Following the opening of My First Ballet: Swan Lake in London last week, hear from one of its stars, English National Ballet School student Chloe Keneally. She performs the iconic role of Odette in this version of the classic ballet for young children.
What or who inspired you to take up ballet? Can you remember the first lesson or performance you attended?
My older sister danced which made me want to. I started aged 4 and loved it, I enjoyed the freedom. I saw Sleeping Beauty first and loved it, it became my favourite ballet.
What did it mean to you to get a place at English National Ballet School?
It is a sacrifice being away from my family back home in Australia, but being here is a dream come true. Everything I’d been working for paid off. I loved the school, it was the only one I auditioned for.
What does it mean to you to have the opportunity to dance in My First Ballet: Swan Lake?
Amazing. It feels like the first steps into the rest of our lives, it shows us what we can do in the future. The artistic team are very supportive which is great.
Tell us about the role you have been rehearsing – what are the best bits and the challenges?
I’m rehearsing Odette – it’s my dream role. It’s hard to remember it all but I’m embracing the challenge. I’m loving doing an entire ballet and building the character. I feel like I can relate to this character – falling in love, learning about trust and vulnerability.
A performance research presentation from Shakespeare’s The Tempest
3 performances only at
London Theatre Workshop EC3V. April 13-14.
This work-in-progress multi-media performance explores the mind and persona of Shakespeare’s most enigmatic protagonist, Prospero.
It does so by investigating the dramatic ramifications of sound patterning in Shakespeare’s poetry—what Peter Brook has referred to as the “verbal music” to expose the sound-world Shakespeare creates through words.
Nowhere else in Shakespeare is the action, and even the disposition of all the characters so utterly the construction of the central protagonist. Shakespeare uses the device of a stage magician – a Faustian necromancer, to explore a single character through all the stage action of the drama.
This expressionist approach to characterisation is fuelled by the most knotted, ornate and ethereal language in the Shakespearean canon. That language creates a sound world that is simultaneously the world of the island, and a sonic portrait of Prospero’s psyche.
Gerrard McArthur (Howard Barker’s The Wrestling School) plays Prospero in a performance that draws not just on Prospero’s own words, but those of his alter egos Ariel and Caliban.
The performance incorporates some of the play’s surviving music by the play’s gifted original composer Robert Johnson. Johnson was composer-in-residence to Shakespeare’s company the King’s Men in Shakespeare’s final years. This performance draws on new research into Johnson’s other surviving songs to partially reconstruct an original score for the play.
Counter-tenor Russell Harcourt
(Oreste – Royal Opera House)sings the music of Ariel.
Through live projection, video artist Ben Glover creates a visual expression of the sonic patterning in the poetry, and the diffusion of Prospero’s persona beyond the confines of the body of the actor who ‘plays’ him throughout the other characters and the world of the play.
Book your tickets via London Theatre Workshop here.
This performance is the inaugural presentation of Persona per sona– a performance research initiative led by McArthur and Australian director Christopher Hurrell into the somatic implications for the actor of sound in the language of Shakespeare.
Gerrard McArthur and Russell Harcourt, with Alice Haig, via video as Miranda.
Director: Christopher Hurrell Sound Designer: Nikki Aitken Video Designer: Ben Glover Stage Manager: Jari Laakso
London Theatre Workshop
88 Gracechurch Street
London EC3V 0DN
The Tait Memorial Trust is to present renowned Australian tenor Stuart Skelton, at a gala concert to celebrate our 25th Anniversary at St Paul’s Church Knightsbridge, on Wednesday the 13th September at 7pm.
“Stuart Skelton’s Tristan is the finest account of Wagner’s most extreme and taxing operatic character…that I’ve ever seen or heard on a stage.” David Nice, The Arts Desk, June 2016
Stuart is arguably the world’s leading Wagnerian Heldentenor; he is critically acclaimed for outstanding musicianship, tonal beauty and for his intensely dramatic portrayals. As Tristan, he recently opened the 2017/18 season at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, and will make his long-awaited Royal Opera House debut singing Siegmund in Die Walküre in 2018.
