Category Archives: Books and Writing

Last Cat On Mars and Jay Present: Handy Quotations From Even Handier Writers – #1 Thea Astley

Hello friends. An occasional series which fulfills my need to quote quotations and to help my little friend, Dr On Mars, create setups to illustrate them.

One of my favourite (and, arguably, one of Australia’s most underrated and underappreciated writers in a broader, appreciated-by-the-reading-public sense) is Thea Astley (1925-2004) (winner of awards left, right and centre, including four Miles Franklins), so who better than to kick it off.

I had the unique privilege of meeting Thea many years ago at the Queensland Writers Festival – she was an extremely generous and kind person, and also hilarious. And she loved jazz. Mmmm, jazz …

Read Thea’s stuff as soon as you can – don’t leave the Earth without it ringing in your memory. I highly recommend Reaching Tin River, Drylands, The Multiple Effects of Rainshadow, Beachmasters, Coda, Vanishing Points, A Kindness Cup – well, really, anything she wrote – just get it and read it. You will have no regrets.

You can buy some of her titles from UQP, Penguin, and Allen & Unwin, and also look for secondhand copies through ebay, or other re-sellers like Fishpond

You can also read a very excellent biography of Thea, Thea Astley – Inventing Her Own Weatherby Karen Lamb, published by one of my publishers, UQP.

Meanwhile, if you’re a writer, or fancy yourself to be so, take notice of the following quotation – live the dream, don’t procrastinate – life is short – how many other cliches can I fit on the head of a pin with all those angels?

Thea Astley quotation: Trying to carve out a good sentence. There's little else to do. I might as well give myself up to that.


Poetry For All Your U.S. Election Exhaustion Needs: Zenku 365

Cartoon advertising Zenku 365

Yes, I know, it’s opportunistic, but my little friend, Dr On Mars, over at Last Cat On Mars, offered to provide an advert-illustration thingy, as above. Who could refuse such an offer, and from such a generous and adorable feline?

But wait, there’s more: you can click these words to go to Amazon to see more about Zenku 365: A Zenku A Day Invites Mindfulness To Stay, or, try the groovy toy below: