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Oh my gosh, this morning over breakfast the news broke… I had hoped it was wrong. It wasn’t, the Moonwalker Michael Jackson is dead. I found that hard to write, Michael Jackson dead. Right now my husband, kids and I are watching Max TV, a michael Jackson concert in Bucharest. What an incredibly talented man, he had more talent in his pinkie than most of the worlds performers put together – he will be sadly missed.
You know I was on Facebook earlier and someone had posted stuff about the world not missing a paedophile, well i’m sorry but I just don’t believe that he did what was claimed. AND if you’re a parent of a young child, think about it… would you send your child to stay at a house of someone who you can’t possibly know personally, someone who is obviously different from most other people on the planet without you being there too?
I am sooo excited, tonight a public meeting (called by yours truly and friend) was held in our local library. It sounds totally dorky to be excited about a meeting in a library… but wait. The meeting was to gauge community commitment to acquiring a new bigger library, still a little dorky. In March 2006 Cyclone Larry tore through our town (Innisfail, North Queensland, Australia) and surrounding areas and decimated the place. The rescued books were housed in a temporary (no longer than 3 years) leak proof incredibly small building while we as a community got back on our feet. The old library building was sold for demolition, that money and the insurance payout… well the council in their wisdom used it else where – the old building was never demolished and is currently being leased to the council. GO FIGURE.
Now 3.5 years later our council have announced there will be no new library for more than 10 years. NOT GOOD ENOUGH. I think we can in a positive way help the council see sense and put the library back on their agenda, we can also help by finding funding avenues.
I was getting quite nervous about the meeting, I thought I was about to make a dick of myself. Well… I was very pleased to find there was more than myself and friend attending the meeting. It was packed – overflowing the meeting room. There was even an official from State Parliament there taking notes and coming up with ideas for us to follow up on. The council had representitives there and they were very positive too, obviously they weren’t the councilors I upset with my recent letters to the Editor.
Hopefully my fertile imagination can come in handy when it comes to finding REAL library solutions.
I would like to say ‘Thanks’ to those members of the community who came to the meeting, gave support and offered to be part of the ongoing team.Filed under Uncategorized | Comments (10)
I know I left you hanging…. sorry about that. My excuse is a really terrible head cold – no I didn’t have crackling in my ears or rashers on my body and when I went to the doctor he did not prescribe oinkment. No Swine Flu for me. As anyone who has suffered a rotten head cold knows your brain turns to mush and you’re no good to anyone, hence no posts on the blog.
If you didn’t read my last blog I will quickly fill you in…
* ‘people watching’ in airport lounge – not as sad as it sounds…
* stranger than normal crowd
* non-descript people – professional waiters – perhaps ASIO
* pidgion chested backpacker suddenly no longer pidgion chested after visit to mens toilet
* police – lots of them – enter lounge
Back to the airport lounge… the now NOT pidgeon chested backpacker type was gone, had he left something in the mens room? I thought he must and was debating whether to take my fathers advice and sit tight or tell the police filling the lounge, how discreet or fast should I be?… or did they know about this already and would I be spoiling some ‘sting’?
As all these questions and more were whirling around in my mind the monitor declared the plane had landed. My attention was taken by the non-descript people jumping up and brandishing enormous cameras – photographers – they all moved immediately to positions surrounding the customs door the passangers would eventually flow through. Each time the door opened cameras flew up and fell almost as quickly when it turned out not to be their prey… who was their prey anyway? Naturally I discreetly moved to a chair with a much better view – Mens room drop off pushed to the back of my mind.
With the amount of police, security and photographers I was kind of expecting Elvis to re-appear.
One of the first passengers through was a very young man – a school boy – instead of family rushing to greet him he remained alone and sat in the chair in front of me… strange. Quite a few more passengers exited with their families – none of these passengers have their photograph taken. Eventually the pilot came out and the young man left with him – his dad.
The photographers were very busy not taking photos, their reaction time is pretty awesome – to the millisecond. I was getting tired just watching them and trying to keep up with who was coming through the magic doorway. Eventually the time came – the police must have been alerted from the other side of the doorway, they moved in…
The person of interest turned out to be no-one I recognised, although, I did recognise WHAT he was. He was definitely a criminal. The give away wasn’t the spitting – rock stars do that – it was his ‘bling’, handcuffs and ancle bracelets.
