Notes on an evening run

Posted on April 4, 2012

Early Autumn. I am late, and the changing of the clocks means that the dusk has crept in earlier than usual. A ring of pink encircles the sky. In the distance, the Eureka tower glints like a gold ingot. I am running, and so is the sun.

I run along the track. Above the ocean, the sun has turned to liquid, spilling its gold across the horizon. Everything tinged. I run, feel the roughness of the gravel beneath my feet.

Running back, the moon follows me down the canal. Underneath the bridge it disappears and reappears on the other side. My twin runs beside me, vanishes at the end of the road.

I run, alone, back to my flat. Another lonely day passed. The room flooded with blue. I kick of my shoes, then head for the shower, to rinse off another day.

Talon Salon

Posted on March 31, 2012

Talon Salon

Recently I was involved in a great project for Next Wave festival on Vietnamese refugees and nail salon workers called Talon Salon. The piece was written by the very talented Michele Lee, and directed by the equally awesome Tanya Dickson. A very small mention about the piece is in this article, but rest assured I’ll update you as more info comes through.

Review: The New Republic, Lionel Shriver

Posted on March 31, 2012

New Republic lionel shriver

My review for The New Republic, by Lionel Shriver, can be accessed here or read below:

Before her Orange Prize-winning novel, We Need To Talk About Kevin, Lionel Shriver wrote seven books, one of which was unable to find an American publisher. Due to her ensuing success, this novel, The New Republic, a political satire on terrorism, has now been released. In the author’s note Shriver remarks on the difficulty of finding a publisher prior to 9/11 when terrorism was merely a ‘Foreigner’s Boring Problem’, and then finding herself in the same situation post 9/11 despite the nation’s attitude being radically changed. Now, ten years later, this book hopes to enter a new climate: terrorism-literate, with its sunny-side served up.

The plot of the novel, while not complicated, takes its time. Edgar Kellogg, formerly fat ex-lawyer, has turned to writing for the (fictional) broadsheet National Record. Within days, Edgar is sent to the (also fictional) peninsula of Barba, a Portugese backwater fighting for independence. Not only does Barba house a terrorist movement, Os Soldados Ousados de Barba (or SOB – yes, the joke ‘son of a bitch’ gets bandied about a lot) who for years enjoyed blowing up the rest of the world, it also houses National Record correspondent Barrington Saddler, who along with bombings by the SOB, has recently disappeared.

It’s an interesting combination. Despite its flaws, the central tenets of the novel are actually quite compelling. How much of terrorism is attributed to the presence of the media, or, in fact, encouraged? How much of a role does self-interest play in the development of such events? Although this reviewer found parts difficult to engage with (the first 200 pages could easily have been cut by half), readers of farce and cheap wordplay should enjoy this book. Those easily offended by poor taste, on the other hand, should stay well clear.

How To Be Creative – Wall Street Journal

Posted on March 19, 2012

And this is why relaxation helps: It isn’t until we’re soothed in the shower or distracted by the stand-up comic that we’re able to turn the spotlight of attention inward, eavesdropping on all those random associations unfolding in the far reaches of the brain’s right hemisphere. When we need an insight, those associations are often the source of the answer.

This research also explains why so many major breakthroughs happen in the unlikeliest of places, whether it’s Archimedes in the bathtub or the physicist Richard Feynman scribbling equations in a strip club, as he was known to do. It reveals the wisdom of Google putting ping-pong tables in the lobby and confirms the practical benefits of daydreaming. As Einstein once declared, “Creativity is the residue of time wasted.”


There is nothing fun about this kind of creativity, which consists mostly of sweat and failure. It’s the red pen on the page and the discarded sketch, the trashed prototype and the failed first draft. Nietzsche referred to this as the “rejecting process,” noting that while creators like to brag about their big epiphanies, their everyday reality was much less romantic. “All great artists and thinkers are great workers,” he wrote.


How can people get better at making these kinds of connections? Mr. Jobs argued that the best inventors seek out “diverse experiences,” collecting lots of dots that they later link together. Instead of developing a narrow specialization, they study, say, calligraphy (as Mr. Jobs famously did) or hang out with friends in different fields. Because they don’t know where the answer will come from, they are willing to look for the answer everywhere.

Recent research confirms Mr. Jobs’s wisdom. The sociologist Martin Ruef, for instance, analyzed the social and business relationships of 766 graduates of the Stanford Business School, all of whom had gone on to start their own companies. He found that those entrepreneurs with the most diverse friendships scored three times higher on a metric of innovation. Instead of getting stuck in the rut of conformity, they were able to translate their expansive social circle into profitable new concepts.

Invaluable advice.

Tritch Production Still

Posted on March 12, 2012

Tritch Production Still High-res version

Around mid last year I did tiny bit of warm propping for the VCA film Tritch, by the very talented Natalie James.  Although my role essentially involved pouring wine very carefully back into their bottles, it was great fun mucking in with colleagues and classmates, in a high rise, extremely late into the night.  I also like how I’m listed as ‘Pretty Maid’ in the IMDb credits, understandably working very hard for that title (I’m the one hanging out the back in the white maid’s shirt next to the film’s lead, Jenevieve Chang).  Look out for the film as it hits the film festival circuit this year!