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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
Awarded by Kim Falconer. Click on the pic to check out her Quantum Astrology blog!

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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, 11 May 2008

On Mothers Day, The Trilogy, Job Hunting and Editing

Here in Australia, as in many other countries, it's Mothers Day. The UK celebrates Mothering Sunday in March, which has a much older tradition behind it, but as usual, the rest of the world nearly all followed America. But whenever you celebrate it, I hope you had a good one this year:-) I certainly did, as I had two sons, a daughter-in-law, two grandchildren, a niece and a grandniece to help me celebrate, and since it is granddaughter Cassandra's birthday this week we celebrated that as well. We had a lovely meal that included dear little quiches prepared by dinlaw Narelle, with yummy caramel mud cake and a nice chardonnay to follow. Daughter Billy rang me while we were carousing (very gentle carousing, it was: none of your quaffing ale from a yard glass or shouting "skol" or "slangi") so she was able to speak to her contemporaries as well as wishing me well. It was one of the nicest Mothers Days ever.

After a most useful meeting with my face-to-face writers group this week I have been happily revising the outline of The Trilogy and so far am feeling pretty confident that this, at last, might prove to be The Definitive Outline. Yes, I know, this must be about Mark 72, but don't be impatient. Heck, it's only taken five years!

But something else has been occupying my attention lately, too. Late last year, I decided that I really needed to earn some extra income. It's a sad fact that the Age Pension doesn't allow one to have very much in the way of quality of life. You can almost, but not quite, live on it, and it's a constant struggle to stay abreast of the bills. One has to prioritise very carefully, and for me, the priorities are rent, food, other essentials (such as power and telephone bills) health insurance and internet access. You will notice that I don't run a car. There's a very good reason for that - I don't drive. However, even if I did, and even if someone gave me a vehicle, the fact is that I couldn't afford to run it. And if the cost of living continues to rise, pretty soon now I'll have to decide between health insurance and internet access. I really, really, don't want to do that. So I decided to look for work.

After several months of hunting, I finally found an advertisement for what looked like my dream job. It involved both office administration and writing. It almost looked as though my name was on it, so perfectly was it suited to my experience and abilities. And would you believe I actually got an interview for the first time in this round of job hunting! This was especially gratifying, seeing as there were about 400 applicants. Alas, I was the employer's second choice, and of course a miss is as good as a mile. Jobs like that one being very thin on the ground, I felt the need to retreat, regroup and form another plan of campaign.

Academic editing is one thing I do for extra cash, but I haven't been chasing it in recent years as I've wanted to focus on my own writing and on critiquing the work of other writers. I hoped to find part-time regular work that would enable me to keep writing for three or four days each week while replenishing the coffers, but realistically speaking, it doesn't look as if that's going to happen any time soon. So with a lot of help from my son Scott I have made a web site. Go and have a look here and see what you think. I'm hoping to expand my editing to include writing other than the academic variety: after all, I've been reading and writing both fiction and non-fiction for a long time now and feel I can offer useful suggestions to writers who are a little behind me on the path, especially those who are hoping to self-publish. It never ceases to amaze me how badly edited many self-published works are. I suspect some have never had a blue pencil anywhere near them, and as my mother used to say, if a thing's worth doing, it's worth doing well. Perhaps I can help people present their books just a little more professionally, and without spending a small fortune.

It's a competitive field and I'm probably never going to get rich from editing. It would be nice, though, to earn enough to raise my standard of living by a notch or two. Wish me luck. Please.

13 comments:

Imagine me said...

It looks very impressive and with your experience of course it will succeed.

Annalou said...

Congratulations! Looks good! Better get back to some of your lists and mention it. Not a bad idea to make a printable version of the page too, so you can paste it up around Uni noticeboards?

Satima Flavell said...

Thanks, guys. I keep seeing things that need fixing and Scott's still experimenting with the colour scheme, but it's getting there. I guess, like The Trilogy, it will be a WIP for a long time!

Good thinking, Annalou. I"ll certainly ask Scott about printing out little posters to put up at the unis. I always used to do that, with tear-off strips with the phone number, but of recent years I've only taken on work from referred clients. That's gunna hafta change, though. It's sad, because I really want to write more than I want to edit. However, I want to eat more than I want to do either, so roll up, customers!:-)

Juliet said...

The website looks good, Satima, I like the testimonial calling you numero uno! I agree with annalou's comment, you probably do need to push yourself a bit to pick up steady work from it, targeting universities with a high percentage of overseas students.

Satima Flavell said...

Yes, I'll have to get back to putting up notices. Scott goes to Murdoch and UWA regularly for work so maybe I can get him to post flyers there. I must also get some cards printed.

But I'd rather be writing, dammit:-(

Jo said...

But as you said, would you rather eat or write?

Glad you had a good Mother's Day, nice to have family around you.

Good luck with the new web site, haven't looked yet, but I will. Not that I am an aspiring writer.

notes from the edge said...

Hi Satima
So glad you are back after your journeys - inward and outward. I missed you! I wish you all the best with your latest project - is there any chance of picking up some writing work - re articles for magazines etc? You seem to have had experience in that area - your blog is a great testamonial.

Satima Flavell said...

Great to hear from all you guys. Jo, if your blog us any guide you dont lack ability in the writing department. Maybe you should take it up! Anudhara, I'm glad you're back and sorry you missed the retreat. I hope the house moving went OK. I don't look for writing work any more because I'm right off the performing arts scene these days and that was my field. Itá almost as hard to break into journalism as to get published in fiction - I was lucky the first time as I just sort of fell into it.

Jo said...

Merci du compliment Satima. My problem is a dearth of ideas. Not only that, I don't think I have the energy anymore at this stage of my life. Just fading gracefully, or do I mean disgracefully, into the sunset.

Satima Flavell said...

You might surprise yourself yet, Jo. I never thought I had any bent for fiction at all until 12 years ago, when suddenly the first line of a story popped into my head and I couldn't rest until I'd let the unconscious run riot on paper. That was my first novel - not a very good one, granted, but it was good practice. Then I got this enormous idea that I quickly realised had to be two - no, three - no, four - no, five - books. I've managed to modify the tale so that it should fit in three volumes but getting the material organised into a proper plot, with climaxes in the right places and appropriate cliff hangers here and there is a whole nother tennis match. So beware - this could happen to you, too!

Anonymous said...

Great website Satima me feels the perfect job for you whilst sitting at your beloved puter (well when you can get to a working model). Some flyers and business cards are a great idea, you'll be surprised at how many people will ask you for one when you mention what you do. Good luck and best wishes for a safe trip.

Anonymous said...

That was me before.
Little moonstone somehow got to be anonymous!

Satima Flavell said...

Hey Nicola, you're still the anonymous mystery moonstone! I'll be back in Perth in a month so I'll see you and Liz et al then, all being well.x

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