Thanks for inviting me to answer your website questions, Elwood Writers. Here are my responses.
What was your original intention when setting up your website?
It was a while ago, but if I cast my mind back, one of the main things was having some kind of online presence, in line with advice I was hearing at literary events. I spent ages debating the pros and cons, on paper and with Elwood Writers. The details are swirling in the mists of time, but I concluded that it’d be a good idea to start a blog. I began with wild and ambitious ideas for its direction. It would be different to anything that had ever gone before (!), an experimental fictional adventure. I would write a brand new post every day. Or more! These were early ramblings, and useful to have had because now I needn’t wander there ever again. It’s been invaluable throughout to discuss aspects of building an online presence with the group. In a sense, we all came to the brave new online literary world together, so it’s been very much a shared experience.
Continue reading “A question of websites: Barry answers”
The woman brought him a bar of chocolate. He didn’t usually eat chocolate, but she’d loosened the wrapper for him and he didn’t want to hurt her feelings. He placed an oblong in his mouth and allowed it to melt into claggy sweetness upon his tongue. He ate the entire bar, piece by piece, and when he’d finished he folded the wrapper carefully and put it in his anorak pocket and fastened the flap.From ‘Just Martin’
I wrote the short story ‘Just Martin’ some years ago, and have tried to place it in a variety of journals and competitions. I’m thrilled that it has found a home in the pages of Every Second Tuesday. I was discussing the story’s journey with another member of Elwood Writers recently. They suggested, and I’m paraphrasing, that perhaps for some readers a difficult aspect might be that they are not sure by the end if Martin is or will be okay. The story represents only a couple of hours at most in the young boy’s life; even if he is okay for now, there might be many such episodes ahead. Perhaps to some extent we are left troubled, wondering whether he has the resources to survive well in a difficult world. I feel that the moment where he places the folded chocolate-bar wrapper into his anorak pocket is important; that it tells us something significant about him and about the way he is in the world. I’d like to think he’s going to be just fine.
It’s hard to believe that only a few weeks ago we were among throngs of people at Adelaide Writers’ Week, attending sessions in the gardens, meeting in cafes, having dinner in bustling eateries – activities that would be unthinkable now. As the world adjusts to its new realities, so too does Elwood Writers. We’re continuing to meet as we have for over ten years, every second Tuesday, but for the foreseeable future our workshops will take place not in the seaside suburb from which we take our name, but via telecon. Audio only, so we don’t have to worry about coordinating our outfits or fixing our hair. We had our first run at this last Tuesday and it went really well. I’m sure we’ll thrive under the new conditions. But I’m already missing the biscuits and cake.
Margaret talks about writing mentorship in The Good Mentor, the latest blog post on her website. “That person, who for one part of our journey at least, is right for us.”
On Friday 1st and Sunday 3rd September, Vision Australia Radio presented a special Fathers Day edition of its Cover To Cover literary program, featuring the work of Elwood Writers. If you missed the program, there’s now an opportunity to hear the podcast at your leisure here.
We hope you enjoy the stories. We welcome feedback, so if you have any thoughts you’d like to share, please voice them in the comments field below.
Happy listening! from Elwood Writers.