Tag: under the southern cross

Coming Home

Stranger in a Strange Land: Guest Post by Robyn Walker

Coming Home

Last of my guest bloggers for the week from the Under the Southern Cross anthology is Robyn Walker. The floor is all yours Robyn!

Thank you to Jacqui for the opportunity to write on her blog, and thank you to all of Jacqui’s readers too – I hope you find this piece as interesting to read as it was for me to write.

Given that both Jacqui and myself are Australians living in Britain, it made sense to make that the theme of my guest post. Before I start though, here’s an excerpt from my novella, ‘Coming Home’. The purpose in sharing this particular extract will become clear afterwards. Honest!
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Red Heart

Aussie –ness in fiction: Guest Post by Isabelle Rowan

Red Heart

Today I’d like to welcome Isabelle Rowan as my second guest blogger from Under the Southern Cross. Come on down!

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A story set in Australia about Australian men sounds easy enough right? Well, that’s what I thought…

The problems really began when I tried to pin down an aspect or notion of ‘Aussie-ness” to write about. Where do I start? How do I get across who we are when we’re all so different? More importantly, how do I avoid the stereotypes? So, no Crocodile Dundee, even though I wanted to do something about the outback! Hmm….

One of the themes I really wanted to explore is our relationship to the land. There is something about Australia that conjures images of red earth, vast landscapes and endless skies, yet most of us live in cities or suburbs. Since migrating to Australia in the 1960’s I’ve lived my life as a suburb dweller, far away from the deserts of central Oz. I walk on footpaths, meet friends in cafes and do all the things that happen in most other countries, but the land is often there in the back of my mind, nibbling away at my dreams and reminding me to walk barefoot now and then. Sure I’ll admit I’m an old pagan, but I honestly believe that the land is there within us all if we are willing or able to look.
So that’s where I started.
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Body on the Beach

Historical Research for ‘The Body on the Beach’: Guest Post by L.J. LaBarthe

Body on the Beach

Today I’d like to welcome L.J. LaBarthe as my first guest blogger from the Under the Southern Cross anthology. Take it away, L.J.!

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One of the great things about writing a historical—at least, for me—is seeing how a place has changed over the years… or how it hasn’t. In researching for “The Body on the Beach,” I learned a lot about the buildings on Hindley Street, Adelaide, and what they were originally used for. Places that I know to be seedy, awful dives, never used to be; once upon a time, they were considered formal establishments. Other places, which I know as, for example, a McDonalds restaurants, used to be a seedy dive of a pub. It’s so interesting to see how things have changed, where a new coat of paint can liven up an exterior.

Hindley Street has always had a bad reputation for as long as I can remember. While efforts have been made in the last ten to fifteen years to clean it up a little, introducing things such as uni student housing, more restaurants and a strong police presence at night, there’s still the lingering remnants of what was considered the underbelly of Adelaide. In the 1980s, Hindley Street was home to late night cafes and falafel houses—those still exist and still make the best damn falafel rolls I’ve ever had—and there were dingy, dirty, smelly pubs with carpet that was so sodden with spilled booze and who knows what else it was like walking on a sponge. Those pubs are gone now, changed hands and cleaned up, to become pokie pubs or uni student pubs or blues lounges.
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