We have all done some strange things during 2020. I decamped from Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast when life started to become restricted here, and ended up spending nearly four delightful months there. I’d just bought a new iPhone and on my daily beach walks I became obsessed with the fabulous cloud formations drifting around the skies in the late afternoon. Eventually I sorted through hundreds of photos to produce a photobook of about 70 of them, which I dubbed ‘The Covid Cloud Collection’. It’s a very limited edition! I did some writing as well, which has yet to see the light of day. With all its damage and grief, the pandemic also seemed to unleash a tsunami of creativity – if all the YouTube clips arriving on my screen were anything to go by.
National Theatre Live is such a gift – the best of the best of live theatre brought to us from Southbank, London, on cinema screens around Australia (and the rest of the world of course). Their new production of Peter Shaffer’s ‘Amadeus’ is simply stunning – breathtaking – and indescribably powerful. What towering imaginations and talents were involved here: in the concept, the writing, the production, the casting, the acting, the divine music … and the rest.
I’m simply lost for words.
I love shadows. Shadows add such drama to life, to photographs and most of all to stories.
A few months ago I found myself with a group of fossickers in a quarry outside the far western Queensland town of Richmond. We were scratching around the bottom of what used to be an inland sea over twenty million years ago, looking for fossils. Yes, we did find some fragments – but only a few days later a young family unearthed a huge internationally significant find just metres from where we we’d been digging.
I took this group portrait there, and it was my submission to my photography club’s ‘shadows’ theme. Some of the entries were so imaginative – the shadow of a wedding ring captured between the pages of an open book, the shadow of a statue cast on to a ceramic pot.
Where writing is concerned, shadows and secrets are the stuff of page-turners. I enjoy weaving plots around crimes and misdemeanours of times past which cast shadows over generation after generation … and I love reading other books where shadows hover over the plot and mystify the reader.
It’s so hard to let go of a manuscript. My short story collection Pick and Choose has been a work in progress for some years now, and finally it’s reached the point where It Is Finished! It’s been edited and proofread countless times. Anything more I do to it will be overkill. I know that. So why do I find it so hard to let it go?
Soon it will join my collection of e-books, out in the world for readers’ enjoyment and criticism. I’m waving it off a bit nervously, and with a twinge of regret. Long experience has taught me that there’s nothing that appeals to everyone. Where writing is concerned, quality is in the eye of the beholder. I can only hope it finds its own readers in due course.