Pitching for writers: A personal post

I imagine it’s a bit like an audition for film role, a casting session, where all the potential actors size each other up in the waiting area. Ultimately they have the same aim, and they can’t all get the part. But they’ve been on a similar journey, fought the same or similar battles for recognition,…

Hunter Gather: Art and Writing

This is a different kind of post. I’ve been so focused on writing this year – finishing the first rewrite of Bury the Sun and applying for various unpublished manuscript opportunities for both Sun and Birch. I’ve been pushing myself guiltily into pursuing the first New Year’s resolution I’d ever made: planning to submit Birch…

Why we need… The Power / Naomi Alderman

I’m tidying up this review from a jumble of notes scrawled while listening to the audiobook edition of The Power. More often than not, I post reviews after a significant procrastination mulling-over period. In this case, I couldn’t remember the last time I was so utterly, maddeningly in awe of a work. The premise of…

Review: See What I Have Done / Sarah Schmidt

I saw the ink-bled pigeon on the cover; it was beautiful. I heard the title; I was intrigued. When I discovered the story was about an infamous slaying, I couldn’t not read it. I must admit my approach to Australian author Sarah Schmidt’s chilling debut See What I Have Done was tinted with classic writer’s…

Review: There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbour’s Baby

How have I never heard of Ludmilla Petrushevskaya before? Admittedly, my reading of contemporary Russian literature is dependent on the availability of English translations, since my Russian reading ability is torturously slow. The title of this collection of works appeared in my Goodreads suggestions: There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbour’s…

Birch: Memory External

Without intentionally writing it into the manuscript, the role of memory is a key driving force in Birch. Alyona, the central character, begins her story in purposeful denial of her family’s memory. She is forced to contend with the result of this denial when she becomes the primary caretaker of her grandmother, Irina Alexandrovna. Irina’s…

Birch: Hermitage (an introduction)

A mass of first and second hand research contributed to the material that resulted in the manuscript I’ve called Birch. Much of it didn’t make the final cut, and some is present only in small glimpses. I’m hoping to share the details and experiences I encountered in this blog. This first entry features one of…

Not from this place

I’ve recently finished reading a book set in Saint Petersburg. I find I’m deliberately seeking out contemporary writing in this setting, partly as vicarious way to be back there. I won’t name the novel, but it left me disappointed. More than disappointed, I felt dismayed. What bothered me so much was that the concept of…

Apparently writing is only half the work

Half a month ago, on November 30, I listened to Walter Mason speak at Sutherland Library. I hadn’t heard Walter talk before… I must grudgingly admit that I was itching to get back to finishing the last 800 of my 50,000 NaNoWriMo words. I am so glad I didn’t slink away. Walter, author of the…

Welcome!

Hi and welcome to my blog! I’ve been meaning to start this for a while now. Procrastination is the enemy of anything creative, and writing in particular. As an introduction, my name is Dasha Maiorova. I’m a writer living in south Sydney. My name is Russian – I was born in Belarus back in the…