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May 16, 2013

Neon Festival of Independent Theatre kicks off at the MTC

What a fabulous opportunity to see some inspiring and provocative independent theatre works in Melbourne. The MTC is hosting five productions for the NEON Festival, plus free NEON Extra events, conversations, workshops and more.
The first production, Menagerie, starts tonight and runs until the 26 May 2013. Tickets for the shows are highly accessible at $25 each, and you can see all five shows for only $100.
"Menagerie is a new production based on the extraordinary life and work of one of the giants of the American stage, Tennessee Williams. DANIEL SCHLUSSER ENSEMBLE has built an exciting reputation for exploding the classics onto the contemporary stage with a unique sensibility and style. This award-winning company kicks off the inaugural NEON season with its most ambitious and potent work yet." —MTC

I'm also very excited to share that I have a place in one of the workshops for NEON EXTRA Insights for Independents. These free workshops, along with NEON EXTRA Conversations, are held by industry leaders and are an exceptional gift to emerging theatre makers. Unfortunately, the workshops are booked out (yes, I should have told you about it earlier!), but NEON Conversations are open to the public and require no booking. Visit NEON to download a calendar of the upcoming shows and check out what's on!
~

Feb 1, 2013

Getting Wild with the Wheeler Centre, Gala 2013!

On Feb 9th, The Wheeler Centre are beginning their year with a Gala night dedicated to Where The Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak. This treasured tale is celebrating its 50th birthday this year, and out of the murky shadows will come poets, dramatists, essayists, fiction writers, journalists and lyricists to perform and weave words from their inner monsters, drawing on the inspiration the Wild Things have brought to us all. Sounds like it'll be a very wild night at The Melbourne Town Hall! Tickets are $20/$12 concession, and all profits go to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. For more information, including the line-up of wild peeps attending, visit the Wheeler Centre.

The Wheeler Centre's Gala, 2013

Jan 27, 2013

Spotlight On: Dionne Lister, self-published author.


Author Dionne Lister is receiving fabulous reviews for her debut book, Shadows of The Realm. Her following of keen readers is growing strong! I hear she's already tapping away at the next instalment in her series, The Circle of Talia, and plans for the next iteration of her much-admired cover art is also under way.

Shadows of The Realm is a highly entertaining epic fantasy and a wonderful introduction to the multidimensional world of Talia. Its band of endearing characters crosses  all ages and species of creatures, and I had so much fun reading about their interconnected relationships and stories. I, like other Talia fans, am hanging [and begging] to see where Dionne takes us in her second book!

Dionne is not just an up-and-coming author to watch, she's a funny, down-to-earth person who loves to connect with her readers and provide inspiration for aspiring authors. In a recent post on her blog, titled:
What’s Worked in my Self-Publishing Journey so Far, she shares advice from her journey as a writer and self-publisher. Definitely worth a read, and I recommend following her blog. 
Dionne is also one half of the podcasting duo behind the popular Tweep Nation, along with Amber Norrgard. Tweep Nation hosts funny, casual and informative interviews with a range of authors and other special guests. I find myself entertained by her posts and podcasts as well as her books. 
So take a look at Shadows of The Realm, and also check out her book of suspenseful, wonderfully touching short stories, Dark Spaces, while you're at it. This anthology is quite a departure in genre to her fantasy series and is excellent just the same, giving us a hint at the range of this new author.
Congratulations, Dionne! Your success with these books is well deserved and an inspiration. :)

Oct 17, 2012

Twitter's 'Whom' To Follow?

I've stumbled upon a worthy Chrome extension that will have grammar nerds short-circuiting with tears of joy. It's called 'Whom to follow for Twitter' and was created by self-described pedantic, Tom. The extension changes the name of Twitter's Who To Follow feature to...Whom to Follow. I've installed the extension, and here's a screenie:


For the Chrome version, visit here, or google for your version.
We love you, Tom! ;)

May 9, 2012

Fool's Gold.

