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Back from Oz

I’m back from Australia. Whew, that was quite a trip! I have much, much, much to say but we’re all pretty jet lagged and swamped with unpacking and whatnot. Greg is off to NYC tomorrow morning for work and I’m trying to batten down the hatches for dealing with both girls on my own while he’s gone. I’m planning to write several blog posts about the trip, and you know I took eight million photos, but for now, I’ll just give you a brief report:

First of all, the trip was really amazing. Traveling with the two girls was very difficult, but may have actually gone better than expected. It was a HUGE help to have my mother-in-law and brother-in-law along for the ride. No way we could have gone through airport security (eight times!) or dealt with jet lag tantrums and me going off to do book festival panels without them.

Second, Australia is a fantastic place. It was so different than I imagined though. I’ll admit that I carried a very American idea of Australia being a kind of rugged, outdoorsy place filled with bars where men drink lots of beer whilst wearing hats festooned with alligator teeth. While this may be true in some parts of Western Australia, we only visited cities on the East coast and they were all impossibly chic, very European and quite within my realm of understanding of what large Metropolitan cities should be like. We drank great coffee, great wine, had wonderful conversations, oggled the cool architecture and drank in that lovely foreign accent.

Third, the two writers festivals I was a part of were one of the best experiences of my entire life. I met so many authors from around the world, sat on what feels like a hundred stages and talked and talked about books, writing and being an author and I tried desperately to soak up every minute of it because I was just in heaven. I was so proud to be a Text author (that’s my publishing company) and am so grateful to everyone there and at the festivals who accommodated me and my little entourage. I also did a lot of radio interviews while I was there. Here’s one that I think is particularly good, from a really popular show called Life Matters out of Melbourne.¬†Oh, and here’s a youtube interview with me from the Brisbane Writers Festival.

Fourth, I got to meet so many of my blog readers. Thank you guys for coming out! It was so much fun to put a face and a person to your names. I’m so happy to have finally met you! Now whenever you leave a comment I’ll get to remember having coffee with you in the Botanic Gardens in Sydney or hanging out in Federation Square in Melbourne or talking to you after a panel in Brisbane. (Alana, if you’re reading this please send me your email so I can thank you properly for all the yummy chocolate!)

Fifth, I held a koala bear! So did Vera! (And Greg and Rita, of course.) Here’s a video of Veronica with the koala bear and it might be the cutest thing you watch today.

Much more soon!




  1. You know I am loving the pictures. Sweet video!
    Welcome home and I’m really looking forward to all those coming blog posts.
    I never paid much attention to ‘Bucket List’ before your trip. Now its:
    Champagne under the stars at the Sydney Opera House -wow that pic
    Hug a koala
    Feed a kangaroo

    Comment by Helene on September 15, 2012 at 6:04 pm

  2. Oh, that IS the cutest thing I’ve seen today — possibly all week!

    Comment by Carroll on September 15, 2012 at 7:15 pm

  3. I was a bit disappointed you couldn’t make it up to Possum Valley, and I couldn’t make it down to Port Douglas, but I knew at the time I made the suggestion, it was probably better for you to decline. It is a mistake many Americans fall into to try and cover too much ground and to try and do too many things. You already had an exhausting schedule of literary commitments.
    Re your Ozy picture of “where men drink lots of beer whilst wearing hats festooned with alligator teeth.” (They are crocs in Oz). That culture is alive and well in places like western Queensland, the ‘Top End’ and WA. Except stereotypes have to be updated every now and then. Your hard-bitten, dust covered ocker will likely whip out his i-phone to check river heights before disappearing into the wide blue yonder.

    Comment by Paul Tredgett on September 15, 2012 at 10:52 pm

  4. Welcome back to LA! This video is soooo adorable it actually brought tears to my eyes. :) So sweet.

    Comment by Liz on September 16, 2012 at 2:22 am

  5. So lovely to meet you while you were in Sydney! Looking forward to reading more about the rest of your trip when you’re sufficiently recovered from.

    Comment by Sophie on September 16, 2012 at 4:50 am

  6. happy for you

    Comment by Esther Bradley-DeTally on September 16, 2012 at 11:59 am

  7. – Hi Claire – this is a link to the only other blog I follow – Blue Milk – and she quotes you! I love it that my two favourite blogs have collided. Love that you liked Australia also. Eloise xxx

    Comment by Eloise Connelly on September 17, 2012 at 4:38 am

  8. Welcome back! I can’t wait to see and hear all about your trip! WOW! The video is priceless!!!!

    Comment by antonia on September 17, 2012 at 5:09 am

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