Now that just brings me back to the mens toilet, if anything, what did the pretend pidgeon chested guy leave in there?Filed under Uncategorized | Comment (1)
Jury service, as important as it is, can be incredibly frustrating and difficult. Two days of deliberation because ONE man disagreed with the other eleven. Possibly he really didn’t disagree at all, I am quite sure (others were too) he was just enjoying being centre of attention. For at least one and a half days he sat in his corner, flexing his fingers together, preening himself smuggly, telling us the case would just be a mistrial and we could all go home. Luckily after many notes to the judge to let him know we could not be unanimous, he (Judge) called us back into the courtroom took the verdict for six charges eleven to one – he could only do that because the charges were so serious. Thank goodness! (not that the charges were so serious, thank goodness there was no mistrial). I also owe the Bailiff some gar fish (bait for his fishing) the lovely man kept up my supply of Diet Coke whilst we were locked up – I don’t drink tea or coffee, it’s for grown ups, that’s what my parents always told me anyway – and of course I’ve always done what I’ve been told.
Enough, enough!!! Jury service is over for another year or so… I will have to go back to hanging out in airport lounges again to get in some more people watching for my charactors. OH, last time I was waiting in the Cairns International Lounge the most weird series of events took place. I even phoned my dad to ask advice – should I alert security or call 000 – Dad told me to sit tight and stay out of trouble. I’m not sure what I really should have done, but I did as I was told.
It’s my people watching skills that could have gotten me into trouble. While sitting in the lounge and people watching (taking copious amounts of notes is important – always have a notebook on hand) I noticed the crowd were not your normal plane greeting type. (There is a type) I mean, I know the plane was coming from New Zealand, but really these people were an out of the ordinary mix. Any way while watching, I noticed a couple of non-discript people dotted in amongst the crowd – professional waiters I thought and not the drink carrying kind, they blended right in – my fertile imigination had them pegged as spies or ASIO. Then I noticed each had a large bag… It was about this time a tall pidgion chested Aussie Backpacker looking guy minus the large backpack walked through the lounge from an out of the way door, he went to the gents – big deal. It was when he came out I decided things may get interesting. He was no longer pidgion chested, he was still dressed in clothes for a tropic winter – it was summer – but suddenly he walked differently. He left the lounge in the opposite direction from where he entered, towards the service entrance, very strange. All the time spent looking at him I hadn’t noticed the lounge fill with police… As soon as the monitor declared the plane landed ALL of the non-descript people jumped up and out of bags appeared some of the biggest cameras I’ve ever seen….
To hear what happened next you will have to wait for my next installment. Oh I’m nasty.
This morning on the Brekky Show a case of plagiarism was brought up – JK Rowling and Bloomsbury may be in a spot of bother. It seems the family of deceased man who wrote a book titled ‘Willy the Wizard’ claims JK stole the story. Not being able to keep my nose out of it I Googled and found the ‘Willy the wizard’ home page and read quite a few of the excerpts of this 36 page book. W..e..l..l… I’m not too sure how it works but I think JK should be safe. Sure there are one or two similarities… but on a whole I think most of those occurrences could come straight from life anyway. We have trains to take kids to school, we have all been kids, we have prisons for BAD people, we have exclusive shools for a particular type of child, we have boarding schools… I also think as far as things out of the orinary that are similar such as one eyed people they too are somewhat commonplace amongst other stories over time.
Not trying to be mean but the excerpts allow you to see the quality of the writing as well… need I say more?
Have a look and see what you think, I would love to hear your feedback.
JacqueFiled under Uncategorized | Comments (8)
A day in the court room is an authors dream day, if you can get past the harsh fluro lights, long boring speeches by barristers who like their own voices etc. Also for it to be an authors dream day you need to be able to listen carefully to all evidence – retain that information for deliberation – be able to watch people and their idiosyncrasies and store that information (you can’t take notes home) and stay awake.
