Sunday, 6 September 2015

Be Inspired

It’s been inspirational for me
To have been able to be
Immersed in such an event
Where authors and books are the main content.
I never knew till now
Just exactly how
Broad writing can get
If you just let
Yourself go,
Let your writing flow
Like a balloon in the breeze,
Write with ease.
Bring all your thoughts onto paper
You can edit it later.
Ellie Marney says
She doesn’t have an ending always,
Until half way though,
Who even knew?
That professional authors too
Feel the same as me and you.
The ideas are endless to how
You write, so go ahead do it now.
The art of writing is in your view,
Grasp it like it’s getting away
You will be a success one day.
So for now just listen and
Be inspired by the helping hand
Of great authors who speak to you.
At this festival, we are all alike

Writing can be as simple as riding a bike.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Should’a, Could’a, Would’a… but Didn’t.

You know how I said I was disappointed about the lack of wine tasting at The Gourmet Farmers event on Friday night? Well get this, at the exact same time the event was on, over at the library the G ‘N’ T tea show (poetry special) was going on. It was part of the Fringe Festival and guess what they were doing? Serving wine in teacups! WHAT THE HECK I can’t believe I missed this. Not only that, but I think the poetry would have been great to listen to. I love writing poetry; it’s one of my favourite forms of writing. If only I’d looked at the details for it. However at the time, I didn’t even consider it because I was set on The Gourmet Farmers because it was to do with the theme of ‘The Good Life’, which is what I was writing about for The Bendigo Advertiser.

That is one of my biggest regrets looking back on my time at The Bendigo Writers Festival. I wish more people made it clear how good the G ‘N’ T was going to be! What’s even worse is hearing all about it the following day and seeing it all over social media with the amazing photos people were putting up as well as tweeting about how good it was. Meanwhile I was listening to three men talk about how we should be eating other varieties of fish…

You know what would have been good? If they made the G ‘N’ T a key note event. I’m so disappointed I missed it. WINE IN TEACUPS PEOPLE!! WINE IN TEACUPS!!!

Design For The Good Life

On Sunday in the Capital theatre, another part of ‘The Good Life’ was observed. This event was called ‘Design for The Good Life’. The aspect of being and living in one with nature.

Acclaimed garden designer and landscape architect Phillip Johnson introduced himself onstage with sparkles in his eyes, literally. He jumped up from the interviewing couch and presented his story in the style of a slideshow presentation of beautiful and engaging photographs and videos of his designs. You know, this was good to see. Finally someone was getting creative and intriguing the audience with visuals.

Phillip Johnson is a very bubbly, smiley person who is extremely passionate about his work and it shows. This also made the audience eager to hear more of what he was saying.

He designs gardens and buildings incorporated with nature. This ranges from large bird baths made from just one very large boulder (he likes rocks) and buildings made to look like flowers.
Background image of the famous floral architecture at Chelsea Flower Show

The image above of the floral inspired building in the background is part of the garden design by Phillip Johnson, which won him the gold medal and Best in Show at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2013. This was a huge achievement for him and his team. His retelling of the massive effort showed his devotion to beauty and nature and he truly is an inspiration.
Phillip Johnson’s idea of ‘The Good Life’ is connecting back to nature and being immersed in nature’s beauty. “That’s what life should be about” he exclaimed. And I agree.

Phillip Johnson giving an entertaining presentation
He also had photos of his young family enjoying an outdoor spa that he designed, made entirely of rock. It sits in their backyard surrounded by native plants and gum trees. It’s also beautiful to see how proud he is of his family; as well as his career and I think this brings him down to a level people can really relate to. It’s something we can all aspire to, in our search for ‘The Good Life.’

Thursday, 3 September 2015

These writers don’t go by the books!

You learn grammar and “rules of writing” so you can break them – John Marsden

I just love this quote so much. It makes me happy. In your face grammar Nazis!

You know, learning about writing and all the rules that go with it during your schooling years turns out not to be followed at all by writers that have become great authors like John Marsden, Erica Hayes and Anson Cameron just to name a few.

I mean of course, when starting out, you go by the books. However when skills are developed over time, it seems writers become immune to such preposterous guidelines and decide to make up their own rules, because well... they can. Then they get praised for it and are great successors.

Listening to each of these authors shut down story writing methods like having to be politically correct, and knowing how your story will end pleased me a lot.

Take the title of John Marsden’s most famous young adult series ‘Tomorrow When The War Began’, already he has hits us with this politically incorrect mockery of a title… and we like it.  

