End of Year Wrap – That’s it Folks!


So this is what went down in 2016:

I HAVE A MANUSCRIPT. YEASSHH. It’s a 60K Dark YA Contemporary. YEASSHH. Here’s a pic from my inspiration board. It’s not a literal character in my book, more of cryptic representation. And anyway, it’s Utada in cat ears, I can’t make up anything as good as that. You might see more of my picture board next year 🙂



I haven’t spoken to my Beta (Super BetaGurl) in a very long time. In fact, every time I even think of her THIS starts playing in my head. Yes, that’s me below. I was a happy bridesmaid.


My MS is homeless. I’m not sure what direction to take with it yet.


I’ve further broadened my knowledge in diversity and its importance in literature. I believe as an author of colour it is my duty to write realistic and meaningful characters of colour. I’m also thinking about taking up a Sensitivity Reader next year.


I miss interacting with readers on social platforms. But I like… have no book!


I am now on sabbatical, so see you sometime next year I hope. It’s been SO SO long since my last update/book/everything. But…

Stay Beautiful

Why Do Girls Fight?

vintage boxing women






















Fear not to the sole person who reads this blog (hiya)… I have been writing away behind the scenes.

I tried writing a breathy and feely-feels coming of age thing… finished one chapter and… that’s it. Don’t really do beautiful very well.

Then I tried writing this rather chipper YA rom-com sort of girly thing and… well I don’t really do girly lovey-dovey that well (I mean, boys, oh yucks).

I’m just a bogan from Perth with an urge to sometimes punch things.

Which brings me to the question….

Why do girls fight?





Who gets to wear the one dress to the ball if 2 girls have chosen the same one?

To defend another girl?

Just ‘cos?

I like this question. Maybe I can do something with it.


See you, Stay Beautiful


Writing, Cultural Diversity and….erm… my mum.


I’m thinking about moving house. My current house is getting a little small. So I make the mistake of telling my mum that I am thinking of moving house. In my head I am sure my mum would say something like errr… “Happy house hunting!” and then let their grown up child who has flown the coop for 7 years already be, but of course this is how the conversation really went down.

Me: Mum, I’m thinking of moving house. I’m going to see this house on Monday.

Mum: What is the house number?

Me: 20

Mum: 20 is good. 18 is better and 8 is best, but thank goodness it’s not 4. I would say don’t even bother if it’s a 4. So bad luck. Chinese people don’t need bad luck.

Me: Um… okay. Thanks for the blessing.

Mum: Make sure the first question you ask the agent is “Why are the owners moving? Did someone die in the house?”

Me: I’m pretty sure if the owners are selling because they had all been involved in a mass murder I would have gotten wind of it.

Mum: You never know. I remember when we first started house hunting when we immigrated to Australia, some of the houses we looked at, I had to bring protective charms and everything.

Me: Okay. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Mum: Do you want your dad to come? Your dad is the construction expert in the family.

Me: No, no, I can do this myself.

(Later I found out my dad did secretly visit the house. If the neighbours spotted an older Chinese man tapping on all the bricks on front to check for workmanship, that would be Dad. He would also comment that the house is obviously built by Italians and was very solid, immigrants always built their houses strong… so shout out to the Italian community #immigrantpride)


Anyway, being a POC writer, my aim is always to try and write POC characters when I do with a lot of heart and integrity, maintaining what makes them and their family mad and crazy and fabulous, but without sending them over to caricature land. I recently received an email from lovely teen writer Wendy Chen who purchased a copy of my novel Preloved from a Preloved bookstore. How cute is that? She totally needs to be a character in another story in her own right. Here is an awesome article she wrote for That Reminds Me Mag about my novel and cultural diversity and it is so intelligent and all good things. Check it out. I feel very honoured.

To all those POC writers out there, I see your true colours.

Ombre beards. And The Writerly Fear.


I’m onboard the Colouring Train. But I don’t want to colour in flowers, I want to colour in stuff like knife welding girls and hipster beards and things. So I got this cool Mulga book and this is Turban Snake Steve. I gave him an ombre beard.