He will shortly appear in this year’s BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall singing Florestan in Beethoven’s Fidelio. Accompanied by pianist Richard Peirson, Stuart will be joined by some of the Tait’s talented past and present awardees, Catherine Carby who is singing in the Royal Opera’s Ring Cycle next year, Deborah Humble who most recently recorded Erda for Naxos with Hong Kong Philharmonic, Katrina Sheppeard who last year sang Norma for English National Opera, Jayson Gillham who’s CD of Chopin, Bach and Schubert went to number 1 in Australia, and Liane Keegan, our first awardee, will return to London after a triumphant season in Melbourne’s recent Ring Cycle.
All are appearing to help raise funds for the Tait Trust’s work of providing scholarships for young performing artists from Australia and New Zealand studying in the UK. The evening will be introduced by Richard Wagner’s great-great grandson, Antoine Wagner.
We are delighted to confirm that Connor D’Netto is to be our 3rd Tait Scholarat the Royal College of Music, a generous award sponsored by the Julian Baring family. We wish him all the very best and look forward to working with him as he aspires to reach the very top of the musical world.
Being awarded the title of the Tait Scholar means so much to me. It’s incredibly encouraging to have this support as I take this next big step in my career, moving to London and beginning to really establish myself in the International music scene. Studying at the Royal College of Music is an important part of this, and it mightn’t have been possible without the generous support of the Tait Memorial Trust.
Connor D’Netto | June 2017
I have been selected as a fellow of the prolific American new-music ensemble Bang On A Can. As part of my fellowship, I have been invited to take part in an intensive three-week residence as part of their Summer Music Festival, held this July at MASS MoCA, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Arts. My new work summer / summer, a concerto of sorts for saxophone, two voices, and chamber orchestra, will be premiered by the ensemble
as a feature in the Festival.
I am the artistic director and co-founder of Argo, a contemporary classical music concert series based in Brisbane, Australian. Argo has four concerts left in 2017, collaborating with the likes of Camerata – Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra, the Viney-Grinberg Piano Duo (Liam Viney and Anna Grinberg), soprano Merlyn Quaife, violinist Monica Curro, pianist Stefan Cassomenos, Opera Queensland, the Queensland Music Festival and the Queensland
Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, and presenting four newly commissioned works by young local composers, including new work by me, as well as multiple Australian premieres.
Connor D’Netto (b. 1994) is a Brisbane based composer of contemporary classical music, described as “the model contemporary Australian composer” by ABC Classic FM. Throughout his works, Connor balances the quasi-neoclassical with post-minimal influences, combining
them with contemporary performance practices, unique one-off concerts and performances, and the delicate incorporation of electronic music elements and production techniques. His music combines driving post-minimal rhythmic elements with heartfelt lyrical expression drawn from his extensive performance experience as a classically trained bass baritone, contrasted with textural devices that push the expectations of an instrument’s capabilities without confronting the audience. Connor’s music has been commissioned and performed across Australia and abroad, including commissions from ensembles such the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Queensland’s Camerata and new music specialists PLEXUS, and performers such as Katie Noonan, Karin Schaupp and Claire Edwards.
In 2017, Connor has been selected as a fellow of Bang On A Can. As part, his music will be featured at Bang On A Can’s Summer Music Festival at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Arts (MASS MoCA) in July, and will travel to the USA to take part in a three-week residency with the ensemble. In 2015, Connor was named winner of Chamber Music Australia’s Australian New Works Award. His winning work, String Quartet No. 2 in E minor, became the set work for the 7th Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition and received premieres by three internationally chosen finalist ensembles at the Melbourne Recital Centre. He has also been awarded a Brisbane Arts and Cultural Innovation Award 2017 for his contribution to the Arts, the Percy Brier Memorial Composition Prize 2016 for his Texture No. 1 for Orchestra, and the Donald Tugby Musicology Prize and Scholarship 2015 by the University of Queensland for exceptional contribution to the field of music research.
Connor is the artistic director, producer, and co-founder of the successful contemporary classical music concert series and collective Argo. Founded in 2015, Argo creates immersive art music experiences bending the boundaries of genre and artform, combining contemporary classical music with electronic music, live-visuals, and fostering creative collaborations between artists of various mediums. Its focus is on creating experiential and concept driven events that fuse classical instruments and ensembles with contemporary influences and new
modes of musical expression.
As a performer, Connor is a trained classical bass, having previously studied with Shaun Brown. Connor is also a talented photographer, videographer and visual-artist, creating and shooting not only material for his music, but also for a number of other local artists and musicians. Currently Connor is working on his PhD through the University of Queensland, having completed a Bachelor of Music (Honours) at the University of Queensland, graduating with First-Class Honours in 2016. In September, Connor moves to London, where (while continuing his PhD) he will study his Masters of Music at the Royal College of Music.