It made me think, yes. I have the same issues and this is John Marsden we’re talking about. It’s inspirational to hear him say “most people get better results when they make it up as they go along”… What! Really? But that’s what I do, and still no results…hang on what’s that John? Don’t edit as you go?

Oh, that makes sense.

Here I am wasting time going over my already written beginning, a hundred times when I should be on a writing roll, not giving a rats about all the red jagged lines scattered all over the word document.

You mustn’t edit as you go, says John Marsden, “just write, write the whole story, until you have finished, then go back and fix things later”. Yep. That makes perfect sense!

Then you had Erica Hayes telling us that she doesn’t even know how her stories will end, and it’s true, most of the authors said they don’t realise how their stories will end until half way through.

However, not matter how much you might think it helps, Anson Cameron did warn us that actually no, your writing isn’t as brilliant as you’d thought last night on your fifth glass of wine, and his advice was to “write sober, and write early” fair enough! But then again, don’t all writers drink? Well that’s another story…

My Contribution to The Writers Festival

I got published! I know it was just a small section in The Bendigo Advertiser, but this is one of my first pieces of work ever been published.

I chose to write my 300-word piece of writing on what I learnt about ‘The Good Life’, which was of-course, the theme for The Bendigo Writers Festival.

The idea of The Good Life appealed to me straight away. I mean, all I want to do with my life is live it! You know? Anyone who knows me would know that I put family and fun first before my studies, and I know that sounds bad but you know what? If you feel happy and enjoy your life, you will get what you want out of it. That includes writing. In fact, writing should be coming from the passion in your heart, it comes from your own experiences, a love of certain things like music or art or travel. Live your life to the fullest I say, and don’t let the boring aspects take over.

I love food, family, wine and happiness. This is what I believe makes up the good life.

After being entangled in the world of The Bendigo writers festival I have been able to observe what other celebrated authors think about what ‘The Good Life’ means to them.  

I went to The Gourmet Farmers event on the Friday night. Where before the stage interview with farmers Matthew Evens, Ross O’Meara and Nick Haddow, there was a little assembling of stalls full of local produce to taste and try. Everyone there I noticed had a glass of wine, I was thinking there had to be a wine tasting stall or something but no. Turns out the wine had just been purchased from the bar, which was a little disappointing actually. Anyway after struggling through the masses of people in the smallest area of the Ulumbarra theatre, I did decide I needed a cheeky Shiraz before going in to find my seat.

The conversation between food writer Dani Valant and the three men was interesting to an extent, I think they got a bit carried away with talking about unknown fish varieties. I wanted to know more about what they perceived as ‘The Good Life’.  To my knowledge of what was said however, ‘The Good Life’ to them is what you produce yourself and then cook into a great meal, knowing it’s come from you. Yes I do agree that food and cooking with fresh home made produce is key to ‘A Good Life’, but you know what? I really wished the conversation was turned around to let Dani talk about how she got into the food writing business to start off with because let me just say, that would be an amazing career! and one I would gladly like to know more about. 

When I excitedly attended the Sunday 10am event at the Capital Theatre entitled ‘The Good Life – The Language of Food’ I thought, now here is another great opportunity to find out what passionate food critiques and chefs have to say about ‘The Good Life’.  Emma Dean I knew from watching MasterChef in 2013 and she is a lovely down to earth person. She finds bizarre things to cook with such as weeds with equally bizarre names like ‘Fat Hen’ and ‘Pig Face’, which are actually types of herbs and bush tucker apparently.

From this I learnt that ‘The Good Life’ is again about producing what you eat yourself and foraging your backyard to discover beautiful ingredients that have been forgotten about. Rowan Anderson stated that “for the food I grow, I must get my hands dirty’. He’s the one who cooks animals from scratch, right from the killing and plucking individual feathers with tweezers bit. Wow. Now that’s devotion right there.

After Sunday, I was very inspired by what I’d learnt and gained at the festival, and whilst being in this inspired state-of-mind I went home and wrote my article on ‘The Good Life’.

I decided that I’d figured out what ‘The Good Life’ is about. It’s about the friends and family around you, the wild plants and herbs growing at your doorstep. It is the aspiration to improve the world you live in…
That is what makes up ‘The Good Life’.

I am so grateful for having had this rare opportunity to contribute and be part of a writer’s festival. It was my first time going to one, and I think I will go to more from now on. Not only that but I can put this experience of being published in my resume and hopefully with a bit of luck, one day attain my dream job of writing for food/travel magazines.