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Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Do you have Writers' Block? Reflecting Fondly on the Year that was: "An Author for All Seasons: Series Six"



While indeed the world bade a painful farewell to many prolific writers and storytellers in 2016, Mentone Public Library were blessed with a rebirth of local literary talent and new library members to our humble establishment.

With 2016 and the holiday period now behind us, we wanted to take the opportunity to pay homage to the year that was and the wonderful stable of local authors and national literary treasures that made our sixth series of "An Author for All Seasons" so memorable.

Please find below a collection of reflections from within the team and also from the invited local authors themselves...

New library volunteer Paul Karp reviews our grand finale author talk for the year...

December 2016 Review 
An Author for All Seasons
Mentone Public Library
11am Saturday, 10th December 2016
Guest author George Ivanoff 
and young writers Joe Bosa and Jessi Hooper

From Left to Right: Joe Bosa, Jessi Hooper, George Ivanoff

Year 11 Mentone Girls Secondary student, Jessi Hooper, began proceedings with her poem about being trapped under water. It evoked my memory of being churned under surf in my Year 11 vacation.
Swinburne student Joe Bosa read an excerpt of his Fantasy novel manuscript about four sassy High school heroines with superpowers, style and attitude. Sounded like they'd eat that little nerd Harry Potter for breakfast! 

George Ivanoff spoke about his recently published four-book series of Royal Flying Doctor Service children's novels. George drew inspiration for stories and settings for his first two books from outback travel with his wife and two children to the South Australian ghost town Farina, and Coober Pedy. His third book was set in remote Western Australia, and his fourth detailed an emergency flight from Adelaide to Melbourne. Unlike his previous 90+ mainly sci-fi books, this series required research into medical conditions to the extent that he now considers himself fortunate not knowing of potential appendicitis complications at the time his daughter suffered from appendicitus prior to his research.


Members of the audience remarked upon George's skill reading aloud passages of his work and expressed surprise that he had no 'talking books'.
George's next writing project is 'Other Worlds', a sci-fi adventure series for kids. 
Three new 'You Choose' books will be available in January.
The titles are 'Creepy Crawly Chaos', 'City of Robots' and 'Night of the Creepy Carnival'.
 
Mentone Public Library Media and Events Coordinator, Julia Reichstein, then transformed into her alter-ego Country and Western singin' gal, 'Dolly Past-Participle', and with 'Cool Hand Uke' (Tony Brooker) and Percussive Pawl (Paul Karp) performed the 'Official Author Appreciation Ceremony' to the blue-grassy air of Jingle Bell Rock in homage to all the authors of 2016's Saturday morning presentations.   



Another insightful review on the day of our grand finale can be found here: https://mairineil.com/2016/12/10/appreciation-of-local-writers-by-mentone-public-library/   
We gratefully thank Mairi Neil
founder of the Mordialloc Writers Group and tireless advocate for local writers, for providing the review.

And now...a Christmas tribute to our local authors of 2016, peppered with reflections from some of our participating guests:

JINGLE BELL BLOCK
[To the Tune of Jingle Bell Rock]


CHORUS:

Do you have,

Do you have,

Writers' Block?

Do you tap at the keys,

But not a word comes out?



VERSE 1

Maybe had you come in the month of May,

You would have heard JM Yates and cried,

“Oy Vey!”
 




CHORUS:

Do you have,

Do you have,

Writers' Block?

Do you tap at the keys,

But not a word comes out?



VERSE 2

Maybe had you come in the month of June,


to inspire you.




July time was Alex Miller’s prime,

He travelled from Castlemaine.
Picture: John Tslavis 2015
 

Richard Falkinger discussed his mother

In August we learned love can save the day.


RICHARD FALKINGER'S THOUGHTS:
Being an Architect ( Author) the Library Room embraces you not with its Architecture, but with down to earth

Unambiguous friendliness and floor to ceiling book shelves charm!

The closeness of the Audience embraces you, making it so easy to wanting to share one’s story.

I had a strong sense my mother was present when I told the story of “ Josephine “ and her love for Anton,
The Father I never knew!
 
 BACK TO THE CHORUS:

Do you have,

Do you have,

Writers' Block?

Do you tap at the keys,

But not a word comes out?



VERSE 3

Maybe had you come in September

With Danae and a lesson

to remember!

DANAE ANDREA HARWOOD'S THOUGHTS:
It was a real treat to return to Mentone Public Library and present 
"How We Learned Then and How We Learn Now."

I enjoyed combining eggs, Dunce Hats....
Library Volunteers Julia and President Tony scowl and sulk as they are sworn in as the dunces of the day!

...a bullwhip, a hurtling duster (sorry Tony), and my singing (sorry audience) into a presentation about the evolution of classroom discipline from my grandmother’s school years to my sons’. Researching this aspect of How We Learned Then and How We Learn Now was a real eye opener. It was surprising and somewhat horrifying to discover the methods of corporal punishment that were used in yesteryear’s classrooms.
I also enjoyed talking about the differences between how we learned as children and how we learn as adults. I drew upon Insights from The Writer’s Runway to support the notion that a combination of the two approaches could bring about the best learning results and experiences for adults.
It was then a delight to watch the comical, yet poignant performance by The Blue Chair Poets.



BACK TO THE CHORUS:

Do you have,

Do you have,

Writers Block?

Do you tap at the keys,

But not a word comes out?



VERSE 4

Maybe had you come in October,

with 
Mairi Neil reads from the Mordialloc Writers' Group's 2015 anthology: "Kingston My City"
and –




CHORUS:

Do you have,

Do you have,

Writers Block?

Do you tap at the keys,

But not a word comes out?



VERSE 5

Maybe had you joined us in November

Ideas would be fitting

Thanks to Glenice Whitting!






CHORUS:

Do you have,

Do you have,

Writers Block?

Do you tap at the keys,

But not a word comes out?



VERSE 6

Well look we made it – we found our muse,

George, Joe and Jessi –

Go on – you choose!
From George Ivanoff's "You Choose" series
 



FINALE CHORUS:

An Author for All Seasons is at an end,

But your writing’s about to start,

Thank-you to all,

Now grab your pens.

- That’s how you erase,

- That’s how you erase,
- That's how you erase

- Erase Writers Blooooock!
 

Thank-you to all who made our sixth series such a success.
There will indeed be a seventh series of 
"An Author for All Seasons."
The tentative launch date is
Saturday, 27th May 2017.
Stay tuned to this blog and also to our 
City of Kingston My Community Life webpage: 
We hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Christmas and we wish you a very Happy New Year.
We truly look forward to sharing another series of "An Author for All Seasons" with you to showcase our local, homegrown literary talent.

Sincerely: The Mentone Public library team.
Miss Danae, can we take off our dunces hats now, please?!

3 comments:

  1. The chorus of 'Do you have writer's block' is even shaped like a christmas tree. Well done Julia! A review of 2016 set to song!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, you may take off your dunces hats now, provided that there is no more hair-pulling, Julia, or pea-shooting, Tony. Furthermore, I give you gold stars for all your excellent work at Mentone Public Library. Thank you for giving local authors a platform from which to talk about their books and share with the library's patrons. Best wishes for 2017 and "An Author for All Seasons Series 7",
    Miss Danae ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks Julia and team for all your kindness and support over the years. May 2017 bring peace, harmony and happy writing to all of us. All the best. Glenice Whitting

    ReplyDelete