IMG_2110 September’s READER’S DIGEST has already sprung into action, sporting the journalistic fruits of my recent jaunt to Lord Howe Island in an eye-catching eight-page spread.

From the heights of Mount Gower’s mystic mist forest to the diamond depths of its coral reef dive sites, Lord Howe is an unforgettable get-away-from-it-all experience. Read all about it!

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Issue 17 of online spec fic magazine Dimension6 has cyber-materialised to be read freely over at Coeur de Lion Publishing

I’ve a tale in this one called The Sirens’ Secret, revisiting the famous myth.

To introduce it, here’s an edited extract from my author bio in the issue…

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The Roman emperor Tiberius, whose vital interest was Greek mythology, enjoyed pestering scholars with obscure questions such as ‘What song did the sirens sing?’ His biographer Suetonius called this ‘foolish and ridiculous’.

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I disagree, partly because I share some of the emperor’s fascination for these old tales, but also because the nature of siren song must rank among music’s greatest mysteries. Unlike fairy music, of which brief examples have occasionally been written down, it has been entirely lost to posterity. 

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The Sirens’ Secret grew not just from immersion in mythology, but also from a throwaway comment by a famous musician who said he never listens to his old albums because he makes them for other people, not himself. I hope that doesn’t give away too much plot…

PS: The Siren Vase (475 BC), Ancient Greek and in the British Museum, shows Sirens as bird-nymphs. The paintings are The Sirens & Ulysses (1837) by William Etty and below, Gustav Wertheimer’s The Kiss Of The Siren (1882).

IMGP1402 Bai SaoThe elegant new issue of INTERNATIONAL TRAVELLER magazine (June-July-Aug 19) has my feature on Phu Quoc Island, the rapidly developing holiday destination slated to become the Bali or Phuket of Vietnam. It’s a fascinating place – read all about it!

IMG_0551 view from cable carIMG_1942IMG_0534IMG_0750

IMG_1941IMG_0646 Nam Nghi resort

This October my ghost play A BUSH HAUNTING will be staged by the Blackheath Theatre Company as a part of a special program of short plays. Set in a lonely bush hut night one “dark and stormy night” in 1833, it’s a tangled gothic web of dastardly doings and eerie outcomes. Here’s a glimpse of the action from a reading performance and rehearsal during the workshopping phase.

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Five Reasons To Love Lord Howe Island travel article in this week’s Woman’s Day (Royal baby special, cover date May 20).

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Just back from a journalistic jaunt to Lord Howe Island, a Pacific Ocean jewel with a fascinating ecology along with excellent scuba-diving and exhilarating bushwalks.

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The results will be published soon, but here’s some snaps of what I got up to. Up is the right word, with the ascent of Mount Gower (875m) a big part of the agenda. That’s the view from the summit, looking on neighbouring Mt Lidgbird.

IMGP1542 (2)The plus-sized bug resting on my palm like Fay Wray with King Kong is the Lord Howe Island phasmid (stick insect), the rarest insect in the world and thought to be extinct for many years until a mere handful were found on an offshore rock. The plan is to reintroduce them should all go well with this year’s rat eradication project.

IMG_1133Happy New Year! The current issue of Diabetic Living magazine features my profile of Greg Donovan for its regular ‘Diabetes Hero’ feature.

Founder of the annual Big Red Bash music festival and Big Red Run desert race, Greg has used these outback events to raise $1.1 million for Type 1 diabetes research over the last five years.

Talking with Greg at the 2018 Bash was a real honour. And the festival’s far-flung setting – 35km beyond Birdsville beneath Big Red, the Simpson Desert’s largest dune – is beyond spectacular.

It’s claimed as the most remote music festival in the world, and I can vouch for it as the ideal location for an earful of decibels from the Hoodoo Gurus, John Farnham et cetera.