Friday, 18 December 2015

Indi and Bodie Treat us to a Merry Christmas

Before you start reading, it helps to know that Indi is the girl on the right and Bodie is the boy on the left.

Indi: Our humans putting weird Things on our heads... Hey. You have treat? I want treat. 
Bodie: Omnomnom. Treat yum, but stupid Thing on head. Hurry. Chew treat. Get Thing off head. 

Sunday, 8 November 2015

When the Roos Come Out to Play

It's often rainy or overcast when the kangaroos come out to play.

And they did just that last week, coming as part of a casual mob, grooving around the green grass for a graze and gossip. ('Mob', by the way, is the collective noun for kangaroos). 

See the one under the tree, sheltering from the rain (top right)? 

Sunday, 4 October 2015

The Write of Spring

When the wind comes to you from a place of perfume and possibility,
Caressing your face with promises,

Saturday, 22 August 2015

The Start of Spring

It's the last week of August 2015. Which also means it's the last week of winter 2015. In Australia, that is.

There have been hints - little breaths and soft whispers - that spring has been stirring, stretching its arms, and beguiling winter out if its customary grumpy cold. Magic undercurrents of watermelon freshness have been dancing through the air, and now, the signs of spring are

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

On Finding a Writing Community and Culture

I read something years ago about Anais Nin being part of a community of writers (including Henry Miller) who were getting paid  $1 a page to write, shall we say, 'explicit' stories for an anonymous, wealthy collector.

You can find out more about the story itself easily enough, but the thing that really struck me and stayed with me, was that Nin was part of a group of writers who hung out together, worked in a collective and were trying to make a living through writing, creating. 

How, I always wondered, did these writers all find each other? I mean, I assume that they were all hanging out at the same caf├ęs or salons or gatherings all the time, but still... How did they go from crossing paths to having and sharing a writing community and culture?

Sunday, 12 July 2015

How My Micro-Fiction Grew Up Into Flash-Fiction

How a piece of micro-fiction that had no right to be anything more, grew up to become a published piece of flash-fiction - with my reflections on the writing process along the way.

I received some wonderful news in June.

A flash-fiction story I submitted for a special edition of the SirensCall ezine was accepted, and was published at the end of June. Oh, all right, all right. Since you insist, the link to SirensCall ezine issue is here:

The most amazing thing about this story is how it happened.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge: Day 5 - Frangipanis

Lilacs are my Mum's flower. Roses for my Grandma. 

They say it runs in our family. Us women. We can talk to flowers. No, that's not right. Flowers talk to us. Not all flowers though. 

Monday, 22 June 2015

Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge: Day 4 - Magic Hour

This is her favourite time of the day. When the sun has slipped gracefully to the other side of the world, the sky is blinking sleepily, and the clouds arch, stretch and get ready to tease their friends, the stars,by obscuring their view of the earth below. 

Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge: Day 3 - High Spirits

When autumn rolls out shorter days and cooling weather, the little Leaf Spirits of the Liquid Amber tree in the backyard awaken. 

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge: Day 1 - Spring

The spring nights were still cold, which sent people indoors early. The Spring Dragon was happy about this, especially on nights of full moons. 

Monday, 8 June 2015

Loose Lips

"Working with wine," said The Bore, "has the perk of allowing one to really appreciate cheeses." He took a nibble of aged Brie and looked down his nose at everyone.

"And crackers," drawled The Self-Conscious Rebel (no bow tie at a formal event). 

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Autumn: Some Words and a Poem

It is autumn here in the Blue Mountains in Australia. The world has been getting steadily colder for weeks, the sun has retreated in the sky, and leaves are falling to the ground in great numbers. It is both beautiful and melancholy, and it instills a form of sun-worship deep inside me that I don't think I will ever lose - even though I grew up as a child of the tropics.

I don't like knowing there are still three bleak months of winter to come, so I focus on the small, visual beauties of autumn in the here and now.

Back in high school, I remember we were given an English Lit assignment of writing a poem about autumn. We never did enough of the creative writing, which was my favourite thing (although I used to anticipate it so much, the joy in the actual writing and end result never lived up to expectation).

