I attended my first ever Webinar one  day, about a year ago. It was a web-based seminar on Characterisation, organised by the TBA Lounge, an American site, and was set to happen at 9.30pm Thursday Eastern American Time. This corresponded to 11.30 am Friday in Sydney. As well as filling in holes in my knowledge of how best to reveal characters in writing, it was fun to connect and interact with a lecturer and audience on the other side of the world. We, the participants, had the use of a bar for written responses, and a "golden hand" icon that allowed you to ask questions using the microphone on your computer or laptop. If you wished, you could just remain quiet and take notes in the traditional way. gandhi-madame-tussaud

The Anthropos is rising!

The age-old, original man is coming to claim us from our shadow imitations of manhood! Patriarchal Man is dying! You know him well - the one who feeds on dominance over women and children - The one who lords it over other men, And who rapes even the earth itself in the godawful illusion that he owns even Her. Macho Man is a zombie - a walking dead man who tries to keep himself alive by worshipping fire power. He stalks the earth with grotesque bravado, threatening the life of everything that breathes, unable to connect with anything except out of this Killer.

the-first-stoneWhen I studied The First Stone by Helen Garner at the University of Technology, Sydney as part of a Master's degree in Professional Writing, I noticed that there were two camps: those who loved her book, and those who saw her as a traitor to the feminist cause. It made me ask myself whether I, too, was such a traitor. I was in the former camp, but many of the (younger) women belonged to the other side, along with (I think) the male teacher at the time. Admittedly, this was one of her more polemical works, in that it dealt with her support of a master at a Melbourne university college, who in 1995 was accused of sexual misconduct towards two female residents. The main reason for her support, I gathered, was her compassion for the master and his family, over what she saw as a minor incident that could have been handled differently. Instead, he and his family had to suffer the ignominy of his sacking and public disgrace. It showed up a dichotomy between older and younger  feminists