Trust Me, I'm a Storyteller

January 13, 2017

Travel Purist – immersive travel tailored for you.

Travel Purist is a digital nook for the immersive traveller and culture vulture.

Occasionally, I have written about travel on this blog. In 2017, in addition to my own posts, I intend to include links to some great travel blogs that I’ve discovered;  as well as blogs about writing, editing and publishing.

If you enjoy planning a personal journey, especially to Asia or North America that takes the ‘road less travelled’, take a look at this blog. Sometimes heading off on your own can bring serendipitous moments – and you meet local people.

A tab labelled “Interest” lists travel under topics such as: Art, Culture, Heritage, Hotels and Literature

So, if you are a travel purist who seeks the heart of your destination. If you consider travel a personal journey ruined by selfie sticks, bucket lists and travel evangelists. If you’re tired of trawling the internet for special interests or travel needs. Travel Purist is a great place to start.

I had the most wonderful time with Janhavi, who showed me out of the way places, villages and communities. I also learned where to have the most delicious, aromatic coffee and enjoyed the best tomato pasta ever! It so helps to be in the know. I also found Janhavi’s Moon “Mumbai & Goa” a wonderful guide when in Mumbai.



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You can write in with your queries to Travel Purist and they’ll help you plan your trip!

Travelpurist reviews hotels, restaurants, bars, travel services, cultural events and relevant products. If you would like a review of your property, service, product or event, please read the policy on the blog first. If you’re in agreement with it, Travelpurist would be happy to do so.

If you would like to advertise, please email
I happily declare that I’ve personally met Janhavi and benefitted from her guidance but I have no financial or other interest in Travel Purist. This is purely my personal view and experience.

November 15, 2016

A Writer’s Dream, guest post by Glenice Whitting

Filed under: Books & Writing — roundtablewriting @ 11:21 am

My blog has been in hiatus while I completed a Doctorate of Creative Arts at the University of Technology Sydney. I’m re-blogging this story from Feathers of a Firebird (Sophie Masson) because Glenice Whitting shows how with persistence and determination you can reach your goals. It took a toll but Glenice says: “The mature aged student journey from VCE to PhD had required passion, dogged determination and guts, but it had also been the most exciting, exhilarating time in my life.” I’m full of admiration for Glenice.

Feathers of the Firebird

glenice-whitting-jpgI’m delighted to publish today a guest post by author Glenice Whitting. Her debut novel Pickle to Pie was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary awards and won the Ilura Press International Fiction Quest.  During her studies from VCE to PhD she was invited to become a member of The Golden Key International Honour Society and awarded an APA scholarship. Her latest novel, ‘Something Missing’ will be published by MadeGlobal Publishing and launched at Swinburne University 11th December 2016. 

A Writer’s Dream

by Glenice Whitting

Writers often dream of being published and getting their work ‘out there’. I am no exception and I am delighted that my second novel will be launched in December 2016 by MadeGlobal Publishing. ‘Something Missing’ began life as my artefact for my PhD at Swinburne University. It is the story of  two women who changed each other’s life through a friendship that spanned two…

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March 4, 2016

Autobiography in Fiction

Filed under: Books & Writing — roundtablewriting @ 11:38 am

Introducing Libby Sommer’s new Blog.

Libby Sommer, Author


By Libby Sommer:

When people ask me where I get my ideas from, I tell them I use the world around me. Life is so abundant, if you can write down the actual details of the way things were and are, you hardly need anything else. Even if you relocate the French doors, fast-spinning overhead fan, small red Dell laptop, and low black kneeling chair from your office that you work in in Sydney into an Artist’s Atelier in the south of France at another time, the story will have truth and groundedness.

In Hermione Hoby’s interview with Elizabeth Strout in last Saturday’s Guardian newspaper the Pulitzer prize winner said her stories have always begun with a person, and her eyes and ears are forever open to these small but striking human moments, squirreling them away for future use. “Character, I’m just interested in character,” she said.

“You know, there’s…

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December 20, 2015

Libby Sommer ‘My Year With Sammy’ just released by Ginninderra Press.

Filed under: Books & Writing — roundtablewriting @ 1:05 pm

My Year with SammyMy Year with Sammy by Libby Sommer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A truly memorable book about a memorable child who has a unique perspective and doesn’t understand why others can’t see things in the same way. The portrayal of Sammy’s imagination and determination despite difference, gives insight into how others might view our world. Sommer’s poetic prose brings a magical touch and, though it has poignant, moving, desperate moments, it’s a celebration of a relationship.

