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Read, Write, Dance

Read, Write, Dance . Those three words could almost be my epitaph. Certainly (bearing and rearing children aside) they are the three activi...

About Me

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I am a writer, editor, reviewer and dance teacher based in Perth, Western Australia. You might enjoy my books - The Dagger of Dresnia, the first book of the Talismans Trilogy, is available at all good online book shops. Book two, The Cloak of Challiver, will be available again shortly. Book three, The Seer of Syland, is in preparation. I trained in piano and singing at the NSW Conservatorium of Music. I also trained in dance (Scully-Borovansky, WAAPA) and drama (NIDA). Since 1987 I have been writing reviews of performances in all genres for a variety of publications, including Music Maker, ArtsWest, Dance Australia, The Australian and others. Now semi-retired, I still write occasionally for the ArtsHub website, and I still teach dance at Trinity School for Seniors, an outreach program of the Uniting Church in Perth.

My books

The first novel of my trilogy, The Talismans, is available as an e-book from Smashwords, Amazon and other online sellers. I do have paperbacks of The Dagger of Dresnia at the low price of $AU25 including postage within Australia. I also have a short story, 'La Belle Dame', in print - see Mythic Resonance below. Book two of the trilogy, The Cloak of Challiver, will be available again shortly. 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. Book one, The Dagger of Dresnia, is up on the usual bookselling web sites as an e-book, and I have a few hard copies to sell to those who prefer Real Paper. Book Two, The Cloak of Challiver, will be available soon. The easiest way to contact me is via Facebook.

The Dagger of Dresnia

The Dagger of Dresnia
Want a copy? Contact me at satimafn(at)gmail.com

The Cloak of Challiver

The Cloak of Challiver
Available again as an ebook soon!

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

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Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

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Places I've lived: Geelong,  Australia

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Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

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

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Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

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Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier
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Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

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Places I've Lived: Perth by Day
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Places I've lived: High View, WV

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Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

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Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

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Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

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Places I've Lived: Perth by Night
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Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Thick and Fast

I can see my blogging is defeating the capacity of my readers to keep up. That's because new experiences are presenting themselves so often I'm posting far more frequently than usual. Yesterday's New Experience was a whole new country. A very little, blink-and-you'll-miss-it kind of country - Luxemburg.

Elfriede shouted me a coach ride to Luxemburg city from Wiesbaden. Getting to Wiesbaden was an adventure in itself: up at 5.00am (ye gods, I haven't done than since I was in the monastery!) and on the train by 6.15. A hurried dash to the coach, fortunately standing only 30 metres or so from Wiesbaden's lovely railway station. And a three-hour ride through rolling hills dotted with vinyards, villages and glimpses of Father Rhine on our way to meet Mother Mosel.

The Mosel - or Moselle, as most of us would call it - flows from the French alps through Luxemburg to meet the Rhine at Koblenz. She is loved by people of all three countries for her charm and benificence. In these river valleys, winters are mild and spring is utterly gorgeous. Right now the magnolias and tulips hold sway, but hyacinths, daffodils and primroses are still much in evidence and the smaller trees are just starting to green up. The forests are still drowsy, though, and except for the firs, the big trees are bare.

Forestry here is very different from that of southern Australia, where monoculture of Pinus Radiata or Redgum is the norm and public access is restricted. Here the forests belong to the people. Stands of fir and beech jostle with the tall, straight oaks that form the principle crop and here and there one can spot a copse of silver birch shining in the still-wintry sunlight. There are plenty of pathways for hikers and trampers to use and even this early in the season they are put to good use. Elfriede belongs to a walking group and almost every weekend they go "wandering" in the forests.

Luxemburg city, however, is not in the forest. It is centred on a huge rocky hill that for centuries stood impregnable, as it is guarded by a deep ravine. Today the ravine is bridged and its other bank bears the weight of New Europe - modern buildings of glass and steel overshadow the older part of the city, which dates back to Roman times and probably earlier. The old part, of course, is the part I liked best. We have glass and steel a-plenty in the Land of Oz. What Aussies of European or Asian descent lack is access to the history of their ancestral homelands before their forebears travelled south.

A hop-on, hop-off bus tour with multi-lingual recorded commentaries accessed with headphones enabled Elfriede and me to get a quick overview of the city and its history. We did a hop-off at the Chemin de la Corniche, which overlooks the impressive ravine and its fortifications, and from there we shanks-ponied it to the wonderful old St Michael's church and the National Museum of History and Art.

A word about churches here: every single one I've been in - and I've seen a dozen or more now - has had devotees sitting or kneeling quietly, undisturbed by the presence of tourists. In the Rhine Valley, bells ring out every morning and the faithful are called to prayer. Religion is not dead in Europe; far from it.

My religion, however, makes room for history. Respect for those who have gone before and for their works forms a large part of my personal ethic, so visiting a museum is, to me, almost as meaningful as kneeling in a house of worship. In the Luxembourg Musée I found plenty of things to honour. Grave goods, tools and household effects from not only the Middle Ages but also Roman days are impressively displayed and described in French, German and English. The very best exhibit we saw was a complete Roman mosaic floor, found in excellent condition in 1995 and skilfully shifted and restored to be displayed in its own balconied gallery at the Museum. I was happily snapping photos when an official came along and explained, very kindly, that photography was prohibited. He didn't make me delete the ones I'd already taken, but in any case I later purchased, for only €1, a brochure with a much better picture than I ever could have captured. The subject matter is the Nine Muses, demi-deities close to my heart, with eight of them circling the figures of the ninth, Calliope. She sits in discourse with Homer, who must be the earliest known fantasy writer:-) I gave thanks at a Jupiter shrine on our way out.

After a very pleasant lunch served in the museum's café by a tri-lingual waiter (I ordered in French, he spoke with Elfriede in German and when he came back he addressed us in perfect English!) we re-boarded the bus for a final round before catching our coach outside the Grand Ducal Palace, a tastefully restrained but very lovely edifice, for the four-hour journey back to the Rheingau. What a wonderful day!

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