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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My Blog List

Blog Archive

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.
Tuesday, 21 November 2006

Blogging along

Hot, changeable weather here at present. I had the air cooler on for the first time yesterday. Climate change is alive and well - and quite capricious in its manifestation.

I've had useful crits from friends who've read my short story, so time to return the favour - a day of critiquing lies ahead.

Thanks to everyone who's dropped by to comment so far. Be sure to leave your blog or web address or maybe your street name initials so I can say g'day, especially if I don't know you by your handle.
Sunday, 19 November 2006

Antipodean SF

The new Antipodean SF edition is out and my friend and colleague Joan Malpass has a neat little story in it. You can read Joan's story here Anti-SF is always worth checking out each month. You will almost always find one or two gems and get a couple of laughs.
Saturday, 18 November 2006

Settling in

A few weeks ago, I moved house. It was a Big Move, all the way from Perth, Western Australia, to Mount Gambier, South Australia - about 2,000 miles or nearly 3,000km. I've lived in Mount Gambier before and I have siblings here so it's not as much of a shock as it might have been, but it will take me a while to get used to living in a country town again.

With all the angst of leaving Perth, the trials of settling in and the constant socialising I haven't been writing much. Normally, I'm one of those writers that needs days of seclusion to get anything on paper, but I've managed to pen a short story that had been gestating for weeks and there are a couple more on the simmer. However, I haven't touched the new book I'd hoped to have drafted before I go overseas in February. I have Good Intentions - you know, those things that pave the road to Hades - of getting started within the next couple of weeks. Now I've blogged it I shall have to do it, right?

Like the rest of the country, the south-east of South Australia is in the grip of drought. Yet in the last week we have had not just rain, but hail stones! The temperature has swung from a minimum of almost zero on one of the coldest November days on record to a maximum of 29 degrees Celsius, which is a bit more reasonable, given the time of year. Today should be lovely - 27 degrees and balmy. That's good, because today Mount Gambier residents and a horde of visitors will turn out in force to view the annual Christmas Parade, complete with brass bands and The Man Himself. He's going to feel pretty warm in that red suit.

That reminds me of a silly thing I did when flying over from Perth. My friend Ellen had given me a beautiful pair of red leather ugg boots and I couldn't wait to wear them. When I arrived in Adelaide en route to the Mount it was 35 degrees! Oh boy, did I get some strange looks!

But I'm settling in OK and have already had some visitors. My son Bruce and his family are over from Perth at the moment and on Thursday night I had my friend Tracey Spark and her new fiancé Gary to stay over. They are just starting the last leg of what has been a wonderful trip around the country; all the way up to Broome, Darwin, Katherine Gorge, Cairns, Sydney, Canberra, Victoria and Tasmania, camping in many wonderful wild places. Tracey, a colleague from the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers Centre in Perth, is a film-maker and performance artist. She will have so much new material to process when she gets home that she will no doubt have inspiration for months, if not years, to come.

Travel is one of the best sources of inspiration, I think. And one of the best ways to learn about ourselves and other people. I congratulated Tracey and Gary on still being engaged - and very happily so:-) - after nearly four months on the road. I've heard of some relationships crashing after less than a fortnight when subjected to the stress of travel!

Last night I went with Bruce and his family to visit the Umpherston Sink Hole, a local beauty spot. (My sister Anne, a keen local historian, has recently published a book about its history.) It has become home to myriads of brush-tailed possums, who have learnt to beg their food from tourists and locals. There must have been upwards of thirty people there at dusk, all armed with food for the furry little scavengers. While I question the desirability of feeding possums, and especially feeding them white bread, where else are our children going to get close to wildlife? At one time, any country drive would bring a sighting of kangaroos or wallabies together with plenty of birds and reptiles, but alas, no longer! The ones we haven't killed seem to have become shy and nocturnal, and who can blame them? My grandchildren were delighted at their close encounters.
Friday, 17 November 2006

Open for business

Hey, I'm ready to read posts from friends, rellies and colleagues - and you don't even have to lend me any ears! Just click where it says 0 (or however many) comments at the end of this post. Use the comment box to link to your blog or web-page if you have one and tell us all what you've been up to lately!

It worked!

Yes, it worked. I now have a Blogspot profile and posts. Whee-ee-ee!

Virgin Blogger

I've been meaning to try blogging for ages and this is my first attempt. Well, second, actually, since I set up a profile and blog on MySpace earlier in the week. Over there, however, people have to be members to post to blogs, and I really want one where my friends can post, too. I want to know about people's writing, editing, holidays, hobbies, life events and anything else they want to share with me and others. MySpace does have the advantage of sharing Bulletins with friends, however. You can see my MySpace page Here


Now to see if this has worked...

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