b o u t . j a m e s .
t a r i s . . .
was born in Salamina, an island off the port of Athens, Greece.
Just before I turned one, I came to Australia with my mother,
and older siblings, Sonia (9yrs) and George (4yrs) to meet up
with my father who had arrived in March the year before. Almost
a year later, my younger brother, Spiro, was born.
childhood memories are very pleasant. I was a clever child and
I couldn't wait to go to school. In fact, my most treasured
award is the Dux Award I achieved in the last year of primary
school (Grade 6 in North Brunswick State School). And I was
a bit of a scoundrel too.
When I was 4, I remember wanting to go to Greek school with
Sonia. But of course I wasn't allowed. Needless to say, I
decided that I'd go anyway! I managed to escape from home
after my sister had left, and made my way to the tram stop
(at least a 15 minute walk from home). The tram finally reached
the end of the line, and I was still on it, not knowing why
it hadn't stopped at the Greek school. I was taken to the
police station, and soon after my frantic parents came to
collect me. But not before the police constable had threatened
to throw me in the fireplace if I ever did that again (at
least that was my parents' translation ... and they couldn't
My Work History
I finished 6th Form (Year 12), I went back to Greece with
my family. Luckily I managed to score a job as a Flight Steward
with Olympic Airways, and I flew on domestic flights all over
Greece for 5 months. I would've still been there, but my father
sent me back to Australia when President George Papadopoulos
(the Greek dictator at that time) called in the army to shoot
the students who had taken over the Polytechnic in Athens
and were protesting for the ousting of his Hounda Government.
Not a good time to be in Greece, especially when I was due
to go into the army myself.
in Australia I took on a range of different jobs. But my main
professions have been as a:
Wedding Portrait Photographer
Sales Agent for Encyclopedia Britannica
While working for Encyclopedia Britannica (EB):
I sold over 600 encyclopedia sets in 6 years.
I won many company awards including:
- �Rising Star Award�
- �Man of the Month Award� (4 times)
Qualified for: - �200 Club� - ie. over 200 sets sold in one
- �Century Club� -ie. Over 100 sets sold in one year (4 times)
- �Master Sales Level 10� (highest level of achievement in
- 10th Position in �Benton Award� (ie. in total sales for
the year) from all of Australia and New Zealand (out of 250
- �Ten-a-week� Ring Award - ie. 10 or more sets sold in a
week (4 times)
running my studio, James Taris Photography & Video:
adopted and improved the �Win-A-Family-Portrait� competition
marketing system to the extent where the studio became acknowledged
as one of the busiest Portrait Studios in Australia (over
10,000 sittings in 7 years).
I also developed the �Studio Associate System� for studio
a member of Toastmasters International:
I achieved the following awards.
1997 - CTM (Competent Toastmaster)
2001 - ATM Bronze (Able Toastmaster Bronze)
2003 - ATM Silver (Able Toastmaster Silver)
a keen believer in LETS systems, I founded my own LETS Groups
and helped launch LETS overseas.
- Melbourne LETS
1996 - LETS Intertrade (a group enabling LETS members from
any of the 200+ groups in Australia, to trade with each other)
2001 - LETS-Linkup.com (web site listing over 1,500 LETS and
community currency groups from 38 countries)
2002 - Helped launch LETS in South Africa
2005 - Currently helping to launch LETS in China
. . . .. . . . . .
- This 2 month trip was fantastic. My book, Athens to Santorini,
gives a detailed acoount of my day-to-day experiences.
places I went to were:
CORINTH, PATRA, PEANEA, RAFINA, PARALIA AVLITHOS, CALAMOS,
KEFALLONIA (Island), IOS (Island), SANTORINI (Island)
- This trip was waaaaaay back in 1973 when I was fresh out
of High School. The highlight of that trip was when, at 18,
I scored a job with Olympic Airways as a Flight Steward! I
flew with them for 5 months, so I got to see all of Greece
(mostly from 30,000 feet). I only stayed in Greece for about
- The highlight for me that year was my trip to Sydney with
my 2 daughters. It was a short trip (less than 24 hours),
but we'd never flown together before. And they were very kind
to their father. . . didn't give me a hard time at all. We
HARBOUR BRIDGE (walked across it!) ... SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE
(but it was closed!)
