Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Adjustment Bureau - the snack bar is open

When I was young we used to go to the drive in movies. Us kids would get dressed in our pjs, the back seat would be piled with blankets and pillows and Mum would bring the basket of goodies.

I hated that basket.

When the snack time ad came on screen, other people got to go and buy really tasty things such as chips and well who knows what stuff because we were never allowed to go. Mum always brought a thermos filled with hot chocolate which was delicious but not a patch on buying it at the snack bar. Then I grew up and went to the snack bar at the movies, even when I didn't particularly want to, but because I could.

Tonight my world shifted 360 degrees. Before we went to the movies, my daughter insisted on making up a thermos of coffee.
'You're joking?' I asked.
But she insisted and happily poured herself a cap of coffee as Emily Blunt kissed Matt Damon for the first time in the men's toilets of a very swish marble place. I loved the men with their little hats busily working away for the betterment of mankind. The film reminded me a little of the 1998 movie Dark City except with a romance thrown in and without the film noir shadows.
As for the thermos, said daughter insists that it is latest etiquette in cinema entertainment. I'm sure my mother would be pleased to hear that...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Excuse me, do I know you?

You know the feeling.
You're at a school reunion, or the petrol station, or at a footy game, and the stranger approaching you from the opposite direction has a huge smile on their face.
You panic.
You should know this person. You smile back, flipping through the photo albums in your memory which come up with a big fat zero.
It happened to me tonight.
I was in our local shopping mall and a man to the right of me left the shiny Telstra shop where people were signing the next 24 months of their lives away. (Ahh, shiny, pretty - can't hear anything except 'it's all yours')
So there he was, approaching me with a grin, and I knew straight away that I should know him. He had a cocky walk and a crooked grin. He moved with purpose and the crowds cleared a path for him as he strode toward me.
He had a moustache. This took up 35% of his face - so I couldn't avoid thinking about it. I flicked through my memory album but all it could come up with was Tom Selleck, and I have to say he was no Tom Selleck.

It was only on the way home that I realised why I recognised him.
He looked exactly like Super Mario from our Wii game at home.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Themes and writing and Oprah Winfrey

Firstly - this image has nothing to do with this post. It's just that I was missing it from my blog header, so I popped it in because it always makes me smile. Yes, it is part of the Chasing Boys cover, but it's really just about the image.

Secondly, I'm not ashamed to admit that I put OW's name in the post title and labels to see how much it skews the hit stats. (So much fun, in a very childish way.) But I don't think Oprah would mind - she has done a lot to increase sales of books over the years.

But that's not what I wanted to talk about.
What I did want to talk about was themes.
It has come to my attention, well really nudged something that I already knew and then forgot about, that every writer has a theme that you'll find in their stories if you look hard enough.
Sometimes it's just one theme that they explore over and over again.
Sometimes there are several themes and sometimes a different theme for every book.
Which made me think about what my themes were so far in the three YA books I have written.
I'll have a stab, but I'm sure others would find it easier to pinpoint mine than I can.

Unrequited love
Missing parents
Wrong place, right time

I'll let readers figure out which themes belong with which book/s.

How about the other writers out there?
Have you thought about the themes that occur in your own writing?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

In the words of Oprah Winfrey...

that's what I'm talking bout!
What a great weekend.

Saturday saw us make the trip to Phillip Island - an ideal setting for a beautiful wedding. Standing on a clifftop, blue sky, blue sea and the sound of the surf pounding in the background while a gorgeous young couple - Ryan O'Connell and Loz Bell, outdoor freaks both - pledged their love for each other in the presence of family and friends. A warm day turned into a balmy night, the moon was full and we dragged ourselves away at a late hour to return to Melbourne for Sunday commitments.

Sunday should have been a letdown (an early start, and were those stomach stumbles a result of too much champagne?).
It wasn't.
Today was the first class of the Year of Writing for Children (YOWFC) and what an awesome class.
The Board Room - our space at the Wheelers Centre - set the tone. A big space with lots of light and state of the art equipment. (And right next door to the tea room - what a bonus!)
Sometimes it takes a while to warm up to each other in a writing class.
Takes a while to trust others enough to bare your soul.
While it was great to see the camaraderie and adventurous writing spirit of the attendees, it was the humour that rang through the empty corridors of Level 2 of the Wheeler Centre that set the tone.
Can't wait for the next class in May.
Thanks to Bronwen for the strawberries.
Just do it, YOWFC writers.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Author Goes AWOL

Well, it's been one of those weeks where you look back and think - how on earth did I fit that all in? Thank goodness for a public holiday on Monday, is all I can say.

Had a fabulous time in Sydney at the Northern Sydney Region Teacher Librarian Conference in Terry Hills talking everything e-books. During question time there was a question posed by one librarian - 'where have all the adverbs gone?' which I shall endeavor to address in a later post.

Sunday looms and I have a full class of students for the first Year of Writing for Children day for the Victorian Writers Centre. I'm looking forward to meeting everyone and getting a bit of writing done, so hopefully they are ready to write in class.

Meanwhile my visit to All Saints Lit Fest in April is fast approaching...

Saturday, March 5, 2011

E-books & Authors

I have been up to me eyeballs in e-book information since I agreed to speak at the Northern Sydney Region Teacher LIbrarian Conference on Monday 7th March. I will be discussing e-books and what they mean to me as an author, but I will also have my other hats on as reader and editor. There's also a panel discussion, so should be an interesting time all round.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Groundhog Day

Just going to bed but caught the Late Late Show with some Scottish sounding dude and his intro song is by Madness, with the line Tomorrow's just tomorrow today.

Which is very deep.

I love sci fi and fantasy but always had a problem with it as a kid younger reader. Something new can't really happen in the past, because it already would have happened, well that was my thinking, and I'd fight against the premise. I am happier to let things go nowadays.

Which reminds me of Groundhog Day. I always thought I would learn to play piano if I was caught in that situation of each day repeating itself until I had learned the lesson I was supposed to learn. I'd also study five other languages. And maybe train to be a doctor. Or a painter. Bedtime now. Hoping not to wake up in the morning to Sonny and Cher singing I've Got You Babe.

(And by the way, how fat is that groundhog!)