CHRISTINE M. KNIGHT

An Australian author who provides insight into the human condition.

Author Christine M Knight's Blog

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Working Mother

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Consider checking out the poetry section of this website and the poem 'A Working Mother'. 

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Friday, October 25, 2013

DANCE REVIEW: DUTI COMPANY - 2013 SYDNEY FRINGE FESTIVAL

Friday, October 25, 2013

A highlight of the Sydney Fringe Festival for me was the performance by DUTI - a professional dance company based in Sydney. Interlude was choreographed and directed by Mathew Mizyed, founder of DUTI Company.

Performed at Leichhardt’s Forum Theatre, Interlude began with an abstract film montage of changing patterns and swirls that strongly suggested the themes of TIME and CHANGE with strong percussive rhythmic music reminiscent of the pulse of life. Through dance, Mizyed successfully evoked the ambiguous nature of time and the evolutionary process of existence. He did this through skilfully intermixing motifs of movement: push and pull, rise and fall, tidal change, climbing, transitions from one state into another, sculptures of life – angular and dissonant at times - brought to an occasional standstill, and moments of celebration. Each scene was unique. The evolving language of gesture and movement was arresting and varied.

 

The dance was a sequence of different physical and emotional states that were seamlessly linked through music, transitioning coloured backdrops, and the comings and goings of dancers. Environmental landscapes were cued by music and lighting that underscored the movement and gestures used to convey each setting. The contrast between landscapes as portrayed by movement and gesture was not only expressive but effective. Successive scenes artfully explored shifting spatial patterns, timing and balance, levels, and groupings of dancers.

 

In this production, stage space appeared elastic much like time itself. Stage space also assumed a sense of density when dance and music altered to an underwater world where buoyancy and drag influence movement.

 

The costume of the female dancers was striking. Elegantly simple and flattering, it allowed great flexibility in movement. It enhanced the female form without sexually objectifying the female dancers. Male costume was simple. Trousers and bare upper torsos revealed the dancers’ physical strength, the cleanness of their movement, and the quality of their body flight throughout all phases of the dance.   

 

Overall, the choreography and the performance were a striking combination of impressive technical skill, fluid lyricism, athleticism, and stamina. The large audience were rapt throughout the performance and expressed their appreciation by enthusiastic applause at the end.

© Christine M Knight

 




 

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Friday, October 11, 2013

LIFE SONG (A VISION SPLENDID) lyrics

Friday, October 11, 2013

The song is available from CD Baby or iTunes. Hera the song on Internet radio

SPOKEN

For years, I worked from nine to five,
Lived life and made my choices blind.          
Friends say: life's got possibility,                
But my life's on hold; it's stationary.             
I know about struggle and groundhog days.
I need to move on to a different phase.     
I’ll make the most of my life (I've been given)
And not let others cloud my vision.

CHORUS (SUNG)
If your life was a song, what would the music be?   
Would the bass drown out the melody?
Would it be an original score
Or a cover of a song heard before?
Whatever turns out to be,
Live it, own it, boldly.

I'm going to write my life song.
I'm going to own the beat.
The lyrics will be of my choosing,
And the sound unique.

SPOKEN

Life without passion can be a daily drudge.
By passion, I don't mean lust; that's not love.
Passion is the joy that gets you through the day.           
It lets you savour each moment and keep stress at bay.
Passion is the spice that gives life all its flavour.    
When times get tough, passion makes you a stayer.  
Passion gives you insights others call epiphany;
You are not bound by limitations but what you dream life can be.

CHORUS (SUNG)
If your life was a song, what would the music be?   
Would the bass drown out the melody?
Would it be an original score
Or a cover of a song heard before?
Whatever turns out to be ...
Whatever turns out to be ...
Whatever turns out to be,
Live it, own it, boldly.

I'm going to write my life song.
I'm going to own the beat.
The lyrics will be of my choosing,
And the sound unique.
I'm going to write my life song.
(write my life song)
I'm going to own the beat.
(own the beat)
The lyrics will be of my choosing,
And the sound unique.


© Christine M Knight 2013


Watch the music video.  
 

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Friday, October 11, 2013

BETTER DAYS

Friday, October 11, 2013

Hi there,

Everyone has dark patches in life that can lead to retreat to a metaphoric dark cave. Hope and the possibility that circumstances may change can be instrumental in bringing a person out of that cave. The music of hope is everywhere, but we need to listen closely. The muddy jangle of life's noise can drown it out.

