Monthly Archives: March 2013

Autobiographical Flash Fiction—How I Remember it

One of my weekly postings for university was a short autobiographical piece. I think it’s cute, so thought I’d share it. After writing this piece we were asked to consider if we were the same person writing the story as living it and what affects the re-telling of a life, or part of a life. Anyway, I won’t drone on and on. I hope you enjoy finding out a little bit of when I was little :).

How I Remember it

I don’t know what I was thinking: I was only three. My parents say now that I just wanted to show the other kids. Looking back, I suppose they’re right. The day I remember as being sunny, the horse brown, and the rubber tree in our front suburban garden, big and shady. My memories don’t come from my experiences of that day: they come from a photograph.

The snippet I think I remember is standing in a paddock of green—a neighbourhood park without the usual condiments of swings and slippery-dips. Holding the rope, and by association, the racehorse, I felt excited to have the other kids crowding around to see and pat the animal. His name was Bully, his racing name Zatopek. I, of course, always called him Bully.

Out of all the horses my father owned, he was my favourite and was visiting from ‘The Farm’. This story lives on in my memory because I’ve heard it recounted by my parents, although I do retain flashbacks from the day. I’m proud of my three-year-old self, who, with constant enthusiasm, was always creating predicaments to scare my parents half to death. Untying a racehorse, crossing two streets and putting the potentially dangerous animal within kicking distance of other, innocent children was not reckless or naughty: it was fun. At least that’s how I remember it.

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The Day I Became a Self-Publishing Avocado … I Mean Advocate

Here I am with some exciting news! Before I tell you I’ll explain why my posts have been few and far between lately: I’m drowning in a champagne glass full of editing work, writing, and flitting about festivals. The sides of my self-imposed glass are tall and impossible to climb out of since they slope inwards, although I’m enjoying the invigorating bubbles (I’m hoping you can picture my imagery; if not you’ll be sitting there thinking this woman is crazy and I have no freakin’ idea what the hell she’s talking about.)

Did you like the suspense? Now that I’ve annoyed you long enough, I’ll get to the point. My exciting news is (da na na na na): I sat on my first writers festival panel on the weekend, and I didn’t get heckled, not even once! I attended the NSW Writers Centre Speculative Fiction festival and spoke on the publishing panel. I, of course, represented self-publishing. I was nervous at first, although the amazing and super-nice Kate Forsyth did her best to make me feel confident (thank you Kate, it worked).

Me on the panel (I'm on the far right: your right, not mine).

Me on the panel (I’m on the far right: your right, not mine).

Surprisingly, I managed to answer the questions like I knew what I was talking about, and the crowd was generous enough to pretend they didn’t notice I was pretending to know what I was doing; I in turn pretended they weren’t pretending not to notice my pretending—I’m sure you’ll agree, we all did a great job! The pretending was so out of hand at one stage, that members of the audience were tweeting quotes from me. Ha! I’m quotable. Who would’ve thought (not me, that’s for sure). I heard these tweeters were paid in slabs of rocky road but we’ll pretend they did it because I’m fabulous ;).

There were other great panels on the day, and I listened enthralled as Kate Forsyth, Ian Irvine, Juliette Marillier and Garth Nix (who, by the way, should be in country music with a name like that), among others, chatted about subjects ranging from writing fantasy, to e-books, their publishing journeys, to fairytale retelling. It was a fantastic festival and I would highly recommend it to anyone who writes or reads speculative fiction. I am also happy that I got to represent self-publishing. I’ve discovered that I enjoy being an advocate for professional self-publishing.

The gorgeous Kate Forsyth and I.

The gorgeous Kate Forsyth and I.

It was also awesome because after the festival I caught up with some writer friends (a couple of whom I’d only met online). We had a cheap pub dinner and held an impromptu writers group meeting. We read each others’ work while people around us got pissed. Ah, the life of a creative.

I have to go now, because other than the fact that you’re probably becoming bored (stop nodding), I have to clear these champagne bubbles out of my nose and finish the first draft to A Time of Darkness, the Shadows of the Realm sequel, so it can fly off to the editors on Tuesday. I’m so excited and will post an update next week. Cheers!

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Scriptwriting—I Have a Looooong Way to Go

Well hello! I have been so busy with editing work and trying to finish my book that I’ve neglected my blog. I was doing a uni posting today for screenwriting and thought I’d kill two birds so to speak and post it here too. Our exercise was to write a short script about our local supermarket. I don’t think I’ve done great as a script-writing exercise because the set-out still confuses me (don’t laugh). I still thought it was a nice piece and I hope you do too.

 

Saturday afternoon. The sun, inching to the west over the large concrete building with the “Woolworths” sign stuck to its facade, gives off stifling summer heat. An old, stooped man, wearing brown trousers and white shirt, limps through the automatic glass doors, his cane tapping a slow rhythm with each arthritic step. The blast of air-conditioning cools the sweat on his face. A teenage boy, wearing board-shorts and no shirt or shoes, rushes past, crinkling up his nose at the old-man smell. The old man frowns, shakes his head. He reaches for a trolley.

Meandering to the dairy section, he is overtaken by brightly clad mothers and their half-dressed children, grabbing last-minute groceries on their way home from a day at the beach. Reaching the fridge with the milk, he grabs the silver handle, awkwardly pulling the door open. His hand trembles as he reaches for the 1 litre, full-fat milk; the one with the blue symbol on the front. Two shoppers have queued behind him. He glances around and tries to hurry. The carton slips from his fingers and explodes on the ground. He drops his head and his sad face hints at the frustration that has become an everyday part of his life. A young woman with a brown ponytail, one of those who are waiting, edges past him and grabs another carton of milk. She smiles at him and places it in his trolley. She pats his arm before picking up the milk she wants and walking away.

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