Outback Writer

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Spooky happenings at The Spooky competition

The Richmond Writers' Circle annual spooky competition was named after Heather Vineham, an old member who died and left a legacy to the writers circle. She used to write spine-chilling stories and the award was set up in her memory. Another interesting aspect about Heather was that during WW II she worked at Bletchley Park on Enigma.
This year the competition was won by Gerry Ball. The spookiest thing was that two people wrote short stories about Lilith, who I had never heard of, but, she is a threat to fertility. Spooky!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Dictator of the World

If I was the dictator of the world I would ban things and instigate others. I invite bloggers to help me finish my A-Z lists and challenge me. Before you go hysterical with rage, check out the list of things I would instigate. But I know that my dictatorship would not last a day, because I would be assassinated when this list was made public! If you disagree with this list, cheer up! It's never going to happen! Is it?

To Ban - Armaments, Bull fighting, Cars, Dead boundaries i.e fences, Experiments on animals, Fur coats & Hats etc, Green belt building, Hunting, Intensive farming & fishing, Junk food, Loud music, Muzak, Night clubs, Pesticides, Refined food, Seal culls, Twenty-four hour TV, Veal, Whaling, Xmas advertising (commercial).

To Instigate - Bicycles, Crop rotation, Experiments on serial killers, Free-range farming, Government controlled and registered brothels, Hard labour prisons for the worst criminals (eg serial killers and multiple rapists), Live boundaries (hedges of yew, box, privet and hazel), Music lessons for all children, Nationalization of all transport and utilities, Organic farming & pest control, Rod & line fishing, Single currency, Trams & trains, Unrefined food, Vegetarian ethics, Xmas advertising must spread the real meaning of the festival not the commercial side.

To explain. The ban on some things, eg armaments, would be immediate. The ban on cars would have a 5 year running down period to allow manufacturers to plan a new industry eg, bikes, trains and trams. Public transport would be excellent and cheap. Government registered brothels would have compulsory health checks and control the spread of VD. Prostitutes would pay tax. Vegetarian ethics means eating less meat.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

My Novels

Eumeralla is my second novel and will be published in November 2006. For more details go to this link.

This is my first novel available on Amazon, as a download version in pdf format or on CD direct from me using this link. You can also read extracts from it and see what other people have said about it using the same link.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Floods delay next thrilling episode

Flooding on the underground has delayed the members of The Richmond Writers' Circle hearing the next episode of Emma's Baby. Carla has written this crime novel with skill and leaves us all anxious to hear the next installment. But we had a good night listening to other novels by our writers.
Barry's novel set in the 50's is funny, gripping and sad. Skillfully he sometimes manages all three feelings at the same time.
Vesna is drawing us into A Woman with no Clothes on. It is a novel that publishers like, but say is too quiet. Rubbish! It would become a best seller.
The Pebble Garden, that Vera is writing, is a complex novel within a novel and also deals with it's main character's reaction to world events. It begins in 1981 on the day the engagement of Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles was announced.
Elaine's novel, Blue Green, is set in Portsmouth and is about relationships between parents and children and men and women and is always received with enthusiasm from the circle.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Jack the Ripper letters and a fossilized rat

What do the above have in common? They are both in The National Archives safe-room and were on display to staff this morning. Other items were Magna Carta, which looks as if it has been chewed by a rat, a letter from the Princess Elizabeth to her sister Queen Mary Tudor, and medieval drawings. The rat was actually found in a document by a reader, who must have found it an unwelcome extra. Another unexpected item found in a document was a loaded gun. This was brought to the counter about 8 years ago, by a startled man, and had been left in a metropolitan police file. Fortunately the reader who found it was not a madman ... what damage he could have wrought. There must be a story for crime writers here!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Another exciting night at the Richmond Writers' Circle yesterday. Our novelists are writing about a wide range of subjects that include child kidnapping, Manet, childhood in the 1950's, fantasy, family saga and deep psychological plays. At the end of the meeting we went down to The White Cross, the only decent pub left in Richmond, where we chatted in peaceful surroundings unmarred by television or banal music. We talked about Suzanne Bugler whose novel was published in the summer. It is a wonderful book that you only put down when you have to. We hope it does well.
Richard, our chairman, is modest and leads the group with tact and humour. On the rare occasions he reads, we are all riveted. Once someone said of his work, that not only was it the best thing he had ever heard read at the group, it was the best thing he had ever heard. If Richard makes it as a writer, and he should, he will be known as a writer of genius.
Perhaps one day the Richmond Writers' Circle will be as renowned as The Bloomsbury Group.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Hello - My first blogg

My name is Joanna and I live in Richmond, Surrey, UK. It's my ambition to be earn my living from my novels. To help achieve this I joined The Richmond Writers' Circle in 1997. Creativity wise it's the best thing I've ever done. Comments from the group have helped me turn mediocre scenes into powerful ones. Often it's just a matter of changing the viewpoint or setting. Capturing the attention of a publisher these days is so difficult that I self-published my first novel and have been pleasantly surprised by the enthusiastic reaction. It is called Vissi d'arte (www.vissi-d-arte.com) and is set in an opera school in Melbourne Australia. My second novel, Eumeralla, is about family secrets, tragedy and love and is set in the Australian outback - due to be published soon. The writers' circle has been a constant source of inspiration to me and many of my postings will be about them and writing.
Another source of inspiration is the National Archives where I work. Having been passionate about British History since childhood, it is a fantastic place to work and the documents held there are amazing. Just holding an ancient deed fills me with wonder.