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Archive for May, 2014

I love how sometimes a poem ends up taking you to all sorts of places you don’t expect.

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‘Dance’ by Jessica McCallum at His Majesty’s Theatre, 2009. #jessicamcallumartist

My poem “My Life as a Sari” has appeared alongside beautiful artworks.

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POETRY POSTCARD available from Jessica McCallum

An excerpt published on a postcard.

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#IndigoJournal

And published in the INDIGO JOURNAL of West Australian Writing, Vol 3 published by INDIGO books and received lovely comments.

Fremantle Press have recently become on-line partners with the original publishers of the journals and have always been tremendous supporters of those who write in Western Australia, quietly promoting and encouraging new, emerging and established writers by putting their money where their mouth is.

As a result of my inclusion in the journal, Fremantle Press also interviewed  me about my writing and particularly, this poem.

 

My Life as a Sari

 

Securely tuck your fears under elastic

at the centre of your waist with your left hand,

and with your right, hold the remaining

metres of spun silk – your future, facing inside.

 

Measure the drop of the fall

and it’s finely stitched edge

for correct positioning against heels.

 

Wrap yourself in the gossamer fold,

swirling the diaphanous film behind

but stay level and wedge the top border

into your petticoat.

 

Like a bride preparing herself,

you are now ready to pleat.

 

At a distance from the last fixing,

hand-measure the delicate veil,

embroidered with details

important to who you are

toward the middle of your body.

 

Some may need five pleats, some six.

Less is more. Another judgement held on show

– a statement of size, however graciously it moves.

 

Securely fix the perfumed fanning

and grasp what is left, bring it back around

to wrap warmly and return to the front.

 

These days, you can choose to gather all loose

ends onto your left shoulder, secured with a jewel.

But many prefer to throw the remainder

over, remembering to hold an arm half bent,

letting the end float freely – the beaded

edge skimming the inside of your wrist.

 

 Frances Macaulay Forde © 2009

#francesmacaulayforde

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A car park in Co Clare, 2003. #francesmacaulayforde

 

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Ever since hubby and I took her to see it at the movies, like millions of other little girls, my granddaughter is absolutely obsessed with Snow Queen Elsa from the highest grossing animation movie of all time:  Frozen.

As soon as the video was released I ordered it from Disney and she was the first to have a copy in her class because it wasn’t available here yet.

Apparently for ‘Show and Tell’ she took the book I also sent away for in and sang the song  “Let it go!”  (For those not aware, the song was a huge hit from the pivotal moment of the film.)

My granddaughter and her 18 month old little sister sing it together and dance around her bedroom.  (I tried to video her singing it today but she was  “A little bit shy, Nanna.” ) 

This weekend her Mum is taking her to Disney on Ice and supposedly all the little ones in the audience will dress up like princesses.  So naturally, our little princess wanted an Elsa costume.

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We’ve been looking for months and were very pleased when the brochures arrived telling us the costume and the dolls were in stock.  We tried lots of different shops and got the same reply – “Sorry, sold out!”

There’s even a ‘black market’ in costumes and dolls now – anything in fact to do with ‘Frozen’.  I tried to buy snowflake hair slides and nope – nothing available.

There’s was no alternative – I would have to make her an outfit myself – eventually, a doll as well.  (She does have a birthday coming up so she could wear the costume for that too.)  Could I get the right color materials to make a dress? No – they were sold out too!  Perhaps I’m not the only Mum/Grandma etc having to make an outfit…

Well, I did my best.   And because I’ve got left-over material, I’m going to make a baby version for her little sister.

Anyway, I took the dress over today for a try-on.   I need to take the hem up but basically, it fits and my granddaughter is thrilled.  What do you think?

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#francesmacaulayforde © 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Backstage. 

Dank, dusty, sweat-smells in the soft blue light. Rope, sandbags, tape-marks glow.  Scene-stay, props on the table in regimental order marked for Act 1,2,3.

Black on white sign yells ‘Silence for Performance’.

Soft sneakers pressed gently one in front of each other.  Movements slow – considered care.

