Trust Me, I'm a Storyteller

July 25, 2011

Mangling your aphorisms

Is the proof in the pudding or in the eating?

My father was a terrible cook he managed to burn, boil dry or create lumps in just about anything he tried to make. One day he produced a beautiful creamed rice pudding – no one in the family could believe it – it looked beautiful. It seemed that dad could do it after all – here it was — the proof was in the pudding – or so we thought. One mouthful of the tempting treat proved the fallacy of this – he had used salt instead of sugar – the moral of this story is that the proof of the pudding is in the eating – not just in producing the pudding itself. Something can look terrific but you don’t know the quality until you try it – or put it to use — that is what the aphorism means: The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

Rice pudding with cinnamon

Rolled Gold or Solid Gold?

I find it very amusing when our politicians or CEOs tell us they are giving us a ‘Rolled Gold Promise’ or ‘Rolled Gold Deal’ – Rolled Gold is a thin veneer of gold bonded to base metal. Once upon a time we were given ‘Solid Gold Promises’. The Federal Trade Commission rules state that the term “solid gold” can be applied to items which are not hollow. I know which I prefer. Give me a Solid Gold Promise or Deal over Rolled Gold ‘hollow’ one any day.

What are your pet grievances with mangled sayings, proverbs or aphorisms? Can you produce any from this week’s media? You only have to watch and listen until the next one comes along …

January 6, 2011

Make Money from Magazines with your Stories this holiday



Happy New Year, one and all.


Have you spent too much over Christmas?

Want to make a bit of spare cash during the holiday break?

Have you got a true story that you want to share in a newspaper or magazine but you don’t know how to go about it?

FamousFeatures Press Agency

“The leading online national news and story agency offering features, news, and other media services”. They specialise in real-life or human interest news and features.

FamousFeatures offers a “fast, friendly, and completely free service to help you get the most from selling your true story to newspapers and magazines. Only true, real-life stories, photos and news articles. No fiction stories. You can make money for yourself or a charity; Get publicity or raise awareness; Appear in your favourite magazine”.

FamousFeatures “sells stories to all of the top national magazines & newspapers, including: That’s Life Magazine, Take a Break Magazine, Love It Magazine, Bella, Best, Chat, News of the World and Fabulous Magazine, Closer Magazine, Pick Me Up, the Daily Express, The Sun, and so on…”

You don’t even need to write the story, you can sell a story and earn cash by following the three steps on their FamousFeatures website.

They always looking for stories and ideas, whether from freelancers or other journalists and will place the stories in publications on behalf of freelancers and divide the fee as appropriate.  FamousFeatures is particularly looking for real-life stories from a woman’s perspective that would be suitable for the UK woman’s magazine market.

FamousFeatures Blog

Yet another reason to get motivated this year!

Happy writing,


July 18, 2010

100 Years, A Simpler Life and a Garden ramble.

The Mitchell Library – 100 Years Exhibition

The Mitchell Library is a repository for all kinds of  historical artefacts, documents and rare items from Australia’s European settlement. From colonial times through to more recent history, as well as some Indigenous contributions, it forms a unique collection that will fascinate any researcher of history, literature, memorabilia and society.  The Mitchell is bringing 100 years to you at:

More about the Mitchell Library.

Simpler Times in Peats Ridge

Congratulations to Peter FitzSimons on his latest book “A Simpler Time”.

I’ve known Peter’s family for some years and had the pleasure of knowing and interviewing his mother, Helen. She was a unique, genuine and very practical woman with a great spirit of generosity and sense of community. It’s great to read about life in Peats Ridge, an area I know well, in those simpler times.

A Simpler Time

By Peter FitzSimons

HarperCollins Australia

RRP: $35.00

Listen to an ABC Radio National interview on Life Matters 7th July with Peter FitzSimons:

Inspiration from Gardens, Parks and Bush Walks.

Sunny winter days are perfect for walks in gardens, parks and the bush. It is restorative for the body, mind and soul. Appreciating nature and taking time to observe can and has inspired the imaginations of storytellers, poets, scientists and children for centuries.

Garden is another word for ‘paradise’ take time to put a bit of paradise into your day and allow your senses to revel in the sights, scents, sounds and sensations of a garden.Try a Haiku walk where you turn observations into Haiku; or write an Octopoem or Colour Poem to capture the sensory aspects of the season. Make use of the quick word sketch to pin your bit of paradise on paper to use later in a story or poem. The sun gives light, warmth, growth and life–enjoy the sunshine!

If you can’t get out into the garden, try a virtual walk through this one!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Please note all photos and text on this blog are copyright Sharon Rundle (c) or copyright other authors/publishers and published here with permission. Please ask for permission before downloading Content on this Blog, including text, photos and images.

May 29, 2010

Memosaic in the Making and More Reviews



At Season of Inspiration we are putting together a Memosaic of our writers’ work.

A collection of inspired pieces from our SOI writers past and present to  be published electronically.

Helen and I are assisting our SOI writers’ to revise, edit and polish their stories and poems for our Memosaic.

Helen Whitehead is designing the visual interface for the web, from ideas put forward and discussed by our Season of Inspiration writers.

I’m very excited about this project and am looking forward to launching our Season of Inspiration Memosaic in September.

I’ve been involved in similar projects before and contributed to the

trAce Decade Quilt.

For those who are new to this type of New Media collaboration –– other excellent examples include:

The Noon Quilts

What people see out of their window at Noon – Contributions from around the globe.

Quilt 1

Quilt 2


Migrating Memories



More reviews for Fear Factor Terror Incognito

have appeared in various print and online publications.

