The Writing Alphabet – C

If you’re to believe a certain blue monster Muppet, “C is for Cookie, that’s good enough for me”, but I say, no sir. That is not good enough for me. I need at least ten words associated with writing that begin with ‘C’ otherwise this is just going to be a super short blog post sending subliminal messages about desserts.

Cookie 01
“ME NO CARE ABOUT YOUR BLOG. ME HAVE HIT COOKIE JACKPOT.”

Tough crowd. Anyway, ‘C’ is also for…

01. CAFE
A place where you can purchase delicious cookies… wait, no. It’s a place where you go to do your writing so you’re not distracted by things at home, instead you’re distracted by the thumping in your veins from your 8th cup of coffee while you guard your table located next to the only power outlet.

02. CENTRIFUGAL MOTION
When you’re worried about including random analogies in your writing but then you remember Faith Hill compared smooching to centrifugal motion in her 90s classic ‘This Kiss’ and you realise you’re fine.

Continue reading “The Writing Alphabet – C”

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3 reasons why you should read Lili Wilkinson’s YA novel ‘After the Lights Go Out’

Lili 01

After the Lights Go Out by Lili Wilkinson focuses on the life of seventeen-year-old Pru Palmer, who lives with her dad, Rick, and twin sisters, Grace and Blythe, in a rural Australian town called Jubilee. The girls are estranged from their mother and are being homeschooled by their father. Oh, and the family also happen to be doomsday preppers who own a secret bunker that will allow them to survive if the power cuts out and the world turns to chaos… And wouldn’t you know it, that’s exactly what happens.

What drew me in immediately to the story is that you’re filled with a sense of unease that never truly goes away throughout the whole book. Continue reading “3 reasons why you should read Lili Wilkinson’s YA novel ‘After the Lights Go Out’”

CBCA Book Week 2018 – What books did you treasure as a kid?

For ‘Book Week’ this year, running from August 18-24, the Children’s Book Council of Australia came up with the theme of ‘Find Your Treasure’. It made me think of two things:

  1. I hope this means Captain Feathersword from The Wiggles is moonlighting as a CBCA board member.
  2. If I had a treasure chest full of book gold from my childhood, what would it include?

The first books that came to mind were Animalia (1987 CBCA Honour Book for Picture Book of the Year) and The Eleventh Hour (joint winner in 1989 for CBCA Picture Book of the Year) by Graeme Base. The puzzles and hidden illustrations were so amazing, and since there was no internet back in the day (I am 100 years old, hello), it helped that there was an answer booklet included if you couldn’t Sherlock your way through.

 

Kudos to that outer space phase a lot of us went through as kids (glow in the dark stars on the ceiling and an irrational sadness later in life for Pluto losing its planet status, right?) for my next favourite childhood book:

Continue reading “CBCA Book Week 2018 – What books did you treasure as a kid?”

3 things I loved in Jaclyn Moriarty’s book ‘The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone’

Confession: I actually loved about a million things in Jaclyn’s middle grade novel but, much like bears, musketeers and singing brothers in Hanson, good things come in threes.

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The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone is about a ten-year-old girl who is sent on a solo adventure, via the instructions in her parents’ will, to deliver gifts to her ten aunts. She faces many obstacles along the way, including pirates, police and magical creatures, but if she doesn’t follow her parents’ precise orders, terrible events will occur.

Bronte was already my hero from this description alone, because I’m pretty sure the biggest adventure I ever went on as a ten-year-old was taking the shortcut through the cemetery near our house to get to the shops (the promise of an ice-cream won out over ghost possession). But this leads into my first thing I loved about the book: Bronte is a fabulous main character.

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Developing Craft & Career: what I learnt at the Williamstown Lit Fest

I’ve been trying to attend more “writerly things” this year, and one of them was an author conversation between Sue Whiting & Claire Saxby at the Williamstown Literary Festival on Sunday the 17th June. They chatted about the book industry, their experiences in writing and publishing and how the worst way to get your manuscript noticed was to slide it under the door of a toilet stall!

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Sue Whiting “has written numerous books in a variety of genres: fiction and nonfiction, picture books through to YA, including the best-selling The Firefighters, and the award-winning A Swim in the Sea. Her latest book, Missing, is a middle grade mystery/suspense novel for readers 10+.”

WLF01Claire Saxby “is an Australian author of fiction, non fiction and poetry for children. Her books are published widely in Australia and internationally.” Some picture book titles include, Emu, Big Red Kangaroo and Koala, which is on the 2018 CBCA shortlist for the Eve Pownall Award. Continue reading “Developing Craft & Career: what I learnt at the Williamstown Lit Fest”

The Writing Alphabet – B

01. BABY
Your manuscript is your child. You lavish attention on it, you take care of it. Sure, sometimes it feels as though you’re the baby what with the crying, screaming & (word) vomiting it takes to get through writing & editing. But at the end of the day there’s still love, pride & hopefully lots of naps.

02. BACKUP
When you save your document multiple times even though the autosave is on. Then you save it to a USB. Then you email it to yourself just in case your computer gets stolen. And then email it to your second email account in case something happens to the other one. Because the day you lose your manuscript of 70,000+ words that you’ve been working on forever is the day your soul departs your body & you move to Mars.

Alphabet B 01

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Once upon a time… I fell off a horse and lived to tell the ponytail

The first inkling I should’ve had that horses were out to get me was when I was eight and a Shetland pony kicked me in the shin. Utterly unprovoked I might add. I wasn’t even waving a Saddle Club book at it trying to get an autograph.

Obviously that moment wasn’t enough to scar me for life, though, because in 2007 I found myself on a horse riding expedition along the beach. Now let me just explain that A) I had never ridden a horse before and B) I had never ridden a horse before what the hell was I thinking?! I like to blame Daryl “The Horses” Braithwaite for being way too inspirational with his lyrics (spoiler alert: he was not there to pick me up, pick me up).

When I arrived at the stables we were matched up with a horse depending on our level of expertise – or severe lack thereof (riding the merry-go-round at the show doesn’t count, I checked). Recalling my knowledge of My Little Pony, I expected my horse to be called something gentle like Cherry Blossom, Flutterby or Buttercup.

My horse’s name was Jet.

Horse 01
Hi, I’m Jet and I like long walks on the beach, eating carrots & the TV show Lucifer.

Continue reading “Once upon a time… I fell off a horse and lived to tell the ponytail”