Sunday, May 30, 2010

Songs of nostalgia

from w
I've been asked to play some music for a 65th birthday party, maybe some songs to sing along to, so scrabbled amidst my older music books and found stuff by Abba, Seekers, Peter Paul and Mary, UB40. Maybe I'll improvise a bit on ones I like: Stormy Weather, Autumn Leaves, The Rose, The Carnival is Over, Bridge over Troubled Waters,, Penny Lane, Streets of London, Everybody Hurts. Or will that lot make some people cry? These songs sound a bit sad! Anyway, the autumn leaves are now falling.
The falling leaves drift by the window,
the falling leaves of red and gold...


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ten years to write a haiku

from w
Listening to the ABC Poetica on the radio this afternoon which was about haikus, (three liners and usual a syllabic form such as 5,3,5.), a speaker said he edited one haiku ten years after the first draft! Anyway I scribbled a few ideas here as stories in three lines, barely haikus which are supposed to include nature.

Train Station

Grandmother distracted
wheels turn
a scream but only scratches

Nursing Home

Winter calls
leaves wrinkle
his wheelchair locks

Outside a Dandenong Church

Yesterday's news
flutter and fall
on a stone labyrinth

Turtle story

Lady Nakalo
swims awesome strokes
to the beach of her birth.

I tried to write on on the last episode of 'Lost' but I got into a hopeless muddle!

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

More flowers from a conservatory

from w,
Two more types of flowers - photos - turned into digital images that become almost abstract. The method is simple: scan in photos from camera, make extra images using Picasa or Photo-edit, choose two at a time and overlap using Picasa create collage.

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Begonias (oh oh, or cyclamens)

from w
Last night we were at a delightful birthday party for a Fijian friend and they have a new conservatory at the back of the house with lovely blooming flowers. One is a begonia, so I took a photo. However I like to make different images by flattening the shapes, to a kind of Pre-Raphaelite design or is it art nouveau, anyway here are some results.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

The way women dress

from w
A cartoon in today's Age tells part of the story - how we women, whether Western or Eastern or Middle Eastern, dress. If we criticize the almost full cover of some Muslim women, we also need to look at our own selves, and the silliness of our shoes! The talk of Muslim women's clothing has been on TV, on the radio talkback, in the print media a lot recently, so let's just see what the various ways a Muslim woman can show her modesty.As an Australian senior woman today, I am careless about clothes, wear long pants a bit in winter, wear hand-me-downs without worry, but do remember the days when we stupidly wore high heels, tight-fitting clothes, and our poor mothers even wore whalebone corsets, so we can't condemn the full body cover on comfort reasons alone. My argument against them is firstly it denotes control of women by the men, and secondly it's nice to see people's faces for recognition and friendliness. Dressing in this way means isolation from joining in with the breadth of society. The head scarf is fine but colours would be more attractive than black.

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Not in our Garage Sale

from w
What a nice choice of paintings from a Paris Museum. But, how would the thief hope to sell them, apart from a very private collector? Picasso, Matisse, Braque, Modigliani and Leger. This is a lovely cross-section of early modern art, but what do you think of the monetary value as at about $300 million? Why is a painting worth more than the composition of a unque symphony or a superb novel?


Thursday, May 20, 2010

The neighbourhood

from w
A member of the family was searching in Google Earth so I had a look to see what 'they' can see from space of our little neck of the woods. The view must have been taken three years ago as the little wooden house next door is still there, not the three new houses. In the foreground however the view shows just how four new units have completely filled that block. People sometimes say to us to pull down our house and built four units, but hey, with what money, and where do we go! Anyway it's an interesting view of parts of Geelong. I've included pictures of our compound, (palm tree, brown roof), the nearby salt flats, our church back of the corner of Boundary/Ormond Rds, our old house where we lived for nine years next to the Shenton church, and a view of the entrance to the Botanical Gardens and Eastern Beach.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Garry Disher Author Talk

from w.Sunday afternoon I attended an author talk at Geelong library by a well-known Australian writer, Garry Disher. I first came across him when he marked my assignments in my first year at Deakin Uni, and fortunately his encouragement then kept me on track. I've written rough notes on his talk in case budding writers are reading this blog.

Garry Disher Author talk in Geelong, May 2010

Collete said something about writing about the things you know or like, but even look harder at the things that cause you pain. About a theme - you don’t know till the end of the book. Don’t’ wait for inspiration. Communicating yes. Communicate an emotion. Fiction is fact distorted into truth. Ask yourself, are you writing honestly. Make em large, make em cry, make em wait is a well-known quote. Delay gratification, partial outcome, so pacing is important.

Garry Disher told about his early years when home was a farm in South Australia, with books in the house, dreaming, making up stories in his head. (A writer needs to be a reader. Many do not read.). From an early age wanted to be a writer. He moved to Melbourne and did a History Masters which was good for knowing background to stories set in the past. His first story was published in Overland. He went to Standford in California on a scholarship which was excellent, mainly workshopping stories. His first book was published by Neptune Press in Geelong (no longer exists). He worked in adult education then Homesglen , teaching. In 1987 he became a fulltime writer but as we all know, income fluctuates - only 10% of a book in royalties.

Some tips about writing.

Short stories don’t have to move much. Some pieces of writing are sensory deprived. We must make pictures in the head. Need senses of smell, taste, etc.