Have a listen to and look at the song LIFE SONG (A VISION SPLENDID) and the related music video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEioHGbnWiA 

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Thursday, August 01, 2013

Nikki's Song

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Consider having reading 'Nikki's Song'. You'll find it in the poetry section of my website.

Christine

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Friday, July 12, 2013

The Volley of It All

Friday, July 12, 2013

Wednesday night this week, I watched the Under 17s Western Australian versus New South Wales game in the National Volleyball Championships at the Australian Institute for Sport based here in Canberra. My niece is in the New South Wales team. 

The game was a thrilling, closely fought match of five sets. The contest had it all: overhand passes targeted with precision; an incredible series of serves; a variety of lunges; extended, nail-biting rallies where the outcome was hotly contested; spills and injuries, and passionate, chanting supporters. 

The best thing for me about the game: 'being so alive in the moment' and absorbed in the competitive drama before me. I don't normally feel that 'in the moment' in everyday life, but I do live very much in the moment when I am developing one of my novels; I am transported to another world then. 

Back to the volleyball game: I was impressed by the emphasis that both coaches placed on team members graciously accepting each loss of points and the importance of not apportioning blame to individuals. I was equally impressed by the way the girls supported one another on and off the court. The girls and coaches both demonstrated that teams win literally and metaphorically by how they play the game and not just who scored the winning point.     

New South Wales (the blue team) won the match. 

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Friday, July 05, 2013

A Long Time Passing

Friday, July 05, 2013

In search of a change of pace and in hope of warmer weather today, I travelled to Berrima in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales. Berrima is a quaint town dating back to 1836.

 

http://www.berrimavillage.com.au

 

In my lifetime, Berrima has been renowned as a top day-trip destination south from Sydney and north from Canberra. Its reputation has been based on its quality goods - nothing kitsch, gourmet foods, the finest in pure merino knitwear and alpaca garments, cosy restaurants, beautiful historic sandstone buildings and homesteads, a variety of galleries, and artisans’ shops.  

 

We arrived in Berrima just after 1pm; it was thirteen degrees Celsius. The day was sunny and the sky a rich crystal blue. The weather was a striking respite from what has been a few bleak freezing weeks in Canberra of single digit temperatures.

 

It was windy in Berrima though with the wind chill factor making it unpleasant to be outside. Despite this, the town was abuzz with tourists. The air held that spicy fragrance of burning Eucalypt wood fires, which for me have nostalgic romantic connotations of a time that was free from Internet saturated lives and free from environmentalists’ complaints about people seeking a natural warmth in an age-old way.

 

The cafes and restaurants, a warm retreat from the biting winds, were crammed pack. Nonetheless, my little group found a table situated near a window with a view of a citrus treed courtyard and lavender gardens. A slow-combustion stove burned in the corner of the room. In the sunny warmth, it was easy to forget how cold it was outside.

 

After a gourmet’s luncheon at reasonable prices, we decided on a stroll around the town with the final destination set as the three shops that specialized in top Australian brand woollen garments and alpaca wear. That stroll became a scurry that quickly evolved into a dash from the haven of one shop to the next with us lingering in each store.

 

It has been a year since I’ve shopped in Berrima, and today I planned buying a birthday gift for a close relative. I was particularity looking forward to the diversity in selection of upmarket quality woollen merchandise in the last three stores; something no longer evident in the major department stores. Over the seasons when I've stopped at Berrima for my winter woollen shopping, I’ve been amazed by the range in sizes and styles as well as the high-fashion artistry of people in that industry. You just don’t see patterns and styles like that in department stores anymore.

 

When we arrived at the first of the tree stores, we discovered it had been converted into a café. Disappointed, we rushed through the parkland to the remaining two stores. I was shocked to discover only the alpaca garment store remained open for business. I felt very much like the child who had learnt the Grinch had stolen Christmas.

 

Sadly, there isn’t anyone to counter that ‘theft’. The manufacturing industry in Australia continues to be in decline because businesses that pay first-world wages and that provide first-world working conditions are finding it increasingly difficult to compete with manufacturers in developing countries.  It’s a dilemma that needs to be addressed because, let’s face it, most work can be outsourced to developing countries and what do out-of-work people do here then?  Luckily for me the complete demise of that industry hasn’t happened as yet.

