2020 Calendar of Australian Literary Events

calendarWhile there are still plenty of events on offer this year, next year’s calendar is already getting busy, and so the calendar of Australian literary events for 2020 is now online! Of particular interest is the shift of the Bendigo Writers Festival to May from August (dates to come). As always, updates, notifications and corrections are appreciated.

Walking and wordage: finale

The September challenges have ended (the official ones, anyway) and it was a case of success and not so much on the two fronts.

The good news was the successful completion of Steptember, with all team members notching up their average 10,000 steps a day – and then some! – for the 28 days as well as, thanks to a last-day act of generosity, achieving our $500 fundraising total in support of those with cerebral palsy.

The added benefit of the exercise (all the exercise!) was making me aware of how sedentary I can be when I’m not clomping to the station for work, so the plan (failed already) is to try to do at least 6000 steps a day regardless of what else is on. So I’ll keep the step counter on the phone to nudge me along.

On the other hand (foot?), the wordage for Writers Victoria’s #30kin30days never really took off, in line with expectations, but I still managed to end up with 5000-odd words on the page for Project Whimsy.

It’s formative stuff, trying to write into the time and the characters, and I’ve kept all of the prompts and exercises supplied by Writers Victoria to work through – hopefully this month.

Usually when the words aren’t flowing it means the project isn’t ready: characters aren’t realised, setting’s not solid, story isn’t geared up. A little research and more plotting and character work are called for before the fun stuff can start.

My aim would be to have a draft by the end of the year, but I’m trying to not put too much pressure on it. I also don’t have a word limit, so it can be as long as it needs to be to tell the story. Let’s see how it all goes!

 

Flowers in the footpath

Flowers in the footpath – I think there’s a message in there.

Walking and wordage: week 3

Steps achieved!

We’re entering into the home straight of the walk and words September-athons, and it’s a mixed result.

Yesterday, I notched up my steps for Steptember, as you can see by the blue circle on the screenshot. Totally worth the wet walk on the 21st to keep the count up!

The money raised is a little disappointing, though, but I’m grateful for those who were able to find the spare cash to chip in. I know there’s not a lot of coin to spare at the moment. I’m guilty of having bookmarked a couple of such campaigns to only return to find them over.

You’ll see from the screenshot that the other team members are also well situated to land their 280k of steps 🙂

If you’d like to donate to help support people with cerebral palsy, you can do so here

The wordage for Writers Victoria’s #30kin30days has, as expected, limped along.

I managed to spend the V/Line journey this week tinkering with the Whimsy Project, but it’s a mess, defying — oddly, for me — geographical setting, with characters I can’t quite get a handle on. Too soon for such an intimate character study? Maybe.

Clearly it’s not going to be the quick, short exercise I’d hoped for, but I’ll back up next month with a new writing goal being run by a friend to stop myself getting too distracted. Once I’ve got some clear air again. I think it needs a good chunk of immersion to try to get these characters talking.

Meanwhile, the D&D party have got themselves into a right old pickle. Backs literally to a wall. Much more fun scripting the campaign than bashing my head against the Whimsy’s narrative brick wall, I can assure you!

 

A damp stroll to keep the step count up on the 21st. If only all paths were so clearly lit, eh?

Farewell to Frank at Gundiah

Dad taking life in his stride at Conamore

Family and friends are invited to share in a celebration of the life of Frank Nahrung, who died on 11 July aged 82, at the Prince Alfred Hotel at Gundiah on Friday 11 October from 2pm.

Our farm, Conamore, was about 10 miles up the road from the Gundy pub, and the pub and the hall next door formed the social centre of the rural district.

As well as propping up a stool at the bar on many occasions, Dad also helped run it for a few years with his partner Eve at the helm, so it seems an appropriate place for a farewell gettogether.

There will be nibbles and a few drinks, and anyone who would like to share their respects and a yarn or two is welcome.
 

Dad, Eve and customer at the Prince Alfred Hotel, Gundiah.

Walking and wordage: week 1

Cygnets on Lake Wendouree

First week check-in for the September-athons, and it’s going … OK.

Steptember is encouraging me to get out and about, with mixed results as the weather and the V/Line intrudes.

Last Thursday was a beauty – I ended up accidentally walking around Lake Wendouree. I’d intended to just walk up to a marker and back again to stretch my legs on a glorious spring morning, but ended up doing the full circuit. Maybe it was the first of the cygnets and ducklings I saw wobbling around that spurred me to wobble on, too.

All up, so far, about 84,000 steps logged for Steptember, and the three others in the team have also been taking it in their stride 🙂

If you’d like to donate, you can do so here

The wordage for Writers Victoria’s #30kin30days has, as expected, not come close to the nominal 1000 words a day goal, although I am stacking up the daily writing prompts, which have been excellent, to work through as the month unrolls. Location, character and plot have featured so far, ideal for someone like me in the throes of working out a new story.

I’ve kicked around some scenes, mapped out a plot skeleton, started working out who the characters are, so some wheels are in motion.

I haven’t been counting words written for my D&D campaign (cleverly blogged by one of the players, which has been a valuable creative outlet this year as I work out the story and world and challenges for my players to encounter.

I’m hoping the walk to and from the station plus the commute will keep both mileage and wordage ticking over, even if not quite at optimum.

 

Walking and wordage for spring challenges

In September, I’ve got two -thons happening: one charitable, one creative.

The first is Steptember (thanks, Ellen, for inviting me to the team), raising money to help people with cerebral palsy.

It kicks off on 3 September, with a goal of taking 10,000 steps a day till the end of the month. The daily average is 3000, we’re told. A trial run yesterday revealed some disparity in our pedometers, but what the hey. It gets me out of the chair and maybe does someone else some good, too.

If you’d like to donate, you can do so here

The other distance effort for the month is Writers Victoria’s #30kin30days program, which, as the name applies, set a goal of 1000 words a day for 30 days.

I’ve written bugger all this year, just a few bits of flash fiction since the PhD was signed, sealed and delivered, so I thought this might be a good way to jar the creative synapses out of their stupor.

I’ve chosen a project that’s been hanging around for a very long indeed, and while I’m not expecting to roll 1k a day, I will be very happy to have a solid outline and some scenes drafted by the end of the month.

The program started on 1 September, with a prompt to work out WHEN the story is set. Excellent, I had that in my head, but the prompt called for a room description to conjure the era, and that led to a short scene (250 words on the V/Line; hello again, my office between offices!).

You can join in or follow along on Twitter.

2 September’s prompt was to make a list of 10 locations and then go to town fleshing out one of them. Well, I have a road map for my story, so I’m going to see how I go at selecting key locations and working up their significant details, including smells and time of year (thanks, prompt!), over the next couple of days.

 

Reading the Lifeline at Words in Winter

If all the world’s a stage, then we’re breaking down the big show into bite-sized acts. Five-minute acts, in fact, each one themed on a decade in a lifetime.

I’m joining four fellow Ballaratians to present Reading the Lifeline: an exquisite corpse as part of the Daylesford Words in Winter festival under the auspices of Words Out Loud.

Each of the five writers has been assigned two decades in a lifetime, round robin style, but there’s a catch – the last line of each piece must be the first line of the piece that follows, including that of the very last reading.

With Rebecca Fletcher, Kirstyn McDermott, Megan Riedl and Zoe Werner, I’ll be peeling back the layers of human life, a decade at a time, while celebrating the connections between us all.

Reading the Lifeline is on Saturday 17 August at 6pm at the Daylesford Hotel, 2 Burke Square. $5 entry. There will be chapbooks available so you can revisit the exquisite corpse ‘in the flesh’. All welcome.