Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Is this your little one?

Someone thrust a copy of The Sunday Age magazine at me the other day and said, 'Is this yours?'
I felt like a proud parent — there was Short and Scary, a nice big cover, and a lovely review from Frances Atkinson.
No, not mine, but a proud parent nevertheless.
The illustration here is from Tegan Bell, a student who is interested in pursuing art as a career. Congrats to Tegan and the other students who made the final cut.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Went to the local library for a change of scenery armed with laptop and water bottle. Turns out it was preschool Monday, with singing (The Wheels on the Bus go round and round), excited tots and one emotional boy who didn't want to be there and then didn't want to go. At some point, though, it just became a white noise and I tapped away at my keyboard until the strains of Twinkle Twinkle filtered through and it was time to go home...

Friday, April 16, 2010

Oh, so that's how you do it

In an effort not to repeat the excruciating writing effort of the day before, I shunned the office and laptop yesterday, changed locations to the lounge room (best room in the house), and grabbed loose lined pages and a fine Bic pen and wrote. Hmmm, that seemed to work. No way I could check my emails or any of those other things I do online.
Whatever works.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

So how's the writing going...?

Got up early for some serious writing.
But first, to the emails.
Then made brekky for the teendults, took the teen to the station and got back to get into it.
Made my own brekky first, made a coffee, dishwasher, load of washing, tidy up, made bed,
sat down to get on with it.
Opened up file (good move).
Who wrote this rubbish. Edited last chapter.
Updated story dictionary.
Back to the story.
And so on.
Even moved lounge room furniture around.
Spoke to fellow author about various topics
ranging from life to death and everything in between.
So now, sitting at computer, not leaving until I have 2,000 words.
(I wonder if deleted words count?)
But first I'll just fill my water bottle...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Hidden Gems

Congrats to Lili Wilkinson on the inclusion of Angel Fish in the Notable Books section of the CBCA awards announced recently.

Angel Fish follows the journey of Gabriel and the Children's Crusade as a group of children set out to liberate the Holy Land from the Infidel. The voice of Gabriel is authenticate and evocative of a time and place long past. As with all good historical fiction, it is relevant to today's readers as it raises issues of belonging, blind faith, jealousy and betrayal.

Another gem which many have yet to discover is Scatterheart, another historical fiction from Wilkinson. The book has recently been released with a new jacket which I would buy just to because it would look so good on my bookshelf. Fortunately, the story is also a great read, set in the time of convict transportation to Australia. This would be a great companion book for students studying Australian History. I also think it has cross-over appeal to the adult market and would make a great book club read. Check it out.

There are plenty more songs where this came from

Congrats to Ben Beaton on his inclusion in the Notable List from the CBCA this year.

Ben's debut novel, Mama's Song, is a beautiful story about a teenage girl who must live with the choices she has made. As the story unfolds, we glimpse the events that lead to Georgina being alone in a country hospital. She must find her Mama's Song to truly connect with her baby, Hannah.

I thought Ben was brave to take on this female voice but he has done it with such honesty and authenticity that his gender is a moot point.
It's a great read for all teens.

I look forward to his next offering.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

short, scary and unemployed...

As I printed out my Williamstown Literary Festival 2010 (WLF 2010) welcoming letter, I noted near the end that if I had a website or blog or facebook I should be touting the WLT 2010 wherever possible.

I do have a website and a blog and a Facebook account.

I am a failure at all of these cyberspace tools.

I've admitted it before. I was talking to another writer about it recently and came to the conclusion that I am an extremely private person. I guard my privacy . I wonder why? It's not like I'm afraid the paparazzi are going to hang around my front gate or go through my rubbish.

Anyway, I did want to note that I have left black dog books as Managing Editor and have taken a chance to draw breath. The decision to leave was a hard one to make. What a fantastic job! What great scope there was for artistic input. In the end, though, I felt there wasn't much left over for my own personal artistic output. Before I left, however, I was blessed to work on two great publications. Sugar Sugar (Carole Wilkinson's latest offering and first YA book, which I will discuss in another post) and short and scary, an anthology of short stories, poetry and illustrations. I would personally like to thank the wonderful Australian authors and illustrators who submitted stories to the anthology and congratulate the new authors and illustrators who were included in the book. This book will raise funds for kid's literacy and is a great showcase for new talent.

And the WLF 2010?
It is a festival for readers and writers, and runs from 27-30 April nightly and on the weekend of 1 and 2 May, Williamstown Hall, Ferguson Street, Williamstown. There is a great program of events, and you can check it out at
I am holding a session called 'Writing for Children', so if you feel like stretching your imagination, I'd love to see you with a notebook and pen (yes, I will be making people write, what?, no?, actually writing in a workshop?...).