My family and I took a quick day trip up to Noosa yesterday to catch up with some of our holidaying Kiwi friends. The place was packed but we had a great time checking out the beach, the surf club and the farmers’ market with them.
A cold virus descended mid-week, plaguing me with both a high temperature and a feeling of dread. There was no way in hell I was missing the Brisbane Writers Festival on Saturday! To make absolutely sure nothing was going to stand in my way, and to safe guard colleagues from the worst of my germs, of course, I tucked myself into bed for a day of complete rest on Thursday and again after my half-day at work on Friday. By Saturday morning, the danger of coughing up an actual lung had subsided and I armed myself with paracetamol, swathes of tissues and a large bottle of water. My friend, Louise, who is just as excited about books and hanging out in libraries also came along to listen to authors discuss the creative processes behind their words.
Back in April, I wrote about throwing literary seeds to the wind in the hope a few might germinate into something fruitful. This month I am excited to share that Quadrant Magazine, Australia’s ‘longest running literary journal’ (since 1956), has published my 3000 word story ‘Indicate, Mate’. While the magazine is available to over 6000 annual print subscribers, the website also receives around 1 million hits a year. I am absolutely thrilled to receive this opportunity to be so widely distributed. Quadrant also has an app and in the last week of each month readers can download single copies of current and past issues for about the same price as a cup of coffee.
This year I have set myself a challenge to write in whichever genre I am teaching at the time. If the class is studying the elements of narrative then I create short stories (my favourite). This term has been particularly challenging though because… well… it’s all about poetry. From experience this seems to be the hardest topic to sell, even more so than analytical expositions!
Because a tantalising hook is important, I begin this unit by sharing an anecdote about the time I signed up to a course at university titled ‘Romantic and Victorian Literature’. Arriving at the first lecture, I found to my dismay Frankenstein and Dracula were not going to be making an appearance. Instead, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and his ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ were the guests of honour. Talk about hanging an albatross around my neck! Meanwhile, William Wordsworth waxed lyrical about daffodils and ambling around Tintern Abbey.