The Last Sunday of September

It's late afternoon. I'm sitting with LittleOne on the stairs to the back deck, looking out at the garden, the sky, the world.  Indi-girl, our beloved pupper, lies in the grass, relaxed and watchful in the way of all doggies the world over.  The sun has dipped low behind the trees; our western horizon is stained light gold and the tall shrubs on the neighbour's side of the fence are a lattice silhouette of stems and leaves. Above our heads, the sky has gone that colourless grey-white shade, while in the east, the same sky-ceiling is exhaling into a light lilac. Directly in front of us, at the bottom of the garden, the poinciana tree (which, for years, I only knew by their local Mauritian name of Flamboyant trees) holds above its head a mix of fragile-thin twig and strong branches, tiny light-green leaves clustered together in fern-like fingers, and big, long, sometimes-wavy seed pods which are longer and fatter than a ruler. It is a canopy which sits above its smooth trunk

A Little Bit of Something Good

Lately, I've found myself wanting to retreat from social media. Not that I was ever a huge user, but I did love playing with microfiction and creativity .  Now, more and more, it feels like Twitter has shrunk from a galaxy full of inspirational wildernesses and stars and oceans... to a tired, concrete playground, ravaged by rust, garbage and graffiti, and populated by rival, frothing-at-the-mouth mobs roaming around just to shout insults at each other. Unaware, oblivious or delighting if their venomous words make a mark. And I should add: the issues that get frequently amplified are important. But. But. But there are lots of piles of utter rubbish that get deliberately flapped into ugly fires too. And the ugliness spills and stains and leaches. How do people hang around that energy all the time and not let it soil their souls? How? Can it be done? I really don't know, but right now, I don't think so. I saw this tweet tonight from @SarahBrentyn I wish I had an answer for Sar

A Lot of Thoughts about a Bollywood Movie I've Never Seen All the Way Through

Sometimes I look out for out-of-the-ordinary stuff on YouTube to entertain my Little One. You know. for when the standard screen distractions lose their appeal, and you need something attention-catching so you can just get a quick break, gulp down the remains of that cold cup of tea, make that much-needed dash to the bathroom, or drag the laundry out of the hysterically-beeping washing machine. For such moments, I do what anyone with a childhood in Mauritius--with all its French, English, Hindi and other pop culture influences, plus the ad hoc, scattered connections to the those influences that someone who migrated to Australia in their pre-internet, tweeny years--would do. I scanned YouTube for French cartoons and Bollywood songs, starting the ones I could remember from my long-ago childhood. I hoped YouTube's recommendations would find other good ones.  After some detours--in retrospect, it was probably not wise to jump between French cartoons and Bollywood classics--YouTube even

A New Look Dodo

Dodo Au Go-Go is suddenly looking a bit different. After many years of plain white, adorned only with a couple of quirky fonts, a bit of a sea breeze has just come through. The reason for this breeze at this particular time is a bit convoluted but amusing to me, so I'm jotting it down here. In the spirit of doing everything backwards (what the Aussies would call "arts-end up" - except they wouldn't say 'arts', but you get my drift), now that the Falling into the Five Senses anthology is out, I've been trying to wrap my head about marketing for indie (independent/self-published/self-pubbed) writers. Helpful advice on Twitter from the forever-wonderful Sarah Brentyn pointed me towards the idea that a cohesive identity/brand across platforms is one of the helpful things you can do to make yourself more recognisable.  This was a kind of first-step marketing task I could cope with. And so I started thinking about making the look of this Dodo blog more connec

On a 4am Wednesday in May

It's 4am. A Wednesday in May. I'm at the bottom of the garden. My Little One is in my arms. Indi-Girl, our stumpy-tailed cattle dog, is roaming around, her blue-grey fur rendering her invisible in the dark. I've been awake since 2am, when Little One woke up in a tempest. Normally, the wake-up routine has two options: soothe and re-settle, and soothe, wake up for a couple of hours, then re-settle. The tempestuous wake-up, where no-one can even touch LO, is a new thing. There are squalls, fury, distress, frustration all wrapped up in the disorientating wake-up of night. The tempests haven't happened too often and I hope they stay that way. Our attempted re-settle at 4am is interrupted by Indi-Girl suddenly coming to sit at the child-proof gate and speaking to us in anxious grumbles. I sigh and mutter and grumble about the timing - two hours after wake-up is the ideal time to re-settle LO. But there you have it. C'est la vie, and all that. The universe either has a

In the Armchair - An Interview on Nillu Nasser's Blog

The lovely Nillu Nasser invited me onto her blog for a cuppa and a chat. Thanks again, Nillu, for this wonderful opportunity to catch up! The original interview is here on Nillu's blog . Have a visit and check out her books and some of her other inspiring writings while you're there. In the Armchair: Reena Dobson April 11, 2020 I have someone special to introduce to you for today’s instalment of In the Armchair . Reena and I have been online friends for a few years. I came to know her mostly through the brilliant short fiction she shares on Twitter. She’s one of those people whose timeline is filled with honesty and beauty.   Twitter can be a mysterious land. It’s a treat to have Reena in the armchair here on the blog, so we can get to know her better. She’s here to talk about her anthology Falling into the Five Senses , co-authored with Maria Carvalho, Cedrix E. Clarke and Roger Jackson, who are all part of Twitter’s microfiction com

The World at Dawn

I woke up at 4.43am. It's getting to be a regular pattern these days, with Little One and all. I could go back to sleep, and sometimes I do. And other times, I check the time on my phone - and a torrent of world stuff rushes in, too seething, jumbled and anxiety-inducing to ignore. On those days, sleep slips out of reach. It washes away in the flood of stuff, or just retreats into the night. "Sommeil casse" as they say in Mauritius. "My sleep broke". It sounds more lyrical in Kreol/French. Like tiny pieces of sleep crumbling and breaking away until you reach a state of wakefulness.  I head towards the kitchen. A lizard laughs, languid. Indi-Girl, my beloved woofer, stirs and gives me the once-over, and goes back to sleep. I like to think she's checking to make sure I'm ok. She could just as easily be checking to see why I'm disturbing her sleep. But I'll take my interpretation with a single-shoulder shrug and a smile.  I make a cup of te