Bogan Shakespeare presents Hamlet review on Perth Walkabout

Fringe World 2023 is up and running in Perth and the first show I checked out was Bogan Shakespeare’s reimagining of Hamlet.

My thoughts on it are now online so check it out.

Read my review of Bogan Shakespeare presents Hamlet on Perth Walkabout.

New Year, same girl on film – a micro-vlog & Paloma Faith

I don’t typically make New Year’s Resolutions because, let’s face it, I know I’m not going to follow through. It’s like all the newbies at the gym in January that you never see again in February. Which is not a criticism — just saying that good intentions do not a good habit make. I know that from experience.

But I did put the call-out on TikTok and Instagram Reels for any takers to publicly pressure me into writing more consistently. 😛

Video “Second book blues…” shows Lee-Ann sitting in a car recording a short vlog to camera.

Will it work? I don’t know. I can’t blame anyone else for my slow progress… “It’s me. Hi. I’m the problem, it’s me.” (Apologies to Taylor Swift.)

Anyway, from my crappy vertical phone video to something that actually looks great thanks to VocalTech

Back in November, I sang “Just Be” by Paloma Faith and there’s a video of it. I’m not entirely happy with my performance but some of my extended family was asking about it so I thought I’d whack it online anyway. (Besides, I’m never 100% happy with anything I do in relation to the arts, but sometimes you have to let go, right?)

Just Be (Paloma Faith cover) by Lee-Ann

Ebooks and audiobooks are real books and you’re an ableist jerk

I’m just overflowing with festive cheer, aren’t I?

Provocative title aside, something has been bugging me for a while and I decided to get it off my chest before the new year. And that something is this: the attitude among self-proclaimed avid readers that reading doesn’t count unless it’s a print book.

I know I know, not all readers. Probably not even most. But hang around certain bookish communities and you’ll start seeing posts like:

“Do you like ebooks or real books?”

Uh, bizarre question, Karenina. That’s like asking, “Do you like horses or bananas?” Ebooks are just as real as print books.

Or “I have loved books since before computers and Kindles! I much prefer actual books!”

OK, Booker. Congratulations on… being born before the proliferation of digital technologies?

Or even, “Does anyone else still read proper books? I feel like no one bothers to actually read anymore and just listen to audio in the car or something! Is it just me??”

Umm… Yeah, I just rolled my eyes so hard that they got lodged in the back of my brain and I can no longer see to read.

By all means, have your preferences. Nothing wrong with that. It’s the ridiculous superiority complex that irritates me. It’s elitist. It’s ableist.

Not everyone can read a print book. Maybe they can’t see the text, but they can if it’s enlarged to the right size on their ereader. Or maybe they still can’t read it in extra large print but they can listen and understand. Or maybe they can’t physically handle a book and turn the pages. Any of these things could happen to any one of us in the blink of an eye if it hasn’t already.

And not everyone wants to read a print book to get a good story. Audiobooks are a great way to enjoy books while you’re driving or cleaning or relaxing or doing other things. You’re not better or worse if you experience books this way. As for me, I do read print but it’s far more efficient for me to chuck my slim Kindle ereader with its protective case into my backpack than it is to lug a bulkier paperback around and worry about creasing it.

TL;DR – Read however you want, let others read however they want. Ho, ho, ho.

Anyway, in the spirit of… insulting people during the holiday season, I thought I’d end this post with my second favourite Christmas song, “Fairytale of New York” by the Pogues. 😉 (I posted my favourite Christmas song on this blog a couple of years ago.)

The Pogues – “Fairytale of New York”

November, schmovember…

Another year almost gone and still no hand sanitiser sponsorship. C’mon, how much alcohol does a girl need (to rub on her hands) to get a break around here?!

But in all seriousness… it’s late November. Already.

November always ends up being pretty busy despite my best intentions. I guess it’s been like that since I was a student and most of my final exams would be in November (in Australia, the school year lines up with the calendar year). Now that I’m a professional (ha!) it seems to be the time of year where everyone starts realising they need XYZ before Christmas. And then there’s preparing (physically and mentally) for the end-of-year events that come thick and fast in December.

I actually had the first of my end-of-year gatherings over the weekend just gone, but it was just a small picnic in the park, nice and chill.

I’ve never liked crowds, even pre-pandemic, but I did go see Guns N’ Roses recently (masked up). And I’m glad I did – it was a fun Friday night. I mean, it was freezing… even in my hoodie, raincoat, hat and mask. There was also a sprinkling of November rain, but not during the song of the same name. Bruce Springsteen still holds the record for the longest concert I’ve ever attended (3.5 hours), but GN’R were pretty close.

A lot of us writers also attempt NaNoWriMo in November. I didn’t give it a crack this year but if you did, I hope you’ve made some progress on a manuscript.

For this writer… well, my firstborn novel, Black and Blue, turned one at the beginning of the month. Doesn’t seem that long ago but they grow up so fast, don’t they?

A paperback copy of Black and Blue by Lee-Ann Khoh stands next to a powdered sugar layer cake decorated with flowers and birthday candles.
Book and cake! All the important things.
Image credit: AllAuthor.

And yes, I’m being facetious – I know books are not the same as actual children, calm your farm. 😛

But yeah, it’s been a nice year of… not being a liar if I decide to set my Facebook page and Instagram profile categories to “Author”. 😄

Book 2 is coming… eventually. A few people have asked me about a sequel, but this one’s a standalone at this point in time.

Other formats of Black and Blue are also on the horizon but I don’t have release dates yet.

Barracking for the Umpire review on Perth Walkabout

After illness forced the cancellation of the original performance I was going to attend, I made it back to Subiaco Arts Centre to see Barracking for the Umpire, a play by Andrea Gibbs and presented by Black Swan State Theatre Company.

And my thoughts on it are now online. Barracking for the Umpire centres on the family of a retired legend of the Donnybrook Football Club who’s now struggling after a long career of repeated head knocks.

Read my review of Barracking for the Umpire on Perth Walkabout.

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