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.
And how did I stumble upon such a nifty extension? Because I was looking for one that removed the dang Who To Follow feature that is now the size of a baby shoe for anyone who has created an account with the new Twitter interface. I've recently created a second account, and right now, the biggest thing I can see on this account's home page is a Kardashian head flanked by Bieber and none other than...Kevin Rudd.

The new title of the feature is 'Here are some people you might enjoy following' or words to that effect. If you think that's a stupid-long title, you should see the stupid-wide box it comfortably fits across.
Well, this makes me go as red as a spanked tomato. This is Twitter, not Who Magazine.
As luck would have it, installing Whom To Follow has not only done what it says it does for the old layout, but it's removed the ridiculously large version [and the Kevindashian posse] on the new version altogether!! MWAH HAHAHA!!

We love you, Tom! ;)

Sep 14, 2012

Shutterstock's free image of the week

For lovers of fantasy, here is an illustrative image of a castle within a ring of cloud. Lovely gloomy greys with a touch of peach and mauve. Perfect for blogs or perhaps book covers. And it's FREE! Stock photo sites like this have free images on rotation, so dropping by each week is a great habit to get into.

May 21, 2012

I'll show you hot.

Okay. Thought I'd have a little fun, seeing as there's so much controversy over Fifty Shades of Grey. It seems there's two camps: those getting hot under the belt and those getting hot under the collar.
For the conservatives waving pitchforks in libraries across the globe, put your burning torches down and grab yourself one hot, steamy cuppa. Clearly we all like heat of some kind. 

I should point out that I'm not in either camp. I haven't read the Fifty Shades series to form an opinion let alone rate them one or five stars. 

I've been busy squeezing a few bags.

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. :)