My eyes were slamming shut this afternoon during the closing statements – two hours worth, then the Judge gave his … whatever it’s called… and that took an hour, I’m just lucky I hadn’t drunk too much water beforehand, it could have been embarrasing. We were allowed to come home tonight (late), we have begun deliberations but can’t all agree on several things. We have to go back tomorrow and start again – or continue. It’s funny, there are twelve people and just like last time I did jury service there is one person who just wants to go home, one who just wants to send someone to gaol, they finally have power… There is one who thinks gaol is the thing because this jurior TRULY believes the defendant to be guilty. Another who TRULY believes the whole lot of evidence to be concocted and the rest. We could be there for a while.
As I obviously haven’t been writing or doing arty stuff today I believe this is all I have to blog about so good night, sleep tight, when I wakeup I am a sight.Filed under Uncategorized | Comments (4)
Woo Hoo! Here I am sitting in front of my computer, fingers ready, clean screen and ready to go.
Today I sat in a court room – actually out the back in the juriors room waiting, waiting, w…a…i…t…i…n…g…. Twelve strangers locked in a tiny room for hours. I’m a chatty person but the others not so much, and who wants to be that one person that everyone else wants to shutup – not me (not this time anyway). By late in the afternoon most were getting a little peeved at having wasted their day. I, on the other hand made the most of the pencils and pile of note pads in the middle of the table. The Bailiff will be so entertained after this case is finished, he collects all notes and destroys them- all of my pages today were sketches of other juriors, drawings of my hands and jewellery, doodles of nothing and several noughts and crosses games I played against myself – AND guess what… I won every single game. AWESOME
I have completed five artworks for my new book, sixteen to go, I also have the fifth re-write and the edit to do and days are dwindling till the launch date. OOh I hope this court case doesn’t take too much time.
I had a phone call from author Sandy Curtis this evening, we chatted about so much of nothing we ran out of time for her to tell me why she phoned in the first place – she is calling back tomorrow, I will fill you in then O.K.
Sorry guys, I wrote that yesterday… NOW I am really back at the computer. My excuse is – I got home so late last night and after feeding the family yada, yada, yada.
The court case looks as though it may drag on. I am learning quite a lot about human behaviour (I AM concentrating on the case) watching people and their individual ways, listening to them speak, their mannerisms and twitches when they get caught out lying or how they justify bad behaviour… it’s all so interesting. Great for my writing, I just need to store all this information away in my memory – your not allowed to take notes – and definately not allowed to remove them from the court house.
I have spoken to Sandy Curtis again tonight, WriteFest was a month ago. Hard to believe. Sandy is such a thoughtful lady, she is sending me a pile of information for the Bundaberg Arts Festival. There is an art competition and a writing competition – hopefully I will have something ready to send down – and HOPEFULLY I might take out a prize…
Wishful thinking.Filed under Uncategorized | Comment (0)
This week and next I am on call for jury service, each evening after 6pm I telephone an answer machine to hear if I am required or not. So far this week it has been NOT. I don’t mind jury service, although you see and hear some awful things, jury service is very important. Both the victim and the accused need to have open minded, level headed people to listen carefully and then make a life altering decision. Does this mean I am level headed – how interesting…
Any how, enough of that. Because I have a clean slate (my diary’s not really made of slate) and haven’t been called up for service I have been able to work on my ‘to do list’. Firstly I have given myself 4 weeks to start (suck it out of my brain), work on and finish a new book in the ‘That’s not a…’ series. This one is aimed at little boys. ‘That’s not a bulldozer!’ a book full of big machines and what they are used for. The book will be ready for the Innisfail Show in July.
Yesterday and today has been spent rendering artwork, I think I must have ADHD or something as I just can’t sit still and do tight artwork for long periods any more. But I shall soldier on… and do the best I can do. Maybe I should put some good music on and every ten minutes or so jump up and do some groovy dancing to exercise the mind and body. I’ll give that a go… I have made the call and tomorrow is a NOT day.
In my ‘between rendering’ times today I have been working on the Innisfail Biennial Art Exhibition – something which has rarely been out of my mind for months and months. Lucky for me this year I have some helpers (my sister Jenni mostly) and although I am not good at delegating – I think I am a control freak – I have found it a relief when things have gone smoothly because someone else (Jenni) has sent out extra letters or made some calls, or helped me write a grant application.
So far the biennial is looking good with prize money – I was worried because of the ‘economic climate’, some sponsors have withdrawn, others have halved their donations – but suprisingly some new ones have stepped up and taken up the slack. The Innisfail Exhibition should still be known as the richest non aquisitive art competition in North Queensland.
