Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Editing in the garden

Santa gave me a pair of long-handled tree loppers for Christmas and yesterday I tested them out.
It began with just a little snip here. The blades slid through the small branches of the rhododendron tree outside my bedroom window.
I moved on to another tree there. Same deal.
Then I moved to the front of the garden where an untidy bushy tree had inserted itself some years ago and had never been dealt with.
I lopped and chopped.
Edward Scissorhands had nothing on me.
I found the tree had sent out suckers and started another tree nearby, so more chopping - all to the tune of Bleak House courtesy of Radio National.
At some point I stood back to view my handiwork.
What was revealed was the beautiful trunk of a nearby tree that had been suffocating under the clinging arms of the intruder.
Editing stories are similar. Sometimes the beauty and simplicity of a story can be lost under the weight of padding, cliches, dialogue that does not further the story or repetitive prose when a single sentence will do.
It can be the most satisfying stage in writing a story.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas List - David Mortimore Baxter Series

I talked to the DMB gang the other day and asked them to send me their Christmas lists. As usual David was the last to get back to me. He said he had a really good excuse for being late, but he never actually told me what that excuse was...

Infra-red goggles (for Spies game)
Tickets to see Smashing Smorgan at the WWW Christmas Spectacular
New collar for Boris
To grow taller than Victor Sneddon by next semester
Ability to be invisible when Gran comes to visit

The boxed set of Mission Impossible
A box of chocolates for Ms Stacey
Acting for kids - Summer School
Gold Class Movie Tickets

The Genesis 3 Super Rat Gym from Pets R Crazy
Special food treat for Ralph
A new 'The Book' book - old one full
Pack of 36 watercolour pencils

New hair straightener
Voucher for Nails R Us
Voucher for X-pensive Wardrobe
Gold earrings
New pony
Latest iPod
World peace

Rose, what's the point of putting world peace? You're not in a beauty contest. As if you ever would be.
David, I can put world peace if I want to. What are you? The list police? Anyway, as if you can get the power of being invisible—
Yeah, well, I wish you were invisible—

Umm, thanks everyone.
Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas List - Hostage

Christmas dinner with mum
A real turkey this year
Mascara for Aunt Laney
A new tree for Grandpa — new lights?
A laptop (as if)
Carols on Christmas Eve - Village Green

A car - new
Something good for Mum
Something for Tully — perfume? chocolates? jewellry?

A new hoodie
Donkey Kong for Wii

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Lists - Chasing Boys

The wonderful Shirley Marr (of Fury fame) asked me for a Christmas wish list for my characters in Six, which got me thinking about characters in my other books. So, I caught up today with the girls in Chasing Boys, and they gave me their Christmas lists. (see below)


Mobile phone plan (gotta ditch the prepaid)
My own bedroom
Cash to splash
Gold class movie tickets x 3
Send Xmas card to Leonard
Make Christmas cake for Mum

Edgar Allen Poe's 'The Raven'
Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein'
black eyeliner
black nailpolish
track down portable manual typewriter
summer photography course

A puppy
Gift voucher for The Mall
Chuppa Chups Party Pack
Jimmy Choo shoes
Foot long Toblorone Chocolate

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

To recap what I've talked about before...

My daughter (see pic with cat, taken some time ago) is mad about animals. For her 18th birthday she begged for a border collie, which she found herself after some work on the Internet etc etc. Said dog is Marley, who took her time to be convinced that you didn't just squat and do your business whenever the urge took you.

Anyway, Marley is now past the puppy teething stage, but she was obviously bored (and a little cross that we have left her to her own devices a little too long) for we got home to a white Christmas the other night. All around the Christmas tree were drifts of white bean bag beans. She'd done a wonderful job opening the zip on the bag and tossing cheer all about the room. We are still picking beans up all throughout the house.

Marley. The gift that keeps on giving.

