Showing posts from July, 2015

The Power of Observation

--> It took me writing a lot of words to find how to write the right words. What I mean is this: I've been writing in journals for well over a decade and that has been very useful. I still write in a journal most days. Even if I begin the entry by whinging and moaning, by the end of it I've turned things around (or the writing has turned me around) and I'm feeling inspired & ready for the day. I rarely re-read my journal. It's a purge for me, a splat on the page, an exorcism of sorts. But there is a different kind of writing that requires me to pay more attention, to notice, to look out into the world, to develop point of view. It's as simple as noticing what's around me and writing down those observations. I say simple, but like most good new habits, it does take a little while to get into the swing of things. In her address at the 2015 Humana Festival of New American Plays, Ann Bogart said: "I've written in a journal ever

What is Reasonable and Democratic? #freethearts

In case you hadn't heard, earlier this year Minister for the Arts George Brandis announced an $104.8 million cut from the well established & democratic national arts funding body The Australia Council. Why?  To fund Brandis' own proposed National Programme for Excellence in the Arts. How can he do this with no consultation or peer review process? Just because he can. Who will be most affected? Small to medium arts orgs and individual artists . Result? A whole lot of anger and questions  from Australia's arts sector. You can read and sign the open letter to George Brandis, Australians for Artistic Freedom . And have a look at the details of the Senate Inquiry into the impact of Brandis' decision. (Report date for that one is September 15). Please, don't do nothing. All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good people do nothing.   So Please, do something. The deadline has passed for letter submissions to the Senate Inquiry but you can still w

Story of your life in 100 words

I've recently begun teaching creative writing at Mockingbird Lounge. As a result, I have revisited many writing exercises while also discovering new ones. I'm particularly interested in exercises that force me to think hard about how I use language and wha t the story is that I'm telling; I like exercises that push me out of my usual old patterns of writing.  Here is one that I'm loving at the moment: Write the story/biography of your life in 100 words.  Create limits/conditions for yourself such as: Use only single syllable words Omit the use of 'the' Tell lies  Write the story using only questions Create biographies of your characters This month I challenged the Mockingbird writers to do this exercise using only single syllable words. This created a different kind of voice than the one they were used to writing in. One writer slipped into a child-like voice and automatically began writing about a significant moment in her childhood when her

Audio Stories available in #MicroLitMonth

Spineless Wonders Flashing the Square This month, Spineless Wonders will  celebrate Micro -literature of all kinds through Microlit Month .   Each day in July, an audio version of a piece of micro -literature from a Spineless Wonders anthology will be published on SoundCloud and shared through Facebook and Twitter . You can stream/listen to the audio via SoundCloud.  1st cab off the rank is Angela Myer's 'To and From Your House' . And #2 is Emma Beech reading 'One Blue Eye' by yours truly. Other authors include Susan McCreery, Jon Steiner, Shady Cosgrove, Jude Bridge, Richard Holt, Julie Chevalier and plenty others. #MicroLitMonth. Get on over to Spineless Wonders SoundCloud and have a listen. Better than television, yah?

Where to go when you've got no time to write

We've all complained that we don't have enough time to write. And yet, when we do schedule a block of precious time, we manage to find plenty of other things to do, besides write. So much unstructured time! So many choices! We often don't know how to get started. Writing is scary. I'll review that - getting started at writing is scary. Once we're in the flow, fears get forgotten and focus is shifted to where is should be - on the poem, story or whatever it is we are writing. But how do you actually get started? If you live in Adelaide, I might have a solution. On the first Tuesday night of every month I run a writers group at Mockingbird Lounge . It's casual, low pressure, and you will spend most of your time writing.  When is it? The first Tuesday of every month, 7-9pm. Where is it? Mockingbird Lounge : 63a Broadway, Glenelg.                 Ph: 08 7007 2242 Who it for? Experienced or inexperienced, anyone who likes to write. This group is abou