When George Harrison travelled, he carried a ukulele so that he could play music no matter where he found himself. Writers have it easier. We need only paper and pen or an electronic device to capture our thoughts and follow our imagination.
I fell in love with books and writing as soon as I learned to read. Throughout my life, I’ve kept a diary/journal off and on, played with and studied the English language, and written essays, reports, other nonfiction, and fiction. I enjoy the mental puzzles and challenges of that writing provides.
My current writing project takes Henry David Thoreau’s 1854 classic, Walden, and considers what his ideas can still teach us about living a good life.
As part of my project, I went remote. A helicopter dropped me on a tiny island off the south coast of Tasmania. It had no Internet connectivity, no mobile phone coverage, no grocery or other stores, no medical or other basic services, no vehicles (or roads), no TV or radio. The island’s population included four humans, two seal colonies, and 500,000 mutton-birds raising their chicks. Living on the island was a life-changing experience.
As well as this project, I write short fiction. Creating a short story is like walking a tightrope while pretending you’re simply strolling down the street. It looks effortless on the surface, but offers while offering something deeper.
Although I was born and raised in America’s heartland, Australia has long been my home. The two cultures shape my life, values, and writing.
Most of my professional work has been in education, specialising in written communication, e-learning, and culture. I currently chair the board of Varuna The Writers’ House, which offers writing residencies, workshops, and mentoring.
Personal interests include travel, yoga and meditation, camping, photography, and reading.
Email marsha dot s dot durham at gmail dot com