four years of book to the future

Today, four years ago, I started Book to the Future. So I thought I’d make a cake. Here it is!

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Because I had a little bit of a memory lapse (although nothing compared to last year’s, when I forgot my bloggiversary altogether) and only remembered my blog’s impending birthday on Sunday evening, there wasn’t quite enough time to bake enough cake for everyone.

Sorry about that.

But you can make your own, if you like! It’s really easy, and delicious. All you need is a mug – the bigger the better – a microwave, a few basic ingredients and five minutes. Here’s the recipe – now get to it!

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(Turns out this mug is as good at making cake as it is at making tea!)

At the end of last night’s post, I implied I had something special planned. To be honest, I was hoping that inspiration would strike and I’d come up with something spectacularly witty to say in honour of this occasion.

But nope. I’ve got nothing. Nothing to give away, no brilliant playlist of celebratory music ready to share, no balloons falling from the ceiling. No deep and meaningful essay on the nature of literature or blogging or literary blogging – or anything else, for that matter. Just a few words and a mug full of chocolate cake.

I’m strangely proud of what I write here. Even the old posts I can’t read without cringing at how awful they are. Maybe it’s because my old posts are so bad that I’m proud of my writing – they’re a reminder that I’m actually getting somewhere.

Which begs the question: how do you celebrate something that makes you proud? Something that you’ve created from nothing?

The answer couldn’t be clearer: you celebrate quietly, by continuing to create. Which is exactly what I’m planning on doing.

After I’ve finished my cake-in-a-mug, of course.

I do hope you’ll join me.

bookavatarTo everyone who has supported me and Book to the Future so far – and there are a lot of you – thank you all so much.

Michelle

and then this happened

Somehow, I’ve blundered my way into the finals of the Australian Writers’ Centre’s Best Australian Blogs competition.

I’m in the Words category, along with bookblogger extraordinaire, Stephanie from Read in a Single Sitting and John Birmingham (I know, right!? This comes to mind).  Also in the Words category are Danielle Binks’ Alpha Reader and Andrew Bilfield for Lives of the Poets. Go and take a look – they’re all fantastic blogs.

I’d like to say a great big thank you to the Australian Writers’ Centre, as well as everyone who’s sent me messages on Facebook, Twitter and email.

But this post isn’t about Book to the Future at all. Actually, I have a favour to ask.awwbadge_2013

There’s a particular blog that I really think deserves recognition – and, if you’re fast, there’s still time to vote for it to win the People’s Choice Round of the competition.

So, if you haven’t already voted, I want you to go, right now, and vote for the Australian Women Writers Challenge Blog to win the Best Australian Blogs Competition People’s Choice award. It’s really easy. Just click here, tick the box next to the Australian Women Writers’ Challenge Blog (it’s on the first page!) enter a few basic details about yourself, and you’re done.

Oh, and while you’re in a clicking kinda mood, there are heaps of other blogs I love that you could also vote for. Like Tonile from My Cup and Chaucer, Louise from Stella Orbit, Annabel Smith, Walter Mason, Sue from Whispering Gums and the Momentum Blog. Also in the running, there’s Tim from Tim Writes India, Tony’s Reading List and Killings. Brilliant blogs all round.

Right. That’s it from me. Here’s the voting page again – go have your say!

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it’s not every day…

It’s not every day you look at your phone and find a tweet telling you your name’s in the paper.

Along with a few of my book blogging idols, including Angela Meyer, Lisa Hill, Kim Forrester and John Boland, I was mentioned in Jane Sullivan’s Turning Pages column in Saturday’s Age. Click here to take a look.

(To the “informant” who brought Book to the Future to Jane’s attention, thank you so much!)

I’ve taken the drastic step of banning myself from reading any more books until I’ve posted a new review, so I’d better get my head out of the clouds and get back to writing…

stellaaaaa!!! and other awards

notebookSo. Once again, I find myself struggling to find the time to keep up with blogging, reading, writing and my full-time job. Blah blah blah, the usual. It’s becoming abundantly clear that I’m going to have to take a step back from something. A little hint – it’s not going to be blogging, reading or writing…

Anyway. I wanted to write a very quick update to my previous review.

When I really love a book, it makes me very happy to see that book receive the recognition it so deserves. Hence, I was very pleased to see that Carrie Tiffany’s Mateship with Birds was named on the longlist for the inaugural Stella Prize. The shortlist will be announced at midday this Wednesday, and I’ll be online for the announcement, holding my breath.

(Edited to add: and here’s the Stella shortlistMateship with Birds made it! Brilliant!)

In the meantime, I’m reading a few other books from the longlist. I’m completely, utterly mesmerised by Amy Espeseth’s Sufficient Grace right now, and Margo Lanagan’s Sea Hearts is next on my Australian Women Writers reading list. After that, I’m reading Cate Kennedy’s Like a House on Fire.

As pleased as I was to see Mateship with Birds on the Stella longlist, I was overjoyed when it made the longlist for the 2013 Women’s Prize for Fiction. And another of my favourite books of last year, Zadie Smith’s NW is also nominated. Many of the titles on the longlist are new to me but it’s such an exciting list. If only the pile of books I want to read wasn’t already so large it requires its own postcode, I’d read them all.

As a quick aside, I’m completely thrilled that my review of Mateship with Birds was selected as one of three winners of the Scribe Books Giveaway over on the Australian Women Writers Challenge blog. Thank you so much to the judge Annabel Smith, to Danielle, who was kind enough to nominate my review, to Elizabeth Lhuede – and huge congratulations to the other two winning reviewers.

Also on the subject of awards, Jessie Cole’s amazing debut novel Darkness on the Edge of Town made it to the shortlist of the ALS Gold Medal today, Brilliant news! I’ll be reviewing Darkness as soon as I can find the time – err, see the first sentence of this post.

And finally – the Miles Franklin Award longlist will be announced next week and it looks like exciting things are gearing up over at the Miles Franklin website.

Okay. Back to writing…

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