We're goin' where the sun shines brightly
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Marina Deller Logo
We're all goin' on a summer holiday (at least, I am)
Hello friends,

It's been a while, hasn't it? The start of this year was a very strange one for my household as I exited an exceedingly busy work period over Christmas and hopped straight into a long period of quarantine and personal crisis as my partner was ill with Covid.

I hope that the start of your 2022 was far more jolly - and if it wasn't I hope that there have been little pockets of joy and peace, as there have been for me.

Because our summer plans were so cruelly interrupted, we postponed them until now. I'm glad to be writing this to you from the comfort of a bed which is not my own in a very charming guest house in Goolwa. We're on a summer holiday which always makes me think of this song. We're spending time with sandy toes, salty skin, and reading and playing board games when we aren't napping in the sun like cats. When Instagram models tell me I should follow my bliss, is this what they imagine I'd be doing? Because I can think of nothing more blissful right now.

Below I'll spill the beans on a few things which have been happening lately. Some of it is entirely unextraordinary, and how lovely is that? To be able to be slow and to savour the smallness of this getaway is something I treasure. I find myself more and more being drawn to that which is unextraordinary. 

What have you been up to? What books, shows, conversations, foods, have brought you joy? What small things? I'd love to know.



P.S. You may notice a cheeky change of pronouns in my sign off. I've been using 'she/they' pronouns for about a year now and find myself enjoying 'they/them' being used most frequently. Thus I prefer to use they/them for the most part. If you'd like to know more about this recent 'identity alignment' (perhaps a bit of a wanky term, but 'coming out' is not quite right either) then I wrote about it at length in this post. Thank you, and endless love, to those who have messaged and commented with support, care, and joy. You mean the world.

P.P.S. An extra big thank you to the friends who were so compassionate and generous (with time, love, spare beds) when John and I crashed into 2022 in a spectacularly disastrous fashion. You made me feel human and I am indebted to you all. Much love.
Exciting (for me) news!
I finally have a website! With brand-spaking-new headshots from the fantastic Bee Saint James Photography. This is so exciting for me because it has been on my 'to do' list for the past 3 years. Feels good to finally tick it off, and feels great to see some of my work organised on the web. Check it out here :-)
*Insert egg-based pun here*
As I've spoken about in this newsletter before, I like to cook 10 new things each year. They don't have to be extravagant - just new to my cooking repertoire. It's a great way to encourage experimentation, new ingredients, and this little project has ended up gifting me with some of my all-time favourite foods like goat's cheese arancini, Korean fried cauliflower tacos with pickled veg, and Earl-grey caramel sauce (I've made a little recipe for the last one you can watch here).

The first on the list of '10 new things' in 2022 is Shakshuka, a North African and Middle Eastern dish of eggs, tomatoes, and spices. I love ordering this at cafes and can't believe I haven't attempted it before now considering how simple it is. I added beans, broccoli, and spinach to mine in an attempt to use up the pantry. I dolloped garlic yoghurt on top. It was fabulous and so hearty. Thank you to Bec & her chooks for the eggs!
Letters: wooden, and printed
I am thrilled to have my short story
'Nostos' in the current issue of Voiceworks. The issue, titled ‘Spectre’, is brimming with breath-catching eeriness, strange sensations, and haunting details. There is an astonishing amount of strong work packed into one little mag, complete with a stirring cover by Naomi Segal and evocative illustrations by Kitman Yeung.

My story is of thunderstorms, Scrabble, family, and identity. It is uneasy in its search for belonging and comfortable in its pedestrian themes.

If you’d like to order this magazine (in print, and digitally) you may do so here. It would mean a lot to me - and other young Australian writers - if you supported our work by reading, reading, reading.

Books, books, books

Gosh it feels good to be basically breathing books again. It's like a return to childhood, in the best possible way. I feel comforted and morally challenged by the stories I've been reading lately, and what a heady high it is to enjoy things so paradoxically. 

Here are my recent reads:
- Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
- The Colony by Audrey Magee (forthcoming)
- Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
- The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
- Heart of the Grass Tree by Molly Murn
- White on White by Aysegul Savas
Analog all the way
This is an analog-activity-heavy newsletter because as well as reading plenty of books, and writing about Scrabble, board games have been on regular rotation.

While I've been reading and writing in a feverish way, John has been relishing board games. This is a bonus for me as I love them, but get to have him do the hard yards of figuring out all the rules and quirks and explaining them to me while I sip vodka pineapples. Mmm. 

It's also a lovely way to spend time with small groups of people equally keen to nerd out.

We've recently enjoyed:
- Saboteur
- Jaws
- Haunted Mansion

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