Love Food Hate Waste Campaign

Brisbane Queensland Australia 05
Brisbane Queensland Australia

Maybe it’s because I was brought up by post-war parents that I am shocked at the staggering amount of food waste in Brisbane.  I could not understand why our local Government has joined the world-wide campaign Love Food Hate Waste.  Surely you only buy, cook and eat what you need and freeze leftovers?

Apparently for millions of households, it’s not that simple!

The Council brochure states “Love Food Hate Waste was launched in 2007 by Waste and Resources Action Program (WRAP) in the United Kingdom followed by New Zealand, Canada and Australia.  With food waste making up 37% of the average Brisbane rubbish bin, 1 in 5 shopping bags of food ends up in the bin.  That’s 97,000 tonnes of food thrown away every year.   There are simple and practical changes which residents can make in the kitchen to reduce food waste; planning, preparation and storage of food will make a big difference to your wallet and keep Brisbane clean, green and sustainable.”

Scramble over the mat, don’t trip on the dog, here’s a tasty listicle of Council wisdom prepared earlier:

  • Plan meals ahead – create a meal plan based on what is already in your fridge, freezer and pantry.
  • Shop mindfully – stick to your shopping list!
  • Store food correctly – Learn how to store food to ensure it lasts as long as possible and check your refrigerator is functioning at maximum efficiency.
  • Cook with care – Without controlling portions, we tend to waste food when we prepare or cook too much.  Remember fruit and vegetables ripen quickly and are best consumed daily.
  • Love your leftovers – Freeze leftovers to use for lunches, keep for snacks, or add to another main meal.
  • Consider composting – Turn your kitchen scraps into rich nutrients for your garden, get a Bokashi bucket, consider owning pets like chickens or guinea pigs.
  • Join a community garden – Composting hubs operate in selected community gardens.
  • Six-week food waste challenge – Every week the Council will provide step-by-step information on how you can reduce food waste in your home.  Seriously.

Bokashi Bucket Diagram 01

We are over-stocked, over-fed and over-indulgent of our taste buds.  Or as my dear mother would say “Your eyes are bigger than your stomach.”

Gretchen Bernet-Ward

Love Food Hate Waste BCC Campaign

Goodbye to Facebook Again

Facebook Poke 02

After taking one year off to immerse myself in the art of writing, my time is up.

New Year’s resolution: I will no longer be posting regularly on Facebook because it is the most all-consuming part of my day and ultimately hollow.  Eight years ago I dropped out, as evidenced by the snapshot of this unanswered Poke.  Author Jen Storer of Girl & Duck, The Duck Pond and Scribbles creative groups can be pleased she was the one who drew me back into social media to nurture my writing dream – you light up my life – thank you.

My unFacebooking is not due in any way to the calibre and overall enjoyment of the wonderful ‘friends’ I made, I will miss virtually following your daily journeys in writing and illustration.  Conversely, we all are living two lives, the one on Facebook and the real one.

My departure is due to the links, Likes, highlights, comments, feeds, Facebook layout and general entanglements with people whom I do not know on a real level.  It may feel personal but it is not; and I need to grasp reality, my home, my family and my proper writing.

A visit from a little red hen named Took got me back out into our overgrown garden and I realised the computer screen is destroying my creativity rather than enhancing it.

My WordPress blog will continue https://thoughtsbecomewords.com/

“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instil in us” – Hal Borland, American author.

Happy New Year 2018, everyone, and much fulfillment!

Gretchen Bernet-Ward



Postscript
: According to the 2017 Deloitte Media Consumer Survey, daily social media usage in Australia is down from 61 percent to 59 percent in 2017, and 20 percent of Australian social media users say they are no longer enjoying their time on the platforms.  Likewise, almost one third (31 percent) of survey respondents said they have temporarily or permanently deactivated one or more of their social media accounts in the past year.  Fake news is killing the media star with 58 percent of respondents agreeing that they have changed the way they access online content given the prevalence of fake news.  So, folks, I am not alone!

Silent Reading and Socio-Cultural Development

Reading Readers 04

Among scholars, says Thu-Huong Ha, there is a surprisingly fierce debate around when European society transitioned from mostly reading aloud to mostly reading silently.  Thu’s latest article for Quartzy shines a light on the evolution of reading silently––

Finding Space
“The beginning of silent reading changed Westerners’ interior life”
By Thu-Huong Ha
Tuesday 19 November 2017

People think of reading as the introvert’s hobby: A quiet activity for a person who likes quiet, save for the voices in their head.  But in the 5,000 or so years humans have been writing, reading as we conceive it, an asocial solo activity with a book, is a relatively new form of leisure.

