Archive for the 'General' Category

Sydney Writers’ Centre

I am a long term member of the South Australian Writers’ Centre. I have attended many of their excellent courses, seminars and workshops over the years. All have been worthwhile.

Recently I came across a reference to the Sydney Writers’ Centre. Checking out their website I was most impressed by the range of courses they offer. I have never done any of these courses but they look well worth considering if you live in the Sydney area. They also offer several online courses and a regular fortnightly e-newsletter.

Of interest to readers and writers from other countries or interstate are the podcasts they have on the site. These are seem  interesting and helpful interviews with a variety of authors. I’ve only listened to one so far, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

To check out the web site click here.

My comments policy

It always amazes me how many people read this stuff that I write here on this blog. When I look at my statistics I am astonished that so many people are interested in reading what have to say. So I think I’ll keep on saying it.

I also get great encouragement from the many people who have bothered to linger long enough to leave a comment or two. You are appreciated – thank you.

This morning, however, I had two rather abusive and quite crude comments about something I had written. The person’s name was Clara, but that is probably a pseudonym. Please understand that all comments are moderated by me – otherwise I’d have thousands of spam comments on this blog – no, make that over 50,000 (and counting). In the past I have allowed comments that disagree with me because I believe that it is only fair that voices of disagreement be heard. It opens the debate in a healthy way. A writer must never be above constructive criticism.

What I will not allow are comments that are crude, abusive, filthy or in bad taste. I encourage my readers to continue commenting, and if that is in the form constructive criticism, I will both allow and welcome it. If you like what I write, agree with my ideas or disagree for some reason, please leave a comment and enter into the debate.

But if you can’t say it nicely in a civilised way, I will gently show your comment out the door.

Good writing.

Back at University

I started back at University today for the second semester for this academic year. For new readers to my blog I am currently a quarter of the way through doing my Master of Arts in Creative writing course at Tabor College in Adelaide, South Australia.

This semester I am studying three units as follows:

  • Themes in Australian Literature
  • Writing Prose
  • Writing Poetry

The first lecture today was on Australian Literature and was necessarily an introductory type session. Looking through the lists of texts and topics to be studied I am sure that I will enjoy this unit. It will require plenty of reading as well as writing assignments.

I have to complete three assignments as follows:

  • A tutorial paper of 1500 words
  • A major essay of 3000 words
  • A reflective journal on the reading I do during the unit of study – this is to be a minimum of 2000 words.

I plan to reflect on my studies on this blog – as time allows. Last semester I had intended doing this too, but the intensive nature of study tended to get in the way of too much blogging. We will see.

In the meantime – good writing.

The frustrations of computers

Computers are wonderful – and also very frustrating. I’ve been using computers now for about twenty years – I remember with fondness the old Commodore 64 I first used while teaching back in the late 1980s. Teachers could go on a roster to take a computer home for the weekend so we could familiarize ourselves with the programmes. It would take two people lugging a huge carry basket to the car in order to transport it. Heady days indeed. Now we think nothing of carrying a lightweight laptop anywhere.

Computers have transformed my writing life. I certainly would not like to return to using a typewriter. I still have one lurking somewhere in the garage; the ink on the ribbon probably dried up a decade ago. (Can you still buy ribbons? Can you still buy typewriters for that matter?) I find typing on a computer keyboard far easier than the kluncky old typewriter. Editing is so much easier too. Printing out one’s work is simply the press of a button. Aaaah – we have it so easy these days.

That’s when they work.

I’ve been having some massive computer problems over the last two months. Well – internet access problems to be more precise. I haven’t been able to access the internet for all that time, except for two brief periods. I’ve had to rely on my wife’s computer to do basic things like read my email. Finally today I managed to solve the problem. An upgrade to my Norton’s Anti virus software was the culprit. Absolutely crippled my internet connection. Not happy. My son (the techie of the family) talked me step by step through the solution. I’ve now installed a completely new anti virus programme and all is now back to normal. Needless to say, Norton is now a nasty word in our household.

I’m still here

Hi there everyone. I haven’t disappeared, nor have I given up blogging.

Truth is – I haven’t been able to post for quite a while due to several factors. First – I was extremely busy getting all my assignments finished for the university Creative Writing course I am doing. Secondly, we were away for a few days. The third reason for not posting was the massive computer problems I was having – this has persisted for over a month and I was too busy to get it all sorted out. I hope that this will be resolved in the coming days so I can get back to normal again. I have so many things to write about before the next semester commences in a few weeks.

In the meantime, how about going to the various categories listed on the side bar and finding some interesting articles to read about writing. Or perhaps read some of my short stories or poetry. And don’t forget to leave a comment or two here and there. Your feedback is much appreciated.