All posts tagged: writing

Final Part Three of my short story ‘Earth’

Weekend reading? Part One and Part Two just a click away (500 words each). And here’s the third and final, based in Kakadu after my recent incredible off-track bush adventure: Their palms scraped skin across branches and boulders as they launched into the dark ravine. Down, down, down they slithered, heaving their bags ahead of them, legs protesting at the speed and brutality of the descent. A spiky pandanus drew blood across Kelly’s cheek, and Sam’s ankle twisted hard in the scrabbling, but at last they burst through the scrub to touch the smooth rock edges of the river again. Kelly’s whole body trembled as she stripped naked and jumped into the creek, gulping mouthfuls of water as she cooled down and almost cried with relief. ‘This is better than any Christmas ever, even as a kid,’ she yelled. Sam paused, then went on ahead to check the way forward, barely stopping to refill her bottle and guzzle. She returned with heavy steps. ‘I don’t wanna say this, but there’s another overhang coming up, so we …

Here’s Part Two of shortlisted story ‘Earth’

But did you miss Part One?? Don’t do that! It’s HERE Part Two: … Then Sam stopped, hands on hips, and squinted into the distance. ‘Shit, I don’t think we can get through along here after all. Let me look at the map and compass again.’ She frowned at the contour lines on the creased page, telling her a story of steep cliffs and gullies, without revealing the safest route. ‘Sorry honey, but the only way we’ll get past that massive overhang is to tackle the stone country along the top of the ridge. It’s a bit like a jigsaw puzzle up there, which you can never solve. Brace yourself.’ Kelly clenched her jaw for a second. ‘I never knew off-track walking was quite this tough,’ she admitted. ‘Especially for old ladies like us.’ Sam smiled at the familiar joke, but her forehead worried, as they tightened waist straps and headed away from the water without looking back. Within thirty minutes, thighs screamed with lactic acid as they scrambled over boulders and fallen tree branches, …

My story got shortlisted! Here’s Part One

Wait, I’m not going to launch straight into the story; I want to say Hi first, and set the scene. Remember that 4-day off-track bushwalk in Kakadu I survived? While there, I was struck with inspiration to write about the adventure, and scribbled sentences into my tiny notebook one dreadful evening while being attacked by mosquitos (the only time we were hassled). I sat down 2 months later to draft 500 words at least, for a short story competition with looming deadline (I can only work under pressure it seems). Again I was grabbed by the muse, and spent all day pouring 1500+ words around the competition theme ‘Earth’ onto my computer (such a good feeling). Edit, edit, exaggerate, edit etc, and voila: ready just in time. Weeks passed with no word, so I assumed I’d slipped into the discard pile… then last week got an email to say I was shortlisted (another really good feeling). Alas, I heard on the weekend that I didn’t win, but I don’t really care. I don’t care because …

Swim underwater with Australia’s Tim Winton in movie ‘Breath’

Two nights ago I submerged myself in a 2-hour film called ‘Breath.’ Based on the novel of the same name by Tim Winton, with his contributions to the screenplay, and voice-over narration, it washed through me so deeply that I didn’t even want to keep talking over coffee afterwards, but went home to float through the ongoing swell of watery images and sensations. My movie buddy asked me to articulate what I got from it, and I tried to sum it up in 3 main ways: An immersion in the uniquely-Australian, beachside surf culture of the 1970s (which I didn’t live), but which ’17’s’ Dad did, and to an extent ’17’ still does A reflection in the capacity to ‘lose oneself’ in one’s passion, as I feel when I dance, and yet also being more at one with yourself than at any other time. Also, seeing the  stunning natural landscape- it’s set in Western Australia- and hearing the torrential downpours of a typical summer The crafting of the characters, where a simple sentence showed so …

Teenage Tuesday: ‘I see you did a Teenage Tuesday post…’

Me *spluttering defensively: Where did you see that? Him: It doesn’t matter does it? Fact is, I saw it. Me *squirming uncomfortably: Yes, but- but- I didn’t write about anything you actually said… Him *staring at me firmly: True, you didn’t. Me *blushing guiltily, awaiting my punishment. Him *after a VERY long pause: It was funny actually. Your writing was good. I enjoyed it. Well done Mum.   [The post in question is HERE. ]  

