In 2018, I moved from Perth to Alberta, Canada. While now having moved back again, I caught up with Sydney-based author Ashley Kalagian Blunt who made the same journey but in reverse - from Canada to Australia - and wrote a book about it! Ashley’s new book, How to be Australian (2020, Affirm Press), tells… Continue reading How do you know if you’re really Australian?
Armchair Travel Through Fiction, is the title of one of the sessions I’m appearing in at the When Words Collide readers and writers festival in Calgary, Alberta, August 9-11. It’s made me think, what would I say about writing a faraway place - as the session outline promises - “accurately, vividly, and with sensitivity”? My… Continue reading Is “Vodka and Apple Juice” a book about Poland, or a book about Australia?
You know those people who say, 'I don't mind the cold, I just dress in layers'? Those people have not lived anywhere truly cold. When it's minus 35, dressing is not about layers. It's about having a bloody big coat. Preferably one that comes down to your ankles, with a hood, and a flock of… Continue reading Things that surprised me about living somewhere it gets to minus 35
People are nice, but it only goes so far. I find people say that a lot about what seems like a common experience when you move to a different country. Even a country like Canada where, let's face it, being nice is up there with ice hockey and running away from bears as a national… Continue reading The secret to making life-long friends
So it's Saturday night, in Halifax. If you're Canadian or Australian, I've possibly got your attention now. Although for different reasons. Canadians might be wondering if I'm talking about the east coast port city of Halifax, and if so why, given I now live in the middle of the Alberta prairies, a whole continent away.… Continue reading Saturday night, in Halifax
"It all started with WifeSwap USA," said no-one aspiring to be taken semi-seriously as a writer (or human being) ever. Yet, in a roundabout way, I have an episode of that reality TV show to thank for a lot of what Vodka and Apple Juice is. And a lot more besides. One explanation, coming right up.… Continue reading Everything I need to know about writing I learned from Wife Swap USA
Some of the best moments of this book occur when Martin is able to connect with people in Polish, and both parties see each other in a totally new way. Review of Vodka and Apple Juice by Ellen Cregen for Kill Your Darlings. There's a particular experience that I write about Vodka and Apple Juice… Continue reading “I spy with my Australian eye.”
Did you know ... LitFest Alberta is North America's only literary festival devoted entirely to non-fiction. This year it's on from October 11-21 and has a heap of great events, talks, and conversations. I'm very excited to have been invited to be on the panel for this year's "Memoir Hour" on October 13, and as… Continue reading LitFest Alberta 2018 is coming!
My book, Vodka and Apple Juice, as well as being a hilarious tell-all tale about life behind the curtains of the diplomatic world and rollicking good armchair travel story about Poland (if I do say so myself) has just a few useful things to say about how to be unhappy. I was talking to 6PR… Continue reading How I learned to be unhappy – and who I have to thank
I had the incredible privilege recently to have my book, Vodka and Apple Juice, about the three years I spent living in Poland as the wife of a diplomat, published by the incredible Fremantle Press. Simone McGurk MP and me - Q&A session at the launch of Vodka and Apple Juice. I feel the need… Continue reading What am I doing with my 15 minutes of fame? Hint: it involves you.