A question of websites: Margaret answers

Writings and Musings of Margaret McCaffrey

Why I Write my Blog

I set up the Writings and Musings blog because I wanted to have an online presence without being tied to the imperatives of the more ‘instantaneous’ or immediate social media platforms.

The focus of my blog is primarily the craft of memoir. I am fascinated by how people write in general, whether it be fiction, poetry, screenwriting or song. My musings are personal reflections, such as ‘Putting the Me in Memoir’ or ‘The Interface between Memoir and Fiction’. I mix these thoughts with other items of interest. ‘Where do you Write?’, ‘Writing in Bed’, and ‘The Car Park’ all touch on where and how one writes (the latter being about working outdoors during an interminable Melbourne lockdown).  

When my group Elwood Writers (EW) has a shared activity, such as a book launch, a soiree, or a radio presentation, I like to notify people of that.

The blog is intended for anyone who likes to write, and for people drawn to such themes as veterans of war, the relationship between fathers and daughters, and how to write about the ‘self’ – not always an easy task. Occasionally I have military folk visit my site. I am never sure if my point of view coincides with theirs. But no matter their views, I’d like to think that the posts are occasionally helpful to them.

More than anything, the blog is helpful to me. We are all surviving something, and writers are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to build worlds and stories from their experiences and imagination. Cunningly, as Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club) has it – this is especially true for the memoirist – ‘life never works except in retrospect’. For me, discussing ideas on writing allows discourse with the wider world – which in turn helps me collect my own thoughts as I go.

Besides, it’s fun.

Don’t touch that dial

A reminder to stay tuned to 94.9 MAINfm today to hear Elwood Writers’ Helen McDonald read from the group’s anthology, Every Second Tuesday.

Helen will be on The Quiet Carriage with Paul J Laverty from 1:00pm. You can listen on the radio, or online from anywhere in the world.

For listening info, go here.

The Quiet Carriage is MAINfm’s dedicated literature show all about books and authors, hosted by Paul J Laverty. MAINfm comes out of Castlemaine in Victoria.

Happy listening!

New-Year Highs

While last year was taken up with the production and launch of our anthology Every Second Tuesday, each of us was also busy working on our individual projects. We all rounded off the year on personal highs.

Jennifer’s short story ‘The First Day’ was awarded a Highly Commended in the Port Stephens Literature Awards 2020.

Margaret’s story ‘Pastry Fever’ appeared in the Fall 2020 edition of Door Is A Jar literary magazine (Issue 16). Door Is A Jar is a US publication of poetry, short fiction, nonfiction, drama and artwork.

Helen was excited to have her poem ‘In deep blue’ selected for Democratic Poetic | Poetry Matters Issue 40 December 2020, a gathering of the journal’s finest poems from 2006 to 2019.

The successful launch of Barry’s first book Broken Rules and Other Stories in September was followed by the publication of Every Second Tuesday, and Barry is already planning and writing his next book.

The creative spirit surges. Watch this space throughout 2021 for more Elwood Writers news.

Now, Voyager

It’s one week since Every Second Tuesday was launched by Lee Kofman in a wonderful online event hosted by Readings. If you booked a ticket to the launch, you will have received a link to the recording. That link is still live, but will expire shortly. But you can save the video forever by clicking on the link and choosing the download options in the viewing window. Then you can watch it this year, next year, or whenever suits.

Now the book is sailing steadily on its journey. One of the best ways to support Elwood Writers is to read our work. For book lovers in Australia, we’d encourage getting hold of the anthology from Readings. Overseas readers might want to go here.

Or if you’d like to support a favourite bookstore but they don’t have the book in stock, why not ask if they can order it in for you. The ISBN is 978-0-6450041-0-6 and the publishing imprint is Rightword Enterprises.

The e-version is available from all the usual places.

If you have any issues or questions, do get in touch in the comments and replies box below this post.

Happy reading!

Anthology stories

The podcast of last week’s Cover to Cover is available by clicking through to the Vision Australia Radio website. You can also find the podcast on Spotify.

