Adventure junkie expat Aussie setting out on a new life as full-time writer / domestic goddess.

Born and bred in Queensland Australia but now living in Ireland after a serial travel addiction. Met an amazing man here and ended up staying. Both of the boys were born here and have a weird accent with touches of Aussie, English, Irish and even Spanish from my mum.

To quote Jane Austen: If adventures do not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.

So I finished my degree and like so many young Aussie's headed overseas on my Grand Tour and a little like one of my literary heroes Percy Bysshe Shelley never really made it home.

Started blogging a few years ago but after getting hijacked by a hacker and the pain of taking down the site, went back to my old school journal by the bed.

Now that I am writing full-time and the laptop is superglued to me, I thought I would take up where I left off.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Happy Birthday to a heroine

Where have all the great female role models gone? I think about my heroines and compare them to the women today's young women want to grow up to be and feel a little sad.

Magazines are full of stories and pictures about the likes of Cheryl Cole, Posh Spice and Jordan. If you ask teenage girls who they want to be when they grow up, it is a pop star, a model or a footballer's wife.

I cannot remember the last time I saw a great article about a clever, witty young woman that was not about who they were sleeping with and whether they had plastic surgery. No-one asks what their favourite book or film was and who their childhood heroine was.

One of my own heroines - she helped me decide who I wanted to be when I grew up is Dorothy Parker. She was terribly glamorous, brilliantly witty and lived an adventurous and slightly wild life.

Born in 1893, she shares a birthday with me - which makes today the anniversary of her birth. Happy Birthday Dottie!

More caustic than the best drag queen, more social than the most flittering butterfly and willing participant in many ill-fated marriages and affairs, she was a prolific writer of magazine articles, verse and was nominated in 1937 for an Academy Award for Best Screenplay for  "A Star is Born".

She led a life dogged by controversy. She was a vocal advocate of radical left-wing causes, a fierce civil libertarian and civil rights advocate and a frequent critic of those in authority which meant that she was on the Hollywood blacklist and had an FBI dossier after being listed as a Communist.

She made the move to Hollywood after a prolific decade during the 20s writing for the likes of  Vanity Fair, Vogue and The New Yorker. In the 1920s alone she published some 300 poems and free verses. The subject matter ranged from her short, viciously humorous poems about her many (largely unsuccessful) romantic affairs to others wistful about the appeal of suicide, which was a warning for her numerous attempts at taking her own life.

Along with Robert Benchley and Robert Sherwood she was a founding member of the Alonquin Round Table, so named for the daily lunches held at the Alonquin Hotel which joined by other newspaper columnists and it was through their re-printing of her lunchtime remarks and short verses, particularly in Adams' column "The Conning Tower," that she began to develop her national reputation as a wit.

One of her best known quotes sums her life up very well:

I like to have a martini,
Two at the very most.
After three I'm under the table,
after four I'm under my host.

For more information, pictures and videos please check out the Dorothy Parker Society at

I have often wished I lived in New York in the 20s and 30s just to be part of her glamorous lifestyle and if she could manage to write with everything going on in her life there is hope for me yet.

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