The rain fell heavily during my quick dip into an event at the Woodend Winter Arts Festival. Kate Grenville, celebrated writer of The Secret River, unfortunately had to cancel her event scheduled later in the day. In the leadlight room at the Holgate Hotel however a thoroughly enlightening Q & A with Kate Larsen and Sheila Drummond gave valuable insight in to the current state of the publishing industry in Australia. Kate is a writer, poet and art manager and current Director of Writers Victoria and Sheila Drummond, of The Drummond Agency, established in 1997 is a member of the Australian Literary Agents Association (ALAA).
I happened across a monthly event called Story Door: True Tales Told Live when confirming the location for a future event I was attending. True Tales Told Live is held in the leadlight room of the Holgate Hotel in Woodend and hosted by Kate Lawrence, member of Storytelling Victoria. On the evening there is an open mic for people to tell a 5 minute tale based on the theme of the month.
I have come across a fantastic podcast for writers, So You Want To Be a Writer. Hosted by Valerie Khoo, founder and CEO of the Australian Writers Centre and Allison Tait, author of the Map Maker Chronicles series, they deliver a weekly podcast with news, tips and a weekly author interviews.
I always gain some gem of writing inspiration while listening to the podcast and the industry information is invaluable. The banter between the two is fun in amongst the professional and clear delivery. Well worth a listen if you are an emerging writer.
Another freedom drive let’s see where we end up and the girls and I have found ourselves up in amongst the clouds of Mount Alexander. It was so grand up there in that environment, engulfed in cloud, the silence and natural rock and landscape made it feel like we were in a movie, like something supernatural – it was definitely super nature in any case.
Do you remember your favourite book when you were a teenager? Mine was the dark and haunting tale, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, her one and only published book. I read the book in one night and hugged my English Literature teacher for selecting it as the set text the next day because I loved it so much.
This weekend, in one of our let’s just drive somewhere freedom moments, the girls and I happened across Lavendula Swiss Italian Farm, just north of Daylesford. It was blissful. We had plenty of space and opportunity for photos among the colourful leaves of Autumn and fell in love with the resident pig. We had lavender cupcakes and scones, hot chocolates and coffee at the gorgeous café on site. I have visions of coming here in the Spring and spending a whole day meditating and writing. I absolutely adored it.
Deciding I needed original photos for my website and course project, I enlisted the help of some cheap models [my children] and tried a few things out. Grabbing knick knacks from around the house [yes I have a big red apple, doesn’t everyone have one?], covering up books in an attempt to remain generic and popping down to the park. It was all a bit of fun, I love my banner photos and the images on my course project got a thumbs up. Gallery below...
When I signed up for a writing course this year I was given a list of over 30 set text to read with even more as recommended reading. Most of these books I would never have read if given a choice. Some I thought were ok, some I thought were terrible and at least one I threw across the room, willing to burn the thing and condemn it to hell. But amongst this list was one that I would not have picked off the shelf but I was so grateful I was forced to.
When I was 16, many moons ago, I had taken to reading biographies. I had become fascinated about how people had chosen to move about the world and journey their lives. Having handed back the last book to the school library, my mother seeing me at a loss for reading material told me there was a biography in her bookshelf. In amongst the Mills and Boon romances with couples embracing on the covers and the Jackie Collins books with their evocative titles and saucy script was a biography on Marilyn Monroe.
Kylie Parkinson is a writer, a reader and a daydream believer.