Category Archives: teaching writing

write your story: for your family or publicatiom

We write for pleasure, but whose pleasure? Our own? Do we want to keep our stories to ourselves or do we want to share them with others?



During this Coronavirus isolation and lock down, classes no longer run. However, in our Memoir Writing Group at Godfrey Steet Community House in Benleigh Victoria Australia our objective is to produce our own story for our family, or for publication to the wider community. We all have writing projects ‘on the go’ which we shared with each other for help and feedback. When we used to meet, we would also write a 15 minute splurge where we just ‘go for it’ and write whatever comes into our heads. It’s amazing what finds its way to the page. Before we start, we knock that editor critic off our shoulder and tell it to take a holiday. There will be plenty of time later to revise and get things right.

We are not sure when the classes will resume and I miss the people and their stories. (please watch the Godfrey st Community House site on Facebook). I believe that everyone has a story to tell. The memoir writing group assists and encourages us to do so in a safe and friendly environment. Members read and discuss historical and personal events from their own point of view. They may wish to write a memoir for their family, or to publish for wider distribution. I am in awe of the talent in our group and can’t wait to hear the next installment of their work in progress.

We are all passionate about writing and I try to make the class handouts on the craft of writing as relevant to our writing as possible. Later in the year, with their permission I hope to showcase members and their work in progress. I’m sure you too will fall in love with their unique and different stories.



Tell your story

When you have the time during isolation why don’t you grab a pen and start recording your life story in the pages of an exercise book? It’s that simple. Later, your family will love to read the stories you tell from your perspective because it is their history: where they came from, their story.

In the beginning, don’t worry about time lines or order. Just jot things down as they come to you. You can always sort it out later.

The book that most changes your life is the one you write.

May you all remain safe and well during Coronavirus isolation



What time is it there? is my latest book and is on kindle and Amazon.
It is about my journey from VCE to PhD.

Self Publishing: ‘What time is it there?’ is on Kindle

I’m so excited. What time is it there? is finally registered as a Kindle e-book on Amazon books.

For a free sample click on the ‘read Amazon’ link

I had so much fun tweaking this book and adding the humorous voice of the older Diane writing a novel.

It’s fun to actually let loose and enjoy writing a book. Sometimes, as authors, we can become bogged down with editing and refining our work for possible publication . This book was fun and I enjoyed every minute. I love the cover designed by Luke Harris of Working Type.

book-design-solutions-luke-harris.jpg

Posey Quill owner, Wendy J Dunn  was fabulous and walked me through publishing this novel, even though it put on hold her fabulous (I’ve read it) 4th Tudor book she is soon to publish and promote.

David Major  of a Distant Mirror did the Interior layout and design and formatted this Kindle e-book version

A Distant Mirror

I learnt so much and am very grateful to all who gave welcome advice just when I needed it most. Many thanks to Paul Whitting who gently guided me through the intricacies of my computer and Facebook (even though I’m definitely technologically challenged). Everyone needs someone to turn to when things are difficult.

I had to overcome many prejudices about self publishing and realized that up front you have to pay people to design your cover, edit and format your work.  I didn’t even realize that to format an actual book and a Kindle e-book were two different areas of expertise. However, it is worth all the pain and pressure just to have a well designed book in your hand. It also makes you realize why traditional publishers give you such a small return. They have to do all this for you.

How fortunate I was to have managed to get this book up and running and to actually launch What time is it there? just before the coronavirus lock-down.

May you all remain safe and well during this difficult time

Women Writing History and launch of What time is it there?

How lucky everyone was fit and well and able to attend.

Women Writing History and my book launch of What time is it there? was the last event on the Eltham library’s calendar before the coronavirus restrictions and closures were put in place.

I was lucky enough to have my son, Paul and his wife, Marian plus Ron, Robyn and Walker beside me for support. I thought I’d be okay on my own, but I honestly needed them there and they were so supportive.

You can buy a copy of the book at Amazon.com 

What time is it there? was finally launched by Wendy Dunn of Posey Quill Publishing during the Women Writing History Event  at the Eltham Library last Saturday. Even with last minute cancellations we still had nearly fifty people there. The staff at the Eltham Library were fantastic and provided free sandwiches and glasses for the champagne and wine. The nibblies were enjoyed by everyone.

I know that many book launches have been cancelled and we have friends in New Zealand who can’t get home. So sad, but so necessary.

I was just so thankful that I had my moment in the sun.

My workshop on How to Write the Mother  was a huge success. Many writers used their twenty minutes of Free Writing  to tap into their memories of their own mothers although they could have written anything that popped into their head. The stories they read out, written during the Splurge were so good that Kath Hart from the Eltham Library wants us to print them out for an anthology.