(I would show you a photo of the event, but the cord for the camera seems to be missing — fodder for another blog!)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Sugar and spice... and pepper

I made gingerbread stars today — a first for me as I am not a baker of sweet things usually. I have always liked gingerbread so it surprised me a little to learn I had to add 2 teaspoons of black pepper to the mix. And then, when i thought about it, of course this made perfect sense. It added that little bit of a kick you get when you bite into a gingerbread biscuit which takes it out of the ordinary.

People can be like that, too.
You might first be attracted to the sweet side of their nature, but it is that little kick that surprises you at times which makes them interesting.

That's been my experience, anyway.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wombat's First Christmas

Meet Bert.
He's very cute — from his tiny furry ears to the tips of his soft pink pads.
I met Bert today at The Rocks, a famous meeting spot for school kids and parents/carers in our neck of the woods.
I was there to pick up a two-footed cutie, but Bert stole the show and I just had to take a photo.
Bert is currently being cared for by a volunteer animal carer who will look after him until he is about 20kg then release him back into the wild.
Merry Christmas Bert.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Space Invaders

I've just arrived home from school awards night.

She arrived late, with her husband in tow.
I wasn't sure what is was, but straight away I felt annoyed.
Maybe because she was sitting next to me in one of those fold down seats where your personal space is invaded by strangers you will hopefully never meet again.
She took a long time to settle down.
Wanted to know where we were up to in the program.
I smiled and pointed it out on my own, then she spent the next minute or so flipping through her own to find the reason she was there — obviously some child with a cameo up on stage by page 57.
Then she talked.
She talked to the man next to her who I assumed was her husband but maybe he was someone else entirely.
When the band came on she was so bored she began clearing out her purse, sorting receipts and other papers into piles then filing them accordingly.
Then she started on her bag.
Finally her stars did their bit on stage after which the family exploded from the fling back seats, busy to get on to the next event.

And that's when I realised why she'd annoyed me so much.
She reminded me of someone I used to know.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Movie Quotes

Miracle on 34th Street
Fred Gailey: Faith is believing when common sense tells you not to. Don't you see? It's not just Kris that's on trial, it's everything he stands for. It's kindness and joy and love and all the other intangibles."

The Family Stone
Meredith Morton: I don't care whether you like me or not!
Amy Stone: Of course you do.

A Christmas Carol
First Collector: At this festive time of year, Mr. Scrooge, it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the poor and destitute.
Ebenezer: Are there no prisons?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Job # 3 - Would you like that wrapped?

The weekend papers were full of letters to the editor with the 'bah humbug Christmas' being the dominant theme. I suspect that if I delved back into the archives of ten years ago I'd find similar letters.

So a confession. I love Christmas. Even in my most run-down moments, life is crazy and I can't even think let alone get to the shops to buy a present moments, I love Christmas. One of my favourite jobs ever was as a present wrapper in a gift shop as a teenager. I loved that job. I helped people find just the right present, we'd have a chat about life, and I'd wrap the present with TLC. We worked on Christmas Eve until 5, then shared a Christmas drink (strictly lemonade for me, of course) then back home to our own Christmas chores. I understand Christmas isn't for everyone. But for those who don't enjoy it, I say, 'Live and let live'.

Now please excuse me, but I'm off to write my list for Santa...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Job # 2 - Stories from a Nursing Home

Christmas holidays are galloping towards us at an undignified rate and they always remind me of the holidays I spent making beds in a nursing home with my friend Sian. This was only my second-paying job ever and we were only 14/15 at the time (I was 14). These are the things I remember about that time:
• we had to wear flat shoes and I wore my favourite blue suede desert boots, which were not quite regulation
• there was a particular lady who used to dress inside out and stand facing the wall called 'Doris' and we just bustled along and did our job, as if this were normal with a 'good morning, Doris' and a 'have a nice day, Doris' when we left
• there was a man there with one leg who always wanted to tell us where the other leg was
• the matron was very strict but had a definite twinkle in her eye
• the three hours each morning flew by as we made beds and I told Sian an ongoing serial about an ongoing boyfriend, some of which may or may not have been strictly true (embellishments always) but certainly made hospital corners painless
Someone asked me once, how could you do such a job, wasn't it heartbreaking? But we were young, old age was a lifetime away, and I suspect our bustling naivety brought a little light each morning. I hope so, anyway.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Neither a borrower nor a lender be?

