IN ILLUSTRIOUS COMPANY - a reflection on writing, writers, Dame Edna Everage and k d lang......


Dear Readers: Check out the hilarious video clip at the bottom!

How do writers get the good juice? How do they overcome the fright of the virgin page? Perhaps that isn't such a useful way to go...... For me, I start with images: images and the sensations that accompanied them. Add to the mix, the fascinating range of personalities and behaviours that parade before us during our life times. After that I scribble down random images and snatches of ideas and phrases... often an offbeat title will plant itself on the page next to them. Sometimes its so quirky I really think better of actually using it. My brain is a bit like one of those machines that shoots balls at tennis players, so it pays for me to let all the dust settle, to 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 and is born from some magical domain. Then there comes the thrill of the process itself.

Writing is like riding a wave. First its flat, then there's a swell, then there's the thrill as the wave rises and then,..... there's the ride as the inspiration flows.

Another way around the process, is to think about your favourite writers.

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 call them my muses. I created this multi-media series so that I could hang them on my wall above my desk, close to me; so that I could look up at them ...fondly.... and feel encouraged, feel 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 need not be seen as such. Now that IS encouraging for writers-in-training!

One was an Australian who mentored (yes, mentored) the Canadian poet, Leonard Cohen on the Greek island of Hydra. I was hooked by my own memories of the Greek islands and was subsequently led unsuspectingly towards their incisive social commentary on 1960s Australia (see the clip here underlined) à la Barry Humphries' Dame Edna Everage. Arriving in Australia some years later, I was stunned to find it much the same as described in his video clip!

Then we have my English connection: one author is reknowned for his fascinating portrayals of ordinary British ladies with all their idiosyncracies; the other 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 we have a Canadian writer with the blackest, sharpest wit; a prophet. And further along the scale, we have another author whose often mystical pages literally burn.

Was that easy? 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)!

Happy reading ... and writing !!! MM

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