometimes Good. Sometimes Bad. Progress gallops into an even more technical age. Let’s hope the world heals quickly from present chaos. And that people continue to read books, finger Real Paper, hardcopy… oh dear, there is a generation risen, and netting in others, who prefer on-the-go-electronic-versions. But I like the smell of books, the feel of them in my hands…

Thank you for visiting! I hope you enjoy my site. Have a browse through menus. You can jump to pages like,  Contemporary Fiction, Genre – A Perspective, and considering A Greek Matinée   or,  Book Encounters   and,  Beta-Readers, perhaps  Expanding Our Brains iii Frogs  or even consider one of my Recipes or Paintings.

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