I'm a children's author, wife and mum in no particular order. I perform these jobs simultaneously and I love them all!

Thursday, 21 April 2016

A Very Literary School Holidays

As I reflect on our school holiday activities, I've realised it was full of book fun (in and round my daughter breaking her arm on the first day and having two temporary casts and a full cast fitted! Yes, two temporary casts - she broke the first one). 

I find school holidays restrict my creative writing time, but the kids and I spent the time experiencing books together instead. It's funny how it happened without any real planning. 

Exhibition Launch

My daughter and I attended the exhibition launch, 'Desert Lake: The Story of Kati Thanda - Lake Eyre' at Newcastle Library on Friday, 8th April (the eve of her breaking her arm). It's based on the picture book of the same name authored by Pamela Freeman and illustrated by Liz Anelli. Even though I was emerged in this exhibition during the Newcastle Writers Festival the week before, it was lovely to attend its official launch. Liz spoke beautifully about her experience illustrating it. I love going to these events as it turns into a lovely social outing too.

Recycled Aliens at Mayfield Library

I booked the kids into a craft session called, 'Recycled Aliens' at Mayfield Library on Tuesday, 12th April. My kids and a school friend used recycled materials to build aliens. They were encouraged to make up a name for their new characters and where they came from. It was a very creative adventure while it poured rain outside.

Rooftop Teddy Bears Picnic at Westfield Kotara

During the first week of the school holidays, Anthony Wood and I were special guests at the Teddy Bears Picnic hosted by Westfield Kotara. We read our book as the kids shared Tiny Teddies and drank Apple Juice with their teddies. The kids then had fun decorating biscuits and completing teddy bear craft. Paulette, the huge Build-A-Bear mascot also dropped by for a visit and photos. So much fun! I attended 3 picnics and was very lucky to strike sunshine every time. Poor Anthony! 2 of his 3 picnics were in the rain but the kids and teddies didn't mind. 


Friends of mine led by the amazing Kim Wilson went to Cambodia to visit schools and villages to donate food, clothes, shoes, school supplies and other essential items. They had fundraised in Australia months beforehand and then bought the supplies in the local communities. I slipped a few copies of 'Dandelions' in her bag. She so generously sent photos of her giving three schools our book. Wish I could have been there. What an amazing trip they had. A beautiful group of guardian angels.

The Jungle Book

The kids and I went to see The Jungle Book movie. OMG! What an experience. Viewing this movie on the big screen was amazing. Highly recommended!

DC Comic Marvels at Powerhouse Museum

We visited 'The Art of the Brick: DC Comics' exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum on Wednesday, 20th April. Batman, Superman, The Joker and more were on display as large scale figurines. So much fun! If you have a fan of Lego or DC Comic Marvels, I highly recommend a visit.

During our Sydney visit, my monkeys visited Kinokiniya Book Shop with Alan and sent me this photo while I was out shopping for shoes.

Ruby Wishfingers

On Thursday, 21st April, we attended story and craft time at MacLean's Booksellers to celebrate Deb Kelly's new chapter book, 'Ruby Wishfingers'. MacLean's and Deb entertained the kids with bookmark craft, cupcakes and readings from the story. 

Writing Group

I facilitate the Hunter Writers Centre Children's Writing Group and our April meeting fell in the holidays on Thursday, 21st April. As a lot of us are preparing manuscripts for the upcoming CYA Conference Writing Competition (which is closing next week), we madly critiqued competition entries - I think 15 of them. Busy!

Buy Me a Monkey

On Friday, 22nd April, we attended the picture book launch of 'Buy Me A Monkey' written by local author Cherelle Flemming at Swansea Library.

Cherelle read her book and sang lots of monkey songs while playing her ukulele. A very talented lady.

New manuscript

Oh, and in the middle of this fun, I managed to write a brand new manuscript. I can't say too much but I have sent it off to my publisher. Cross your fingers and eye brows (ok, not your eyebrows) that this one is a winner!

I'm going into lockdown as soon as Term 2 starts. I'll pop my head up to attend the 'Meet the Publishers' Conference in Melbourne in May and the CBCA National Conference in Sydney also in May. I have a chapter book calling me I must write ...

Hope you enjoyed your school holidays too!

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