Before I begin this rant, a pause is in order to look at this gorgeous bookshelf which looks like something you might come across in a Narnian Forest.


Do you lend your personal books out to friends?
Do you despair when the books are never returned?
Do you forget who you've lent them out to?
Do you have a no-lend policy?

When I was a child, under 10, I used to play libraries.
I know, pathetic really.
I labelled my books with the letter of the author on the spine. I made little pockets for little cards that could be stamped with the date of the library book loan (just like the books from the Sunshine Library).
The only difference between a real library and me was that I never actually let my books be loaned out. It wasn't so much that I didn't trust the kids I was playing with (i don't know how I roped them into that game) but that i had so few books I was scared of losing them. Which may account for why, as an adult, I have a couple of bookcases double-loaded with books. As for loaning out my books — I do, but it depends on:
a) who the person is
b) what the book is
c) if I can ever replace that book again.
Some of the best books I've read have been books I have borrowed from friends, so it seems only fair to reciprocate.
I now have a shelf dedicated to books that belong to other people, so it's easy when someone comes over and I can say, 'Did I borrow any of these from you?'

To loan or not to loan... that is the question.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Talk about your kids coming home to touch base (ie Chasing Boys paperback from the US), Hostage has turned up in a review on the Inkcrush blogspot ( It was nice to catch up with Tully again. Nice to know she's still out there in the world trying to be heard.
Merry Christmas, Tully.
Merry Christmas Inkcrush!

(I wonder if Inkcrush has met the Six gang yet?)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Mark my words

I have to confess that my father was a dog-earer of books.
As a child I learned this disgusting habit from him, folding down a corner of a page to mark my progress through a book. I wonder if this is because the majority of books I had at my disposal were library books, which were already dog-eared and stained and smelling of other people's lives. I'm not sure when I stopped this practice, but it could have been when I started getting my own collection of books to keep. Now I can't dog-ear a book at all, and don't know if I could even if my life depended on it (okay, maybe if my life depended on it...).
Which leads me to the question of, how do you mark your spot in a book?
I love bookmarks, but they seem to disappear into the land of the other sock that goes missing in the wash. I'm sure the bookmarks and single socks are having a rip-roaring time in some other dimension, but I'd rather they stay where they are supposed to — in this one.
Meanwhile... I use anything to mark my page.
My recent bookmarks have included:
hair ties
sticky notes
cinema tickets
ripped off pieces from The Age newspaper
a birthday card
a bobby pin
a receipt.
I am currently using a bandaid — not a used bandaid, of course, but an intact bandaid that I had fished out of my bag when I needed a bookmark. And when you think of it, a bandaid is a good choice for a bookmark. Consider paper cuts. You don't often get a paper cut from reading a book, but if you did you would have a remedy at hand.
Which makes me think that bookmarking an e-reader must be not nearly as exciting as bookmarking a real book.

Monday, December 6, 2010

US Chasing Boys - Paperback writer

The lovely people at Walker in the US have sent me the paperback version of Chasing Boys.
The parcel arrived at my front door with a nice fat thump.
I couldn't answer the nice polite delivery man knock on the front door
as I realised I had turned into working from home person
who hadn't even bothered to do her hair.
When I say do, I don't necessarily mean brush
but at least rearrange out of bed hair do.

