I joined WANA tribe, after having read a book entitled: Rise of the Machines: Human Authors in a Digital World by American writer and blogger, Kristen Lamb. I'd recommend it to anyone trying to understand the world of social media and blogging. It's a first step into learning how to increase traffic to your site. [caption id="attachment_11422" align="alignnone" width="640"]waiting-for-food Pelicans at The Entrance, Central Coast of NSW[/caption] The online Book on Social Media and Blogging that led me to better my social media skills and improve my blogging: kristen-lamb-book
Kristen says in explaining the concept of WANA tribe:
WANA stands for We Are Not Alone, and began as the title of my #1 best-selling social media book. I named the book, We Are Not Alone—The Writers’ Guide to Social Media, because I saw that social media was a game-changer for creative professionals, if only they could let loose of fear and understand that we don’t have to change our personalities to be successful. Social media isn’t about spamming people for free on ten different sites; it is about community and connection.


WANA Tribe is a place where creative people can be themselves and connect with other artists. Form critique groups, discussions, post your art, network, or just sit back and be inspired. No matter where you turn on WANA Tribe you will find passion and imagination and people who understand you. Why? Because they are just like you.  
We Are Not Alone! Wanna join?
This book helped me understand and start to use  social media a lot better. We writers are often technically challenged, so thanks must go to Kristen.  Actually, I need lots more help in  reality...
Trying to set up a self-hosted website nearly made me consider giving up entirely, but I'm proud to say I didn't, and I achieved my goal, after a lot of time spent asking for help. I'm still struggling with being able to use Hootsuite, but am determined to get there.

While Sydney is known for its spectacular beaches and warm weather, there are still plenty of places to visit and things to experience in The Harbour City during winters. What makes winter the perfect season to explore the beauty of the city is the lack of summer crowds that can make exploring Sydney a bit messy during the hotter months of the year. So, whether you’re a local or a tourist ready to take advantage of your vacations and explore Sydney in winter, here are our top recommendations. Give them a try and make your experience of vacationing in Sydney worthwhileopera-vivid-lights

I manage to write more in winter, because there's not the pull of the outside and nature:  swimming, walks in the sun by the sea and all that to tempt me. It's always been a problem for me, the attraction of outside activities versus the obsession to work on my writing. And it's not always easy to find a balance. Now, I love the feeling of being inside, safe and sound, and warm, while watching the rain sleeting down outside the window. That's why I choose a table by the window, if possible, when I work in the Pavilion next door to where I live. It's a question of the early bird gets the worm, of course, as the best locations are popular with other laptop workers, too.inside-pavilion-rain-coogee Upstairs is a wine bar, which opens at 12 pm, and is a lovely place to welcome friends for a bite to eat and a drink. The decor is fancy, old-fashioned and includes a "Mad Professor" theme in glass boxes, with natural specimens such as birds' eggs and ancient bones inside to look at. It reminds me of my husband, Mark Onslow, a professor in Speech Pathology, who fits in well there, with his scholarly ways of deeply examining everything in his field of study.

“My Brilliant Friend” by Elena Ferrante,  is a brilliant read, if somewhat elusive at the start. This mirrors the enigmatic aspect of the novelist herself: Who is she? Is part of the draw-card the setting in Naples, that boisterous and "dangerous" city to the south of Rome? Many English speaking readers of these books, have been raving about them. Others have been wondering what all the hype is about. I must admit I was put off, at first glance, by the long list of characters at the beginning of the novel. It reminded me of a Shakespearean play. Ten  groups,  mainly family ones, contain nearly fifty characters, including their names and their roles. I only read the list after I finished reading the book. I preferred to let the narrator introduce the characters bit by bit, during the unfolding of events. Then I soon became entranced and pulled along by the characters, especially the two women. my-brilliant-friend

Meet the Author, HELEN O’NEILL, in conversation with Suzanne Leal Thursday 21 April  2016  6.30-8pm Waverley Library

I attended an interesting conversation in 2016 at the Waverley Library, Bondi Junction, Sydney, between Susanne Leal, journalist and author, and Helen O’Neill, whose recently published book, Daffodil: Biography of a Flower”  was a contender for the 2016 Waverley Library Nib Award. This was the fifteenth anniversary of this generous competition, in which judges select a winning entry based on literary merit and evidence of in-depth research. Helen started out by recounting a short personal biography, telling of a rather uprooted childhood in the UK, travelling around because of her father’s work, until the family settled, when she was thirteen, in Southern England: “In Midsomer Murders” territory”. Helen spoke with passion about her subject, an interest and love originally inspired by her mother’s growing daffodil obsession; the latter was surprised to win silver cups for her specimens three years in a row. She then started sketching the flowers from her garden, showing the different colours and shapes and sizes of each one, prompted by a desire to understand more about the flower, its propagation and its background.

[caption id="attachment_11651" align="alignleft" width="212"] An Early American Feminist[/caption] [caption id="attachment_11644" align="alignleft" width="220"] An Early English Feminist[/caption] [caption id="attachment_11643" align="alignnone" width="186"] An Australian Feminist[/caption] THE SECOND WAVE OF FEMINISM: THE SEVENTIES: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

[caption id="attachment_11679" align="alignright" width="200"]this-house-of-grief This House of Grief[/caption] [caption id="attachment_11678" align="alignright" width="211"]the-first-stone-cover-1995 The First Stone 1995[/caption] [caption id="attachment_11683" align="alignright" width="196"]garners-first-novel Monkey Grip 1977[/caption]

Congratulations to Helen Garner

Helen Garner, one of my favourite Australian writers, deserves this hurrah. She writes across genres, and has recently won the prestigious Windham-Campbell prize for non-fiction. When she received an email asking for her telephone number from someone at Yale University, she thought it was a case of spam. This brings great validation to her as a writer, as well as $US150, 000 in prize money. The judges' citation  stated: "Helen Garner brings acute observations and narrative skill to bear on the conflicts and tragedies of contemporary Australian life".

A Genteel Ghost

a true story by Roger Britton
I never believed in ghosts before, but now I am not quite sure … perhaps a "presence" is what I mean ... St Mary’s Convent and school, in Warren, central New South Wales, had been the home for Josephite nuns for over one hundred years. A shortage of vocations meant that they could no longer staff the school. I had accepted the position of the new lay Principal. This old, two-storey convent, with its iron lacework verandahs, was to be our home. With my wife, Angela and our four children, we moved in during the Christmas holidays of 1977. A willing band of excited children carted bedding, toys and toiletry items up the stairs. Angela unpacked and set about organising the kitchen boxes and food, knowing that hunger would soon call us to table. [caption id="attachment_11694" align="aligncenter" width="619"]convent-building-warren The Lovely Old Convent Building in Warren[/caption]