Showing posts from April, 2012


Today I'm taking part in the My Most Beautiful Thing Blogsplash to celebrate beautiful things - inspired by Fiona Robyn's new novel, The Most Beautiful Thing. Bloggers from all over the world are taking part and writing or posting pictures of their most beautiful things today. I don't think I really considered how hard it would be to pin it down. At first, as most people would do, I thought of family and friends. Of my husband and children, of the place I live (in the Dandenong Ranges, outside of Melbourne, Australia) .... But the more I thought about it the more ethereal it all became. Until yesterday, driving to work, I realised what it is the fact that I have the freedom of choice. I choose where I live, who I live with, where I work, even the fact that I work part time. These are my choices. I choose to either do nothing all day and eat crap, or do some exercise and eat well. I choose whether to whinge and complain or make the best of things. It is all…


During the school holidays I did a Storytime called Wombat Stew (based on the picture book by Marcia K Vaughan and illustrated by Pamela Lofts). I set up my campfire - branches with red cellophane, placed the billy on top and we began to cook our stew.

To those who don't know the story, dingo catches a fat wombat and is excited about making his,
yummy in my tummy, wombat stew. But wombat's friends come along to offer their advice on what ingredients a good stew would need. Before the wombat is added, dingo tastes the concoction, insists he's been poisoned and runs away. The wombat is saved.

I repeat - no wombat was stewed, sautéed, flambéed, fricasseed or roasted during this event.

To make wombat stew is easy. First we added water- blue cellophane.
Then some billabong mud - brown crepe paper.
Then the fun ingredients---flies, creepy crawly bugs (plastic critters), feathers and gum nuts (both real). Each time I added an ingredient, I stirred the billy. And each time the ch…


Easter for me is about family. Okay it's also about chocolate, but mainly it's about family and usually I wander north east to visit my sister and her family. They live in a small country town where the pace is relaxed. Slow. Easy.

There's not a lot to do. You can go for a walk (there are two directions- left or right), you can play Mario Kart on the Wii, you can play numerous games of UNO,....there's also much talking, laughter and catching up.

And I admit it, I listen, pay attention to small details...and take notes. Over the years this has resulted in various stories, poems and settings for both a children's novel and a YA novel. Their old dog Zorro, no longer with us, is a central character in my children's novel and the countryside, the landscape...and certain aspects of the town are an integral part of my YA novel.

I think it's because it is such a relaxed atmosphere that allows me to become attuned. When you are in your own home, with the constant d…


I recently went to a free event at our local library...Players from Storytelling Australia presenting A Grimm Reminder- celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Grimms' Brothers Fairytales.
The storytellers were Matteo, Jackie Kerin and JJ- Retailer of Tales, and this was just a tidbit, a teaser for their show during the Pave Festival .

It was a great night. Not only did I hear fairytales that I hadn't heard before (these were for adults, so none of the 'tidied up' versions retold to children) but I was fascinated by the storytellers delivery.

Each of them had a different style, a different way of presentation. They were all confident, all spoke clearly and well, all used some kind of audience participation....whether waiting for our responses, for us to call out answers - 'the iron dwarf' - or whether through eye contact.


These were professional storytellers....but as a poet who sometimes performs, I learnt a lot about presentation. Not only is it about co…