[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="300" class="zemanta-img"] Aristotle (Photo credit: maha-online)[/caption] Our writers' group recently invited a speaker from the University of Technology, Sydney to present a talk on "Poetics", which he defined as the features of narrative writing. Did you know that Aristotle wrote the first literary treatise,...

I've recently reviewed Women Authors by Linda McMahon  and would like to share with you some of its content and my appraisal. Linda interviewed five Australian women writers (Wendy Harmer, Cate Kennedy, Jill Morris, Katherine Scholes and Rachael Treasure) about their craft, and how they managed to publish their books while married with kids. Harmer and Treasure are both journalists, although they have branched out into other areas of interest, including fiction. Jill Morris has a wide-ranging career based in non-fiction, playwriting, fiction, publishing and films. Kennedy and Scholes have focused solely on adult fiction, both short story writing and novels. As they've all had to balance successful careers with child-rearing, support from partners has been a huge factor in their success. Nature appears to play an important motivating role for most of these women, as does the existence of childhood obstacles they've had to overcome. They all name the ability to tell a story well as the most important aspect of being a good writer.

Many well-known writers down through the ages have suffered from melancholy or melancholia. This sort of ongoing negative feeling that artistic people often suffer from is different from everyday sadness or occasional bouts of depression that many of us feel from time to time. Extreme...

We sped in a First Great Western train towards Oxford via Slough and Reading, passing through picturesque countryside, woolly green hills dotted with slate-roofed red brick houses; no water restrictions here; verdant pastures and flat crops under a vaulted cloud-filled sky. So different from drought-ravaged...

Tonight: Despite our best-laid plans, our travel was initially upset by the Qantas engineers' "requirements" (strike).  We were bused to the Ibis Hotel in Darling Harbour in Sydney to spend our first night, instead of in Singapore. Once we got to Singapore, we managed to grab six hours' "horizontal time" at the Traders' Hotel, before getting on the Qantas flight for London at 2 am the next morning. Flying over London at 7 am in fine weather was breathtaking. The first landmark that was pointed out to me on the edge of the Thames was "The London Eye," as it has become known: the highest ferris wheel in the world. Then I saw the Tower Bridge and felt like I was really in London. Londoners believe it to be the most famous bridge in the world, and yet most outsiders don't even know its name: "Isn't it London Bridge?" they ask. [caption id="attachment_13499" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]trafalgar square Trafalgar Square[/caption]