Launch Speech by Dr. Gisela Sophia Nittel

                    Hildegard von Bingen – A Poetic Journey – Launch Speech

Thank you, Sue, for your kind introduction. And thank you, Colleen, for the great honour of asking me to launch the book that’s been your magnificent obsession for a very long time. How wonderful to see so many of you here celebrating this special day with Colleen!

Let me start with a confession: even though I was born in Germany and studied German literature to post-graduate level, I knew little about H until reading Colleen’s book. My academic focus had always been 20th century

literature, and the subject of my doctoral dissertation was the Austrian poet, Ingeborg Bachmann — a woman born more than 800 years after H.

It’s not that I wasn’t exposed to the medieval era at Sydney University — as undergraduates we read the German equivalents of Beowulf and Chaucer, for example, but there was never any mention of H. In fact we didn’t study the work of any women from any period at all in those intense four years of German language and literature. Mind you that was the 1970s before feminist consciousness had begun influencing the academy in general and the male- dominated German Department in particular.

Fast forward to 2019 with Colleen asking me to launch her book and I find I’m not only belatedly curious about this famous German woman, but newly conscious of a personal connection because of the Bingen component in her name. You see, Bingen is a German town on the Rhine River, and I was born in a German town on the Rhine River (south of Bingen). And I share my

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surname with a town located not far west of Bingen.

So I found myself wondering: Who was this H, whom my distant ancestors may well have known (or at least heard of)? A woman who is so highly revered (not just in Germany but internationally) almost a millennium after she was born? Most importantly, what was it about H that so mesmerised my non- German-speaking, Australian poetry friend, that she not only travelled to

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Germany three times to tread the same ground but also spent two decades immersing herself in the life and work of this Benedictine Abbess so she could transform her research into more than 100 poems — hoping, I suspect, to infect others with what I like to call “Hildy fever”. It certainly worked in my case!

After reading these poems, and being inspired to find out more, I now understand why Col fell in love with this Sibyl of the Rhine, for H was by any measure a most extraordinary woman — dizzyingly prolific writer, gifted composer, skilled naturalist, revered mystic, expert healer and dedicated

missionary. And not just a dabbler but genuinely accomplished in these fields — a true polymath. Her CV would be impressive enough for a man of her era. For a woman her achievements can only be described as astonishing.

Even by today’s standards, H was prolific in her writing. Her first work, Scivias (Know the Ways (of the Lord)) was 150,000 words long — that’s the length of two doctoral dissertations in the 21st century! (Imagine doing that in an era of wax tablets and parchment.) This magnum opus (in which H documented her extensive spiritual visions) took 10 years to complete.

But H wasn’t done with writing at this point: two more lengthy tomes followed — one that took 7 years and another that took 10. These three writing marathons are even more remarkable when you consider that H didn’t start writing her first book until she was 43, and didn’t finish her third and final book until she was 75. Truly an inspiration to all of us who write!

In the field of music, H composed 77 liturgical songs and an allegorical

morality play (which, I understand, was the first of its kind). And in her role as a healer, H completed two major medical treatises. She also wrote books on the lives of saints; her literary legacy also features volumes of correspondence including letters to VIPs like the Holy Roman Emperor (Frederick Barbarossa), Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine.

 

No wonder there’s a cornucopia of publications, translations, web sites and societies devoted to H. Colleen’s book, however, [hold up Col’s book] is a unique contribution to this field because it transforms H’s life into poetry — into poems that engross us with their immersive reimagining of H’s persona and experiences; poems that give us the sense that we are there, witnessing the highs and lows through H’s own eyes.

Right from the start, we’re hooked by the drama and suspense that Colleen creates with the cinematic technique of flashback in the two opening poems.

We are dropped into H’s life at 81, at what is clearly a moment of crisis: our heroine in the cemetery, alone and trembling with rage; her frail but determined body pulling and heaving at a large wooden cross. “What on earth is going on?” we wonder. “Why is she doing this?”

Having sparked our curiosity, Colleen cuts back to the 14-year-old H before she became a nun. From there we are taken step by step on H’s long and often challenging journey, which reveals to us the significance of that moment in the cemetery and its consequences. We tend to think of nuns as having quiet, contemplative, and uneventful lives, but this was not the case with H, who was entrepreneurial in her service to others and courageous in the face of adversity! Our Hildy was no shrinking violet!

