Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Separation

 I saw a movie last night that I recommend — an Iranian film called A Separation.
It's about a woman who wanted to leave Iran to get a better future for her daughter, and the husband who cannot leave because he cares for his elderly father, who has Alzheimers, and the consequences that arise from the stress this puts them under. 
 It was a wonderful movie — intense, subtle and complex, with no easy resolutions. I felt for every one of the characters. The acting was excellent, even by the children. The daughter, torn between her parents, was superb in her restrained desperation. No teen histrionics here.

 And the little girl whose pregnant mother came to take care of the elderly father — both were excellent.
It was also a fascinating glimpse into another culture. 
 No wonder it won an Oscar for Best Foreign Film.

Well worth seeing if you can manage it.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

When words fail...

I've been pondering on the failure of words to convey what you intend. Partly it's because I'm ditching a big chunk of the beginning of my current book, and starting again from scratch. Partly it's because a friend is currently ill, and a group of us sent her flowers and a simple message.

 Or so we thought.
Today she wrote to us and, to her thanks, added this:

Card read ‘think  of this as super placement’.  Now, I had enough functioning brain cells to realise something had been lost in translation, but what?  3am it struck me – super placement, soup replacement.

It gave us all a giggle, and I was reminded of some other failures of the "Chinese whispers" variety -- you know the old game, where one person passes on a whispered message, and they pass it on... and by the time you get to the end of the line the message bears no resemblance to the original.

These are of the cake decorating variety -- cakes ordered over the phone, and then... words fail. Or maybe ears fail.

I love this one, picturing the bride and groom (clearly keen gardeners) in green... and not a drop of green icing in sight.

But I don't think this was what was ordered, either.
And you know exactly what was ordered here:
Anyway, these gave me a laugh, and put me in a better frame of mind for restarting the book. There are plenty more of these cake disasters on the web — just google cake wrecks.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Winter Writing Workshops, Trinity College, Melbourne Uni

I've been working on a new project, lately. Last year I attended the Summer Film School at Trinity College, Melbourne University, and enjoyed it so much I went back again this summer.

That first year I met Sharon Peers who runs it, and also a lecturer at Melb Uni, Bryony Cosgrave and we got talking about putting together a writing workshop for popular fiction.

I'm glad to say it's become a reality. The workshops will take place over the weekend of June 15-17, 2012, starting with a Friday evening session, and then all day Saturday and Sunday.

We've lined up some wonderful authors — crime writer, Shane Maloney, and fantasy, YA, children's writer and historical novelist Kate Forsyth. And of course, I'm taking some sessions, too. I think it's going to be a wonderful weekend.

If you've ever wanted to get started on a novel, or just hone your writing skills, all in the gorgeous surroundings of Melbourne University, this is your opportunity.

I've put together a website with the basic information — the details are on a downloadable pdf file.