Animal Matters: An executive red carpet business event with a serious message


Many of you know that I have a number of pets. Five to be exact. And judging by the number of pet photos that I feature on this blog, it’s easy to assume that I’ve been an animal lover from way back.

To tell you the truth, that’s not the case. When I was younger, I never had a remote affinity with animals or pets. I was never that enamoured with visiting people if they had a dog. Wasn’t fond of cats. Just not into it.

Then Rex came into my life.

Not only did I fall in love, I suddenly developed a love for animals that simply didn’t exist before. Not just a love, but a deep appreciation for the role their have in our lives and the joy their can bring to people in so many ways.

Yep, my life changed. Having said that, I’m not the sort of person who is going to sit around a moon-lit circle and sing “Kum-Ba-Yah”, waxing lyrical about the presence of animals in our lives.

So I was thrilled to hear about “Animal Matters: An executive red carpet business event with a serious message”.… Read more ...

Honoured to be featured in Foundr magazine

VK Feature
I was recently interviewed by Nathan Chan from Foundr magazine. As someone who is usually asking the questions (I’m constantly interviewing people in my role as a journalist), it’s different being on the other side of the fence. Being interviewed but someone who has truly thought through their questions – as Nathan did – and who isn’t afraid to dig deeper, is refreshing. The process makes you think and helps crystallise your stance on various issues.
If you’re interested, you can get the magazine on your iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch/ Android Device using the following links: or more ...

My life in a minute: My number 1 podcast! Clever kitty Rex; and my new fave gadget


It’s been a whirlwind over here with lots of planning, travelling, systemising and recruiting for new team members at the Australian Writers’ Centre. So here is my life in a minute!

Grateful for: The wonderful support from listeners of my podcast “So you want to be a writer” which I co-host with the wonderfully talented Allison Tait. I’m absolutely loving producing this podcast with Allison. I’m so grateful for all the positive feedback. You’ve helped us get to #1 in the Literature category. And we’ve reached #50 out of ALL podcasts in Australia so far!

Thrilled to: Host our recent meetup in Sydney with the wonderfully talented Tristan Bancks. Tristan shared his wisdom about writing to our community. I’m still in a bit of shock that he can write 2000 words just using his thumbs on his iPhone while walking on the beach in the morning! Tristan’s latest books are Two Wolves and My Life and Other Stuff That Went Wrong.

Speaking at: Business Blueprint conference at Australian Technology Park, organised by the talented Dale Beaumont and his team.Read more ...

Forget about Prince Charming – and buy your own home

Why you should forget about Prince Charming


Some years ago, I had to make a huge decision that changed my life. I ended up ditching a relationship and discovered that I was capable of a lot more than I realised. I tell the tale of why I forgot about Prince Charming and bought my own home in my post on Money Circle.… Read more ...

The weekend ritual that will change your life

Weekend Ritual

We all have our rituals. Some people swear by yoga. Others can’t get through the day without meditation. Yet others consult the tarot while sacrificing a chicken under a full moon before they make any major decisions. I, too, have a ritual that I swear by. And I do it (almost) every weekend.

My ritual does not involve any chickens or full moons. But I know that if I don’t do it, I’ll have hell to pay. It keeps me sane.

If you feel overwhelmed, like there’s just too much “stuff” in your life – and your brain – then I highly recommend it. So what is it?

It’s simple. It’s all about “Returning to Zen”. I’ll be honest here: I don’t always achieve Zen-like Nirvana. But I don’t beat myself up about it if that’s the case. Remember, near enough is better than not at all!

“Returning to Zen” is all about purging. That is, getting rid of physical, digital and mental clutter so that you can make space in your life to be productive, give yourself room to be creative – and the headspace to make the best decisions.… Read more ...

You can be an artist or a writer AND make money


I know I bang on about this a lot but that’s because I’m so passionate about it. I’ve never subscribed to the idea that you have to suffer for your art and live a frugal life. Creativity and wealth are NOT mutually exclusive. But you do have to take responsibility for your finances; don’t put your head in the sand.