I must stop blogging now and get back to rendering… see ya.Filed under Uncategorized | Comment (0)
My last blog told you about my body having had it’s quota of exercise (for the next 30 years) now it’s time to tell you about the exercise my mind found in Bundaberg.
‘WriteFest’ – proudly presented by the Bundy Writers. Novelist, Sandy Curtis and her team of willing workers should be very proud of themselves. This is the second year I have attended… for me it’s a twenty hour trip either way… so it has to be a worthwhile event for the challenge presented by travelling there. 2oo9 saw a great line-up of presenters, and at $55 for a full day of workshops, morning and afternoon tea and lunch provided, it’s the best value a writer can find anywhere.
An intensive and individual Advanced Editing Masterclass with Sue Abbey was limited to ten participants, but all other workshops were open. This year’s workshop presenters were New York Times best-selling author Stephanie Laurens (historical romance), quirky crime writer Kirsty Brooks, children’s author Mark Svendsen, and dramaturg Peter Matheson.
Kate Eltham, CEO of the Queensland Writers Centre, senior agent Sophie Hamley of the Cameron Creswell Agency, and UQP children’s publisher Kristina Schulz were also attending and holding pre-arranged interviews.
On the Saturday I attended workshops with Kirsty Brooks and Stephanie Laurens, both ladies were encouraging, enjoyable and very knowledgable presenters, having the opportunity to come to WriteFest and further writing skills and industry knowledge is worth so much more than the price paid. Before the delicious lunch – and I don’t say that lightly – I had an appointment with Kristina Schultz, I didn’t have anything to present as a proposal to her but we spoke about my already published work (which she already had in her posession) the interview went EXTREMELY well and I do believe Ihave made a great contact and possibly a new friend.
Sunday’s event was at the beautiful Bundaberg library – a free event. The authors from Saturday appeared and held book talks and signings, they were joined by new author on the block Jason Nahrung presenting his book ‘The Darkness Within’ and children’s author and illustrator Kim Michelle Toft. Kim demonstrated with a gorgeous silk painting showing everyone in the audience her process of illustrating, she was a hit.
I can’t recomend WriteFest enough, I can’t wait for next year. To find out more go to their website www.bundywriters.com it gives full details of the workshops and the masterclass from this year, book mark the site, subscribe to newsletters, it all helps for happy and successful writing.
JacqueFiled under Uncategorized | Comments (13)
My husband and sons delivered me to Bundaberg on Friday the 15th May. I was there to attend ‘WriteFest’, two days of networking, workshopping and socialising (something I am pretty good at). Friday afternoon and evening was spent with Rebecca Berrett – illustrator and friend – or so I thought… Let me set the scene… When I first met Rebecca she was my tutor at McGregor Summer School, on our spare day we went drawing in Rebecca’s favorite spot – I felt quite honoured she took me along. WELL, a thunder storm found us half way down a ravine at the top of a waterfall, we ran ALL THE WAY UP the mountain to her waiting car. Naturally I blame her for this freak event of nature (in a way any friend would).
On learning I would be in Bundaberg a day early for WriteFest Rebecca invited me to visit – with my sandshoes, so we could have more fun than drawing and running up mountains in the pooring rain – I should have realised then something was amiss.
Rebecca is now into road racing – on a bicycle – and guess what, she has a spare bike and helmet. Now I will tell you the same as I told R, I haven’t ridden a bicycle for nearly 30 years – and certainly not a racer – EVER. My begging to stay behind and read a book fell on deaf ears and as I advocate ‘stepping outside your comfort zone’ I gave up and went along – really – how much blood can one lose when riding a bike? Hummmm?
You will be pleased to learn… I shed NO blood. I did however nearly get run over in the middle of an intersection – on the highway – my apologies to those Bundaberg drivers who had to give way to me, the wobbly bicycle rider. AND you should also be pleased to know, I rode that bicycle without too much drama all the way back to R’s house. I rode for more than 16 kilometers – up hills and everything…
So now that my body had been exercised – way more than it had in nearly 30 years (I paid for it that night) It was time to exercise my mind.
Off to WriteFest… in my next blog.Filed under Uncategorized | Comment (0)