It seems as though with the alignment of the planets other things are falling into place.
My artwork has become quite popular as have my books. I am also feeling inspired and suitably armed with new skills to attack the novel I had been working on but had set aside for no apparent reason other that being incredibly busy. And we all know that is just sheer procrastination. I am feeling suitably armed thanks to a friend of mine and a suggested spot of travel. Huh? You may think… well let me enlighten you.
Last Thursday my youngest son and I boarded a train and headed south, (22hrs) to Bundaberg. The seventh WriteFest was on and we were attending. My good friend Sandy Curtis (organizer of WriteFest) had told me about the never to be missed line up of presenters she had secured. One of which was Leanne Taylor from Quantum college. Leanne would be presenting a ‘writing for games’ seminar, perfect for my son of whom had never expressed the desire to attend anything as dull as a group of people all talking about books and stuff. ** He now claims to be attending every WriteFest from now on. ** He also has told me he is going to attend Quantum college when he is old enough.
I attended two workshops with Anne Gracie. Anne is an author of Historical Romance novels and as I am not necessarily a romance reader – I like to read every genre – I had not read any of hers before. Sandy informed me that her workshops would be just what the doctor ordered and she was right. Pennies kept dropping and hitting me on the head as I listened to Anne and took copious notes. She presented her workshop so simply and eloquently they seemed almost a chat with a friend (I think I am now stalking her). Also I have started to read her books and must acknowledge her writing is amazing, it wouldn’t matter what genre she wrote, she rocks. I didn’t get to see much of the other presenters on the weekend but I believe they had their respective audiences mesmerized.
Ray Floro is a martial arts and hand to hand combat expert and trains people all over the world in ways of self defense and anti terrorism tactics. He showed his audience how to kill people with a pillow case, newspaper, credit card, coin, oh and of course knives and strangle holds and such. The writers in the groups got fantastic information for writing combat; from the how to … to the how does it feel.
Dr Leah Giarratano is a clinical psychologist and author of several popular novels (NOT suitable for young people). I attended her evening talk and shared a car with her over the weekend. I am really excited to hear she has a series of young adult books out early next year. She is a lovely young lady and heaps of fun… actually all of the presenters were. Her seminars were full and the writers in the audience delved into the minds of various psychopaths. Aimee Lindorff from QLD Writers was there as was Kate Ballard editor from Hachette Australia they were interviewing and discussing publishing then there was the master class with Editor Deonnie Fiford.
Phew, it was exhausting. I can’t wait till next weekend now to attend the Romance Writers Road-show, I’m hooked.Filed under Uncategorized | Comment (0)
A Weekend Away
Any minute now I am going to start packing my suitcase. It has sat looking at me for three days… willing me to come closer, willing me to open it and fill it with beautiful things. The suitcase, dejected for so long, has begun to slump. It has watched me scan my clothes rack several times each day, unable to choose which outfits would be perfect for the weekend away.
The weekend, hmmm. Whatever I wear will say something about me to the people I meet. Do I want to be the ‘Artist’ in my colourful and flamboyant favorites or do I want to be the mature and well dressed mother with my son trailing. It will be cold, (we are headed to South East Queensland) that dramatically reduces my choices. As I live in the tropics my wardrobe is … how should I put it… summery.
I confess there is one thing in my suitcase already, my son’s scooter, just in case there is a skate park in the neighborhood. My clothes will have to fit around it.
The weekend away is ‘WriteFest’ in Bundaberg, something I have been looking forward to for several months. It’s a writers festival and I have attended several over the years. It is a very well organized weekend of seminars. The contributing novelists, screenwriters, playwrights and poets are always the best Australia has to offer. It is a weekend of learning and socializing. My son is attending for the first time this year, he is 13, and the seminars he will sit in on are all about writing for games – Nintendo, Playstation right up a 13 year old boys alley…. And you know what, it really doesn’t matter what I wear as long as it is warm.
Better go and look at my clothes again, my son has just informed me he is packed.Filed under Uncategorized | Comment (0)
Well I’ve had a few days rest, (not quite rest; that’s a bit of a stretch, I’ve been busy with rearranging my house post TC Yasi). This ‘rest’ comes after working extremely hard on my art and was well deserved. How often does an artist get blisters from their paintbrushes? I think even though painting, drawing, writing, things I love are mostly considered relaxing pastimes things change when you are creating within a specific style/genre for somebody in particular, coming up with new things – keeping it fresh, doing the best you can, as quickly as you can.
Spontaneity plays a big part in my artwork, and my writing for that matter. And I find it is very difficult to be spontaneous when production for deadlines is a major factor. I guess anyone would. The art pieces I worked so hard on arrive in Sydney today and I must confess I am a little nervous as to the response they will receive. I shouldn’t be, they are the best I could do.
