Divertimento

Nothing in this book is true—please believe me when I tell you that these stories are complete fabrications. Lies. Fantasies plucked from thin air, dreams recorded after deep sleep, tales spun from nothing. This is what a fiction writer does.

The stories in Divertimento were learning pieces written over a decade or so. University and writing group assignments, competition entries, and stories written just because.

Don’t look for people you know in the pages of this book—they won’t be there. What you may find is a familiar turn of phrase stolen from a shared conversation; a setting described in a way that makes you feel you have been in that place; a situation that you have heard of in gossip or the nightly news. There any similarity ends.

It is the craft of a writer to steal details from life and blend them into a story of sufficient veracity that readers will swallow the tale, plausible or not, without needing to spit out indigestible gristle or bone.

I invite you to read my words and see if I have managed to weave my characters, settings and situations into stories that pass the test. If I have succeeded, all to the good—if not, that’s okay, all writers are on a learning curve and there are always more tricks to discover, more characters to invent, and more places to visit.

Thanks for coming along with me on the journey.

Ginninderra Press, publication date – 24 April 2021
ISBN – 9781761090905 (ebook 9781761090912)
RRP – $30.00

How to order:

https://www.ginninderrapress.com.au/store.php?product/page/2270/Julie+Thorndyke+%2F+Divertimento

All aboard!

Last Train Home edited by J. Pearce, 2021.

There’s something romantic, mysterious and exciting about a rail journey. The cover of this new anthology, Last Train Home, captures the feeling so well. Canadian poet Jacqueline Pearce has selected around 600 short form poems including haiku, tanka and rengay, all addressing the theme of trains and train journeys.

Who among us didn’t enjoy playing with a toy train in our childhoods? Who hasn’t responded to the atmospheric film scenes of arrivals and departures on a fog-shrouded railway station? Who doesn’t long for the thrill and excitement of a new journey into the unknown?

I’m delighted to be included in this new book, with a fanciful tanka written in response to a literary favourite. I hope that you will come on a journey with the many wonderful contemporary haiku, tanka and rengay poets represented in this book.

The whistle is sounding . . . all aboard!

Too Late to Leave

koala

Everyone’s new favourite app
showed red flames across the map
bushfire closed in like a trap—
it was too late to leave.

Blackened paws and toasted fur
burnt poles where the gum leaves were
smoke-smudged skies an ashen blur . . .
it was too late to leave.

Blood-red skies on New Year’s Eve.
Politicians disbelieve.
Together people can achieve
a world with air that’s safe to breathe.

To keep our skies both clear and blue
you know what people have to do:
get rid of dirty fossil fuels
protect the trees like precious jewels
conserve our water, tend the land
at last the people understand

it is a choice we all must make
to save and nurture, give not take
to mend the damage, gain reprieve
there’s no plan B—we cannot leave.

Julie Thorndyke

Prayer of the Birds

kookaburra

Soot and ash line path and sill
hope is low, but Christmas will
bring us blessings large and small—
we long for rain, to hear drops fall.

Sweet things, soft strings, voices limber
wrapped-up books and stars a shimmer
tinselled trees and eyes that glow . . .
love expands as children grow.

For these things we give our thanks
as fires rage round empty tanks.
Hear the prayer the wild birds call—
and send sweet rain, best gift of all.

Julie Thorndyke

picture source

 

Mountain Secrets

So wonderful to participate in the Ginninderra Press launch of their new anthology Mountain Secrets at Blackheath.

My poem “How to Move Meehni” is just one of the many poems themed around that most mysterious of landforms, mountains.

Brenda

After a long association, I was able to meet publisher Stephen Matthews and editor Brenda Eldridge (Matthews) in person.

Meeting my publisher Stephen

Thank you so much to both these wonderful people who keep local literature alive in Australia today.

reading “How to Move Meenhi”