I caught up with my best date card (The one Bachie Sam wished he had), with Famous Children And Science Author Cristy Burne and I wrote. I have like a whole page of writing and this is the good bit – it doesn’t suck! Well not hard anyway. My editor might tell me it sucks a little and I have to change it later on, but that’s okay. And I thought I’d have nothing to say, because like I haven’t written anything in 2 years, but I’d write a little and then things happen and I’m excited to know what happen next so I keep writing.

I feel awesome. I’ll keep you updated.

And btw I’m colouring in a Turtle & Weasel duo at the moment so maybe you might see the results of that next time. Are they a couple? Are they “going steady”? Or maybe one of them has been friendzoned. This is what goes through your head when you’re a writer.



18 Months


Actually, that’s not a bad name for a very long and arduous novel where the heroine has long monologues about her feels and there is lots of describing the weather going on. In reality, it has been that long since I have written a single word, but I snuck out into a patch of winter sunshine and caught up with Lady Writer Cristy Burne for a sugar, carb & paper fix. Wrote some notes. It might be another 18 months before you her from me again, but I am excited. PS – yes that is a dress with teapots on it and I will buy it and I wear it to a book launch one day.

The New Chapter



I am proud to announce the new arrival in my life – a big bouncing baby boy (4.03kg!)  called William! As I will be devoting my time looking after him, another novel in the foreseeable future might be a while coming as I start this new chapter of my life 🙂


Ooo baby baby

shirley marr maternity

If I’ve been a bit quiet and under the radar lately, then this is why!

I’ll still be writing, but it might take backseat for a little while my life writes a story of it’s own.

2013 New Year Personal Goals

I blogged about my writing goals for 2013 here, this post will be dedicated to the personal things I’m resolving to do this year. So far, I’m doing well!

2013 is the year of no new clothes

This statement has already horrified a few women, but when I think about it, the majority of the time I  buy clothes because I think I need them or to make myself feel better. I’ve had a long, hard think about this reasoning and I’ve decided that 1) I have plenty of work & play clothes in my wardrobe already and 2) I don’t want my clothes to define me. I am going to see if I can get through a whole year without needing to buy anything (underwear, socks etc exempt of course, I’m not that hard core!).

If I need something I will buy it Preloved (lol, in seriousness I do mean second hand).

Or I will recycle what I have – that burgundy bridesmaid gown from my beta’s wedding is going to get shortened and I will wear it to another wedding (as a guest) in April 2013.

If I hit a snag, I’ll decide what to to do then – but the important thing is I will think about it, my consumption and the footprint I’m leaving on this world. I have a beautiful wardrobe of lovely threads and in 2013, I will cherish each and every one of them and think how lucky I am to own them.

2013 is the year of simplicity

When did life become so… complicated? This year, I promise to live simply, sustainably and be happy with the world. I will not beat myself over what I don’t have, what I want and what I think I need. I am going to focus on what is on the inside.

2013 is the year of de-clutter

This will be one big year-long spring clean! I know I will feel so much better once I get rid of the things that have been sitting in my cupboards, wardrobe and house forever. I have CDs I seriously haven’t listened to for 10 years. I have gifts people I have given me (hello fondue sets. Yes, I mean the three of you) that I have never touched. The aim is to either Use, Sell or Give Away. Someone else can get use out of them! After taking four bootloads of donatables to the Salvos, I feel so much better. And I’ll donate a percentage of the rest which I plan to eBay, to charity.

2013 is the year of kindness

As a former vegetarian, I recently went back to eating vegetarian 5 times a week and I feel so good about it. I will continue to support cruelty-free products & brands and I will keep feeding the ginger secret cat that visits me every night at 10pm (the one that used to cry all night and day because he was hungry). Maybe this year he will formally become my un-secret cat. I will be kind to the world, to strangers and to animals. I will be kind to myself!

How are your personal 2013 New Year Resolutions going?