Tag Archives: Laura Jean McKay

The New South Wales Writers’ Centre Stick ( AKA #nswwcStick ): #Robinpedia

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The New South Wales Writers Centre Stick, affectionately dubbed #nswwcStick, also known as the Calliope Stick, was gifted upon the New South Wales Writers’ Centre by the great muse Calliope on the 13th of July 2016. Calliope is the chief of all muses and presides over epic poetry. The stick was discovered at the foot of the Centre by Bridget Lutherborrow.

The New South Wales Writers’ Centre was ecstatic to receive the gift after the muses fled the centre when Laura Jean McKay annouced that they didn’t exist at the Emerging Writers’ Festival Roadshow in the November of 2014. The muses took the news that they weren’t real quite badly and refused to speak to anyone in Sydney until the fateful day of July 13 2016 when they did leave the sacred stick.

The celebrations of the Calliope Stick were heralded in song and on twitter. #nswwcStick started to trend after post-literary-automoton Mal Neil asked for there to be a hashtag. Writer/editor/proofreader Alan Vaarwerk felt that the New South Writers’ Centre should become “all about the stick.” Whereas writer and sneezer Patrick Lenton wanted to explore the philosophical ramifications of the stick.

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Unfortunately all this stimulation was cut short when the stick went missing. Nobody knows exactly when it happened or how but there have been several theories. The two most credible theories are:

1) A rival writers’ centre, jealous of the favour shown and the inspiration received, did set out and steal the holy stick.

2) The stick had been known for throwing parties and inviting friends over. It is thought that a staff member got tired of the mess and cast the stick out into the void.

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However, as no witnesses have come forward it is all just pure speculation. But for a time we lived and breathed from the Calliope Stick. And it was great.

At some point, someone did attempt to pass off an imitation stick as THE Stick, but nobody was fooled.

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For more information on #Robinpedia click here.

If you know more information that could help improve this entry please leave it in the comment section on this entry.

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“All I Want For Christmas Is You” … and books, mainly books

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Trust me, he wanted a book not that sweater.

Have you left Christmas shopping until December? Have you just realised that stores are now zoos full of rabid animals? Never fear, I can and will help you… well,  not so much me as books. Books can and will solve your problems. So here are my Christmas recommendations for those of you without the time to think.

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Where Do You Hide Two Elephants? by Emily Rodda. Ridiculously cute picture book.

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The Red Wind by Isobelle Carmody. For the lover of fantasy. Added bonus, yes it is a series. We fantasy geeks love a good series.

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Impossible Quest Series by Kate Forsyth. The first two books are already out. Get into them before they blow out Harry Potter style. Fantastic kids series.

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The Protected by Claire Zorn. Incredibly moving YA novel about grief, resilience… I actually have to stop writing about this novel now because I’m tearing up just thinking about it. It’s powerful stuff. I’ll leave it at that.

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The Fictional Woman by Tara Moss. Non Fiction exploration of stereotypes and beliefs thrust upon women/Tara Moss. That description does not do it justice at all. Captivating read. Just go out and get it for any and all women you know.

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Under Siege by Belinda Neil. A memoir about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It rings true for a lot of mental illnesses though, such as depression and anxiety,  not only PTSD, so is highly accessible.

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Holiday in Cambodia by Laura Jean McKay. For you travel bug friend. Get Destination Cambodia by Walter Mason as a companion piece. Your friend will love you forever. I’m trying not to literally laugh out loud remembering the “dangerously jolly” scene in Destination Cambodia.

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The Black Dress by Pamela Freeman. Get it for the woman who wants to read about strong women and also anyone with an interest in religious history. A truly excellent read about Mary MacKillop.

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Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. Yes, you can believe the hype. Buy it for yourself for Christmas.

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The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. For your historical fiction loving friends who enjoy some romance.

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The Nightingale by Fiona McIntosh. Another beautiful romantic historical fiction novel.

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Fishing for Tigers by Emily Maguire. For the Literary snob who secretly likes it a bit sexy. In other words,  exceptionally well written but they get down to business.

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Avoiding Mr Right by Anita Heiss. For the woman who likes the idea of chick lit but needs something with a bit more depth.

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Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan. Styled as young adult but so brilliant. Honestly,  it’s for any adult, young or old, human or seal. A beautiful take on the Selkie myth.

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Blood and Circuses by Kerry Greenwood. Love a light murder mystery and the cover is very cool. Seriously, I know you can’t judge a book by its cover but… well… we do.

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Animal People by Charlotte Wood. Slightly traumatising but oh so good. For your friend who likes a bit of real life grit.

Okay Christmas peoples,  go forth and part with your cash. Probably online, so you can avoid the people. Mwah.

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Emerging Writers’ Festival Roadshow: #NSWWC #ewfsyd

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Yesterday New South Wales Writers Centre hosted the Emerging Writers’ Festival Roadshow. A day of all things writing and emerging. Walter Mason instructed us to let out our inner fanboy/fangirl, Robert Watkins introduced a new level of clashing patterns with a sublime ensemble of a forest print shirt with a striped bow tie,  and Benjamin Law created a sense of excitement about accountancy and taxation. But I think the main emergence, apart from writerly stuff, was the emergence of fear…. as we lined up on the hill of death there were several near accidents. I nearly toppled into Walter Mason,  I’m sure he would have been impressed that I’d taken his advice on being a fan so seriously that I literally threw myself at him, Claire Zorn nearly fell into me, as a fan I told her it would be my honour to catch her if need be and then Robyn Ridgeway almost came toppling down and I got to assist her down the hill. All in all very exciting stuff.

Now I don’t want to give away too much of the content of the day, because then those who didn’t attend would have no burning desire to attend other festivals because they could get it all in the comfort of their own computers,  and I like meeting fellow fledgling writers so I selfishly refuse to give it all away. But I know if you’re reading this you want to know more than just how we all nearly experienced death by desire for burritos. So I will compromise with you, I’ll give you a few highlights from the 5 x 5 Rules of Writing seminar,  the very first talk of the day but that’s it. If you want to know more you’ll have to check out my twitter feed @RobinRiedstra.

Tom Doig (AKA- The Most Writiest of Writers)
1. Seek out books that move you and then reread them again and again until you can imagine yourself doing it.
2. Write what you know unless you know nothing… then you should probably go learn something.
3. Work harder than you think you can, then work even harder.

Delia Falconer (AKA Zen Writer)
1. Don’t get too stressed, it’s just a story.
2. Break your work into doable parts.
3. Play to your strengths.

Benjamin Law (AKA Business Time)
1. Writing works your brain really hard, so make sure you also work your body really hard to let your brain go dead every now and then.
2. Get a good accountant.
3. Marking on your calendar daily ‘write big thing’ is not the same as planning.

Laura Jean McKay (AKA The Muse Killer)
1. Don’t wait for a muse to inspire you because she’s not real.
2. Write first, talk later.
3. Your first ten years are your apprenticeship.

Walter Mason (AKA Mr Charisma)
1. Be terribly nice to people.
2. Be enthusiastic.
3. Entertain new ideas because YOU CAN DO ANYTHING!

Now you might notice that the talk is 5×5 and wouldn’t that indicate five points. How very astute,  but I’m not that type of blogger, I won’t just give it all away. I’m a lady blogger, sniff. So please, next time there is a festival at New South Wales Writers Centre,  do come along,  all us aspiring authors are terribly nice and would love to meet you. You are not alone.