I’ve entered the final week of my second 21-day Artist Residency in Motherhood. I’ve been chugging along nicely and the page-a-day has become an effortless part of my daily routine, but I’m ready for something new. I’ve just completed an 8-week online course through Writing NSW – Advanced Memoir Writing with Patti Miller – which came my way courtesy of an Arts North West Micro Grant. I enjoyed being a student again in Patti’s course and learnt some useful things. I also met writers from across the country and heard wonderful stories. The weekly group workshopping on each participant’s writing was a fascinating process, and I’m continuing a mini-version of that process with two of the writers I met in the course. We’re going to make our way through the 20 x Workshops in Patti’s course book Writing True Stories, and share up to 2000 words each week. A new challenge ahead!

Here are the latest ‘demo’ recordings from my songwriting collaboration with composer Chris Purcell – shared with the New England community (and further afield) as part of an Arts North West Micro Grant project. Chris and I wrote ‘A Lullaby of Love’ in 2015. It was one of the first songs we wrote together and is part of  ‘Lullaby & Lament’, a song cycle that traces the journey from cradle-to-grave. We wrote ‘Wanderlost’ in early 2019 and the song is part of a collection called ‘Tattoo Songs’. Finally, we wrote ‘Come Lie With Me’ late last year, and it’s still one of our favourites.  

Along with the recording – and yes, we are still besotted with the TASCAM DP-30SD – Chris and I have been busy recruiting experienced vocalists and musicians from Armidale, Uralla and Bellingen to help us record more of the songs. Along with the Micro Grant funding support from Arts North West, we’ve recently been awarded a $3000 RAF Relief grant from Regional Arts NSW to pay the vocalists and musicians involved in the recording of our songs. Thank you, Regional Arts NSW!  

Okay, here we go – Chris Purcell and I have recorded, mixed and mastered our first song on the Tascam DP-03SD and we’re feeling mighty happy with ourselves. The song is called ‘The Time of the Horses’ – and this first horse out of the gate just happens to be our most recently written song. Generally, how it works with us is that I write the lyrics and Chris sets them to music. The lyrics are always first, and then the music. Even though Chris and I have written songs on our own, we both really enjoy the collaborative nature of our musical partnership. We’re keen to work with other songwriters and recording artists from the New England area and further afield, and we’ll soon begin inviting guest vocalists and musicians into song-room central. I’m feeling excited that we can finally record our eclectic collection of songs, which fall into genres of country, folk, pop and jazz. Owning a machine like the Tascam DP-03SD is very empowering. Thanks again Arts North West – and thanks to Jennifer Greaney for being such a wonderful support for this Arts North West Micro Grant project!


A few weeks ago, I successfully applied for an Arts North West Micro Grant for $600. I’ve used this money to buy a portable recording unit so that Chris Purcell – my musical collaborator – and I can make some quality digital ‘demo’ recordings at home to share with our local community and further afield. Over the last five years, Chris and I have written 27 songs together, and we’re keen to launch these songs into the world. At the moment, neither of us have the resources to record a professional CD, so the Tascam DP-03SD is the next best thing. The unit arrived a week ago, and Chris and I have met three times already in ‘song-room central’ at Chris’ house. It’s been very exciting to experiment with different ways of recording voice and guitar to achieve the best results. A huge learning process for me, but thankfully Chris has some experience with sound engineering. In the company of our adoring fans – Chris’s dogs Ruby and McGregor – we’ve recorded two songs, and mixed and mastered one song. Chris has also bought an Epiphone steel string acoustic guitar from Black Dot Music in Armidale to use as our primary recording guitar. It’s all going extremely well, and we’re hoping to complete and post our first song next week. Thank you, Arts North West, for this wonderful opportunity!