Wednesday, 27 July 2011

The Crafty side

I've given up solitaire and now when I need a break from writing and writing related projects I trawl craft blogs and ideas for art/learning for my grand kids- so here's an activity for my eldest grand daughter's fifth birthday at the weekend.

 The project was found here       What fun!

And also some practical sewing- some bibs for Sienna.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Bryon Bay Writers' festival

On the 7th August I will be appearing at the Byron Bay Writers' festival- exciting.

I will read some of my poems and talk about children's poetry. Candida Baker is the festival director and once many years ago Candida was involved in a writing contest in The Age.

In fact Candida was the judge of a small competition to write like Georgette Heyer- has anyone read Georgette Heyer?  I loved her books- occasionally I do back and read one of her novels and revel in the language and Regency world.

It was a time in my life when I had been desperately holding back the urge, the compulsion to write- when my busy family and farm demanded much.  But I knew I could do this.  So I mentally set myself a rule of my own.  If you win this competition, then Lorraine, I give you permission to take writing seriously and set a little bit of time aside to do this...

One Wednesday weeks later I opened The Age and there, yes, there was my name listed as one of the three winners!   Yahoo! 
And the prize( oh how I would have loved some money) was nine copies of the newly reprinted classics of Georgette Heyer( and these are the volumes I now dip into.)

Would any readers like me to print this winning paragraph next time?  Let me know.

I now laugh at such ridiculous high stakes to give myself permission to follow a passion over which I have little control.  But now that Candida and I are hopefully going to meet at Byron Bay, I know that threads do begin to weave into a pattern- eventually.  And I also know that I'd love to write an historical romance in Georgette Heyer style- how different to poetry...

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Tidying up or is it de-cluttering?

I realise that I have been writing and being published for a long time now. I have oodles of small literary journals from here ( Australia) and overseas and this week I have been getting them out of hidden cupboards and shelves and trawling through them. 1995 onwards...

I am amazed at the fortitude I once had to send work out batches of poems, finding every available address/opportunity to send work away that I could. And it brought dividends. I've been published many times over.

But over the last decade my writing interests have changed into writing for children. Still poetry, still stories.

So what do I do with those journals? I have pulled out my poems and recycled the rest- some I have kept- sad, but a refreshing reminder to keep writing, to keep abreast of competitions and opportunities. These were the solid foundations of the step to book publication for me.

And I can't let all that heartbreaking work go to waste. I am writing. In small doses and reading in great over indulgent servings. What a wonderful career.

What do you do with old paper memories?

Tuesday, 5 July 2011


I've had an amazing few weeks editing the next two books out- one an Aussie Nibbles, one a collection of poems.  I've managed to still learn about my writing and am amazed at the power of subtle detection in my respective two editors.  AMAZING!  Thanks Penny, thanks Mary.

I am really thrilled with both books and as I write one is at the printers and one arrives there...maybe tomorrow.

Both books have taken many months if not years to grow- especially the poetry collection of over 90 poems.

I was able to road test a few poems recently at my residency at Sydney Boy's Grammar and was pleased when a laugh greeted the punch line in one and the others captured the audience- I believe in images, concrete details and fun with language.

I appreciate so much the illustrators in both books- in fact here is the cover of 'Note on the door and other family poems.'  Due out with Walker books 1st September.