The front cover remains the same but the back cover is different from the original hard-back version — a lot lighter and includes a couple of review quotes.
Although I've had a few more babies since Chasing Boys
(Hostage, Burke & Wills and Six)
it's always nice when the kids drop home and say hello.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Axe murderer part 2: the face in the window

The hairs on my arms begin to rise way before I turn.
There's a shift in the air, as if displaced
and a hiss that could have come from me
but my lips haven't moved.
It's true, blood can run cold.
It has thinned in my veins and runs swiftly to my heart
leaving me lightheaded.
And then I turn and face the window
to see it staring back at me...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Say what you mean

Have you ever noticed how polite people mostly are?
I find myself doing the same thing sometimes:

Oh really? Is that what you thought?
Hmm, I could see why you might think that.
Oh, you think misogyny is great for a laugh, ha ha.
Well, that's certainly one way you could interpret that story...
Shoulder pads are coming back in fashion? You don't say.

Or you could just say,
I disagree.
Which is also satisfying, to the point, and more truthful.

Finally, I seem to have lost my instant Netherlands followers.
They came like a rainbow after a shower.
All bright and shiny and inexplicable but delightful.
Now they have vanished.
Maybe to appear again one day...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Okay, well NaNoWriMo has gone the way of other good ideas that I have had over the years.

There was the exercise bike that ended up being a clothes hanger.
The apple cider vinegar diet that gave me an aversion to salad dressing.
The handkerchief skirted dress that made me look like a harlequin.
The bubble skirt - the less said about that the better.
Hermit crabs as pets. (I can't talk about that either.)

Big apologies to my NNWM friends.
I wasn't much support but I promise never to do it again.

PS: Netherlands still winning in the blog view stats - two days in a row. I don't know why, but nice to know you're there!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hello Netherlands!

There are a few things I know about the Netherlands.
It has a history of great painters.
And good cheese such as Edam and Gouda.
There are tulips, windmills and clogs.
50% of the land lies less than 1 metre above sea level.
Tuesday's weather will be a minimum of -7 and a maximum of -1, with a chance of snow and 20% chance of rain.

What I don't know is why there has been a sudden rush of views of my blog from the Netherlands.
Can anyone tell me?

Monday, November 29, 2010

The big question on short stories

The skill of a good short story is that it offers the reader a glimpse into their own life truths in a way that other writing can't offer. Often, with novels, the reader is caught up with the characters or the plot.
The end of a good short story can give you a kick in the guts.
Or it can linger with you long after you've moved onto something else.

Just as writing books for children is not easier than writing books for adults
so writing short stories is not an easier option to writing a novel.
Australia has a history of short story writers
and it feels like lately it has started coming back into vogue.

Or maybe I'm just hoping?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Back to the future

Some people love to do it and some people would rather poke themselves in the eye with a sharp (or burnt, depending on your upbringing) stick.
Some people spend time wondering and some never give it a second thought.
Some people do it once and wish they'd never done it.
Some dream about doing it but don't have the guts.

I did it on Friday night and I'm glad I did.
Thanks for the great school reunion Caroline...

Friday, November 26, 2010

A word on speeches

A good speech is really just another way of telling a good story.
It's not about being word perfect, about precise annunciation or having a posh accent.
Or about being so incredibly rehearsed that you could talk without really thinking about what you are saying.

Time and again, I have to remind myself that a good speech is about speaking from the heart.
it's about believing what you say and being passionate about your subject.
It's about being yourself.
(And ignoring the fact that your face is the colour of a beetroot.)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

You want eggs with that?

When I studied copywriting (last century) we had a fantastic marketing class which was the highlight of the course. I can't remember the name of the lecturer now, but he was a dapper man who had a colourful range of bow ties and a never-ending bag of anecdotes. One story that has always stuck with me is the story of the instant cake mix.

As a young man my lecturer was given the job of selling instant cake packet mixes. The manufacturer had done a great job of creating an instant cake mix that only needed water added by the busy housewife (and housewife it would have been then) to create a perfect cake. But the mix didn't sell. Subsequent surveys of the target market suggested that the end user felt they hadn't put enough effort into baking the cake, and questioned the nutritional value of the cake. Feedback was given to the manufacturer who changed their recipe so that it required the addition of one egg. Sales rocketed.

