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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

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Places I've lived: Gippsland, 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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Places I've Lived: Perth by Night
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Sunday, 4 May 2008

Not before time

A thousand apologies for my long silence. I came out of retreat to find that I had overbooked myself, editing wise, and had a long list of things to do, all on tight deadlines. I’ve just spent a desperate fortnight shuffling jobs.

They weren’t all paid jobs. It was Specusphere time (see link in my profile) and the whole team of volunteers was frantically getting things ready for the publication date of 1 May. On the last day of April I was up until 3.00am, writing, editing and uploading. It was with a long sigh of relief that I finally fell into bed. But when I checked the site next morning it all looked very worthwhile indeed. Our doughty Editor-in-Chief, Stephen Thomson, had also had a late night and an early morning, getting the front page in order so all our new uploads could stand up and be counted. There are interviews with K.E. Mills, Sean Williams, Paul Collins and Tony Plank; two film reviews and no fewer than ten book reviews, plus fiction, poetry and features including my report on Swancon. I’m very proud of the fact that I wrote the editorial, too – the first one I’ve ever written! Amanda, Astrid, Stephen and I are now eagerly watching the hits mount up. It’s obvious that we have regular readers lying in wait for each edition to go live.

As well as handing out kudos to rest of the editorial team, Stephen Thomson, Amanda Greenslade and Astrid Cooper, I’d like to mention my wonderful reviewers. Bobbi Sinha-Morey and Joan Malpass are two regular contributors: Bobbi specializes in reviewing fantasy-romance and Joan is especially good with children’s fantasy. Both have written film reviews as well as book reviews. I am proud of them and our other reviewers. E-zines can’t survive without volunteers, so if you love Speculative Fiction I would urge you to offer your services. The Specusphere is always looking for new blood, as are many other e-zines.

Paid work included final editing of a PhD thesis for an architecture student, the first I’d done in that discipline. I enjoyed the work, but when I agreed to do it I’d forgotten that The Specusphere’s May edition was going up at the same time! To make matters worse, I am engaged in a series of house-sits at present, which, since I don’t have a laptop of my own, means that I have been using web-mail and other people’s computers – a deadly combination. Downloads failed, attachments didn’t attach, mail disappeared into cyberspace or else arrived in duplicate or triplicate. I should’ve read my ephemeris before starting on this last fortnight’s work! I probably would have stayed on retreat.

Speaking of which, the retreat was excellent. Vipassana meditation forces one to face oneself, which can be pretty scary, but, as Akiro Kurasawa, one of the greatest of film producers, is quoted as saying, “To be an artist means never to avert your eyes”. Learning not to avert one’s eyes from the unavoidable pain of life is one of the gifts of Vipassana. Being in silence for a lengthy period of time is in itself very confronting. It forces us to look at the constant inane chatter that makes up our thought streams and then to look beyond it. Then, as TS Elliot said at the end of his Four Quartets:

And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

The retreat was a gift, and now it’s time to make use of its fruits. As well as some hints of deeper insight, many writing ideas arose and as a result I’ve drafted still another outline of The Trilogy. I have still to hear the comments of my peers and betters – which reminds me that I have heaps of reviewing to catch up on next. I’d better get on with it!

7 comments:

Jo said...

Welcome back, saw your posts on others' blog so knew you were around. Glad Vipassana was as good as you expected.

Satima Flavell said...

Its good to be back, Jo, and I'm gradually catching up on the blog round. I wish Blogger had a system like the one on Live Journal, whereby you can have your friends' blogs automatically fed to an extra page on your own. However, I'll gradually do the rounds of my Blogger buddies and say G'day:-)

Imagine me said...

Nice to have you back - and I will get a comment on your outline done in the next few days. Promise.

Marilyn Z. Tomlins said...

Yes, certainly nice to know you're back and that your Vipassana Meditation went well. Must admit my ignorance: I've not heard of Vipassana Meditation before you spoke of it. It's a good thing looking into oneself (even if only occasionally) because it will make us judge ourselves and not others.
Marilyn

Satima Flavell said...

Or better still, not to judge at all:-) Any word on your ms yet, Marilyn? And Helen, I'm looking forward to reading your comments on my revised outine.

Silly Yak Tales said...

Nice to see you back. I know that you had too much fun and rest.
Everyone shoudl gon on a Vipassana, I doubt I will ever get such a chance.

Satima Flavell said...

I hope you do, Randi-Lee. I've found it invaluable. Not fun though, and not restful, but you feel amazingly good when you come out. Colours are brighter, details sharper, and the heart is wide open. Wonderful! PLus, of course, the insights you gain are yours to keep forever.

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