Writing:  It was such a pleasure to spend several hours at Chatswood High on Friday with students taking part in the Bangalay Literary Festival for local schools.  Students have been given copies of my YA novel A Ring Through Time to read, and our workshop was spent on generating ideas: where do they come from, with a series of short exercises to stimulate the imagination and to start writing (or typing as the case may be!)  This was followed by exploring themes and some work on devising characters and also getting to know them.  Character is plot!  It was a long session and I was so impressed by the diligence and imagination of the participants.  I’m looking forward to the follow-up session at Forest HIgh in a couple of months.

Drama!  I saw a wonderful production of Macbeth at the Opera House on Saturday afternoon. I haven’t seen a production of this play since I was very young, and I was absolutely blown away by its power and  passion, and the brilliant actors who kept me riveted throughout.  The tragedy unfolded from the sinister gathering of the witches and their temptation of Macbeth to the culmination of his ambition, and the terrible toll that it took on both him and his lady.  I’m not sure how much longer the play will run, but if you love Shakespeare – or are in need of an introduction to the greatest playwright in the canon of Western literature – do get tickets if you can!

Music!  It was a weekend of being spoilt at the Opera House as I was back there on Sunday in the Utzon Room listening to a Renaissance repertoire from the amazing Gesualdo Six who sang (unaccompanied) motets from various composers including my favourites: Thomas Tallis and William Byrd. Such a memorable afternoon looking out at our wonderful Sydney Harbour (albeit grey and rainy!) and listening to this exquisite music so lovingly presented. I felt like putting up my hand at the end and asking if we could just hear the whole programme all over again!  But at least I could come away with a CD, so their music will continue to sing to me.  Magical..

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  1. Penguin Book Writers are thrilled to combine writing, drama, and music to create immersive experiences for audiences. Join us for captivating performances and interactive sessions that blend literature with the arts to inspire and entertain.

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