Throughout her book Colleen skilfully balances moments of high drama with the joy and calm of quotidian life at the abbey. In the poem “Anticipation” (p. 129), for example, we read: “The sisters prune, pickle and preserve, / plait the

garlic / to hang from the cross-pull beams…”

Colleen’s poems are full of such lyrical attention to detail — detail that often interweaves multiple senses. Let me quote from p. 179: “It’s a time of tumbling leaves, abundance of fruit, / grapes, apples, wild plums, mulberries, quinces, hazels, chestnuts, all for the picking. // She smells stench of malt, […] recoils at the reek of tanneries. Her ears prick at the clang of forges, mills and water

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wheels, / tune into the lilt of troubadours and balladeers.” And what about this delightful example of synaesthesia: “Aroma of pickles zings from the kitchen.” (p. 223)

Another aspect of this book that delights me is the thoughtful inclusion of background material that supplements and enhances the poems. Col’s bibliography contains two pages of primary and secondary references as well as background reading and a list of recordings. There’s an excellent set of endnotes; a glossary for those of us unfamiliar with terms like “simony”; a map

showing H’s journeys; and a handy list of characters to refer to when we wonder, “Guda? Where does she fit into the picture again?” Col’s aim here was to find “a middle ground between an accurate scholarly presentation of H and a personal interpretation of her story”. Colleen has achieved this to Goldilocks level – or should I say “Hildegard” level — here and indeed in every aspect of this book.

The story of Hildegard of Bingen is not just one about a truly remarkable woman but one that also exemplifies the spirit of friendship, community, humanity, perseverance, resilience and courage in the face of opposition, adversity and injustice. As such it’s a story to inspire us all, and Colleen’s poems do that story more than justice so I enthusiastically commend this book to all of you.

Congratulations, Colleen, on this inspired and inspirational “labour of love”. I am both delighted and honoured to declare your book officially launched.

SPEECH for the LAUNCH of BLOOM by DECIMA WRAXALL

 

 

 

LAUNCH OF BLOOM

Good evening everybody.  Thank you Sue for your kind words and I too would like to   acknowledge the land on which we meet and pay respect to the ancestors, especially  story tellers of the past, present and our future.

We are privileged to be sharing the Judith Wright room, named for one of our great Australian  women poets of last century,  an activist for indigenous rights, conservation and the environment. 

There are a few new faces here so I introduce myself. My name is Colleen Keating . I belong to the Women Writers Network which meets every Wednesday in the Henry Lawson room of Writing NSW. 

I feel privileged  to be standing here  to launch Decima’s beautiful poetry book BLOOM. As most of you know Decima has written many short stories. Her novel, Black Stockings, White Veil, celebrated the golden anniversary of her RPA hospital group, and was a Finalist in the 2014 Indie Book Awards fictional history  category. She has published two other historical fiction novels, with one more to be published by Ginninderra Press in 2020.

Since the poet in Decima burst onto the scene I have been amazed at the poetry that pours out from her. 

Decima draws on her nursing knowledge and on every day experiences, lives of people she observes . eg  pg 42  in the poem Private . . .

She uses the powerful concrete image.   and has found  the pared back to the bone approach  with its  the maxim. . . writing less is more.   eg  in Don’t call me Madam   (70)

shady lane/discreet sign /massage/my shoulder pain cries/step inside/ blinking i see/ skimpy-clad girls in a row/a hard-faced crone/man’s the desk/   Don’t you love that word man’s and you will have to red the poem to find the end.

Decima reminds us, the ordinary is poetic another way of saying that she finds the poetic in the ordinariness of life.  eg in her poem Bluff (11)  

“Dad doffed his sweat-stained het to the flies. Eyes closed he rested, dappled by kurrajong shade.”

She is a realist . . . takes day to day happenings and  experiences and paints her picture with words., leaving the bigger issues as an understatement .

Notice in her poem Hands  (16 )  col reads first 3 paras of ii.

The  poet Jean Maria Rilke says “everything is gestation and then ‘bringing forth’”

 and writing is a lot of that. 