Of course all that might have changed due to the impact of the coronavirus.

Who knows where it will end?

Book Launch of ‘What time is it there?’

I can’t believe the book launch of ‘What time is it there?‘ is only a month away
Date: 14th March
Time: 1pm
Where: Eltham Library. Panther Place Eltham
Tel: 9439 9266
During the ‘Women Writing History’ event.

All Welcome

I love the cover that Luke Harris of Working Type did for me

David Major of Distant Mirror did the formatting both for a printed book and an ebook for Amazon.  Dr Wendy Dunn at Posey Quill is my publisher and mentor.

I have never published an Indie book before and it has been quite an experience. I now know the amount of work Ilura Press and Madeglobal did to get my two other books ready to publish.

As the author I knew that I had to get this manuscript as perfect as possible. This meant inserting the overarching voice (in 2nd person narration) of a humorous older Diane writing this novel and making sure the two voices (in third person narration) were the right point of view. Editing was also needed and Dr Nerina Jones and Dr Wendy Dunn came through for me. Nerina’s comments after reading the manuscript delighted me.

I love the way the narrative segues across time and character. The pattern is quickly established and seems to flow as naturally and easily as thought from one setting or p.o.v. to the next. As noted in the attachment , Diane’s Journal in the second person contributes an endearing aspect to her characterization.

I’m also conducting a workshop for writers attending the Women Writing History Event on the Saturday 14th March about Writing  The Mother. I have a power-point demonstration plus will talk for approximately half an hour with at least forty-five minutes for people to write about their own mothers, or someone who has been like a mother to them, or even a fictitious mother.

Who knows what gems we may find for our own writing. They can later share with others or keep what they have written to themselves.

My Memoir Writing class at Godfrey Street Community House in Bentleigh (9557 9037) will learn from my experiences into self publishing. One member has printed her own book for family members and I am so proud of her. It’s a great read.

May 2019 Be Kind To You All

Another Christmas and New Year have been and gone. I’m always amazed at how quickly time flies. The lead up to Christmas is hectic, the holiday season is fun and the wind-down enjoyable. But now we have to pick up the threads and get stuck into this brand new year.

I love this old postcard with a traditional Scottish toast wishing everyone well for the coming year. Here it is for friends and family. I wish you all well and every happiness in the year ahead.

It will be a full year of teaching, writing, book launches (others, not mine because I’m still working on my 3rd book ) and attending writing groups, giving workshops on How To Write A Memorable Memoir, and attending conferences etc. The passion is still there.

  

Marketing is always a problem. There are so many books now available on Amazon and Kindle that my two books, Pickle to Pie and Something Missing are now well down the ladder and I simply don’t know how to breathe new life into them. However, I am eternally grateful for all they have given me and my academic journey means I am alumni to Monash, Melbourne and Swinburne Universities. Fantastic.

However, at this brand new start to this new year my horizons are broader. I am optimistic that as the world gets smaller so our hearts will get larger and we will embrace people different to us and wish them peace

Family is very important to us. Our eldest son and wife left for a snowy Christmas in the USA and Canada and sent photos and texted often. We have the grand-dogs for company while they are away. Our youngest son, wife and two grandchildren drove down from Queensland for a great Christmas get -together. He did all the cooking and we had a lovely time. We played Uno and swam in the canal. The memories will keep me warm during our cold winter months but for now I’m simply enjoying life and taking advantage of every moment of sunshine, warmth and Summer living.

Patterson Lakes comes alive during these warm days. People have barbecues, sit on their deck drinking coffee (or something stronger) and watching the kayaks paddle past on the waterway outside our doors.  The birds are a joy to watch as they swoop and play. We see pelicans, sooty terns, swifts, ducks…even the laughing duck and the ever present seagulls squabbling for anything left over. The plover’s call at night lulls us to sleep.

May you all have a wonderful year filled with happiness and joy

  

November Event: Sip and Savour Panel Discussion

Sip and Savour Historical Flavour evening with the HNSA (Historical Novel Society Australasia)

 

Nov 8, 6:30 PM · Mail Exchange Hotel · Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
HNSA Melbourne Chapter presents Glenice Whitting, Lynne Leonhardt & Alli Sinclair in conversation with Robert Gott.

The featured authors will discuss stories of immigration – of migration to Australia and connections to the old country.

Central to memories of the old country is feasting – sharing of food and drink evocative of the old country. In that vein, the panel discussion will be accompanied by beverage pairings – from Australia, Germany and Italy.

