tours & gigs
WAGGA LAUNCH – Monday, 9 November
Success! (See previous post.)
REMEMBRANCE VILLAGE – Wagga Wagga – Thursday, 12 November, 10.00 am:
RV is a retirement home run by the RSL and situated behind The Haven in Bourke Street. Ros Brown gathered up ten or so residents to hear me talk about the book. This was wildly different to the launch, and to every other reading on the trip. Some couldn’t hear well, others couldn’t see well, and couldn’t remember too well. But we enjoyed ourselves all the same. Without exception they could recall events from WWII. There was much nodding and the occasional question. read more …
These are the upcoming dates for Tasmanian readings from The Kapooka Tragedy: remembering 21 May 1945: read more …
Here they are – aren’t they looking lovely?
All dressed up by Maris Herr of Textiles Anyone (many thanks) and ready for their coming out in Wagga on 9 November. read more …
Two friends from my days of the classroom have created TasRes Art and Technology which, in their words:
offers a unique residential retreat on Tasmania’s beautiful North West coast for artists, writers, journalists, art curators, researchers, digital film makers, photographers, textile artists, dancers and educators who want to improve their digital design skills to promote their own work and learn how to incorporate cutting-edge digital technology into their art. (http://tasres.com)
They invited me to talk at their first weekend residency in Stanley. I was to be the self-published writer exhibit, dispensing wisdom from my hard-won experience, or something of that ilk. So long as they didn’t mind there being more experience than wisdom, I was game.
That was two months ago. There was still the caveat, ‘if we get the numbers’. They got the numbers. I didn’t start to get nervous until this afternoon, but nervous I was. Thankfully, the final hours of the First Test against India in Adelaide kept my mind off my own butterflies.
Stanley is a special place, a great situation for a weekend like this. As writers, they were a diverse group. I was relieved that the topic was my experience of self-publishing, not writing historical fiction. Time evaporated and we were soon off to dinner where the conversations continued.
What I did not get to say …
- Rejection is a bit of badge of honour among writers, and artists generally. There is a saying that you can’t count yourself a real writer until you’ve collected 29 rejection slips. In this day and age of not-so-mannered rejection, I reckon Enduring Silence counts for two slips.
In May I travelled up to the Riverina for the Kapooka Tragedy memorial service on 21 May. This is the subject of the current project which has overlapped The Bracelet by some years. It is called a tragedy because of the loss of life – 26 men – and because, in the opinion of some, it was an accident – avoidable but waiting to happen. It had a profound effect on the population of Wagga; shops closed for the funeral and half of its population turned out to line the streets as the Army trucks carrying the coffins drove slowly through on their way out to the military cemetery.
I lived in Wagga for nearly thirty years and knew nothing of this until the months before we left for Tasmania. As much as the tragedy itself, this caught my attention. How did this happen? Ask Mr Google about Australian disasters and this one will appear high up on the list. Also there will be a bus crash, also during WWII, down near Albury in which 24 uniformed personnel were killed on their tripin to Albury for a night out from the camp at Bonegilla, killed in the blackout.
So I have been returning to Kapooka for the last three years for the ceremony. The book is almost complete; the publishing fun is about to begin. read more …