Sunday, August 28, 2011

Word Play - Brisbane Writers Festival

So excited to be part of Word Play at Brisbane Writers Festival. I will be joining many fab children's authors including Wendy Orr, Susanne Gervay and James Roy.

I will be doing two writing workshops, two general sessions and for the first time ever an online session - that's a little scary.

I also have the luxury of having a whole session devoted to the writing of Get a Grip Cooper Jones. Can't wait. Hope to see some of you up there.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Book Week facts and figures

Well, Book Week is over yet again and I must say I had an awesome week.

The kids at every school I visited were fantastic: warm, friendly, welcoming, excited, funny, interested, motivated - awesome. And the school / council librarians were fantastic too, going out of their way to make my day - and most importantly, the kids' day - the best it possibly could be, and to enthuse all about books and reading and writing. What an important job they do!

Here is the week in a nutshell.
Number of kilometres driven: 759 kms
Number of schools involved: 8 (including 4 who visited Marrickville Library)
Number of sessions: 16
Number of children I spoke to: 960+
Number of times I dressed up as a firefighter: 9
Number of times I told my "Antarctic" story: 8
Questions that I had never been asked before:

Did you tell lies when you were a child?
A: Very rarely. Perhaps that's why I like telling stories now - it gives me the opportunity to "stretch the truth".

How many books have you written that haven't been published?
A: Not counting the numerous unfinished manuscripts gathering dust in my bottom drawer, probably about six.

When you walk down the street do people run after you screaming and wanting your autograph?
A: No.

Favourite display: The giant cactus and spiders at Narraweena.
Number of words added to my work in progress: 0 (Not surprisingly!)

Feeling a bit weary, but there is no time to rest.
Next week is Literacy Week, and the week after that I fly up to Brisbane for the Ipswich Literature Festival, Brisbane Writers' Festival and the CYA conference.

More fun ahead!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Flexing the writing muscle

I have this quote on the wall above my desk. It's from Jodi Picoult. I can't remember where I got it from.

"Write until it’s a muscle you can flex on command."

This says so much, don't you think? And it is really good advice, and something I have been working on of late. 

And you know what? I think it's working. This year, almost every day, no matter what, I have spent some time working on my current work in progress. It has required a lot of discipline and I have had to be creative and tenacious in making writing part of my daily routine, but as a result, my "writing muscle" is getting stronger and more obedient and I am so much closer to the whole "flex on command" thing. 

Making writing a habit is well worth the effort, me thinks.