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Archive for May, 2015

Edith Cowan House

Peter Cowan Writers Centre, ECU Joondalup Campus, Western Australia

 

As an original, contributing committee member in those early years, I will happily join the High Tea celebrations at Peter Cowan Writers Centre, the only community writing centre based on a University Campus in Australia (and maybe anywhere), tomorrow.  

In the beginning, I represented Theatre and Writing on the City of Wanneroo (later Joondalup) Cultural Advisory Committee, when the opportunity to place Peter Cowan’s House on the Edith Cowan University Campus was first mooted.

At the time, I was studying for my BA in Creative Writing at ECU, Mt Lawley campus and, although an enthusiastic member of the Fellowship of Australian Writers in WA, worried many times if my old bomb of a car would make it all the way down to Cottesloe for meetings.

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A fellow student, Trudy Graham, as part of her Community Writing unit, started Northern Writers which in 1998, became the Peter Cowan Writers’ Centre Inc in honour of Peter Cowan, an esteemed Western Australian writer and academic.

My story about that very first Northern Writers meeting held in Warwick, was published in PCWC’s first anthology ‘Urban Scrawl’.  Although the names have been changed – you know who you are!

2000UrbanScrawlStory

The proposal to place the historical home on Joondalup campus was brought up in a meeting of the Cultural Advisory Committee; ECU Students were dismantling the former home of Edith Cowan, Peter’s grandmother and Western Australia’s first female member of parliament in 1921.

Using Trudy’s Northern Writers membership numbers I was able to demonstrate a need and thankfully committee allowed the use (initially part) of the house as their ‘home’.

The City of Wanneroo Cultural Advisory Committee immediately set up a sub-committee to oversee the (significant) house move by students under University supervision, and invited Literature Prof. Andrew Taylor and Assoc. Prof. Glen Phillips from ECU, to lend their considerable support.

Which they certainly, did over these many years, resulting in the thriving Community Writing Centre we see today.  A job well done.

Congratulations Trudy, for taking the initiative all those years ago and to everyone involved then or now.

 

@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #PeterCowanWritersCentre  #PCWC  #FAWWA   #GlenPhillips  #AndrewTaylor  #TrudyGraham

 

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Have to share this – it made my day…

 

@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #WonderfulWorld  #BBCVideos  #DavidAttenborough

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Shiela Sea

So atmospheric… lovely words.

sheila sea

you tried to cover up the smell of tobacco with mint.
sometimes rum, as well.
the thick smell of a lush lingers on the furniture.
the baseball caps are are still neatly lined up
though now,
they’re hidden away in the closet alongside laundry clips.
i have some sad news
there are no more birds,
they must have flown away..
i was lying in bed one morning
thinking about the beach
and i received a text.
that afternoon i bought a pack of cigarettes and a small white box of mints.

– sc

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‘The Dressmaker’

Can’t WAIT for this one to hit the screens.

Couture in the Country: starring Kate Winslet.

 

@FrancesMForde   #FrancesMacForde  #FILM:TheDressmaker  #KateWinslet  #DIR:SueMaslin

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Wish I could have attended – this would have been most inspiring.

WordMothers

Kate Forsyth, Danielle Wood, Garth Nix, & Wanda Wiltshire at Sydney Writers' Festival 2015 Kate Forsyth, Danielle Wood, Garth Nix & Wanda Wiltshire

I only went to one session today, but what a session! Myths, Fairy Tales and the Need to Believe with Danielle Wood, Garth Nix, and Wanda Wiltshire, chaired by Kate Forsyth. The panel aimed to address the question: Can fairy tales provide a cure for modern cynicism?

The writers began by talking a little bit about where the stories begin, with Wanda relating a wonderful tale of reaching the age of 40, still unsure what she was going to do with her life, and praying before bed one night that a story would come to her, only to wake with a 6-story series fully formed in her mind, complete with character names! Garth said that he never remembered his dreams, but was partial to the fugue state when one is half-asleep and said he once got an entire story—about toothache, no…

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Jean, through her Social Bridge blog, has inspired this posting by asking to see a version of down town.  It’s hard to get me out of the bat cave as I don’t often venture into town if I can avoid it, but when I do it’s usually for a meeting at the cultural centre, so straight to that carpark and up the lift to the meeting rooms.  I don’t dilly dally.  Not good with large crowds.