For centuries, Europeans who could read did so aloud.  The ancient Greeks read their texts aloud.  So did the monks of Europe’s dark ages.  But by the 17th century, reading society in Europe had changed drastically.  Text technologies, like moveable type, and the rise of vernacular writing helped usher in the practice we cherish today: taking in words without saying them aloud, letting them build a world in our heads.

Among scholars, there is a surprisingly fierce debate around when European society transitioned from mostly reading aloud to mostly reading silently—some even say the ancients read silently just as much as they read aloud—but there is one scene in literature they agree is crucial.  In St. Augustine’s Confessions, the titular professor describes the reading habits of Ambrose, the bishop of Milan:

“But when Ambrose used to read, his eyes were drawn through the pages, while his heart searched for its meaning; however, his voice and tongue were quiet. Often when we were present—for anyone could approach him and it was not his habit that visitors be announced to him—we saw him reading in this fashion, silently and never otherwise.”

The fact that this was so remarkable to Augustine, some scholars argue, is because in the 400s, silent reading wasn’t really a thing.

Other researchers say that this passage is meant more to point out Ambrose’s rudeness.  “It’s really that Ambrose would go on reading silently while he was there, like someone going on texting while you’re trying to talk to them,” says D. Vance Smith, a medievalist in the Princeton English department.  “[Augustine is] surprised by his rudeness at not reading out loud to share with him.”

Reading Readers 05

“The default assumption in the classic period, if you were reading around other people, you’d read aloud and share it,” says Smith. “For us, the default is we’ll read silently and keep it to ourselves.”

If silent reading was in fact rare or rude in ancient times, then at some point the expectation of readers in society shifted.  As late as the 1700s, historian Robert Darnton writes, “For the common people in early modern Europe, reading was a social activity.  It took place in workshops, barns, and taverns.  It was almost always oral but not necessarily edifying.”

But by the time Marcel Proust was writing in the late 1800s, his narrator hoping for time to read and think alone in his bed, reading privately had become more of a norm for wealthy, educated people who could afford books and idle bedroom rumination.

This came with the spreading of literacy and diverse kinds of reading material.  Writes Darnton, records from until as late as 1750 showed that people who could read had only a few books: perhaps the Bible, an almanac, and some devotionals, that they read and re-read. But by 1800, he writes, people were reading more voraciously—newspapers and periodicals—and by the late century they had branched out into children’s literature and novels.

Reading Guy 06

As reading shifted away from the social, some researchers believe this helped create what we now call an interior life.

Writes Alberto Manguel in his 1996 book, A History of Reading:

“But with silent reading the reader was at last able to establish an unrestricted relationship with the book and the words.  The words no longer needed to occupy the time required to pronounce them.  They could exist in interior space, rushing on or barely begun, fully deciphered or only half-said, while the reader’s thoughts inspected them at leisure, drawing new notions from them, allowing comparisons from memory or from other books left open for simultaneous perusal.  And the text itself, protected from outsiders by its covers, became the reader’s own possession, the reader’s intimate knowledge, whether in the busy scriptorium, the market-place or the home.”

“Psychologically, silent reading emboldened the reader because it placed the source of his curiosity completely under personal control,” librarian Paul Saenger writes in his 1997 book, Space between Words.  “In the still largely oral world of the ninth century, if one’s intellectual speculations were heretical, they were subject to peer correction and control at every moment, from their formulation and publication to their aural reception by the reader.”  As Saenger writes, asocial reading helped facilitate intellectual rigor, introspection, criticism of the government and religion, even irony and cynicism that would have been awkward to read aloud.

This strange new trend of reading to oneself naturally had its detractors.  Sceptics thought silent reading attracted day-dreamers and the “sin of idleness,” as Manguel writes.  And worse: it let people learn and reflect without religious guidance or censure.  Silent reading by the late 19th century was so popular that people worried that women in particular, reading alone in bed, were prone to sexy, dangerous thoughts.

Reading Girl 57

There isn’t much consensus between historians on why people would have started reading silently.  Saenger hypothesizes that a shift in the way words were laid out a page facilitated the change.  Latin words once ran all together, makingithardtoparsethem. Saenger argues that Irish monks, translating Latin in the seventh century, added spaces between words to help them understand the language better.  This key design change, he argues, facilitated the rise in silent reading.

