Archive | January, 2012

Happy 13th!

13 Jan

Some say the number 13 is unlucky, and Friday the 13th is especially seen in a superstitious light.  But, fingers crossed, this Friday the thirteenth is panning out quite well, as has previous thirteenths, be them Monday, Tuesday or whatever.

A friend…dare I say fan? of mine asked me to sign some copies of ’25 Stories of Life and Love in Australia’ that she planned to give as belated Christmas gifts.

Show me an author who doesn’t enjoy autographing their work! And especially, when it comes with positive feedback about the volume!

She told me of her enthralling interest in ‘A Question of Trust’, one of the earliest stories in the series: that it seized her imagination as she wondered which way the heroine, Alison, would go in her relationship with new partner Roger. She even suggested that it would make a television drama.

Carrying these gratifying notions home with me, I re-read the story and investigated its history in the creative sequence.

Turns out it was the first story I wrote and included in the series, and it came into being, you guessed it, on the 13th!

Yes, the thirteenth of October, 2010 was indeed an auspicious day, when my new career, new venture, as an author of books really started to evolve!

Happy 13!

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Simplicity: That’s My Style

12 Jan

‘You are your style’, or so they said, way back when I studied writing. So, how do I see my own style?

Simplicity!

And, it seems others share my view. For better or worse, I aim to write clearly, and for the enjoyment of readers. Sure, there are plenty of literary buffs who just love to mull over hidden meanings, and smile upon innovations that dismiss punctuation, or require immense concentration and effort to decipher and interpret. Very likely, these readers would reject my style as pared down and basic.

Still, others who appreciate ease of reading, which goes hand in hand with comprehension, may well enjoy my volumes of Australian Short Stories. Not to mention my most recent volume, ’60 Questions, Insights and Reminiscences’: the quickest and easiest to digest of all my offerings.

Here’s to 2012: the Year of Simplicity!?

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My Book and Me: At a Library

9 Jan

Margaret with her third book of Australian Short Stories

Whether mundane or exhilarating, life’s events come and go. Not surprisingly, first-time experiences seem to linger in our memory, especially those with happy associations.

As I stood today in a local library, gazing at my third book, ‘The Essence of Life and Love in Australia’, on display amidst a wealth of literature, I felt the strangest sense of amazement.

A mere eighteen months ago, the idea of having a book published seemed almost ethereal. Sure, I’d studied writing, way back when I was in my twenties and thirties. And yes, our local paper consistently published my letters. But books were something else, something permanent, almost reverent.

So, looking back, if anyone had said that, by now, I’d have five volumes in print, and that most of these would have found their way onto library shelves, I’d have scoffed incredulously. And yet, that’s exactly what’s happened.

The moral?

You never know what you can do, unless you try!

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The Mystery of Time

6 Jan

Recent events have sharpened my appreciation of the differences we gauge in our estimation of the passage of time.

I guess most of us have noticed how time flies when we’re running late, or having a good time.

Often, when the status quo of our lifestyle reigns, time seems to slip past, sometimes with little or no appreciation that it is going by. Does this mean that normality tends to make the passage of time less significant?

On the other hand, when trouble’s afoot, don’t we perceive time as dragging? Does a few hours of anxiety feel more like a week, as we long for life to take a turn for the better; for our worries to melt away?

Does looking back make time seem greater? Does it all depend on the scenario?

Whatever conclusions we draw, do we all see the inconsistencies in our appreciation of the  passage of the increments of time?

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Am I Crazy, or Just Determined?

6 Jan

Today I swam eight hundred metres. Nothing unusual; yesterday I ploughed through a kilometre. The difference was, however, in the conditions.

Yesterday was a normal summer day: warm temperatures, little or no breeze. Overall, inviting for water sports. Today, however, was a different kettle of fish.

The southerly wind blew, gusting stronger at its whim. The sky was grey: the swimmers few and far between.

Alone, I ventured in. Thankfully, the water was warm, around twenty-four degrees Celsius. Yes, it was choppy, but I saw that rather as a challenge, instead of an excuse to stay dry. And it was exhilarating! I felt really alive at the end of it!

And, later, when another swimmer braved it, how proud was I when he chickened out after a mere three hundred metres!

Score a point for us females!

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Live and Let Live!

5 Jan

Do you have a motto, a code of ethics that describes your philosophy?

I pondered this question today, and  concluded the following.

Yes!

It’s ‘Live and Let Live!’

With few exceptions, I go out of my way to preserve life. No, I’m not a vegetarian, though in theory at least I agree with them.

If I see an insect on the ground, I carefully step over it, not wantonly squash it like some with totally opposite ideals.  Likewise, if an insect is swimming  frantically in the local baths, who is renowned for gently fishing it out on the back of a leaf? Yep, yours truly!

Spiders, wasps, you name it: I just let it be. With two exceptions.

(a) Fleas

(b) Mosquitoes.

Somehow, the trouble they cause dissolves my strongly-held principles, and I relinquish my qualms without even a pang of conscience!

Ah, well. That’s human nature, I guess!

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