View all my reviews

October 10, 2015

Just released: “Moments” by Subhash Jaireth



Subhash Jaireth

moments book coverA Puncher & Wattman publication

‘When I listen to Bach, I seem to turn into a fish’.
Bach (Pau) in Love
‘We forget because we want to live in hope for a better life. It’s this wretched hope that demands
that we forget the unforgettable’.
The Last Smile of Graf,  Tolstoy

 Subhash Jaireth’s latest collection of short stories explore the nature of love, loss and memory. Central to each story is the uneasiness the narrator feels about his or her place in the world. A critical moment in the life of each narrator illuminates these themes in remarkable ways.

The book was launched by Professor Jen Webb, Director, Centre for Creative and Cultural
Research, Faculty of Arts and Design, University of Canberra at Thursday 8 October, 6 pm at The National Library Bookshop. Buy your copy from the National Library Bookshop

Moments Book Launch

My thoughts on Moments

Reading these stories has given me great pleasure. One of the first aspect that struck me was the honesty and authority of the narrator. I found them enigmatic with fluctuations of mood as emotional pressures mount for the characters going about their daily lives. The attention to detail adds greatly to the reading pleasure. The stories are anything but predictable as they unfold and lead the reader to a moment of epiphany or discovery. Each of the characters is distinct and original. There is a certain sadness, sometimes melancholy to these stories. I enjoyed the way in which each story is set in a different part of the world. The stories strengths are the originality of the storylines, the musicality and rhythms of the poetic prose and the impact of the bitter-sweet endings to the stories that linger on in the reader’s mind.

The Quartz Hill
I found this story fascinating and highly original. It really captures the landscape in all its glory. This story is blue in a completely different sense and was thoroughly intriguing. I shall never look at a kapok in quite the same way again.

From the National Library “Moments” Page:

In the story “Walter Benjamin’s Pipe” the narrator wants to comprehend that critical moment when Walter Benjamin, the famous Jewish-German philosopher and literary critic, decided to end his life. In the story “Bach (Pau) in Love,” the famous Catalan cellist Pablo Casals imagines the situation which
would have inspired Bach to compose his six suites for cello. In the story “Anna and Fyodor in Basel,” Anna, Fyodor Dostoevsky’s wife waits for that moment when Holbein’s famous painting about the dead Christ makes its appearance in the novel The Idiot. In “The Quartz Hill,” a Cantonese photographer looks at the prints of Paddy Bedford’s paintings about the Bedford Downs massacre and decides to visit Halls Creek in search for her Gija grandmother’s roots.

Subhash Jaireth lives in Canberra. Between 1969 and 1978 he spent nine years in Moscow. He has published three books of poetry: Yashodhara: Six Seasons without You (2003), Unfinished Poems for Your Violin (1996) and Before the Bullet Hit Me (1994, in Hindi). His short story collection To Silence was published by Puncher & Wattmann in 2011 and his novel After Love was released in 2012.

After Love cover

September 17, 2015

Writers in the Park, Centennial Park, Sydney. Sunday 27th September 10 am

Great new event for book lovers! Kids and adults alike are welcome to the inaugural and free

Writers in the Park logo

 Writers in the Park

at The Residences Centennial Park

on Sunday 27th September, 2015. 10 am start.

Free entry to the Writers in the Park events

Hosted by The Hughenden​ Boutique Hotel and The Residences Centennial Park

A chance to hear and meet authors and illustrators in one of the most scenic spots in Sydney

Fabulous food, fantastic books and great coffee on sale will make the day perfect, check out the links.

Full day program each for adults and for children with authors, illustrators, cartoonists, journalists, publishers, bookseller and books.

Centennial Parklands

Here’s the Program

& The Writers and Illustrators

including Jessica Rowe, Joanne McCarthy, Annabel Morely, Sunil Badami, Libby Hathorn, P M Newton, Deborah Abela, Anne Schofield, Bem Le Hunte, Lisa Heidke, Hazel Edwards, Susanne Gervay,  Susanna Freymark, Graham Rundle, Michael Parker, Philip Wilcox, Joanne Fedler,  Pamela Cook, Helen O’Dare, Robyn Arrowsmith, Maria Katsonis, Shelley Kenisberg, Reverend Gilmore, Rick Raftos, Shona Martyn and  Jane Curry.

