Denise M Taylor

Writing Consultant I Editor I Proofreader

And so, the end of 2021 draws near after another year of living with a global pandemic. Life has been tough and colourless for so many. I’ve been fortunate to find colour in the writing of so many talented authors as they refine their unpublished manuscripts—both fiction and non-fiction. And although I don’t get much time to read published novels, […]

Life is precarious — even more so since COVID-19 infiltrated our lives a year ago and we’ve had to learn to live with daily uncertainties. But compared with other countries, Australia is perhaps ‘luckier’ than most (I think of Donald Horne’s 1964 book ‘The Lucky Country’). So, although I do feel ‘lucky’, I am a Melburnian who is suffering withdrawal […]

A few years ago, an author of nonfiction whom I was mentoring as she wrote her new book, shared with me an interview she’d been listening to. The interviewee was Barbara Kingsolver, acclaimed author of historical fiction. Kingsolver was talking about the difference between fiction and nonfiction, and suggested that writing a novel is like creating a garden in the […]

Letters written by British suffragettes imprisoned in London’s Holloway Prison in the early twentieth century, and the Holloway brooch awarded to these women for their bravery on their release, send shivers down my spine. The Holloway brooch succinctly symbolises the militant struggle of the suffragettes as they fought tirelessly for the right of women to vote in political elections. Designed […]

Silence is a tool that writers of fiction can use to great effect. By silencing a character in a poignant moment, emotion is heightened; interrupting action with silence can magnify drama; allowing a character to inhabit a space devoid of action allows time-out and an opportunity for reflection. For examples of silences in literary writing, seek out authors such as […]

Choosing and arranging words according to their sound can intensify meaning and create rhythm in a sentence; the degree of musicality you employ will depend on the intended mood and tone of your writing. In Geraldine Brooks’ ‘Year of Wonders’ (2001), Part 1 is called ‘Leaf-Fall, 1666’. Readers’ senses are immediately stimulated as autumnal sights, sounds and smells are richly […]

I often stand and commune with Pablo Picasso’s 1937 painting, ‘Weeping Woman’. It conveys extreme sadness, much of what is experienced by humans, near and far, today. I run my eye over it, wondering whether there’s something that I may have missed since I last stood before it. I go early, alone, with an art buddy, or with a few […]

The handmade book and the manual craft of printing are brought into sharp focus in an Arts and Crafts house situated along a short stretch of the Thames River in Hammersmith, just a half-hour train journey from central London. I visited 7 Hammersmith Terrace on a sunny spring day on the 17th of May this year. Between 1903 and 1933, […]

Categories: Musings on Art

Private art galleries are not only imbued with the presiding spirit of the collectors, which is consolidated in the choice of art works on display, but also by the nature of the gallery’s building and its site. Whether the building is a new build or a domestic residence converted into a museum to exhibit the owner’s art collection, there is […]

Categories: Musings on Art

A few years ago I wrote a thesis with its focus the mid-nineteenth-century painting by British artist Valentine Prinsep, ‘The flight of Jane Shore’. I researched Jane Shore’s life to the point of obsession and got to know this medieval royal mistress so well that I thought I could speak for her—write her story in the genre of historical fiction. […]