Some good news after the unfortunate 2020 cancellation due to Covid-19-restrictions the Eurobodalla Literary Salon returns! Artworks, from The Basil Sellers Art Prize Retrospective exhibition (26 June to 8 August) showcasing that event’s history, are the inspiration for short stories and poems featured in this year’s Literary Salon. The Bas, exhibition space attached to the Moruya Library, will be the venue for the 2021 Literary Salon. The Salon has been part of the Eurobodalla literary scene since 2016 and members from the Eurobodalla Writers Group are excited to once again be participating in the event. Bookings for the Literary Salon on either Wednesday 4th August or Friday 6th August are essential. Ticket numbers are limited due to Covid-venue-restrictions. https://thebas.com.au/public-programs scroll down to The Eurobodalla Literary Salons
Eurobodalla Writers Day Group Program 2021 3 February to December
Eurobodalla Writers day and night meetings: Members and visitors please note that meetings via Zoom may be substituted, or the venue cancelled at short notice, during Eurobodalla Covid-19 restrictions on gatherings. Covid sign-in, hand sanitiser, bring your own tea/coffee mug protocols, bring a mask if required. Do not attend if unwell. Members please advise via email if you are not attending a meeting.
Night group meetings are in private venues around the Moruya area on the first Tuesday of every month (6.30-8.30pm) – bookings for all meetings essential. Writing for works towards publication, to develop stories & memoirs, group novella, writing experience. If you’re not writing a story and wish to attend the night group please choose topics from the day group program or submit your own topic.
Day group meetings are on the first Wednesday of every month in the Red Door Hall next to Anglican Church Page St Moruya – bookings for all meetings essential. Meetings are from 10.30am to 1.30pm. See topics for day-time meetings. Note: please email of stories and poems prior as per Committee’s new guidelines (see EWG secretary’s emails for further information).
New enquiries for both groups welcome
Topics for July to December day-time meetings
Topics are open to writer’s interpretation. Short story to 1000 words, Drabble is a complete story in exactly 100 words, poetry
07 July: Come Away with Me OR Spring; Summer; Autumn; Winter. (4 separate tasks, using a different style or genre for each.) See doc – list of genres. Drabble: Puzzlement.
04 Aug: View from a Train OR Falling. Drabble: Either topic.
01 Sep: Excursion: Either Moruya Historical Museum or Eurobodalla Botanic Gardens. Fall back topics: Trees OR Sandshoes.
06 Oct: Write about a place you used to go to as a childOR I Was Born at the Wrong Time. Drabble: Patience.
03 Nov: Begin a story with these words: ‘In the vine-shadows on the veranda…’ OR Moving. Drabble: either topic
01 Dec: Christmas party.
Topics for February to June day-time meetings
Topics are open to writer’s interpretation. A Drabble is a complete story in exactly 100 words
03 Feb: Position Doubtful OR Late Nights on Air. Drabble: Laziness (for either topic)
03 Mar: Traveller’s Tale OR Ruby Drabble: either topic
07 Apr: Across the Valley: Write a story or poetry with the eye of a cinematographer (background noise, weather, colour, texture, detail, angle of view, scene opening)
A workshop, if meeting in person
05 May: Free topic, but you MUST:
1. Begin the story at sunrise.
2. You must use the following words somewhere in your story: SIGNATURE, PATIENT and BICYCLE.
3. Your story must include a character who has to make a CHOICE.
Drabble: either topic.
02 June: Crossroads OR Research a famous person from NSW 1788-1838. Create a fictional side-character and build a story mixing fact and fiction. Drabble: Fear.
The dragon breathes out
Spits tongues crimson, tangerine, gold
Devours brittle bush
Black spumes spew forth
Demonic, hellish, apocalyptic
It is 2 am
The eye sees, the ear hears nothing
No power no phone no internet
Embers tossed high spat up like fire crackers
The dragon gorging morphing
Acrid smoke punctures lungs, curdling
Blackened leaves rain down
Strewn like seaweed along the sand
Preparation protection packing
The little brown suitcase – quick!