In a similar vein, publishers over the past few years have cannily rejacketed books to increase their market share. Books with child/teen oriented covers have been given more sophisticated treatments so that adults can happily sit on trains, in cafes and any other public place without the stigma of being seen to be reading a children's book. Nothing else has changed, just the cover.

I guess it's all about the perception of the end user.

Monday, November 22, 2010

There is nothing worse...

than driving someone to the airport
to watch them fly away
without you.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

More on the power of three...

Then there were the three musketeers.
The three little pigs.
Three blind mice.
The three bears.
Three Billy Goats Gruff

Three strikes and you're out
Three batsman out in a row is a hat trick

Three witches in Macbeth
Three sisters by Chekhov

It is also the first odd prime number.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Power of Three

I was arranging some flowers from the garden into a vase today (okay plonking) when I realised the power of three comes into play in more than just vase arranging. The three rule of vase arranging was introduced to me by my mother, herself a florist at one stage of her life. Never put two of a kind flower into a vase, always three to balance things out in an arrangement.

The unwritten three rule for writing was introduced to me by a lecturer who has now vanished from my memory's filing system, but his/her rule remains with me today.

The rule of three remains vague and hard to explain, so easier to show than tell:

He took a clipboard and a pen with him.
He took a clipboard, a pen and a well-worn ruler with him.

No, not a really good example, but the best I could come up with at the moment. A story between two people is always interesting, but three's a crowd — there's always something more delicious going on when you have three people. The friction as two side against one, the hurt as messages from one to three is lost in two's translation.

Three is just more interesting.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Disturbing Insight

I recently discovered the stats page on my blog software and find it fascinating. The most viewed blog so far was written last year and titled 'The Axe Murderer is Upstairs'. I wrote it when I was at work, late one night, alone in the double storey Victorian brick building that came to life after business hours with footsteps and creaks and groans.

It was a short post, something to acknowledge the discomfort I was feeling, a laugh at my imagination. I had no comments on the post but discovered on my stats page that it was the most viewed.

Am wondering if the label for the post, Axe Murderer, and Stephen King, hooked readers in??

Is it worth writing a book?

An acquaintance of mine, a fellow writer, recently asked whether it was worth writing a book. He meant financially, of course, but my initial response was, if you have to ask that question, then don't bother.

Still, it was a fair question. A publishing colleague and I always joked that if we wanted to make money we'd be better off running a fast food establishment.

So why do I write?
Because it helps me make sense of the world.
Because I want to send my words out into the world and touch readers in the way that my own life has been touched by authors I have read.
Because it makes me happy.

And royalties?
Any royalties are gratefully received.

Monday, November 15, 2010

NaNoWriMo - Day 15

More on letting go...

having your editor talk about your characters is like going to a parent-teacher interview at school. The teacher may sometimes tell you things about your child that may be news to you. How you perceive your child at home and how they are perceived out in the wild world may be three different things.

You can try and convince your editor, and ultimately (hopefully) your readers that the character is, deep down, quite a nice person, just misunderstood, but in the end your character will have to stand on their own two feet and take what comes.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

NaNoWriMo - Day 14

I went to my first SCBWI meeting yesterday, smack bang in the middle of Lygon Street in Carlton. There was such a feeling of goodwill and warmth in the room that it nearly drowned out the waiters placing orders at the kitchen window behind us. Moving our seats forward two steps to the front of the room also helped with the noise.

I saw some old friends and made some new ones. Corinne and Claire were excellent hosts and kept us on track. Congrats again to Glenda Millard on winning the Crystal Kite Member's Choice award for her book A Small Free Kiss in the Dark. Wendy Orr, whose book Peeling the Onion was one of the first legit YA books that I ever read, gave us an insight into the making of Nim's Island. Her underlying theme was — letting go. Letting go of your creation and understanding that once it leaves your hands it will never truly be yours again. This is a hard thing for writers to learn, but it only gets easier once you do.