Firstly the gestation  . . . . it’s a lonely trek, a long haul,  a footslog, an odyssey  sometimes lost in the bush,  sometimes all at sea, sometimes desert-dry, sometimes writing  energising but mostly it’s a solitary and gruelling chore  

and then the ‘bringing forth . . .

the birthing  sharing with the world, the unveiling  like opening up a secret diary and throwing away the key . 

and as a writing community we appreciate that and we are here to honour the loneliness of the long distance writer and here to  celebrate the  Decima’s very successful outcome

read fallen star pg.  130

When you write a poem, you write it for anybody and everybody. And you have to be ready to do that out of your single self.    It’s a giving. . . .always   . . . a gift. . . a gift to yourself but it s gift to anybody who has a hunger for it.   

I like to think we all have the hunger for poetry and we honour those who give us this gift .

Here is Decima’s gift to us .

A new poetry book in our world.  

 Like a seed in the moistest earth

 may it bloom and grow where it is planted . 

And together Decima and I declare 

BLOOM

              launched  and planted .

 

 

The launch of  ‘Going Home’ by Decima Wraxall

 

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It was an honour to launch Decima’s latest book ‘Going Home’ a second in a duo of family history.   Speeches, readings from the new book, music, delicious food and plenty of bubbly flowed to make a great night great, and to say well done Decima.

Thursday last ( 19th July 2018) was a great evening of celebration for Decima as it has been ‘the long haul’ to get her latest book out there.

I have watched, admiring her tenacity and determination and like a cheer-leader encouraging from the side line, aware of the work, time and effort it takes.  And the time finally arrived.

 It is a bit like childbirth.  There is the struggle and pain and then the joy. And on Thursday evening there was joy with a wonderful sense of camaraderie as we gathered, Decima’s daughter and  family from UK, cousins from Melbourne and north coast a few nurse friends from the old day and of course, us the writers from the various groups Decima belongs to  – the WWN at Rozelle, the SWW from Mitchell Library, U3A poetry Appreciations group .

 

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The launch  speech  for   ‘Going Home’ 

by 

Colleen Keating                                IMG_6229

Welcome to you all.

My name is Colleen Keating  and I feel honoured to be asked to launch  ‘Going Home.’

But first, please let us pause a moment to acknowledge the Gadigal people. We are gathered on land of the Eora nation, and pay our respects to traditional custodians, past and present. 

I also feel happy to mention we are gathered in the Judith Wright Room, one of our greatest Australian women poets

 

Decima is a  friend and fellow writer. She inspires me and  inspires all of us in her loyalty and commitment to her writing.  Decima’s writing occupies a sacred space in her life.

Her latest book  ‘Going Home’ is the second and final in a duo.

Decima has had many short stories and poems published in Journals and Anthologies. She has co-edited two Anthologies of prose and poetry for the Womens Writers Network, here at the Writers Centre.

Her first book, Black Stockings, White Veil celebrated the 50th Anniversary of her Graduation from RPA. It was a finalist in the Indie Book Awards for Historical Fiction, and is now in its second edition. 

Letters from a Digger appeared as the first part of the duo.

She has had her first book of poetry accepted for publication by Ginninderra Press to be out mid 2019. 

Going Home is Gordon’s story, a remarkable, loveable man, bigger then life. 

It is a story wonderfully told, set in the Australian context at a time many of us here remember. 

In the hero’s journey there is the wound. Decima’s writing carries that intriguingly,  a life shadowed with a secret and sense of loss, with a pinch of serendipity, including the arrival of an inspirational teacher just at the right time.  

At a recent poetry symposium in Adelaide that Michael and I attended it was discussed how Fiction and Non Fiction, are both the same and different, in telling the Truth. It made me think of ‘Going Home.’  It’s evident that Decima, has assiduously researched the facts to ensure both accuracy and a good story. 

Historic fiction puts flesh on the bone,  transforms anecdote into drama, uses suspense, stimulates our imagination. Going Home, tells Gordon’s story honestly. There are no punches pulled. It explores the powerlessness engendered by serious illness and the courage to accept an unwelcome diagnosis.

You hear and smell see and taste the scenes, as this moving tale unfolds. 

The following passage set after the death of Rabbi Shomer, (Gordon’s mentor) embodies a moment of pain in his journey: 

 

Gordon felt the Rabbi everywhere and nowhere. In the following days, the house echoed with his voice. At the same time, the silence was palpable. Sometimes Gordon rushed back from school, bringing news of the day for the Rabbi. And recalled his friend had passed. He ran faster so he wouldn’t cry. And arrived breathless, dry-eyed. 

