Archive for February, 2016

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Congratulations on all counts, Charlotte!

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Looks interesting…

Write Note Reviews

Stories on Stage 2015 at Koorliny Arts Centre is about to get under way in Perth’s southern suburbs, with writers Susan Midalia and Laurie Steed kicking off a year of book-ish events on March 16. They be discussing the art of writing short stories as well as reading from their own works. I’ve just read Susan’s Feet to the Stars and it’s finely crafted and beautiful reading. Laurie, is someone I’ve come to admire through workshops, in which he shares his knowledge with writers of diverse experience. As someone who is working on her own novel, as well as a number of short stories, I am really looking forward to this event, as much for me as everyone else!


For those who don’t know, Stories on Stage is held five to six times a year. I created the event in 2012, as much from a desire to share my love of books, as one…

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Beyond ConTact


Nick Earls

I used to think contacting books – the application of a sticky sheet of protective plastic – was a punishment parents put themselves through, but now I realise it’s the school. It’s the system. And I’ve just faced it for the first time. I’ve just had my first wrestle with the giant sticky multi-limbed heartless beast that is contacting schoolbooks and, since it’s possible others didn’t make it out the other side, I’m reporting in.

We were told at the parent information night on Thursday that it’s to make sure labels on the front of the book stay stuck on properly. Heard that yourself, have you? Apparently that’s often how it starts, but don’t be fooled. If it’s the case, why not just stick them on properly in the first place? Why slap a label on in some dodgy way to start with, then require someone else to do something…

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Congratulations – looking forward to another excellent read.

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Miles Ahead

Thanks for the ‘heads-up’… I’m looking forward to this one!

The Fluff Is Raging

Jazz is not a subject that has been explored much in movies. Sure, there’s ‘Round Midnight and Bird, as well as biopics of the likes of Glenn MillerBenny Goodman, and, of course, Al Jolson. Hollywood, however, tends to prefer the excessesaggrandizement and pretensions of rock n’ roll musicians over the improvisational brilliance of cats like Charlie ParkerJohn Coltrane, and Miles Davis.

A new movie, however, might restore the balance and make the coolest music in history even cooler.

Miles Ahead, starring and directed by Don Cheadle, focuses on a period in the life of Miles Davis when he was trying to recover stolen tapes, and was in the company of an ambitious Rolling Stone reporter, played by Ewan McGregor.


The movie takes an unorthodox treatment of its subject. “When I met with [Miles’] family…

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Anna Jacobs, a lady I’ve proudly called a friend since the 80’s, has had phenomenal success in the UK. She’s just been voted the 10th most borrowed author in the British Library  of Adult and Children’s Fiction but the 5th most borrowed author of Adult Fiction.

Mind you, Anna’s worked extremely hard for it!

We met weekly as members of the FAWWA (Fellowship of Australian Writers, Western Australia) Romance Writers Group in the 80’s.  Anna had novels all ready in her drawer waiting and while generously sharing her expertise and enthusiasm, signed a contract for three books with a major publisher.  I remember how thrilled we all were – how we celebrated, swelling with pride.

Janet Woods was the next member of our group to achieve mainstream publication and again, we were all so proud.  Unfortunately, I fell by the wayside; divorce soured my feeling for romance and I steered well clear of it for the next few years.  Even in Romance Writing only the strongest and most talented survive…

2000SherryAnneJacobs 001W

Romance Writers Conference in Perth, 2000. Photo © Anna Jacobs. (I’m 6th from right.)

Georgette Heyer was a favourite writer growing up in hot, equatorial Africa.  Anna’s richly detailed Historical research and cleverly relatable characters, reminded me of those books I’d read and enjoyed so much, as a teenager.

And yes, I admit, I also used to read Barbara Cartland who was famously accused of plagiarism by Georgette Heyer in the 1950’s.

Of Barbara Cartland‘s 700+ books, I know I read a lot.  The recommendation is; “If you want to write Romance, you need to read at least 400 Romance Novels!”  Although, she was Princess Diana’s  step-grandmother, I believe in quality over quantity writing.

Georgette Heyer as the better writer of the two but my very favourite (and my sister-in-law Mum’s favourite) Romance writer is my friend Anna Jacobs who (so far) has 77 thoroughly researched and carefully plotted books under various names and genres.

When I heard Anna had won the top Australian Romance Writers ‘Ruby Award’ for ‘The Pride of Lancashire’, I had to send her some ruby flowers and lots of congratulations.  Her hubby kindly took a photo for me…


© 2006 Anna Jacobs ‘Ruby Award’

So if you aspire to write Romance, may I recommend you get hold of a copy of Anna Jacobs’  ‘An Introduction to Romance Writing’ and follow all directions.  If you then buy and study ‘Plotting & Editing’,  you’ll have learnt from a Mistress of Storytelling – and have one or two complete, well-edited manuscripts ready to send out.


@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #AnnaJacobs  #No5BritishLibrary  #No10MostBorrowed  #RomanceWriter  #2006RubyAward  #JanetWoods  #IntroRomanceWriting  #PrideOfLancashire  #GeorgetteHeyer  #BarbaraCartland  #WAWriters  #WestAustRomance  #RomanceWritersOfAustralia


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Thanks, Carly.

Carly Watters, Literary Agent

34d4f71fc9ac164fd6af6bc5770ca7e4One of the hardest things about being a creative person/writer/artist etc. is balance. When you work from home sometimes family members don’t know your boundaries. When you love your job sometimes it’s hard to stop working when your desk is always in the other room. Tell me in the comments what the hardest part of the “creative juggling balance” is for you.

Tips for Juggling Your Creative Life

  • Give yourself a schedule. I always advise writers to treat writing like a job if they want it to be a career. If you want it to be a hobby (and in that case, an agent might not be right for you at this time) then you can treat it like a hobby. But the only way to get writing done is to do it.
  • But remember to define your work day by what feels right–beginnings and endings don’t always start at…

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Anomalisa, again…

Here’s the trailer – I won’t be missing this one!

I loved the short film showing the making, too here: Luna Palace Cinemas Facebook page but you need to sign in.


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I won’t be missing this one!

Film Mafia

maxresdefault**** (out of five)

These days I stay until the end of the credits, not because I want to see if a Marvel movie throws me a bone, but because often end credits give you intriguing insights into a film’s production, from acknowledging tax credits (so that’s why so-and-so was shot in the Isle of Man) to revealing how many stunt people were involved (Mad Max: Fury Road many many; something CGI-heavy like a Marvel movie, less than you’d expect).

Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson’s remarkable animated feature Anamolisa’s end credits reveal that the film is indeed the work of old-school “puppeteers” (stop-motion animators) rather than computer whizzes; they also reveal thousands of thanked patrons who contributed to the film’s production via Kickstarter, which answered my question, “Wow, how in the world did this get made?”

That’s the question because the film is so personal, so unique and so blatantly…

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Stephen Page

Author: The Salty River Bleeds, The Timbre of Sand, Still Dandelions, A Ranch Bordering the Salty River. Alum: Palomar College, Columbia University, Bennington College. Follow on twitter @SmpageSteve on Instagram @smpagemoria on Facebook @steven.page.1481

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