Short stories as art and craft

Short stories in collections

Short stories fascinate and often delight both readers and writers. They can be compared to pieces of art or even to poems. All three capture a mood or an emotion that lingers long after you view, read or listen to them.

In the past, I’ve reviewed short stories, including ‘Killing Daniel’ and Everywhere I Look, both by Helen Garner, one of my favourite authors. But recently I rediscovered how much I enjoy short stories to the extent of binge-reading and finding new favourite authors.

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How a gratitude journal can transform your life

Picture Daily gratitude journal

A daily gratitude journal can be an awesome tool for anyone who wants a happier, more fulfilled life. The simple act of giving thanks in writing for even the smallest pleasures can lighten the dark days. When life runs smoothly, making a note of things we enjoy enhances our happiness.

As an old French proverb reminds us, ‘Gratitude is the heart’s memory’.

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Kalbarri memories – the scenic route

Kalbarri Western Australia

Kalbarri memories seem important this weekend. I’m trying to forget about COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter protests, as well as bullying on Facebook and Messenger. It feels as if these call for an antidote such as a blog about something totally different. What better than to write about than a place I love?

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Artist’s dates add sparkle to life

Artist's date

Artist’s dates were high on my list of things I missed during COVID-19 isolation. Both have been regular, important parts of my life for decades. I missed the fizz of new ideas and the sparkle of self-induced fun. I know that brains need novelty and stimulation and wrote about that here. But when I couldn’t go out, I felt helpless and slightly deprived, although on the whole isolation didn’t affect me badly.

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The Yield by Tara June Winch, a review

Cover of The Yield

The Yield by Wiradjuri author Tara June Winch earned its place on the Miles Franklin Longlist for 2020. The finalist will be announced on 16 July. The author’s first novel, Swallow the Air, won numerous literary awards.

Last weekend, many Australians attended Black Lives Matter protests. I chose instead to immerse myself in this beautifully written and rewarding book about Aboriginal people.

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Black Lives Matter – ethical questions

Black Lives Matter

Black lives matter. So do all other lives. Black Lives Matter protests around the world have galvanised countries and communities. But an inherent conflict exists in Australia. There is a desire to protest on behalf of black people, as well as the requirement to obey laws that exist to prevent further outbreaks of the deadly COVID-19.

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Exploded View by Carrie Tiffany – review

Exploded View cover

Exploded View by Carrie Tiffany will take its place at the forefront of both Australian and women’s literature. The winner of the inaugural Stella Prize, the author presents the reader with a dark, tightly controlled and poetic novel which has been long-listed for the 2020 Miles Franklin Literary Award.

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Post-isolation and mixed emotions

post-isolation emotions

Post-isolation emotions render me vulnerable and anxious, mixed with relief. There’s joy. My family and I can visit and talk to face to face. There’s a downside, as well. Ten weeks of restricted activity changed my view of the world. My fitness suffered although I walked every day. But unless I swim regularly, my arthritic joints complain bitterly.

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How to gain momentum after hibernation

How to gain momentum after isolation

Wondering how to gain momentum after several amazing months of isolation? The COVID-19 pandemic sent us all to the shelter of our homes.

It felt strange at times, but I soon adapted and began to like the new gentle pace. Now I’m starting to think ‘coming out’ might be a slower process than I first thought.

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Jargon and slang – COVID-19 changed our language

Jargon, slang and COVID-19

Jargon and slang related to COVID-19 changed the language of Australia. It happened almost as fast as the novel coronovirus which causes the disease that devastated populations spread across the world. Everyone learnt and began to use the formal and informal languages quickly.

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