Tickets ($25.00) can be purchased from Trybooking: https://www.trybooking.com/VRJZ

Ticket price includes wine/beverage sample and cocktail supper. Venue: Mail Exchange Hotel: Function Rooms 688 Bourke St, Melbourne. (corner of Bourke Street and Spencer Street, opposite Southern Cross Station). Enter via the Bourke Street entrance, down the escalators, through the Bistro. Function rooms face onto Bourke Street.

Come and join us and other writers at this event.

I’m taking the train to Southern Cross Station so I can enjoy tasting the wines from such different countries

Bios

Glenice Whitting is an Australian author and playwright and has published two novels. She was a hairdresser for many years before she became a mature age student and was awarded entry into the Golden Key International Honour Society for academic excellence. Her Australian/German novel, Pickle to Pie, was short -listed for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript. It co-won the Ilura Press International Fiction Quest and was launched during The Age Melbourne Writers’ Festival. The old German scripture cake recipe is in the back of  Pickle to Pie

Lynne Leonhardt grew up on an orchard in Donnybrook, Western Australia. As a young adult, she worked in London and travelled extensively. She studied music and English literature at the University of Western Australia while bringing up four children, and later completed a PhD in Creative Writing at Edith Cowan University. Her first novel, Finding Jasper (Margaret River Press, 2012) was longlisted for the 2013 Dobbie Award. Her second novel, is scheduled for publication early 2019 .

Alli Sinclair is Australian born but spent her early adult years travelling the globe: scaling mountains in Nepal, Argentina, and Peru, rafting the Ganges, and riding a camel in the Sahara. Alli’s books explore history, culture, love and grief, and relationships between family, friends and lovers. She captures the romance and thrill of discovering old and new worlds, and loves taking readers on a journey of discovery. Alli now lives in Geelong, Victoria.

Robert Gott was born in the small Queensland town of Maryborough in 1957, and lives in Melbourne. He has published many books for children, and is also the creator of the newspaper cartoon The Adventures of Naked Man. He is also the author of the William Power series of crime-caper novels set in 1940s Australia: Good Murder, A Thing of Blood, and Amongst the Dead.

About HNSA

HNSA Melbourne Chapter is a local chapter of the Historical Novel Society Australasia (HNSA).

The Melbourne chapter meets for monthly lunches and supports an annual panel event series. HNSA Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/HNSAustralasia/ HNSA Melbourne Chapter Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/242775092782782/?ref=br_rs

28: A Memorable Book By Christopher Lappas

A good book entertains. A great book makes you thinks about life and all its complexities. 28 by Christopher Lappas is a great book.

I took this book into hospital and read it after my knee replacement. I found myself totally involved with the characters.

It’s not an easy book to read, however, you become totally involved with the different relationships between 28, Scribe, his son, Andre and Scribe’s ex wife. However, I became so involved that time past quickly. Reading 28 meant that I wasn’t worrying about anything. I had lost myself in the story. As the story progressed, very little was as it first seemed and I found myself asking challenging questions as Scribe and 28  both struggle with demons in their past. I questioning again and again all the uncertainty of life and living, of destiny, motivation, and consequence.

The principle setting for the novel is in a hospital. The narrator is given the name Scribe by 28. She is a woman with a number for a name and their first meeting leaves him in confusion and disillusioned.

28 is the central character and Scribe is drawn into her stories (are they about herself or someone else)? She is an enigma to herself, to Scribe and to the reader. We want to know more about her. Why is she in a room on the lowest level of the hospital and Andre is lying in a coma in a higher room. Why is Scribe so fascinated by her stories? This book is definitely a multilayered work of art.

I was fascinated by the reoccurring theme of 28. It is everywhere in and around the book. The title, the number of chapters, the floors of the building, beads, almonds and 28 herself. Is it a coincidence that Ilura Press have the paperback selling for $28?

On the publishers website www.ilurapress.com, Christopher Lappas talks about the process of writing this book. I found his comments relevant and insightful.

This courageous, and memorable novel entertains with  a story of relationships and allows us to experience the characters personal growth and their final belief in themselves. I was left with a sense that 28’s life goes on past the last chapter . I found the end both surprising and elegantly clever.

I can’t wait to read Christopher Lappas’ next book and hopefully I will not be in hospital but home to enjoy it to the full.

2017: 28 by Christopher Lappas ilura Press

ISBN: 9781 9213 25304 

Aus$28.00

 

And the Winner is…

Helen Luxton has won a copy of Something Missing and Pickle to Pie. Her name was drawn after my workshop last week on Life/Memoir Writing at the Hastings Library.

