Category Archives: creative writing

Guest Speaker at VIEW Luncheon

Different women, one view. How awesome is that!

I was invited as the author of Pickle to Pie and Something Missing to talk about how I became a novelist and my journey from VCE to PhD. I was to be the guest speaker at the VIEW Dingley Chelenham inaugural luncheon at the Keysborough Golf Club.

After receiving the invitation the first thing I did was to learn as much as I could, via the internet, about this amazing group of talented women. However, I was not prepared for the genuine welcome and friendliness of everyone there. Edna, Jennie and Kath, all from different VIEW clubs and part of the Development Team, plus the National president, Gwen Wilton took me under their wing. We laughed, shared stories and I learnt first hand about the many projects they embraced. Wonderful women, all with a story to tell.

I soon understood that VIEW was an acronym for voice, interests and education of women. They believe that every child deserves a chance and they live by Mother Teresa’s  belief in the joy of giving a gift when there is no chance of any return.

As Australia’s largest children’s educational charity, The Smith Family provides targeted educational support for disadvantaged students. There are 34,000 students in Australia currently supported by The Smith Family Group

As an APA (Australian Postgraduate Award) scholarship recipient for my PhD at Swinburne University I know only too well what a scholarship can mean to a student. I makes you feel as if some group has faith in you as a person, not only to deliver a 100,000 word thesis but also that your work will add to the sum of human knowledge. Someone cares enough to back you financially for three years. You are not alone. Someone is supporting you and your passion. For a mature aged woman student  it makes you stand tall and in my male orientated  world, money speaks louder than words.

VIEW’s pledge is to promote the interest of VIEW, extend friendship to all and to help those in need. One student William Nguyen was identified as needing assistance and with VIEW support is currently studying at Monash University. His story of growing up in a single parent home with three younger brothers in Sunshine and the importance of being supported and helped over the years was inspiring. He was such a humble, intelligent young man. I can see him going far in his chosen career.

The focus of this amazing group is to improve the educational outcomes of disadvantaged children. In this way they make a positive, sustainable and measurable difference. And they do it so well. The whole event was beautifully organised, speakers stuck to allotted times and the venue looked fantastic. But more important than that was the happy atmosphere in the room. They laughed, swapped stories and made the most of every minute. It was a joyous occasion.

This day was a celebration. The newly formed Dingley – Chelsea had the twenty-five members needed to form their own VIEW group and were being inducted into the VIEW family. There was even an amazing colour co-ordinated cake

Each new member was called forward to the podium, received their VIEW badge, shook hands with the National president of VIEW and smiled for the camera. The group photo  will surely find its way into the monthly magazine viewmatters.

After a delicious meal it was time for me to talk about how I never thought about becoming a writer until a twist of fate uncovered a passion that changed my studies at University from Sociology to Creative Writing. I shared with them my delight when my PhD novel, Something Missing was published by the London based MadeGlobal Publishing. From there I talked about the joys and pitfalls of returning to study as a mature aged student and the impact of being awarded an APA doctorate scholarship. How it meant I could complete my academic journey.

 I could also promote my books and pass on where to buy a copy of Something Missing

 

In December Something Missing, was published by Madeglobal Publishing.com and is available from www.madeglobal.com or www.glenicewhitting.com

Book depository (free postage): https://www.bookdepository.com/Something-Missing-Glenice-Whitting/9788494593765

Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Something+missing+glenice+whitting

Amazon Kindle books: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MQKMUZZ?tag=theancom-20

Something Missing

Two women, two countries. Serendipity, life, friendship

Diane, a young Australian mother meets Maggie, a sophisticated American poet, in a chance encounter. Everything – age, class and even nationality – separates them. Yet all is not quite as it seems. Maggie is grieving for her eldest daughter and trapped in a marriage involving infidelity and rape. Diane yearns for the same opportunities given to her brother. Their lives draw them to connect. This is the story of two unfulfilled women finding each other when they needed it most. Their pen-friendship will change them forever.