M. B. Parkes, in his 1992 book “Pause and Effect: Punctuation in the West” argues something similar.  He writes that a “grammar of legibility”—the visual changes made to texts, like punctuation and word spaces—changed the way we read.  This early book technology was premised on the idea that the scribes, the people writing, didn’t know who their readers would be, or how fluent they might be in reading Latin, and so had to find a standardised way of telling them how to read: pause here; these are two separate words; this is a long “a.”

This scholarship applies for the most part to the Latin-based writing and reading of Europe.  In other major reading cultures of the world like Chinese, whose script doesn’t have spaces between words, and whose literature depends heavily on prosody, silent reading may have developed differently.

Mainstream historical accounts would have us think that the end of oral reading in the Middle Ages was part of the Renaissance, a new European preoccupation with the individual.  But it’s possible humans’ desire for privacy, the carving out of a little pocket in which to escape by way of a book, was there all along.  We just needed a little help getting there.

Written by Thu-Huong Ha for Quartzy newsletter, a weekly dispatch about living well in the global economy.  Original webpage The Beginning of Silent Reading was also the Beginning of an Interior Life.

Gretchen Bernet-Ward

Portraits of Readers Part Two

Initially I was gathering images for a compilation to promote reading but, instead, my gallery became a montage of book-reading men and boys over the last two centuries, photographed and painted, famous or otherwise.  With every viewing, the images reshuffle.  A montage of book-reading women and girls can be found under Part One.

Reading is rightness!

Gretchen Bernet-Ward

Portraits of Readers Part One

Initially I was gathering images for a compilation to promote reading but, instead, my gallery became a montage of book-reading women and girls over the last two centuries, photographed, painted, and one carved in marble.  With every viewing, the images reshuffle.  A montage of book-reading men and boys can be found under Part Two.

Reading is rightness!

Gretchen Bernet-Ward

Don’t Thrash Around

Highs and Lows Graph 01
A short story about life’s ups and downs…

My friend and fellow writer Maud Fitch tilted her head at me and said “Everything is fine for the first three months then the rot sets in and the wheels fall off.  Or, for a modern analogy, your reception drops out.”  She checked to see if I was listening.  “You are left high and dry and feeling cheated, let down, out of sorts, tired, jaded or basically unmotivated.  The first three months of anything are the best, then comes the worst three months.”  As she took a breath, I gave her a querying look.  “Why?” she responded, “Well, who knows?  This is my take on human nature.”

I was perched on a wooden stool while Maud had settled herself down in an easy chair, cardigan wrapped tightly and slippers wedged firmly on her small feet.  She coughed delicately and adjusted her spectacles before continuing.  “A new career, a new car, exercise workout, bonsai class, creative writing, artistic pursuit, second marriage, an extended holiday, all seemingly wonderful for those crucial three months.  Then, bam, a total train wreck.  Worse, it’s a total bore!  Then you wish you had never started.”  I opened my mouth to protest but she ploughed ahead.  “Of course, this phenomenon can work in reverse.  The first three months of a new baby, the first three months of post-operative surgery, or worse, the first three months of giving up smoking. Two words – mindset.”  I stifled a laugh.  “Okay, one word.  But keep an open mind because nothing stays the same for long.”

Uncomfortable, I stretched my shoulders.  “Don’t thrash around,” Maud shouted, startling me.  She waved her arm dangerously close to her favourite cat figurine.  “Look up, look ahead, search for those footholds and handholds to help move you forward again.  Work your way out of the slump, not by changing direction (although you might, she hissed in an aside) but by forging through the undergrowth on that overgrown path until you reach a reasonable destination where you can relax, regroup and start again – when you are good and ready!  It may not be the perfect spot to wait, nevertheless, it will do until you reinvigorate.”

Maud slumped back.  “Do you think that’s too strong for them?”  I laughed.  “Maud, I am sure the ladies luncheon committee has heard stronger things than that.”  She eyed me dubiously, unsmiling, the inference being that she knew them better than I ever could.  I was sure her delivery would win them over and if it didn’t, just like seasonal change, there was always another one.

