Tuesday, February 28, 2012

An Ode to Picnic At Hanging Rock

This is is. I've reached Blog 100 and to celebrate, I'm talking about one of my favourite books of all time

Picnic at Hanging Rock. The title alone evokes a sense of awe in me. A book, written in the seventies and made into a movie around the same time, still has the power to shock me at its nature.

I was in my early teens when my mother introduced me to the book, a battered second hand copy that she’d found in a Salvation Army store. I read it within a day, caught up in the mystery of the missing schoolgirls in rural Victoria. It was a story that had an ending, but not a conclusion, something that I would carry into my own writings later on in life. It has in fact, become a bigger influence on my writing than I first realised.
My own style is over-descriptive, pulling my readers into the worlds of my characters, and I prefer to write stories where the conclusion is only one of many possibilities, leaving the reader wondering what’s going on.
Back when Joan Lindsay first wrote the book, there was a final chapter that explained what had happened to the missing girls, along with why Irma was left behind. On her publisher’s advice, she left that chapter out of the final draft of the book, that would them go on to become a best-seller, loved by many.
That final chapter was later released in novella form, titled “The Secret of Hanging Rock”, a book that is impossible to find, even with the internet at our fingertips.
I’ve read it once, I was lucky enough to find it at my local library and I read it before it became lost in the library system never to be found again… Little bit spooky, huh? I have to admit, I wasn’t one-hundred percent happy with the conclusion, though it did give me an answer to those niggling questions I had. And because it was written by Lindsay, it couldn’t be disputed as false later on. I won’t discuss here what happened in the missing chapter, leaving it to the reader’s imagination seems better.
What might have happened if the book, in its entirety had been published? Would there have been a movie made out of it? If the movie had been made, would it have been the success it was? Would it still evoke feelings of awe, unease and wonder at the potential fates of the characters.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Late February Poetry

I wish that I could easily let go,
I wish the slightest thing didn't remind me of you.
It would be quieter,
More easy to step ahead without thinking of you
and what you might think of me.
Our paths haven't crossed in a while,
I'm beginning to forget how you look,
the way your voice should sound.
Maybe I'm beginning to let go.

~ ~ ~

Strang thought swirl through my head.
They twist
and they turn,
Taking me on a wonderfully weird adventure.
Jump and sprint from one idea to another,
Random ramblings of a confused mind.

~ ~ ~

How do we know if what we think is really true?
So many versions, tales told long ago.
Maybe our role is simple.
It's your story, tell it your way

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Today, I am hanging out at the Australian Active Aim Business Achievement Centre, running my media and creative support business from their reception desk.
Come in and see me any Tuesday over the coming weeks to talk about:
~ media and press coverage for your event/ business/ community organisations
~ To buy/ pre-order a copy of Ferris Wheel
~ To get a consultation on your publishing project from first draft to pre-submission

Reasonable rates
Quality service

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Pre-BLOG 100 post

I'm coming up to BLOG 100. It's a milestone for any blogger, even a semi-regular one like myself.
Over the years since I started this blog, a lot has changed. And a lot hasn't. One of the major changes is that I've taken charge of my life and I can now say with pride that I am a published author of three titles.
This blog has allowed me to have a space to share my words of wisdom, wit, anger, love, and weirdness with the world. I've tackled topics like obesity, censorship, unemployment, the creative process, halloween, football fixation and, of course, burning tiaras.
(It still makes me laugh that that particular post is listed among the highest read. It was a random post that should have slipped under the radar.)
I'm wondering what I'll write about for BLOG 100. This is number 98, so I have another to go yet.
Better think on it some more.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Poetry (again)

It looms above
If flows below
It welcomes and is feared
Every step,
Every breath,
Reminds me of the fight,
to find my life
I scream
I shout
but no one hears my voice
The dark's sharp talons scrape at my skin.
Ony I can see it's fangs


Fear screams,
Pulls us to pieces.
It shatters our copnfidence,
Breaks our grasp on reality.
Close your eyes,
Tell yourself that it isn't real,
But your imagination keeps on getting in the way.
Control what you can,
let go of what you can't.
Will you let your fear rule you,
Or will you rule it?


How many hits will it take to break me?
How long, is too long
To suffer for crimes I never committed.
Is the pain and emptiness I feel ever going to end,
Or is it all
Just too much?


Being scared is normal
It helps us work out what is safe
And what is not.
To deny its existence,
To refuse its entry into your life
Is to deny you exist at all


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Dark Destinies: An Explanation

I've tagged a lot of posts in this blog with the name 'Dark Destinies' but I've never really gone into detail about what it is, the genesis and progression of the story.
The Story as it stands today:
Explores 1900 rural Victoria where central character, Matilda Morgan, witch/ pagan/ possible feminist resides in a fictional town. She clandestinely practices her craft, until direct accusations bring her to the fire.

An obsession with learning all I could about witchcraft trials started me on this path. I read Gallows Hill by Lois Duncan when I was a high school student and the story stuck with me. Lots of research later, specifically on Salem equals a lot of useless information to someone else, but I knew I'd use it one day.
In my 2nd year of university, I wrote a short story about a witch being brough back from the dead and wreaking havoc on the town that burned her. The story should end there, a mediocre short storythat probably would have ended up in a file, never to be read again.
I never passed it in to my teacher. Instead it became the basis for my short filme manuscript for my scriptwriting class. Back then it was called "Calling up the Dark", yeah, when I created the novel, I made sure to change the title. I passed in a complete manuscript at the end, but I couldn't let the story go.

Returning to the well countless times:
Over nine years I've gone back to it several times. Each time I've explored different angles, adding and deleting to it. At first Matilda's story was going to be told in the prologue and through other character's interpretations. That ended up being not good enough for me. I wanted to tell her story, show readers what her life was like. So it became two parts. Then, as of last year became just one part, focused entirely on Matilda's life and the people populating it.

Change is inevitable:
Before it's ready to publish, it still needs a lot of work. More stuff needs to be added/ deleted to it. I still have theories, ideas, characters, motivations that I want to explore

I can't wait to tell this story