Since 2015, State Library of Queensland has partnered with Upbeat Arts (formerly School of Hard Knocks) to host the Word on the Street creative writing program. The group meets weekly at The Edge Mezzanine. Word on the Street is a creative writing course that helps participants find their voice on the page. Upbeat Arts delivers tailored arts and cultural programs, for artists and educators to work with marginalised communities, promoting social inclusion, positive mental health and overall well-being.
Meet the participants – Anushka Ellalagoda
About Anushka: I love space, I love my friends and I love fiction. Also, I’m an aspiring novelist – it’s my long-term ambition to be a published novelist and to write books as my main career. I’ve studied two different degrees at QUT before taking my leave to write full-time. I’m now editing my book daily and searching for an editor/agent to take a look at my work.
I actually haven’t been attending Word on the Street for very long – I recently heard about the program and joined because it sounded like my kind of thing. And I was right! A few weeks in and I’m enjoying myself immensely. It’s a great experience to meet weekly with a group of fellow writers. Writing in such a creative environment before sharing and hearing what others have written is really satisfying. It allows me to stretch my creative writing muscles in a lovely, welcoming space, as well as take inspiration from those around me.
About the piece: A Goddess’ Dreams. This piece was written from the perspective of the main character of the novel I’m working on. It’s not part of the main story; I guess you could consider it a cut scene of her reflecting on her life and the way she wants to live. I wanted to write something that means a lot to me, and my main character and her story already do, as they comprise a fictional interpretation of aspects of my life as a whole. The approach to life in general described in A Goddess’ Dreams is what I aim to replicate in my own life.
A Goddess’ Dreams
Luminescent stars call to me like a siren, reaching out like the song of a thousand different souls. They whisper sweetly of secrets untold. With my eyes I often trace the pictures they carve into the inky blanket above. I long to rejoin those lively beings at quiet moments, and the feeling swells up inside me like a balloon of desire rising heavenward. It makes me feel lighter and weighed down to Earth all at once. The tethers that tie me here are my castle. These ties feel millennia old, but still they hold true, securing me to this planet and its people. I know in my heart that my time is now, that these ties are here to remind me of the places I have yet to visit, the people I have yet to meet, the things I have yet to do. There is so much I have yet to do… I know the stars will find me, take my hand when it is my time to go, but until then I will explore this beautiful world and all it has to offer. I will make it a better place as I walk its surface, and sow the seeds of goodwill wherever I go. I love this planet, I love its people no matter how they lie and hate and betray each other. I will find the good, nurture the good, and plant the good myself. This lifetime will bloom, now and forever.