- I started the new millennium (or was it the last year of
the last millennium?) with 5 interstate flights to Australia's
capital cities. These were a mixture of business and pleasure,
but very enjoyable, and I followed up with another 4 interstate
trips by the end of the year. The cities I visited were:
COAST (and Brisbane), SYDNEY, ADELAIDE, HOBART, PERTH
KONG and CHINA
(Apr 2005-current) - Shanghai, Yiwu
(Nov, 2004/Mar, 2005) - Shanghai
(Sep/Oct) - Shanghai, Suzhou,
(Oct/Nov) - Hong
Kong, Zhengzhou, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Shanghai
(June) - Hong
Kong, Zhengzhou, Kaifeng, Dengfeng, Beijing
- Bristol, London
Wales - Cardiff
Spain - Barcelona, Girona, Sa Tuna
France - Paris, Montelimar, Aurillac
Germany - Frankfurt, Braunfels, Wetzlar,
Netherlands - Amsterdam
Denmark - Coppenhagen
Norway - Oslo, Aas
(Oct) - Cape
Town, Mitchell's Plain, Ocean View, Gugulethu
(Dec) - Fukuoka,
Nakatsu, Beppu, Oita, Yufuin, Kagoshima, Ohmata, Hagosaki
(Mar-Apr) - Wellington, Wanganui, New Plymouth, Mokau, Rotorua,
Huka Falls, Taupo, Turangi, Mt.Ngauruhoe, Mangaweka, Palmerston
North, Masterton, Carteton, Picton, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru,
(June) -2004 (July) - to 5 continents, through 13 countries,
in 400 days.
Greece - Athens
Finland - Helsinki
Sweden - Stockholm, Gotesborg
France - Paris, Montelimar, Aurillac, Bressuire
Netherlands - Amsterdam
Scotland - Edinburgh, Dundee, Luthrie (a
Morocco - Casablanca, Marrakech
England - London, Bristol, Bath, Bradford
on Avon, Falmouth, Milton Keynes
Wales - Brecon
Canada - Welland, Port Colborne, Kitchener-Waterloo,
Toronto, Montreal, Granby, Ottawa, Tamworth
USA - Los Angeles, San Francisco, Buffalo
Australia - Brisbane, Logan, Caloundra, Caboultia,
Bribie Island, Mt Tambourine, Nimbin
Speaking, LETS and Media Attention
My Training in Public Speaking
1996 I joined Alfred Toastmasters (TM) in Melbourne, Australia.
Since that time I've given about 20 TM manual speeches (these
are speeches which get evaluated and progress you to higher
levels of achievement). Most of my enjoyment has come through
delivering humorous speeches. The spontaneous laughter from
the audience is one of the most exciting experiences I've
ever had (we won't talk about the most frightening experiences
been called on numerous occasions to speak to LETS groups
all over the world.
- Speaker at the State LETS Conference (Frankston, Australia)
2001 - Speaker at the National LETS Conference (Brunswick,
2002 - European LETS Speaking Tour (England, Spain,
France, Germany, Holland, Norway)
2002 - Speaker for S.A.N.E. promoting LETS (Cape Town, Mitchell's
Plain, Ocean View, Gugulethu ... South Africa)
2002 - Speaker promoting LETS (Fukuoka, Nakatsu, Beppu, Oita,
Yufuin, Kagoshima, Ohmata, Hagosaki, ... Japan)
2003 - Speaker promoting LETS (Wellington, Wanganui, New Plymouth,
Rotorua, Carterton, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru ... New
2003 - Speaker at the National LETS Conference (Invercargill,
2003-4 - 400-Day World LETS Speaking Tour (Sweden,
France, Netherlands, Scotland, Wales, England, Canada, USA,
your articles published always seems to elevate you to the
level of 'expert' in any particular field. Once you've been
noticed, then you get a snowball effect of people wanting
to interview you or have you speak for them at a conference
or special event. This is exactly what happened to me. While
producing a newsletter for LETS, a local community group in
1995, I began to submit articles which related to how members
could improve their lifestyle. These are the articles that
- LETS - The Best Source of Honey Bees
1995 - You Can't Impress If You Look A Mess
1995 - Time and Space Sharing
overseas led to quite a large number of travel articles being
published on the internet.
