Time Flies When You’re Having Fun

Well, it has been a while and much has happened.

Last year (2019), I finally succeeded in obtaining Ethical approval to take my 10 week puppet playbuilding programme into 2 primary schools (3 groups in total).

This was such an incredible experience.. one that will live with me forevermore.

All 3 classes were filled with amazing and vibrant students who (which sent me through the roof!) were all excited and passionate about working with puppets.

Together, we went on a journey. This journey involved exploration of many ideas and concepts, including the main theme, ‘difference’l. This theme threw up sub-themes – such as, ‘tolerance’, bravery’, ‘friendship’, ‘teamwork’, ‘discrimination’, ‘compassion’, ‘kindness’ and many others. I used quality creative arts practices and pedagogical tools such as, storybooks, discussion, short story writing, improvisation, play-building, script writing, artistic design, puppet making, puppeteering and performance.

The programme (Intervention on a String), was bookended by 2 surveys. One survey measured self-esteem. The 2nd survey measured social skills.

I am now in the process of writing up the results.. which has been the scholastic challenge of my life!

more to come…

Am I Write?

Sometimes, just squeezing time to write is near impossible. Being a mum can be exhausting (wonderful, but exhausting!) and time is like an elusive, precious gem lost in a fast flowing stream.

Having said that, we all make excuses. I guess it comes down to time management – and I’m rubbish at managing my time! 🙄

Im embarking on the biggest study experience of my like, and it fills me with excitement and terror simultaneously- so, 3ClayKnots is my mind release.  Reading research journals arguably have put a stop to recreational reading, and I’m finding that my research has slowly taken over my life. A good thing, but I’m mindful that it cannot become the sum total – do you know what I mean??

Anyway, write. No matter what it is. As a young woman, I religiously kept a diary (filled with the usual angst and extremes of emotional experiences) and since having children, I’ve stopped. I really believe that writing helps. It helps you sort through your thoughts, ideas and helps reorganise the clutter in your mind.

Happy writing all 💁🏻💐

Ok, let me know what you think?

Well, here goes. This is the first time I’ve put this story “out there”.

I would like your honest opinion.. remembering this is a work-in-progress and I have an awful lot of work to do!

I like the characters, but I feel that I need now to work on fleshing everything out? Not really sure how to go about this, but I guess sitting down and giving it a red hot go is one way to start.

When you juggle work, kids, study and .. well .. everything else, writing could be seen as indulgent. But no, I see it as an outlet – a way to allow my imagination to roam – and a way to keep my mind active!! ; )

Speak soon xx

In the beginning…

It all started in a galaxy, far, far away… (lol – well, there goes the 50% of folk who aren’t into sci-fi or fantasy – bye!!)

Seriously now, where to begin?

I’ve always loved the idea that there is a book in all of us, we just need an income and a room of our own (as Virginia Woolfe told us long ago).  I’ve dabbled in writing – stories and poetry –  terrible poetry (not just being modest) that on the whole, explored my (at times) painful journey on this Earth and so, it was more than a little indulgent and filled with sledge-hammer metaphorical imagery… mmmmm. But I’ve always loved to read, and to write but never really believed that I could write a book. I’m still not so sure.

I tried to write stories that came from my Grandfather, who was a deep well of colourful tales that took me into another world – he was born in 1900, and had seen countless changes and knew well, the trials of the human condition, having been responsible for a few good and bad deeds himself.  But my story, ‘3 Clay Knots’ .. this story has grown with me over the years.  Now I’m 50, and well, I think I’m ready to get serious about this.

It all began in a Creative Writing class back in 1992.  I was doing my BA at the University of Newcastle and was flying high on the raw need to believe that ‘I could do this’. I left school in Year 10, and had many self-doubts about my intelligence, and so the degree meant more to me than having a piece of paper to frame.  I LOVED my time studying English Literature and Drama Studies – this was heaven.  So, the Creative Writing course was another notch in my ‘I can do this’ scabbard. However, after my first few tutorials where we shared our short stories and poetry, I felt dwarfed by the talent in the room, and wanted to write something that would be taken seriously, something unique, something that would shock.. maybe? So, ‘3 Clay Knots’ was born, although then, in its first incarnation, it was called, ‘Apple Kiss’.

Back then, in my late 20’s, and a failed marriage I was I guess having my first existential crisis (the first of many!) and wanted to explore the idea of motherhood, sisterhood, tragedy and the outback. I’m not sure why the outback beckoned, having only seen central Queensland as far West as Longreach, but I saw this stark landscape as a beautiful, cruel and isolated land where a soul could escape, but also be found? Does that make sense?

Anyway, ‘Apple Kiss’ explored a moment in a session in a psychiatric ward, with a young woman in therapy. She had many demons (which I wont reveal just yet) and it was a colourful and confronting 4 page short.  People were shocked, and so I was happy but I knew it had more life I just needed more life experience in order to flesh out the story of, Frances.

To be continued…