Talk to me! (Please)

Durrell in his final years, with Cottontop Tam...
Durrell in his final years, with Cottontop Tamarins (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Broadside is blooming — with 939 followers worldwide, and a 50 percent increase in only a few months.

I’d love to hit 1,000 by my birthday, June 6.

If you’re a fan, I hope you’ll consider re-blogging, tweeting or linking!

Long-term commenters include three Australians: Charlene, a feisty photographer; Nigel Featherstone, a writer of the most lyrical and lovely posts and Belongum, a military veteran who shares my love of Gerald Durrell, a British writer who made me want to do what he did for a living, even if I’d never reach his level of skill!

C. has a witty blog, Small Dog Syndrome, which strikes the perfect balance of tart and amused. Lisa Wields Words makes me think of  an Amazon whose shield may resemble a thesaurus.

Matthew Wright, a New Zealand historian and writer, knows well the challenges of this business we both chose; his latest book, about Kiwi criminals, is out in July. He has written (does the man sleep?!) 45 books. So far.

Andi M. has shared some great stories, and I’m curious to see how Kate, a young Irish journalist, is faring in our mutual field. LKD, newly engaged to the stellar Sarge, whom she has blogged about at Gin and Lemonade with a twist, met me for a drink in Manhattan last year. So good to put a face to an on-line name.

We have an Edmonton Tourist and Susan from Scotland and Geoff, yet another Australian…

I love hearing from you!

So, those who have yet to comment, especially — please tell me a little about yourself.


Where do you live ?

What sort of work do you do?

What are some of your passions?

Any topics you’d like to see more of here (or less?)?

What brought you to Broadside?

And what three books MUST I read, of any period? I’m always hungry for new stuff.

45 thoughts on “Talk to me! (Please)

      1. Julia

        I have no idea how that ridiculously erroneous title got there. Of course, My Family and Other Animals!! I forgot about the family part I guess.

  1. There’s a young (whatever that means) Irish writer called Kevin Barry who has been creating waves with his short stories – I’ve only read his novel, City of Bohane, which will really change the way anyone thinks of Ireland for the rest of their life!

    Also, if you’re looking for Kate, try – she started following my blog from comments I posted here and I now read her blog from comments she made on mine. Now I suppose you can add the title of ‘joiner’ to your long list of accomplishments and skills 🙂

  2. Gosh, an honorary mention…I’m blushing 😉

    The Light Of Other Days – Stephen Baxter and Arthur C Clarke. Two phenomenal writers, and so much depth between the lines. I’m reading Evolution by Stephen Baxter at the moment. Think I will go back and re-read Light Of Other Days when I am finished with it.

    Oh and if you haven’t read any Tim Winton you must so so as well. Dirt Music is his most well known work internationally and it truly is a beautiful book. Simple, wonderful language and his mastery of storytelling is beyond my ability to describe.

  3. goodoldgirl

    1. I manage content on a couple of websites.

    2. I’m passionate about my daughter and I read, read, raad, and read some more.

    3. Write about a little company in Tennessee that changed the world of publishing 15 years ago. It’s called Lightning Source. If you need contact names, just let me know.

    4. You found me and I’ve been a fan ever since I followed you back to your blog.

    5. Read: Anthem by Ayn Rand, This Perfect Day by Ira Levin, and The Sweet Potato Queen’s Book of Love by Jill Conner Browne.

    Really enjoyed yor article on Google.

  4. My comments are occasional rather than regular. I live in Darwin in Australia’s tropical north. My passion is family history: researching and learning and especially writing. I’ve published one book (in awe of 45!!!) but I’m using my blog to publish short stories on family history as well as share what I have learned generally. I also like to share images of the Northern Territory.

    Recently one of my American blogging mates asked for some fiction recommendations which gave an essence of Australia. My post and request for other titles generated quite a discussion. If interested you might want to look at it

    Meanwhile I keep coming back to Broadside for the excellent writing, informative posts and different perspectives. A blog I’ve also been enjoying lately is

    1. Just reading the words “Australia’s tropical north” makes me want to visit! I was in Sydney and Melbourne in 1998 for the Volvo Round the world yacht race.

