You might take maternity leave, but you never really leave maternity.
The Rhythm Method was created in 2010 when Karen was a stay-at-home mother of 3 children aged 4 and under. The name refers to an unreliable contraceptive method and is a nod to how much of her adult life she has spent trying not to fall pregnant. If she could gestate for Australia, she would probably win gold. Which is perhaps why after 3 years she still feels compelled to write about the experience of being a carer.
Gillian joined in October 2012 because she is an awesome word bird who hails from the world’s most isolated city, Perth. Together they write around their partners, kids and jobs.
Karen Jane Charlton was raised in the glow of a television. Reared on a steady diet of The Wonder Years, Press Club and The Simpsons, she left home at 17 with an encyclopedic knowledge of Simpsons quotes, a vitamin D deficiency and no ambition.
Karen went on to study film in an elaborate ploy to avoid chasing her real dream of becoming a writer. She became a professional bridesmaid to writing’s bride: first landing a job in a library, then as a transcriber in a media outlet, and eventually in a university research department … as an administrator. If 25-year-old Karen were to look for a job in the newspaper, it would be filed under N for ‘not writing’.
Only when her children were born did Karen realise that a) watching TV rots your brains* and b) she would regret never having tried to make it as a writer. Now she does a lot less of a) in order to hopefully achieve b), even though it’s the scariest and hardest thing she’s ever done.
Since starting this blog, Karen has contributed to The Sydney Morning Herald, Daily Life, Mamamia and is a regular contributor to Kidspot. Despite being Karen’s life passion, writing continues to terrify and challenge but she does it anyway.
* But not Mad Men or Breaking Bad or Girls …
Gillian Harrison spent her childhood on a beanbag with her head buried in Enid Blyton books. Armed with sticky tape and a stack of recycled paper, she self published her first book at age 6. Entitled Oliver Orange, the book told the story of a mandarin with an identity crisis. It launched to warm praise during Mrs Grant’s Second Grade Morning News.
Gillian went on to a complete a double major in Creative Writing/Philosophy which eventually led to a ‘real writing gig’ as Editorial Coordinator of a hippy lifestyle magazine. A bout of wanderlust lured Gillian to a teaching job in South Korea where the writing dream quickly faded into the polluted haze of the Korean peninsula.
Ten years later, Gillian finds herself living in the world’s most isolated city and the town of her birth, Perth, Australia. Here she spends her days teaching, parenting and breathing air into her writerly self. Every now and then she dreams of throwing it all in and studying Archaeology.
Gillian joined rhythm & method in October 2012 as a contributing editor.