For the autumn poem, I can't remember what I wrote (thank goodness!) except that I tried to make it rhyme. I tried to use all the right imagery borrowed from the poets we were studying - mellow golden leaves and such. Back then, where I went to high school in Oz, autumns were so mild as to be non-existent. They were certainly nothing like they are outside my house as I write this.

I remember I got a B for the high school poem. This was the difficulty of doing creative writing assignments in school. The grade was rarely in proportion to the energy, effort, crippling angst and hope poured into the submitted product.

I did ask the teacher, Mr K., what I could have done to improve my grade. He responded with some dramatic oration about running out of inspiration when it had gone midnight and the port had run out. (Mr K. was a true lover of literature. He would wax lyrical about the opening pages of Thomas Hardy's book describing the haunting, forbidding moors. In spite of being faced with dozens of bored, philistine teenager day in, day out, he never seemed to lose his enthusiasm). Except maybe when the port ran out.

Looking back now, I'll say what Mr K. was too kind to say and I'll hurt my 16-year-old self's feelings and dismiss my poem as 'meh'. 

Now that autumn is something I live in and actually experience - in all its moods, if I had to do that assignment again, this is the one I'd submit.

As the days grow short,
Leaves throw off their green coats of caution.
They drink greedily of the retreating sun.
They absorb its stories
And share them in reds, purples and gold.
They drop en masse to the ground,
Glowing & breathless with colour and warmth.
There they remain as the days grow shorter,
Curling up underfoot in carpets,
Like little animals nesting together for winter,
Colours slowly fading like lost butterfly wings,
Seeping, sleeping back into the earth.
They dream of warm breezes,
A returning sun,
And emerald buds dancing so high in trees,
They can touch the sky.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Deserted Sands: A Writing Dare Prompt

This poem is in response to a writing dare set by @StoryBandit on Twitter. 

We dare you to write a 29-word poem using the following words: spouses, desolate, cavern, fondness. 

Deserted sands
Of baking lands
Desolate skins
Whipped by winds
In a cavern hidden
Visitors unbidden
Snakes cling to spouses
Sweet nesting houses
Such fondness belies
Their glinting eyes. 

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Frankie Gets into Hollywood

This story was born out of a piece of FridayPhrases micro-fiction on the theme of "Only human". (I love FridayPhrases and have gushed about it at length here).

This was the micro-fic that I initially came up with on Twitter:
 "Frankenstein,Dracula & TheMummy glared at the Bouncer who said "Only humans." He got a philosophical lecture abt being human & a thump."

This image tickled me enough that

Sunday, 1 March 2015

My 200-Word Tuesday Stories for February

In February, I launched the writing prompt game, 200-Word Tuesdays, and was absolutely thrilled to have other Twitter writers join in.

The February theme was

Morsels of Micropoetry

Thanks to the regular prompts of Fieryverse and HeartSoup on Twitter, I've ended up composing many tiny pieces of poetry.

Looking back at some of my 2014 efforts, I have to say I'm really pleased with how they've turned out - either a clever turn of phrase, or a recognition of the mood/image that I was going for at the time (which means I captured it pretty accurately!)

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

I've Started A Writing Prompt Game

I decided in early January 2015 that I was going to start a writing prompt game.

There are some excellent prompt games already out there, many of which operate daily. Does the world need another one?

Short answer: yes!

Monday, 12 January 2015

Into the Valley

This little story grew out of a Twitter conversation with Roger__Jackson (@jabe842) and Dee Lancaster (@dee_lancaster). Both folks are, by the way, brilliant contributors to my very favouritest micro-fiction word prompt game, Friday Phrases, now being run by the fabulous Lara Meone Savine @larameone

The Twitter convo, initially about commutes and commuting, veered (not very surprisingly) into a story prompt idea in the spirit of those offered by the excellent @storybandit

Create a 99-word story using the following words:
Cauliflower soup, golf, boot camp, the weather, reify.