About Me

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Perth, Western Australia, Australia
I am 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.

My books

The first two books of my trilogy, The Talismans, (The Dagger of Dresnia, and book two, The Cloak of Challiver) are available in e-book format from Smashwords, Amazon and other online sellers. Book three of the trilogy, The Seer of Syland, is in preparation.I also have a short story, 'La Belle Dame', in print - see Mythic Resonance below - as well as well as a few poems in various places. The best way to contact me is via Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/satimaflavell

Buy The Talismans

The first two books of The Talismans trilogy were published by Satalyte Publications, which, sadly, has gone out of business. However, The Dagger of Dresnia and The Cloak of Challiver are available as ebooks on the usual book-selling websites, and book three, The Seer of Syland, is in preparation. The easiest way to contact me is via Facebook.

The Dagger of Dresnia

The Dagger of Dresnia

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 and other online booksellers.

Mythic Resonance

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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Blog Archive

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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Saturday, 15 July 2017

Dancing again

This morning, I attended a superb dance workshop with visiting American professor, Scott Putnam. I was too exhausted to stay for the afternoon session!

In fact, I must admit that I find contemporary dance heavy going - I only got through it at WAAPA by staying back to attend the evening classes for extra coaching, and I'm sure the examiners threw in a few charity marks so I at least got a pass in the exams.

It was lovely to watch all the keen young dancers (I was by far the oldest there!) and to see their inventive short choreographies. Professor Putnam is an excellent coach and I'm sure the dancers learned a great deal - as indeed I did, although whether or not I'll remember any of it this time next week is a moot point. The body feels worn out and I suspect the mind is heading in the same direction!

I was disappointed not to see more older teachers there. Perhaps Contemporary Dance is a young person's game. Classical ballet can also be exhausting, but at least you don't have to throw yourself onto the floor ten times a minute. (That's an exaggeration, but it does seem to be the default move when a contemporary dancer is wondering what to do next!)

As a young woman back in the late 1950s, I was deeply impressed by Contemporary Dance - it seemed so different from classical ballet, and so very modern. (Well, yes, Satima - that's why it's called Contemporary...) I first saw it when I attended a course of lectures by Beth Dean, an American dance ethnologist who had recently opened a school in Sydney. I was so impressed by this very new and different technique that I persuaded my mother to let me go to classes. It was an added expense for my parents - they were already paying for me to learn ballet at the Scully-Borovansky school, and piano, and singing, plus speech and drama, all at the Conservatorium.

But I enjoyed Miss Dean's classes, and started to take classical classes with her now and then. I eventually danced with her company, called Australian Dance Theatre. (It had no relationship to the later, Adelaide-based company of that name.) I am wont to boast about my appearance in a show before the Queen in 1963. I was dressed as  brolga, and while I'm sure the Queen wouldn't have noticed me as one of six people in brown all-overs with hoods, it was an experience to remember!

Dance has been my main love since I was four, when I saw the lovely pictures in a Ballet Annual owned by one of my sisters. However, I didn't start learning until I was eleven, and for the first year I had to pay for lessons out of my pocket money as my mother considered dancing to be a waste of time and money.

Then we moved house, and my new teacher, Joan Ashton, taught me free in return for helping with the junior classes. She even paid for me to have classes with her teacher, the late, great, Isobel Anderson. But young people don't always value or even see what people are doing for them, and I abandoned Miss Ashton and Miss Anderson to study at the more famous Scully-Borovansky school.

Somewhere about that time, I saw a performance by the Bodenwieser company at the Conservatorium. That means I must've seen the now centenarian Eileen Kramer!

Well, here I am sixty years later, loving dance as much as ever but unable to perform  many steps and exercises that at one time I would have done easily and with gusto. Tempus has fuggitted, and stolen just about all my flexibility and most of my strength as well! But I won't stop dancing until I become absolutely incapable of doing a plié!

Many thanks to Robyn Cooper and Angela Perry for their organisation of today's workshop. It was a joy to attend!
Wednesday, 5 July 2017

A poem, just for fun!

I wrote this bit of doggerel one Saturday afternoon when I either had nothing better to do — or was in work-avoidance mode! This is the new, improved version, which clarifies the story-line a bit.

Long, long ago in a place far away,
There dwelt a fair princess: her name was Aimée

Her parents decided ’twas time she was wed
But Aimée was not keen to share her fine bed
Not with prince, not with pauper, nor poet, nor priest
She just didn’t care for men, not in the least

Meantime, Aimée’s father was angry and sad
And wished that he’d sired not a girl, but a lad.
But he had forgotten that long, long, before
He’d loved a sweet farm girl whose name was Amour

An adventurous fellow, her son (named Ticoam)
Set off for the city his father called home
Expecting adventures and fortune to boot
He left his home whistling, and tootling his flute

In the city, Ticoam beheld a parade
With the princess on horseback - oh what a fair maid!
Ticoam was lovesick and wished he could stay
With the gorgeous, the beautiful, lovely Aimee!

But the love of her life was a charming young girl
Whose father was neither a duke nor an earl
But a farmer who planted and weeded and reaped
And bred the best horses and fine woolly sheep

Aimée and her darling girl plotted and planned
To sail on a ship to different land
Some place far away where their names were unknown
Where Aimée would never succeed to a throne.

So the lovers took sail to a place far away
Where they could be happy and merry — and gay!

Ticoam soon found an amazing new pal
A fairy, who taught him a magical spell
A spell that would make any woman he liked
Welcome him into her bed every night!

So Ticoam had him a wonderful time
With dark girls, with fair girls -  whoever he liked!
But still he remembered his darling Aimée
And thought of her beauty all day, every day!

The King, Aimée’s father, a promise decreed
That the man who found Aimée would win a fine steed
An estate in the country (and a townhouse of course)
No wonder our hero was whistling, perforce.

So Ticoam went sailing, a-sailing went he
To bring back the princess from over the sea
It took him some months, but he found her alright
And he kidnapped the lady one dark stormy night.

Aimée's friend, whose name, by the way, was Katraan
Fought Ticoam but couldn’t deflect his strong arm
Weeping, she followed him back from abroad
And took a cheap place where she got bed and board.

A funny thing happened - where Katraan stayed
Ticoam took up board since the prize was delayed
He patiently waited for his fine new estate
Still longing and wishing Aimée was his mate.

But when he saw Katraan, he fell deep in love
And the feeling was mutual – like two turtle doves
They cuddled and kissed and they billed and they cooed
With poor Princess Aimée forgotten for good!

So she took up her place as her father’s true heir
While Ticoam and Katraan built their own little lair
Living long lives and happy on Ticoam’s reward
And loving and faithful in bed and at board.

Ticoam and Aimee. - well, they never found out
That in fact they were siblings within and without
Both favoured their father in hair and in face
And both were good dancers, with rhythm and grace.

So what a good thing that they never did wed
For no-one should have an incestuous bed.

Aimée swore an oath that she never would love
A man or a woman, but only a dove
So alongside her duties at court and in town
She bred the best pigeons, the white and the brown.

Let this be a moral for women and men –
Try hard not to fall in love ever again!
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