 

And The Winner is…

Unfortunately, there can only be one winner of the competition for a copy of my novel Something Missing 

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One name was randomly selected from the list of email addresses of subscribers at www.glenicewhitting.com. I was delighted to see Gillian Polack‘s name emerge. Soon a copy of the book will be winging its way to her.

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Congratulations, Gillian.

May you have hours of happy reading

I would like to thank everyone who subscribed at my website and entered this competition

I’m sure you will have better luck next time.

Your participation is greatly appreciated.

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Only Two Days To Go

In two days the winner of a copy of the novel , Something Missing will be chosen from the subscribers to www.glenicewhitting,com.

If you haven’t subscribed already why not take this opportunity to get your name on the list and a copy of the book could be winging it’s way to you.

The Perfect Australian Mother’s Day Gift.

A book that deals with two women and their life-long pen-friendship will be the perfect gift for Mother’s Day on the Sunday 14th May. This book and a bunch of gorgeous flowers would brighten any mother’s heart.

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Unfortunately for this competition Mother’s Day in  the UK was on the 30th of March 2017.

I guess. if you are in the UK  you could always keep your hard won copy for a more opportune time, maybe even 2018. I don’t know why, but the years seem to fly past at an ever increasing pace. Good heaven, soon half this year will be gone and we’ll be thinking once again of celebrating Christmas.

I’ll be drawing drawing the winner of the competition on the 2nd of May instead of the last day in  April because many subscribers are from England.  I must be fair to them . I will never get used to the fact that when it is Tuesday morning here it is Monday evening in London. You should see the times we have our MadeGlobal Publishing masterclasses. It’s usually aproximately 10pm Saturday night for English Authors while the Australian authors get 9am Sunday morning , And then there are authors from USA, Ireland, Belarus to name a few.

Best wishes to all who have taken the time and trouble to participate in this competition.

GOOD LUCK

Thank You, Dr. Charles French

This is my first reblog but I join many others in thanking Dr Charles French and Jennie for all their help and support over the years

A Teacher's Reflections

I posted on my blog yesterday, “A Gift of Charlotte’s Web.”  As I scrolled down to print a hard copy (yes, I have a hard copy of every blog post- it’s wonderful), I looked at the three suggested readings of similar posts.  One was titled, “Death and Dying and Chapter Reading.”  What? I could not remember the post, as it was quite old.  Well, I read it again, and it was terrific.

Then, I looked at the bottom of the post.  There was only one ‘like’.  One!  That ‘like’ was Charles French.  He has been a follower and supporter of my blog since way-back-when.

I learned everything I needed and wanted to know by following his blog.  I learned how to thank people, how to follow people, and how to reblog.  I learned, and Charles French kept reading and liking my blog posts.  His blog has become a favorite and a gold…

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Subscribers Button Fixed at www.glenicewhitting.com

Fantastic news. Webcare have fixed my subscribers button
Apparently it was a bigpond email problem…again

Please try to subscribe again at http://www.glenicewhitting.com for a chance to win a free copy of ‘Something Missing’ .

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At the end of this month on the 27th of April I will randomly select a winner from my http://www.glenicewhitting.com webpage subscribers list and announce it here and on Facebook and twitter

GOOD LUCK 

The Victorian Writer

I’m delighted to be able to share an article about my writing journey published on page 22 of the The Victorian Writer magazine.

Anyone who wants to know what is happening in the writing world looks forward to this magazine. I believe they have 3500 members who delight in reading the articles and love the ‘competitions and opportunities’ page.

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Beyond Academia

Writers often dream of being published and getting their work ‘out there’. I am no exception. My second novel has just been published but it has been a long road to publication. This manuscript has had at least three reincarnations with a change of title each time. Each version has its own merit and has taught me something valuable about the craft of writing. The novel, ‘Something Missing’ began life as ‘Hens Lay, People Lie’: my artefact for my PhD at Swinburne University.

I had just completed my Masters of Creative Writing at Melbourne Uni when my first novel, Pickle to Pie co-won the Ilura Press International Fiction Quest. This meant a cash advance, plus publication and I was beside myself with excitement.

