Learning by doing

When I was locked in – I am loath to say stuck – in Sydney with loved ones three months longer than anticipated, I participated in an online ASA course on platforms like zoom, teams, etc. never thinking I would need to know, but just curious about how writers could still work in schools in the middle of COVID19. 

In Vienna they call it Corona and no doubt confuse it with fun times had with that beverage, which may explain all the current Austrian government shilly-shallying about lockdown with interminable press conferences gobbledygooking while hoping, no doubt, that it would all just go away. So stuck in Sydney from March to July was a real holiday in comparison, and I lost my zoom trepidation around which I had been tiptoeing.

But a few weeks ago Nancy Stohlman in the US invited me to her Going Short book launch in the UK, and threw me into the deep end. Her students read for a few minutes.

I read a piece from the anti-fascism novel in flash, Winds of Change, I had worked on in one of Nancy´s courses and on which she had given me feedback —and, wait for it- which has been accepted for publication in the USA by a small publisher in Florida called Breaking Rules Publishing. That name did it for me, and I´m grateful to Nick Gerrard in Czechia for recommending them as a publisher that might be interested in my weird political stuff, because for me even breathing is political.

Another exciting thing is that I was asked by Canadian Darcie Friesen Hossack, author of the story collection, Mennonites Don´t Dance, to come on board WordCity Monthly as fiction editor. We´ve already got two issues out there – September 2020 and October 2020, and are working on the December issue. Check out the great crew of editors!

And then Republic founder, Mbizo CHIRASHA, asked me for some poetry and did this with the little I could offer. Of course I was blown away by the reception, and am now motivated to read and write more poetry!

So what about zoom? Well, on Saturday, 21st November I´ll be zooming in Cairo at 7pm Cairo time and 6pm in Vienna. I´ll be talking to dear writing friend from my Geneva daze, the Egyptian novelist, Mohamed Tawfik. 

(When Mohamed was Ambassador to Australia, I was honoured that he and his wife, Amani Amin, attended the launch of my collection, Back Burning, at Gleebooks in Sydney.) 

So you see, anything learned is always useful, even under the strangest COVID conditions. So thank you, ASA, for your support!

I´ll leave you now for tomorrow is 1 November, the start of Flash Nano with Nancy Stohlman, and I´m hoping to get a bunch of flashes together for a new work on how digitization subverted the patriarchy.

That´s about all the news, but there is more in the pipeline, so stay tuned, and stay safe! And as always, I leave you with onwards!