It broke Allie’s heart to see his sad face. Her own sorrow could be borne, if only she could do more to help Gordon. She brought him milk and biscuits, saying, ‘I wonder if you’d like to hear some music?’ He nodded, fearing tears should he speak. 

 

Even the ‘taste of milk and biscuits’, the comfort food of after-school caught me.

Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter says:    “Words are in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic” And ‘Going Home’ has the magic of an historic 20th century read.  For many of us it takes us down memory lane of late last century.  It is a book that will be cherished by Melissa and Jason . You must be very proud of your Mum for bringing this story to fruition. And to Dessie and Gordon’s smart and gorgeous Grandchildren Miranda, Toby, Ella and Harry this is a gift for you.

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I  congratulate Decma on this fine achievement and proudly declare  Going Home launched.  May it have many enjoyable reads.

Now i would like to call on the writer of the day, the author Decima Wraxall. IMG_6231

Launch of Fire on Water

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COLLEEN’S    Thank you speech at the  launch of Fire on Water
Beverley, thank-you for launching this new and beautiful book and for your affirming words. I appreciate your belief in writing and in poetry and for affirming me.
You are amazing with your generosity . I wonder at you. No one would believe the dedication

you have to writers and writing.beverley at launch

I appreciate you all being here for the launch

So many happy warm smiling faces.
As you can imagine I am thrilled this new book has come to fruition.
I love the book. It has a good feel and I am very proud of it.
I like to think , as Mary Oliver says it allows each poem to sit on its page and breathe
And I like its spaciousness .

I thank the publisher Ginninderra Press for this effort.
Especially Stephen Matthews for his friendly and helpful encouragement .

Most of you are aware writing is a lonely trek, a long haul, a footslog, an odyssey. Sometimes lost in the bush, sometimes all at sea, sometimes desert-dry, sometimes energising but mostly a solitary and gruelling task and as a writing community we appreciate that, and it is good to be here together to celebrate writing.

Getting published is an interesting process and a wonderful journey. Many of you have been a part of that and I appreciate you all.

Especially thanks to Michael for his encouragement, patience and support . And my daughters and their families for their support today.

 

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And my fellow writers and fellow poets .
To Sue and the women writers group and especially Decima I deeply appreciate your friendship, affirmation and critiquing. We are a good team.
To Norm and the Wednesday evening poets for your critique thanks . my time with you is invaluable
and to Ron and the U3A poetry appreciation group at Eastwood thanks for being here .
Finally to Helen and Nigel Parry for being here and for the beautiful cello music which has added a touch of the transcendence to the day.
In Romeo and Juliet some of you might remember Romeo’s amazed outcry

“It is the East and Juliet is the sun”

I see the creative world as the east, and the hope, the beauty the beloved as the sun
for us as Australians, you and I have the intimate feeling for the way every morning firey light rises and blazes against the dark and conquers the ocean,
it is the fire that rises from water.
Fire on Water is a miracle in itself but for me in my title poem, the second miracle is that we are alive here and now.

and so the poem fire on water pg 20

A poetic mind, writer and/or reader
is lively and inquiring, compassionate, curious, angry, full of music,
full of feeling.
and this poem that won first place in a 2016 competition in Positive Word
I feel is a touchstone for this
wood pigeon p115

and the anger like blood that spills from the pen pg 50
out of sight out of mind pg 80

and finally to me poetry is also about taking wings and I hope it plants a seed for your everyday to take wings
taking wings pg 107

And now I give the mic to Michael to read Waiting pg 18. and then to Jo to read her selection of poems. Thank you all once again for being here

FIRE ON WATER

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FIRE ON WATER

It is an honour to have Beverley George with us this afternoon.

Beverley is renowned  nationally and internationally in the field of Japanese Poetry . She is a Writing Fellow of the Fellowship of Australian Writers and past editor of the journal Yellow Moon, the Society of Women Writers NSW Newsletter 2004-2006 and Eucalypt: a Tanka Journal which she edited for 10 years. Currently she edits Windfall: Australian Haiku .
How does one sum up such a body of work? How does one begin to speak about this talented writer, her achievements, publications and awards?
She was president of the Australian Haiku Society 2006-10 and has served as an international judge for Japanese poetic genre competitions in Japan , UK, US and Canada. Beverley has presented papers at two poetry conferences in Japan and has served as literary adviser to Mitsui Travel for six small group tours to Japan.