Eastside Radio 89.7FM is setting up live podcast. See also:

#‎SimonMarnie‬ from 702 ABC Sydney is interviewing Sunil Badami on Sunday morning on ABC702 radio.- listen in.

Susan Wyndam’s column in Saturday’s Sydney Morning Herald

Writers in the Park poster

Centennial Parklands – Writers in the Park

Writers in the Park website

Writers in the Park Facebook Page


If you’re travelling to Sydney, why not stay at the Hughenden Hotel, 14 Queen Street Woollahra.

The Hughenden melds heritage with modern conveniences to meet individual needs. From cosy rooms to the Manor Suite, family apartments to pet-friendly rooms – with complimentary breakfast, complimentary wi-fi, guest lounge, dining, concierge services and function rooms.
Located at the crossroads of historic Woollahra and Paddington, and surrounded by designer fashion boutiques, restaurants, cafes, The Hughenden is opposite Centennial Parklands and in close proximity to the SCG, Allianz Stadium, the Entertainment Quarter, with easy access to the city and Bondi Beach.
Or if you’re really feeling like a treat have a look at the Residences Centennial Park.

The Residences Centennial Parkland

The Hughenden on Facebook

The Residences Centennial Park on Facebook

June 9, 2015

Free the Children June 15 Day of Action

The Australian Coalition to End Immigration Detention of Children  (ACEIDC) is coordinating a National Day of Action on Monday June 15th 2015 across Australia, as part of #refugeeweek2015.

Add your voice. All children deserve to have their rights protected and promoted. Only by putting an END to immigration detention of children, can we ensure that the human rights of children fleeing persecution are upheld. Let’s #Freethechildren.

Joanne McCarthy in Today’s Newcastle Herald

My priority is to get children out of detention. Whether it’s our Indigenous youth or the children of refugees they need help not more punishment. Whether you agree with stopping the boats or not, the children shouldn’t be punished — it’s as disgraceful as charging children with their own neglect in Australia. The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse means there is no longer the pretence of ignorance — we know only too well what these children will suffer for the rest of their lives. Stop the Detention of Children.

In case you don’t know about the horrific treatment of children who have already experienced and seen more than any child should have, here is a Submission to clarify:

Free the Children National Day of Action

Free the Children National Day of Action

Free the Children National Day of Action


Abuse survivors speak up for kids in detention in Newcastle Herald  Congratulations to Joanne McCarthy for expressing the problem so well in her article–and to the survivors who despite their own anguish choose to speak up on behalf of kids in detention. Graham Rundle: 44 A Tale of Survival

What you can do to help

227 asylum seeker children remain locked away in Australia’s immigration detention centers. The profound, negative impacts of indefinite detention on the health and development of children is comprehensively documented, and unacceptable.

Through this social media campaign, we can demonstrate that Australians care about the lives of all children, and that children should be accommodated with their families where possible, in the community, while their immigration status is being resolved.

Australia already has existing, workable and humane alternatives to locking innocent children up –  these should be expanded for all children rather than a select few.

Join us in calling on the Australian Government to cease the immigration detention of children, consistent with its obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Refugee Convention.

Add your voice. All children deserve to have their rights protected and promoted. Only by putting an END to immigration detention of children, can we ensure that the human rights of children fleeing persecution are upheld.

Let’s #Freethechildren.

April 15, 2015

“Wanderers, All” Latest release by Janhavi Acharekar


Janhavi Acharekar Photo credit: Ashima Narain

Janhavi Acharekar has released her latest novel “Wanderers, All, published by Harper Collins India. Wanderers, All will be launched on Friday 17th April, with a panel discussion on the city of Bombay.

Congratulations, Janhavi, this is tremendous news and very exciting for those of us who already enjoy reading your stories.


Wanderers, All

Do join Janhavi in conversation with Ramu Ramanathan, Deepak Rao, Bina Sarkar Ellias and Annie Zaidi

at Title Waves bookstore in Bandra

on the 17th of April at 7 pm.


Invite _wanderers all

An experimental novel that blurs the boundaries between historical fiction, memoir and travelogue, Wanderers, All is the story of Murlidhar Khedekar whose life plays out against the birth of a new nation in the first half of the twentieth century.