- 2 mths in Greece ... collated as a book, Athens
2002 - 3 wks in China (June) ... included
in my book, Aussie Guest in China
2002 - 10 wks in Europe (Aug/Oct) ...
in my book, Global Quest for Local LETS
2002 - 5 days in South Africa (Oct)
in my book, Global
Quest for Local LETS
2002 - 5 wks in China (Oct/Nov)
... included in my book, Aussie Guest in
2002 - 9 days in Japan (Dec)
in my book, Global
Quest for Local LETS
2003 - 5 wks in New Zealand(May/Apr)
... collated as a book, Land of the LETSGreen
2003-4 - 400-day World (Jun 2003/Jul 2004)
... collated as a book, 400-Day LETS Odyssey
was interviewed many times on local, interstate and international
- Trading Goods & Services in your local area (Melbourne,
1996 - LETS - where you can get whatever you want FREE! (Melbourne,
1996 - Bartering in your local community. (Melbourne, Australia)
1997 - James Taris - Poet Extraordinaire. (Melbourne, Australia)
(This invitation came about after I read some of my poems
at a Poetry Reading. Unknown to me, Prodos, a radio presenter
with his own weekly radio show, was amused with my humorous
poems, many of which catered for young children. But I think
what really caught his attention was the way I was dressed.
All in black, with a long black coat and a mobile phone on
my belt. Hardly the gear worn by a reader of children's poetry!
And that was how he introduced me to his listeners!)
2002 - LETS in Australia and around the World (Radio ABC Tasmania,
2002 - James Taris And LETS In South Africa (Cape Talk Radio,
Cape Town, South Africa)
2003 - James Taris And LETS In New Zealand (Masterton, New
2003 - James Taris And LETS (Timaru, New Zealand)
2003 - James Taris - The LETSaholic (ZIP Radio, Japan)
2004 - (Kitchener-Waterloo, Canada)
LETS ... with Michael Linton (VIRATO LIVE, USA)
2002 - "Elegy For A Royal Funeral Belongs To Everyman"
(The London Times, UK)
2003 - (Invercargill, New Zealand)
2003 - (Espoo, Finland)
2003 - (Sisteron, France)
2003 - (Bressuire, France) ... 2 different
2003 - Tribune; Niagara Falls Review (Welland, Canada)
... 2 different newspapers
2004 - (Kitchener-Waterloo, Canada)
2007 - Shanghai daily / Expat Tales - full page article (Shanghai,
- Channel 10 - (Welland, Canada)
2004 - Hellenic Views (Los Angeles, USA)
2004 - Channel 9 - Brisbane Extra (Brisbane, Australia)
2001 - www.LETS-Linkup.com
2002 - www.ChineseArt-ChineseArt.com
2002 - www.Rich-Bastards.com
2004 - www.TheGloryOfAthens.com
2004 - www.TravelWithoutMoney.com
2006 - www.Honey-BeeBooks.com
2008 - www.2pups.com
FEATURE ARTICLE IN SHANGHAI DAILY
September 25, 2007
on the image for a larger view of the article
information for the above article was taken from the answers
I wrote to the following questionnaire:
provided by Jenny Hammond, journalist for Shanghai Daily]
• Where from
was born in Greece, but in 1956, just before my first birthday,
my family (parents, sister, brother and myself) migrated to
Melbourne, Australia – where my parents had another
son – and we've lived there ever since.
in January, 1955 … now 52 yo.
in Shanghai , I'm a sales agent for a Chinese manufacturing
company and a sourcing agent for foreign companies …but
I've been around for a very long time – and can't help
changing professions to satisfy my most immediate interests,
or needs – so I've had many professions over the years:
Steward (for Olympic Airways when I was in Greece for a year
Photographer (18 years), Sports Photographer, Commercial Photographer,
Designer, Web Site Developer, Desktop Publisher, Cartoonist,
TV Host, Film Maker, Video Camera Operator, Film Editor
Author, Travel Writer, Playwright, Poet, Children's Book Author/Illustrator,
Sales Manager, Sales Agent, Salesman, Telemarketer
Speaker, Corporate Trainer, Sales Trainer
of Studies, Senior Teacher, English Teacher (from 2 y.o. to
& MANUAL LABOUR:
Plumber's Assistant, Storeman, Rubbish Remover
Description of self in three words?
• Favorite place in Shanghai and why?
Square J W Marriott Hotel. Architecturally, it's my favourite
building in Shanghai. I'm especially impressed by its extremely
deceptive shape, brought about by such a simple design, which,
at times, makes it appear skinnier at the top or skinnier
at the bottom. Then once inside, the uncluttered view from
the 38 th floor – the hotel reception level –
is one of the best centrally-located 360-degree views you
could hope for of this city. Coupled with a great coffee and
snacks offer (only 88 rmb/person) this is a great place to
bring someone for a luxuriously comfortable chat and great
first impression of Shanghai.