 

From now on when I want to buy quality pure merino top Australian knitwear, I’ll have to travel to further north to Camden, another historic town, situated on the southern outskirts of Sydney. I shop at Looking Class on Argyle Street. The shop has a great range of quality woollens for women and men and something unusual in this modern age– great customer service. That town too has much to offer the day-tripper tourist.

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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Comment box disabled

Saturday, June 15, 2013

A hearty good day to you on what is an icy and windy day here in Canberra, AUSTRALIA. Just a brief note to let you know I have disabled the comment box feature on my blog. It was being filled with SPAM by users not even interested in my blogs. Genuine readers can use reddit, twitter etc to comment as they pass the bog onto others.

Christine  

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Thursday, June 06, 2013

A Piece of Cake

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Having had a busy day at work with more demands on my time than minutes to get everything done, I somehow survived the day and met all deadlines. When I arrived home, I turned to baking as a means to reduce my stress levels. Specifically, I turned to mastering the making of that time-tested, Australian classic –a sponge cake.

I found this afternoon’s baking experience calming, a time for reflection, and its outcome satisfying. This afternoon was very different from my experience in the kitchen on Saturday afternoon, 1 June, when guests unexpectedly popped in for a visit, afternoon tea, and a catch up on life with the Knights.

That Saturday was a bleak, wet day here in Canberra. The sky was a solid sheet of grey. The much needed rain fell with a constant rhythm and at a steady rate throughout the day.

We have the modern-day equivalent of an iron roof so we get to hear the music of rain drumming on the roof sheeting. It was the sort of day when it is great to be inside enjoying the warmth of a fireside and immersed in a good novel.

Living on a rural property has many benefits, but it has the significant disadvantage of not being near shops when the pantry is bare and guests arrive without notice. It is always great to see friends and family though.

I’ll take readers on a detour here away from that Saturday afternoon for a moment.

I grew up on the urban rural fringe of Sydney in a working-class area. Many people called where we lived the boonies, Australian slang that means far away, rural, and boring.

My mother’s family and a number of my parents’ friends had to travel a considerable distance to see us. Visiting was a whole day affair. Hospitality, in those years, meant the kettle was put onto the stovetop to boil and the teapot was readied in preparation for the tea ritual as soon as guests pulled up in the driveway. In those years, my mother instilled in me the importance of crisp clean tablecloths, serving on the best china, and providing a generous ‘meal’ appropriate to the time of the day.

My mother was the mistress of quick bakes – freshly made scones and sponge cakes. Jam and whipped cream always went with those baked delights. When ingredients were in short supply, she had her fall-back – Sao biscuits topped with thin slices of tomato, grated cheese and a light sprinkle of salt and pepper.

So there I was Saturday 1 June with visitors being ushered into the house by my husband and me standing in a depleted pantry looking at sparse shelves without any store-bought sweet biscuits or cakes; I had put off my Friday ritual of shopping for food until Monday afternoon. I did have ingredients though: a variety of flours, eggs, sugar, and so on, and I did have half a packet of Sao biscuits, an ample supply of tomatoes, and a block of cheese.

With memories of how easily my mother made a sponge cake and its accompaniments for guests, I opted to make one myself. How hard could it be? It only required four eggs, sugar, baking powder, and cornflour. I had them in abundant supply. I also had a full carton of fresh cream in the fridge. The problem of what to feed people was solved.  

I learned a valuable lesson that afternoon. Never sell your guests on the prospect of a delicious cake before it is successfully baked.  

Two dozen eggs and six rubbery, thin baked cakes later I knew I was beaten – whipped more than the eggs required for the sponge cake.

I settled for Saos topped with tomato and grated cheese. Guests were fed. Conversation was full of laughter. The kitchen was in chaos. I was exhausted, defeated by baking.

Back now to this afternoon after work. This afternoon's baking experience was a different story. I had located my mother’s recipe for sponge cakes on the previous Sunday. On the way home today, I bought freshly laid hen and duck eggs – apparently, one of the secrets of a successful sponge cake. I followed my mother's  recipe carefully, ensuring I sifted the flour four times and gently folded the flour into the white peaks of sugary egg mixture. 

