Staying: A Memoir

Staying: A Memoir

Book Review by Sharon Dean Every part of this book makes my heart either ache or sing. In Staying, Jessie Cole describes the slow process of regaining her footing in the world after the suicide of her sister and then her father. ‘When someone takes their own life,’ she writes, ‘it is hard to forget that they […]

And let them have dominion

And let them have dominion

'And let them have dominion ...' A quote taken from the Bible - where dominion means dominance or supremacy or government and which might be interpreted to include care. ‘When the suffering of another creature causes you to feel pain, do not submit to the initial desire to flee from the suffering one, but on the contrary, come closer, as close …

Giant Frog Blog

Giant Frog Blog

SSOA writing coach Sharon Dean observes: I've always loved the following anecdote from the Japanese poet Kobayashi Issa (1763-1828), who was friends with a frog called Happy. Recently, at Never Never Creek near Bellingen, I was privileged to have a similar experience with a Giant Barred Frog, who followed me around and at one point even sat on my foot. …

Paris by Vélo

Paris by Vélo

What glorious autumn days we’re enjoying in Sydney this month! Whether you’ve been exploring our city’s beautiful parks and gardens – or merely sitting inside daydreaming about such leisurely pursuits – we invite you to read the following passages by SSOA member Helena Ameisen. Although not set in Sydney, Helena’s …

Reflecting on ANZAC Day

Reflecting on ANZAC Day

What does ANZAC Day mean to you? As revellers drank beer and played two-up outside nearby pubs, this was the question we tackled in our warm-up exercise at tonight’s regular writing group meet-up. Given only ten minutes to respond, participants reflected on subjects ranging from Czechoslovakian childhoods and Russian propaganda, to domestic violence …

Writing of the Week: Forging connections

Writing of the Week: Forging connections

Creativity often involves forging new connections between old ideas. At last Tuesday’s regular writing group meet-up, we gave our brains a workout by doing exactly that. First, we passed around a jar containing forty slips of paper. On each slip was one word representing either: a person (think ‘grandmother’, ‘pilot’, ‘baby’); a place …

Compassion Will Trump Animal Abuse

Compassion Will Trump Animal Abuse

Stepping up for animals and the environment in a harsh political climate Guest blog by Sharon Dean If Donald Trump’s success in the US election demonstrates anything without a doubt it is that there’s a sickness at the heart of the country. From the moment Trump entered the campaign, he gave voice to many aspects […]