So I’ve just spent my whole Saturday
slaving over finishing up the web copy for the upcoming Let’s Prose—Creative Writing Workshop. The workshop is an initiative of The Eloquent Orifice and is going to be led by dear old me!
It’s all really exciting, and I’m really looking forward to getting back into holding writing workshops. I’ve really missed doing that!
So anyhoo, here’s the ad I designed (very hastily), and the details. More info at www.eloquentorifice.wix.com/publications/events.
So, the latest issue of my blood, sweat and tears is now published (psst, check out Volume 5 Issue 2 here), and I’m so happy/relieved/tired I could cry. I literally slaved over this issue. Reviewing, editing, graphic design, admin work. You name any step in the publication/production process, I’ve done it.
Cover and TOC previews:
Brb, going to die from exhaustion+love.
I’m excited about lots of things, and one of them is leading a writing group!
Interested in a writing group based in Melbourne, meeting once every month, complete with workshopping, writing tips and monthly challenges? Contact me now to register your interest!
The Prize seeks to reward the best poems published by a Southeast Asian literary journal/publication in 2017.
The winning works will be awarded $1500, $700 and $300 for 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place respectively. Honourable Mentions, if any, will not be awarded a cash prize. The results of the Hawker Prize will be announced in March 2018.
As Editor-in-Chief, I will be considering EO-published poems for submission to the Prize. Judges for the Prize are Bernice Chauly (Malaysia), Olin Monteiro (Indonesia) and Ng Yi-Sheng (Singapore).
(I’m very excited! Now to get to work reviewing all EO-published poetry!)
I just finished binge-watching the Marvel/Netflix mini-series, The Defenders. I sat in bed the whole day, cuddled up with a hot water bottle (Facebook did that whole virtual celebration of spring thingy, but they are sooooo wrong), and watched all eight episodes at a go.
Now, I’ve never paid much mind to what other people think about the Marvel Cinematic Universe—some people think it’s all too vanilla and predictable—but I think it’s fantastic!
It’s wonderful writing, not because I like predictable plots yadah yadah (I really don’t care what people say about it)—the writing is wonderful because it captures my imagination.
And I’m pretty sure I’m not the anomaly, cause every single one of Marvel’s films and TV series in the last 10 years have had such huge success, both commercially and critically.
The reason why The Defenders managed to capture my attention for eight hours straight is because they took their time with plot and character development. There isn’t that Martha sh*t going on (as you can tell, I was severely underwhelmed by DC’s Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice); The Defenders was superbly well thought out in their pacing and plot, connecting dots, bulldozing predictability (as far as a superhero comic can go), and weaving a horrifically dirty, dangerous but real reality around it.
In short, it’s believable. The Defenders has the ability to capture its audience’s attention and imagination, because we can believe in it.
We can believe the personal horrors, trauma, crushed hopes and dreams that each of the characters faces. Everyday characters, but with not-so-everyday abilities. But we can see ourselves, and our friends and neighbours and strangers on the street, in these characters.
We may not all have Claire’s ability to save lives (but our nurses and doctors and paramedics do!), or Daredevil’s otherworldy senses, or Luke Cage’s unbreakable skin (etcetera etcetera, you know where I’m going)—but we can see ourselves in them. Ordinary people, turned extraordinary by circumstance, but still ordinary people with crazy issues. Jessica Jones and her inability to sustain human connection; Misty Knight’s dedication to her passion/job that sees her lose herself (I don’t wanna give away too much); Colleen Wing’s fear of abandonment—these are all real characters, believable characters in a believably violent world (I mean… let’s just take a moment to look around us and try to say our world isn’t violent). The Defenders‘s ability to enthral is its dedication to the writing and plotting—its dedication to its characters by taking the time to flesh them out in earlier character series, and by, really, simply good writing.
Peace out. I need some food.
I’ve never been a particularly big fan of early Japanese art. It’s not that I didn’t like it—it just didn’t move me the way classical European paintings do with their deeply intense, emotive imagery and light and shadows, such as Anguish by August Friedrich Schenck.
When I first saw this painting—housed in a large room with more than forty other works—I couldn’t tear my eyes away from it. I started crying (to my then-fiancé’s worried shock). There was just so much feeling in the painting. Schenck’s juxtaposition of the whites and creams against the dark shadows and blacks of the crows is simply sublime.
So whenever I look at early Japanese paintings, with all the hype about the Japonais, I just couldn’t seem to bring any sort of strong emotion to the fore. It’s not that early Japanese art isn’t one of the most exquisite, most refined paintings in the history of art, and it’s not that I was insensible of their beauty—they were beautiful, but they felt distant and cold, to me.
Perhaps it’s just my own individual sensibilities—emotive works appeal to me more.
But when I walked through the doors into NGV’s exhibition on Katsushika Hokusai’s works, my feelings about early Japanese art took a 180-turn.
Hokusai’s intricately detailed paintings (and sketches in his manga), capturing pastoral life in microcosm, not to mention breathtaking views of nature, and the delicately balanced use of light and shadows in his work draws the viewer in, into the painting, leaving the viewer no choice but to partake in the scene before them.
Hokusai’s works drew me into them, and left me but one word to describe what I felt when faced with his breathtaking works: sublime.
Breathtaking works like The Great Wave Off Kanagawa, The Waterfall Where Yoshitsune Washed His Horse at Yoshino in Yamato Province, and for some reason, especially Viewing the Sunset over Ryogoku Bridge from the Onmaya Embankment.
The way Hokusai captured motion in stillness, his expertly balanced darkness and lightness, the mindblowing depth created, the juxtaposition between tones, between vibrancy and melancholy—when combined had the overall effect of making you a part of the story.
If you haven’t caught the Hokusai exhibition yet, you’re missing out!
Hi, guess who’s back… back again!
I’m terribly sorry—it’s been such a long time since I’ve checked in on here. Life has been incredibly hectic with me finishing up my MA in Publishing and Communications (at the fabulous University of Melbourne), being pregnant (this has a sad end… a story for another day), moving house, working at an awesome bookstore, and growing my freelance career.
But I’m back now (I sincerely vow to be more disciplined in keeping this space updated!), and I’ll continue talking about things to do with words and art and editing and publishing and… everything, really, that I have a passion for :p
Stay tuned for an account of my recent visit to the Hokusai exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria (it was beyond fantastic), and for my thoughts on the correlation between well-written (and edited and proofread) copy for businesses and the credibility of the business!
Sometimes you just need to get into that zen state—clear everything, and I mean every thing—from your mind. Don’t worry about deadlines (yet). Don’t worry about your struggling artist state (yet). What you want to do is to immerse yourself in this moment. Look at the world around you anew. Observe the way people move. Listen to the sounds around you. Smell the gum trees, and maybe the stench of week-old garbage. Just be, and I promise you, something will inspire you—and your observations, your being in the moment, will inform your art and/or writing.