The Australian Charity Art Auction is an event that will be taking place at Australia House on 28 February 2017. We are delighted to be supporting the event. Both before and at the event more than 50 Australian artworks will be auctioned in aid of a number of much loved and very worthwhile UK based charities that have Australian connections.
There will be an on-line silent auction over the two weeks leading up to the event (starting on Wednesday 15 February) and a live auction conducted by a Christie’s auctioneer at the event itself.
The event will also feature a reception and a concert performed by some wonderful Australian singers, musicians and music scholars.
Viola, Lady Tait’s zest for life was an inspiration. These qualities remained with her always together with a remarkable memory, clarity of mind and youthful outlook. With a prodigious vocal talent she excelled in the operas of Gilbert & Sullivan, beginning as a chorister with the Carl Rosa Company in the United Kingdom, graduating to the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, and was given a year’s contract as principal soprano. Accepting a contract to tour Australia in 1940, she was to meet and marry her future husband, Frank Tait.
She was a champion of new and emerging talent, adjudicating for numerous scholarships and awards both in Australia and overseas. As an adjudicator for The Mobil Quest in 1950, Viola was instrumental in launching Joan Sutherland’s career. This passion for supporting young artists continued throughout her life, in 1992 she inspired her daughter, Isla Baring, to organise a fundraising concert in support of a young Australian singer, Liane Keegan, who was newly arrived in London. It kicked off with a Christmas Concert at Australia House. The concert was a great success and became the foundation of our yearly events. Liane went on to have a major international career, she sang Erda in the recent Opera Australia, Ring Cycle.
In 1984, the Performing Arts Collection, housed at the then newly opened Victorian Arts Centre, received a significant donation from Lady Tait of 300 costume designs by leading European theatrical designers of the late Victorian and Edwardian periods. The designs had been imported for use in re-staging productions in Australasia by the commercial theatre management J.C. Williamson Ltd and its forerunners.
Another of her loves was writing and researching Australian theatrical history. She amassed a formidable collection of theatrical memorabilia and was the author of The Family of Brothers(1971), which chronicled the contribution of the Tait brothers to Australian theatre.
Her last book, Dames, Principal Boys and all that: A History of Pantomine in Australia (2001) was lavishly launched at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne, the home of the Tait-Williamson empire. When Viola’s death was announced the illuminated sign outside the Theatre read “Farewell Lady Tait, Star”.
Viola Wilson (1938-39)
Source: The Gilbert & Sullivan Archive
[Born Pressburg, Austria-Hungary 1 Nov 1911, died Melbourne, Australia 6 Feb 2002]
Viola Wilson, whose real name was Viola Hogg, studied singing for six years at the Scottish National Academy of Music. In 1935 she was engaged by the Carl Rosa Opera Company and sang in the chorus of Die Fledermaus at the Lyceum Theatre, London. After tours of the British Isles and South Africa, she graduated to principal soprano.
Upon returning to London she auditioned with D’Oyly Carte Opera Company and was given a year’s contract as principal soprano, taking Viola Wilson (her maternal grandfather’s name) as her stage name at Rupert D’Oyly Carte’s suggestion. From May 1938 to June 1939 she appeared with the Company as Patience in Patience, Phyllis in Iolanthe, Yum-Yum in The Mikado, and Gianetta in The Gondoliers. Three of these parts were shared with other artists at various times: Patience and Phyllis with Ann Drummond-Grant until December 1938, and Gianetta with Helen Roberts. Miss Wilson also appeared on occasion in 1938-39 as Rose Maybud in Ruddigore and Elsie Maynard in The Yeomen of the Guard. She left the D’Oyly Carte in June 1939.
Viola Wilson then accepted an offer from Nevin Tait, J. C. Williamson’s London director to tour Australia and New Zealand in the Gilbert & Sullivan operas. In the 1940-42 Williamson tour she appeared as Aline in The Sorcerer, Josephine in H.M.S. Pinafore, Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, Casilda in The Gondoliers, Princess Ida in Princess Ida, Rose, Patience, Phyllis, and Elsie. While in Australia, she met and married Frank Tait, later Sir Frank, the youngest of the five Tait brothers who were then running the Williamson Company. She retired as a singer in 1946 but remained involved with the Williamson Company, serving for a time as an artistic director.
