Mental As…

February 28th, 2015

Not everyone is mental enough to finish illustrating and publish a picture book, run a 30 day Kickstarter campaign, begin a four year full time university course, tutor university level fine arts students every second week, coordinate a writers group, apply for an artist in residence position, maintain a property in the wet tropics, and raise a family, all while navigating a divorce.

I am.

Did you notice I didn’t say I was trying to do these things? I am, (surprisingly) actually achieving. Everything is OK.

Could you draw a breath somewhere in that very long, very exhausting, first sentence? NO? Good, I can’t, so neither should you. *Side note* About an hour ago I was sniffing new plastic while blowing up a pool toy, simultaneously spinning on my new office chair. The head spin I received reminded me of my daily routine.


My last post was about how life is like a ladder covered in treacle.

The things above, the things I am focused on at the moment, show my treacle covered ladder perfectly. Some are positive, while others, not so much. Occasionally some tasks have to give a little, like the vacuum gets a somewhat lonely at times, and yes, ‘burnt’ is a new way of cooking.

I must confess to spending WAY too much time visiting my Kickstarter project page to check on the progress. My desire to see the goal achieved within the allocated time frame outweighs my desire to do the laundry, or clean the bathroom, although I have discovered I can do all three things at the same time.

It would help me greatly if I didn’t feel it necessary to continuously visit my Kickstarter campaign. I would get so much more accomplished. For me to feel confident I can visit the site less, the project MUST reach the goal amount VERY soon.

In order for that to happen I need YOU to share word of my project and dig deep by choosing a reward for yourself. There are some great rewards, including having a portrait painted of your beloved pet.

Here is the link of the project for you to share.

Let me tell you a little about the project.

It is a picture book. About a little goat named Anzac, he was given this name because he came to live with a family one ANZAC Day. He wanted to be loved by the family and live in the house. He tried everything to win them over. Nothing worked. One day an unexpected visitor arrives and his life changes. The text of the story is about the goat but the illustrations give clues to how Australians and New Zealanders commemorate ANZAC Day. (More information on ANZAC Day)

I’m not very good at asking for help, I don’t like to do it… I am getting better at though.

Help … Please.

Treacle Covered Ladder

January 11th, 2015

I was thinking this morning, yes I know, I’m always thinking, though sometimes it isn’t obvious…

I was thinking that LIFE is like a ladder with treacle covered rungs. You know, one of those old fashioned timber ladders with dowel for rungs – the kind that hurt your feet. The kind used by decorators now.

Imagine this covered in treacle.

Imagine this covered in treacle.

Like a treacle covered ladder, life can be sweet. It can also be sticky, slippery, fraught with dangers, and difficult to get to the top.

My life is like that. I have two fantastic kids, great family, and wonderful friends. I live in a beautiful part of the world and have found success with my art. Sometimes though, things don’t go to plan, those rungs are slippery. Mother Nature has had a habit of knocking me down a couple of rungs, loss of babies, cyclone destroyed house etc. But the sun always shines and those times make the good times better. Sometimes, it is the people you trust most that let you down (several rungs, and not so gently). This past year has been one of those times, and try as I might, climbing back up that slippery ladder has been a feat in itself. Even my creative Muse ran off.


But I am doing it.

With the support of my family and friends – I didn’t realise I had so many.


This is a new beginning.

I have set challenges for myself.

University here I come (well, on-line).

I have found my Muse and am about to put her to work again.

I have picture books to finish, I have artwork calling me, I have writer groups to lead (can you see my flag flying yet?)

I have a tiara to wear.

I have a pencil and intend to use it.


And from now on, that treacle will be licked from my fingers!

(I have also invested in a harness) :-)




Are Your Words Worth $2000?

June 8th, 2014


Do you have a story to tell?

The State Library of Queensland runs an annual Young Writers Award competition which I thought you  might be interested in.

The short story competition is open to Queensland residents aged 18-25 with a cash prize of $2,000.


What a great opportunity.
You can find out more info at

Quick it closes soon… GET WRITING… hurry up (If you win I could do with a loan… or a box of chocolates)

Tell your friends, Facebook it, Tweet it or actually sit down over a burger and talk about it  😉


Catch you soon


12 Sleeps to go

March 19th, 2014


How many bears does it take to change a light bulb?


Yes 10. That is how many bears I have made to give away for the launch of my new picture book The Bear Said Please published by Wombat Books.

Release date April 1st 2014

thebearsaidpleasenewcover1 copy

To win your very own bear visit the shop on this website and pre-order your book before March 31st.

Good Luck!

(The bears to be won are the bigger bear in the image – the little one is my prototype)

Start the Year Off Write

January 6th, 2014



Wow, it is 2014 already. Was your 2013 successful? Mine was.

As you know I participated in the 12 x 12 picture book challenge [I signed up for this year as well]. I managed to write my 12 picture books in the 12 months, I submitted each opportunity that arose [that is something I hadn’t really done much of] You know…. although doing those things were great and much needed the most wonderful thing I found with being part of 12 x 12 was the community. I made so many friends, and I don’t use the word friend lightly either. Because most of them are in the Americas or Europe and airfares from the Land of Oz can be both expensive and exhausting I realize I may never get to actually meet them and that makes me feel like I could be on the Moon…  they managed to make me feel as though I lived next door and we had been friends for a very long time.

Now…. to Starting the Year Off Write… Shannon Abercrombie has come up with a wonderful idea. 21 days of writing exercises. This is for Picture Book writers, writers of books for older children and writers of YA… so you’re covered. I registered to receive the blog and the private Facebook group and guess what I found… friends, lots of familiar faces welcoming me to the happy place of encouraging each other to write and write well. 😉

There will be prizes, It is easy. You are not accountable to anyone but yourself. 

