Category Archives: Life

My Writing Day

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Her name is Winter. She’s a Scottish Deerhound. Yes, she’s very tall. Saves bending over to give her pats – she’s already at just the right height.

One day a week. That’s all I have for my own writing. And when I say ‘day’ I don’t mean a whole day, I mean a school day, between about 9:30 and 3:00pm.

Also minus the school holidays. And minus time spent hanging out the washing, catching up on my day job, making cups of tea and procrastinating by playing Tetris. I’m now very good at Tetris.

My routine, on my writing day, is to take the dog for a walk after I’ve dropped the kids at school. Apart from the many therapeutic benefits of the forest, I use the time to decide exactly what it is that I plan to work on that day. I’ve learnt the hard way that if I don’t decide before I sit down at my desk, then I invariably fritter my time away hanging out the washing, catching up on my day job, making cups of tea and procrastinating by playing Tetris. Did I mention that I’m very good at Tetris?

You’d think it would be easy to decide, each day, what to work on next. Maybe it is, if you have the privilege of working on the same thing for multiple days in a row. But when it’s been a week, or more, since I last looked at the manuscript, I find it valuable to be very clear about the task at hand. It’s not at all simply a matter of writing about ‘what happened next’. If only!

Maybe, for example, I want to Read the rest of this entry

Vote for me – please?

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Writers Victoria is a wonderful organisation which supports and connects all types of writers at all stages of their writing careers.  I’ve been a member for more than ten years – attending courses and workshops, and enjoying the monthly magazine.  Writers Victoria also offers mentorships, a manuscript assessment service, and lots of support, advice and information.

So, in an effort to give something back, I’ve decided to stand for a place on the Committee of Management.  That is, I’d like to become a Board Member of Writers Victoria.

But to do that, I need your help.

In fact I really, really need your help.

This year, in an outstanding expression of confidence in the Writers Victoria organisation, 16 people have nominated for four vacant positions on the Committee of Management.  And because I failed to change my name by deed poll to Alice Aardvark, my name is last on the alphabetised list! Therefore, frankly, I definitely need your vote.

It’s very easy to vote BUT YOU NEED TO VOTE THIS WEEK.

Oh, and you also need to be a member of Writers Victoria.

If you are member of Writers Victoria, click here. You might need to login, if you haven’t done so already.

If after you’ve logged in, you need to find the appropriate page again, go the Writers Victoria home page, click on The Writing Life tab, and then select 2017 AGM and Committee Selections.

Download the proxy voting form (it is a Word document), fill it in (page 1) and nominate the four people you’d most like to see on the Writers Victoria Committee of Management (page 2).  Did I mention that my name is the last on the list?

Then send your form back to Writers Victoria by email or post, so that it is received no later than 6pm on Tuesday 4 April 2017.  VOTE NOW!

A brief statement for each nominee is provided on the subsequent pages of the proxy voting form. Here’s mine… it’s hardly my best prose but there was a word limit!

Michelle Scott Tucker

I live in regional Victoria and work as an Executive Director of ACIG, a specialist consulting firm (www.acig.com.au). I provide services to government and not-for-profit (NFP) clients in the areas of governance, process improvement, evaluation and review, change management and policy development. My clients include all three levels of government within Australia and organisations from health, education and NFP sectors. I also work internationally, with governments from around the world.

Business qualifications:
• Bachelor of Arts (BA, English and History)
• Master of Business Administration (MBA)
• Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).

I am finalising a biography of Anglo-Australian colonist Elizabeth Macarthur (1766-1850), to be released by Text Publishing in 2018. My agent is Jacinta Di Mase Management.

Writing qualifications:
• 2015 – selected, HARDCOPY Professional Development Program
• 2012 – shortlisted, Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship
• 2012 – Varuna Fellowship for Writing
• Piece recorded for ABC RN’s 360 Documentary program
• Blog – AdventuresInBiography.wordpress.com
• Member Writers Victoria since 2007

Statement:

Writers Victoria continues to expand and enhance the services it provides to regional writers and, as a regional writer myself, I would like to be part of that process. As a result of my career in government and business, I believe the skills I could contribute to the committee of management include:
• Expertise in governance, review and process improvement.
• Extensive experience in managing and writing grants and government tenders
• A track record of achieving positive outcomes in complex, multi-stakeholder environments.
• Thorough understanding of marketing and communications processes (my role at ACIG encompasses all our marketing and business development activities, including the development and maintenance of the company website and social media strategy).
• A career spent working with and for government agencies (I speak fluent bureaucrat and am happy to liaise with Writers Victoria’s government partners and stakeholders).
• A friendly, pragmatic and practical approach, and a genuine desire to foster a supportive and collegial working environment.

 

So, have you voted yet?  Go on – get to it! And feel free to encourage your Writers Victoria friends to vote too.

Working at Elizabeth Farm

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Working as a guide at a historic home sounds, for many people, like a dream job. But is it?

Last year I was lucky enough to meet the lovely Jacky Dalton, who works at Sydney Living Museums.

I subsequently asked her about how she came to be in her job and this is what she told me.

HUMBLE BEGINNINGS

My first connection with Elizabeth Farm was a ghost tour almost 16 years ago, and I immediately felt a connection with the property even though Read the rest of this entry

A cold day in… Elsinore

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We all know Hamlet never set foot in Kronberg Castle at Elsinore (Helsingør, Denmark) because, um newsflash – Shakespeare was not producing documentaries. But I couldn’t resist the temptation to go there.

And given how bloody cold it was (yes they’re icicles on the downpipes) I’m not at all surprised Hamlet was wondering whether or not life was worth living. Apologies to those of you who have already seen these on Facebook.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, I go on work trips to interesting places.  No, my working life is neither glamorous or exciting.

The people you meet…

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Given that writing is such a solitary act, I had no idea how many people I would meet in the process of writing my book. And what wonderful, friendly and helpful people they would turn out to be.

Mr John BoudenIn England, when I visited Elizabeth Macarthur’s birthplace (a tiny village in north Devon) I met Sheila Cholwill, her husband Colin and her good friend Rose Hitchings. For two days they showed me around, fed me, introduced me, and generally just made me feel extraordinarily welcome.  Octogenarian Mr Bowden showed me through St Bridget’s church (where John and Elizabeth Macarthur were married) and then rang the church bells for just for me!  That’s him holding the enormous key to the church.

Online I discovered Read the rest of this entry

Indigenous Immersion

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For the past three days my ongoing adventures in biography have immersed me in Aboriginal culture and I attended:

  • Indigenous Cultural Awareness course
  • Indigenous Language Intensive
  • Guided tour of the Mt William stone axe quarry

Want to know what I learned? Read the rest of this entry