Jaclyn Moriarty is the prize-winning, best-selling author of novels for young adults and adults including Feeling Sorry for Celia and The Year of Secret Assignments. Jaclyn grew up in Sydney, lived in England, the US, and Canada, and now lives in Sydney again. She is very fond of chocolate, blueberries, and sleep.
Jaclyn’s website: www.jaclynmoriarty.com
• One thing that’s always worth getting out of bed for
Pancakes with blueberries and maple syrup on a terrace overlooking the ocean, with distant whales spouting, and nearby dolphins playing. Otherwise, I’m staying in bed.
(Actually, it’s all worth getting out of bed for – weetbix with the kid, rain through the window – and as soon as I’m up, I’m happy. It’s just that sleep is so beautiful – everything about it: the pillows, the covers, the eyes being closed – and while I’m there I cannot imagine anything better. So the thing that usually does get me up is a kick in the solar plexus from my four-year-old.)
• One thing about myself that often obstructs me
It’s the reason it’s taken me so long to answer these ‘six things’. E.g, for this question I was going to say that shyness often obstructs me, then I changed my mind to ‘the-critical-voices-in-my-head’. Then I thought, no, it’s really my tendency to lose my keys (frequently obstructs me from leaving the house). Then I realised it might actually be the word ‘jeronimo’. It jumps into my head whenever anybody asks me a question. “What’s another word for bashful?” “Jeronimo!”, “Who’s the premier of Queensland?” “Jeronimo?” and so on. I usually don’t say it aloud, but my head is so quick and enthusiastic to offer the word that it’s hard to get any actual answers out from behind it.
• One thing I’ve learned the hard way
When turning onto Pennant Hills Road at 3 o’clock in the morning, distracted by a semi-trailer coming from the left, it is important, once the semi-trailer has passed, to look right again before turning. That a boyfriend who makes you cry once will probably make you cry again. That you should go to the dentist more regularly than once every eight-to-ten years.
• One thing that gets under my skin
When people justify downloading music, movies etc for free on the basis that (a) it’s sort of cool, new-world, let’s-all-share-everything, words-should-be-free-like-butterflies etc; and/or (b) well, if they would just get these things to us quickly and at a reasonable price, then I wouldn’t need to do it, would I?
As if the people who create art and entertainment just reach up their hands and draw it down from the ether. As if there is some universal human right to immediate and cheap access to Cars 2.
• One thing I’d love to change
The moral scale that has money as the ultimate ‘good’ (so that, if something will make money, even if it might cause harm to other people or things, it’s not only justifiable to do it, it would be wrong not to) while same-sex relationships, working mothers, and bad language are all somewhere down the other end.
• One thing I hope for
I hope for pancakes with blueberries and maple syrup on a terrace overlooking the ocean, with distant whales and nearby playful dolphins, and the terrace should be attached to a home full of rooms all overlooking this ocean (and the home should be solar-powered and ecologically-sustainable etc so I have no guilt about its excesses), and my four-year-old’s room, in particular, should have windows filled with stars (and should, in other ways, resemble the bedroom from the picture book, Good Night, Moon, although without the elderly rabbit in a dress watching over him from a rocking chair), and it should be walking distance to family, friends and excellent schools, and in the house’s grounds, there should be fruit trees and a vegetable garden, and if possible, there should be a housekeeper who really enjoys keeping the house (and guest cottage) clean, and a groundskeeper who, similarly, just loves taking care of the gardens, swimming pool and tennis court, and, also, I hope that, on the terrace overlooking the ocean, there will be tea parties with cake in the afternoons, and Great Gatsby style cocktail parties with jazz bands in the evenings, because, while I do not think that money should be at the top of any moral scale, it’d be nice.