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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

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Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

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Places I've Lived: Perth by Night
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Sunday, 9 June 2013

Out of the madhouse



A friend recently posted on Facebook –‘Been looking for freelance writing/proof-reading work in
London. Amazed at how many jobs are advertised as “unpaid but providing a wealth of experience and a well-known name for your CV”.  Next time I need the plumber, I'll tell him I won't pay for him to fix my tap but he can certainly list my name on his website. Actually, I might just try that at the supermarket.’

I know how my friend feels. I get the odd query from a first-time author with inflated expectations, asking if they can pay me a percentage of the book’s take instead of paying up front. No way José – I know how much most self-published authors make, and that’s 'very little'. If you self-publish, you must be prepared to do it for love. Even authors published by the big houses might not make a living wage – it’s said that the average author in Australia earns less from writing than they would on the dole. And given the tough economic times and the state of flux of the publishing industry, it's going to get worse.

It’s not just writers and editors who suffer, either. In all the arts, there have always been more good people than available jobs. It's more apparent than ever today, and part of the problem, I think, is that the tertiary institutions are turning out too many graduates. These graduates have to create their own employment, and usually their projects can’t be realised without some kind of subsidy. Or they work in community theatre for nothing. Or they self-publish books. As one of my writerly friends puts it ‘Centrelink’ (Australia’s social security department) ‘is the biggest patron of the arts since the de Medicis’.

As long as there is cheap or free labour around, the arts will remain a buyers' market, and inevitably, this 'amateurisation' of the arts will continue. Yet if you are an artist of any ilk, you are probably also a rugged individualist. An office job would drive you insane. Routine bores you, and lack of a creative outlet can make you severely depressed. Furthermore, trying to be creative while selling your soul to the system is a sorry task.

It’s a conundrum, and I don’t think it’s a new one. As Friedrich Nietzsche once wrote: ‘The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the collective. If you choose to fight, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened ... but no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.’

Nietzche is also reported as saying And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music. May there always be those few of us who do hear the music, either as creators or consumers of the arts. We might be thought insane – but I do believe we keep the rest of society out of the madhouse.

3 comments:

Jo said...

Anything to save money. Writing is generally such a dead end job as far as making money is concerned although I am real glad so many people keep writing.

Satima Flavell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Satima Flavell said...

Yes, no doubt about it, Jo - in all the arts, 'Many are called, but few are chosen', financially speaking!

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