My first short story has just been published in the third issue of extempore, a journal of writing, music, art, and improvisation published by Melbourne-based music-lover and writer Miriam Zolin. Miriam developed the idea for the journal from her passions for writing and music, and the recognition that there was no journal devoted to the interdependence between these art forms. The November 2009 issue was launched at the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz over the weekend, by none other than pianist Mike Nock, one of my favourite musicians and an all-round marvellous human being.
I wrote the story, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, as a way of getting into the head of one of the characters I am developing for my current project. In the story young Tilda is finishing high school and has decided to audition for the Sydney Conservatorium of Music’s Jazz Course. During the course of waiting, and waiting, outside the audition room, the reader learns many things about her musicianship and what has led her to this moment.
If you see extempore around the independent bookstores or in your library, take a look. You will find a diverse selection of poems, interviews, essays and photographs all responding in some way to the passion for music (and improvisation in particular). I was a little surprised to see mine is the only fiction published in this issue. Miriam’s always on the lookout for interesting submissions, so don’t be shy.