Book Chat

By Margaret Moon

Book Chat - Issue #11

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Book Chat
Hello reading friends!
Welcome to another edition of Book Chat, a newsletter for readers and writers.
I noticed that the last issue didn’t reach a few of you lovely people because of a software issue, so I hope this one makes it into your inbox. I’m reminded of the old joke where the teacher says “put your hand up if you’re not here”. (I think only teachers will find that amusing).
This week I’ve added a writing tip. I’m not sure if that’s something you want or need, so let me know either way. I love sending out this newsletter and want to make it useful and entertaining, so please let me know if you have any requests or suggestions.

What I've been writing
I started doing a writing course with Chloe Higgins who is a writing coach and the author of a memoir called The Girls, which won the People’s choice awards at the 2020 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards. I haven’t read it yet, but judging from the first few pages, it looks good.
The course is going well so far. I’ve been doing freewriting every day, and it feels good. If you’ve never heard of freewriting, it’s exactly what it sounds like. You find a quiet space, get a notebook and a pen or a pencil and write for 15 minutes without stopping. At first, you feel a little foolish, especially if you stare blankly at the page, but once you get going, it’s hard to stop.
I’m not sure what will come out of all this, but it’s good to be writing again after a brief hiatus.
Write with Chloe
Write with Chloe
What I've been reading
I’m currently reading a book that was recommended by my friend Marianne a few years ago. It’s the perfect book for anyone who has ever dreamed of owning a second-hand bookshop. Put your hand up if that’s you!
Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell, is both funny and fascinating. He’s just like Dylan Moran in Black Books. I loved his stories about people comparing his prices with the prices on Amazon while they are actually in the shop, but it’s also a fantastic insight into how booksellers acquire new stock. Mainly from deceased estates, but also from people downsizing or moving to another country. My niece has just moved back to Australia after 20 years in London, and she and her academic husband must have been heartbroken to leave most of their books behind.
A writing tip - any more or anymore?
Should you use any more, or anymore? This is a question that often stumps me, and I have to go away and check mid-sentence. I can never seem to remember the rule when I’m actually writing something. I know that some of you probably think it doesn’t matter, but I like to get things right if I can.
Here’s a great explanation I found on the Grammarly blog.
Any more and anymore have related meanings, but they’re not interchangeable. Any more refers to quantities - would you like any more tea? Anymore is an adverb that refers to time - I don’t like tea anymore.
https://www.grammarly.com/blog/anymore-vs-any-more/
If you can substitute the words “any longer”, then it’s one word as in “I don’t like biscuits anymore”. (Not true, by the way).
What I've been cooking
This week I finally got around to making Okonomiyaki (Japanese Pancakes) because I had a good supply of cabbage and also spring onions. They were weird, but a change from our usual fare, which is getting a bit humdrum.
Easy okonomiyaki recipe - BBC Food
I made the sauce as directed, and it was also a little odd, but my husband liked it. I tried to make a homemade version of Kewpie mayonnaise, but mine was a bit sour (too much vinegar). As you may know, Japanese mayonnaise is quite sweet. I only found out recently that yaki means grilled, so any Japanese dish that ends in yaki is grilled, or in this case fried on a hot plate.
Okonomiyaki with homemade sauce, cheats kewpie mayo and some pickled ginger
Okonomiyaki with homemade sauce, cheats kewpie mayo and some pickled ginger
Before I go
I’m on Instagram are you? Do you want to be friends?
Marg xxx
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Margaret Moon
Margaret Moon

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Central Coast, Australia