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Friday, 13 October 2017

Page Turners: A New Page Well-Turned - Reflection by Paul Karp - 11am, Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Page Turners: A New Page Well-Turned - Reflection by Paul Karp - 11am, Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Visit Paul Karp's Poetry Website at:

A few years ago, Page Turners was a literature discussion group run at Mentone Public Library.

It has now been revived as a fun, friendly, new writing workshop circle with Elsie Johnstone and me as assistant. 
The initial theme of the re-launch was; 
'So you have a story to tell'.

Our first session revolved around Elsie's tips on writing a biography.

We began by each taking a turn in our circle of eight participants to tell something of our early lives, or of our progression though life events that formed our characters.

It soon became evident that each of us had an engaging and unique story to tell.

Elsie read out the first sentences of sections of her book

Each first sentence began a chapter from members of Elsie's family over five generations and reflected the character and aspirations of the contributor to the family's history.

Elsie stressed the importance of the first sentence in engaging a reader's interest.

Elsie gave us five minutes to write the first sentence/paragraph of a prospective biography.

We read out our sentences around the circle for critical appraisal.

In some cases a scene-setting first sentence was followed by a much more compelling second sentence that was a better introduction.

Our homework over the next month is to build on our beginnings to share with the group at our next session scheduled for 11am, Wednesday November 15 2017, at which we also aim to write poetry.      

Bookings essential as spots are limited to ten places.

Tony: 03 9583 8494

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Kingston Seniors Festival Literary Showcase at Mentone Public Library with Leanda Michelle and the Bayside Poetry Group - 11am, Saturday, 28th October 2017

  Mentone Public Library's

In Conjunction 
with the 

Proudly Present:
 Local Author

Leanda Michelle 


Leanda believes all have the power within 

to heal and rewrite their story



This group of polished, published poetry writers 

encourage the love of language and literature.


Bookings are essential due to

the cozy nature of our space.

Phone Tony: 03 9583-8494

Entry: Gold Coin 

Time and Date: 11am, Saturday, 28th October 2017         


RSVP: Thursday, 26th October 2017        


Venue: Mentone Public Library


Address: Rear, 36 Florence Street, Mentone 3194

* Book signings and sales
*Complementary tea & coffee
* Biscuits and banter!

Mentone Public Library…

Where Print Becomes Personable   

Monday, 9 October 2017

Reflecting on Danae Andrea Harwood and How We Dreamed Then and How We Dream Now - 11am, Saturday, 23 September 2017

How We Dreamed Then and How We Dream Now - Danae Reflects on her Presentation Experience

It was an absolute treat to talk about “How We Dreamed Then and How We Dream Now”. The magical Mentone Public Library was the perfect place to take the audience on a magical mystery tour of our Australian dreams, past, present, and future. Researching the topic turned out to be quite an eye opener.


We went on a journey that took us from A to Z - from the Aboriginal Great Australian Dream to the dreams of Generation Z. 
In between we looked at the dreams of:  
convicts, gold rush miners, immigrants, pioneers, prime ministers...

Baby Boomers

  Generation X,

Generation Y

 and Generation Z... 

to name a few!

We also looked at some interesting approaches that people are using to deal with housing affordability. 

We discovered that the Great Australian Dream of home ownership is very much alive and kicking, despite it being a challenging prospect today.

The audience members joined in, contributed comments, and seemed to enjoy the various visual aspects of the talk...including their Fortune Cookies handed out at the end! 

Thank you, Mentone Public Library, for yet another great opportunity. 

 And Here's a Reflection from the Vantage Point of Audience Member, 

Paul Karp 

Paul stands, absorbed in documenting every facet of 
Danae's rich and multi-layered presentation.
Visit Paul Karp's Poetry Website at:

Danae gave today's audience a thought provoking and well researched, well prepared presentation on the theme 'How we dream now, how we deamed then'.
She began with pertinent quotes from her book 'The Writer's Runway - Writing info, insights & Affirmations' in whichhe described writers as '...human dreamcatchers. They catch dreams and put them into words', adding ' a writer it’s my job to daydream on a regular basis'.