      I’ll be sure to check out your booklist. I’ve loved the films about Australia, or made by Australians, that I’ve seen — Gallipoli, Rabbit Fence, Picnic at Hanging Rock.

      Thanks for the blog recommendation, and appreciate your kind words about Broadside!

  5. I live in The Netherlands. Read your blog about blogging and have been following you ever since. Sent your article on Google to my sister for inspiration (she is a self-employed trainer/coach).

    I earn a living as a civil servant: advising EU crossborder workers about their social security rights. Part of my job is to manage content on our corporate website.

    Must read books? Don’t read so much anymore. I blame the excellent series on HBO and AMC (Game of Thrones, Mad Men). But i’m enthusiastic about Dutch writer Arnon Grunberg I can recommend his latest novel “Tooth and Nail” (Huid en Haar). Although i have to warn you. He has quite a grim view of the human condition. I recognise this view. Maybe you don’t.

    1. Lucky you! I was in Amsterdam in 1983 for only three days and am dying to return..I even dreamed last night (!) I was trying to get to the airport to make a plane there but was going to miss it. I am very eager to return.

      What an interesting job! There is such paranoia and xenophobia here about foreign workers, even though American employers can never find enough math/science grads.

      Thanks much for the writer recommendation!

    2. Lucky you! I was in Amsterdam in 1983 for only three days and am dying to return..I even dreamed last night (!) I was trying to get to the airport to make a plane there but was going to miss it. I am very eager to return.

      What an interesting job! There is such paranoia and xenophobia here about foreign workers, even though American employers can never find enough math/science grads.

      Thanks much for the writer recommendation!

  6. ….I live in Nairobi, Kenya.

    I wouldn’t mind hearing more about your life – you know at least about your daily struggles/musings.

    I believe I came here via google search, not really sure but I don’t regret staying.

    You should read MAN AND BOY by Tony Parsons. It’s a book I have read more than five times and I wouldn’t mind doing it again.

    P/S: I adore your work….

    1. Thanks for all the kind words – and the book suggestion.

      I have to think about how much daily struggle I want to share or admit to publicly! 🙂 But I appreciate your idea and will do some more of that. Definitely have a very personal post coming up for Mother’s Day May 13.

      At this point in my life, for which I am very grateful, I have finally started to feel that life is less of a struggle, thanks to a few key changes in the past year. Maybe that’s worth a post in itself.

  7. Thanks for the shout out! A recent favorite read of mine is The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. It is from the perspective of a Golden Lab. I was surprised at how this captivated me. It was a beautiful story of loyalty, trust and family.

  8. Awww thanks for the shout-out!

    As to three books that are very important to me: ‘Wild Surmise’ by Australian poet Dorothy Porter (Porter made verse novels her own; most people refer to ‘The Monkey’s Mask’, which was turned into a film, and the book is excellent, but I love ‘Wild Surmise’); ‘The Remains of the Day’ by Kazuo Ishiguro (it has perfect-pitch voice, which is essential for any piece of excellent writing), and ‘Disgrace’ by JM Coetzee (because it’s perhaps the perfect novel).

    Passions: writing, music, place, old stuff, beauty, darkness, and how to be brave in a world that values safety above all else.

  9. Best of luck in getting to 1,000! I will include you on my blog on Thursday, when I make blog recommendations.

    Moi? Indie author, gardener, and lover of fresh, organic food, recently relocated to the Olympic Peninsula and darned happy about it!

    I think I found you through Twitter. I’m always looking for good blogs, and yours always interests me.

    Right now I’m reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. I also loved Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed and Oxygen by Carol Cassella. Two of these are not new, but I get to them eventually!

    1. Thanks…every bit helps!

      Our garden is only on our balcony but we love whatever we can keep blooming in pots and planters. Our Alberta spruce looks healthy still.
      Glad my blog is keeping you engaged…

      Thanks for the book ideas. Cheryl’s book has made the best-seller list and gotten rave reviews. What’s been interesting to me is that very few of the book offered so far are ones I’ve read. I think I’ll offer my own list of favorites soon…

  10. Thanks for the lovely shoutout, I’ll return the kind favor next Friday with my links post! I’m currently reading and enjoying Sadakat Kadri’s non-fiction piece “The Trial” which traces the legal profession in the West, and is absolutely in no way as dry as it sounds. I’m on a non-fiction kick lately. And I found you because I was lucky and you found me first!