Audience clapping. Material and audience murmur as Curtains Close Act 1.

Audrey rushes off-stage, clattering – chattering LOUDLY to her waiting beau, declaring her excitement at first performance.

Stage Manager lifts two fingers to mouth for silence – ignored.

Quick! Frustrated grab in the once-again dim light. His hand wraps around the wooden grip of a ‘Silence’ sign banged impatiently against a thigh as he follows.

Hushed stumble down to the dressing rooms, annoyed – door locked – can’t knock – too loud.

Scratch a little – reign in – wait with rebuke ready.  Click, unlocked door creaks open. Force the sign through the crack and whisper. “Quiet”.

He races back upstairs with heart pumping – ‘Damn!’ missed the bloody Curtain Open for Act 2.

All through Act 2 Audrey blithely entertains, celebrating her debut in the change rooms with popping champagne and muffled giggles.

Curtains Close Act 2.

‘Places Please’ bell for Act 3.

Clunk. Clunk. Clunk. 1,2,3 steps stage left.

Curtains Open Act 3.

Heavy heels approach uncaring, echo through dimly lit wooden stairs and empty stage.

Audrey bumps out.

Giggle – stumble – giggle. ‘Hic – Oh sorry Love – Hic…’

Frustration bites hard and a mouth thunders. “QUIET!”

A deathly scream and silence at last, as Curtains Close Act 3.

 

#francesmacaulayforde

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FMF @ Cork Airport 2003

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Munster Literature Centre, Cork, Ireland.

When I was a member of the Munster Literature Centre, I did a masterclass in Short Story with James Lasdun.  

The title story of his published collection The Siege: Selected Stories, was adapted for film by Bernardo Bertolucci as Besieged ,  only one adaptation.

 Sunday was based on his story Ate Menos or The Miracle and co-written with Jonathan Nossiter. (Info from Wiki.)

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Frances and James Lasdun during the 2003 Masterclass at MLC, Cork.

Later that year, I attended a festival at MLC with Richard Ford speaking, who’s novel Independence Day  was adapted and directed by Roland Emmerich in 1996 and a huge hit.

The Paris Review  did a very good interview with him soon after the film was made.

So, yesterday, I found this amazing resource – opportunities for competition and publications for writers of  SHORT STORIES:   Paul McVeigh   and just HAD to share.

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I’m very proud of our  State Library  situated in the beautiful  Perth Cultural Centre:

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State Library Western Australia. (Photo: Frances Macaulay Forde @ 2005)

Years ago the staff supported me when I ran  Poets Corner @ Pages Cafe  for 3 years between 2005 and 2008.  The Library provided a microphone and speaker, displays and advertising in the Library Book shop on the 1st floor and generally encouraged and supported our endeavors.

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Poets reading at Poets Corner @ Pages Cafe

More than 80 poets from emerging to firmly established, to first time readers and writers participated for the love of words, sharing them with a new audience; other writers and importantly, the general public.

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The audience included luminaries such as (L to R) Andrew Burke, Andrew Taylor and Glen Phillips. 2005

Pages Cafe allowed us to meet there on the 3rd Saturday of each month and welcomed the influx of word-smiths, considering the noise levels and while reading, helped by quietly proving excellent service to patrons.

The library and cafe continued to support myself and many others when launching many, many books (where else would you do it – seriously) over the years:

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Interviewing a West Australian Living Treasure, T.A.G. Hungerford for BooksAustralia CTV during ‘An Afternoon with Tom’ at Poets Corner in 2005.

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Annemaria Weldon with her book ‘The Roof Milkers’ July  2008

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Sarah French was one of many writers included in the ‘Lines in the Sand’ anthology published by FAWWA in 2008. (My poem ‘desertification’ appears on page 28.)

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Tracy Ryan and her book ‘Scar Revision’ from Fremantle Press. 2008

 

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An anthology I published to thank the more than 60+ poets who participated at Poets Corner during the WA Spring Poetry Festival in 2005.

Today you’ve accepted the  Film & Television Institute  into your midst on the 2nd floor!

I LOVE and THANK my State Library of Western Australia.

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