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Pickle to Pie was the story of a boy, a great-hearted German Grossmutter and a man caught between two worlds. It was a record of my father’s life. In his late eighties he would sit for hours telling me, or whoever would listen, the stories of his early life, the first child born in Australia to his family of German immigrants.

I had promised myself, if Pickle to Pie was ever published that I would give up my day job. Hairdressing had always augmented the family income through good times and bad. After the book launch I stuck to my promise, sold the salon and walked away to a life of poverty. I knew I was not a J K Rowling, but I was happy.

I had often toyed with the idea of studying for my PhD but never dreamt it could happen. However, to be awarded an APA scholarship meant the opportunity to study at Swinburne University. I grabbed it with both hands. With the help of two supervisors I could learn the craft of writing and understand all the rules. I would then know why I was breaking them. I decided to do what so many writers do. I chose to write something close to my heart. Something entirely different. This time it would be based on my thirty-five year pen-friendship with an older American poet, a story about two women, a life changing pen-friendship and the lies they tell each other. I wrote in my journal, ‘I am writing an epistolary, autoethnographic novel grounded in both feminism and post modernist paradigms with the aim of revealing women’s hidden stories in the hope of instigating social change. I believe this embedded story of the journey of self discovery and friendship will carry with it the possibility of nothing less than the restoration of faith in human kind.’

What lofty aims, but here was a chance to use our letters, interspersed with text, to explore the influence this elderly poet had on a young woman who left school at fourteen to become a hairdresser: a woman who unconsciously yearned for the education given to her brother and denied to her. My journey into epistolary fiction using letter, diary and journal extracts, plus snippets of poetry, had begun.

I began work using an older American woman’s voice in first person narration; an elderly Australian woman in second person; and the young Australian mum in third person. The story would have embedded dialogue, following author, Debra Adelaide’s example, where only the formatting and actions of the characters, rather than dialogue marks, reveal to the reader who is speaking at that time. The elderly Australian woman would reveal the pitfalls and joys of writing a novel in a humorous, tongue in cheek, vein.

For four years I am caught up in a world where my mind kept bouncing backwards and forwards between my creative writing of this novel and the formal academic exegesis.

Friends warned me that I would have a meltdown post PhD, but I was convinced that would not happen to me. I was too strong, too resilient. That sort of breakdown only happened to other people. The wail of the ambulance soon bought me back to earth with a thud. I asked my adult son what section of hospital I was in. He replied, ‘The resuscitation room, Mum.’ Two weeks later, just home from hospital and feeling weak and tired, I had resigned myself to missing my already paid for graduation ceremony. My son hired a wheelchair, determined I would make it.

There were only three PhD degrees awarded that night. I waited in the wings for all the BA’s, Masters and double degrees to be awarded before my son wheeled me over to join the queue waiting for their turn to hear their name called and to climb the stairs to the stage. Determined to walk under my own steam, doubts filled my mind. What if I couldn’t manage the stairs? What if I fainted, collapsed, or worse still, threw up when the chancellor, in all his finery handed me my much sort after certificate. What if…
To leave my wheelchair and walk on stage wearing the hired floppy Tudor bonnet and colourful gown was a highlight in my life. I had an overwhelming feeling of achievement and self worth that no one could take away from me. Afterwards, I thankfully joined my peers on the stage and proudly marched out with the academic procession only to flop into the wheelchair waiting by the door.

The mature aged student journey from VCE to PhD had required passion, dogged determination and guts, but it had also been the most exciting, exhilarating time in my life. I knew I would miss it and all the friends I’d made along the way.

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Using my recently gained title of Dr Glenice Whitting I sent my edited and, according to me, perfect manuscript out to publishers and waited for the offers to come rolling in. Nothing happened. Slowly, relentlessly, one after the other a stream of rejections arrived. ‘Thank you for sending Hens Lay People Lie, however…’

I was caught in a catch-22 situation. To get a publisher I needed an agent but to get an agent I needed a publisher. I also took a long hard look at what I’d written, and following the suggestions of American author/editor, Cindy Vallar, I inserted quotation marks to all the dialogue and renamed the manuscript ‘What Time is it There?’ Still the rejections arrived. It was ‘too academic’ too many voices, too literary, too hard to read and so on. Had I, over the years of study, begun to sound as if I’d swallowed a dictionary? I knew I had to, once again, rewrite the manuscript. It took a huge leap of faith to take it from literary fiction into popular fiction.

