Sunday, December 15, 2019

Sunday Story - Shame and workshops

Oh, my poor neglected blog.

The end of year seems to have a craziness all of its own...or maybe it's me! Anyway, I'm here to catch up a bit.

The Wollongong Writers Festival workshop on Shame, presented by Lee Kofman, was amazing. Not exactly what I thought it was going to be, because I didn't think properly. Lee writes memoir and creative non-fiction. So I should have made the leap that the Shame workshop woudl be along those lines...ha ha ha, I completely missed that. So I was the only fiction writer in the group. But it didn't matter. My mind was opened to a new-to-me genre.

Lee gave some recommendations for writing through your shame, which resonated for sex scene writing. She suggested first drafts should have everything in them, written as if no one is ever going to read it. When you go back to edit it, then think about publication, a focus, how you want it to appear, and what you want to say exactly. It's far easier to omit than to add in extras.

Shame was an interesting topic. Everyone feels shame, gets uncomfortable or scared. The trick to dealing with it is to face the fear, expose what you're comfortable with, and be brave. In sharing, you may alleviate someone else's agony.

The other people in the course were amazing writers. Lee had a great knack for encouraging us to share our writing exercises (the 5 or so minutes we had to scribble to her prompt). I noticed in my Erotic Writing Workshop that getting people to read their work wasn't easy, but Lee was so clever at this. She made sharing seem like something you wanted to do and were honoured to speak...even the reluctant speakers :) I have to brush up on that skill she had. I think a lot of her technique came because she shared her work right up front, and invited everyone to share. So the seed was planted early. I need to do this in the future.

The rest of the Festival was brilliant too. I'm often ho-hum about going to writing events but I had such a great time I'll have to change my thinking.

Have you been to any great events lately?

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Wildlife Wednesday - beach walk

I roamed the beach with my camera the other day and snapped photos along the tide line. There was a sponge which I got close to photograph, and only then noticed the beetles climbing over it.

I loved the feather lying on it's side.

And 'poppers' seaweed had a lovely colour and was still wet.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Phallic Friday - workshops

The South Coast Writers Centre and Wollongong Library have been hosting an Erotic Writing workshop for the last few weeks, and tonight is our 3rd session.

For the first 2 weeks, we discussed excerpts, articles, and the bad sex awards. The first week we focussed on erotica, but since most of the people were writing romance, the second week we looked at romance sex scenes (sexy and erotic stories). It's been a lot of fun - I've enjoyed discussing sex scene writing with like-minded souls.

We've talked about taboos. And discussed how some subjects (e.g. In The Romance of Lust, which was written in the 1870s, the main theme is incest) and how reader perspectives change with time. One participant noted that 20 years ago she may have just felt it was ick, but now in the time of #MeToo and the prevalence of child abuse discussions, it made her sick to read it. I wonder if it would even be published today?

These conversations have been so rewarding, thought-provoking, and fresh. I don;t think I have words to describe how freeing it is to sit around and discuss sex scenes with people who are keen, interested, and have well-thought-through opinions on sex in society and in literature.

We haven't done any writing or sharing as yet. So this week, I've a bunch of writing prompts to kick us off to writing our own sex scenes.

But I ran into an issue with getting prompts. Sex writing and reading and inspiration has become so accessible with computers and devices, that I didn't really think through the whole issue of how to have photos available, sitting on the table for inspiration. We don't have any photo places near us, only big stores with photo kiosk things. And those touch screens you have to use to get your photos printed...well, everyone sees them. See my issue?

I wrangled it so I could print when Mr E was with me. We could then both stand in front of the screen so no one accidentally got an eyeful. But he's hasty, and he clicked on the T&C before I could read them, and I blurted out (in a hushed whisper), "Wait, I wanted to check it was legal for me to print these." I thought Mr E was going to bolt. But he hung in there, and I hoped that our covering up the screen and the printing collection box, would keep us out of trouble. And it did!

So, I'm off to the workshop armed with writing prompts!

And next Friday, I'm doing a workshop on Shame with Lee Kofman as part of the Wollongong Writers Festival. I think I need to work on my shame!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Wildlife Wednesday - snorkelling

Popped down to the local rockpool for a swim and a snorkel. I like the rockpool for the first season snorkel just to get my shit together and make sure I remember what I'm doing, without the fear of drifting out to sea! LOL! Plus I always kid myself that it'll be warmer then the ocean - and it never ever is (even if it is filled by ocean water - go figure that!)

So, here are the photos from Monday's swim. And you know I'm not going to have any clue what these are, right? :)
These neon fish are so bright but less than 2 cm long

There were lots of these stripey fish escorting me around

Believe it or not, there's a few stripeys here, camouflaged well!

I was pleased I got this photo. The suckers on the tentacle caught my eye. An octopus tucked in between some rocks, with a stripey and a neon (top of image) 'guarding' the crevice.

This is some sort of sea slug, probably 10-15 cm long and 5-8 cm high, so not small at all. I've never seen a black with fluoro stripes sea slug - but I found it on Google - Chelidonura hirundinina sea slug

Let me pop in the links for this sea slug:
There's a picture here:
Oh, the thing I saw was much bigger than they say this grows to (40mm)... there is a C. ordinata and maybe it's that. I'll see what any of my books show.

Trails left by the marine gastropds (snails and whelks) grazing

A Sooty Oystercatcher popped down for a drink. I'm about 10 mins drive from the rockpool and we only get Pied Oystercatchers at home, so this was exciting even if it was above the water!