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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

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

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Sunday, 9 March 2008

Writers Week and other delights

I can now say that I've "done" the famous Adelaide Writers Week. I have a long way to go to catch up with my friend and hostess Annalou, though, as she's been a regular attendee for a couple of decades and is an old hand now. Of course, every year is different, since the organisers invite a wide variety of guests each time. This year we were regaled by speakers as disparate as William McInnes (who is probably better known to most people as an actor) Germaine Greer, Ian McEwan and Gabrielle Lord. One surprise was the presence of Sister Veronica Brady, who was launching her book The God-Shaped Hole. I have long admired Brady: despite being a nun, she was already known as a feminist and an activist when I was doing my Religious Studies degree twenty years ago.

It's simply not possible to hear all the speakers, since they run a double program, split between two massive tents. Furthermore, the weather was not kind: it was in the high thirties Celsius (that's around the century in old money) and I didn't go in every day. Even Annalou took one full day and a couple of half days off. One could become exhausted through over-stimulation otherwise, quite apart from the unfriendly weather.

I could only identify two Speculative Fiction writers: Margo Lanagan and Lian Hearn (Hearn attracted a bunch of SF fans who brought a breath of fresh air to the rarified atmosphere with their enthusiastic questions and cheering of their favourite) although we must not forget that Gabrielle Lord put a toe or two into SF before she finally settled on Crime as her favoured genre. One of the last panels was called "Friday Crime", and it included Marshall Browne, Garry Disher and Denise Mina as well as Ms Lord. (Mina, by the way, is a hoot, and she also has a delicious Scots accent with a hint of her Irish heritage thrown in.) It was a breath of fresh air to hear this quartet jibe gently against their literary brethren, who, I regret to say, did sometimes come across as more than a little precious and snobbish. On another panel, Margo Lanagan obviously felt she'd had enough of it when she said, "You were supposed to get Amanda Lohrey on this panel. If she'd been here, when all the penises were out on the table she could've put her brain down alongside them". This brought a huge round of applause as well as a good laugh.

Not that laughter was lacking: most speakers were intelligent, amusing and not at all wanky. One of my favourites was Tim Parks, a British academic now living in Italy. He spoke with humour and sincerity on the art of essay writing and on translation. Nor did Lanagan need to apologise for not being Lohrey: she spoke extremely well on a panel called "Rules and how to break them". She assured us that rules - which are always changing - are secondary to good writing. "The cream," she assured us, "will rise. If you're not rising, you're not cream yet," which is as sound a piece of common sense as I've heard in a while. One "rule" she did mention, quoting Kurt Vonnegut, was Every character should want something, even if it's only a glass of water. Again, sound advice, especially to someone like me who has trouble carrying the tension forward. The following speaker, Matt Rubinstein, agreed that following rules is not as important as writing well. "By the time you've worked out the rules," he said, "they will have changed".

Now that, friends, is Bad News for me, since I feel I've only just got a handle on how to use the currently favoured Close Third POV with any degree of competence. That was the subject of the talk I gave to the Mount Gambier U3A writers a week or two ago, but I've rabbitted on enough for today so I'll expand on that next time, as promised. By then I'll be in Perth - huzzah and halleluia!

BTW, forgive my lack of blog-visiting. I've had only limited computer access and every different computer I use seems to present me with a new set of difficulties! All being well, I'll be back on the rounds next week.

4 comments:

Marilyn Z. Tomlins said...

Satima -- Enjoy the rest of your travels.
Marilyn

Jo said...

Sounds like you had a fab time at both Writer's Week and staying with Annalou. She said how what a dear you are. As Marilyn said, enjoy the rest of your travels and don't exhaust yourself too much.

Imagine me said...

Sorry, I missed your previous post so here are very belated birthday wishes. Sounds like you had a pleasant day.

Satima Flavell said...

Yes, I loved staying with Annalou and David. Apart from the excitement of Writers Week, we had a couple of lovely evenings out: they took me to a Posh Restaurant for my birthday and ordered a yummy chockie cake as well as lovely wine and a nice meal. Most evenings we ate on their patio. Being in the hills, we had cooler evenings than the city, which was a relief after the heat of the days.

My birthday lunch with Billy Jo was a bit of a fizzer, though. The Garden of Unearthly Delights failed to open as advertised. Perhaps the stall holders couldn't face the heat, but whatever the reason for the failure, we wound up eating at a rather paltry little Lebanese lunch bar. I'm at Billy's place now, though, and eating lots of chocolate.:-)

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