This afternoon's sponge cake is a marvel - delightful to look at, delectable to taste, and it is gluten free. Apart from a piece of cake, I have gained increased appreciation of my mother's baking skill. In writing this blog, I have enjoyed memories of the festive feasts she created for her guests.

©Christine M Knight

 

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Friday, May 24, 2013

A Teller of Australian Stories

Friday, May 24, 2013

I am a storyteller. I am also a portrait and landscape painter. My preferred media is not oil or watercolours but words. My pictures capture the world that I know and form a backdrop to the stories I tell.

 

I am Australian. My father was a migrant, and my mother a fourth generation Australian. My father bequeathed me his restlessness and search for identity in a landscape alien to the one in which he grew up. My mother bestowed on me a love of homeland and its people. 

 

From childhood, I have been fascinated by storytelling and interested in the way it contributes to and reflects identity – personal and national. As a reader, I was thrilled when I discovered Colleen McCullough’s Australian stories and disappointed when her interest shifted to Ancient Rome. As a nation and a people, we need stories about the way we were and the way we are.

 

I am a watcher and a listener. I find the cadence of life in Australia intriguing. A world traveller, I recognise what makes us uniquely Australian although that is changing with the cycle of life, as all things do. My stories capture the world and people I know and the changes I see. My novels and characters are fictional constructions grounded in knowledge garnered from life and based on extensive research into what is collectively experienced and felt as well as what is uniquely individual.

 

I tell stories about characters in Australian settings that have a universal relevance. 


Note: Australians use the British spelling system and not that favoured by the USA. 




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    Wednesday, October 10, 2018

    Reflection on 'In and Out of Step'

    Wednesday, October 10, 2018

    Set between 1988-1990, In and Out of Step’s thesis picks-up on a period of significant change in Australian social and cultural history which mirror the wider western world. The novel reflects the popular perceptions of the era and explores reaction to changing roles and values, the relationship between generations, gender dynamics, and power in society through contrasting character perspectives.  

    The novel charts Cassie Sleight's (rhymes with slate) and her generation’s journeys in new and uncharted territory in their relationships: personal, social, and work after the second wave of the women’s movement.

    Life forces the women in my novels to reassess what they are doing, how they are doing it, and to evaluate who they are and want to be.

    Through Cassie’s experiences, the reader is entertained and provoked to consider the perceptions held and dualities of women’s roles in western society. That may suggest that this is a non-fiction work masquerading as fiction. However, this aspect is firmly set in the external world of the story and Cassie’s experiences.

    In and Out of Step explores:

    • how identity and relationships are shaped by the way gender operates and gender differences
    • how place—geography, attitudes, values, and culture—shape people’s lives and actions
    • the culture that supports and promotes sexual harassment in the workforce and social spheres
    • changing perceptions of gender roles
    • adapting to change in oneself and the wider world
    • the personal, social, and workplace influences that contribute to change.

    My novelsIn and Out of Step, Life Song, Song Bird portray the diverse and changing realities of women in the time the novels are set: 1980-1990, 1996-1998, 2000-2002.  The stories are anchored in the social and historical context of each period.

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    Saturday, August 12, 2017

    Life Song - a story of metamorphosis

    Saturday, August 12, 2017

    Twenty-two-year-old Mavis Mills first appears in my novel In and Out of Step. Outgoing, gregarious, and confident, Mavis is a significant secondary character in that novel.  Mavis' story - a subplot - is used to provide contrast to and insight into Cassie Sleight's (the central character) journey. 

    At one point in the novel, effervescent Mavis is severely injured – physically, emotionally, and psychologically - by domestic violence and the fire of her partner’s rage. He also destroys her guitar and the copies of her original songs. Part of  the subplot from In and Out of Step explores the context of the domestic violence and provides insight into the psychology of it. Excuses are not made.

    At the start of Life Song, Mavis is twenty-eight-years-old and very different from the young woman who shone throughout most of In and Out of Step. She is the central character in Life Song. She has become subdued, distrustful of her own judgement, and an echo of her former self. Unexpectedly, she discovers she has a choice: continue to live a life tainted by domestic violence or seize the opportunity before her and try to rise above her circumstance and, like the phoenix bird, leave the ashes of her past life behind.

    'Could she live the rest of her life as she'd been living. She couldn't, not now she'd glimpsed another world, fleeting though that vision had been.'

