Words Out Loud in Ballarat – August edition

words out loud in ballaratShare “the road ahead” when Words Out Loud returns to Babushka lounge in Ballarat on Thursday, August 18, 7-9pm, for its next session of spoken word.

Writers, readers, poets — all word lovin’ folks with a hankering to share the love are invited along, with five-minute open mic spots on offer. Babushka has excellent sound and backing tracks can be accommodated. You won’t find a friendlier venue.

While the theme is “the road ahead” (make of it what you will), it isn’t compulsory! Share your own work or something that has moved you, or just come to enjoy the performances and meet district writers.

Entry is free, though a gold coin donation would be appreciated for this non-profit, community event.

Keep up to date at the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/wordsoutloud/.

 

Sharing the love — little heart warmers

2016 has been a bit shit in a lot of ways, hasn’t it? Loss and meanness and downright ugliness. But, as Heart would say, or sing, rather, what about love?*

Well, recently my writerly community was gathered in Melbourne** celebrating their love of the written word, in various literary and visual forms, and my wife and I were off at the other end of Ballarat taking a quiet anniversary weekend out. Here’s a picture: let’s call it Love 1.

Worldmark Ballarat resort

If you like willows and lake reflections and red bricks against blue sky, you’ll find more pictures here.

On day 1 of the weekend, we ate dumplings at our favourite dumpling house (Fu Man Lou) and then went on a ghost tour***, the tickets for which had been given to me for my birthday. That’s love right there — a gift from someone who “gets” you. For the record, the tour started out pretty well, in a haunted Victorian-era bakery subject to flooding, but kind of went off the boil as the night wore on and the cold set it. Too much sauce, not enough substance — unlike the dumplings. Nom nom nom. Funnily enough, the site of the dumpling house was also the setting for one of the ghost stories. What the hell, Love 2.

The second night, we went to Catfish Thai. Oh my, times a bunch. Seven courses, each one delectable. We had a window seat looking over this old brick place and next to it a wall covered in winter ivy — noice. Wonderful restaurant, great service, divine tucker, with a bill best suited to special occasions. Love 3.

And then, as there are on anniversaries, wee small gifts of affection: a Plague Doctor Bird! My beloved secured this months ago, a fabulous work by KJ Bishop, a damn fine writer who also is a dab hand at gardening and sculpture. Round it out with a Batman mug: Love 4!****

Plague Doctor Bird

The weekend wasn’t entirely without its “literature”, of course. We slummed for a day and watched Anomalisa, a disappointing film from Charlie Kaufman about a dude not coping with his decisions in life and hurting everyone; the well-constructed and quite engaging, and infuriating, The Big Short; and a surprisingly entertaining Trainwreck. Claymation annoyance, effective rom com and political statement: Love 5. The wine and cheese gets the movie marathon over the line. Also, do check out a card game called Sushi Go! Great for pairs or groups, quick and easy but not without its strategy. It’s Australian, and, I’ve just found out, was the subject of an Indiegogo campaign: more love!

And, as readers of this blog might realise, I finished off that weekend by sharing that other love of mine: my vampires. But that’s enough about that.

As shit as it all gets, we’ve got nature, and art, and each other. It’s worth taking the time out sometimes to remember that. Love out.

* New album out next month! (New versions, a couple of new tunes *drums finger* still no Oz tour, but.)
** We missed youse all!
*** We did their Ararat ghost tour a few years ago and it was brilliant.
**** In return, there were poppets. We love poppets:)

Words Out Loud in Ballarat – July edition

words out loud julyWords Out Loud is striking while the iron is hot in July — it’ll be running on the SECOND Thursday, rather than the usual third.

The theme is “light it up”, and it’ll be giving ol’ midwinter a run for its chill with hot spoken word and blazing slam poetry!

Writers, readers, poets — all word lovin’ folks with a hankering to share the love are invited along, with five-minute open mic spots on offer. As always, performers are encouraged to take the theme and run with it for their 5-minute slots — or ignore it altogether!

Entry is free, though a gold coin donation would be appreciated for this non-profit, community event.

Words Out Loud will be held at the wonderfully warm and welcoming Babushka lounge in Ballarat on Thursday, July 14, 7-9pm.

Keep up to date at the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/wordsoutloud/.

Happy birthday, Kevin the vampire! Here’s a free story to celebrate with

forged in blood vampire storyTo mark the first-year anniversary of the launch of the Vampires in the Sunburnt Country duology, I thought I’d open the window to a secretive event in the life of Kevin’s nemesis, the Hunter Phillip Reece.

The story was written in 2011 as I was coming to grips with Reece’s background. The event detailed in the story, set in 1970s Brisbane, is never explained in either Blood and Dust or The Big Smoke, but is alluded to as Reece looks back at his long history with the villainous Mira.

It was a fun and effective way to explore the characters’ first meeting, even though much of the detail never made it into either book because it simply wasn’t needed. But I like to think it gave those few references emotional depth and, of course, consistency.

Find out more and read the story in PDF here

UPDATE: as of 7 July 2016, free mobi and epub versions of the story are available at the Clan Destine Press website!

Words Out Loud in Ballarat – June edition

rat reads june-web2Words Out Loud returns to Babushka lounge in Ballarat on Thursday, June 16, 7-9pm, for its next session of spoken word.

Writers, readers, poets — all word lovin’ folks with a hankering to share the love are invited along, with five-minute open mic spots on offer. Babushka has excellent sound and backing tracks can be accommodated. You won’t find a friendlier venue.

In a nod to our federal election in July, the June event has a nominal theme of “be heard”, but as always, performers are encouraged to take the theme and run with it for their 5-minute slots — or ignore it altogether!

Entry is free, though a gold coin donation would be appreciated for this non-profit, community event.

Keep up to date at the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/wordsoutloud/.

NOTE: The July Words Out Loud will be on the second Wednesday of the month due to a schedule clash — mark the calendar for July 14 (the theme, riffing off the winter dark, will be “light it up”).

Words Out Loud in Ballarat – May edition

words out loud in ballaratWords Out Loud returns to Babushka lounge in Ballarat on Thursday, May 19, 7-9pm, for its next session of spoken word.

Writers, readers, poets — all word lovin’ folks with a hankering to share the love are invited along, with five-minute open mic spots on offer. Babushka has excellent sound and backing tracks can be accommodated. You won’t find a friendlier venue.

With the Federal Budget blowing in that month, May’s theme is “fresh air”, but performers aren’t required to play to theme. Entry is free, though a gold coin donation would be appreciated for this non-profit, community event (and to show that appreciation, there’s a door prize for donors!).

Keep up to date at the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/wordsoutloud/. The June Words Out Loud will be on June 16.

Words Out Loud in Ballarat – April edition

words out loud ballartWords Out Loud returns to Babushka lounge in Ballarat on Thursday, April 21, 7-9pm, for its next session of spoken word.

Writers, readers, poets — all word lovin’ folks with a hankering to share the love are invited along, with five-minute open mic spots on offer. Babushka has excellent sound and backing tracks can be accommodated. You won’t find a friendlier venue.

In a nod to Anzac Day, the April event has a nominal theme of “over the top”, but as always, performers are encouraged to take the theme and run with it for their 5-minute slots — or ignore it altogether! Entry is free, though a gold coin donation would be appreciated for this non-profit, community event.

Keep up to date at the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/wordsoutloud/. The May Words Out Loud will be on May 19.