This is Lili's OLD WEBSITE! Go to for the shiny, better, more up-to-date, awesome version.

30 January 2010


I have a deadline. It involves finishing my work in progress by the end of February, which basically boils down to 35 000 words in 35 days. A challenge, but a not insurmountable one. January and February are not particularly busy times of the year for me, at work or socially. Basically, they're no November. So I apologise for the lack of bloggery. I beg forgiveness and offer the first snippet from the work in progress as a teaser. I think I've already put the first line up before, but here's the entire first BIT.

On entering the taxidermy laboratory in Melbourne Natural History Museum’s department of Preparation on the morning of January 18th, at approximately 9:25, Beatrice May Ross noticed six unusual things, all of which turned out to be of utmost significance. The things (in no particular order) were:

a. The clock on the wall was running three minutes fast, putting the time at 9:28.

b. On the third shelf from the right (four shelves down), a jar marked “Eyes, mammal, XL” was missing a lid.

c. Gus, the head taxidermist, was eating a wholemeal sandwich containing roast chicken, mayonnaise, alfalfa sprouts, plastic cheese, tomato and beetroot.

d. The beetroot was about to make a desperate bid for freedom and head for the relative safety of the front of Gus’s bottle green Natural History Museum hoodie.

e. Gus didn’t seem to be particularly concerned that Bee was running 25 minutes late (or 28 if you believed the clock on the wall).


f. Someone else was in the laboratory. A young man, probably a couple of years older than Bee. He had artfully messy dark brown hair, black plastic framed glasses and a glint in his eye that Bee found simultaneously alluring and deeply irritating.

29 January 2010

The kindness of strangers and the mystery of old books

It's lovely when things just come to you, unexpectedly.

I got an email about a month ago from a kindly soul who said she had an old Collins' dictionary that was inscribed to a Lily Wilkinson in 1924, and would I like to have it?

It was her husband's, the kindly soul told me. He used it to learn English when he first came to Australia. It's such a beautiful little dictionary, with lovely little woodcut illustrations.

The inscription says "To Lily, with love and best wishes from E Anderson, 2.11.24", and above it is written "Miss L Wilkinson, Post OFfice, Woodford". I'm not sure if it's a Woodford in Queensland or England or the US, and I'm pretty sure that this Lily Wilkinson isn't directly related to me (surely Family History Mother would know if she was), but now I'm all afire with curiosity to learn who she was.

In her email, Joanna (the kindly soul) said this: "Only if 'old books' could talk... you could find out so much more."

She's right, and yet I also love the mystery of an unknown Lily Wilkinson. She could have been anyone. I wonder what her favourite word in the dictionary was.

I'm pretty sure this dictionary will make its way into a novel or story sooner or later, so thank you, Joanna, for this amazing and generous gift!

03 January 2010

Homemade Christmas

So I didn't do EVERYTHING home made this year, but I still got my crafty oar in.

teacher gloves for a @jellyjellyfish

strip quilt cushion for Michael's mum

patchwork cushion for Erin

coasters for mum and dad

strip quilt cushion for mum and dad

01 January 2010


I wasn't going to write this post, after reading everyone else's 2009 wrap-ups, but people convinced me.

A lot of people I care about had a crappy 2009. I didn't.

2009 started well, surrounded by my friends in Philip Island. Then Michael came into my life and made everything just that little bit more awesome. I've never felt so lucky to be surrounded by such wonderful, inspirational, supportive people.

It's also been a bloody good year for writing. I was a guest at the Edinburgh Book Festival and did about a zillion school visits which I thoroughly enjoyed. I had two books published, Angel Fish and Pink. I'm especially proud of Pink because it's the first book I've written that I wasn't commissioned to write, it was all me. It's been so exciting to see it do well, and I can't wait for it to come out in the US next year and see what they make of it. This year I've also sold books to the UK, Italy, China and Turkey, and I saw my first international editions (the UK and German versions of Scatterheart).

I did NaNoWriMo, which nearly killed me but felt like a pretty awesome achievement. I baked Christmassy things. I learnt how to use a sewing machine. My cat that I'd had since grade 5 died. I visited my senile grandmother and was pretty sure she had no idea who I was. I helped deliver another successful Reading Matters. I turned 28. I fell in love. I joined a writers' group. I walked along Hadrian's Wall for three days. I learnt the six steps of drinking whisky. I read lots of books. I finally started watching Battlestar Galactica.

I've watched people I love be sad this year, and struggle, and make hard decisions. And sometimes I feel guilty, because my life is pretty damn awesome. But guilt is a useless emotion, so my New Year's Resolution is to feel lucky instead of guilty. And take the awesome while it's here, and acknowledge that I've worked damn hard for it.

I'm really looking forward to 2010. I'm looking forward to writing a lot, and getting better at it as I do. I'm looking forward to reading exciting new things. I'm looking forward to all the adventures that life presents (except for the complicated provisional tax thingy the ATO wants me to do). And most of all I'm looking forward to spending time with the people I love, and doing everything I can to make their 2010 as awesome as my 2009 was.

Happy New Year!