Commonwealth Foundation website:

1998 winner Sharon Rundle was introduced to the editor Dr Meenakshi Bharat by another former winner Sujata Sankranti from Delhi, and together they have edited an anthology of well-known and emerging writers from Australia and the Indian subcontinent. Entitled “Fear Factor, Terror Incognito”, it was released at the end of July 2009  by Picador India; and in October by Picador Australia. Sujata has also published a book of her short stories, ‘The Warp and the Weft’.

Commonwealth Foundation Journal article

Short Story competition winners forge international links

29 January 2010

Sharon Rundle and Sujata Sankranti corresponded for over a decade before meeting in Dehli last year, highlighting how the Short Story competition encourages people-to-people links around the Commonwealth.


Asian-Australian Studies

NEW BOOK – Fear Factor edited by Meenakshi Bharat and Sharon Rundle



Fear Factor: Terror Incognito is a collection of 20 unforgettable stories by well-known and emerging authors from Australia and the Indian subcontinent including David Malouf, Salman Rushdie, Neelum Saran Gour, Tom Keneally, Rosie Scott, Jeremy Fisher, Susanne Gervay, Tabish Khair, Denise Leith, Andrew Y M Kwong, Devika Brendon, Gulzar, Meera Kant, Guy Scotton, Sujata Sankranti, Kiran Nargarkar, Temsula Ao, Jaspreet Singh, Janhavi Acharekar and Meenakshi Bharat; with a foreword by Yasmine Gooneratne.


The Sydney Morning Herald

In Short: Fiction. Weekend Spectrum: Books.

“… a kind of two-nation project that seems timely …  Nagarkar’s brilliant tale of a man out to murder Rushdie being immediately followed, to devastating effect, by Rushdie’s contribution. Other standout pieces are by David Malouf, Rosie Scott, Denise Leith and Neelum Saran Gour.”

29 April 2010


Age, The (Melbourne, Australia)


Three big names — Salman Rushdie, David Malouf and Thomas Keneally — are deservedly here by virtue of republished material, but there are plenty of stories from lesser-known writers from both India and Australia, many of which have been written specially for this book… Preceding Salman Rushdie’s contribution is Kiran Nagarkar’s darkly amusing In Search of Essar about a man determined to carry out the fatwa on Rushdie.”

Saturday, March 27, 2010. Author: Reviewer Lorien Kaye


The Launceston Examiner (Tasmania)

Unsettling collection of short stories

24 Apr 10 | FEAR FACTOR (Terror Incognito) Edited by Meenakshi Bharat and Sharon Rundle (Picador, $25) ELEMENTS of revenge, betrayal, racial violence, even black humour surface in this collection of short stories by authors selected from Indian


UTS U:Readit (print version pdf)

And UTS U:Readit online

UTS Postgraduate News

UTS Alumni Writers Connect Autumn Issue, April 2010.

UTS Transforming Cultures Research Centre Writers’ Anthology Panel

Indo-Australian Literary Collaboration

UTS Poster Presentation Event

Sharon Rundle, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences


Today’s Writing Tip

Write a review of a book you have recently read. You can contribute to Book Review Magazines, Book Review Blogs and other online reviews such as ABC Bookshop Online and many others. You can start your own Book Review Blog.

Check the Magazine or Website Guidelines for the preferred word count, style and type of publications reviewed. Most have a link for ‘submitting’ reviews with their Guidelines and Address for submissions. Try writing a review this week.

September 4, 2008

Family Sayings

Filed under: Family sayings and other snippets — roundtablewriting @ 5:04 am

Every household has words and phrases that are regularly trotted out now matter how bewildering they might be.

When I was a child my grandmother would ask us to run an errand or bring her something she needed because she ‘had a bone in her leg‘. We young children scampered off to do the requested task and it was some years before we even stopped to think that everyone has a bone in their leg, if not several. We had been conned by our grandmother.

A friend has a mother who described her as ‘all over the place like a mad woman’s breakfast’, probably not PC but definitely descriptive.

Another favourite saying of grandma’s, which she used when we were sulking or unhappy was: ‘You look like a wet week in a thunderstorm.’ And she had many more just as obscure.

These family phrases can help to bring characters to life. Readers relate to familiar phrases and enjoy reading about those particular to other families. Specific words and phrases can help create distinctive characters who are easily identifiable and whom the reader can instantly differentiate from other characters in a story.

It’s wicked, innit?‘ Sonia says. ‘I slept in and thought: that’s it I’m done for! And then I find out the trains are held up, I would of been late anyway. So random. Totally wicked!’

Every cloud has a silver lining so they say,‘ Hettie agrees. ‘Except for your father, of course, I think his linings wore out. He’s like a wet week in a thunderstorm. But remember once burned twice shy. That train won’t be late every day, mark my words.’

What words and phrases were your family fond of using? As a reader how do you feel when there is that flash of recognition when you read familiar phrases used by characters in stories? What is your reaction you when you read new, fresh ‘favourite phrases’ used by characters in a story?

How important are these distinctive phrases in developing characters and bringing characters to life through dialogue?

Understanding readers’ perspectives on these aspects is valuable to writers.

As a writer, do you listen, eavesdrop, note down the way someone expresses a comment, uses the language in an original, humorous or distinctive way? Do you recall those words and phrases used by friends and family and give them to characters to help distinguish them and make them distinct and instantly recognisable?

Amardo: How has thou purchased this experience?

Moth, his boy: By my penny of observation.

Shakespeare, Love’s Labour’s Lost.

From the preface of ‘on experience’ by David Malouf, published Melbourne University Press 2008. (Highly recommended for readers and writers).

on experience David Malouf

Family Sayings
Natalia Ginzburg

Black Sheep-L Archives: Family Sayings

British Famous Family Sayings Forum


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