The term 'The Great Australian Dream' is derived from the post WWII 'Great American Dream'. Home ownership led to a better life. Mowing your lawn and washing the family car on Saturday morning while clothes dried on the Hills Hoist in a spacious backyard was an aspiration shared by many.

Yet before and after post war Australia our dreams have often changed.

Our indigenous Australians who trans-migrated at least 50,000 years ago lived according to their 'Dreamtime' laws. 

They lived their dream, to subsist and to preserve their environment. With British colonisation came the loss of their tribal lands, widespread slaughter and disease, social and cultural dislocation. 
Their dream now is still to return to their sacred land.

In contrast, all First Fleet convicts, crew and officers wanted to do was return to England. Free settlers were the first Europeans who aimed to live here to establish farms.

During 1850s gold rush times the dream was 'to strike it rich' while living in a tent on the goldfields. Today we still dream of striking it rich by winning a lottery, by getting a million followers on social media, by writing a hit song or by publishing a best-selling novel.
Fear of Chinese goldminers' success and later fears of minorities taking jobs from whites resulted in 'The White Australian Policy' by the early 1900s. 

Danae explains the intricate symbolism of an indigenous material - its pattern representing family circles gathering to share a meal and their stories.
But after WWII we needed migrants for our economic survival and attracting migrants became a national priority.
Nowadays, visa applicants, especially asylum seekers, face a long and costly wait for permission to realise their dream to stay in Australia. 

Danae compared house affordability statistics in 1950 with those of today. She found that buying a house back then wasn't as easy as most people think - only one in five young couples had a chance. Surprisingly, wages and interest rates in the 1950's were comparable to 2017, but the challenge for young home buyers today is that the amount of deposit required has almost doubled, along with the average home price. This means that in 2017 about 76 weeks of wages is needed for a deposit compared to 40 weeks wages in 1950.

Danae illustrated how our dreams have changed through recent generations, from the materialistic home-owning Baby Boomers to 'thirst for global experience seeking while living in a tent' Gen Y's.

Despite that, she concluded, buying a house is still more popular than overseas travel.


“Danae brought up many interesting and varied topics…food for thought.”

“It was excellent.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

"Danae should do her talk on radio as it would interest a lot of people."

Danae, on behalf of the Mentone Public Library team and attendees, thank-you for this extraordinary presentation. Rich with research, sensitivity, passion, you stripped back  and magnified countless layers of the Australian Dream, tracing right back to Australia's traditional owners.
Utterly engaging, fascinating, entertaining and moving. 
May you find further platforms to share this remarkable odyssey of Australian dreaming to new audiences.

To learn more about Danae's publishing achievements or to purchase her publications, please visit Danae's website:

Friday, 6 October 2017

PAUL'S PICKS [Book Reviews of Publications by Local Authors]: "Mordialloc" by James Maclean

PAUL'S PICKS [Book Reviews of Publications by Local Authors]: "Mordialloc" by James Maclean


 Book Reviews of Publications Penned by 

Our Community's Local Authors

Visit Paul Karp's Poetry Website at:

Mentone Public Library is committed towards promoting local history and the local literary talent of the City of Kingston and surrounding municipalities of Bayside, Glen Eira and Port Phillip in the Bayside region of Melbourne Australia.

Mentone Public Library is pleased to have recruited 
Paul "Percussion & Poet" Karp 
to source and review the local literary pearls of publications you might be yet to discover.

This month Paul's book review pick is by 
local-but-currently-based-abroad author: 

And the book:

I was chuffed to read that not only is this novel set in the suburb where I lived for 18 years (7 years after the novel's setting in 1988-9), but the McGuinness family featured of this novel lived in my street - Gipps Avenue! 

But nearby Albert Street seems a more likely location. Gipps Avenue has no 'bend into' it (p.41) and no 'empty alley just within earshot' (p.42). Park Street bends nicely into Albert Street and while there is no alley in Albert Street, there is a long high-fenced rear driveway that could be mistaken for one. 

I'm still scratching my head about the main character, 18 year-old Floyd McGuinness. Already a freeloading binge drinker in Chapter 1, he drinks instead of studying for his VCE exam to just 
'scrape into some bulls**t university course' (p.416). 
I can't fathom why he had any friends at all. He just whines and whinges. 

The novel's plot contains no tests of character to establish his friendships. The only reason they stay in touch seems to be their implication in the same crime. 