Following Sir Frank Tait’s death in 1965, Lady Viola Tait, as she was then known, wrote an informal history of the Williamson-Tait partnership. In “A Family of Brothers: The Taits and J. C. Williamson; a Theatre History” (William Heinemann, Melbourne, 1971) she also provides a good deal of information about her own life and career.
Lady Tait retained her interest in the performing arts thoughout her life and was a patron of many arts organizations, including the Tait Memorial Trust. She was instrumental in the establishment of the Performing Arts Museum in Melbourne, and was appointed a member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 1990. In her later years she published a book on the history of pantomime in Australia, “Dames, Principal Boys…and All That” (Macmillan, Melbourne, 2001)
Wonderful article published in Limelight Magazine about Brian Castles-Onion’s quest to save and share the recordings from Australia’s operatic past. Volume 1 sold out (let’s hope they press some more CDs). These recordings have particular significance for the Trust as Isla Baring’s father, Sir Frank Tait, produced this tour as part of the JC Williamson/ Sutherland Opera Company. It was Sir Frank’s ambition to present Dame Joan Sutherland to the Australian public after her international acclaim. The Sutherland Williamson Opera Company was formed in 1963. Richard Bonynge as Artistic Director engaged a team of world renowned principals and internationally successful Australian artists. One of the principals was Luciano Pavarotti, a young tenor from Modena. The chorus was all Australian. There was no government subsidy and the fate of Williamson’s future rested on the success of the venture.
Sir Frank lived to see his ambition fulfilled. The triumphant Melbourne opening heralded the return of Dame Joan to her homeland. It was a season never to be forgotten. In Richard Bonynge’s words: “Sir Frank Tait has done the greatest service to Australian Theatre and to the arts of anyone we know.”
Sir Frank died at the age of 81 after the Melbourne season finished and while the company were in Adelaide. It was the end of an era in the history of Australian theatre.
We are thrilled that Maestro Castles-Onion has produced a professionally mastered collection of recordings, not only of the Tour but also of Robert Allman, June Bronhill & Nance Grant. It truly is a remarkable achievement.
The opera conductor has taken on the task of ensuring that these Aussie greats are not forgotten.
Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate to be surrounded by many singers of celebrity. These famous names were not only on record – having collected opera recordings from the age of four – but also personal friends. Over two decades ago, when I first realised the need to preserve old tapes to CD format, I wrote to four dozen singers who had performed in Australia in the decades since the 1940s, asking if they had any ‘recordings’ of themselves. Most of these Australian-born singers had never been offered the luxury of studio recordings and the only captures of their voices and artistry were from ‘live’ performances on tape. These primitive sound relics, which have lain silent for decades, hold a wealth of wonderful voices, which are our operatic history!
La Sonnambula from the Sutherland- Williamson Grand Opera Season of 1965. Photo from Brian Castles-Onion’s Private Collection
Three years ago, I commenced the Great Australian Voices series on Désirée Records in the hope that future generations would have the opportunity to hear how their musical ancestors sounded, what they sang, how they sang, who they sang with and what they thought about their roles.
So far, Nance Grant, Robert Allman and June Bronhill have each been honoured with 3CD sets. Nance and Bob were close friends for many years. Bob eventually became like an uncle and we spoke daily. I knew his thoughts and opinions on the world of opera – then and now – and he was the obvious choice for the premiere set of the series. He was the greatest Australian baritone of his era at a time when we boasted also the voices of John Shaw and Raymond Myers! His voice and art had not been captured in the recording studio… a profound oversight.
The first CD release set the format – a complete audio coverage from the earliest broadcasts in singing competitions to the ‘final’ stage performance; an accurate biography containing important casts and dates; personal thoughts on favourite roles and colleagues, with rare photographs on and off-stage. Even their favourite colour has been chosen for the cover and CD artwork! The Allman set was completed and came from the manufacturer two weeks before his untimely death. Bob had the pleasure of knowing that his operatic career had been preserved to be heard by future generations.
Nance Grant was one of the greatest of all Australian sopranos. Christian Thielemann told me personally that he considered her to be one of the three greatest Sieglindes he’s ever heard on record. (High praise for a singer who never had the opportunity to sing outside Australia!) Her final performance shows her shining on high Ds with a Nilsson-like brilliance in arrangements created for Joan Sutherland.