A dear friend recently created some art for someone else's project. The brief for the art was nothing more than to emulate a style to provide the relevant atmosphere. But when I saw what she'd done, my fingers curled and I shook them to the sky.
"No!" I yelled. "They're too good! Hang on to them!"
I mean, they were really great pieces! My friend had nailed the style so well, and she'd added the heart and soul that she normally gives to her art. The result was powerful and beautiful. I jokingly told her that she could shift paths and continue creating in this style seriously. Well, I was half joking. More pressing to me was that I thought she was giving away these 'better' ideas instead of saving them for a more solid project of her own.

That was yesterday.

Today, I remembered something I told myself never to do. Never hold on to your best ideas as if they are the only ones you will ever have. Don't treat your great ideas of today as if the are the imagination's gold: rare and hard to come by. I told myself that if I start treating my creativity as a scarcity instead of an unlimited abundance in this way, then that's what it would become.

Sometimes it can be hard to remember it. For people going through a tough time with creative blocks, it can be difficult to have any faith in it. But by feeling that we are all - in our very existence - a constant channel of creativity means that we will create, share, give and let go, over and over again. We will have no choice but to put our great ideas out there for the simple and immediate purposes that they quite often sprout from. Because the future will hold barely enough time to express those great ideas to come.

All right. I have a friend to email. ;)


Apr 20, 2012

Hoooray! Turning, my new novella, has been released!

Hi, everyone.
Well, I'm pretty excited lately. After months of revising and a year of working on my novella, I've taken my first step into the self-publishing world. My ebook, Turning, is up on the Amazon Kindle store! Yesterday I got my first review, which was lovely. I don't know the person, but I'm sending a thanks out into the ether!

I'm also being bold and including a quote:
"Besides being an action-packed story, there also was a message about humanity and how easily it can be lost under extreme circumstances."

To my fellow budding writers whom I've met along the way, if you have a story that's begging you to be told, consider taking the journey of self-publishing. And by self-publishing, I don't mean writing words and uploading it as an eBook, I mean consider taking on certain responsibilities of a publisher, including hiring an editor and cover artist, and organising your promotion. Traditional publishers often expect authors to self-promote, anyway.

Working with my editor, Sirra Girl, was the most amazing, altering experience as a newbie writer. I cannot sing it praises enough. The editing process not only transformed my manuscript, it transformed me as a writer. I feel like I've done a course that was tailored to me, and the result is a monumental growth spurt. I write better short stories, I write better blog posts, and much faster! I even spend less time writing an email. I already know that I will save a huge amount of hours in the middle drafts of my next project, too. And we all know how precious time is.

One of the cool things the review said was:
"And unlike many ebooks I've read in the past few months, this book was very nicely written. I'd read another book by this author anytime."

My initial reaction was "OMG! Someone called me an author!" hehehe :) But on a serious note, my book didn't start out as nicely written. I had developed my story and style, but that's not enough to give the reader a worthy experience. On reading the line quoted above, I knew it was the result of many, many hours of learning about my weaknesses and revising, revising, revising. It was the result of hardening up and letting go of pride. It was the result of working alongside a great editor who helped me refine my craft. Why? Because we both wanted what's best for the story and the reader.

I still have a long way to go, but I've taken a big leap in the journey. Perhaps one day I will be traditionally published, perhaps not. And this may be ironic to some, but by self-publishing, I am now far better equipped to present a manuscript, synopsis and query letter deserving of an agent's time than I ever was.

If you would like to check out my ebook, click the cover image on the right, and then the amazon link. If you have any questions, or are thinking of self-publishing and need a place to start, comment below and I can share resources and links. :)
~

Feb 29, 2012

Write on Wednesday - Small Expectations

From Ink Paper Pen...
This week's writing prompt is:
Imagine yourself as tiny as your thumb.Where would you live? What would you do?
...and here's what I imagine would happen to me!

Small Expectations


Nobody else notices.
Not even me at first.

I mean, that's a huge serviette holder, I tell myself. HUGE.

It's one of those things, those mundane objects, so mundane that it's been chosen by a small town to be made into a giant statue in the utter conviction that no other town would care less to make a giant serviette holder.
We're home to the Giant Serviette Holder. We are unique!

So that theory lasts as long as it takes me to realise I'm analysing the Giant Serviette Holder from where I sit on the fat lip of the Giant Coffee Cup. Same town. The same cafeteria. Yep, even the same table. Home to the Giant Coffee Cup.

