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 as is Book two, The Cloak of Challiver. 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, Book two of The Talismans

The Cloak of Challiver, Book two of The Talismans
Available as an e-book on Amazon etc!

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!

Fabulous Blog Award

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

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Thursday, 10 May 2018

A ‘Dear John’ Letter


‘Dear John -- Oh how I hate to write…’ We all know that old song, about a girl who is jilting her beau in favour of his brother.


This ‘Dear John’ is not one of those. It is a post to try to tell you about a beautiful friend who passed away earlier this week.

(Photo by Nigel Dowling Smith)
Dr John Rouse Terry was a scion of an old NSW family: ‘pure merinos’ they were (the early C19 slang among the convicts deported to NSW for the free gentlemen who took up land to breed fine-wool merino sheep). But my friend was not a farmer — he was a musician, and a fine one. We were fellow students at Sydney’s Conservatorium High School back in our halcyon days. The ‘Con High’ was then, and possibly still is, the most ‘selective school’ in Australia. All the pupils had to be promising music students, enrolled with one or more of the fine teachers ensconced there.

John fulfilled the requirements perfectly. Not so yours truly – I was a barely adequate piano and singing student. John was made of sterner stuff. He could play all the classic composers by ear or by sight, and when I knew him, he was already composing his own music. Unlike me, he was a dedicated student.

But let us loose and boy, did we have fun! Sticky chewing gum on a teacher’s chair. Playing hide and seek underground in the forbidden regions of the Conservatorium’s cellars, hiring a practice studio and creating a ruckus that brought complaints from people genuinely trying to teach or practice nearby — and once, to celebrate the end of studies for the year of 1959, wagging school completely to go to the beach. That earned me the only bout of genuine sunstroke that I ever had. My parents and I were travelling by car to Melbourne the next day and my father had to stop several times so I could throw up by the roadside. Sic transit gloria mundi. (Well, yes, it really was a 'Sick Transit’.)

I never did ask John if he got sunburned too, but as he was fair-skinned, like me, it’s very likely he did. He and I did a bit of kissing and canoodling on the beach that day – the only time that I recall our relationship becoming physical. A few years later, along with a few other former classmates, he was to attend my first marriage. After that we almost lost touch – I travelled widely and seldom lived in the same place for more than a year or two. However, we ran into each other occasionally, and in more recent years, John’s sister, a fellow Shakespeare lover and former president of the Shakespeare Club of Western Australia, mentioned John from time to time. The last time John and I met, sadly, was at the funeral of his brother-in-law.

Ave et vale, beloved friend. I’ll bet you’re giving those heavenly choristers a good workout!

1 comments:

Satima Flavell said...

I should have added that condolences are due to all who knew and loved John, especially his family and his beloved long-term partner, Nigel.

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