• Worst experience in Shanghai ?
robbed of 1500 rmb, in a crowded street, by a 10-year-old
boy, while everyone looked on uncaringly. By the time I realized
he'd taken my wallet out of my shoulder bag, he was 100 metres
down the street and well-protected by lots of associates who
feigned assistance (stopping me as I chased him) while the
boy disappeared into the side streets. Eventually, I accepted
this experience as a cheap lesson in learning how to protect
my valuables, thus foiling two future attempts at being robbed
in public (both on buses).
Strangest thing seen in Shanghai ?
I'm forever amused by motorcyclists, their passengers and
their cargoes. Some of the more memorable recollections are:
- A motorcyclist with his son sitting behind him, facing the
back, and reading his school book.
- A motorcyclist with his son sitting behind him, fast asleep,
with his head hanging back over his shoulders.
- A motorcyclist carrying a large load of materials, which
he held in place with his legs, while he was talking on a
mobile phone and trying to control a left-hand turn.
- A motorcyclist with a child sitting on the scooter's footrest
in front of him, his wife sitting behind him, and another
child sandwiched between his parents.
• Ideal weekend?
over a year I worked 7-days-a-week, so any weekend I have
with no work is an ideal weekend for me.
• Motto for life?
While I was in Shanghai in June, 2003, I wrote a play, The
Glory of Athens: an 80-minute, funny and inspirational
one-man show (true to form!), where I had to memorise 10,000
words of monologue for the 7 roles I was performing. It's
one of the highlights of my life, and my career, and I performed
it in 10 countries while I was on a 400-day public-speaking
tour through 13 countries on 5 continents. The highlights
of that tour were my theatre performances in London and Hollywood
(The Lee Strasberg Theater). Anyway, the play is really all
about my life motto: Everything is possible if you truly believe!
• Things that could improve Shanghai?
First of all, I'm amazed at how orderly Shanghai is. To have
a city of 17-odd million people functioning so well, is an
incredible achievement just on its own. I've never felt so
safe in any other city in the world and the people aren't
desperate here, as may be expected from such a large population
with very low incomes. The Shanghai transport system gives
the best example of how incredibly functional this city is.
However, there's always room for improvement, so here are
a couple of things that Shanghai may like to consider (even
though I'm sure they're already well aware of them):
No.1 … Air Pollution: Some
months ago I was surprised to read a writer's opinion that
air pollution was actually good for our health because it
made our bodies stronger and more tolerant to impurities all
around us. I'm still having trouble accepting that point of
view, and am much more inclined to think that a cleaner atmosphere
would be more beneficial for everyone. The cars on Shanghai
roads all seem relatively new and aren't particularly offensive.
However, the biggest culprits in this area are the diesel
trucks and buses that billow out thick clouds of black smoke.
This is particularly unpleasant when you're waiting at a bus
stop and can't really avoid being enveloped in a hot gush
of poisonous Carbon Monoxide.
… Street Pollution: Thirty years ago,
Australia launched a "Keep Australia Beautiful campaign"
where Australians were urged to dispose of litter thoughtfully.
Almost immediately the streets became cleaner because there
was a stigma attached to anyone visibly dropping litter on
the ground, out of a car window, or dumping rubbish by the
roadsides. I'm sure Shanghai would benefit from a similar
educational campaign. The architecture, and skyline, of Shanghai
is one of its greatest attractions. It especially shines after
the street cleaners have done their job – even though
the results are currently only temporary.
• Advice to newcomers?
with the locals! How else can you really get to know the people
and this city? And the best way to do this is to occasionally
join one of the numerous English Corners taking place in Shanghai,
especially on weekends. You won't have the usual communication
problems because everyone there can speak English, to some
degree, and is eager to improve their English. It's also a
great way to make new friends. One friend I made a couple
of years ago is an IT expert and has been a life-saver every
time I have a problem with my laptop (read "lifeline").
They're also keen on language exchange, so if you want to
improve your Chinese, you won't have to pay for it. Just teach
them some English in exchange for Chinese lessons.
Background on yourself, where you are from, what you
do here, what you did before Shanghai , qualifications etc
Where from] [see Profession
] [see What do you do in Shanghai ?]
was always a high-achiever as a child. In fact, my most treasured
prize was won in primary school when I got the Dux Award for
being the top student in my school. One of the teachers told
me it was because I had so much knowledge and skills in so
many different areas. My habit of being interested in everything
and doing everything myself has stayed with me ever since.
So, for example, when I write a book, I am writer, illustrator,
cover designer, layout artist, editor, printer, publisher,
promoter, book seller (wholesale/retailer), etc.
and when did you come to Shanghai ?
first visit to Shanghai was as a traveller in November, 2002.