Now in my studio there are six more blank canvases of various sizes to begin work on. I also have an overwhelming desire to work on the picture books I have kept pushing aside. I can’t decide on which picture book to begin on, not that I am beginning… they are all at various stages of completeness. I also can’t decide weather I want to get them all to ‘dummy’ stage, or, work on each one till it reaches the print ready point. Dummy stage allows me to send each book out to prospective publishing houses, this process can take months for replies, negative or positive, and years till eventual publication… and I really have to send one book at a time. Or… if they are print ready I can self publish them and do my own marketing which is a lot of hard work but very rewarding, AND they could be ready for Christmas.
Every writer/illustrator’s goal is a publishing house, this would be ideal, although I like to ‘giveaway’ lots of books and publishing houses have tight reigns on how many books the authors get their hands on…. Dilemmas… maybe getting the books to ‘dummy’ stage and seeing how I feel then is a good start anyway.Filed under Uncategorized | Comment (0)
Boat People. This is a touchy subject that many Australian people feel pretty strongly about. Most people’s opinions seem to be unchangeable, either for or against. But to have such a definite view on such a complex topic is (to me) perhaps not the best way to handle it. Let me explain.
Yes I agree that we as a country need to stem the amount of ‘illegal’ immigrants into Australia. But there really are reasons for and against that should be taken into consideration.
• Most of these people are desperate
• If they stayed in the country of origin most would die
• They bring with them a wealth of culture, heritage, knowledge and skills
• They arrive peacefully, not in aggression.
• They bring cultural problems
• Most (the most vocal ones anyway) do not wish to adopt the Australian way of life
• The money these people have paid goes into the pocket of a criminal
• The cost to the Australian public outweighs the living costs of some our own people
• Some of these people seem very ungrateful to the Australian Government (and tax payer) for housing them till they have been processed.
Australians as a rule are not racist – although sadly I do know a few too many who are. Our country is made up of a mish mash of nationalities. Listen to the words of the song ‘We Are One – We Are Many’; it should be our national anthem. Two days ago I attended a book launch, after the ‘Welcome to Country’ by Pastor John a local elder, a guitarist played that song and you know by the second chorus everyone was singing along – people love it – because it rings true.
And really has anyone given any thought to the last lot of boat people who arrived on these shores? Great square rigged white sails were spotted and the locals ran to alert the powers that be only to be met by hostility, gun fire and slavery. This new fleet is nothing like the First. I don’t think such enormous changes will befall the Australian people, yes with these new boat people things will change but not as radically – how can it, the first fleet nearly wiped out the then existing entire Australian population.
Something needs to be done about the amount of desperate boat people; maybe the Federal Government’s new policy of processing in Papua New Guinea mentioned in the news yesterday will help in some way.
Or perhaps the change should happen where they begin their journey not necessarily at the destination.Filed under Uncategorized | Comment (0)
Forgive Me… I Have
As I sit at my computer typing these words I feel as though I have just entered a confessional booth. I feel guilty because I haven’t blogged for over a week now, in fact two weeks. I shouldn’t feel bad about it because I haven’t been exactly sitting idol. I have been as busy as a flea infested mongrel dog that finds himself locked inside a butcher’s store.
In the past two weeks I have managed to write four book reviews for BuzzWords magazine (read the books first), paint five large canvases and continued being a mother. My poor brain has I think melted and my shoulders feel as though tiny knives are embedded inside them. Today is my day of rest and all I have managed to do is cook breakfast, deliver one son to work, take another to the skate park for a hour or so, do a load of washing and sit and read. Maybe later when the sun is a bit lower I will go and look at the weeds in my gardens – they are as tall as me… one of the typical things about living in the wet tropics.
Four of the five art pieces are to go to Sydney’s Wentworth Gallery (EEEEEeee), one to the Tanks Artist of the North exhibition in Cairns. I am so excited about my art heading to Sydney, a little scared too. Part of me is frightened that the paintings will be a huge hit and I won’t be able to keep up the pace – painting five this past fortnight, keeping them vibrant and varied was a challenge I don’t think I would like to face all the time. I have planned ahead and purchased a couple of fresh canvases so I can slowly build up a stock pile just in case… but then you never know, maybe no-one will like them and my stock pile might end up becoming a ‘fire-sale’.
Actually I should think about the exhibition I have planned for the Townville Regional Gallery (Perce Tucker), a stock pile is exactly what I need. Hey, my melted brain feels supremely better, I’m inspired… the juices are flowing….Forget the garden and those little weeds, it’s back into the studio for me.Filed under Uncategorized | Comment (1)