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A Meeting of Musical Minds

29 Apr

It isn’t every day that a celebrity visits us, but very recently we had that privilege.

The lead singer and founder of Sydney’s cover band ‘The Bandits’ spent part of his afternoon in our company, discussing with lively interest the popular music of the 60’s to 80’s,  and branching off into talk of guitar accessories.

My husband Ronald Sharp, the esteemed pipe organ builder, and I have become loyal, enthusiastic fans of Paul and ‘The Bandits’. They are superb entertainers, and  we never tire of their ever-increasing repertoire. Some of our favourite tunes are  evergreens such as  ‘Love is in the Air’, ‘Pretty Woman’ and ‘La Bamba’, but, with Paul, Conrad, Gary and Warwick on the lookout for other great material, we’re often treated to new, highly danceable numbers.

Long live the great Australian band, ‘The Bandits’!

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Impressions of a Booklover

25 Apr

What books you’ve read have really left their mark: imprinted themselves on your memory?

I’m talking here about fiction, though I guess on reflection, without that qualification, this type of book is more likely to stand out anyway, due to its strong likelihood of emotional impact.

Today, I asked my husband Ron, the creator of the Sydney Opera House Grand Organ, this question. His answer: detective novels, particularly Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s  ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’, which he described as ‘terrifying’.

Looking back over my own life, my first tight connection with a character, and hence her fortunes, was  Beth March from ‘Little Women’. I guess the reason  identified with her so well because she had similar interests and characteristics to me, particularly her love of music and her perseverance.  Her life events,  particularly her misfortunes, touched me as though she were a real person, a best friend or closer.

For different reasons entirely, I remember Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’. The plot and the characters enthralled me, though the events described were more than disturbing.

The volumes of James Herriot are well imprinted on me.  Although some  stories were sad, even quite disturbing, those with ‘happy endings’ or of very humorous flavour blended together to make the entire volume an enjoyable one.

In my own writing, I empathize with Bob, the central character in ‘First Impressions’, a tale from the short story collection entitled ‘A Taste of Life and Love in Australia’. His struggle between his desire for peer acceptance goes up against an even greater goal: to find love.

I could go on and on, but I hope I’ve made my point, and have got you thinking.

What books have stuck with you for years and years?

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My 150th Post!

20 Apr

What a milestone! My 150th post!

Doesn’t seem long ago that my 100th saw the light of day, and from that, my first follower, Jennifer Avventura, came into my life. Since then, other bloggers have joined her ranks, some leaving lovely comments.

Between then and now, life has had its ups and downs.

The chief apex is, in terms of satisfaction, the publication of our sixth book, ‘Long and Short Australian Stories’, which was released last week, on the 11th April. Even the cover has special significance since my husband, Ronald Sharp B.E.M. took the beach photo that forms its basis on the eve of our wedding anniversary. A day to remember!

Another happy event came from an unexpected source: my blog found its way onto Jennifer Avventura’s list of nominees for ‘The Versatile Blogger Award’. I must admit, I’m more than a little unclear if this is an honour or not! Why is Jennifer passing it on so readily?!

The downside to our life has probably been the closure of our local river baths due to pollution, initially caused by torrential rain. Our Swimming Club cancelled all meeting from the end of February, and, with more heavy rain over the past few days, the problem seems no closer to resolution. I guess if and when it’s all fixed and clean, we’ll really appreciate it.

So, here we are on a Friday night, and I’m signing off.

150 posts down, who knows how many to go?

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‘Long and Short Australian Stories’ is Here!

17 Apr

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Our sixth volume of Short Stories, entitled ‘Long and Short Australian Stories’, is set to find its way onto bookshelves. Written by myself, Margaret Lynette Sharp, like all the others, this book is edited by my husband  Ronald Sharp B.E.M., the creator of the Grand Organ in the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House.

Set in contemporary Australia, this volume differs from the other collections of Short Stories that I have written in a couple of ways.

The first thing you’ll notice is the difference in setting out, which is aimed at making the stories even easier to read.

The second difference lies in the length and structure of the first and last stories. Each is relatively lengthy, and spans a number of years, giving greater depth to the tales.

The third difference  is that there is no link between the first and last stories: the signature of the ‘Life and Love in Australia’ series.  However, I’m hoping the quality of the work makes up for any disappointment by readers on this score.

As an Australian author, I’m proud to say that this book is listed by the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2012, and is also mentioned on the ‘Friends of the National Year of reading 2012’ page.

Just released on April 11 this year, why not be amongst the first in the world to discover this new addition to Australian contemporary literature?

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What A Day!

25 Feb

Note this date: 25th February, 2012. Today, I finished my book!

Well, not entirely….I’ve finished its first draft. Doubtless, other writers will verify that this is a major milestone.

Hooray! I didn’t run out of ideas! Wow! I stuck to the computer, despite life’s temptations!

What a relief! The hard yards are over!

All that’s left is the tinkering that turns the bare bones into a fully-formed baby, ready to make its appearance on the world literary stage!

Like its predecessors, it’s easy to comprehend, and identify with the characters and situations.

It has my own style as author, and doubtless my husband Ronald Sharp the Sydney Opera House Organ Builder will add his finishing touches as editor.

It has high hopes to live up to, and plenty of shelf-mates with identical parentage.

It has all that: and more….

What it doesn’t yet have is a name!

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Has it Been a Long Road for Me?

19 Jan

Has it been a long road for me? A fellow Australian writer asked me today.

How can I answer that?

Truth is, it’s only lately that I’m starting to get somewhere.

Consistent newspaper publication of my ‘letters to the editor’ spurred me on to writing books. Praise from my readers, mostly locals, and most of all, the enthusiasm and support of my husband Ronald Sharp, the well-respected creator of the Grand Organ in the Sydney Opera House, kept me motivated.

A number of libraries bought my books, and patrons seem keen to borrow them.

Yes, the road is long, especially when you take into account the years of formal study, the decades of observation, and the effort of  finding the courage to put my skill on the line!

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Calling all Fans of Ron Sharp!

17 Jan

Calling all fans of Ronald Sharp, the creator of the Sydney Opera House’s Grand Organ!

Are you aware that he alone edited my five published volumes, in his own distinctive way?

Speaking just a few days ago, he likened it to pauses in music, aiding in our understanding of what is happening.

Have I aroused your interest? Then, why not check out a book or two. Simply Google and type in my full name. Once you’ve found an Amazon.com site, just click to look inside. Who knows, you might even be tempted to buy!

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