In my last post I proudly and boldly announced that I had “returned with a fierce determination to write often and incisively on the big issues“.
Then two months passed without a word.
That’s right. I totally suck at fierce determination.
However I’m willing to give it another go!
Now my publisher did ask me to write something on the background to the ERIC VALE series of books but before I write that blog, I thought I’d just bring you up to speed on what I’ve been doing since my last post and try to justify my two months of blogging silence. Sound good? What? Oh, right. Really? Well it’s my page and I’m still going to do it whether you like it or not!
Well shortly after I wrote my last blog (Remember that? It was back in the Mesozoic Era.) I attended the Kids’ Lit Quiz in Ipswich. I was there as part of a writers’ team with these three talented and lovely people – Chris Bongers, Brian Falkner and Narelle Oliver. It was a heap of fun. And we actually got some questions right! (Mainly the ones about our own books though)
Following that I had a week visiting some lovely schools in Adelaide, followed by a week visiting lovely schools here in Brisbane, followed by four days in Sydney where I visited Inaburra School in the Shire and took part in the Newington Festival, both of which were also lovely!
At Newington I caught up with many amazing author/illustrator friends including:
Archie Fusillo and Barry Heard.
Barry Jonsberg and Richard Harland.
And Scot Gardner and Michael Pryor. In this photo, Scot has just been told he would be appearing on my blog.
Then I went to Western Australia for three weeks doing writing workshops for The Literature Centre (TLC) with young writers from around the state. During my time there I met so many enthusiastic and talented students and it was a real pleasure to work with them. Some of the students had been doing the Talented Young Writers program for three or four years and therefore had attended workshops from over a dozen of the country’s top writers. Then tragically their luck ran out and they got me.
First up I flew to Perth and then Lesley Reece of The Literature Centre and I flew from Perth way up north to Port Hedland for a day of writing workshops at Hedland Senior High School.
While in Hedland I also managed to save an unsuspecting tourist from this rogue croc. No please, it was nothing.
Then we had a five hour taxi drive inland (!) to Newman for two days of workshops at Newman Senior High School.
Then we flew back to The Literature Centre in Fremantle which is located in the Renovated Hospital Wing of the Old Fremantle Prison. This is where I spent the Easter long weekend … all alone.
At night when I turned off the lights I swear I could hear groans of anguish, the gnashing of teeth, the rattling of chains, and the outpouring of foul-mouthed abuse.
And that was just me!
While I was in Fremantle over Easter I got to visit the fabulous Markets and get a bite to eat.
Is my seafood paella almost ready? Maybe I should have ordered the ‘small’?
And I also got to see some terrific performers as part of the Annual Fremantle Street Festival. There were huge crowds everywhere in Freo over the three days of the long weekend. What a fantastic event.
After Easter we flew to Geraldton for two days of workshops and there I had the great pleasure of meeting author Glyn Parry who is the teacher-librarian at Geraldton Senior College. Glyn was also our hilarious and very generous tour guide.
Geraldton provided more stunning landscapes.
And seascapes …
Then finally we flew to Albany for two more days of workshops, this time at Great Southern Grammar School but sadly I forgot to take any photos so you’ll just have to imagine how beautiful that place was.
After that it was home to Brisbane!
For 5 days.
THEN I had a trip away doing one day Literary Festivals at Boys Grammar and Girls Grammar in Rockhampton as well as at Emerald North State School. The trip was organised by Paul Collins of Ford Street Publishing and Elaine Ouston of Morris Publishing and involved 10 authors and illustrators. As well as Paul and Elaine, there was Julie Fison, Judith Rossell, Kevin Burgemeestre, Susanne Gervay, Krista Bell, Meredith Costain and Royce Bond. A great bunch of people and lots of laughs were had along the way!
And of course everyone, especially Susanne Gervay, was overjoyed to meet me.
We also met lots of lovely students and teachers and saw some beautiful locations especially around Keppel Bay.
We even made the Rockhampton Bulletin. See here.
As you can see it’s been a packed, at times draining, but ultimately an amazing and enjoyable two months. And I only really scratched the surface with this overview.
Which is why I’ve been so slack with my blogging of late.