Bird spit not included

April 25, 2015 at 11:50 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

‘What if the cockroaches weren’t the only ones bringing her snow?’

I paused, my pen raised.

‘Keep talking…’

‘Well, the cockroaches close her mouth while she sleeps so the bird can’t spit in it, right? But are there really enough of them to quench her when she catches fire, considering how small they are? I mean, how much snow could a cockroach feasibly carry?’

I nodded, frowning. He made a good point.

‘Are you suggesting the ten other birds, the ones that flew off towards Reykjavik, carry snow in their mouths and drop it on her bed too?’

Michael nodded, fingers busy sketching. Then again, Michael’s fingers are always busy sketching.

Adrian gave a short exclamation, and held his phone aloft.

‘Found it!’ he told us, triumph – and whiskey – making him beam. ‘There’s a giant in Norse mythology called Hraesvelgr, who turns into an eagle. In Old Norse his name means ‘Corpse Swallower.’

Michael and I leaned forward and murmured approvingly.

Photo: Hedegehog 83

‘They say,’ Adrian continued, scrolling through his phone, ‘that he sits at the end of the world and causes the wind to blow across the lands whenever he beats his wings. Could you use that?’

I sat back, and scribbled Hraesvelgr in my notebook.

‘Hell yeah…does it mention what colour he is? Because I need one with red feathers.’

And reaching for another slice of pizza, we all went back to our research, heads bowed and mouths full of anchovies.

viking book covers

It’s not every Friday evening that we dip into Viking Sagas over whiskey, but truth be told, it’s not uncommon. When I’m snagged on a story line and can’t shake myself free, my artistic coven are always to the rescue, usually amidst sketchbooks, cameras and much laughter.

Wouldn’t have it any other way.

I am knee deep in my ink, splashing around in glee. I’m making major structural changes to my novel, and am more enthused about it than I know how to say. Tonight I’ve submitted a story to a Penguin Publishing competition, put the finishing touches to another, and made the final edits to one I’m going to be brave enough to send to – deep breath – The New York Times.

I’m delighted this week to have had a story accepted for publication by THIS magazine – details soon – and to be performing at the Newstead Short Story Tattoo this coming Saturday. I’ll be part of the wonderful crew of Stereo Stories, telling tales of songs and the reasons we love them, live on stage with musical accompaniment.


If you’re in or around Melbourne, take a peek at the website and grab a ticket to Fire Stories…an open bonfire, guitars, storytellers and an audience.

The perfect way to beckon in winter.

(Bird spit not included)

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