The program features readings by Alison Davies and producer Tim McQueen of stories by Elwood Writers from our new book Every Second Tuesday, including Jennifer’s ‘Teleférico’, a selection of Helen’s haiku inspired by Japan and Australia, Margaret’s ‘The White Woman’, and Barry’s ‘Tongue’.

Happy listening!

Turn on, tune in, but don’t drop out

This evening, Tim McQueen presents a special edition of Cover to Cover showcasing stories and poems from our brand new anthology Every Second Tuesday: 8:00PM Vision Australia Radio 1179 AM and VA Radio Digital, repeated Sunday 1:30PM.

Listen on the radio if you’re in Australia, or online from anywhere in the world. The times listed are Australian Eastern Standard, so make sure you do any necessary adjustments. Online listening links can be found by clicking here.

A podcast of the program will become available after this week’s broadcast. VAR podcasts are now available on Spotify.

Thank you to Alison Davies and Tim McQueen for reading our work on air. We can’t wait to hear the readings.

Learn more about the work of Vision Australia Radio at their website, here.

To find out how to get hold of a copy of Every Second Tuesday, go here.

Armistice Day

In 2018, Elwood Writers was commissioned by Vision Australia Radio’s Tim McQueen to create the material for a special edition of the literary program Cover to Cover. The program was to commemorate the centenary of Armistice Day, and was broadcast then repeated on 9 and 11 November.

Today marks 102 years since the signing of the armistice ending the First World War. For another chance to hear our Armistice Day Centenary stories, an audio file of the commemorative edition of Cover to Cover can be accessed here.

The stories are also collected in a dedicated section of our new anthology Every Second Tuesday, available soon from selected bookstores including Readings. Every Second Tuesday will be launched on 9 December by local author Lee Kofman at an online Q&A and celebration through Readings. Details are on the Readings events page, here. Tickets are free, and booking is necessary to receive the Zoom link on the day of the launch. We’d love to have you there, and hope you can join us.

So whether listening or reading is your preference, please enjoy our Armistice Day stories, each a reminder of a time when guns across the world fell silent and peace prevailed.

Book Launch Invitation

We are delighted to have the Elwood Writers group – Jennifer Bryce, Margaret McCaffrey, Helen McDonald and Barry Lee Thompson – join us online to discuss Every Second Tuesday. A new anthology of poetry, fiction and memoir, this kaleidoscope of stories spans the globe from the trenches of France in World War One to a dystopian Australia, via contemporary Harlem and the streets of northern England. The Elwood Writers will chat about their book and their group with award-winning local author Lee Kofman.

Elwood Writers in conversation | Wed 9 Dec 2020 at 6:30pm

from the Readings events page

It’s coming! Our anthology Every Second Tuesday is about to hit the shelves, and we’d love you to join us online as Lee Kofman launches the book with Readings on Wednesday 9 December at 6:30pm (AEST). This is a free event, though booking is required in order to receive the meeting link on the day of the event.

Every Second Tuesday | Stories by Elwood Writers

As it’s an online event, geography is no bar to attending. There are no limits to how many people can come along, so feel free to share this invitation far and wide. And if you’re unable to make it on the day, book a ticket anyway to automatically receive a recording to watch at your leisure.

Here’s the event details again: Elwood Writers in conversation | Wed 9 Dec 2020 at 6:30pm. Booking info is on that page, or this link takes you straight to the booking page. It’s free, and it’s online.

So wherever in the world you might be, we hope you’re able to celebrate with us in some way. We guarantee it’ll be a night to remember.

Every Second Tuesday, update

The publication of Every Second Tuesday, an anthology of our writing from over the last ten years, is being held back until early November. By that time we anticipate seeing a little more stability in the literary landscape as new and exciting models of delivery are embraced.

In the meantime, here’s a peek at the book’s back cover:

And before the anthology arrives, we have the release of Barry’s collection of fiction to look forward to. Broken Rules and Other Stories is coming out on 1 September. More information is available at the Transit Lounge website, here.

So please stay tuned – there’s a lot happening this year, and we’ll be providing plenty more updates along the way.

Happy reading and writing.