Having migrated to Bombay from a small Konkan village, a young Khedekar attempts to find a place in the vibrant Marathi theatre scene of that era. When he fails to realize his ambitions as an actor, he gradually transitions from a clerk to a wrestler and eventually, a cop in the Bombay City Police.

Providing a sharp – and often amusing – contrast to his life story is the travelogue of his great granddaughter, who sets out on a solo road trip across the Goan coastline, wandering across its beaches, parties and villages.

Seamlessly alternating between two eras, and across Portuguese and British rule in India, ‘Wanderers, All’ throws up questions of divided loyalty, belonging and ownership, of borders between humans and countries. Combining elements of theatre, travel and politics, it is a novel about the journeys we embark on – the purposeful and the aimless.

Wanderers, All” can be purchased through Amazon at:

In addition, to assist you, Janhvi’s website has ‘buy now’ buttons for all her books, including the Fear Factor and Only Connect anthologies at


March 3, 2015

Who am I? My Life as a Writer

Filed under: Books & Writing — roundtablewriting @ 4:21 pm

Really enjoyed this article in Southerly by Sunil Badami. It strikes so many chords!


by Sunil Badami


Who am I? Reading the excellent, eloquent, engaging entries on this blog before me by much better writers and performers, you’d be forgiven for asking the question. I’m always surprised when people recognise me and my work; the most common response when I admit I’m a writer is ‘have I read anything you’ve written?’—which, I suppose, is a question that answers itself, much like asking a bouncer turfing you out of a nightclub ‘do you know who I am??’

For years, I never actually said I was a writer; given how little I actually wrote in comparison to how much I talked about writing, that was fair enough. Still, when my first short story was published in Meanjin over ten years ago, I can’t tell you how thrilled I was.

Unfortunately, the fee didn’t quite match the thrill, and so, when, after giving my mother a copy…

View original post 3,699 more words

November 25, 2014

The adventures and stories of Anu Kumar

If you love history, stories of adventure, murder, mysteries and curiosities then you will love these books by Anu Kumar.

I’ve had the good fortune to publish stories by Anu Kumar in two anthologies of stories from India and Australia. ‘Big Fish‘ in Alien Shores and ‘Two Women’ in Only Connect.



Anu Kumar is presently studying for a masters in creative writing at the Vermont College of Fine Arts.  She also has a degree in history from Delhi University and has specialised in human resources management at the XLRI School of Business. She writes for children as well as for older readers, and her short stories have appeared in various magazines and anthologies.  Her stories have been twice awarded by the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association,  and also short-listed by  The Little Magazine. It Takes a Murder  is her third novel for older readers after Letters for Paul (Mapin 2006) and The Dollmakers’ Island (Gyaana, 2010). She lives in Maryland in the US with her husband and daughter.

Anu’s new book, How Did the Harappans Say Hello? And 16 Other Mysteries of History

published by Red Turtle and available at South Asia Books and Amazon for Kindle

Sneak preview Harappans2

I have a copy of this book  and can tell you that it’s full of fascinating researched history told in the form of engaging stories that children from all over the world will find absorbing. I also have Anu’s The Chola Adventure (Puffin) which takes young readers on many adventures. While these books are difficult to obtain in Australia, some are available as e-books – which are recommended for Australian readers. For those who prefer books in print they are available and I recommend South Asia Books for printed copies. Use the link above for a preview of this book.


A new book for older readers was released in 2013 Inspector Angre and the Pizza Delivery Boy (Kindle Edition) is a work of crime fiction set in Mumbai, and featuring Inspector Angre. Preview of this book on Kindle and on itunes.


Check out Anu Kumar’s other books for older readers, including: It Takes a Murder, Letters for Paul, The Doll Maker’s Island, In Search of Raja and Other Stories.

A range of Anu’s books and Reviews

Stories at Anu Kumar’s Blog

And her equally marvellous books for children such as the Atisa Series





Though postage is expensive to have books sent to Australia, I highly recommend Anu Kumar’s books and South Asia Books for their five star customer service.  Atisa and the Time Machine Adventures with Hieun Tsang , Thanks, Ken.

 MythQuest Series at Amazon – though I haven’t had a chance to read this series yet, it looks terrific. I would love to hear from others who have read Anu’s books.

Images copyright Anu Kumar, please seek permission before using.
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