When inlaws become outlaws: strategies and semantics

For some separating couples, the prospect of no more Sunday dinners at the inlaws is almost enough to make up for the pain of separation.

Not so for the lucky ones among us who count the family we partnered into as friends. Harper Lee could have been talking about ex inlaws in this passage from To kill a mockingbird:

‘Atticus says you can choose your friends but you sho’ can’t choose your family, an’ they’re still kin to you no matter whether you acknowledge ’em or not, and it makes you look right silly when you don’t.’

Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird, in-laws | See more at www.diywoman.net

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The semantics of being single: Marital status

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the death of Jane Austen, a single woman who knew a lot about semantics.

Jane Austen courtesy of the New York Times | See more at www.diywoman.net

In her day, Jane Austen would have been described as a Spinster (gasp!) or worse, Old Maid (smelling salts!). In recent times, her unfortunate marital status may have been softened to Unclaimed Treasure.

Despite this, it cannot be denied the woman knew quite a lot about love.

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Travels in the Somme with my father’s father

An unexpected detour during a six month stay in France links three generations of my family to a village in the Somme.

A version of this post first appeared on RMIT’s creativehiveblog in May 2017.

On Anzac Day 2015, I left Australian shores for six months travelling solo in France. Unlike my grandfather a century before, I wasn’t destined for the muddy fields of the Somme. My destination was another part of rural France altogether – Cinais in the Loire – the first of a series of housesits courtesy of a housesitting website called MindMyHouse.

First World War Australian soldiers bound for the Somme | more on diywoman.net
Syd Barker (second from left) and his brothers

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Superannuation and the single girl -the first in our Lawyers, Funds and Money category

A cautionary tale of superannuation, mortgages and sharks.

A year or so after I’d taken on a mortgage, I got a call from a financial adviser— let’s call him Ken—who said he was affiliated with my bank. He offered me a free consultation to look at ways I could make my money work better for me. How timely! I collected my paperwork and arrived at the bank at 5pm the following day.

Clocks and signs | More on diywoman.net

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DIY Woman’s guide to getting published

There has to be an alternative to doing time on the slush pile on the rocky road to becoming a published author.

Slush pile of manuscripts | more on www.diywoman.netSlush pile of manuscripts | more on www.diywoman.net

I’ve already likened my passion for writing to the urge to reproduce. I could say  the same of my relentless pursuit of a publishing deal. I am guilty of every crime in the self-promotion book. Schmoozing. Pitching at a minute’s notice. Imposing on the goodwill of strangers. It’s a litany of misdemeanours.

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Simsion, Snoekstra and Wood to spill their writing secrets

One for the aspiring authors out there.

Elizabeth Quinn with Graeme Simsion | More on diywoman.net
DIY woman with Graeme Simsion at the launch of his latest book

DIY Woman loves a free event, especially one that includes wine, cheese and stimulating conversation. On Monday May 22, three of Melbourne’s most successful writers come together under the RMIT banner (they are all graduates of the professional writing and editing course there) to spill the beans on successful transformations from novel to film script. Ker-ching.

Regular DIYW readers will know of our fondness for Graeme Simsion. You can read more about him here in our 2015 interview – just before Hollywood came knocking on his door. Continue reading

Passion in life is reward enough: success is optional

The past two years have been the best I can remember.

Typewriter, words, printed | more on diywoman.net

I have consummated my passion for France and my passion for writing in one 24 month period. First I ran away to France for six months. Then I applied for the professional writing course of my dreams. Then I got in! I’m more than halfway through and I never want it to end. This story was first published in the February/March issue of The Victorian WriterDavid Brooks, columnist for The New York Times, once said:

people who live with passion start out with an especially intense desire to complete themselves. Continue reading