Over twenty writers attended, all with fascinating projects. On a table, near the books for sale, was a list. It stated that if you subscribe to my website http://www.glenicewhitting.com you had a chance of winning a copy of my latest novel, Something Missing. I felt that a copy of Pickle to Pie would also be helpful to Helen.

Life Writing

Life writing is considered an all-encompassing term. This genre involves the recording of personal memories and experiences. Life writing includes not just biography and autobiography but also Memoir

Autobiography is ‘I’ writing (writing the self)_It is ‘mystory

Memoir (from the Latin, meaning memory) is a subclass of autobiography. It is an autobiographical account of someone’s life. However, the focus is on the events a person remembers rather than the self. (The writer remembers passages of dialogue from the past)_it is ‘ourstory’

Biography is writing her/his story_it is ‘theirstory‘.

Below is an outline about what we managed to cover in a brief time. 

Life Writing/Memoir Workshop 31/7/2018

Hastings library

Every family has fascinating stories and even secrets. The stories of ordinary family life must be told. Finding the best way to tell these stories can be a fascinating journey and the chance to create a valuable resource for your descendants. However we all want to write an account that is memorable, engaging and not boring.

What about the family’s murky secrets? Don’t shy away from these stories. They can be healing to you  and helpful to the reader as they provide the opportunity of insights: such as a marriage taking its last breaths, the death of a child etc

How can we do justice to intriguing ancestors?

Should my story turn into fiction? How much dramatising is acceptable?

Who is my reader? What kind of publication is appropriate?

 Self publishing where I pay for everything myself?

Self publishing: using Busybird or Lou Lou.  (you still pay)

 Small press publisher. They pay, but what about Marketing?

 Traditional Big Publisher: such a Pan McMillan etc. Pitch it to them on Fridays and Mondays.

Do I need a professional editor? —Yes, Yes, Yes:

I had an American editor to check for any mistakes for the American section of Something Missing. She said a campervan was called a pullalong camper. An English editor provided by MadeGlobal Publishing asked What is a Doona? I changed it to continental quilt.

Structure: Make a W.A.I.N  (Where Am I Now?  —

Write the first draft without any thought. Knock that writing citic off your shoulder: lose control. Forget about grammar, spelling and being nice and polite.

Take Risks 

 Free writing:  Don’t stop writing for at least 15 mins. Write anything that comes into your head. Get messy, and leave it for the adult writer to clean up later when revising your book.

Join a Writer’s Group & the Victorian Writers in the Wheelers Centre in Melbourne

Read everything you can lay your hands on. Hazel Edward’s has written a very good book titled ‘Non Boring’ Family History’. This is a practical guide for those wanting to shape their family research into a readable family history.

Happy Writing and have FUN

Happy 2018

I love starting a fresh, clean New Year. I always have a brand new completely empty notebook ready to add my hopes, dreams and New Year resolutions.

This year I’m going to exercise more, eat less, watch my weight doesn’t get out of control and finish that third book. Fingers crossed etc etc.

Looking back at last year’s journal I find that what I’ve written is a more realistic jotting down of what actually happens. It can be nothing like what I’d hoped and dreamed but on the first day of this amazing brand new year I am totally optimistic and everything seems possible.

I’m teaching Memoir Writing again this year and will thoroughly enjoy being with a group focused on writing their stories.

I’d like to thank everyone that has touched my life in a positive way last year for all your kindness and support. You mean the world to me.

May 2018 be filled with happiness, good health, good will and love for you and your loved ones

Magical Moments: Part Two

Another Magical moment was our last meeting of the Memoir Writing Group at Godfrey Street Community House. Most of us are writing life stories but some are using the Memoir genre to tell their tales. I’m delighted to say that we have bonded into a group that welcomes others and give excellent feedback on the writing in progress. Most of us continue our stories during our 15 mins splurge (or stream of consciousness writing). I can’t wait to start 2018 but we all have a list of inspirational quotes and exercises to keep us writing over the holidays.

Last but not least was the Swinburne University Alumni Christmas afternoon tea. Beautifully presented with a Charleston Theme glitz and glitter. I had a great time catching up with Wendy and Peter Dunn, Breda and Alfred. We sat around a small table decorated with tall feathers and were waited on hand and foot. The afternoon tea was superb consisting of ribbon sandwiches, beautiful cheeses and tiny fancy cakes plus an unlimited supply of wine, soft drink, tea and coffee.

Christmas is a magical time of catching up with family and friends.                   May your Christmas be filled with happiness, peace and love.