I'm blinking, finally, but perhaps over-staring. If you stare at something hard enough, does it just...seem awfully big?

I look down to where a bacon strip extends for half a mile, a pink undulating road crisp with boulders of salt and streaked with long, luscious gutters of fat. Surely the road less travelled, Mr. Peck. The end of the porky road, like a busted bridge, falls into nothing. Only, off the edge of a white plate.

A pudgy mountain of yellow edges the bacon road, lightly quivering, the way I should be, if it wasn't for my propensity for delayed reaction. Yes, undetectable to the standard human eye, scrambled egg does, in fact, quiver.

How did I become so small? I have a memory from the moment before, the thing I did to cause me to shrink to the size of a fake nail. But alas, for some reason the memory is too big and overwhelming to fit in my tiny brain. I have to make new tiny memories.

I remember the serviette holder. I remember the quivering scrambled egg. This is going to take a long time.

I jump down the side of the coffee cup, practically slashing my face open on the sugar grains lining the saucer. But I'm good at smelling sugar. I can remember something small and inconsequential like that. This isn't sugar.

On the table, over the edge of the amazingly not-all-that-smooth surface of porcelain I'm standing on, I see the sachet, ripped open at one end and lying there like a sleeping bag for a giant.

Salt.

Who's ever put salt in their coffee? Has anyone on the planet even tried it? No, how would a caffeine addict manage that, even with the jitters of a drunken surgeon.

Well, I can't say I remember doing it. But I will say: don't ever, ever, add salt to your coffee!



Write On Wednesdays 

Feb 8, 2012

Write on Wednesday - Possessing Beauty

What a wonderful writing prompt we have this week, from InkPaperPen:

Write about a collection. Write about something you or someone you know, collects. Think about the "why" behind the collection - why is it important to collect this particular thing? How does it make the person feel to add another piece to their collection? Is the group of objects there to be seen, to be studied or simply kept together? Write a real life story or a piece of fiction. Wherever the prompt takes you...Keep your post on the short side: up to 500 words OR a 5 minute stream of consciousness exercise. Link your finished piece to the list and begin popping by the other links. Oh, and enjoy!
~

Clippings

Beth crossed her hands neatly and rest them on her scrapbook on the table. Outside, the groundsman pruned the roses that edged the pathways. Beth could see Cherie making her way slowly, but adamantly, toward him on her walker. Beth smiled and reminded herself to look out the window again in a few minutes. She enjoyed watching their exchange.

"I'm sorry to keep you waiting, Beth. It's taking me a long time to do my rounds today."

"That's fine, Kathy." Beth beamed with love, because her patience was one of the many little gifts she gave people, and it made her feel good to give to others.

"Henry believes I have his pills mixed up again. It's made a mess of my morning." Kathy winked.

Beth smiled, knowing Henry was really a favorite with all the nurses at Dalkeith Nursing Home. "I guess we're your children."

"I wouldn't go as far as calling you all kids, but some do test me." Kathy chuckled as she rolled her eyes. "Anyway, here's the scissors and the sticky tape you asked for."

"Thanks, Kathy."

Kathy remained, watching over Beth's shoulder. Meticulously, Beth cut out an article from the morning's newspaper and taped it in a fresh page of her scrapbook.

"Who's Mary Wallace?"

"She's one of my children," said Beth. "Mary always wanted to become a judge, and she's finally been appointed. I'd like to think I played a role in helping her achieve this, but I'm proud of her just the same."

"Wow! May I see your scrapbook? Are these your children?" Kathy flipped through the pages of clippings from over the years. "They all seem so happy and successful."

"I'm proud of each and every one of them." Beth smiled and looked at her fingers as she rubbed them in her lap.
     
"Beth?"
"Yes, Kathy?"
"There's about thirty people in this book. Are you... sure they're all your children?"

"Yes." Beth extended her hands so gracefully and with such conviction in her eyes that Kathy returned the scrapbook without question.

"Okay." Kathy smiled distantly, placed a hand on Beth's shoulder, and walked away.

Beth patted the new clipping down flat and closed her book. With a cheeky grin, she read the cover to herself.

Dalkeith High, class of 1975.

Then she remembered something. Beth looked out the window at the groundsman and Cherie, and began to giggle.

 ~

Write On Wednesdays