Category Archives: writing memories

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 Her Australian/German novel, Pickle to Pie, was short -listed for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript.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

A Knee Replacement and Procrastination

So you book yourself in for a total knee replacement. How wonderful to be able to say. ‘I’ll have a 70,000 k service and a new shock absorber, thanks.’

Because I’ve already had a 50,000 k service and a new front suspension (two hips) with a new knee I guess I’ve earnt the title of Robo Mum. At least I won’t limp and have that dreadful nagging pain once the offending knee joint has been replaced. Nothing could go wrong. Right?

I love the quote by Robbie Burns,
The best laid plans of mice and men oft times goes astray

All went well. The surgeon and anesthetist did a fabulous job, I was sent to rehabilitation as planned, staples were removed and after intensive physio I was discharged. My son took the day off to bring me home.

One week later I went to my local GP to take off the last plastic cover. To my shock he said he couldn’t do it because the knee was obviously infected. It had been hot and tight but I’d put it down to the knitting, healing process.

I hurriedly saw my surgeon who found that a staple had been left in. He removed it. But…I am a very allergy prone person who is allergic to sulfur, penicillin and, as we now know, most antibiotics.    From then on it was weeks of nausea and vomiting, trying one antibiotic after the other. I couldn’t keep any food down and was living on oranges and lemonade. At least it is one way to lose weight…although I wouldn’t recommend it as a way to lose six kilos

Carol-Anne Croker kept me supplied with a freezer full of nourishing soups and yummy treats until the last antibiotic, plus a daily dose of youcault and yogurt is actually working. How wonderful to feel you are finally on the way up instead of down. I can’t wait to resume my life again. Many thanks must go to so many wonderful friends who supported, encouraged and sustained me during this difficult time

But what about writing that third book? It ground to a halt with all this going on and I just don’t seem to be able to pick up the threads again. It will happen. The passion is still there but I am definitely  procrastinating. And it’s not the first time.

2018 on the Canals

It is January 2018 and life is slowly coming back to a more normal pace after the excitement of a hectic 2017 Christmas and the New Year

   

Christmas on the canals can be chaotic. Most houses decorate with laser showers, flashing trees, reindeer and motifs, plus inflatable giant Father Christmases. The reflections in the water add to the display.

Every year, before Christmas, after dark we have a steady stream of boats of all shapes and sizes, all crowded, some decorated with lights, others unlit, filing past to view the reflected lights. We refer to it as the evacuation of Dunkirk.   This year, to add to the confusion, we had unlit jet-skis darting in and out amongst the pleasure craft.  I had my fingers crossed that all the children were wearing life jackets.

I love sitting in the dark on the deck, coffee cup in hand, watching luxurious pleasure craft complete with gorgeous girls sipping champagne and older nautical men juggle for position with overloaded wooden runabouts packed with Mums, kids and beer drinking Dads. I hope for the best as I watch in disbelief at the risks people take in the name of ‘entertainment’.

I decided to wait until now to go take my kayak to see the lights reflected in the water. I added flashing port and starboard lights, an LED back light and donned my bright yellow reflective jacket before paddling out onto the canal. There was not a boat in sight and I reveled in the peace of being out on the water, listening to the gentle breeze rustling the palms. A cormorant watched me quietly coast past before diving for his supper. Circles appeared on the water’s surface. At first I thought they were made by bugs but when I floated gently past I realized they were made by fish coming to the surface to feed.

I had the canals to myself and delighted in drifting , paddling and admiring the fabulous decorations. I know how long it takes us, with Paul and Marian’s help, to decorate our home.  Paddling past many unlit jetties, especially when the moon hid behind the clouds I realized why Paul had insisted on taping four canes to the end of our jetty . The unlit jetties were difficult to see in the shadows and loomed  dark and menacing.

The grand-dogs Ambar & Tashi, on holidays with us, greeted me on my arrival, but it was with regret that I dragged my kayak up the beach and onto the lawn.

Over the summer months I will definitely go again. I know there won’t be any decorations and the house will have returned to normal but…Oh! …the serenity.

And next time I’ll put my port and starboard lights further up so I won’t keep hitting them with my paddle.

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.  

  

Magical Moments: Part One

It was a Magical Moment when I heard that Pickle to Pie is being republishing by Ilura Press on Amazon.com and they will have it as a print on demand book. It will be available in this form from their website and at bookdepository.com

My second book Something Missing is available at Fishpond.com.au with free delivery

                               

It was indeed a Magical Moment when Chloe Trindall from the Godfrey street Memoir Writing Group had a short story published in the Women Who Write Melbourne anthology A New Beginning

Women Who Write, Melbourne is a supportive networking group for Melbourne women writers. They are open to writers of all ages, levels of experience and all genres.
The Facebook page is for members to engage with one another, keep up to date with what’s happening in the group and the writing community.
Every month they hold meetings in the Melbourne CBD and post details on their  Facebook page as well as any additional events they organise.

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I loved reading the excellent short stories by very talented authors. There is something for everyone in this anthology

The day of the book launch was portrayed as having the worst, most violent weather ever imagined and as I donned my ski jacket and armed myself with a scarf and brolly I wondered if I was crazy to catch the train and tram to Lu Lu’s cafe and gallery in North Melbourne for this book launch. But I was determined to go come hell or high water.

  

We had a wonderful time listening to extracts of prose and poetry. Unfortunately, because of the weather we all had to cram into the cafe section instead of being outside in one of the best courtyards in Melbourne

Why don’t you join this amazing group of writers on Facebook?

Twitter/Instagram @womenwritemelb

On Sunday it was the Christmas gathering of the Hysterical Melbourne Historical Writers

We met at the Vic restaurant under the spire of the Arts Centre. It was great to be able to swap stories and publishing experiences. Many thanks must go to Celia for organising these get-togethers.