I guess the people at Money Circle heard me because they asked me to write about the topic. You can view that story “You don’t have to starve to be an artist” here.

 … Read more ...

Want to run the world? Here’s how

Run the world

I’m excited to be one of 10 female entrepreneurs speaking at the Run The World Conference in Melbourne on Saturday 19 October, run by The League of Extraordinary Women. If you’re going to be there, make sure you come say HI!

Here are some details from the organisers:
10 inspirational female entrepreneurs. One extraordinary day. Join the movement.
In partnership with RMIT University, the League of Extraordinary Women will be hosting the first ever female entrepreneurs’ one-day conference in Australia.

There will be 10 outstanding female entrepreneurs and academics who will be taking the stage throughout the day to share their remarkable stories and advice with an audience of over 350 people.

For more information please visit:

Read more ...

My life in a minute: Our magazine launch, our 8th birthday – and bloggers everywhere

Hanging out at The Boathouse at Balmoral Beach.

It’s been a while since the last recap. So this is more like “the last two months in a minute”!

Lunch with Candace Bushnell

It was great to see so many familiar faces at the Business Chicks lunch featuring S#x and the City author Candace Bushnell. I had the opportunity to interview Candace earlier this year and I loved how down to earth she is. We compared notes about living between a house in the country and an apartment in the city (although I’m sure her New York pad is probably more than a bit fancier than my apartment in Sydney!)

I hosted a table at the Melbourne lunch with Candace. Pictured here with Australian Writers’ Centre presenter Karen Andrews, and marketing manager Leona D’vaz.

There were plenty of Margaritas and Cosmopolitans. Naturally.

Then I did the whole thing again with an awesome groups of women in Sydney. Pictured here with author, blogger and TV panellist Kerri Sackville.

Awesome group of students

I loved teaching the Australian Writers’ Centre weekend Melbourne course in Magazine and Newspaper Writing. It’s inspiring being with so many enthusiastic students and watching their talent unfold over the weekend as they learn how to put their new skills into practice.… Read more ...

Waking up next to a cow: a tale of two cities

Meet my neighbour. He has insomnia.

Meet my neighbour. He has insomnia.

Earlier this week, I was awoken at about 2am by an almighty noise. It was definitely from an animal … or monster … and it emanated from somewhere near the bedroom window. It sounded like Satan trying to escape from hell. And he decided that our side fence was the right place to make his entry into the world.

Turns out that it wasn’t Satan. It was the cow from next door.

Yes, even as I type that, I find myself wondering: “How did I end up sleeping barely metres away from … a cow?”

This is particularly perplexing as I’m quite a fan of the Sparkling Concrete Jungle, otherwise known as the city of Sydney. But here on the outskirts of Melbourne, there isn’t too much concrete. Instead, there are a lot of undulating grassy pastures, a phenomenally bad internet connection and … yes … cows.

If you wander across the road there are even little lambs. And horses.

Ok so I didn’t write about these in my post. But check out the crazy arsed chicken eggs you get out here!

Read more ...

See you at the Problogger Training Event 13-14 September


Next week, I’ll be soaking up some Gold Coast sunshine as I’m speaking at the Problogger Training Event. I’m really looking forward to this, not just because it means I can break out my summer wardrobe after living in leggings and woollens thanks to months of chilly Victorian weather.

I’m also excited to meet the other speakers include Facebook expert Amy Porterfield, marketing expert Ed Dale and photographer Trey Ratcliff.

If you’re attending the Problogger Training Event, make sure we connect!

I’ll be speaking at the following sessions:

Launch Your Freelance Writing Career – Friday 13 September, 9.45-1.40am
This is an informal Q & A session focusing on using a blog to launch your freelance writing career. I’ll be sharing the stage – or the sofa – with the lovely and talented Kelly Exeter. Bring along your questions and get ready to learn from the experts as well as attendees.

I started freelancing 14 years ago and it’s the best move I ever made in terms of my writing career. And I’m passionate about helping others take their first step into this world because it’s so incredibly rewarding.… Read more ...