    1. It actually sounds like my kind of book. I considered becoming a lawyer (God knows I love to argue and advocate) but knew I’d want to be a prosecutor and then I’d make no $$$$$. The law fascinates me because it so much reflects our cultural values.

      I only attended two trials as a reporter, both criminal, and will never (I wish) forget what I heard in there. One was the trial of a murder of a teen boy killed in his home — on the street I used to walk along to high school. Ugh.

  11. Thanks for the mention! I honestly don’t remember how I found you. Broadside was, however, the first blog I subscribed to when I joined WordPress! I enjoy your words and our friendship.

    You should read The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop by Lewis Buzbee


    1. Thanks, missy! Hope you’re enjoying your engagement. I do love that glamorous word fiancee…I like it, as a word, better than wife. But I’m enjoying being married again.

  12. Where do you live ?

    What sort of work do you do?
    Writer, editor, recipe developer

    What are some of your passions?

    Any topics you’d like to see more of here (or less?)?

    What brought you to Broadside?
    I love your thoughtful posts.

    And what three books MUST I read, of any period? I’m always hungry for new stuff.
    The most recent book I’ve wanted everyone to read is Blood, Bones and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton, owner of Prune.
    Nothing else gush-worthy right now, except to admit that I finally read, and really enjoyed, Hunger Games trilogy.

    1. Yay, Barb! So fun to have you here…(I know Barb from years in the same writers’ group.)

      Tango. Very cool….Are there lots of milongas in Bermuda?! I am in awe of anyone who works well in watercolor. I love it, but it’s one tough medium.

      Thanks for the book rec. Prune is a neat resto. Haven’t been in years.

  13. Dorli

    Hello. I’ve been stopping by for a while but am not one who comments often on other blogs so nothing person :). In any case, I live in Switzerland and found you via Betsy Lerner’s site (I think). I’m a writer by day and a different kind of writer by night – the ol’ day job versus night job thing. Books? What about Leaving the Atocha Station, The History of Love and Stupeur et Tremblements (v.o. if possible)…

      1. Dorli

        Thanks! In my haste, I forgot to mention that I enjoy your posts. They cover an interesting range of topics and manage to be both personal and outward-looking.

  14. Hi – many thanks for the shout-out, much appreciated! Time is always the challenge – finding enough of it. I do sleep…managed 3 hours the other night… 🙂

    It has always intrigued me how the world of the freelance writer is one writ with much the same pen across the world – your experiences freelancing in New York have a haunting familiarity in New Zealand. And I am sure the same thing is also true of freelancers from London to Ontario. It’s a hard row to hoe – but a rewarding one, when it goes right.

    1. The biggest change in my writing life recently is that all my newest and most promising clients are on-line…paying what magazines paid 20 years ago. But the work is faster and easier and websites are, blessedly, insatiable for content.

  15. The Word Jar

    You have a lovely blog! I enjoy what you have to say and how you say it. I arrived here through your Freshly Pressed post on losing the art of conversation. So many international readers here…I’m just a freelance book editor from the Midwest. My passions include–in no particular order–books (reading, the making of, discussing, etc.), learning new things, golf, traveling, and raising my children to be intelligent, productive citizens, who are also skilled in the art of face-to-face conversation!

    I hope you hit your goal before your birthday! You can chalk me up as another follower!

    1. The Word Jar

      Oh, and reading suggestions–The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino, So Much Pretty by Cara Hoffman, Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin, and Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon.

    2. Thanks!

      I’ve been fortunate to find a great crowd of people here. I think, being a Canadian who has lived in the US since 1989 (but has also lived in Mexico, France and England) I may also bring a more global perspective that people enjoy.

      I bet your kids are great…I like your passions! And your work is very much like mine, so you know well the value of literacy and great writing.

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