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As you know, I was bitterly disappointed when Satalyte shut up shop as it might have meant the end of my admittedly short career as a publi...

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I am a writer, editor, reviewer and dance teacher based in Perth, Western Australia.

My books

The first novel of my trilogy, The Talismans, is available as e-books 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. I hope to see my books back on Amazon under a new publisher in the near future.

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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Places I've Lived: Perth by Night
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Sunday, 29 November 2009

A different kind of retreat

I belong to several writers groups, one of which is called Egoboo. There are five members and we've all been working on novels. I keep thinking mine is finished but it never is. Every time I think I've "finished" I show it to one of my groups and they always find more things that aren't working. It's a swings and roundabouts sort of thing. Or maybe Jason and the Dragon's Teeth would be a better metaphor. I just get one problem straightened out and six more leap in.

A few months back, one of the Egobooers was offered the use of a lovely house at Eagle Bay, a holiday town in the south of Western Australia, so for a remarkably low cost per head we spent three nights there last week while we did our critiquing. A month or so beforehand, we'd exchanged manuscripts: I sent the latest draft of the WIP to my Egoboo buddies and they sent me theirs, which meant we each had four novels to read within four weeks. A pretty big ask and I didn't find it at all easy. I don't read nearly as quickly as once did. Once upon a time I could easily read 500ww per minute, but alas, no longer. I doubt if I read at half that rate these days.

Not that it was a chore. There were four great stories in my pile. But when you're reading to critique you have to keep your wits about you. You can't let yourself get lost in the story, no matter how much you enjoy it. You always have to have one eye on the pace, plotting, character development, point-of-view, vocabulary, grammar, syntax, spelling and probably a dozen other things. You just can't allow yourself the luxury of sitting back and reading for fun. Then, of course, you have to make margin notes and write up a few pages of general comments on the above items and anything else that takes your eye.

Each writer had a three-hour session in the stocks...well, it wasn't quite that bad because we are not unkind critters, but harrowing enough, all the same. No one likes to see their work pulled apart and its insides put under the microscope. It was, however, a very worthwhile exercise. Not only did we examine our works in depth and brainstorm methods of improving them, we also studied plotting by watching movies and drinking wine. After a hard day's critiquing, I can think of no better way to study plotting.

It was so successful that we hope to do it again sometime next year. I hope we can go to Eagle Bay again. You can see from the above picture how lovely it is. If you look closely you can see where the sea meets the sky, but before you get to the sea there is a beautiful long beach of soft white sand.

Perhaps by the time we go again I really will have ironed out all the problems with my book. Well, I can hope, can't I?

Egoboo is in the throes of putting up a group blog. Another blog? Yes, it seems to be bloggy breeding season. I'll let you know when the Egoboo one is up and running. It should be pretty good because the five of us have amongst us an amazing breadth of knowledge and experience to share. More on that next week!

5 comments:

Jo said...

Sounds like you enjoyed yourselves.

Ms. Gonzalez said...

Wow it sure does sound like a lot of work, but at the end of hard work comes play.

Satima Flavell said...

Yup, it was work and fun in pretty well equal parts. No play yet, though, Krystal - I'm still catching up on e-mails and other things.

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