Monthly Archives: October 2013

I knew I was a …. storyteller

When I was a child     A very young child     I had many siblings

Some were afraid of the dark

Some liked to listen to the dreams of far, far away

All liked to know     Someone was there     To make the darkness into light

Make the monsters be friendly     Give them dreams of a tomorrow

Where they could be wise     Or wealthy     Or famous

I would tell them the stories     Make them up     Take other people’s stories     Make them our own

Whisper them quietly     Speak them loudly     Sing them badly

I did not write these stories down

But I was the storyteller

And they will all tell you     The story     Of their own oral book store.

When I was eight, I went to a country school.  It was scary, because I was used to radio school (they call it school of the air now).  In radio school, you only did school stuff in the mornings, and the afternoons were for exploring, working, walking, and doing kid things, like making up new worlds, meeting strangers as friends, making canoes from tin and barbed wire to row down a dry creek, stealing honey from bees – you know, the good stuff.  But it all ended when we went to a town.  In the town, there was rubbish on the streets, in the creeks, on the beach.  If you went to the main shopping area, there was a smell of rot – rotting food, rotting people, rancid beer, rancid dogs.  I didn’t like the smells, or the rubbish, so I did a project for school.  I don’t remember what the title was, but the subject was rubbish, litter, human filth and carelessness for the world they lived in.  It got an excellent mark, and my teacher submitted it for consideration at the state science fair.  It won, and was published in a serious science journal.

I wish I still had a copy of my first non-fiction written work.  And I think it’s still as relevant today as it was then.  Maybe I should do another one …. Or maybe, I’ll write fiction to bring to light all the things I think we could do better.  Yes, that’s it – I’ll write the stories I used to make up for my siblings, and I’ll put in them the things that make the world good.  I’ll deal with the bad, the evil, the smelly things as only a writer can, and I’ll try to take it to the world of the young so they can do their best to enable their world to be beautiful, and wise, and wealthy in many things.

I need to write.  My life spirals out of control if I can’t put words into their own space and story.  My stories are my safe haven, and I can make my heroes and heroines do the things I can only dream of doing.  But through them, I live a full and interesting life that is both well-grounded and on the very edge.  What could be better?

What I write:

I will read almost anything – even the bad stuff has things we can use to learn.  I will write almost anything, but I like to write fantasy because that is the world where I can do all of the things I mentioned above.  I like to write romance (especially the hot stuff) because I believe we are all connected and love is the thing that makes those connections sing a beautiful song.  I like to write science fiction because I believe we can learn from the potential of the sciences, and put forward a scenario of ‘what it would be like …’ using the sciences (all of them, including the ‘soft’ sciences).  I like to write children’s stories because I believe children are our future, and we (adults) need to ensure we produce children who can be fully functioning members of a connected society.  Am I a dreamer?  Yes, of course!  Do dreams come true?  Yes, of course!  Is it easy?  No.  Yes.  No.  Anything that becomes easy, is only easy because we have done so much work to make it to that point.  So, yes it is easy, and no, the hard work is still hard work, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

CS Dunn©2013.


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Theme: Essential Oils

Don’t forget to email this month’s short story (under 2000 words)  by next Thursday 1st November, so we have a chance to read them before November’s meeting.  As usual, stories can either be:

  • ones you are already working on,
  • part of longer projects or
  • to the month’s suggested theme of Essential Oils.


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When I First Realised I was a Writer

(a mandate from our Reluctant Secretary- “Write a  paragraph on why you write, or when I first realised you were a writer.”)

Hello. My name is Karen and I am a writer.

I did not realise I was a writer in primary school.
I hid the book I wrote in high school.
I did not admit that I was a writer when penning articles for magazines.
I pushed away the ideas and writings for a memoir as I was not ready to face the daemons… quite yet.
I first realised I was a writer when I woke up at 3 am and was scrounging for paper and pen, in the moonlight, to scribble down some prose. My husband woke, mumbled something and rolled over as if it was the norm.  I write because I must. I get grumpy when I don’t write. I have these weird and wonderful characters knocking on the inside of my skull, demanding to be heard. When I do write them, they have a life of their own. They have always been there. Now they are happy too.

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October – Mostly about Dragons

October: Theme Dragons (themes are not compulsory).

Up for discussion and critique today were:

  • short story on Dragons,
  • part of a novel – the bit introducing the dragons.
  • and a short story based on Punch.

I received some very useful feedback on my short story: ‘Here be Kitchen Dragons’. I see a rewrite in the near future. I also got some good ideas to resolve some plot issues I have for my novel.  I am looking forward to next month. Now I just need to put my thinking cap on for next month’s theme: Essential Oils.

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Theme: Dragon

Short stories based (on the theme Dragons) or other, are due to be emailed today. I am looking forward to reading them!

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