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“Hi I’m Marele Day and I’m reading from The Sea Bed which is a novel set in a community of abalone diving women.
Lilli climbed the pyramid of rock, sat on the peak, knees to her chest, feet poised. The reef was out there somewhere, in a straight line left of the dragon’s claw. Reef, seaweed, fish, tides, currents. This was the language Cedar had taught her. The sea’s distant humming, its bubbly shore chatter.
This was Lilli’s blood. It held the memories of her mother and her grandmother. Lilli imagined them sea-changed, travelling the world, waves reaching to the farthest shores and circling back again. Curving the bodies of dolphins, shooting up through the blowholes of whales, inundating coastlines, crashing against cliffs, changing colour – green, blue, grey. Black. Drifting westwards, eastwards, north and south, streaming into gulfs, going everywhere it was possible to go, then sleeping deep in the Marianas Trench.
Sleep your way down to the bottom, conserve your energy. Relax. Stay alert. Be respectful of the sea. Don’t turn your back on her.
The beach was deserted. Lilli shed her clothes and eased herself down to the edge of the water. Then she plunged in, the tangy chill rushing to meet her, licking, nibbling, flooding her body.
Bubbles filled her ears with sea whisperings; she felt her hair lifted; free, waving like seaweed. She became an aquatic creature, shaped by the water. Her movements long and graceful, it was impossible to hurry. Though her eyes were blurred with sea she saw a school of fish turning in unison at her approach, their tiny bodies like specks of silver. She released some air, watched the bubbles rise, streams of sunlight catching them. All around her were tiny particles of life.
Lilli’s lungs were signalling. Time to go back. She burst through the surface into the air. Light, bouyant, washed.”
ABOUT MARELE DAY:
Marele Day is the award-winning author of the internationally acclaimed Lambs of God as well as Mrs Cook: The Real and Imagined Life of the Captain’s Wife. She has travelled extensively, lived in Italy, France and Ireland, and survived near-shipwreck in the Java Sea. Earlier works include the Claudia Valentine mystery series. She is the editor of How to Write Crime and co-editor of Making Waves: 10 years of the Byron Bay Writers Festival. Marele is also a highly experienced teacher, mentor and facilitator of writing courses and masterclasses throughout Australia. She has won several awards including the Ned Kelly Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008. Her latest novel, released in 2009, is The Sea Bed.
“I’ve had a long association with Varuna in my capacity as teacher and mentor, including workshops as part of Litlink’s Flying Writers’ Service in 2004-2005 and mentoring two crime writing weeks at Varuna in 2011.” Marele Day
Claudia Valentine Mystery Series:
The Life and Crimes of Harry Lavender, 1988
The Case of the Chinese Boxes, 1990
The Last Tango of Dolores Delgado, 1992
The Disappearances of Madalena Grimaldi, 1994
Mavis Levack, PI, 2000 – a collection of crime-comedy stories
Successful Promotion by Writers, 1993
How to Write Crime (editor), 1996
Making Waves: 10 years of the Byron Bay Writers Festival (co-editor)
Shirley’s Song, 1984
Lambs of God, 1998
Mrs Cook: The Real and Imagined Life of the Captain’s Wife, 2003
The Sea Bed, 2009
via Allen & Unwin or Varuna
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