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Archive for March, 2011

It all started a couple of months ago when Irina Spinadel, a French-Russian who is devoted to all things literary, rang up and asked me to give a talk on art and writing.  Specifically, she said, she wanted me talk about the parallel journey through Wiradjuri country that my brother Tim Miller, who is a painter, and I, had taken during the last couple of years. She had seen some of my brother’s paintings and had fallen in love with them and she knew about my writing journey too, so, she asked, how about I talk about both? (more…)

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I didn’t have a draft of a novel to work on, let alone a second novel. No film script, no memoir. I had a clutch of OK short stories and a clutch of NQR short stories. Then there’s the letter: what would I gain from two weeks with not much else to do but ‘be a writer’? This, I assure you, was a very focusing question.

But I want to write: more and more, and more than anything (crazy, I know). Bugger me: I got selected, and I got excited. (more…)

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This is Judy Johnson’s final dispatch from the Tyrone Guthrie Residency in Ireland:

One more view of the lake at Annaghmakerrig. Clouds floating on the water.

Last day. Last thoughts. It’s been a busy, productive, inspirational, challenging month. I’ve advanced a long way through my novel, largely
because I’ve had the space and time to just think without interruption.  They say that a truly committed author can write anywhere and under any circumstances, and while that may be true, there are definitely little pockets of nurture in the world that can help the process. And changing the normal routine can give the imagination a necessary jolt. I’m ready to go home now and finish what I’ve started. (more…)

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This is the second last dispatch from Judy Johnson at the Tyrone Guthrie Residence in Ireland:

Well, spring has arrived here in Annaghmakerrig, just when I’m about to leave! The snowdrops and buttercups are up and there is a warmth in the sun that just hasn’t been here before. It’s made me think about freshening up my approach to writing. (more…)

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Varuna Alumna Judy Johnson continues to report on her time at the Tyrone Guthrie International Exchange in Ireland:

The house here is said to be haunted.  Miss Worby roams the halls, climbs the stairs.  Checks each room, still carrying on her job as companion. Residents have felt her sitting on the end of their beds, or seen her just standing in the corner of their room.  She’s quite harmless they tell me. (more…)

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This is the first dispatch from Judy Johnson, Varuna’s current writer-in-residence at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Ireland. Varuna Alumni are eligible to take part in the annual Tyrone Guthrie International Exchange Lottery. For more information go to the Alumni Monthly Feature by clicking here.

Then try and resist throwing your towel in for the residency after you’ve read Judy’s first dispatch:

I’ve been here at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre for over two weeks now and I still keep thinking I’ll wake up one morning and it will have all been a dream. At the same time as pinching myself, I’m being more practical, counting down the 11 days I’ve got left and wondering how I can write well, relax well, soak up this experience so that when I come home I can carry something of the place back with me. (more…)

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