 

Beverley’s launch speech for “Fire on Water” by Colleen Keating

Welcome everybody and especial thank you to Colleen for inviting me to launch her lovely poetry collection: Fire on Water. An honour indeed.
The poetry in this book engages with so much that truly matters to the human heart and mind. Reading it, I am reminded of the words of the American poet Mary Oliver
“. . . For poems are not words, after all, but fires for the cold, ropes let down to the lost, something as necessary as bread in the pockets of the hungry.”

[― Mary Oliver, ‘A Poetry Handbook’]

Even when writing on complex subjects, Colleen speaks clearly, without artifice. She doesn’t use ‘clever’ words; she uses right words; those words that fit best with the ideas she presents to us. Much thought and care have gone into their selection.
Many of the poems are concerned with social justice: such as the plight of refugees, or aspects of indigenous history but the poet’s voice remains compassionate, not sentimental.
The book itself is physically attractive, easy to use and isn’t that imaginative cover illustration by Elizabeth Keating-Jones, Colleen’s daughter so appealing? I love it.
You will soon notice that the poems are pleasingly grouped although not strictly sequential within those groups. Advantages of this formatting are that the reader can consider aspects of a particular topic at one reading and choose another topic the next time one picks up the book. It also makes it easy to relocate poems for further contemplation; those that we have particularly read and enjoyed. What did Colleen write about downsizing? About refugees? About aspects of nature?
An extremely relevant section for me right now, and I would presume for some others in this room is that of downsizing; disposing of some possessions treasured for a life-time; selling the family home with all its treasured memories of loved family members and pets.
Of particular impact is the brief poem on p. 35 “where’s home, Ulysses”. Lines such as
“where there is a home
make a house depersonalise
the real estate agent says

ebay vinnies salvos
devour my story
on the footpath garbage pick-up
my life exposed”

clearly convey the loss of control, the loss of property, the uncertainty that too often accompanies this rite of passage.

But Colleen’s poems travel through this difficult period with honesty and directness and resolve into thoughts not of just acceptance but of positivity and optimism for what is now possible; what lies ahead.

What comes through clearly and consistently in Colleen’s work, is a strong sense of social justice; deep concern for the plight of those others helpless to improve their own lives.
A particularly powerful poem can be found on. p.75 ‘Stillborn’. Colleen writes of:

“people seeking asylum
returned to face those they flee
history like a drawbridge is pulled up
closed off
humanity is stillborn”

and concludes with the challenging lines
“the everywoman in me weeps […]
if you are not weeping
ask why”

You’ve probably all heard of the Roland Barthes’ theory that once a piece of writing is public the role of the reader becomes active, as they bring their own experience and knowledge to interpreting the text; an interplay between writer and reader results. This suggests we each may read a poem slightly differently and of course you will choose which parts of this book are most relevant and intriguing for you. And this is as it should be.
In a few moments we will have the pleasure of hearing Colleen read some of her own work. Here’s a little advance notice; something I am hoping Colleen might tell us more about. Her fascination with the woman musician, herbalist and healer, Hildegard of Bingen.
A rich source of pleasure in this book comes with Colleen’s approach to writing about nature. These poems are detailed and convincing. The poet is looking hard and appreciating the world around her.
Whether she is writing about a physical location such as The Entrance; plants such as sunflowers, or a felled tree; creatures like a wood pigeon, a dragonfly or a hawk, her words reach out to us; draw us in.
Again, thank you for coming. It is now my very great pleasure to announce Fire on Water by Colleen Keating launched and ready for sharing. We will now hear from the poet, herself…over to Colleen.

