Apart from my love of travelling and exploring the centre, corners, and edges of Australia and any other country I can possibly afford airfares to, I am a writer with a passion for searching out real-life stories. I have a particular interest in new and unusual ways of writing and presenting lives, and, in especial, literary docu-memoir, a rare form of creative nonfiction writing pioneered by the British writer Tony Parker in the mid part of the twentieth century. This type of writing uses an immersion research process which involves the creative nonfiction writer interviewing and audio-taping ordinary people for their unusual life experience and their thoughts and feelings as the resource material for a literary work. Although this is the main focus of my work, I do write other material as well: I am a literary critic and critical analyst, conference speaker, essayist, memoirist, literary docu-memoirist, creative nonfiction writer, and I also write some fiction. I’m published nationally and internationally.
For anyone who is interested, I am a Conjoint Fellow to the Faculty of Education and the Arts, School of Humanities and Social Science, at the University of Newcastle in Australia. As well, I am a reviewer on the editorial board of the journal Auto/Fiction. Professor Hugh Craig, formerly my principal supervisor for my MPhil and PhD, is my mentor.
I am immensely proud of our University and will talk the ears of anyone who will listen to me going on and on … about the university, and about my work, and my interests. I love my husband, my family and friends, and my home, and like to keep a neat, clean, tidy house but must admit that I absolutely loathe housework and ironing—especially the last. I like reading and writing, computers, conferences, cooking, sewing, sailing, messing about in boats, people and animals, my garden and birds, painting and drawing, good music, going to the movies and watching television shows like Judge John Deed and Jack Frost and documentaries, and I adore Escape to the Country, Dream Build, and Grand Designs. Apart from being a frustrated home renovator, I love a challenge no matter whether it’s taking on a difficult piece of work, or roaming through other countries with my husband and exploring as we go, or blue-water sailing, or literally climbing a mountain, or scaling one of New Zealand’s glaciers. I’m also a bit of a loner, and even though I enjoy the company of my loved ones I very much like to be left alone in silence with my work, and with observing others. I suppose I’m what you might call a “people and life watcher.”
But why have I called my blogspot “Words for Sam”? Is “Sam” a general pseudonym for my reader so to speak, like Jane or John Doe is for those medical cases whose identities are unknown? Or is it easier for me to address an imaginary reader whom I shall call “Sam”? That is up to the reader to decide, although, in truth, “Sam” is my constant companion. He is a little bird who sits on my shoulder. He is loving, talkative, attentive, and he listens to my words; like my muse who demands that I put words on paper, he demands my constant attention. Sam is well-known in the family and around the district for his thirst for words, words, words, and more words.… So, Words for Sam.