Sam van Zweden




Limp Writers

I know you’re reading this post because of the (possibly misleading) title. I dread to think of what this will do for my search engine results… “pen” and “limp” are begging for some beauties.

Anywho, this has nothing to do with the nocturnal concerns of other jot-fiends. At least,  not those nocturnal concerns.

This has to do with Little !ndependent Melbourne Publishing – or L!MP.

This website is run by the first- and second-year Creative Writing students at RMIT. We’re a driven bunch, and this is a part of that… L!MP is in its young days, meetings are currently being held in regards to branching out with it and trying to get it out in the world. So I’m doing my bit by sharing with you guys – check it out, check back, comment, pass it on. Help us get this bad boy up n thriving.

I’ve got a piece up there, which was posted here a long while ago, but the other pieces on the site are really amazing – I am learning with some freaking talented people.

You will hear more about L!MP in the future, I promise.


Having gone entirely too hard last night, I’m not writing today.

Someone else did though, and they did it very well.

This guy has written a fantabulous post sharing important people’s strategies for getting past creative blocks.


It’s pronounced “In-oh-go-loh”

Remember when you first came across the name “Descartes”, and never realised that was how you spell “Day-cart”? This happens to me all the time

I constantly have trouble pronouncing things. I spend so much of my time “hearing” about things in print, that I inevitably come up against words I cannot pronounce. Up until recently I just had to spit out my own pronunciation and hope it didn’t discredit me too much. But no more! 

I introduce to you: 

  Inogolo prevents any more of those awful moments where you say “don quicks-o-tee” and everyone gets a little awkward.
Just type in the name, place, or “stuff” you want to know how to pronounce, and inogolo gives you the correct pronunciation, along with a sufficient definition. 
So, I just tried it with “Chuck Palahniuk”… I’d previously been pronouncing it “Pall-ahn-yuk”… Turns out it’s “Pall-uh-nik”… In my defence, my previous pronunciation was much less ridiculous than some I’ve heard, like “Pa-laz-nik” (where’s the z!?), or “Pa-lah-niu-mik” (magical extra syllable)…
Next time I hear one of these more ridiculous pronunciations, I’ll be referring them to inogolo. 

Officially A Twat

Quite unlike me to blog twice in the one day, but: after having multiple people tell me just how valuable a Twitter account is for blogging, I’ve now signed up for Twitter.

I’m a Twat.

If you want to follow me, my user name is “lgwabp” (Little Girl… etc, was too big, boo!), you can just hit the “follow me!” button I’ve put in my sidebar on this here fine blog…

This could very well be the beginning of the end…too much social networking in my life!

Gala Soothes Home-Haircutting Aftershock

This morning I cut my own hair. I was feeling out of sorts, somewhat dissatisfied with the world. And my fringe had been hanging in my eyes for weeks.

Being poor and restless, I took up my scissors and gave it a good chop. A very rough, far-too-short chop. A chop that turned out looking not entirely like anything my fringe has ever experienced. It’s trying to be something, but it just looks confused.

To soothe the discomfort which has only been inflated by my hair cutting, (my partner hasn’t woken up to laugh at my uneven hair yet) I decided to sit down and watch some of the footage from the Wheeler Centre’s opening event, “A Gala Night of Storytelling”.

Yesterday the footage of Christos Tsiolkas, John Safran and Chloe Hooper was uploaded. On Thursday the first six writers’ footage was uploaded. There are still a few more writers to go.

Each featured writer was asked to share and discuss “those tales that have been handed down to them through the generations, each giving voice to an inheritance of wisdom, of understanding, of identity”. Some writers took this more seriously than others – some accounts are poignant, some funny, all are pretty enlightening in terms of where such revered literary figures have come from. I can honestly say that I only found one or two of these speakers dull…I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to pick which ones they were.

But at least even the boring ones distracted me from my wonky fringe… Time for round two with my scissors: The Straightening.

774 Lineup Bonanza

An interesting lineup on radio station 774 ABC Melbourne, with the “prolific” (and very grandfathery-sounding) Alexander McCall Smith, Stephen Cummings, and Michael Williams (Head of Programming at the Wheeler Centre).

Engaging, entertaining, absolutely worth a listen. What a great group of people to put together in a room!

…I love Michael Williams. He speaks so well, and is so great to listen to. I saw him on a panel at The First Word last year at the Emerging Writers Festival, and, honestly, Wheeler could not have chosen anyone for this job more in touch with things and more like a real person.

Have a listen (sorry about the link, I can’t figure out how to embed audio in mp3 format):

…and a big thanks to Keith for letting me know this interview exists, you were right, I’m certainly interested in this!

Lost in Books, much?

I am… entirely, thoroughly, absolutely. And I love it.

Today I came across this blog, “Lost in Books”.

I’ve been on there for about 45 minutes already, and I’ve only just skimmed the surface. I just had to share it – such a huge site, so varied, and offers a lot of inspiration, especially on what to blog about. Very helpful and interesting, also seems to be a great place to connect with like-minded people.

Enjoy, and props to Rebecca from Lost in Books for putting so much work into a fantastic blog!

Tip Of My Tongue!

 Tip of My Tongue is a very helpful tool.

Tip of My Tongue allows you to type in any clues you may have for a word that you can’t quite remember. The website acts as a dictionary, a thesaurus, and (best of all) someone who is just really good when you go up to them waving your hands saying “ummm… you know, that WORD… it’s like…ch-something…”

While at times you can almost hear the search engine grinding and clunking along before spitting out the desired word/s, the idea behind this website just blows me away and sometimes has proven invaluable.

A very handy tool to keep in the favourites.


I recently found an incredible website.

Infloox asks the question: “what are famous people’s favourite books? …today and throughout history?”

At the homepage of Infloox, you can type in the name of an author, a famous person, or the title of a work.  This then takes you to a page which provides a short biography of this person, or work. Under this is where it gets interesting…

Infloox lists (and wiki-style, allows feedback on) this person’s “infloox” (things that were influential upon that person’s life and work), and “outfloox” (the same idea but outwards – so things and people that were influenced by this person). Not only this, but Infloox is expanding what it lists… It now also lists “affinities”; giving details such as “people who liked this person also liked…”
I’m a sucker for these types of lists. I love being able to link ideas, works, people.

I’m blogging about this because I like to think about influences. Anyone who thinks that idea about not reading for fear of being overly influenced has any merit, is crazy. You need to be a good reader to be a good writer. Infloox is proof of that.

I’m also blogging about this because I like this site, and would like to see it grow. So click the link, send it to friends, help the database of Infloox grow so I can learn more…

If there was an Infloox page about me right now, it would have on it:

INFLOOX: John Marsden. Chuck Palahniuk. Robert Adamson. Raymond Carver.

OUTFLOOX: perhaps one of my musician-friends? Or my partner’s photography, that’d be nice.

What would your Infloox page look like?

Blog at

Up ↑