It’s bloody hot here in Brisbane in February. It’s always hot this time of year, but this year it’s so awful they’re calling it a heatwave. It’s been so hot the water coming out of the cold tap starts out lukewarm and then gets hotter. Yesterday I caught myself thinking, “Oh it’s not so bad today,” then I looked at the temperature gauge and it was 33 degrees. It was 7 pm and that temperature was inside the house and in Celsius!

So here are some ideas for keeping cool and still managing to get some writing done, for writing folk who, like me, don’t have air-conditioning and feel like their brains are being slowly braised in their skulls.

1.       Get wet and stay wet – either have multiple cold showers a day and stay in your towel, or soak yourself under the hose fully clothed and sit at your desk dripping. Just be careful of electrocution.

2.       Drape yourself with wet cloths. Look like a bedraggled Virgin Mary, but stop your brain from stewing.

3.       Become an aircon whore – visit friends with aircon, local libraries or cafes and shamelessly lap up their cool – take your laptop or a pen and paper and write away!

4.       Go to the movies – there’s aircon and you can claim it on your tax as research.

5.       Ice in your bra. Radical yes, and a little burn-like at first, but surprisingly effective. Women only. Men could try ice in the undies, but I’m not sure how that would go.

6.       Move to Tasmania or New Zealand or somewhere else they think 20 degrees is a warm day and not the middle of winter. Trouble is at 20 degrees we Queenslanders (The Sunshine State) start complaining about how cold it is. Conveniently forgotten in a heatwave.

7.       Give up trying to get anything done and go swimming – preferably in a well-shaded waterhole.

 Hope that helps.

 What do you do to keep your cool when a hot, hot summer is hanging on way too long?

Any ideas most welcome.

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I’m not really a doctor, but I can help act as a midwife for your book babies.


I’ve just recently signed up to be a mentor for the Queensland Writers Centre as part of their Writer’s Surgery program.

I’ve been teaching creative writing for over a decade now and writing in earnest since 2002, so I’ve got plenty of tricks up my sleeve to help make your story the very best it can be.

Here’s a testimonial from writer Azra Algaic, author of Not Like My Mother.

“Edwina Shaw is the kind of editor you hope to find: caring and nurturing, but also frank and bold. She challenges you on structure and logic, helping you to create a tighter, cleaner plot, while also honing in on those grammatical oversights and inevitable typos. Her technical and craft knowledge result in a holistic and detailed assessment of your manuscript that leaves you inspired to tackle that dreaded rewrite.”

For this program I’ll only be looking at the first 20 pages, but I can certainly put you on the right track and help you to find your way forward from there.

If you’re interested please contact QWC at the Writer’s Surgery and book in for a consultation.

Happy writing!





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