About Me

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I am a writer, editor, reviewer and dance teacher based in Perth, Western Australia.

My books

The first two novels of my trilogy, The Talismans, are not available as e-books at present, but I expect to get them back online shortly. However, I do have paperbacks of The Dagger of Dresnia at the low price of $25 including postage within Australia. I also have a short story, 'La Belle Dame', in print - see Mythic Resonance below. The best way to contact me is via Facebook!

Buy The Talismans

The first two books of The Talismans trilogy were published by Satalyte Publications, which, sadly, has gone out of business. I hope to see my books back on Amazon under a new publisher in the near future.

The Dagger of Dresnia

The Cloak of Challiver

Mythic Resonance

Buy Mythic Resonance

Mythic Resonance is an excellent anthology that includes my short story 'La Belle Dame', together with great stories from Alan Baxter, Donna Maree Hanson, Sue Burstynski, Nike Sulway and nine more fantastic authors! Just $US3.99 from Amazon. Got a Kindle? Check out Mythic Resonance.

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Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

Places I've lived: Geelong, Australia

Places I've lived: Geelong,  Australia

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've Lived - Sydney

Places I've Lived - Sydney
Sydney Conservatorium - my old school

Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier

Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier
Blue Lake

Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

Places I've Lived: Perth by Day

Places I've Lived: Perth by Day
From Kings Park

Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've Lived: Perth by Night

Places I've Lived: Perth by Night
From Kings Park

Inner Peace Blog

Inner Peace Blog
Awarded by Joanna Fay. Click on the image to visit her lovely website!

Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile Blogger Award
Awarded by Kim Falconer. Click on the pic to check out her Quantum Astrology blog!

Fabulous Blog Award

Fabulous Blog Award
Awarded by Kathryn Warner. Click on the pic to check out her Edward II blog!

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Tuesday, 28 November 2006

Critiquing Groups

Writers love to write. When we're not slogging away at the WIP, we're running around the blogsphere writing notes to each other:-) And why not? Blogging, it seems to me, is an eminently sensible way to keep in touch.

It's especially good to see so many friends from mailing lists and critiquing groups dropping by. I have formed many friendships through such groups and boy, have I learnt a lot! In the right group, the aspiring writer can receive help, encouragement and instruction all in one place. Of course, there are extremes: some groups (or at least, individuals within them) can be horribly destructive: bad enough in some cases to discourage beginners completely. Others have been known to turn into cosy little enclaves where no one ever says a harsh word about anyone else's work - and no one ever gets published, either. A happy medium is necessary if the group's going to fulfill its purpose. Members need to feel comfortable enough to express their opinions honestly and safe enough to know that criticisms of their work are directed at the WIP, not the writer. A certain measure of trust and affection is essential, and I've been lucky enough to find this in several different writing groups.

If a group has a few published authors among its members, so much the better. I have learnt a great deal from reading the WIPs of people whose work will appear on the shelves a year or so later. Watching a work being crafted, week by week, and seeing that the process, while never easy, does become smoother in time, is very encouraging. And, of course, one learns about the process itself both by example and by considering the critiques offered by writers who have been through the trials of learning to write. The criticisms of other learners are just as valuable, for newbies are closer to the learning coal face than their published friends and sometimes offer basic advice on matters that more experienced scribes take for granted. One also learns from giving criticism - at least as much as receiving it. In fact, some writers say they do most of their learning that way.

Writers who live in the country need not despair. The Internet offers many options, ranging from paid tuition (shop carefully!) and formal groups such as the Online Writers Workshop to casual critiquing among peers, conducted by e-mail. Now that I live in the country this is my main form of contact and I treasure it. But I do hope to be able to make trips to the Big Smoke from time to time. Personal contact, coffee and chat all have a place in the learning process too: in fact, they are important factors in building the necessary trust among those who give and receive criticism. I value the trust and affection of my colleagues just as highly as the professional development aspect of critiquing in a group.

2 comments:

billyjo said...

Hey Mum .. hope you're surviving the heat! I'm lovin' it!! xxx

Satima Flavell said...

Heat? What heat? I've just been living in Perth for 20 years, remember, and now I live in Mount Gambier!

What does amaze me about the Mount is the daily variation in temperatures. Twenty degrees difference between min and max is not unusual here, whereas in Perth ten degrees would probably be the norm.

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