I would like to introduce my first guest blogger, friend, illustrator, artist, self-described wanna-be author, and fellow writer’s group member, Ester de Boer. In her own words, she describes our first writer's group for the year.
Our little quartet is a fascinating mix of different personalities and writing styles. Verity's writing is visually beautiful and enigmatic, but beneath her characters and watercolour landscape there's a constant foreboding. Megan is our practical organisational genie- her writings are simple and quirky, connecting to real life in ways that are matter-of-fact and often comical. Jacqui is definitely the romantic of the group- the epic quest between good and evil... seductive villains and unlikely heroes - and will there also be love?.. And I'm the eternal ten year old with the toilet humour.
This week was my turn to host, so needed a place that could stir the soul... spark the imagination... raise our consciousness above the base and mundane...
So, what could be more inspiring than a barbecue beside the abandoned Red Rooster building, across from Woolies, with public toilets a stone's throw away? We slapped some snags on the barbie, pulled out the crackers and dip and (after failing to percolate coffee on an electric barbeque) grabbed some Macdonald's coffees, before pulling out our holiday writing.
Verity emailed each of us a copy of her story to read to ourselves, which is a good idea as a story definitely reads differently through different voices. Megan wrote a short story in the form of a mysterious letter found at a mysterious little door at the base of a tree, and Jacquie has designed a coat of arms bearing the insignia of the various dark realms of her villain's kingdom.
I had planned to write so much while on holiday- two hours' train to the city, one hour flight, another hour on public transport the other side... surely I should have completed at least a chapter! In reality, I ended up red-eyed and frazzled. I did, however, achieve some satisfying tweaking of the opening chapter of my novel. When I started writing Gnerk, (my first attempt since bubble skirts were stylish) I began trying to write, using every rule I had ever been taught, and the result was stiff. It's interesting to look back and and see how it has developed.
The site for our meeting seemed to complete the theme as Verity and Megan shared their experiences “people-watching” this week in Mid Valley Shopping Centre in Morwell.
Where's Morwell? Hey, if you've been here, you know that it's a prime spot for inspiration.
Tip: always take a notebook to Centrelink.
I giggled as I pictured the two of them in the food court, secret-squirrel style, scribbling down snippets of conversation, eyes darting about furtively. Though in all fairness, I have been caught practising portraiture in public (oooh- try saying that line quickly- practicing-p-p---!), betrayed by my bad habit of mimicking the subject's facial expression. Their observations, however, were quite interesting. Bland conversations loaded with subtext- relatives attempting to bridge relationships with teens who were playing with playdough the last time they met; replies to simple questions such as “how's your Dad?” that, in their lack of information, told a lot more than the question required. And some plain just hilarious.
I think I need to pull out my sketchbook and go shopping more often- If I can only control my face!
Ester de Boer
See some of Ester's work here.
On my blog you will find:
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