Main categories he has written in are I. Crime, 2 Children, 3. Literary /general, 4. Non-fiction such as a how to write book. The Bamboo Flute is for adults inspired by his father who played the flute by ear.

When he creates a character he is not always finished with a character at the end of a story.

Children’s writing. The world of children is warm and welcoming.
General and literary fiction. Although he mostly writes with a linear plot, sometimes he does it differently e.g. The Sunken Road was not chronological but told through themes. It’s about his mother. He likes Alice Munro’s stories.

Crime fiction, is driven by a question of what next. Wyatt novels – will he get away with it. Ideas come from newspapers. He had two author tours to Germany where they are popular, very different from German crime novels. The Inspector Challice novels are regional and set in the Mornington Peninsular. There is both public and private life of the police. He is interested in place, seasons, sociological situations, change, the estates, no transport, welfare in this place.

Theme is not first known as you are writing a story, it may be loss of innocence, getting of wisdom, where is home, searching.

Quiller stories were set in the war years, photo reconnaissance pilot who is never rooted anywhere, one idea is to look at the betrayal of an army mate.

Don’t throw anything away, leave a story a week, wait. There is no such thing as writer’s block, just keep writing every day until you know more.
Finding a voice for a book, what point of view, tone,
In The Divine Wind he took two weeks to write the opening paragraph.

Ideas come from newspapers for the core of the story, What if - Incidents around me, overhearing women talking about a killer. Letterbox story, who did it - Road rage, and what if - Leaflet about aerial photography everything went wrong with grandma came, what if.

Why crime fiction – there is a narrative drive, and this kind of book is reassuring because real life is full of mistakes, there is injustice, the appeal of the hero. Sara Parensky introduced detectives that have family, messy lives. We need to tell about the world we live in, the social tensions of our time, and appeal to our darker side of ourselves.

We need to withhold details because it’s a mistake to start too soon with the outcomes.

Be yourself and use your own concerns.

Plan the direction of the plot but you can change it later. Most writers start with autobiographical stuff and there is too much emphasis describing feelings, no action/ You might need to change the point of view, change outcome, add other characters. Don’t put everything in and make it historical and perhaps boring. Not too many flashbacks. Not too many characters. Change direction, turning points, reduce characters such as from seven to three.

He writes in longhand all without editing, then on a computer with four or five edits. Has a three hour face to face talk with editor before the final edit.

Numerous questions followed from the audience then Garry Disher signed books from the nearby book stall. For more information about the author go to his website.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010


from w
A friend gave us a table and garden umbrella - not for the Garage Sale - but just for us. I noticed that it looked interesting as it caught the sunlight so took a few photos, then overlapped some of the images. I seem to gravitate towards those kind of curling line designs that were around a hundred years ago, so I must be very, very old-fashioned! I'm cross and cranky today as plans have gone awry - our church invited another church commnunity to join us for Pentecost and they reneged and I felt responsible that as office secretary, my invitation letter wasn't warm enough, and now 'my' Pentecost play is in jeopardy as five of the actors now probably won't be there! Such is life! Well, we can still have colours and candles and cake.

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

from a garage sale

from w
Yesterday morning we had a Garage Sale at the side of our house - in aid of a trip to Fiji for a marriage of my namesake, Wendy Junior. We advertised in the local newspaper and also had a large sign and balloons out the front. It's a good site for a casual sale as we are on a main road. Many people came, and picked at this and that, especially books and records, but most spent little. It was an insructive morning about human nature, especially the tendency for many people to get as much as they could for as little as they could give. And yet other people were generous, giving donations without receiving. I took half a dozen photos of my helper friends who assisted and only one of objects - beads and a garland, etc. Here are some of my musings through digital image from one photo. (By the way we made enough for a plane ticket to Fiji and back!)

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

More gum leaves transformed

from w
In between tasks to do with the preparation for a Garage Sale on Saturday, I get onto the computer to make a few new images which started as a few red gum leaves I'd picked up. Using Picasa and Photo-edit, the new images are very far from the original because I used 'negative colour', or 'thick line', or 'crop' or 'gamma', etc. All I want for Christmas is another Image program? But then I wouldn't get any cooking done! Our house is like a transit lounge at present, friends coming and going, some to sleep overnight and I'm a bit overwhelmed about it all as I'm really a loner at heart, although last night I went to a Deakin University Writers group and it was so good because I met up with two friends I hadn't seen for years. We did get some writing done, some stories read, even though the leader didn't turn up with the wine, Timtams, cheese and bikkies!

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Five red gum leaves

from w
This morning I attended a Morning Coffee with a speaker from Ballarat, telling us about Sovereign Hill. The photograph doesn't show the humour and the amazing stories she told.

Afterwards I picked up some reddish leaves as I waited one minute for Peceli to pick me up - with much to do at home, preparing for this huge Garage Sale on Saturday next. I'm a bit of a bower bird, picking up leaves and odd flowers and gumnuts, so I scanned them into the computer and made some new digital images.


Monday, May 10, 2010

More photos to alter

from w
A photo of some fabrics on a stall is here used to make extra graphic images, and a sculpture of a horse in a Bali themed craft shop, and an image perhaps of the Ascension - a difficult topic indeed - using a found picture on the web plus my photo of cockatoos flying.

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