After some shuffling, Maud pulled out a crumpled sheet of paper from down the side of her chair.  “I was going to reference motivationalist Julia Cameron when she says ‘Sometimes these U-turns are best viewed as recycling times’ but I’m going to read this genuine job advertisement first and say ‘Ladies, be thankful you are relaxing here today’ then launch straight into my talk.”  Maud cleared her throat and read loudly:

“About you – Highly motivated, you possess excellent listening and strong customer service skills. You have proven ability to build rapport with customers, key partners and management. You possess strong problem solving and resolution capabilities. Resilient, flexible, literate, you have the ability to work under pressure, deal with rapid change and work to strict time frames. Self-motivated, available at short notice, you are currently looking to embark on your next career challenge and add value to a growing organisation. If this sounds like you APPLY today! Previous exposure dealing with print/sales/retail is desirable however not essential.”

With a snap of fingers on paper, Maud whooped “Burnout dead ahead” which I thought was a bit unfair.  “Oh, Maudie” I said, a nickname she disliked, “you make me want to grab a coffee and start scrolling endless, mindless amusements across my screen.”  I picked up my phone.  I don’t think that was quite the incentive she had in mind and may have misinterpreted my gesture.  She frowned and started flipping through the pages of her speech, obviously keen to memorise more text.  “Look.”  I offered her the phone.  On the screen was an old Gary Larson “The Far Side” cartoon.  Now, that really did make her laugh.

Gretchen Bernet-Ward

Primative Resumes
Pressure put on us from the dawn of time…

Gretchen Rubin says…

“What I do for my work is exactly what I would do if nobody paid me”…

Gretchen Rubin is an American author, blogger and speaker and has written several books including “The Happiness Project”, “Happier At Home” and “Better Than Before”.

The only thing Gretchen Rubin and I have in common is our first name.  When I was growing up, my name was a burden among all the Anglo-Saxon children during my school years.  I was never ashamed of my first name, just upset with people when they couldn’t come to grips with it, and I didn’t understand why people had so much trouble pronouncing it.  Now, thanks to the global village, it’s a cinch.

As for working, I’ve always worked for financial reasons and if the job was a good one that was a bonus.  From insurance, travel, advertising, promotions, administration and library positions, I am now at the stage where I am free to pursue my writing career.  I can sit and pound away on the keyboard to my heart’s content and nobody pays me.

Gretchen Bernet-Ward

Computer 06
Hard Work

Balcony Muse

Balcony Morning 004
Balcony View

As I sit on our small balcony with the French doors open behind me, I can see a front view over the trees, over the shallow valley and up the opposite hillside.  Roof tops gleam here and there and a council bus grinds its way up the steep incline of a street still named ‘lane” from way back when it took farm traffic up and over the hill.

To my right are the wooden chamfer boards which line the house, in this instance making the wall of our home office, or, as it was nicknamed many years ago, The Den.  To the left is an open view over rooftops and trees and I’m right in line with a big fluffy white cloud.  This cloud is probably bigger than an ocean liner.  It is floating slowly through the blue sky.

To the side I hear the roar of a jet engine and a shiny aerodynamic form cruises past, heading towards the fluffy cloud.  For the first time, I wonder what it must be like for the pilot, drawn inexorably into this massive expanse of whiteness.  From experience I know that clouds can be bumpy rides but the unspeakable horror of something else flying into it from the other direction…nah, that’s not possible in this day and age…

The plane gets smaller and smaller until the sun glints off a tiny silver speck.  I wait for it to be swallowed by the white cloud when, ever so gracefully, it curves away and downward, heading for the airport and out of my view.

I jump as suddenly a screeching white cockatoo cuts across my line of vision.  It is closer but follows the same flight path as the jet.  Still screeching to scare both friends and enemies, the cockatoo turns and mirrors the same downward arc, disappearing from sight.

Perhaps a philosophical parallel could be made, a bit of literary prose penned to suit the occasion.  However, it is just an illustration of everyday life and I can still hear the highway rumble, the neighbour’s dog barking and the postman on a small motorbike with squeaky brakes.  Nothing magical, no cheque in the mail, just suburban routine.

Gretchen Bernet-Ward

Cockatoo 01
Cockatoo

Garden Notes on a Warm Winter Day

Dear Diary, it’s a calm, warm July day, almost like an early Spring, but there are no butterflies or buzzing insects.  The crows call to each other across the back garden and noisy miners flit back and forth like feathered investigators on an important assignment.  The children in the house behind my suburban block are jumping on a netted trampoline and soon there will be a cry and a parent will take them off.  The towels have been on the Hills Hoist clothes line for two days.  A dried-out agapanthus head is sticking straight up out of the perennial foliage, a reminder that I am not a conscientious gardener.

