The Open Book Festival takes place from 6-10 September at the beautiful Fugard Theatre in Cape Town. I’ll be hosting a free workshop on short story writing at this year’s festival which is open to… More
Living in Cape Town means you don’t have to venture out very far to see breathtaking scenery. It’s a permanent backdrop.
As someone who doesn’t enjoy summer very much (this pale complexion takes years of avoiding the sun) winter is my favourite time to explore The Cape of Storms. The world comes alive, like a dog shaking off its wet fur. Just look outside to see how vivid green the grass has become as it waits expectantly for the rumbling black clouds to release more rain; how the skies are never anything less than dramatic.
It’s so wonderfully gloomy.
Here are some of my favourite places to go when it’s cold outside.
From the archive: 5 June 2014
I read The Fault in Our Stars over Christmas (it was a gift to myself). In fact, I very rudely sat outside in the sun, while my partner and his family were inside in the middle of Christmas lunch celebrations. I couldn’t put the book down, not even on Christmas Day.
(See this picture? That’s me stretched out between two camping chairs while trifle is being served inside.)
For the recent Trade Secrets anthology, I wrote a story entitled Kitchen Witch about a witch who can do magical things with baked goods. Sadly I’ve never been much of a baker. My scones come out flat and dry and my cookies lack crunch.
Continue reading “How to make a black metal cake”
It was such an honour to make the shortlist for the Short Sharp Story Award, and even more so to be included in the anthology. I learned a lot from the editor, Joanne, and I can honestly say my future work will benefit richly from the experience.
Continue reading “Trade Secrets”
I know a few people who make a habit of not reading Next Big Thing books because ultimately, the end result never quite lives up to the hype. (I haven’t read The Girl on the Train and the movie’s already gone to DVD).
But sometimes it does.
I’ve spoken to a few of my friends about my unusual ancestry, usually during a lengthy evening chat over a glass or two of wine. I’m even writing a book about it.
Recently, I’ve started to obsess about it.
The Grinning Man
From my research I can safely say that the first mention of the grinning man was in Victor Hugo’s novel The Man Who Laughs, published in 1869. In it, a boy named Gwynplaine was mutilated to such an extent it left him with a permanent grin. The book inspired several films of the same name, the most famous being Conrad Veidt’s eerie portrayal in 1928. His rictus grin shocked the world.
I’m not quite sure why I love Agatha Christie mysteries so much. Nostalgia. The challenge of trying to figure out who did it. I read them again and again, especially around this time of year. And each re-read is as satisfying as the first time round.
To call myself a Harry Potter fan would be an understatement.
One of my best friends gave me a homemade Harry Potter Monopoly set for my birthday this year. She has a twin set herself, with different properties and Chance questions. The reason we’re friends in the first place is because of our mutual love of the boy wizard. (We’re the type of fans that immediately pick up the mistakes in the Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit game.)
Continue reading “When a book is so much more than a book”