Friday, May 28, 2010

4F Day! Four Questions for Friday

I asked a few questions of each of our contributors to help people get to know us better. I hope you enjoy their answers! Any suggestions for the next round of questions gleefully accepted!

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Satima Flavell

What is the earliest you remember Reading?
A book about a bear translated from German into French and English for me by my eldest sister's then BF, who was half French, half German: bad news just after WWII! I read it in all three languages. I was three at the time. Still dig languages but not bears so much:-)

When is the earliest you remember Writing?
A spin-off from a Dickens novel - must've been Martin Chuzzlewit because my MC was called Sarey Gump. I was five and I just liked the name. Hadn't a clue what I was writing about. Things haven't changed much.

When did you know you wanted to be a Writer?
About the same time. I had just discovered Enid Blyton and said I wanted to be a "children's authoress", just like her. I'm afraid I do still have to name her as an influence, which is not good in the early C21!

When and what is the first thing you wrote or did that you are proud of?
Got a poem in the kids section of the Manchester Guardian when I was seven. Used to win prizes for poetry and prose right through school. Cringe material now!:-)


Joanna Fay


What is the earliest you remember Reading?
Reading? Hmm, Dick and Dora in Grade 1? "See Nip Run etc"..although I remember the pictures better than the text.
The first book that left a strong impression on me was at 8...the play of The Bluebird..creeped me out badly...i was sleeping in an attic and had to walk through a cloakroom with no light to get there..very scary!

When is the earliest you remember Writing?
Oh, grade 1 writing book...I loved making letters, curly writing. I remember writing poems around 8.

When did you know you wanted to be a Writer?
Not till much later. Year 12, I thought I'd go on to do either journalism/creative writing or art... art was my first choice though and got into that.

When and what is the first thing you wrote or did that you are proud of?
Probably the first poem I got published, in the school mag when i was 15...not very proud. More seriously, I guess, with a win in the first comp i entered (the Banjo Paterson 2 yrs ago)..what a fluke...and then the second...a minor short story comp, but together they whetted my appetite for competitions.


Sarah Parker

What is the earliest you remember Reading?
I remember doing the ERA cards in English very clearly, I loved them so much. I've always been surrounded by books, so I don't have a lot of specific memories.

When is the earliest you remember Writing?
We had to make a book from one of our favourite books, I think I was in grade 4 or 5, and I did the Hobbit. I copied some of the poetry out and decorated it with scrolly drawlings and things. Not original stuff, but I do have short stories from around that time. I always wrote, and I always wrote things.

When did you know you wanted to be a Writer?
I think I was in denial... but I wrote novels in year 10. My first novel was co-written with a friend who I have lost contact with. A lot of the ideas were hers, but she wasn't good at English. I always expected to write novels, and when I finished highschool I expected to be a teacher.

When and what is the first thing you wrote or did that you are proud of?

I was very proud of that Hobbit book. I wrote a poem which my teacher entered in a competition once, and I'm still pretty proud of my work in Consensual a Trois.


Carol Ryles

What is the earliest you remember Reading?
Grade one (age 5). I wasn't allowed to read before that age, because my mum was told it would confuse me.  I remember the stuff they gave me to read was super easy. I saw what the grade twos and threes were reading and theirs looked much more interesting, but I had to wait a year for that.

When is the earliest you remember Writing?
About the same age. I remember being really eager to write. Once I started being taught, I used to write all over the place. It was such a neat feeling

When did you know you wanted to be a Writer?
I remember writing stories at school for composition in grade three, but we usually had less than an hour to get it done, so my stories were awful. Then I'd go home and try again, but my writing was still awful. Nevertheless, I still wanted to be a writer, but it took me 40 years to believe I could do it.

When and what is the first thing you wrote or did that you are proud of?
In grade six, I won a prize  for writing a report about a school excursion, judged by the manager of a Hunter Valley Winery. At the time, I suspected I was the only one that entered :) but I won $10. Back then that was about a years worth of pocket money


Helen Venn

What is the earliest you remember Reading?
I was five as far as I can remember. My mother was told she mustn't teach me to read although I was desperate to learn. So I taught myself. I couldn't wait to go to school. I had visions of all those lovely books and was delighted when I was finally given my first reading book. I took it home and read it that night. I was shocked to discover the next day that it was supposed to last the whole year.

When is the earliest you remember Writing?
I wasn't really interested in writing before I went to school although I could manage my name, numbers and a few words. Just as well really because  we spent most of the first half of the year learning pencil skills which at least provided a challenge given I could already read. I didn't do much in the way of Writing as in story telling until later. I just made up stories to tell my brothers. They seemed to like them.

When did you know you wanted to be a Writer?
Around twelve I started to really enjoy writing compositions. I was fascinated by dictionaries from age eight - I still am - and so I had a lot of fun using words I had picked up. It went on from there. I even enjoyed writing complicated reports when I was a public servant when everyone else was trying to avoid it. It took me quite a while to really begin fiction writing though. The urge was there but I let myself get distracted for a long time. I finally enrolled in a one year creative writing course and then there was no stopping me.

When and what is the first thing you wrote or did that you are proud of?
'Wheels' my first ever story written in 1994 when I was doing creative writing classes with Pam Steenbergen. It won the Alexandra Hasluck Award in 1996. Talk about a thrill!


