Monday, 27 July 2009


Kids love animals. I try and include an animal in lots of my stories- they act as companions, someone else to converse with and an outlet for emotions. I can remember as a teenager walking with my dog ( even though he wasn't very obedient) to mull over things. Look at the delight on my grandson's face- now there's a smile that doesn't shine often enough.
What makes our character's personality shine?

Thursday, 9 July 2009

well crafted

I am a hoarder- it is a problem, but it's also a delight. Take for example this hand knitted ball- my grandmother always knitted gifts- I had baby clothes and toys in storage for my grandchildren. Now they are happening- up to three, a fourth one arriving in January. But this ball I wanted to give to one of my daughters but the yellow wool had rotted away- I reknitted the section and discovered little pieces of yarn as the stuffing inside. It's back to new, with a bell inside and working- I love the creativity that my grandmother has passed on- it survives in all the craft I love to tinker with and the creative solutions to my writing- hoarding scraps of memory to be sewn into a new manuscript.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Moving Galleries

Poetry on trains? That's great to soothe the traveling mind...
My poem 'Tattoed Hooves'is up on connex trains now for the next six months.
Go to the moving galleries website become a member and vote for the best poem!
Unfortunately I was unable to go to the launch in Melbourne but love the concept of art in public spaces.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

The Launch

It was a great night. A book needs a launch, it's just as important as a big ship on her maiden voyage.
Janeen Brian did a marvellous job, even to reading two of my poems and also part of the first chapter of 'Star Jumps.' Writing friends and friends made during the 2007 May Gibbs residency came along. I am still glowing. May it continue to illuminate my next writing venture!

Book Launch

Janeen's gift of a cake for the launch of my book 'Star Jumps.' Wow it felt special.
Thanks Janeen.

Friday, 5 June 2009

biking, racing, and SUCCESS

He's the youngest of my brood and fast on a bike- he just won the Marong to Wedderburn road race a week ago. Yet, funnily enough, he took the longest to learn to ride a bike.

I've written a few poems about riding a bike, wanting a new bike, falling from a bike, riding to school, to meet friends; even a short non fiction piece about the history of bikes for a teachers' resource.
Can you remember how you learnt to ride a bike? It would make a great polished memory to share.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

notes from an author talk, booktalkers

Booktalker 1st June 2009
Some of the points that struck me from the night...

Mal Peet spoke about a book for football disguised under his passion for history. 'Keeper 'was his first book. 'Tamar' won the Carnegie medal. His talk included the challenging question should there be a category on the book shelves called YA?
He wrote the books that he would have liked to read when he was younger.
And one of his teaching points in his many workshops with children, is telling them to write about something you don't know – that's fiction.
Mal Peet likes crime fiction, he cares about history, in fact is evangelical about it. His books always have two narratives in them.
Mal began writing when he was 40- he actually wrote many small educational texts for readers first before he wrote his first novel.

I loved the way the audience surged out at the end of his talk to buy his books from the book seller.
I'm about to start reading 'Keeper.'

Libby Gleeson was fascinating with her reading of 'The Great Bear,' a picture book published in 1999 with illustrator Armin Gredor, she talked about her close collaboration with him. Certainly a partnership producing wonderful picture books. We all felt very moved by her reading.

I have just competed a picture book text subject with Victoria Uni and all the points Libby made helped the new information soak in. Such a deceptively simple text, such complex writing, rewriting and bonding of illustration to text. One point Libby did mention twice was that if the pictures and text said the same thing then one had to go- Armin Gredor explained this to her.

I really enjoyed the night- thanks to the local ALEA group and Booktalkers of the State library of Victoria.
Apparently podcasts of this year's Reading Matters conference will soon be on the following web site. Meanwhile there are some podcasts from many authors available now.

Monday, 1 June 2009

star jumps day

Today 1st of June is my day, my book's release into the reading world. It is so immensely satisfying to now have completed another small novel- one that hopefully will entertain and inform. It holds so much emotion, another world, a working season on a dairy farm and the determination of a girl called Ruby.

I want to write more and more...
Happy Star Jumps day.

Friday, 15 May 2009

7 poems and more dialogue

Yes I did get to my 7 poems and more. I will try another concerted poetry week again. I learn that if I apply myself after a couple of tries, I come to one that sings , yes!

