An extract from my work in progress has been published in the latest issue of Kurungabaa, alongside some great fiction, poetry and non-fiction. There’s an essay by Chris Morgan called ‘Surfing with Camus’, poetry by e e cummings, John Egan and Gail Willems, and some great writing on surf, sea and sand by Karen de Perthuis (Getting Back in the Water), Sarah Drummond (Strangers and Selkies of the Antipodes), Jim Hearn (That was the River, This is the Sea) and lots more.
‘Kurungabaa’ is a Dharawal word for the Australian pelican, a handsome bird with a peculiar way of gliding low over the waves. We have chosen it to express respect for the Dharawal country where we love to surf, to celebrate the continuing culture of the Dharawal people, and to acknowledge the memory of the Dharawal people’s ancestors.
Kurungabaa is a not-for-profit volunteer publication, and is published bi-annually (June and December) as a hard copy by the generosity of subscribers and donors.
Alongside the wonderful writing, this issue includes some gorgeous photography by Patrick Gorbunovs as well as artwork by Bryant Austin and Keith Nesbitt. You can grab an issue at The Six Ounce Board Store in Manly, The Sugarmill in Narrabeen, or The Top Shop in Byron Bay, or subscribe online at Kurungabaa.net
I just loved your story, the wine dark sea, drawn to it because of my blog name but when I read it ... wow! Accomplished writing and so beautiful. It was my favourite story. It will make a wonderful work - I hope I get to read the whole story one day. Sarah (Drummond).
Thank you, Sarah! That's so kind of you. I loved your piece on selkies. I have a selkie novel (or two!) in my endlessly deep bottom drawer, including one I wrote when I was really, really small. I popped on over to your blog and it's simply lovely; I've really enjoyed exploring your posts about fishing and writing and the sea.
Selkie stories, for me, have been about exploring my own self in relationships with men, about feeling 'appropriated' and about freedom of the soul. It was when I began to understand the stories of the Pallawah women and the sealers that something clicked that it was an Antipodean story as well. I liked the Kurungabaa issue - I wish I'd edited my story a bit more, rather than just sending it off without much of a second (or third) glance. Feels a bit cringey to me, looking at it now - but I guess that is the nature of writing...
I loved the section of your article that looked at the Pallawah narratives. I wasn't aware of those stories, and found that fragment incredibly moving and eye-opening. My father was a Welshman, and when I was little he told selkie stories, including telling me that I was a selkie's daughter. When I was little, he would take me up on his lap and open the family bible to show me my 'skin' - the caul that was over my face when I was born, and which he kept pressed in tissue paper in the Book of Ruth. He was a fantasist and a romantic! and gave me a deep and abiding love of story and selkies :)
Reviewed at: http://overland.org.au/2011/12/favourite-fiction-2011/