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Showing posts from 2013

What's Good?

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Storytelling for Grown-ups at The Wheatsheaf Hotel The final night of storytelling for 2013 takes place on 26th November at The Wheatsheaf Hotel in Adelaide. There won't be another until May 2014, so get along for some excellent listening.  I began curating these readings in 2011 and my mission was to promote Australian literary fiction and  Adelaide actors. So there is an emphasis on quality - the actors are professionals and the writers are published. The stories are short, playful, strange and written by Australian authors who you may or may not have heard of.  On the 26th you'll hear stories by Tom Cho, AS Patric, Threasa Meads, Mark O'Flynn, Melanie Pryor and Julie Chevalier. Most of these writers have been writing for many many years. And it's high time we started taking a bit more notice of them. Same goes for the actors. These are all professional Adelaide actors with years of training and performance experience. I'm one of those Australian arti

Just for Jesus

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sacrificial poet There's something wonderful about having a week off from work (all kinds of work) to stop and reflect and dream. This week has been such a week. But last week saw me being sacrificial poet at the final of the SA Poetry Slam. I was terrified! I can curate and introduce other readers at Spineless Wonders Presents, but when it comes to reading my own work in public, that's a whole other level of nervousness. But I was asked (thank you Indigo !) and said yes before I could say no. The thought of doing was much more nerve wracking than the doing. I was pleased as punch. And it led to me being invited to read at Word Box on Tuesday night (Oct 15th @ 7.30pm), which is a monthly night of readings at The Soul Box, Hindley St. I'm one of two special guests for the upcoming event. Again, I said yes before I thought too much about it. Seems to be my theme at the moment, and it's working. If you're in Adelaide, come along, say hi. There's an open mic s

cultural submissions

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need a holiday So, what has been going on? The good folks at Verity La said "thank you for sending us cultural submissions . We enjoyed it and would like to publish it - congratulations." Nothing flowery in that feedback. Still, it's nice to be published. And it's on-line,  Click here  to read. I'm about to have a story published with an American on-line journal, apt .  I loved going through the story making changes assuming that most readers would be American. It opened  things up a little. In other news, my wonderfully talented friend Emma Beech is performing in Melbourne Fringe. Her work is unique, developed from having conversations with people. Emma is all about connecting and reflecting. She actually wants to know what people are thinking and feeling. I know, weird right? Homage to Uncertainty won the Melbourne Tour Ready Award at the Adelaide Fringe, which basically means "Emma, darling,  your show is sooo wonderfully g ood ! People in Mel

Winter Tales at The Wheaty

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Upcoming Story Readings: Tuesday 13 August 2013 I don't know about you, but I haven't enjoyed this southern hemisphere winter in Adelaide. I've holed myself up writing new material, re-writing old material and reading the wonderful short stories of Marquez, Keret, Lorrie Moore, Angela Carter's Book of Fairytales and, of course, contemporary short story writers such as Jen Mills, Ryan O'Neill, Tom Cho, Mary Manning, Jon Steiner and the exquisite Spineless Wonders collections. Also keeping me occupied was the pleasurable task of curating another night of story readings, that will be performed by some of Adelaide's standout actors on Tuesday evening, 13th August. And this month our musical talent is a standout acappella group, House Red, a trio of honeyed  voices. There is a lovely community that has sprung up around these readings. No matter what age, people still enjoy being read to. We'd love you to be a part of it - in the back room at The Wheaty.

Writing in Paradise: Final Days

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Gotta love a bridge decorated with flowers It was March 16 th when I returned to Adelaide from Fiji after completing Jan Cornall’s Breakthrough writing course, so it seems a bit redundant to now go through what I did in the last couple of days of a course I completed three months ago. So much has happened since then, but I do want to mention some exercises in the final session that were very useful:        create a writing timetable          write down what you’re prepared to give up for your writing (there’s always something)          what are your obstacles and how will you overcome them. I must confess that despite creating a writing timetable, I haven’t managed to stick to it. I’ve made lots of notes and thought a lot about what I want to write and how I will write it, I’ve visited art galleries, jotted down conversations and ideas, and while all of that will feed into my work, there has been an awful lot of procrastination on my part. Where I have bee

Writing in Paradise: Day 5

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Day 5 of a Writing Retreat with Jan Cornall @ Daku, Fiji. Fijian welcome Juxtaposition, creating tension, action, graphing the emotional journey of characters, and structure. This was just some of the ground we covered on Day  5. Jan reminded us that all of these things - as well as graphs, flowcharts, index cards, postit notes – they are all just TOOLS to use in writing, exercises designed to get us thinking about our story. Then we put them aside and just write. The other important task that we did, and spent some time in the afternoon developing further, was to write a short paragraph of the story/novel that we were working on. A back cover blurb, a PITCH. Getting a story down to a short pitch is an important thing to do. It gets to the heart of story, tells the reader who the main characters are and what happens in the story. It’s important for the writer because it’s an exercise in distillation. I liken it to looking the story from a bird’s

Writing in Paradise: Day 4

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The dining table @ Daku This is a summary of Day 4 of the Draft Busting Writing Retreat with Jan Cornall @ Daku, Fiji, I attended in March 2013. (The week long writers retreat saw us doing a writing workshop every morning, 10am-1pm, then in the afternoon we were free to do our own writing or other activity. We met in the bar in the evenings to read some of our work out loud before having a delicious meal as a family at a communal table.) Today’s workshop focus was writing from a place of emotional truth. We also looked at editing and raising the stakes in story. We began by writing down pet hates in other writers, which turned up a list that was somewhat contradictory. eg some people didn’t like reading lots of description while others relished this. However, there was some common ground that turned readers off – clich├ęs (unconsciously used), non-deliberate use of repetition, overuse of adverbs, disappointing endings/rushed endings &  monotonous sentence stru

Writing in Paradise: Day 3

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This was Day 3  of a Draft Busting Writing Retreat with Jan Cornall @ Daku,Fiji. Daku Resort In the early morning of day 3 I woke and wrote these words… “I don’t know what I was expecting but it wasn’t this.” Oh dear. Drama Queen 101. To summarise, I was struggling with where my story was going. Felt like the engine had been taken apart and I was having trouble putting it back together. So many spare parts! To keep them or throw them away – that is the question. Ah, but it’s all process … by the end of writing those morning pages I had realised there were two stories and I was trying to squeeze them into one. One was the surreal piece I had arrived with and it had put its finger up at being shoved into a fairly straight narrative structure; and the other was about a father grieving for the loss of his son. After breakfast (we ate so well!) we began our 10am writing workshop. Today’s focus was on voice. What is voice? Jan defined it as when you find your stride.