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We are more than half way through November and I have not written a blog post. Life goes on as usual: Mondays and Tuesdays I teach dance. W...

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

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

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Places I've lived: Geelong,  Australia

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

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

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

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Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

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

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Sunday, 30 September 2007

New Books - and more on Writer's Block

Well, I'm sorry to report that I’m still not back with the WIP (of which more later) but OTOH I'm delighted to tell you about a super new book by one of my favourite authors, Juliet Marillier. Cybele's Secret is another Young Adult book, following on from Juliet's earlier offering, Wildwood Dancing. I have a real weakness for good YA books and this is the second one I've fallen in love with this year. The first was L.S. Lawrence's Eagle of the East, which I also reviewed for The Specusphere. You can follow the links at left to read my critiques, and if they appeal, hie thee down to thy local bookseller and ask for them to be ordered if they aren't in stock. If you love good historical fantasy you won't want to miss either of these.

OK, back to the WIP. Or rather, back to discussion of Writer's Block, the reason for not wipping this fortnight past. After last week's post, I had e-mails and comments from several writing buddies and I'm sure they won't mind my passing their suggestions along.

Carol Ryles says:
Personally I like to go for a walk and listen to one of my audio books downloaded on my iPod. Before I got the iPod I used to listen to cassette tapes borrowed from the local library on my walkman. It's nice to listen to prose rather than read it. It enters your mind through a sense we under use when reading and writing. Already our eyes our tired from reading, our sense of touch filled up from typing, and all the while, we've been closing our ears to outside sounds, trying to concentrate. Therefore, when walking I can use other senses: the smell of fresh air and the sound of prose in my ears. My mind takes it all in and quite often a spoken phrase or paragraphs connects with something I've been trying to write and inspires me to try again.

Carol also recommended two excellent web sites:
Exercises for Writer's Block
and
St Cloud State College Literacy Education
Each offers helpful tips, some of which echo those given here and others that range from the quick fix for temporary blocks to serious long-term projects for the hard cases.

Joel Fagin says:
If it's a case of not wanting to write what you need to write, then I'd say: don't. Write something that's purely fun just for you and come back to the thing you don't want to do after a bit of a break.

Sonia Helbig says:
I've learned three tricks which help me when I'm stuck.
(i) Write out the crap (be prepared to write whatever comes out, be non-judgemental about it, in fact expect it to be crap which gets rid of my nasty editor that perches on my shoulder).
(ii) Believe that I often will have to write my way into the story (keep writing, keep the hands moving, and eventually something useful will appear on the page)
(iii) Have fun (if I'm not having fun, why will my reader)

Over the course of this week, I've actually come to the conclusion that the reason I can't get on with the WIP is that I'm not happy with the way I'm presenting the main character. Several critters have commented that she seems "too nice", lacking depth, even uninteresting. I want to get across what I see as her greatest strengths - her ability to withstand stress without getting riled and her way of treating people, even servants, with humanity and respect. I want her to come across as a decent woman who takes on more than she can cope with when she enters into a pact with an otherworldly being and finds she has to pay the piper. Her biggest fault is her tendency to push unpleasant things aside and when she has to confront sheer nastiness she tends to dither. She's always been the nice lady who helps and counsels people, which apparently comes across as shallow and boring. Problem: how do you write such a character without making her into a Mary Sue?

Any and all suggestions gratefully received!

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