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In Illustrious Company - A Reflection on Writing, Writers, Dame Edna Everage and k d lang


How do writers get the good juice? How do they overcome the fright of the virgin page?

For me, I start with images: images and the sensations that accompanied them. Add to the mix, the fascinating range of personalities, behaviours and overheard conversationsI observed in random daily moments; ephemera I captured in my every-handy, little Moleskine notebooks. After I scribble down these random images and snatches of ideas and phrases, an offbeat title will plant itself on the page next to them. Sometimes its so quirky I put it aside for a time.

My brain is a bit like one of those machines that shoots balls at tennis players, so it pays for me to let the dust settle and allow the ideas to distil for a couple of days. (What have I been doing all my life?) Miraculously, a sort of circular thing happens; a narrative emerges, born from some magical domain. Then there comes the thrill of the process itself.

To write is to surf a wave.

You turn up, turn up, turn up for the ride.

The horizon sits there

Barely breathing --

Flat, limpid, immense,

Until that moment where the wave rises,

Higher and higher skywards.

Then comes the thrill, a burst of light and air and energy

Until the inspiration flows like life-blood

Coursing through the veins, the arteries, the senses

(While you still have life) --

And each time, you ride it until its spent.

Another way around the process, is to think about my favourite writers. I call them my muses.

The writers whose images surround me above, (a bit cheeky isn't it?) give me permission to write the way I do, the way I want to. I created this multi-media series so that I could hang them on my wall above my desk, close to me, and feel encouraged and inspired to keep at it. Can you guess who they are? Well, I'll give you some clues. Each and every one of them roundly proves that ordinary lives and ordinary events are not be dismissed. Now that IS encouraging for writers-in-training!

One of these was Australian writer, Charmian Clift, who mentored (yes, mentored) the Canadian poet, Leonard Cohen on the Greek island of Hydra. Hooked by my own memories of the Greek islands, Clift lured me towards Donald Horne's incisive social commentary on 1960s Australia (see the Youtube clip below) à la Barry Humphries' Dame Edna Everage. Arriving in Australia some years later, I was stunned to find it much the same as portrayed in this video clip!

1960's Suburban Australians and their home

Then we have my English connection. Alan Bennett is reknowned for his fascinating portrayals of ordinary British women with all their idiosyncracies; the other, Laurie Lee, has immortalized English village life as it once was, and as I was privileged to experience for a brief period.

Amongst this group of muses is the Canadian author and prophet Margaret Atwood, with the blackest, sharpest wit. Further along the scale is Isabel Allende, whose often mystical pages literally burn.

Did you know them all? Hope to hear from you. I'm on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

I leave you with Dame Edna Everage interviewing Canadian k d lang --- give yourself a laugh !! (Yes, that's Ivana Trump next to her on the sofa)!

The video clip is only available by entering this link on Youtube:

Happy reading ... and writing !!! MM

COPRIGHT -- Magz Morgan 2018

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