Precious link to the past
Rattled minds raw hearts stunned
Huddling on beaches, backs to the water
Holding each other in the 2 pm dark
Plugged in again
Some lost everything
Stopped at the gate, took next door
Wildlife incinerated, forests blackened sticks
How to process so much loss
And yet… courage, community and hope
Exhausted fireys return to the fray
Helicopters hammer close by, scoop up water, taming the beast
Homes and pockets open
New shoots spring fluoro green, bright fuzz on scorched trees
A chicken lays its first egg
A wallaby, nursed back to health, returns each evening in thanks
A firey cradles water dragon eggs, from the rubble of a gutted home
© Rosie Toth March 2020
At 6.30am on 31st December the Rural Fire Service sent everyone an urgent phone message: the fire is here, seek shelter or go to the beach.
I fled at once to the local evacuation centre, 2k away. By 10.15 I was sent to a motel in Batemans Bay CBD, 1k away, with a woman I knew slightly, both of us oldies with health issues. At about 12.30 lunchtime the huge glass windows in our room got really hot, the sky was a horrible brown, so we soaked bath towels in case we had to put them over our heads. Suddenly the whole world turned crimson for maybe 30 seconds, then pitch black. We felt our way into our tiny shower room and quietly and calmly said the Lord’s Prayer and the 23rd Psalm repeatedly. We remained like that for 30 or 40 minutes. For the whole time we were in that situation, I felt like we were in a quiet, calm little bubble. We came out when the sky lightened in the tiny window.
On 4th January in the middle of the day, the motel windows started getting hot again. I was alone and went on the verandah and watched the sky go brown again. Motel staff were hosing the trees. I watched a large, horrible, dark brown cloud slowly, determinedly coming towards us from the south. Oh, no, I thought, not again! It kept coming and was almost above us and I spontaneously said aloud “Oh God, please send it away, please send the cloud and fire away, I can’t bear it again, please send the fire away, dear God, please send the cloud away, please send it away!” Immediately I said these words, the cloud stopped in its tracks, then retreated! It did not dissolve, it just went back south, slowly and determinedly, the way it had come! It did so immediately, and very clearly. Fortunately I had the room to myself and was able to thank The Divine aloud, over and over again, in between sobs of relief!
Two days later on the 6th, I was meditating on the motel verandah, the sky a light grey. After meditating, I was just staring vaguely and peacefully at the sky, and suddenly realised I was staring at a sky chock-full of dancing vibrations! The air around me was just chockers with sparkling, dancing vibrations. I sat there in bliss, watching, and quietly thanking God in adoration and gratitude.
NOTE: The sparkling vibrations in the air are called Chaitanya in the Hindu religion.
I have not exaggerated or embellished anything; everything happened exactly as I have written. I went home on the 8th. A few houses on the other side of my suburb were destroyed. My side was untouched. It was wonderful to be back with my meditation corner in my bedroom!
In those nine days alone, some 456 homes were destroyed in Eurobodalla shire, more than a dozen businesses destroyed or badly damaged, and more than 1,000 out-buildings – studios, garages, storage sheds, farm buildings – destroyed. The fires went on to do much more damage during January.
These are only some of my experiences in Batemans Bay from 31 Dec to 8 Jan
© Jennie Mairie 20 March 2020
(part of the bushfire stories and poems series)
Blazing lights, piercing pain
Frightened screams cry out in vain
Heart beats faster
Cold, scared – disaster
A shadow above – exultation
Monsters in night
Circling demons enter the gloom
Sobs heard from that scary room
Room fills with light – salvation
Banished by the group
No way to recoup
Heart fills with fear
What a toxic atmosphere
Arms that open wide – absolution
Joy to despair
No long a pair
What did I do wrong?
I no longer belong
Nothing can help – desolation
Wheeled chair in rain
Limbs racked with pain
Too late to complain
Radiance above – liberation
© Lalla Barden 19 Feb 2020