Still, I found it hard to read the prologue to Six out loud to the group. The first time I had ever read any part of six to an audience, and an audience of my peers, which made it daunting. It was an emotional scene and integral to the story - note to self, never read that scene aloud again. Also has been an emotional week in one way and another, so guess that didn't help.

Note to George, sorry I made a fuss about you leaving, but it's only cause I know you and figured that you would take the joke! Which you did with good grace, what a gentleman.

Friday, November 12, 2010

NaNoWriMo - Day 12

Last exam.
Last day of secondary school.
No more school newsletters.
No more parent teacher interviews.
No more school lunches, school excursions, school forms to be filled out and sent back on time.
No more things left in bags until they change all shape and morph into something else.
No more hate that teacher love that teacher the train broke down again.

Monday, November 8, 2010

NaNoWriMo - Day 7

Another exciting non-NNWM day!

Firstly, off to the Wheeler Centre (my new home) to hear Kate Morton speak about her new book, Distant Hours which I can't wait to start. That's Kate pictured. Hmmm. Richard Whitfield does take a good photo, but he had a lot to work with. I wonder if he could make me look like that...

And then, a drop in to my publisher, black dog books, for a quick and informal catchup with everyone there, some nice reviews and a reminder that Six has been nominated for a CYBIL — Children's and Young Adult Bloggers Literary Awards.

Hooray — go Six!

NaNoWriMo - Day 7

Lots of writing, just not NNWM writing.
Second day of YA Masterclass stretching our minds
niggling the words to drop down from the sky
then plink plink plink
onto the page they dropped
till we raised our faces
and laughed at the drought
now broken.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

NaNoWriMo - Day 6

Have written about 2,000 words today but not for NNWM.

Had a Master Class in YA writing with award-winning author Libby Hathorn at the Victorian Writers Centre with a great bunch of writers armed with pens and pads (and one laptop) and not afraid to use them.
Been a fun day of stretching our imagination, taking what we know and pushing it further, and finding things we didn't know.
Why are such days so exhausting?

I managed to find another part of my NNWM story but now have to write it properly and incorporate it into the story.

Looking forward to tomorrow's class.

NaNoWriMo - Day 5

Day 5 of writing and nothing going.
Getting ready for a weekend of Master Class with Libby Hathorn at the VWC.
Will definitely not be taking NaNo writing with me.

Friday, November 5, 2010

NaNoWriMo - Day 4

Great progress today.
I opened up my WIP file and scrolled through, looking at the words, not reading really, and then checked my email , followed up with some admin and then onto home duties.
Another good day of not writing anything.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

NaNoWriMo - Day 3

Bad NNWM Day! Bad! Good concert last night though. The line up was impressive and read like a who's who of a 1970s top 50. First Peter Frampton — yeah well, who hasn't listened to Frampton Comes Alive and how angelic was that young boy (with the curly hair) but today's Peter Frampton (sans hair) blew me away as he cajoled, demanded and played that guitar like nothing I've seen before. What a legend.

Then there was America (I caught up with them in my teens with their America's Greatest Hits), and they were great. They looked like they were having fun, but not nearly as much as the audience, most of who sang along.

Finally Chicago blasted our socks off with their big brassy sound and I had to check that I wasn't having palpitations (it was just
the insistent beat of the major drum solo). Not going to mention the average age of the audience but everyone seemed to have a ball. Happy birthday to you Ken! Thanks for a great night Kate!

And now for some serious catch up NNWM writing...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

NaNoWriMo - Day 2

A national holiday (for some) so busy doing other things, however I did get down some words at the end of the day. Have to stop myself from editing as I go and just let it spew out. Easier said than done.