June Bronhill’s recording career was extensive but her ‘opera’ career had not been documented. Unlike the previous releases, I was unable to interview her in person because she died in 2004 and her autobiography does not show what I believe to be the ‘real’ Bronhill. Despite this, I contacted a dozen friends and colleagues who had known her and succeeded in producing what has been called the ‘definitive Bronhill biography’.
The long-awaited release of the Sutherland-Williamson Grand Opera Season of 1965 has been enormously popular. The excerpts on this 4CD set, recorded in less-than-studio conditions, display the essence of Sutherland in full flight. Here is a full, healthy voice wedded to an immaculate vocal technique, innate musicality and a generosity of stage presence that personified ‘La Stupenda’. All the operas in the 1965 season are represented – with and without Sutherland. The original tapes range in audio quality from excellent (those recorded by ‘management’ from placed microphones on the proscenium) to those recorded by a hidden microphone in a coat lapel. These audience recordings capture the more unusual partnerships like Joan Sutherland and Alberto Remedios in Lucia, or Elizabeth Harwood and Luciano Pavarotti, also in Lucia.
Many more surprises are in the pipeline. Two sets will hit the shelves in the early part of 2017. One honouring Australia’s greatest ever soprano and the other an international star who had their career tragically cut short. But no more hints…
– See more at: http://www.limelightmagazine.com.au/features/brian-castles-onion-preserving-la-stupenda#sthash.yRT4vLzI.dpuf
Save the Date for a free concert at St Martin in the Fields, Trafalgar Square, to hear Tait Awardee, Vivien Conacher singing with The Concordia Ensemble.
Monday 2 January, 1:00 pm Programme
Let me dance and let me sing from The Gipsy Princess – Kalman
Vilja’s Song from The Merry Widow by Lehar arr. Stickles
Dein ist mein ganzes Herz from Das Land des Lächelns by Lehar
Barcarolle from Les Contes d’Hoffmann by Offenbach
Gendarmes’ Duet from Geneviève de Brabant by Offenbach
Les oiseaux dans la charmille from Les Contes d’Hoffmann by Offenbach
Wien, du Stadt meine Traüme by Sieczyńksi
Ah, quel diner! from La Perichole by Offenbach
Love unspoken from The Merry Widow by Lehar
Adele’s Laughing Song from Die Fledermaus by J. Strauss
Brother mine from Die Fledermaus by J. Strauss
Sarah Labiner (soprano) recently sang Jano (Jenufa) and 15-Year-Old Girl (Lulu) with the English National Opera. Other roles and scenes include Zerbinetta (Ariadne auf Naxos), Sophie (Der Rosenkavalier), Adina (L’elisir d’amore), and Sophie (Werther). She trained at ENO Opera Works, the RCM, and UNCSA.
Vivien Conacher (mezzo-soprano) recent engagements include Opera Australia, Wexford Festival Opera, Iford Arts Festival, Grange Park Opera and BBC Proms. Vivien trained at the RCM, on ENO Opera Works and is an alumnus of the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme. She also runs a dementia-friendly recital series called Songhaven.
Edward Hughes (tenor) studied at the Benjamin Britten International Opera School with Tim Evans-Jones having previously completed a Masters in Aeronautical Engineering at Imperial College London. He has sung roles at Opera Holland Park and Longborough and understudied Das Lied von der Erde at the ROH. Roles performed include Tamino, Erik, Jenik, Rodolfo, Pinkerton, Cavaradossi, DonJosé, Des Grieux, Luigi, Macduff and Riccardo.
Matthew Palmer (baritone) studied at the Guildhall School under Robert Dean. He sings around the UK and abroad and has broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. Highlights include Guglielmo (Brigitta Festival, Estonia); Billy Budd (Opera North); Lorenzo, I Capuletti e i Montecchi (Pop-Up Opera); and Cover Abimelech & Alcindoro/Beniot (Grange Park Opera).
Samuel Oram (baritone) has been acclaimed for singing “with fire and gusto” (Birmingham Mail) and for his”…masterful breadth of line” (BBC Radio 3). He recently appeared as Thoas, Iphigénie en Tauride (Euphonia Opera), Nardo, Finta Giardinera (RCM), Marco, Gianni Schicchi (Westminster Opera), Marquis de la Force, Dialogues des Carmelites (BCO), Demetrius, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (BCO). Samuel is represented by Sarah Spooner at Cantabile Artists.