This week I took a dialogue workshop for the local Writers' group for two hours on Monday evening. You know the adage that teaching helps you learn more- it does! It has a way of defining those nebulous thoughts and concepts into practical examples for others to learn.

We talked about purposes for dialogue:
- emotion
-character development
-plot development
We looked at examples from different genres and tag lines- he chided, she blurted etc were out- body language the big revealing secret.
It was a fun night and reminded me how much I love to teach (and to learn).

Thursday, 30 April 2009

My own poetry week

Yes I'm having a poetry week- well early in the morning after my walk, my Bible study, I write a poem- it might take a few word exercises to really push that wonderful creative synapses to occur, but it does. I am left with with a poem suitable for a Lit magazine or a children's poem.
I have a multitude of text books to dip into- one that is working at the moment is jotting down snatches of what is happening in your inner life and then observe the outer life. Mesh some lines, thoughts together and the poem will flow.

I am so happy to have written- just for me, it makes the day sure to sparkle and by the end of the week- I should have seven new poems.

I saw a black glove as if
just unhanded, one finger pointing
others elegantly knuckled (but dew-kissed)
on side of bitumen road...

Monday, 20 April 2009

fireworks, madison

At the end of the cycling madison held in Bendigo at March, is the fireworks. I love them. So clever.

Hot hot summer

On a hot summer's day, here is the line up to view The Golden Age of Couture Paris & London 1947-57, staged at the Bendigo Art Gallery. An art gallery always has such incredible vibes for me to just sit and write. I loved the ooze of style, the flamboyant sketches of the designers and the minute sewing of embellishments by the dress makers. Of course one would need a gala occasion and a gala figure to wear such garments, but I heard many a spectator, murmuring, wish fashion could be like this again.
It can: in a poem, a story, a memory.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

wings of poetry

I found this one wing under a pile of dry gum leaves. It glistened. What fabulous shimmer of flight. I had to bring it inside. A treasure. Maybe what a writer needs is still that childhood delight of finding something so unexpected, so precious, waiting for the finder's map of discovery. A poem will come.

Friday, 13 February 2009

heat wave, pre bushfire

Only a day before the raging fires of Saturday 7th of February. These magpies are like a temperature gauge. They cluster along the front verandah with beaks open gasping in 40+ heat. We put a dish of water out and wonder what other cooling strategies are employed by other birds.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

diary of the natural world

I've had this diary for awhile now- probably garnered second hand- but I love the possibilities it presents. To explore the natural world however minute, around me.
And to start yet another diary- not sure if I can keep another diary of sorts, but it trains my skills of observation even more and these are the natural tools of a poet.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Flying Ants

There are so many phenomenal insect activities that happen in a moment and then are gone. If you're not in your back yard at that precise or spy something from a window, then you miss out.

Just as I was about to put the washing on the line one day last month- here was a swarm of big flying ants. They came quickly from the log and flew away in a matter of seconds. Amazing.

I love the quirks and impossible feats of the natural world. Great fuel for writing and an analogy of creativity and ongoing hope for one's own writing output.

My book to be reviewed

A bit of writing news. 'Ratwhiskers and me' will be reviewed in the School Magazine "Orbit" this year, so that is welcome news. As an author it's always great to garner as much publicity as possible.

Here's the web link

Monday, 12 January 2009

pantry update

Not only has Kel beavered way at a completely new pantry with a bench, overhead cupboards, big drawers, but he has made a slide out rubbish bin in another cupboard in the kitchen. So here's a farewell to the bin that once held supermarket bags and worked hard for many years - in fact it's a relic from the farm and should hold many trashy memories for the kids. I thought it was a smart invention when I first bought it and when the new rubbish bin was installed this was decommissioned. As we still have a huge shed in suburbia, I put this little wire frame near the back door in anticipation of its trip to the shed.

"No way," said Kel. So before it goes into the council rubbish bin, here is a memorial to a well used everyday object.

You can really write about anything!

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Happy New Year

Maybe one of my resolutions needs to be to keep up with blogs... but what a great sight to see this shingle-backed lizard in our garden in November. I'm fascinated by nature.
Look at the wonderful markings. It's a sign of ecological health- well that's my belief. On the dairy farm we had snakes and no lizards so it's wonderful to be in town and the reverse happens.