“Imperfect paradise”- a random re-blog

Originally posted on TheFeatheredSleep:
Today baby, everyone is pert and beautiful Photoshopped at perfect angle Swollen lips, weak jaw, 2000 friends with guitars Can’t keep up, even if I were two and twenty Better my generation-X lost our film Before developing Didn’t keep a record, of that mistake, or this bad day We pretend and forget, imprecision a comfort blanket Not wanting to keep in touch, why force natural closure with technology? We lost your digits and never knew your surname A blurry mystery of poor memories Was it that candlelit poet’s bar now closed? No proof, no evidence, if a tree falls, does anyone know, if it’s not on Instagram? I liked your home dyed hair, we shared night under looming sky in damp sleeping bag You fucked my ideals of love when you slept with her Sent me on my way with a trash bag of belongings A dead squirrel slothing skin, lay ackwardly beneath your window Its stink remaining when I was gone Rumor had it you used her hose as contraceptive…

There’s no such place as ‘Away’

I went for a walk this morning on a local beach near Byron Bay; the tide was super high, as there’s a storm sitting off the East coast, so the waves were frothing and pounding. Without searching for them, I picked up these pieces of plastic directly in my path- the red one is a balloon. I always collect rubbish, and have written about it before HERE, including my top 3 tips for reducing plastic consumption. A couple of days ago, I watched a pelican swooping down to the same sand; I dread thinking about plastic shards in its belly. A friend summed it up terrifyingly: there’s no such place as ‘Away’. No plastic we use just disappears… it takes generations of time. So carry your own takeaway coffee cup: Australia uses over 1 billion a year. Americans throw away 25 billion styrofoam coffee cups every year, and 2.5 million plastic beverage bottles every hour. – Carry Your Cup website I simply want ’17’ to be able to walk on a beach NOT covered in plastic, with his grandchildren… Please …

Random/Reblog Thursday: I stand with her #guncontrol

America has just had its 29th mass shooting this year. There have been 45 days so far in 2018. What the hell are you all doing over there? This is a great and visceral response to it which I had to share, and stand beside her in her distress. Please visit. In gratitude for gun control in Australia, G xO  I try to write carefully on this blog. I try to be thoughtful, to be careful of what I say and how I say it. I try not to be awful. But I have learned a terrible, terrible truth today, and this post will focus on that fact. I am afraid that my words will […] via My Terrible Truth — Empty Nest, Full Life

Day 5, 6, and 7 of Eco Village Intensive: my brain is fried sorry, I can’t do it yet

6.30 am now in Australia. This morning is Day Seven: a walk on the actual land, meeting under the giant fig tree. Last night was the Farewell Talent Night- not because we’re losing our talents, but because the Intensive is finishing. Seven days, 9-5, plus nightly optional activities… plus our real lives/work/families/blogs etc on top of that. MY BRAIN IS FRIED. And yes, I’m shouting a little bit there. So I’m pausing for a couple of days to recalibrate, then will write about the remaining days. Because, of course, The Blog Must Go On. But not at the expense of my sanity, which I’m sure you support. In gratitude for the Pause Button when I need it, and much love, G xO 

Fiction Friday: Full long version of short story “Roadside”

  Hello All- I’m posting this Australian fiction short story in its entirety, so feel free to skip this post if that’s not yer thing obviously. Make a cuppa and spend five minutes with Lucy and Eris, as several readers commented that they’d prefer a longer read, to sink into it, so I decided to post the full story. This piece won tiny accolades in several small writing competitions here, although it’s a few years old now. I hope you enjoy it, and thanks so much for reading. In gratitude for words, G xO    “Roadside”- (c) bone&silver 2018 Lucy’s silver waterfall hair tilts when she moves. The tiny peace badge on her jumper glints. She leans like a rusty hinge to stroke the cat, book forgotten. Elegant fingers smooth the purring animal. She always wears gloves when gardening, and marinates in moisturiser every night. Like Cleopatra, she wishes she could bathe in milk. She knows she looks good for her age, but still bristles against seeming ‘invisible’ to anyone under thirty. She can remember …