IMG_3643
Tomatoes
Rosella Flower 01
Rosella
Pointsettia 002
Poinsettia
Agave 03
Agave

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So saying, in a green square pot I have grown a very tall tomato plant with fat green tomatoes (above) emerging every day.  The old mandarin tree has a yearly crop of pale orange-coloured mandarins, and my rosella plants are flowering (above) while the spring onions and ginger roots carry on regardless.  There are non-native plants like a small pomegranate, poinsettia bright red and blooming (above) and our huge native gum tree towers over all of us; blossom for the parrots and fruit bats.  Special mention goes to our agave family.  These Mexican beauties (above) love our subtropical climate and we’ve given away more young plants than I can remember.

IMG_0517
Hoya

 

IMG_0451
Coffee Flower
Bird Nest 02
Nest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, there’s the herbs, for better or worse, always trying so hard … The trailing hoya (above) was a joy with its pink waxy flowers but recently it decided it had had enough and shrivelled up.  The ancient mulberry tree went the same way, dying in the drought a few years back, followed by the peach and avocado trees.  The coffee bean tree (above) survives anything.  We live on a sloping hill with poor soil which is interesting because many years ago cows grazed on the lush hillsides around us.  My father once said “All your good top soil has been washed downhill”.  Not so long ago the rich alluvial earth along the creek at the bottom of our street was plundered and no doubt sold for landscaping.

When I first lived here, the suburb was casual with a leafy roughness about it which made for a relaxed, friendly vibe.  Indeed, every home was owner/builder and most residents chose not to erect fences nor were there any footpaths.  Trees were planted to shade homes from the fierce western afternoon sun and if you were lucky you had a ceiling fan.  Ah, the 70s, a time of emerging from the past and forging ahead with little regard for past cultural or community identity but, in so doing, it created a unique city.  Strangely, if not surprisingly, it has taken about 40 years for the people of Brisbane, Queensland, to appreciate our subtropical city.  The past is now nostalgically and fondly remembered as the concrete is poured for yet another highrise apartment block.

If real estate developers would let us, we would return to our friendly, informal way of life instead of building cement block homes and painting them grey like every other capital city in Australia.  To take my mind off the screeching of chainsaws as they hack down another leopard tree (above) I will write a little bit about our front garden.

Palm Blossom 001
Date Palm
Alkina Flame Tree (6)
Flame Tree
Orchid on Flame Tree
Orchid
Jacaranda in Afternoon
Jacaranda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maiden Hair Fern
Fern

 

 

 

 

 

In the front garden, and I use the term loosely, there is structure and visions of edging and all, but I have let that slip.  Two tall palm trees (above) on either side of the house echo early Queensland-style seen in rural areas.  Tough-as-old-boots golden cane palms dot the area while I think our camellia is a Melbourne throwback.  The stocky Illawarra flame tree with its pink orchids (above) was planted to complement the purple jacaranda nextdoor (viewed from balcony).  I will not describe the weeds like camphor laurel, monstera or umbrella trees always springing up between the lemon scented tea-trees and more civilised shrubs.   Does anyone still grow ‘mother-in-law tongue’ and ‘cast-iron’ plants?  Cast iron is an unkillable broad leafed low-growing plant and I think it was beloved of early Victorians as either a hothouse or indoor plant in brass pots on wooden stands.

In the back garden, what there is left of our lawn is covered in bindii prickles thanks to lawn mowing contractors who disperse them willy-nilly via their lawn mower tyres.  You can read my screed on Lawn Mower Men.  There is a shallow bird bath under the eucalyptus tree for the enjoyment of noisy miner birds.  On a tiled outdoor table, I have my inherited maiden hair fern (above) in a small pretty terracotta pot.  The pot was thrown and fired by a neighbour and friend over thirty-five years ago.  This little fern is hardier than most!

Apart from hedging bushes of murraya, or mock orange, there is no strong scent in the garden and no ornamental plantings with fragrance except a straggly French lavender potplant.  Our forebears had a bit of foresight when it came to planting leafy, sheltering greenery in an otherwise hot landscape.  It’s our trees which stand out, they, and others like them, represent our suburban streetscape.  Long may they tower over us!