Monday, November 1, 2010

National November Writing Month - Day 1

My aim is to blog every day of NaNoWriMo 2010. I started my writing today. The recommended word count per day is 1667 words. I managed this today with a tiny bit left over. So far so good.

Starting a new story is like finding a new love. With this one, I had a false start. Five hundred words in, I saved what I'd written and started again. I wanted a love story. This is what the second attempt seemed to be.

It's early days yet. We're still kind of shy with each other. I don't know the narrator that well, though her second-cousin once-removed is already shaping up nicely.

I'll just let it go and see what happens.

Delayed gratification

Read Sarah Wilson's article on delayed gratification on the weekend and it reminded me of my writing process. I like to let things bubble away for ages without writing anything down. By the time I allow myself to write it's in a burst of creativity like the start of a race horse as they burst forth through the gates. The trick is to stay the length of the course. (With a nod to the Melbourne Cup Race tomorrow.) I've been wanting to write for the last couple of weeks, but been holding back until today, the start of NaNoWriMo (National November Writing Month).

Good luck to all the NaNoWriMo writers. Got a feeling this is one of the best days of the process.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

In a galaxy, far far away...

were two girls at the end of Form 6 (Year 12) who announced to their parents they were off to Tasmania for, what would later become known as, Schoolies. Very risque to say the least. This week we got together for a catch up birthday lunch for her birthday. Happy Birthday Stan. To me we will always be those two girls who hopped on a plane to go on an adventure of a llfetime.

It is the (pretend) long weekend that preceeds the bulk of Year 12 exams. While the rest of the family have gone off to play, I'm hanging around making my Year 12 eat (mostly) healthy food, driving to Officeworks for that one thing that could make all the difference with her Maths score and generally feeling like I'm in a doctor's waiting room.

Good luck to all the Year 12'ers out there. Sending good thoughts your way.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


November, which has become well known as MoNember to some, has also become known as NaNoWriMo for writers with a masochistic streak or those hoping to impose some writing discipline into their iives. This annual creative writing project began in 1999 in San Francisco with 21 participants. Last year over 170,000 people signed up for the event, and you can add three more people to that number as three bdb'ers decided to take the plunge and join in the fun this year. Anyone else taking up the challenge?

Monday, October 25, 2010

It's official - it's a book

What a fun night we had at Borders Knox City - a gorgeous space, great staff and loads of family, friends and fans to help officially launch Six into the big wide world.

Special mentions to:
Sue Lawson, official launcher, who travelled far to be there, BK and BAM who supplied some yummies, the bdb gang supportive as always, Bryce for the impromptu intro, Megan who took several modes of public transport to get there and Amy with an A who got the night off from work to also be there. Great to see you all. Thanks for making it such a memorable event.

PS - Good to see you Carole - and no it wasn't quite ten minutes.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Rad, Dude

13 years ago (and a bit) I took a photo of my daughter in her new school uniform with her backpack that reached down to the back of her knees. 13 years later, just this morning, I took a photo of her on her last day of school. Of course there were bound to be changes. She's having trouble with her skin at the moment (it's green).

So what was I doing on the eve of the Six book launch? Getting organised for the big day? Maybe having a relaxing facial or a manicure? Negative, dude. I was plodding through the $2 shops and K-Mart to find a Teen Mutant Ninja Turtle outfit — of course — for her and her three buddies. Then I sent her off to school today with strict instructions not to get involved in any muck up that will see her sitting her exams in the city instead of school.

Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Obe One - you're my only hope...

I'm sending my message out there.
I'm looking for a line of text that will inspire me for my next book.
I spent two hours in the car coming home from the country
trying to find the voice for my next character.
I didn't talk, just kept trolling through a list of people
who didn't quite do it for me.
So now I resort to you, dear reader.
In the same way the my teacher would write a line of text
on the board and say, 'start writing'
I am looking for a line of text.
The person who writes the line I choose will receive a free copy of Six.

You're my only hope.