It was my second visit to China, my first being to Zhengzhou,
and I was greatly impressed by the contrast of these two cities.
So when I made plans for my 400-day world public-speaking
tour, I made sure to include Shanghai in it. In fact, it was
my first stopover from Melbourne, and in the 5 weeks I spent
here, I wrote my play, The Glory of Athens.
[see Motto for life?] That creative
experience was crucial to making my decision to return again
in September, 2004, when I was looking for somewhere peaceful
to write and publish my books. I eventually wrote and published
18 books. Admittedly, I didn't expect to stay here for more
than a year, but when a work opportunity, which was too good
to refuse, came my way, I took it up and have enjoyed the
benefits of a comfortable lifestyle ever since.
do you do in Shanghai ?
in Shanghai , I'm a sales agent for a Chinese manufacturing
company and a sourcing agent for foreign companies.
How did you get into this profession?
you know, China is currently growing economically at an unbelievable
rate internationally, and world trade is the number one business
interest. So, because of my previous experience in business,
sales, management and web design, a friend of mine introduced
me to a Chinese manufacturing company that was interested
in developing their international market.
appeals to you about this industry?
it comes to earning a living, selling has always provided
a reliable source of income.
does your job here involve?
Designing, updating and maintaining the company's web site
Looking for sales prospects.
How have you made your mark here?
… Even though I had some of my stories from my book,
Aussie Guest in China, published
, I'm not sure if I've made my mark yet in Shanghai as a writer
or artist. However, a couple of years ago I rescued a 3-year-old
boy who was stranded in the middle of a 4-lane road with cars,
unbelievably, continuing to zip all around him as he stood
frozen with terror, and sobbing uncontrollably. And then last
year, I was disgusted to see a man molesting a young lady
on a crowded bus and nobody doing Buy Rolex Swiss Replica Watches anything about it, despite
her loud objections. Once I realized what was happening (if
I understood Mandarin I'd have realized much earlier), I manoevred
myself between them so that I became a human barrier between
him and her. Fortunately, this ended the drama and she eventually
disembarked at her stop without any further incidence. So,
does that make me a hero? If so, then we can surely use a
few more heroes here in Shanghai.
About LETS, what is it, how it started etc?
or Local Exchange Trading Systems, are local community trading
groups where members exchange their goods and services with
each other in a spirit of harmony and a genuine desire to
help each other. The first LETS group started in Canada, in
1984, and has spread to at least 39 countries around the world.
I've been involved with LETS since 1994, and am regarded as
somewhat of a LETS guru. My web site,
www.LETS-Linkup.com has information and links to over
1,500 LETS groups all over the world, and my book, The
LETSaholic Twist, is now regarded as the LETS
"bible": a definitive guide on how to start, grow
and maintain a thriving LETS group in any local community.
When and why did you decide to launch it here?
there's been some initial interest in LETS, it still hasn't
been launched here in Shanghai. But I've helped to launch
LETS groups around the world, so I'd be very interested in
helping out if someone wanted to start the first LETS group
in their local community! Most mermaid style prom dresses LETS groups have about 100
members, although the group doesn't really become exciting
until there are at least 200 members offering goods and services
to each other. In small towns around the world, a LETS group
may serve a whole town. However, because of the population
density in Shanghai, I can envision a LETS group in Shanghai
being able to serve a much smaller area, such as a residential
building complex or even a University campus.
What sort of things do you write and why?
of my books are travel diaries. Since 2001 I've traveled to
18 countries, on 5 continents, on 6 overseas trips …
and (except for my plane ticket) all of this was done without
money! In 2004, at the end of my 400-day world public speaking
tour, my ability to travel without money caught the attention
of a major Australian publisher who offered me an advance
of AU$5,000 to write the book, Travel Without
Money. Unfortunately (or fortunately), contract
negotiations broke down when I realized I would be restricted
from writing and publishing anything for at least two years
– and how do you live on AU$5,000 for two years?. This
led to the foundation of my own publishing company, Honey-Bee
Books, which I've used to publish all my books, as well as
those by other international authors.
of my many, and varied, interests, my books are quite diverse
in content. As well as my travel diaries, I have written books
on poetry, public speaking, my play, children's books (which
I took great pleasure in illustrating myself) and LETS. But
if I had to make a choice, I'd focus on writing and illustrating
children's books. My book, The Magical Tooth Fairy,
which answers every question anyone could possibly ask about
the Tooth Fairy, has proved to be quite popular around the
What is it like being an international author in Shanghai
loves writers, both local and international, so I've been
fortunate in being given lots of attention, and shown lots
of interest, during my stay here.
points? Problems you face/faced?
