Silver Linings

The recent damaging storm, in annihilating our jacaranda and various other shrubs in the garden, widened the rural vistas that can be enjoyed from our hillside home.  What an unexpected silver lining to that stormy event.  It wasn’t the only positive outcome either, but it leads me to think of another ‘silver lining’ of sorts; the lovely shimmer that emerged from the Newcastle Writer’s Festival last weekend.

I didn’t get involved in the inaugural Newcastle Writer’s Festival in 2013, so I was somewhat amazed to find myself … well, sort of in the thick of things this year. Firstly, there was the Catchfire Press session on day one. Not only was one of my writing group, Ms Metaphor going to read part of her first prize winning story, my own submission to the Catchfire writing competition had been commended and I’d been invited along. (The story will be included in the Catchfire Press anthology, ‘Watermark’ to be published in September). All very thrilling for this budding writer. Ms Metaphor, although confessing to ‘nerves’ read beautifully and I like to think she felt the moral support of her writing friends who turned out in force.

Secondly, I, along with two other writing group friends, Ms Jaunty and Ms Sweetness, had somehow been selected to read stories we’d previously submitted to ABC Open 500 Words Online. So, on the second day of the Festival, after wading in open-toed shoes along Civic Park pathways awash with streams of rainwater, I arrived at the City Hall, albeit wet and bedraggled and, taking strength from Ms Jaunty and Ms Sweetness who had both taken up the gauntlet of reading live ahead of me, read my piece to an amazingly warm and responsive audience which laughed and gasped in all the right places, not only throughout my offering, but also throughout the entertaining stories of each of my fellow readers.  Despite some prior niggles of trepidation and doubt, so typical of many writers asked to expose their work, the experience proved extremely rewarding and heartwarming – definite a silver lining to a very wet and slightly nerve-wracking morning.

Of course, there were other pluses too: coffee and lunch breaks with friends, informative sessions with author, Kate Forsyth, and yes … books for sale!

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8 thoughts on “Silver Linings

  1. Congratulations, Diana. Your achievements were justly deserved. I love the names you have for your writing group, and I know exactly who you mean. But I did wonder if you had one!?

  2. Thank you, Karen, for your kind comment. Pleased you liked the ‘names’ and I’ve taken your query on board – will have to give that some serious thought and come up with something that fits!

  3. Beautiful post Diana. I agree the day was one to remember; nerves, bravery, excitement all rolled into one. A wonderful achievement for you with Catchfire Press and also with your 500 word story with ABC. I was definitely laughing gasping and sighing in all the right places when the stories were read out. Thanks for your support at my reading. Your presence was definitely inspiring and supportive.
    P.S. I think I know which one I am!

  4. I appreciate your thoughts on the day and your kind comments, Maree. And I’m not at all surprised by your postscript! While I’m at it, lovely to have you on board with ‘A Budding Writer’.

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