Launch of Fire on Water. STOP PRESS

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                                          FIRE ON WATER
                                       WILL BE LAUNCHED
                                                           IN
                             JUDITH WRIGHT ROOM
                               NSW Writers Centre, Rozelle  
                     in the gracious grounds of Callan Park
                              on the Parramatta River
                            Balmain Rd, Lilyfield NSW
        
                        Sunday afternoon 19th November
                                                    at  
                                      2.30pm – 4.30pm
                     ( 504, 506,520 buses from town hall)
                                   plenty of free parking   
                                       To be launched
                                                    by
                                      Beverley George 
renowned nationally and internationally Japanese form poet, 
     A Writing Fellow of The Fellowship of Australian Writers, 
editor of Windfall: Australian Haiku journal and author of many books 
        
 Hors d’oeuvres, vino, champagne, poetry readings, music, book signing 
       ALL WELCOME
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Launch of Black Mountain

Today we celebrated the launch Of Carol’s new book Black Mountain by Colleen Keating. Many  of the writing community and readers and Carols family and friends gathered in the atmospheric book shop Better Read then Dead  in  Newtown for the celebration. I felt very privileged to be asked to launch.

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Launch by Colleen Keating

of

 Carol Chandler’s Black Mountain.

Good afternoon everybody.

Firstly I invite a pause for us to acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land, on which we gather the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, and to pay respect for Elders past and present.

There are some new faces here so I will introduce myself. My name is Colleen Keating. I belong to the Women Writers Network that meets every Wednesday at 1pm at Roselle Writers Centre. All women writers are welcome. That is where Carol and I met.

When Carol was being seduced by the Blue Mountains she visited our newly downsized apartment trying to make her decision. The Mountains won and she set out on a mammoth journey to her beautiful home and garden in Leura .

What a gathering in this wonderful environment of books and music and art, and what a great
honour for Carol that you have taken the time to be with her to celebrate.

Most of you would be aware writing is a lonely trek, a long haul, a footslog, an odyssey. Sometimes lost in the bush, sometimes all at sea, sometimes desert-dry, sometimes energising but mostly a solitary and gruelling task.
As a writing community we appreciate that, and we are here to honour the loneliness of the long distance writer and to celebrate Carol’s successful outcome.

And what an outcome. Black Mountain by Carol Chandler published by Ginninderra Press, a small but very prestigious publishing press in South Australia.

Black Mountain is a psychological thriller – and what a thriller. What a journey! We are taken by the narrator Sarah into the back waters of a country area, a place up in the hills not far from the coast in a lonely desolate ‘neck of the woods’. Sarah, a teacher has escaped from this town and this life, but on Page one is drawn back into its eerie world trying to make sense of the past and find out what really happened to her brother Liam who died in a house fire. By page eight we the readers are woven into the mystery and for us, there is no return .

You and I know how easy it is to get caught back into the dark web of our past, – into the tangle of relatives, families , friends. . . where there are all the hurts and intrigues, suicide, murders, lovers, drugs and especially secrets, lies and cover ups.

People are watching …..the threat of dogs always in the background..… the sharpness of the knife edge that glints in the moon light……. that scary feeling you are being followed and that strand of foreshadowing…. and of course the world of gossip.
Even when we escape to the coast, the ocean doesn’t give us reprieve, not even a breather. We are kept in the dark web of intrigue.

Carol has given us a thriller.
Everyone loves a good mystery…… but here there is the added complexity of human psychology, what’s beneath the surface in human action and reaction .

The pivotal characters Freya and Tyler and the mystery of Lola a young girl who has disappeared, gives us a sense of place and how that connects with identity.
And with the pains of the past that hold their secrets and hold us in their mystery, we become caught in the struggle and search for meaning.
What is it all about? ……. We are immersed in a thriller . . . a metaphor for life ,where
the questions materialise at every turn, but the answers are just beyond our grasp.

Black Mountain, was short listed in a recent competition where the judges’ comment, noted in the blurb on the back cover was “it is a deftly written novella “-

The many characters, that fill this small world of intrigue, even Aden and Radic and the dogs Nero and Jet and the mountain all are colourful and well formed. One could possibility recognise archetypes from Carl Jung’s collective unconscious but this is held lightly, This is not a philosophy book, it is a short psychological thriller to take to bed, or curl up one rainy afternoon and enjoy an escape for a few hours.

Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter says:
“Words are in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic
and Black Mountain has the magic of a good read.

I congratulate Carol and proudly declare Black Mountain launched.

May you all enjoy reading it.

Colleen Keating

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Colleen launching Black Mountain by Carol Chandler at Better Read then Dead  in Newtown today.
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Carol and Colleen before the launch at Better Read then Dead this afternoon