The Bat Cave.

My down town couldn’t be more different to Jean’s, so to give you some idea; I live in the (near) northern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia, 29.5km from the city which takes 26 minutes by very fast train.  (When I choose to drive often the train overtakes me while I do the speed limit of 100k – the train, it seems, has no such limit.)   

When I was studying for my degree between 1998 and 2001, I frequently used the train to go from home to Mt Lawley and WAAPA or ECU Campus.  I kept a notebook of poems and prose, ‘Rail Tales’ was re-printed in 2012

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“Rail Tales” re-published chapbook, 2012

 

I did do a ‘Coming home, 2003’  blog entry with lots of photos of the car trip, taken when we returned from Ireland.

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Ocean Reef Road leading to the sea, 5 min from where I live.

I recently Re-Blogged a post about our city which has amazing photos of the buildings; “Perth, is that you?”

Featured Image -- 3651

From the blog entry “Perth, is that you?’

Everyone drives a car here, it’s necessary because there are distances involved in going anywhere.

Two Rocks is an outer suburb at the northern edge of Perth, the state capital of Western Australia, Australia, located 61 kilometres north of the city’s central business district.”

My hubby does most of the shopping because we run a small food production business (registered) from home and I hate shopping.  If I go when I’m hungry, I buy all the worst goodies; so best I don’t go and I hate shopping for clothes.  I’m a maker, so my favourite shops are also within 5min (Spotlight) and 9min (Office Works) respectively.

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Coat made for a recent wedding.

As I mentioned, I very seldom go down town.  We have wonderful shopping centres near us ranging from HUGE (Whitfords City, Lakeside, Joondalup just one train stop away North or South, or 5 -10 mins by car) to smaller local shops with a large supermarket plus more than 20 retail outlets including hairdressers, chemist and post office plus the obligatory fast food outlets, within walking distance of home.

However, I do often drive down south (skirting the city) to visit my children and grandchildren; a trip of 50.2km there and another 50.2km home again.  The city boundaries extend about the same distance down south.  This map shows the Transperth Zones where my children live in Zone 3 to give you an idea of the distances.

Depending on the time of day the trip can take anything from 42min to more than 60 min  each way on our freeway, so I usually leave at home 10am and get back before 3.30pm.

Always worth doing; my grandies are (naturally) adorable and because it’s cold and wintery at the moment, I’m busy making beanies for them in various colours.  Of course, that means lots of trips to Spotlight for more wool and perhaps some more material for dresses, dollies etc…

What are you focussed on – right now?

150506SonjaKnitting (3)s  150509Hats 004s  150509Hats 002s150509Hats 006s150509Hats 001s150521OrangeBeanie 001s150209Babysitting (4)w

@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #BOOK:RailTales  #DownTown  #PerthCity  #TwoRocks  #NorthernSuburbs

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How wonderful to understand exactly the creative process of a Picture Book. Thank you so much for sharing this.

Nerdy Book Club

Many years ago, I worked in advertising –  making TV commercials, magazine ads and the like. While casting kids for a tv commercial, this little girl showed up with her sweater mis-buttoned, so I said, “she has more buttons than holes.” Then, of course, I did a doodle…

Wish1 Wish2

Which made me wonder if it could become a book…

Wish3

which made me do more doodles…

Wish4

Wish5

My initial idea was that the book would be a collection of “more this than that” situations.

At the same time, I was experimenting with watercolors and created this random image by sprinkling salt onto wet, blue paint, which was clearly meant to be a snow-filled sky.

Wish6

I liked many of the situations but there wasn’t much holding them together – no Big Idea to give them context. I had about 20 drawings, which I showed to my very smart friend Amy Krouse Rosenthal, asking…

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