Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Word Jam

Thank you to Renata Provenzano for providing this blog post

Rural life in Australia is such a vastly different social, emotional and physical experience to what city-living people can imagine. For a lot of people in rural and outback Australia it is an adventure not too far off the original pioneering days, but thank goodness for cars, fridges and air-conditioning! At the same time, it can be a life of self-dependence, using our wits, being a master of all trades, having enthralling experiences and sometimes also, despondency and loneliness. These lives we lead tend to offer us a chance to dig deep and find a creative outlet which is one of the best ways to express our feelings.

Quill & Lantern™ - www.quillandlantern.com - is a new blog site developed by Renata Provenzano, an Australian journalist of 20+ years, award-winning author and teacher of writing and journalism. Renata grew up on the banks of the mighty Murray River in South Australia’s Murray Mallee region where she believes a lot of daydreaming contributed to her ability to focus on creativity.

“Rural Australians have a bit of an advantage over city slickers when it comes to creativity – we can see the stars!” Renata says. “Daydreaming and star gazing, spending time uninterrupted by modern living is essential to draw on our creative senses. Getting up close with nature is becoming rare in many parts of the world. Where else can you gaze out at the biggest blue skies, watch storms roll in, wake to the kookaburra or be mesmerised by kangaroos in your front yard ? At the same time, where else can you find a snake in your laundry one day and a frog in your kettle the next ?!!” (Both true of our current summer.)

Renata says using the written word to express a moment, a story or an emotion is different for each writer but everyone tends to benefit from time. Time to think, time to mix and blend words and sentences, time to let words sit a while and thicken up before we decide our writing is ready to be shared.
“I think writing can be a bit like making jam which most country people are familiar with. You wait until the ingredients are ripe and in good supply. You prepare and sort. You add special flavourings and add some heat. Then simmer and stir for a long time until the essence of your story becomes thick and can stand on its own (which is the wooden spoon test for jam being ready to be jarred).
“So I coined the phrase for writing as WordJam™ – which is also a play on the idea musicians have a jam session, so writers can too. A Word Jam™ can be anything. It might be a poem, some thoughts accompanied by a photo, music, or prose. Word Jam is usually something which has taken some effort to create.”

Quill & Lantern™ has been especially set up to offer writers and word jammers The Word Jam™ Gallery as a way of sharing your writing: poems, prose, photo stories, word art or a jumble of photography, words, art or craft.

Quill and Lantern™ extends an open invitation to all Bushbelles readers to express their unique country lives and share on the Word Jam™ Gallery. Whatever your background, age, gender, big tacker or lil’ tacker, please send your submission to the Contact section on the website. Please make sure it is already edited in the right format to be published (as Renata does not have time to edit or check spelling). [ Please note: all submissions must belong to the person who submits, including any images. Quill & Lantern™ reserves the right not to publish submissions it deems inappropriate and asks all submissions be mindful of Internet protocol.]

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