Walking over the bridge near the Hamer Hall I was delighted to see the Christmas Tree in Federation Square.

Hamer Hall was also decorated in festive attire.

Godfrey Street Community House also had a Christmas get-together to thank Carol for years of tireless service. We will miss her so much but know it is time for her to be able to do the many things she wants to do. Many thanks Carol for all your kindness and support

Christmas is always a busy time spent catching up with family and friends and I love every minute of this silly season.

Writing Awards: Fingers Crossed

MadeGlobal Publishing entered Something Missing into the Nita B Kibble Award and I’ve entered the novel into the International Book Award. Now if only all the planets would align…Fingers crossed.

According to A Dictionary of Superstitions by Oxford University Press, to cross my fingers will prevent bad luck and I may therefore get what my heart desires.

A Dictionary of Superstitions

Nita B Kibble Literary Award

Since the inception of the Kibble Literary Awards many Australian women writers have received prizes, each benefiting from Nita Dobbie’s foresight and vision. Perpetual Trustees have the responsibility to maintain the Trust into perpetuity. To ensure female authors continue to benefit from the prize, the awards are now offered on a biennial basis, and the next to be awarded in 2018. Works published after 4th December 2015 are eligible to apply. Something Missing was launched at Swinburne University on the 11th December 2015.

MadeGlobal sent four books and I had to supply proof of citizenship (birth certificate/passport) with the two cover letters and the completed application form.  I feel very positive about this one. I’m definitely an Australian author and this book is about two countries (Australia and America) two women and a life altering pen-friendship.

The International Book Awards

Sponsored by American Book Fest

Now celebrating the 9th annual award’s program, winning a 2018 International Book Award will, according to the blurb, give my book added “prestige, honor and tells prospective book buyers, librarians and media professionals to take the book seriously!”

If only :>).  File:Hands-Fingers-Crossed.jpg

For this award I needed to send a copy of Something Missing, an entry fee (larger than expected because of the exchange rate ), a completed entry form, Promotional material (photos of myself and the cover of Something Missing, blurb, book tour questions and replies and a cover letter) With a bit of luck, this  story about two women and the similarities between the Australian Outback and the Arizona Desert, many Australian and American readers will enjoy reading about Maggie and Diane’s drama and friendship.

All I have to do now is sit back and wait, with my fingers crossed until the short lists are announced next year.

I’ve told everyone I have to wear black opal for good luck till then (p 294)

 

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Michael Ball and Alfie Boe: Meet and Greet

Last night, two of the most cherished performers with two of the greatest voices in the UK were in Melbourne for one night only.  Michael Ball and Alfie Boe were on stage at Hamer Hall. 

 Alfie Boe and Michael Ball

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I could not believe my good fortune when the email arrived

CONGRATULATIONS!

You have won a VIP Meet & Greet Experience with Michael Ball & Alfie Boe!

This consists of:2 x tickets to see Michael Ball & Alfie Boe live in concert

A meet & greet with Michael Ball & Alfie Boe at the show, including photo and autograph opportunity

A copy of the Alfie Boe & Michael Ball CD ‘Together’

A copy of the Michael Ball & Alfie Boe tour programme

A commemorative concert laminate and lanyard

To claim your prize, simply respond to this email and indicate your preferred concert date and location:

 5 October 2017 – Queensland Performing Arts Centre – Brisbane, QLD
7 October 2017 – Arts Centre Melbourne – Hamer Hall – Melbourne,    11 October 2017 – State Theatre – Sydney, NSW
14 October 2017 – Adelaide Entertainment Centre – Hindmarsh, SA                      16 October 2017 – Crown Theatre Perth – Burswood, WA

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I immediately asked Carol-Anne to come with me. What she doesn’t know about stage productions is not worth knowing. I loved her theatrical stories and I soon got to know all about Ball & Boe and their musical journey

They performed many songs that many people have covered before, but they did something different to them. And the voices! they were individually superb and totally amazing when harmonizing.

Michael is a legend of musical theatre and Alfie is Britain’s most popular tenor. Both have played leading roles in Les Miserables and who could forget such songs as ‘Bring Him Home, Empty Chairs and Empty Tables and my favourite, I Dreamed a Dream. They sang these to a standing ovation. They held the audience in the palm of their hand. It was more than a concert it was a full on experience.

Their teamwork began in 2006 when they bonded on the musical theatre production of Kismet playing at the London Coliseum.  They found that they were both on the same wave-length. They cheerily brush aside the rules in their respective fields, are brave enough to try anything from Elvis to opera and ignore people who say they can’t step outside the box and sing something different. It’s that joy and spirit of musical adventure and superb harmonizing that resulted in them producing a CD titled … what else but Together. I’m delighted to see that their second album is nearly ready. The title? Why Together Again of course.

To listen to their glorious voices and to get an understanding of why they are so popular please go to Youtube and watch some of the videos. That way you’ll understand why I’ve become a full on fan.

MEET & GREET EXPERIENCE
Top priced ticket within first 4 rows on the floor to see Michael Ball & Alfie Boe live
Meet & Greet with Michael Ball & Alfie Boe
Professional photo opportunity with Michael Ball & Alfie Boe
Autograph opportunity
Michael Ball & Alfie Boe tour programme
Commemorative concert laminate and lanyard
Exclusive Michael Ball & Alfie Boe tour gift created for package purchasers
Designated check-in with our on-site event staff

On stage was and the superb voices of West End music theatre STAR, Michael Ball along with the fabulous classically trained Alfie Boe as well as a fifteen piece band ( including strings and brass) and three amazing backing singers.

I am not exaggerating when I say that this was the BEST live concert I have ever experienced!

bunch