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There appears to be contradictory advice about structuring narrative, so it’s no wonder it’s confusing and can take a long time to figure out a style that suits an individual piece of writing. A cursory internet search comes up with many different approaches. There’s Chekhov’s gun, where Chekhov famously wrote that a rifle on the […]
My children excitedly clutch two end-of-term vouchers to a burger franchise. On each blue rectangle of cardboard are their names written by their occasionally exasperated, but most often excellent, kids’ gymnastic coach. They’ve been looking forward to this day. They’ve waited—not patiently—through the post-Christmas consumption of obligatory left-overs and for relatives to return to the […]
I’ve heard it said that it’s wrong to anthropomorphise animals. The same logic has been applied to the environment; we tend to reduce the elements and landscapes to something more understandable, more manageable, like a human mood. Personification, anthropologists say, has been done by every culture through time. It is said to foster human understanding. […]
They search for meaning in the volumes of thick paper stitched together in fine leather with gilt borders on the shelves of libraries housed in their great temples—so many smart words ordered in regimental lines—but essence cannot be captured in a story with a beginning, a middle and an end and packaged up neatly into […]
A new year usually brings refreshed optimism, talk of resolutions and hopes for the year ahead. We associate Australian summers with beach holidays, eating too much stone fruit and forgetting what day it is in the elastic time between Christmas and new year.  The beginning of 2020 is different. This summer is punctuated by bushfire […]
When I move out of our shared home, I take with me my personal items and clothes and not much else. My absence is most noticeable in the near-empty bookshelves. Once double-stacked, the books are now packed into three denominations; for storage (in boxes), for donation (in tote bags), and to read (carried in stacks […]
At daybreak I follow you, search for footholds. Soft dawn light lifts above the horizon, tilts me horizontal. I half-watch the loose ground, half-watch the notch-notch-notch curve of your spine press-press against your shirt as you climb the incline ahead of me, I climb; I am inclined. You lead me to the top of a […]
I’d kept a blog through my teenage years, partly out of curiosity about the Internet, which was still pretty new to us back then. I’d written diligently about completely inane and vapid details of my daily life as a completely ordinary teenager. Then at some point—I’m still not quite sure when—I stopped blogging and somehow […]
In 1999, the Belgian artist Francis Alÿs, known for, amongst other things, pushing a block of ice through the streets of Mexico City (Paradox of Praxis 1, 1997), took a walk across Hyde Park in London. The walk, memorialised only in a simple, unembellished photograph of an aerial view of the park, he titled ‘Pebble Walk’, christening […]
In my final year at Junior College, when I was 18 and about three months away from the ‘A’ Levels, someone discovered that someone else had messed up a thing or two with the curriculum of my Higher Art class, and, as a result, we had unfortunately been missing out on a lot of the compulsory syllabus. […]
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