Welcome to my writing zone. I was sixteen once (above left) and spent all my time writing. From that day to this (right) it’s been the same. I have written letters, postcards, memos, shopping lists, reminder notes and requests. I produced thousands of pages of essays and theses at High School and at University which finally gave me access to an academic career where I had to write articles for journals and chapters for books.
All the time I was also writing my own stories, fictional narratives and a daily journal. I kept almost complete journals during my teenage years and again from my mid thirties at various times, including now. I was also fascinated by painting and loved works from the coasts of Arnhem Land and the Australian deserts to the treasures in the great galleries of Europe and the United States.
From the start I had wanted to be a writer and an artist. Many things stopped me, not least the need to support three children. So the academic career was a godsend and although it took me away from what I felt I should be doing it gave me a range of extraordinary and unique experiences. All the same as a writer I was trapped in the learned journal.
Some years ago that life came to an end. “Retiring” they called it, but for me it was the beginning of the work I had been wanting to do. I enrolled in a diploma in visual arts at TAFE which I completed after two years of hard slog and enlightening confrontation with reality. It led me to begin writing about art, at first for assessments and then because I wanted to. My art-writing site partners this one, you can visit it at Annette Hamilton Art Writing from Australia here. Part of the TAFE course included photography, and after finishing the Diploma I did a supplementary course in that. Finally I returned to writing, hoping it wasn’t too late for some kind of “career” in independent publishing.
I have had to learn all kinds of things nobody once needed to know to be a writer. One of the hardest has been learning to manage the world of websites, domains, social media and independent publishing. Authorship and readership is not what it was, and entering the writing world I have been inhabiting as a kind of ghostly presence for so long is a real challenge.
LINK TO MY AMAZON AUTHOR’S PAGE: here
Writing needs time, but it also needs place. I have been fortunate in having beautiful places to write in. I have lived in Sydney’s inner west, at Rozelle, since the early 1980s. Athough the area has undergone a complete transformation in those forty years, definitely for the worse, I still cling on to being there. Living somewhere for so long creates an almost cellular link to place. There are very few of us original residents remaining in my street. Most of the wonderful trees surrounding the property have been removed. But there are still a few possums galloping across the roof although the owls seem to have departed.
There are other places in my life. My grandfather Owen John Arnold managed to buy a couple of blocks of land in 1923 on a very remote part of the Hawkesbury River and built a house there. It is still in the family, and is a wonderful place to write. The banner photo above is a sunset view. Full moon nights are amazing too (below). I write some but mostly paint in the Blue Mountains, in the crispy air and swirling mists.
Time passes and everything changes. I’ve been through a lot recently including a serious illness which put the publications on hold for over a year. But I’m doing fine now and doing final edits on a book of memoirs and two volumes of short stories which will be out soon. I hope they find readers, although my writer daughter says nobody these days will get them. Because they are set in the twentieth century they are classed as “historical”. Now, I really get that. A year ago, after a cruise with my daughter through the Pacific, I started an apocalyptic fiction about a pandemic virus that began on a cruise boat. Was just starting to write when it really happened. So much for life imitating art. Now it feels like everything that happened before 2020 was just a prelude.
I also write about art. Visit Annette Hamilton Art Writing From Australia https://annette-hamilton-art-writing.com/
Visit my photography site at Annette Hamilton’s Image Field here.
A site for my painting projects is still in development.
Instagram: There are two Instagram sites:
anndemot for art and life
and annette_hamilton_writer for my books and comments