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free-will-neuroscienceNEWS

  • Taking you away to write: Come away to our writing retreat in Greece. With Kiriaki Orfanos,  I’ve already taken two on the little island of Kythera, and in 2017, we’re doing two – in May, a beginners workshop in the pretty city of Nafplio on the mainland coast, and in October, an advanced workshop. See what previous retreaters got from it: Here :http://www.writingingreece.com
  • A new book: I’ve just finished a collection of short stories, written after I became legally blind for 6 months. Devastated by this and particularly by not being able to read, I came across the New Yorker fiction podcasts. http://www.newyorker.com/series/fiction-podcast   I fell in love with short stories and after my third eye operation, when my vision was restored to about half strength, enough to see what i was doing, I wrote “Do You Love Me or What?” to be published early 2017 by Simon and Schuster. The stories however are not about blindness- they’re about the many moments when one comes of age. For me, that keeps happening-am I the only person like this?
  • But does it work?: Many people insist creativity can’t be taught.  In 2017, we are embarking on research to test my teaching method. : Doctors Rhoshel Lenroot, Patricia Morgan, Ashley Blazley, Anita Milcevic , playwright Stephen Sewell and I will put it to the test, with the co-operation of the National Institute of Dramatic Art. and funded by them. With the input and co-operation of the NIDA students, we’ll test whether what I teach to them and on my retreats really makes them more creative, and whether their writing is really enhanced. 
  • How this all started: I met Dr Lenroot at a dinner three years ago and told her I thought that my creative writing students seemed to greatly enhance their creativity by what I taught. I thought that they’d made new neural pathways. Had they, and was it effective? Was there a way to measure this, and prove it? Next year, we begin to find out.

 

  • A new Australian Opera: Dr Andrew Ross, Head of Music at NIDA, has agreed to workshop with his students 30 minutes of a new opera I’ve written with the composer Wendy Suiter, who ten long years ago asked me to write a libretto based on my 2004 novel The Secret Cure. It’s been a very steep learning curve for me.“The Secret Cure: the Opera”, is set in a science laboratory and features Wendy Suiter’s interest in found digital sound. To this point it has been entirely developed by the two of us, with assistance for my writing the libretto from the Literature Fund of the Australia Council.