FREE Luchtime Concert: The Concordia Ensemble
Start: January 2, 2017 1:00 pm
End: January 2, 2017 1:45 pm
Venue: St Martin-in-the-Fields
Phone: 020 7766 1100
Exciting news for Melbourne born, Harpist, Tara Minton. Tara joined us in our recent Winter Prom at St John’s Smith Square, and has played us with many times over the past few years. Her versatility and quality of her performance is renowned, not only is she a talented classical harpist but she is quickly making a place for herself in the London jazz scene. Brava Tara from us all at the Tait Trust
On the 6th of April, I will be celebrating the launch of my new album, “The Tides of Love” at THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL! The band and I are playing the famous Elgar Room late night jazz sessions and you’re all invited!!!
I have the ridiculous honour of being joined by:
Ed Babar – Bass
Tom Early – Drums
Duncan Menzies – Violin
Filippo Dall’Asta – Guitar
Phil Merriman – Keyboards
Lilia Ioncheva – Percussion
Tim Boniface – Horns
Serena Braida – Backing Vocals
Put it in the diary, tickets are on sale now! This is a massive celebration of an album I’m hugely proud of, but also of 6 years of muddling through and finding my way in London – and all the people who have helped me on the journey. I can’t wait to share this with you.
Tara Minton is a jazz harpist and vocalist from Melbourne, Australia. She is joined by an incredible band of musicians from the UK and Europe to present a new studio album, The Tides of Love. The work is based on a motif of ocean tides, with themes of love, loneliness, strength and hope woven throughout.Tara’s style mixes elements of jazz, folk and soul together, with a focus on storytelling through lyrics and music. She is often compared to Joni Mitchell and Ella Fitzgerald and draws inspiration from harpist Dorothy Ashby.Tara and her band regularly perform at festivals and jazz clubs, and run workshops in jazz harp and improvisation. Tara is also the only harpist to have performed on the iconic London Eye, and was chosen to honour the great Amy Winehouse at the unveiling of her statue in Camden Market.
A non-musical pressed blog but so relevant to us too. A very well written piece about rejection and all that entails. Jenny’s debut novel THE SECRET SON received rave reviews in Australia…a little birdie tells me she quite like Wagner after seeing the Opera Australia, Ring. Might she be tempted to write an opera libretto (See we got back to music…)
Jenny Ackland is a writer and teacher who lives in Melbourne. Her first novel THE SECRET SON was published by Allen & Unwin in September 2015, and her second novel LITTLE GODS is forthcoming in 2017. LITTLE GODS has a gothic Mallee 1980s setting and is about resilience and revenge.
I’m writing this mainly I guess for any writers who might be reading. Rejections (note the plural) are part of the game. And it is a game, not a fun game or one of manipulation, but of patience, perseverance, and professionalism. Another thing: it’s a long game.
I wrote about rejection here, for author Lee Kofman, and how me submitting a terribly-written travel article back in 1990 (and getting rightly rejected – and in retrospect it was a LOVELY ‘No’ letter, I have the feeling it came from Jonathan Green) meant that I didn’t submit anything for years. I didn’t stop writing, I’m not that precious or thin-skinned, but If I’d known then what I know now, a slow-dawning awareness that started building once I started writing seriously with a view to publication from 2008 onwards, I would have seen that not only was that piece a draft, wholly unworked and not worthy of appearance outside of my diary pages, rejection does not mean you are shit.
Now, as I am sitting with a completed second novel manuscript, the first draft of a third ready for next-stage development, and fourth in its early stages, I am so glad that not only was that pathetic travel piece denied its place in the canon lol, but also that the first few submissions I made to literary journals were nixed as well. I know now that my novels need a long, long time in the oven, with the preparation of them like one of those crazy recipes that have so many ingredients you almost decide not to cook the bloody thing, but then you think, well, give it a whirl, it’s the weekend, I’ve got the whole day, and you make the hugest mess of the kitchen, use every pot and pan, and you kind of enjoy it but kind of think ‘why am I even doing this?’ And it took me a while to realise that if I can manage my impatience by thinking ‘the thing will improve, take your time, this is nowhere near finished’ and resist rushing it to readers, an agent, the publisher, then the pressure comes off a bit.