The first time I was told I wasn't a Christian because of something I'd written was after the publication of my first book, This Little Piggy Stayed Home: Barlow, Chambers and the Mafia. As the title suggests, it was about the Mafia, which I'd been investigating for my employer, The West Australian Newspaper, for more … Continue reading Losing my religion: Why I am NOT a Christian writer
I apologise beforehand for any offence. This is just rage. I gotta be honest though, I hate the fucking Facebook profile sticker that says, This is not who we are. Sure, we’re not America, we don’t do this every day, it’s not a pastime or a sport or a way to fill the news … Continue reading We are not like this: No?
I sat with Harry Carter on his front verandah, both of us watching the bushes, and the birds in the garden, and letting the sun beat down on our heads. He was 89 years old, had been an air force pilot in World War II, and wasn’t keen on talking to me at all. But … Continue reading The power of now: Night fighters and a glorious new beginning
A kiss, but not a kiss A moment of connection, and also contempt. Those eyes, dark and foreboding, laughing with, or at, me. The casual and forceful exhalation of cigarette smoke in my direction ... towards the lens, towards my eyes, one of them closed but stung nevertheless. The ultimate act of dismissal. Or seduction. … Continue reading Coffee and cigarettes: A captured moment
Towards the end of my very brief career as a theologian in a conservative, fundamentalist, NZ theological college, I had come to the sad realisation that theology, as an academic discipline, is unable — incapable rather than unwilling — to say things about love that art, even in its most popular forms, is more naturally … Continue reading What’s love got to do with it: Theology and its defences against the dark arts
I lost myself today, which happens when the day is spent with people rather than words. Some people do double duty — rich connection AND words ... but in their absence I need to find myself again in my writing. So, here's a chapter from the novel Wildwood, which crawls inexorably towards its completion in the … Continue reading Wildwood: The tunnel
Red nails: a poem I saw a woman removing her nail polish by Doctor's orders three days out from the knife. And as the last of it was wiped away, I saw her eyes, all red and glistening. Funny how a simple swipe can remove so much.
In February, 2013 I had the best day of my journalistic career. I travelled with my publishing and editorial assistants, Gabriela Guedes and Meg Williams, to the Kaipara farm of famed Kiwi poet Sam Hunt. It was an unforgettable day, during which Sam verbally abused a woman over lunch because she was speaking too loudly … Continue reading Sam Hunt: Telling the story, telling it true, charming it crazy
Here's something new. A chapter from part I of my (nonfiction) novel, Children of the Wildwood, which I hope to finish early in 2019. It's been a long time coming. With a special shout out to Tony Jee (aka Justice). Mrs Careless told us to paint space pictures because that was the year of the … Continue reading 2019: The year of the novel