Do you need a pop of colour in your life? Does your creative energy energy need a boost? Do you need inspiration? Or want to talk to like minded creatives? Well the Margaret River Region Open Studios is for you (28 April – 13 May 2018). The artists are generous with their time and their conversation – happy to talk creative process.
Today I visited four studios/galleries and talked about the use of leather and gold leaf in Molly Coy’s work, talked about the inspiration a historical, photographic crime journal, provided to artist Deanne Haddow, discussed process, acrylic pours, special ingredients, peacocks and then had a little card reading (Affirmation Goddess Oracle cards) with Anita Revel and if that wasn’t enough art and art talk for one day, I finished the tour with a browse of the Margaret River Gallery – such a great variety of styles, modern and traditional here. There is something for everyone to enjoy at the Margaret River Region Open Studios – one hundred and thirty artists open their doors to the public – what a great idea!
Tomorrow is a new day – and more studios to visit!
Recently we hosted a couple of young travelers in our home for a labour exchange – have you heard of Helpx.net ? A great way to meet new people, learn about other cultures and get some jobs around the home done too. This time around we say thank you Jessie and Scotty (and Adele and Kendal who also stayed briefly with us).
We have Scotty and Jessie to thank for this wonderful drone image of our house and garden.
Scott’s amazing art and photography can be viewed here: http://scottdenholm.com/
To learn a little more about Jessie (and see more shots of our garden/home) and read about the helpx experience first hand- check out this blog post http://theycalleditparadise.com/blog/helpx-travel-affordable-experience-culture-meet-lovely-locals/ Thanks Jessie.
It was lovely to meet you both.
Some of you may have noticed my recent lack of presence. It has been a particularly difficult few months for our family dealing with 4 deaths in a matter of weeks. I have taken a few months break from reading and reviewing, I just haven’t been able to concentrate. But I will be back…I think.
At the moment we are on short caravaning holiday – a time to refresh and regroup.
What a difference a day makes- The Porongurup Range – Great Southern Region of Western Australia.
Big thanks to Brenda for providing content to keep the blog running.
The talented and generous Rachel Amphlett has offered 3 readers of my blog a chance to win an ebook (Kindle or ePub) copy of her latest release Call to Arms – which is book five in her Kay Hunter series. Check out Brenda’s 5star review of Call to Arms here: https://wp.me/p3aMo4-39H
To enter, simply pop over to Rachel’s website www.rachelamphlett.com and check out the Kay Hunter Series page and in the comments section of this post identify another title in the Kay Hunter series. Easy isnt it?
This giveaway will be open until the 16th of April 2018. Good luck.
***Pam, Anne and Lesley – congratulations you are the lucky winners. I have emailed Rachel your contact details. Let me know via a comment on this page how you enjoyed the book. ***
Welcome Alicia Gilmore to my blog. I recently asked Alicia to talk about how she came to write her amazing novel Path to the Night Sea – here is what she shared with me.
On writing Path to the Night Sea
Path to the Night Sea started as a short story in a fiction class with Sue Woolfe. Sue had given the class a selection of photographs and objects to spark our creativity and give us a physical stimulus to write a short fragment. I remember a small glass perfume bottle and a photograph caught my attention. The photo featured a woman in profile, seated at a piano, her hands poised to strike the keys. There was a cat sitting on top of the piano, and I wondered if these were the two most important things in her life – music and her pet. I started to write about this woman who would sit and play, not looking out of the curtained window, but indoors with her cat. Her face in profile, her ‘good side’… The perfume bottle that perhaps had belonged to a woman who would never get old. A bottle that held scented memories… Ideas and elements came together and what is now a lot of Day One in the novel formed the original short story. Sue read the story, said I had written the start of a wonderful novel and she had to know what happened to Ellie. I realised so I wanted to know too.
The story became darker the more I delved into Ellie’s world. Seven days seemed the fitting structure for Ellie to be introduced to the reader and for her to seek her path, tying in with the religious dogma she’d heard from her Grandmother and Father. Listening to music by Nick Cave and Johnny Cash helped me establish the mood at times and gave me the impetus to embrace the flaws and the darkness within my characters, especially Arthur. When I was writing the first drafts, I was living near the beach and the waves, particularly during storms, formed a natural soundtrack. If I peered out from my desk, I could catch glimpses of the ocean. By the time editing was underway, I had moved to a house that backed onto the bush and had inherited a cat. Listening to the raucous native birds, possums scurrying up trees and across the roof at night, dealing with the odd snake and lizards, plus watching the cat, heightened those natural elements of the story.
I was concerned about and for my characters. I needed to ensure that Arthur in particular had moments, however fleeting, when he was ‘human’, and that Ellie, despite her circumstances, not be passive. Ellie had to find the courage to fight for herself or remain lost to the world forever. I found myself going off in tangents in early drafts with minor characters and subplots but judicious readers and editing brought the focus back to Ellie and Arthur, and the confines of restricted world they inhabit.
I had thought of letting Ellie go one morning years ago when I woke up and heard the news about Elizabeth Fritzl kidnapped and abused by her father. In my drowsy state listening to the radio, the reality of her situation came crashing in and I wanted to put my humble writings aside. What was fictional pain in the face of such devastating reality? As the recent shocking events in California this week have shown – thirteen children being trapped and chained at home by their parents – a nondescript house on the street can hide the most unimaginable terrors. Path to the Night Sea is my way of using language to explore familial dysfunction, small town horror, and ultimately, hope.
The past few weeks I have been very lucky to be able to participate in a couple of cooking classes – one provided by a local resident (who makes authentic Vietnamese cuisine) and one impromptu lesson by a visitor (Indian cuisine) and then I have been making preserves, jams and pickles. You know what they say, “make preserves whilst the garden provides.” And you have wondered why I haven’t posted any book reviews of late 🙂