The third reincarnation is the one that is being published. It was an invaluable lesson. To be a writer I had to be myself and write the way I really wanted to write, from the heart. I took out the overarching second person narrating character, made both Maggie and Diane third person narration, threw in a handful of suspense and Voilà …’Something Missing’ was born. It had gone beyond academia, beyond epistolarity into what is now called, popular fiction. I was over the moon with excitement the day I received the email that Tim Ridgway and Melanie V Taylor of MadeGlobal Publishing. They loved the story and would I sign the contract?

It is every writer’s dream to hold their book in their hands. It gives them a chance to thank all the people who have helped along the way. There have been so many people I could list who have patiently and painstakingly worked with me through all three versions. However, there is an indescribable joy in being able to finally thank them formally, via the acknowledgment page, in the soon to be published last reincarnation of the manuscript, ‘Something Missing’.

When academic friends say, ‘Congratulations on getting ‘Hens Lay, People Lie’ published’ I simply smile and reply with a heartfelt ‘Thank you’.
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Glenice Whitting left school at fourteen to become an apprentice hairdresser. Her journey as a mature –aged student took her from VCE to PhD in creative writing. Her debut novel Pickle to Pie won awards and was published by Ilura Press. Her latest novel, Something Missing was launched at Swinburne University in December and is now available via MadeGlobal in London or at Amazon.com.

Connect with Glenice on her website or on Facebook at Writers and their Journey

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‘Something Missing’ available at www.madeglobal.com & www.glenicewhitting.com

Farewell Dasha’s Mum

A celebration of a life well lived.

To have a celebration of a life that had ended inside a chapel used mainly for weddings was a somber but uplifting experience.

WhiteChapel Estate has a beautiful garden. The 19th century, historic, white weatherboard chapel is both elegant & charming.
The beautiful chapel and grounds were a balm to the soul. The estate has a relaxed, elegant feel in an Australian bush-land country setting, yet is only 45 minutes from the City of Melbourne.
I had never been to this location before. Situated on four lovely acres, the WhiteChapel Estate  must be the Peninsula’s best kept secret

With everything included in the one location, following the ceremony, friends and family were escorted to the “Terrace Room” and lawn area for refreshments and to share their favourite stories of a woman who had played a part in all our lives.

This peaceful property is the perfect place to celebrate the beginning of a new life together or for a final farewell.

Our Australian Christmas 2016

Christmas was filled with sun, sand and happiness and lovely gifts.

We caught up with so many family and friends and Jason, Karen, Tahlia and Caxton were here for a very special Christmas morning.  A night boat trip around the canals to see the Christmas lights was a highlight.
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 Christmas morning the sun shone through the window and the seagulls made a racket hoping there would be some interesting treats later in the day. They were not disappointed. Santa bought bikes and under the tree were toys and games. Wrapping paper was quickly torn away to reveal hidden treasures.

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Boxing day both our sons and daughters -in-law were with us plus Alan’s sister, Betty, John , Carol-Anne and Margaret.

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We cut the cake from my Book Launch. At the book launch on the 11th December Wendy Dunn presented me with a fantastic book-shaped cake with the front cover of Something Missing proudly displayed on top. I couldn’t bear to cut it so froze it to share with my Queensland family.gold-coast-family

New Years Eve we were caressed by the last rays of the evening sun and joined other families sitting on the sand to watch the sun slowly sink beyond the blue waters of Port Phillip Bay. Later, jet skis dashed past, well out of the way of the many swimmers enjoying the welcome coolness of the water. Children played cricket until it was too dark to see the ball while others enjoyed the swings, slides and other activities at the beach-side Keast Park foreshore playground.