China isn't an English-speaking country, so it's difficult
to market my books locally. Thankfully the internet helps
to overcome that problem and I get a regular number of online
sales from countries worldwide.
Do you speak Mandarin, if yes, is this vital for what
you do here? If no, does this set you back?
since my arrival in China , I've been surrounded by people
who wanted to improve their English, so learning Mandarin
never seemed to be necessary. However, a couple of months
ago I made a concerted effort to learn some basic Mandarin
and I'm happy to say that I now believe that in the next 3-6
months I'll know enough Mandarin to make simple communication
with taxi drivers, shop keepers and waiters, possible.
would you describe a typical day's work for you?
emails … updating and maintaining the company's English
web site … generating leads … following up leads
… looking for those elusive product sales.
is it like for you working in Shanghai ?
must be one of the most exciting cities in the world to work
in. The pay is good, but the lifestyle's great because you
get such good value for your money. And I can't think of anything
you can't have, or find, in Shanghai that would be available
in any other city in the world, except, of course, for casinos
… and that's a reassuring relief!
do you think of the publishing scene in Shanghai?
I have my own publishing company, I haven't had the need to
familiarize myself with the publishing scene in Shanghai.
What are your plans for the future?
are two major projects I have to accomplish in the near future
(probably next year).
Firstly, I'd like to make a film version of my play, The Glory
of Athens. My play has already attracted interest
from the East West Theatre in Shanghai, and has always had
positive audience reactions around the world. Although the
stage performance of my play was filmed in Hollywood, I believe
that a film version would be a more professional and entertaining
way to show my story to a screen audience. I've had expert
training and experience in TV Production, Film Making and
Editing, so (as, by now, you can imagine) I plan to produce
the film as a one-man operation … although filming myself
may prove to be a considerable challenge (though not impossible).
I like to work on projects at all times of the day, or week,
so having only myself to rely on makes it much easier to progress
with little or no waste of time. Fortunately, Shanghai's film
and theatre industry are developing very quickly, so I'm now
involved with the Shanghai International Film-makers
Association (ShIFA) and the East
West Theatre (EWT) – where I'll be debuting
in my first Shanghai stage performance in November, in their
play, Our Country's Good.
Secondly, I want to complete my book, Travel Without Money.
Although I began writing it 3 years ago, it
stalled when I changed my attention to my other books. Actually,
I did this because I believed that Travel Without
Money would probably become extremely popular
internationally and become all-consuming. Therefore, I wanted
to get my other passions completed before embarking on my
Travel Without Money project.
Tips for aspiring authors?
you want to write a book … write it! Don't ask anyone
for permission! If you're good enough as a writer, or if you're
book is good enough as a book, will eventually make itself
known. But if you listen to all the nay-sayers telling you
why you can't write, or shouldn't write, your book, then you'll
be forever stuck in the crowd, when you really want to be
apart from the crowd, making your own mark in this world.
Yes, writing a book could change your life, regardless of
what you write about.
What do you do to relax?
ouzo and coke used to do the trick. [Ouzo is a Greek spirit.]
But I don't drink much nowadays. Instead I prefer to get comfortable
on the couch, in front of my TV set, and watch a DVD. This
is the only time I switch on the TV. Since my divorce, I swore
I would never watch TV again, and I've stuck to my decision
religiously ever since. I had accumulated so many dreams and
ambitions that I knew I wouldn't achieve any of them if I
just parked myself in front of the TV for 40 hours a week.
It's one of the best decisions I ever made because instead
of watching TV, I've spent endless hours writing books and
designing web sites … both life-changing activities
your life here, family?
was married for 20 years, but divorced in 1999. I have four
children who still live in Melbourne. They range in age from
18 to 29, and two of them still live with their mother. Interestingly,
the younger two are making inroads into the entertainment
industry as singers and actors, and I have to admit they've
got much better voices than mine. I now live alone in Shanghai
and that's the way I like it. When I'm in writing mode, I
get the urge to write at all times ralph lauren dress shirts of the night or day, and
this habit can become quite annoying to anyone I'm living
with. Or, if I want to be more truthful, when I'm in writing
mode, I get the urge to write at all times of the night or
day, and don't like being distracted … occasionally
becoming reclusive for days, or even weeks, while I work relentlessly
to finish a project I'm quite passionate, no, obsessed, about.