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I hope you enjoyed the Four Questions Friday! I enjoyed asking them. It's been a real pleasure to find out more about my friends, and to think back on my own history. We'd also love to hear about YOU! I've added the questions here so you can fill them out, and tell us more about yourself. We're looking forward to your replies!
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You

What is the earliest you remember Reading?
When is the earliest you remember Writing?
When did you know you wanted to be a Writer?
When and what is the first thing you wrote or did that you are proud of?

8 comments:

  1. Well this looks like fun guys... and by the way, your answers are really cute! :P

    The earliest I remember reading is these stupid orange spined books in Pre Primary, so age 5, but I'm pretty sure I could already read.

    The earliest I remember writing is... well I don't remember it, but my grandparents recently presented me with a piece of notepaper on which I wrote a story about Winnie the Pooh using a 50c piece he found to buy both and ice cream AND a puppy. Can you tell what I wanted at the time?

    I've wanted to be a writer on and off all my life but in High School for a while I decided I was a "realist" and that I needed to want a "real career" so I decided to be a chiropracter. When I realised I HATED physics, it was back to writing. So I decided for real maybe two years ago.

    The first thing I wrote that I was proud of was my Book Week Acrostic Poem in year 2, the library teacher put it up on the windows because she was so impressed. I wasn't able to think of anything for H though, so I used someone from the classes' name and he wasn't all that happy about it. HA.

    Keep up the great work guys, I love reading your blog.

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  2. Earliest memory of reading would be those Jack and Jill readers at school. Yuck. For fun I loved the Cat and The Hat, I read it so often it fell to pieces.

    I can't remember writing at primary school, not even learning to write, so it must not have been a big desire for me then, but at high school I was always asking if I could write a story instead of an essay on a particular topic. One of my strong memories is not having a clue where to put commas so I cheated by scattering them through the story and then faintly crossing them out.

    At uni I co-wrote and edited a very juvenile magazine with its main story being the continuing adventures of Dingo D. Dogbiscuit. I also wrote a few sketches that were performed in revues. Most of my writing occured in a haze of drugs and alcohol. When I finished uni I stopped writing except for the occassional research report. About fifteen years later I started reading science fiction again and then thought up an idea for a novel which I still have to redraft. For the past decade I have been aiming to become a published author.

    In year 9, my English teacher thought a story I had writeen so clever that she read it to the class. I then heard from other students in other classes that she had read it to them, even though it was full of faintly crossed out commas.

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  3. That's one of the smartest bet-hedging ploys I've ever read of, Graham:-)

    Hey, Elimy, did you ever get that puppy?

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  4. Yes, yes I did get a puppy, his name is buddy and he likes to sit on my bed and watch me write. When I'm especially frustrated he even sits on the desk chair with me. :)

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  5. Earliest I can remember reading was sometime before I was two... I don't remember if I could read by myself, but I remember it was Scuffy the tugboat. No guesses where my dog Scuffy got his name. I remember the pictures though. I do remember having to read newspapers for my grandfather when my sister was an infant, so I would have been 3 by then. I didn't understand what I was reading much of the time though, even if I got the words right. The earliest novel I remember reading was "Space twins on the moon". I would have been about 5.

    I can't remember when I started writing, but I remember getting belted at age 5 for writing my name on the wall, but I was in yr3 before I could write neatly ;)

    I still don't know that I want to be a writer... But the stories in my head won't give me peace until they're out and I enjoy writing fiction. I've been writing my whole life but only learned to finish stories about 4 years ago... ( Am 40 now ).

    First thing that I was proud of? Reading/writing-wise? Probably when I found a mistake in my encyclopedia around 4yrs old and showed my mum and she showed everyone and they all praised me... Many many years later ( I was about 15 ) I realized it wasn't a mistake at all - it was just counter-intuitive, but my mum continued to show everyone ( She kept that encyclopedia marked so she could show them for years! ) and I didn't have the heart to tell her I had made a mistake so I just avoided the conversation when it came up and made myself scarce... By then, it was just embarassing.

    Helen, that's a funny story - I remember my dad was the librarian at my school until I was five, then he divorced my mum and moved to another school... but before that I got a LOT of books to read - buckets full while he brought them home before they went into the library... I think I read every science book in there. I loved science books. I even tried to make an atomic bomb - since I wasn't able to tell the difference between Aluminium and Uranium... Both "nium" names. Needless to say, I didn't succeed :) But was my mum ever angry that I scrunched up an entire roll of aluminium foil trying to achieve critical mass. I was sure as I compressed it in my hands, I could feel it getting hotter and all those atoms flying around :) hahahaa. I even squished it with pliers... My mum was NOT amused... :(

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  6. :) thanks, David. I used to love science books as well, but I was always annoyed that the books I had access to never told me enough about the subjects I was interested in, especially astronomy. I'm wondering, through, Who or what were you planning to blow up with your atomic bomb?

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  7. Hahaha, yes, at the age of 5 I was quite the mad scientist... But I didn't want to blow up anything or anyone per se, I just thought a mushroom cloud would be cool! It seems so silly now, but at the age of 5 it made a lot of sense.

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