In the darkness at home we lit a brassier filled with pine cones, ran along the sand waving sparklers in either hand and popped party poppers. The multitude of  colourful streamers covered our outdoor deck.

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How wonderful to start a brand new year. It feels like opening a special new book with empty pages just begging for some interesting events to be recorded.

May 2017 be a year of fun, good health and happiness.  With fingers crossed we all made New Year resolutions. Hopefully they will last…at least until February.

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Happy New Year to all fellow bloggers.

May all your writing dreams come true in 2017.

‘Something Missing’ Book Launch

Friends, family and colleagues helped celebrate the launch of my latest novel Something Missing.

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Over fifty friends, family and colleagues helped me celebrate the launch of my latest novel. To simply hold my book in my hands knowing that I’d had the opportunity to thank many people involved with its evolution via the acknowledgement page was so uplifting. I felt as if I had wings. Many thanks to everyone who helped to make it such a memorable day. The book is available postage free at Bookdepository.com and is also available at Amazon.com or at my website www.glenicewhitting.com and at www.madeglobal.com

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Swinburne University kept bringing a plentiful supply of delicious food and excellent wine/champagne to the Sky Lounge at Swinburne Campus.

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My ex PhD supervisor, Associate Professor Dominique Hecq read from the novel and launched the book and I had my five minutes of fame
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Wendy Dunn made this day possible and gave an insightful introduction,
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Paul Whitting was official photographer,
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Carol-Anne Croker sold many books
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I was free to catch up with so many folk I hadn’t seen for a long time. Ingrid Ahmer flew in from Adelaide, others came from many regional areas and 95yr old Margaret Scott insisted on being there.  It was a fun filled, happy celebration.
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My email inbox was flooded with congratulatory messages. Thank you all for your good wishes and support. You are amazing
The highlight of the afternoon was when Wendy Dunn presented me with a fantastic book-shaped cake with the front cover of Something Missing proudly displayed on top. I couldn’t bear to cut it.
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Best wishes to everyone at MadeGlobal. The level of support has been greatly appreciated. It is a day I will always remember.
Have a very happy Christmas. I know I will.

Radio Interview with Neil Wanstall

I’m so excited. Something Missing is on Amazon Kindle and my new website  glenicewhitting.com has been successfully made live today.

How wonderful to see a book you have published available on the internet, but how do you market and promote your latest novel? By doing everything you can to get the word out there. Let people know how thrilled you are to see this book find it’s legs, hopefully to run.

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 This week I found myself in the studio of 3WBC 94.1 fm at 4pm being interviewed by Neil Wanstall on his radio program Roundabout.

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I had to choose four songs to play to break up our chatter. My choices were:     The Impossible Dream (from Don Quixote)

Don Quixote: The Ingenious Gentleman of La Mancha (2015)

The Rose by Bette Midler, Wild Horses and The Wind Beneath My wings because it reminded me of so many people who have supported and helped me along the way. All my writing projects have been a team effort. I have a long list of people who have inspired me over many years. How wonderful to at last have the opportunity to thank them via the acknowledgement pages of my book. You are right up front there Wendy, Mairi , Maureen, Carol-Anne,  Lisa, Julie and  Elizabeth…Wonderful women who                                                               nurture others.

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okay, so I am not used to taking selfie’s, but there was no-one around to take our photo. I’ll get the hang of it…one day. I may even remember to smile (scary thought)

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This is Neil’s attempt. What is the verdict. Better?

I found the whole experience exciting and time flew. Before I knew it Neil was  signing off and gradually, as I came back down to earth our conversation was a blur. What had we said? Hopefully it was all positive. However, my family say I’m the proverbial Pollyanna: eternally the optimist. But I also know that to get your book accepted by an international publisher like MadeGlobal all the planets need to align. And to market the book takes this thought to another level.

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Many thanks to Carol-Anne Croker for introducing me and organising my appointment. My thanks also go to Neil Wanstall, for placing me at ease, and kindly guiding me through this fascinating experience.