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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. 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. 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.

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

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

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Monday, 3 March 2008

On the road yet again

Apologies to regular readers for the late posting. Sunday was a busy and slightly frustrating day because there was a problem getting internet access, so today I elected to forgo the delights of Writers Week and stay behind to catch up on e-mails and blogging. I also took the opportunity to wash my hair. At least, I call it hair, but it's more like the stuff that grows on sweetcorn - soft and limp and fly-away-in-the-slightest-breeze stuff. So on the day I wash my hair I never plan to go anywhere as the cornsilk will not allow itself to be confined until it has acquired a bit of dirt and grease. That takes, usually, about 24 - 36 hours. Yes, I do use gel. Yes, I do use mousse. Yes, I do use hair spray. The cornsilk laughs at them all.

My Adelaide hosts, Annalou and her husband David, have been most hospitable. Annalou picked me up from the bus station on Saturday evening and brought me to comfortable quarters at their home in the hills that surround this fair city. I've come to be on friendly terms with Buster, Rastus and Zelda - furry critters who live here - and have met son Hugo, who in the manner of many young adult children, came home to collect some washing. This is a pleasant area, generally cooler than the city, which means a lot when it's mid to high thirties Celsius!

David, Annalou and I spent Sunday running from one tent to another at the Writers Week campus. We heard William McInnes first, then a panel of four ex-pat writers talking on how this had influenced their work - each was a native of one place and a resident of another but none had either locale in common with any of the others, so it led to an interesting mix of cultural experiences. On thing stuck in my mind: that an emigrant and a refugee will have completely different mind-sets when it comes to settling down in a new place. The former is largely optimistic and forward-looking, while the latter is likely to feel a keen sense of loss for a long time, if not permanently. These attitudes cannot help but affect their writing styles.

Last Thursday, I gave a workshop on Creative Writing, 21st Century Style to the U3A writing group in Mount Gambier. Like me, many of the participants had become thoroughly confused by the expectations of modern readers. I started by asking for ideas on how stories written in the last 10-15 years differ from the ones we used to read when we were younger. Many suggestions sounded quite negative. "Too much padding" said one member. "Too much bad language", said another. "Too much violence" and "Too much sex" were other complaints. We spent the next couple of hours discussing why this new style had come into being and it was gratifying to see the dawning realization in participants' eyes that these features have not arisen out of some perverse desire to make books thicker and more expensive or to provide salacious entertainment. Next Sunday I might list the points we discussed to see how you feel about them. It was the sort of workshop I wish I'd done ten years ago and like a born-again religious convert I am trying to spread the word and persuade others of my generation that we should all take the precepts of this new faith to heart. Of course, by next Sunday I will have had heaps of input from Writers Week and will have so much to tell you that I might burst at the seams before getting it all down on paper, so perhaps Spreading the Word might have to wait. (I will try to remember to update the "What I've been reading and reviewing" column at left, too. I haven't actually stopped reading and reviewing: I just keep forgetting to tell people about it!)

By the way, The Specusphere (see link in my profile above) has gone bi-monthly. The first issue in the new format is just out, with lots of previews, reviews, articles and fiction. We've uploaded eight new reviews, three of them written by me and others by Stephen Thompson, Sonia Helbig, Simon Petrie, Joan Malpass and Bobbi Sinha-Moray. I hope you will enjoy them all.

Tomorrow is my sixty-fifth birthday and I'm looking forward to spending part of it with Annalou and David, and part of it with my daughter Billy Jo. It's Festival time in Adelaide - Writers Week is just one small part of the huge Biennial Festival of Arts for which this city is justly famous. After a few hours at Writers Week, Billy Jo and I plan to have a meal and hear some free performances in a park, renamed for the duration as the Garden of Heavenly Delights! Doesn't that sound like a super way to spend a birthday?

9 comments:

Marilyn Z. Tomlins said...

Satima -- Happy Birthday! May you have many many more.

To comment on how literature has changed ... I think the four-letter words, the violence, the sex reflect present-day society. There are readers (the under 25s for example) who know no other way. Therefore, an Agatha Christie style crime fiction wouldn't even land a writer an agent.
Me thinks, anyway ...
Marilyn

Jo said...

Happy Birthday Satima. Youngun' ain't yer? Hope you enjoy your day as much as you anticipate.

I agree with Marilyn, but as a reader I get sick of all the "modern" ways of writing, like sex on TV or in movies, we know what happens, why do we have to read about it or see it. But, it is, as she says, a reflection of present-day society.

Anonymous said...

Hi there, Happy birthday for yesterday when I thought it was today and was waiting to write.
How has literature changed - what I like about modern fiction is surprises and insights - the old crime writers and romance writers and so on wrote the same thing over and over. Of course the more modern Jodi Picault, Anita Shreve, et al writers are now writing their own same style over and over again so maybe I'll be finished with them soon too. Pat Curry

Anonymous said...

Hallo Satima,
happy Birthday-Wishes from Germany. We hope you have a good time in Adelaide with your folks. Enjoy the day.
Best wishes
Sampath and Elfriede

Erinn said...

Happy Birthday for yesterday Satima!

xx Erinn

Silly Yak Tales said...

Happy Birthday, Satima! I hope you are having fun, it sure does sound like it
As Marilyn said the youguns today would probably consider anything without sex, violence, and profane words boring and fuddy duddy. Having said that I am not sure those under 25 know how to read these days.

Randi-Lee

Carol Ryles said...

Happy happy birthday Satima. Sorry I'm late with this, but my internet's been playing up. Can't wait till Easter. See ya then!

Satima Flavell said...

Many thanks for the birthday wishes, everyone! Had a great night out with Annalou and David and have been enjoying Writers Week, too. Hey Erinn, I'm so glad you've got a blog! I'll go check it out. Carol, I'm looking forward to seeing you and my other Perth friends next week! I'll post on writing again next time and discuss the things you've all raised.

Satima Flavell said...

No posts yet, Erinn! I hope you'll write some as it's a great way to stay in touch with what folks are up to. Also to keep international relations ticking over - just look at the line up this week! Comments from the USA, Canada, Germany, France and both sides of Oz!

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