Follow the link above or visit 

May the Force [and my friends] be with you.



2014 Welcomes Us

January 3rd, 2014


It’s three days into a new year and I am yet to make a resolution… is it too late? I had a few ideas but I kept procrastinating and missed the Midnight deadline – can I have an extension?

Two of my writing buddies have written posts about procrastination, Yvonne Mes  has the positive approach and Sylvia Liu  tells us the traps… they are both, as usual spot on AND entertaining. Also while you are supposed to be working on your next masterpiece reading these posts will assist you in your procrastination thinking.

As far as resolutions go, the ones I made last year were great. they were very do-able and kept me on track with my work. I managed to continue with my reading promise and I managed to write my 12 picture book drafts in 12 months, joining the 12 x 12 community had other benefits too, I submitted nearly a dozen manuscripts… submitting is something I normally fail miserably at.


I must confess, I disagree with one of Yvonne’s ‘non-productive’ procrastinations – vacuuming.  When I vacuum, because I dislike it so much, I swear constantly talk to myself. It is during these sucky conversations I have come up with some of my most awesome favorite story ideas.


So, no new resolutions for 2014, I guess I like the ones I made last year and they are certainly re-do-able, I might just kick off with those.


Happy New Year and happy procrastinating.




November 26th, 2013


As an artist I visit many exhibitions and often am left wondering ‘Why? Why did I just subject myself to that?’

I know that good art is meant to make the viewer think and feel, but so many contempory exhibitions leave the viewer either shocked or depressed. I could be wrong but it seems to be fashionable to paint your deepest darkest feelings onto canvas and share that with the world. It is one thing to express thoughts on world problems but another to subject people to personal angst.

Don’t get me wrong… I am a believer in sharing, but why, if the artist is miserable should the rest of the world feel bad too.

If you walk down the street and someone smiles at you, you cannot help but smile back no matter how you are feeling at the time.

I want my artwork to be that smile.


I still want the viewer to think and feel, but I want those thoughts and feelings to be a pleasant experience, most importantly I want the viewer to discover and explore. I want to help make the viewer feel better about life.

As a person I too have experienced some horrific things. I had been told to use my art and writing to expel that hurt, fear and anger. If I had done that, the world would be a darker place.

I prefer to smile at strangers – I hope you enjoy my smiles.

 A Great Day for flying copy3

Following is the didactic panel from my recent exhibition at the Perc tucker Gallery in Townsville.

For the Love of (Im) Possibilities

 Daring to Defy Urban Experience.

The urban landscape so familiar to us all is also something individual and different for each of us. This exhibition is an exciting and somewhat romantic environment that engages the senses. An environment which the audience members can get lost and hear their own music.  As individuals we bring our own experience and narrative thus giving each artwork an original and extremely personal story.

The semi abstract depiction and manipulation of the landscape encourages you to look more closely into the layering where you could discover hidden elements and finally find that special element that makes the work a unique experience for you. One person may believe the particular landscape to be an outback Queensland town while another sees it as Sydney or New York.

The colour and movement that has escaped my bush threatens to escape from the confines of the canvas it is my expression and adds to the texture and rich narrative woven throughout each piece.

 Whatever copy2

The exhibition was a screaming success, about 60 people came to the opening morning. Four pieces sold at the opening, and a birthday party of little girls came along and made my day.

The exhibition will now travel to Tasmania and has been invited to travel later in the new year to the UK.


BIG smiles.



SkADaMo Day Three

November 4th, 2013

A quickey for day three…

skad day 3 copy

SkADaMo Days One and Two

November 3rd, 2013

DAY ONE – I am very worn out and I think my sketch kind of shows this…

 skad day 1 copysml

 DAY TWO  –  A little frustrated with all of the extra noise around the house this weekend, I am also very tired keeping up with my son’s shift work. See I can hardly wax lyrical…

skad day 2copy

SkADaMo is similar to PiBoidMo and NanoWriMo. The month of November is overflowing with challenges for the creative mind.

SkADaMo is Sketch A Day Month and as the mane suggests I will be doing a two minute sketch… or trying to every day this month.


Too Much?

October 28th, 2013



This blog is called Jacque’s Mind Wanderings, I think it should be called The Ramblings of an Idiot sometimes.

Let me show you.

This morning I got the boys off to work and school, did my quota of writing and then at 7am decided to go back to bed for an hour or two, I was exhausted. In that 2 hour period I had at least 5 different dreams. By the way, my friend Stasia makes incredible licorice when she stays in resorts – I think this one was on the moon??? Isn’t it strange that in our dreams we often visit the same landscape or buildings, I can’t tell you how many times I have been on a particular escalator in a particular shopping centre. The escalator is so long, it goes on and on, and the entire dream is often played out on it. Often when I am on the escalator it is with someone new, if it isn’t, I ask the person with me ‘ Do you remember what happened last time we were here?’ and they never do… maybe because it is my dream?

So any way after I had my 5 dreams and the cat laying all over me I thought I had better get busy and go to the art studio to finish my artworks for next week’s exhibition… four hours later and I’m still not there. I have however created labels for the exhibition, name, title, medium,, size and pricing with the 30% commission, and I have now sent off it to the gallery. This morning I have also submitted a picture book manuscript to an agent in New York, tidied a pile of papers at the side of my desk and come up with 5 new picture book ideas. I have visited friends on Facebook and solved the problems of the world. But I SHOULD be painting. Even as I sit here and write this to you I am procrastinating aren’t I? Now that I have shared that with you I can stop talking to myself and go paint, thanks for listening.

I’m going now, could you tell I’ve had three coffees in four hours – NO?

P.S. Here is the invite to my exhibition…



Jacque XX