Maybe that's the point James Maclean is making. Floyd lacks character. No thought of getting a vacation job after finishing school ever entered anywhere near the universe of his consciousness. He comes across as a spoilt brat who always has beer money to spend at some Mordialloc pub. Early in the novel we learn that Floyd's father abandoned the family, so you can see Floyd as an example of the wreckage left from a broken family.

Old-school, mysterious, behind-the-scenes mover and shaker, Frank Cook, (my favourite character) took on a mentor-like role for Floyd, but even he seemed to cut his losses in the end.

I couldn't suspend disbelief in Floyd's older brother Douglas studying to be a doctor when the only evidence of this is that he 'graduated St Stephen’s at the top of the list and now here he was waltzing through medical school' (p118). Just like that, hey?! 
That Douglas was regularly brow-beaten and out-wisecracked by his younger brother Floyd, further strained credibility. 

Crèche-aged youngest brother Charlie rounded out the brothers. He provided the briefest glimpses of any caring side Floyd had.

Uncle Graham is the ex-football star and the butt of everybody's jokes, tragically trying to revive his magic far too late in life - but at least he had some sort of ambition.

The family's mother, Helen McGuinness, is Mordialloc's clan matron of underclass royalty. She has a job and works hard amidst family dysfunction and gets berated by her older boys when she's courted by 'old codgers'. 
In Mordialloc, young, attractive females are 'kids'; sex objects who'll supposedly put out for swigs from a cheap bottle of Brown Brothers Riesling in a car parked by the beach to the sound of Meatloaf on cassette.

James Maclean writes with a gritty hard-boiled detective style of glib nutshell descriptions without much follow up. It works for minor characters, like the younger police officer 'with creases so sharp they could have peeled an orange' (p.137), but not for major characters like Douglas.

That said, the court scenes were most convincing, and the novel has some cool plot twists.

My curiosity about Floyd's fate kept me interested right to the end. 
Maybe the best thing for him was to find his own way out of Mordialloc's social mire by whatever means he could. 

James Maclean at Mentone Public Library: Saturday, 29 July 2017: 

We were delighted and thoroughly entertained when James Maclean flew in from Turkey (now home for James),
to return to his childhood beginnings and speak at our library.

Highly intelligent,quick-witted and straight-shooting, James was more than willing to admit there was a little bit of his former adolescent self implanted in the bored, anti-education, under-achieving, unmotivated Floyd. 

Seeing the expressive, articulate and enthusiastic author before us revealed that hope was not lost on the young man depicted in his novel. With a little bit of life experience, Floyd could find his awakening and go a long way. 

...We will just have to wait for the sequel!

To purchase copies of "Mordialloc", 
please visit James' publisher website:

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Page Turners: a New, Fun, Friendly Writing Brainstorm & Workshop Circle

Page Turners: a New, Fun, Friendly 

Writing Brainstorm & Workshop Circle


  • Writing materials
  • Tea, Coffee, Biscuits & Banter
What you Need to Bring:
  • Gold Coin
  • A Hearty Writing Appetite!

Bookings Essential as Places are Limited to Ten: 

Phone Tony: 03 9583-8494  



Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Local Author Danae Andrea Harwood Presents our Springtime Storytelling Special: "How We Dreamed Then and How We Dream Now" - 11am, Saturday, 23rd September 2017

  Mentone Public Library's
Continues with

Local Author 

Danae Andrea Harwood 

Presenting our Springtime Storytelling Special: 

"How We Dreamed Then 

and How We Dream Now"

An Exploration of the Changing Face of the Australian Dream.

Is the Dream Facing Extinction?

Danae will draw on her own research, life experiences and original publications to address this question.

11am, Saturday, 23rd September 2017

Bookings are essential due to

the cozy nature of our space.

Phone Tony: 03 9583-8494

Entry: Gold Coin 

Time and Date: 11am, Saturday, 23rd September 2017         

RSVP: Thursday, 21st September 2017        
Venue: Mentone Public Library
Address: Rear, 36 Florence Street, Mentone 3194

* Book signings and sales
*Complementary tea & coffee
* Biscuits and banter!

Mentone Public Library…

Where Print Becomes Personable