    Life Song is not a cliche 'chic musician on the road' story and is definitely not a romance. It is about the woman Mavis becomes and the people who stand by her as she undergoes transformation – physical, psychological, and to an extent spiritual. She does not solve her problems in the arms of a man but makes the hard choices herself.

    The drama comes from the tugs-of-war that Mavis has to work though. It is made all the harder because Mavis' heart is in conflict with itself. One person, no matter how strong, cannot win a tug-of-war alone. The same applies to Mavis.

    Readers learn about the things that give Mavis strength and that enable her to boldly embrace the inevitable changes coming into her life as she becomes Nikki Mills, the Song Bird from Oz.

    I recommend you listen to two songs from that novel: Sunshine Days and Life Song (A Vision Splendid) to get a feel for this story.

    There are many kinds of wins in life, most of them personal rather than widely acclaimed. It's those personal 'brave heart' moments that define Mavis. Reader feedback through my publisher and website is that Life Song is a gratifying read.

    As part of your journey in reading this blog,  I suggest you listen to Move On.  In my imagination, it is first sung by Mavis' support network, but ultimately the song becomes her personal mantra.

    Australia is a diverse landscape and has diverse communities. Life Song gives readers an opportunity to spend time in some of those communities. The title alludes to the fact that each character's life has its own melody and when sung in concert become the symphony that is Life Song

    Notes:

    Life Song is one of four novels in The Keimera Series. Each novel is a standalone narrative and has the backstory woven into it.  The Keimera Series is an opus.

    Keimera does not in any way allude to chimeraa monstrous fire-breathing hybrid creature from Greek mythology.

    If you would like to lend me your support so that I can produce more music from my novels, you can buy any of my songs from CD Baby.  Each of my songs can be purchased for the very small price of $1.69. My music is also on iTunes and other major online music sellers as well.



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    Sunday, June 25, 2017

    The story behind my song 'The Flame'

    Sunday, June 25, 2017


    'The Flame' features in my novel ‘Song Bird’. In the novel, it is sung by rock legend Rick Brody who serenades Nikki Mills (the central character in the novel). In real life, it was sung by Funnie Williams and Thanapat Yarchartoen (aka Film). I produced the song through Karma Sound Studios in Thailand.

    BACKSTORY TO 'THE FLAME' - The Singer or the Song?

    In ‘Song Bird’ and its prequel 'Life Song', Nikki Mills - the Girl from Oz - is a survivor of domestic violence. Once an innocent, she believed the very convincing serenade of her first significant love, Terry Kikby. Long before Nikki met Rick, his song 'The Flame' resonated with her.  She believed that Rick's songs really expressed his own ideas and values.

    Having been at the top of the music industry for sixteen years, Rick finds his music is dropping in the charts. Defined by his 'bad boy' image, he has lost sight of his real self. Consequently,  his music has lost its connection with his fan base. Interested in Nikki as a woman as much as in her skill as a lyricist, Rick collaborates with Nikki on a new album. 

    Flattered by Rick's interest in her and impressed by 'The Flame', Nikki embarks on a relationship with him.  A subplot in the novel explores the ramifications of that decision.  Can she help Rick find the heart that his music once had?  Will Nikki be hurt or healed by the relationship with him?  The answers are found in my novel 'Song Bird'. 

    Readers of this blog may also find the pop rock song 'Masque' and interesting insight into Rick and Nikki's relationship issues.

    I currently have 8 songs on CD Baby and iTunes. You can help me raise the money to produce the rest of my songs by buying one or more of my songs at the very small price of $1.69 per song. They are on sale at CD Baby and  iTunes. Online music streaming services such as Spotify and Deezer promote my music, but I only earn approximately one cent per one hundred streams. 

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NEWS

  • Christine's music update

    11-Oct-2018

    Christine’s admin team are pleased to report ‘Life Song’ has continued to receive an increasingly strong response in its latest month of rotation on numerous radio stations targe..
  • Christine's music on Unearthed Triple J

    10-Oct-2018

    Help Christine cross over to commercial radio by following this link (https://www.triplejunearthed.com/artist/christine-m-knight), playing her songs, and giving them a star review. Yo..
  • 4 out of 4 stars review for 'Song Bird'

    16-Jul-2018

    Another 4 out of 4 stars for 'Song Bird'. Click here (https://forums.onlinebookclub.org/viewtopic.php?t=75821)for the review...

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