Showing posts from June, 2013


Last weekend I saw the production of Jesus Christ Superstar. Wow....yes, I'll start with wow and move on from there. I've always been a big fan of musicals (perhaps growing up and listening to my parents recordings of Camelot and Oliver)- and JCS is one of my favourites (up there with Cabaret, Rocky Horror Picture Show and Sweet Charity). I think there is something about the under dog.

It is astounding to think that JCS was first shown on Broadway in 1971. Over forty years ago, yet the music and the lyrics are still resonating with so many of us.

I have never written lyrics or music or any combination of the two.

No, that's not strictly true. I do 'adapt' rhymes and children's songs for Storytimes. Simple work to turn Incy Wincy Spider into Rolly Polly Snowman---but that is as far as I go...or dare to venture.

The world of music is foreign to me. Yet it is surely another form of writing. I honestly have no idea how it is created. Whether you start with the lyr…


Another year, another writing retreat. And yes this time, once again I did little writing. (I have the first rough draft of a short story, edited a friend's children's story and a series of my own poems...but as far as retreats go, not a lot of actual written work).  Also this year I did not go for the walks I usually do, put that down to a bad cold and the fact I wanted to stay warm.

So what exactly did I do for those nearly three days?

I enjoyed the support and company and encouragement of my likeminded peers. It is amazing how much 'writing' stuff you can talk about in a weekend. Everything from publishers and what to send where, talk of actually getting down to write and then there was the brainstorming.

 Can I say I love the brainstorming....seeing something that has begun as a germ of an idea, flourish, become something more, a real piece of work, then see it again and offer more feedback on how it could be something truly wonderful.

That is where the excitement…


I recently went to an event where they talked about the Book of the Year Shortlist 2013 for the Children's Book Council of Australia. Very interesting to hear what books were shortlisted, but also the how and why behind it all.

There are 8 judges, one for each state and territory of Australia.  They judge the Older Reader (OR), Younger Readers (YR), Early Childhood (EC) and Picture Book (PB) categories. A panel of 4 judge the Eve Pownall Award for Information Books (EP).

I must admit to not having read many of those shortlisted, however I have read many of the 'notables'. The notables are those that just missed out by usually one vote to be shortlisted.

It made me wonder how much glory is placed in having a book that wins a prize. Yes there is an award, usually money to some extent...and of course publishers rush to put those little stickers on the covers of the books.

So who does this award appeal to? Authors naturally. It must be a wonderful feeling to have your book ch…


Recently I went to a Reading Matters Conference, held by the Centre for Youth Literature, Melbourne. The conference looke at many aspects of YA but basically it is all about how we get youth, teenagers and young adults to read.

It was very inspiring, very intriguing and very thought provoking on many levels. Especially the session on Gender Less, with authors Libba Bray , Myke Bartlett and Fiona Wood. This was a discussion on the sex of the protagonists in their books, whether they write from both female and male POV and much more but the question that intrigued me... was about boy books and girl books.

Not only are there definite boy and girl books, you can not deny it, but even the books that don't have a strong gender slant- as in no full teenage romance of girl meets boy (who happens to NOT be a vampire, werewolf, angel, demon or some sort of fairy folk..sorry, rant over)- books that can and should be read by either sex...are lost to many readers due to the cover.
Yes it'…