muddled thoughts on ‘a room with a view’

Paul de Maria, Field of Violet Flowers. Click here to visit Paul's website.
Paul de Maria, Field of Violet Flowers. Click here to visit Paul’s website.

“It isn’t possible to love and to part. You will wish that it was. You can transmute love, ignore it, muddle it, but you can never pull it out of you. I know by experience that the poets are right: love is eternal.”

– E M Forster, A Room with a View

When author Annabel Smith, invited me over to her blog to write about my favourite book – or, at least, one of my favourite books – E M Forster’s A Room with a View came immediately to mind.

Click here to pop over to Annabel’s blog and have a read!

(Oh, and while you’re there, make sure you find out more about Annabel’s novelsWhisky Charlie Foxtrot and A New Map of the Universe. You should also take a look at all the other talented authors, bloggers and bookish sorts who have contributed to Annabel’s Friday Faves and read about their favourite books)


In other news, I am finding myself falling in love with writing again. And yes, I’m currently reviewing a book published in 1960. Finally.

More words. Soon. Really.

finem respice*

mondayThere’s something about New Year’s Eve that puts me on edge. It’s a time for retrospection, and this year, I’d much rather concentrate on all the things in front of me than the things I’m leaving behind.

I’m heading into the New Year reluctantly (I like to pretend I have a choice in the matter) because I’m not entirely sure I’ve finished with this one yet. There are still so many things I haven’t done yet, so many abandoned intentions. Time to let all of them go and begin again.

First and foremost amongst my litany of literary disasters in 2012 – the Australian Women Writers Challenge. Oh, the plans I had in mind when I first signed up for the challenge! Here’s my rather pathetic report. Promise you won’t laugh?

Animal People – Charlotte Wood (I’m pretty sure I read this in 2011, but I reviewed it in 2012. Take a look at my thoughts here)

The Children’s Bach – Helen Garner (re-read and reviewed here – how did I forget to include this in my list of favourite books for the year?!)

All That I Am – Anna Funder (read, not reviewed)

My Hundred Lovers – Susan Johnson (ditto. Oops. Are you noticing a theme here yet?)

Foal’s Bread – Gillian Mears (read it, adored it – I even met Gillian Mears in person at the Melbourne Writers’ Festival. Shamefully, I haven’t reviewed this one. Bethanie Blanchard’s review over at Liticisms says everything I wanted to say – go and read that instead)

Mateship with Birds – Carrie Tiffany (I’m reviewing this right now, so I’m probably cheating by including it on my list here. It’ll be my first review for 2013. Promise)

Oh, and I also read Hazel Rowley’s Tête-à-Tête: The Tumultuous Lives and Loves of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre. It was amazing. I don’t read much in the way of non-fiction, but I plan to read Rowley’s biography of Christina Stead next year, in the gaps between all the other things I’m planning.


Needless to say, I’m going to have to do a better job next year. I’ve already signed up for the 2013 challenge (you should too – click here) and I will be reading and reviewing one novel by an Australian woman  for every month of next year.

(If I say it here, in public, that means I really have to read and review twelve AWW novels in 2013 or risk looking like an idiot. And putting it in bold means it’s even more likely to sink in, right? Well, that’s the theory…)


In other news, I’m looking forward to resuming where I left off and reading my way through the Sixties next year – and beyond. I’ve already started thinking about what I’d like to read for the Seventies. I’m eager to launch myself into my reading and writing again. I am excited. It’s been way, way too long.

But before all that, there’s right now. The sun’s out, and it’s the last day of the year. It’s time to blast the listlessness of 2012 aside and welcome 2013 with open arms. roomwithaview

Tomorrow, to celebrate E M Forster’s 134th birthday, I’ll be sitting in the shade, reading A Room With A View and daydreaming of hillsides covered in violets.

Wishing you all a muddle-free 2013!


* Finem Respice was my high school’s motto. Only one of my teachers – my favourite teacher – knew what it meant.