Gretchen Bernet-Ward

Sci-Fi Comes to Life

IMG_0321
Static

When a mature person says to me “I don’t understand new technology” my reply is “If a human invented it, a human can use it”.  I believe every senior can master modern technology, and benefit from it.

I wasn’t always pro-IT, I thought it was invasive and time-wasting, not to mention eroding our good manners.  You know, that person who keeps one eye on their mobile phone, flicking their thumb over the screen while you’re trying to have a conversation.  I avoided e-readers, I kept my landline phone and used a small pre-paid mobile for texting only.  Then I realised I was missing out on a lot of good things!

“Digital technology allows us a much larger scope to tell stories that were pretty much the grounds of the literary media” – George Lucas
Read more https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/digital_technology

Things like blogging, exploring a holiday destination with Google Maps, or my cousin walking around her kitchen with a laptop while I viewed the design via Skype.  And the ability to download an e-book or watch a video on my iPad any time of the day or night.  The joy of being connected to the internet for instant information on my mobile, staying in touch simply and easily, this liberation never ceases to amaze me.  Everything from family to fashion, bookings to e-newsletter subscriptions, all via technology.

In the State Library of Queensland Digital Futures Lab, one of my delights is showing seniors the Augmented Reality Sandpit and Virtual Reality.  They are just as gob-smacked as me.  It is our early viewing diet of sci-fi shows coming to life!  Perhaps phone etiquette needs improving, and I may never give myself over to 24/7 connectivity, but I enjoy the benefits of IT and have fun exploring the endless world wide web on a device as small as my hand.

Gretchen Bernet-Ward

N.B. This post also appeared on State Library of Queensland blog for Seniors Week.
http://blogs.slq.qld.gov.au/slq-today/2017/08/10/sci-fi-comes-to-life/

One Book at a Time?

I read three books at a time …

Books A-Z
Book Slide

My books are almost in every room.  All genres and categories, all shapes and sizes, new and old, popular and obscure, loved, liked and even loathed.  I will refer to them, quote them, yet perhaps not always re-read them.  I prefer the next book, the next Great Read, something new to me but not necessarily a blockbusting bestseller.

As mentioned, I read about three books at a time, not to show off, but to suit my mood during the day.  The books can be in any format, paper, ebook, large print, audio as long as it holds my attention, sparks my imagination, gets me interested or teaches me something new.  I’ve been through my non-fiction period, my classics epoch, my intellectual stage, my steampunk phase, my romance jaunt and different levels of humour, while dabbling in between with things like sci-fi fantasy and horror, but I keep coming back to perennial crime fiction.

For me, the ‘must have’ is a good strong lead character, someone I want to know about, someone I want to tag along with throughout the day, or night.  On the weekend I read in the garden under the palms with a cool drink but mainly I read at night.  A good crime novel can be detrimental to my sleep!  Apart from a nicely twisted plot, the characters are who I care about the most.  Currently my favourite murder mysteries are written by Australian and British authors.

While I enjoy writing reviews, my ego is under no illusions that anyone would find my reviews earth-shattering or even interesting.  It’s a hobby for me and my suggestion to you, dear reader, is that you should make up your own mind on any book.  Blurb can be misleading!  It would be nice to see more conflicting, controversial reviews and posts by readers who are not looking over their shoulders at freebies/writers/publishers/fans or the next thumbs up.

I recommend books I’ve liked and occasionally pan those I’ve disliked.  My thoughts may differ from yours so if you have never written a review, why not give it a go?  Write a couple of paragraphs and see if it deepens your appreciation of the book.  My thoughts lead me to writing down the key words and hey-presto.  Get along to book launches and author signings for insider information.  And grab a copy of “Francis Plug: How to Be a Public Author” by Paul Ewen.  Kooky, hilarious and factual, it delves into the fan/author relationship with real consequences.

Francis Plug How To Be A Public Author

NOTE:  Reading three books simultaneously for maximum brain gymnastics means, for example, one on public transport, another in a lunch break, and a third at bedtime.  Happy reading!

Gretchen Bernet-Ward

 

Break Time

Peppermint Magazine Event

 

 

 

Quotable quote from Rebecca Jamieson, Brisbane editor of Peppermint magazine: “Skinny, fat, tall, short, smooth, bumpy, pretty, ugly, strong, weak – we all give ourselves far too many labels, when what we really need to give ourselves is a break”.

Peppermint Magazine Cover

Forget labels, enjoy your life without a tag.

Gretchen Bernet-Ward