Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Historical Novel Society Australasia conference September 2017

I've been to my first conference for a long time.  I get tired easily nowadays, so I have to chose carefully where my energy is spent.  And this past weekend was a wonderful inspirational feast!

A chance to talk to like minded friends, to hear published authors talk about being a 'pantser' or 'plotter' was wonderful.

The three authors on the Historical Whodunnits panel, all confessed easily, comfortably, to being in the 'pantser' category.  That means not plotting but unfolding events and conflicts as they write.  In fact writing to find out what is going on!

Sulari Gentill, Robert Gott and Gary Corby all shared generously with their writing insights.

As an author myself it was SO liberating to hear them speak about not using little cards, post it notes etc, etc...

That session was my conference highlight even though I'm not an avid whodunnit fan I now have some new Australian authors to read!

Another aspect was the obvious delight and passion authors using history bring to their writing, the enthusiasm was contagious and inspiring.


So here is an historical artefact of mine- a sampler of my Grandmother's embroidery.



And my Grandmother and Grandfather in very young days.  A piece of history as my own inspiration.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Ah the year is racing away

I've gotten out of the habit of posting here.  I am writing slowly, but writing poetry and stories.

And sewing!



This poem is published in the May edition of School Magazine, New South Wales.
 I have been looking at older poems I've written and re-vamping, changing, tightening the words and images.  It is very satisfying to be revising older material that didn't quite make the grade.  I have begun doing this with picture book texts also and even turning one into a play!

It is satisfying on another level also in that I realise that over time I have written a lot of material!

Some stories or poems cannot be redeemed but the writing journey all adds to the skill and content of any new material written.
And I want to write more consistently in this blog.

Let's see what the writing year brings.



Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Writing by the river

What a great request from Meg Doller to take poetry workshops across the age ranges to inspire an affinity an appreciation of the Campaspe river at Elmore!

So I took three age groups- prep to year 1 and even two four year olds through a rhythmic two word poem looking at different sensory surrounds of the river itself.  When I talked about the title for the poem one girl said 'Done!' and that became the title- very creative!




It was a windy day but perfect for writing.  Along the banks are the evidence of a wet winter and spring with plenty of grasses and plenty of seed heads for the children to really look at.
I liked to think of our writing as a slow savouring of all the nature around us- something we don't stop to appreciate enough and poetry is the perfect vehicle for this.


Well done to Meg for organising and to everyone who came and wrote!



Friday, 14 October 2016

Fruits of Children's Poetry Workshops


Well - poetry inspiration and poems written are the true outcomes
of poetry workshops.

In May I had a week visiting Ipswich and outlying schools with poetry workshops to create and inspire entries for the Ipswich Poetry festival.

Wow!  It was amazing to reach so many children- in different age groups to show them how easy and how satisfying it is to write a poem.


Thanks to Carol Moore at the Ipswich library and her dedicated committee for sending me this article.
Local newspaper report of photos of one of the sessions.



I love encouraging children and adults to write and in doing so to discover a bit more about themselves and the world around them.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Writing Residency- May Gibbs Literature Trust


The month has come and gone.  Writing flourished.  Several projects were completed to first draft.
Others, a new peek at a long awaited fragment- was it interesting enough to push on into a picture book text or a novel?

New poems were written.  And last week I began submitting some of the finished work.  What a great feeling after a year of treatment where I could hardly handwrite let alone hold a book to read.

(Foyer interior or Hotel Rothsbury on Ann street- the location of my residency.)

It was a wonderful healthy feeling to know that I STILL wanted to write and STILL had the passion to write.

Now awaiting fruits of that labour and also trying to plot out a schedule to get bigger novels finished.  I have a much keener affinity with time and jobs to complete.




Friday, 27 May 2016

Catch up and time to write

So...

it's been a long time since I took care of my blog, a lifetime has come and gone in a year
and I'm well again and waving from a May Gibbs Literature trust fellowship at Rothbury on Ann
in Brisbane.   What a gift of time in my career and life when I need it most.

I have several writing projects to juggle and with the perspective of a year's illness I am more
discerning/practical/ruthless and begin to realise how much I want to write and create.

I have had a year of no writing and no reading.  I wasn't well enough to do either of these important things, but armed with a suitcase of bits and pieces of manuscripts I am forging ahead and ripping to shreds those bits of stories I have held onto for years and I just don't think they will work anymore.
And writing
and rewriting
and entering competitions, just like I used to do when I first entered the writing arena.

It gives me purpose, a sense of satisfaction.

If you want more information about how you can apply for a career changing writing residency
here is the link.

Thanks May Gibbs Literature trust and Judith Russell.




Friday, 18 March 2016

A Celebration for a hundred years

What a pleasure to talk about my poems published over the years by School Magazine New South Wales.  This venue for having one's work published as well as showcasing modern Australian poetry for children, has been invaluable to my career as a poet.

When I turned from literary poet to children's poet this avenue to send my work was the most obvious.  Jonathan Shaw was the editor then and what an encourager he was!

I wrote poems about simple happenings in nature with a quirky twist, to longer poems about Gold, cows and even a prose poem "A Ute picnic."

Many went on to form the basis of my early poetry collections.
I think 'Magical Moment' sums up my voice in terms of writing for children-  there are sudden glorious moments to savour in everyday life and these make tiny burnished gems of poems.

The great Kim Gamble illustrated many of my poems over the years.

A recent poem illustrated by Anna Bron



I haven't made a count of poems published by 'School Magazine' but close to 50 or more would be the tally.

Illness in the past year has kept me from writing, but this year I am delving into my early note books and rejigging or finishing fragments of poems written many years ago as well as writing new fresh lines.

I also like the absurd and humour in writing for children and what better than cows to highlight their
exquisite and infuriating habits.

Thanks to Kerry Millard for depicting such mischievous cows! 
Long live 'School Magazine' and all the wonderful editors and illustrators and authors who enrich so many children's lives.  Happy special birthday!