It’s the last month of 2016. If this year is following the pattern of previous years, by my calculations, that means it’s December!
Back on September 12 when I last wrote, I ended my blog with this bold statement:
I’m making a resolution to do shorter weekly blogs whether I’ve got anything to say or not. So that should be riveting. Still, I think you’ll agree that this is an excellent resolution, which I guess is why I have made it so many times before.
By my calculation I should therefore have posted around 12 of those ‘shorter weekly blogs’ by now. Well that didn’t happen. So here, in their place, is my regular, hastily-thrown-together, shambolic three monthly catch-up. (I mean really, what did you expect?)
Some random things that have happened since we last met.
- Nine years after it was first published Don’t Call Me Ishmael was up for a KOALA AWARD which was exciting. It didn’t win, but just look below at the brilliant company Ishmael and his friends were keeping! Congratulations to the winner Morris Gleitzman for Soon and to the Honour Books My Life As An Alphabet by my good friend Barry Jonsberg and The Last Thirteen #1 by James Phelan.
- I had my last two school visits for the year – Hi to Albany Creek State School and Eaton’s Hill! This year in total I had over 50 days at schools and Festivals around Australia – plus 3 weeks in China! – and every day was a really positive and enjoyable experience. (For people interstate who might be interested in a school visit in 2017, I will definitely be in Adelaide 28 Aug – 1 Sept and Melbourne 14 Aug – 18 Aug. All bookings through BOOKED OUT SPEAKERS AGENCY. I’m at home in Brissie for Book Week 21 Aug – 25 Aug.)
- My wife Adrie and I spent a few great days at beautiful King’s Beach Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast with the amazing creative forces behind ARTSPEAR ENTERTAINMENT – aka our son, Joe and daughter-in-law, Rita.
- I went to the launch of Nikki McWatters new book Hexenhaus which (witch?) I’m really looking forward to reading.
- I received copies of the German and Polish editions of Eric Vale Super Male and Eric Vale Off the Rails respectively. Hi from Joe and me to any Rupert Rau or Alek Topa readers!
- I attended the first Big Lit Quiz organised by Jenny Stubbs and the folks at Book Links and held at Padua College. A great fun afternoon that I hope will become a regular event.
I was part of a crack authors’ team called Writers’ Bloc (get it?) featuring the amazing talents of Chris Bongers, Sam Wheeler and Richard Newsome. Unfortunately all their combined amazing talents weren’t enough to overcome the handicap of having me on the team and we finished in a position best summed up as ‘nowhere near first’.
The highlight of the day for Richard (and very possibly the highlight of his life) was winning a video on ME! Richard informs me that as a viewing experience, it makes an excellent coaster. He was even kind enough to send me photographic proof …
- At home we had a huge tidy up of our garage and we installed some super-duper* (*technical term) new space-saving shelves. Here’s one of the many ‘shelfies’ I took on the day. Bwahahahahahahahaha! Go on, it was worth reading this entire blog just for that. Gold!
- My writing hero and writing inspiration His Bobness was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Never in doubt, with daylight second. Cheers Bobby!
- We survived this storm and when it was done the sky turned orange. I’m pretty sure it was a dress rehearsal for the End of the World.
- I continued to go on my fairly regular early morning or late afternoon walks but as you can see, when we hit summer down under in Oz, things really start to heat up. I’ll need to be careful. I wouldn’t want to lose TOO much weight.
- We went for a quick drive up to Mt Coot-tha lookout which is not that far from where we live. If you’re ever in Brisbane make sure you go there. You can get something to eat and drink at the Cafe or Restaurant and check out the wonderful views of ‘Brisvegas’.
- And finally, on a very sad note, Australia and world of picture books and children’s literature lost this most beautiful, talented and hilarious of ladies. Vale Narelle Oliver. Loved and missed by many.
Well that’s about it. A lot of other things must have happened that I’ve forgotten about (was there something about an election in America?) but I think it’s high time I put you all out of your misery and signed off.
I won’t insult your intelligence by yet again promising that from now on I intend to post much more regularly, but you know, deep down, I sort of secretly do.
HOWEVER, if because of circumstances probably within my control I don’t actually get around to doing another blog before the largish, jolly, bearded man calls (no, not me!) I just want to say this: Thanks so much to anyone who has taken the time to read any of my rambling blogs and from Ard and me and all the troops we wish you and yours a love and laughter-filled Christmas and a very ‘Hoopy’ New Year.