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Words with a Cause: Fault Lines

It may not be glaring in headlines anymore, but the earthquake crises in Japan and New Zealand are still very much current affairs for the people whose lives they shook – literally and figuratively – a few weeks ago. The outpouring of support from great artists across the world has been truly inspiring, and on home soil, we've had our fair share as well – but by far my favourite initiative would have to be Fault Lines, an eBook featuring some of Australia's best up and coming writers.

One of said writers is actually one of my best friends and former colleagues, the ├╝ber-talented Rick Morton, who made me very happy by landing a job as news editor at Mamamia and moving down to Sydney Town a few weeks ago. I tell you this because in the Q&A below, he responded to the "where do you write?" question by explaining where, physically, he likes to write. We enjoy writing on the couch too, Rick!

Why do write and where do you write?

I write because I do as I am told. And something, though I am not sure what, tells me I need to write. It's almost a primal thing. That sounds absurd, I know. But there is a little tingly spidey-sense somewhere deep within me that tells me to write and smacks me when I don't. So I do what I'm told. I also happen to love writing. I like playing with words. Shoving them. Twirling them. Tweaking them. Stretching them. Pulling sentences along with pace and rhythm. It's the best fun. I'd do it just for myself, but it's always a bonus when people read it. A bigger bonus if they like it. If they don't, that's fine too. Sometimes. Where do I write? Anywhere. On the couch. At a desk when I'm working. I carry little notebooks around with me to jot down ideas when they come to me because I think it's fun, but more often than not I just end up writing the ideas down on my phone because I left the cool little notebooks at home. I'm together like that.

Tell us about this book. Who/What/Where/When/Why?

The book is about nature. It's as broad as one wants to take it because, ultimately, everything is natural. Even something man made is made from materials that we found on this planet. There's no escaping it. Particularly if you live in Japan or Christchurch, New Zealand right now. Writer and advertising/marketing guru Matt Granfield came up with the idea of giving something back to people if they donated $10 to the Red Cross. People like to donate to help, but this way they could have an eBook with some great writing in it as well.
My piece is about natural disasters and why we feel the need to name them. Or personify them, more to the point. It starts from my first memory of a major flood which tore a friend's house from its foundation and discusses my feelings as a child who knew nothing of how the world worked. Or why we needed to name a cyclone. The book can be downloaded here: and includes the works of writers like my favourites Clementine Ford and Matt himself. It's a seriously engaging read.

Congratulations on being awesome.
Thanks! I'm just reflecting the glow of those closest to me :)

To read the book, all you have to do is donate $10 to the Red Cross and then download it from the site. It's kind of like an honesty system but this time, the people who don't donate and instead download for free actually go to hell.

Happy reading & being a good person!

words: Seema Duggal


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