‘Life is not for doing the doable.’ – Tim Ferguson

December 5, 2018 at 9:25 am | Posted in Australian memoir, Comedy writing, Comic memoirs, humour, Tim Ferguson | Leave a comment
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Penny Hanley and Tim Ferguson

There are remarkably few books or courses on how to write humour. Most people think that it can’t be taught. Tim Ferguson disagrees. He holds regular classes on how to write narrative comedy, in Australia and other countries, and has written a book on it, The Cheeky Monkey: Writing narrative comedy (Currency Press, 2010).

I did one of his weekend courses recently in Canberra and it was fantastic. Tim Ferguson is generous, smart and a fabulous teacher. He’s a humane and witty guy who shared the secrets of comedy and the milieu of comic writers and performers in Australia with us. And it was like paying a (very reasonable) sum of money to laugh from nine to five, two days in a row. Continue Reading ‘Life is not for doing the doable.’ – Tim Ferguson…

Robin Dalton’s exhilarating books – great Christmas presents

December 2, 2017 at 1:32 am | Posted in Aunts up the Cross, Australian memoir, Comic memoirs, humour, One Leg Over, Present giving, Robin Dalton | 1 Comment
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High dramatic comedy

Death was ‘always present, cosily accepted’ in Robin Dalton’s 1930s childhood in Kings Cross, Sydney. As a single child in a house full of eccentrics, the fairy tales she was told were the amusing accounts of how her relatives met their ends.

Her 85-year-old great-aunt Julia was knocked over by a bus. This bus was travelling slowly, in the right direction. It was Great-Aunt Julia who was, characteristically, walking very fast, in the wrong direction. Great-Uncle Spot fell off a ladder while changing a light bulb. A great-aunt died as a child from eating green apples and another from blowing up a balloon. The author’s great-grandfather died while reading Uncle Vanya and her Uncle Ken, a soldier in Gallipoli, was killed not in action but from a fatal bite of sugar. (Clearly an early casualty of the ‘Sweet Poison’ we’re hearing a lot about now – see davidgillespie.org and www.sarahwilson.com )

Dalton’s Aunts up the Cross is still in print, I’m happy to see – originally Penguin and now a Text Classic – and it would make a great Christmas present. There is not a word wasted, every word is elegant, and nearly every word is funny. Continue Reading Robin Dalton’s exhilarating books – great Christmas presents…

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