• SCBWI

    Meet The Publishers Day Kidlitvic2016

    This time last weekend I was returning from a fabulous day down in Melbourne at the very first Meet The Publishers Day organised by the highly wonderful, friendly and talented authors Alison Reynolds and Dee White. What to pack: layers – no one could figure out what the weather was going to do in Melbourne – after all it is the city known to have four seasons in one day. Thankfully the weather turned out to be quite warm which was great for the evening meal in one of the many wonderful restuaurants in Hardware Lane. At the airport: I bought an ipad cover for protection – but I never got…

  • Illustration

    April’s illustrations – 52 week challenge

    Have I said before that every week I think I am going to fail and not complete an illustration? Probably. Well, surprise, surprise I felt like that again this week. It’s not always down to the lack of time. Many times I wrack my brain for an idea for the week’s theme and feel completely stumped. But I can breath a sigh of relief as it seems I always manage something in the end regardless of the outcome. So here are April’s illustrations: Week 14: Camping Gelli printing, pastels, posca pens I hadn’t used pastels for years so it was good to get them out again. Week 15: Ocean Gelli printing,…

  • Poetry

    Poem: Kitten Kisses

    A year ago I took on two gorgeous kittens that had been rescued by my author friend Kylie. They have had quite an impact on me ad my writing. I was not a cat person but now I can feel myself slowly turning into the mad cat lady. I love their company. They are the perfect pet for a writer. They do not disturb me while I write and demand I take them for a walk, they barely need me apart from the basics of of being fed and watered (way less demanding than my children.) They were the inspiration for this poem when someone told me that when cats…

  • Illustration

    March’s illustrations – 52 week challenge

    March is over, Autumn has arrived and the school hols will soon be upon us. So today I am going to work like a trouper, writing blog posts, critiquing manuscripts and editing my own. Week 9: Watercolour (and coloured pencils) This isn’t a medium I am comfortable with. I don’t feel I can control it. But I did enjoy creating this illustrating after doing some research on Pinterest for watercolour picture book illustrations. Sometimes painting in a similar style to an established illustrator can help you learn a new process.   Week 10: Animal Coloured pencils A ‘Jersey crapaud’ – the nickname in Jersey french for toad, used for locals…

  • Poetry

    Sometimes I write nonsense poems

      Sometimes when I am beginning a new manuscript it feels best in rhyme. Sometimes is doesn’t. Sometimes what I think is a rhyming manuscript is actually a story in verse or simply a poem. Sometimes it is hard to decide. I am delighted that one of my nonsense poems is ‘Poem of the day,’ on the AUSTRALIAN CHILDREN’S POETRY BLOG. Here is the link to ‘Gordon’s having a growth spurt’: To read the rest of the poem click on the following link: http://australianchildrenspoetry.com.au/2016/03/22/poem-of-the-day-321/ PS: I pretend I am Pam Ayres and read it in her Berkshire (England) accent. You can hear her recite one of her own poems here: Oh.…

  • Manuscripts,  Middle grade novels

    What are your middle grade kids reading?

    I am almost at the end of another big edit for my middle grade novel that I am writing at 9-12 year olds . When submitting to editors or querying agents it is suggested that you have some comparable books in mind to your own story that you have written. So here are a couple of books I have read over the past year: Although the story themes are similar they are not the same. But they did help me understand about world building, setting the scene up and adding touches of historical content without making the story feel like a boring old history lesson. With comparables you need to…

  • Illustration

    #illo52weeks – February’s illustrations

    Week 5: 1920’s This illustration was based on a photo of my grandfather’s cousin Mabel Benest. Copic markers & fineliner Week 6: Printing I got a bit carried away this week with the Gelli plate, creating 3 different scenes. It is such a fun medium to work with and I never really now what the end result will look like. A lot of trial and error and pleasant surprises! Acrylic paint and gelli plate.     Of course, it was February so I had to do a Valentines version. Week 7: Kindergarten I did some casual teaching in a kindergarten class during this week and they were learning about ordinal numbers.…

  • Illustration

    #illo 52 weeks – January’s illustrations

    Wow. Another year over. Another year has begun. Each time I think I am going to give up, (and sometimes I do feel this way) I remind myself of how pleased I am when I look back over the year and see all the illustrations I managed to complete each week regardless of time limits, family commitments, etc. It is a very satisfying feeling. This months illustrations were quick due to having family staying for the month. Week 1: Fancy dress   Week 2: Outdoors I had a weekend away with the other half in Melbourne. While he was at a business meeting, I managed to complete this illustration with…

  • Uncategorized

    #illo52weeks – December’s illustrations

    Well, I can’t believe another year is done and I managed to complete 52 more illustrations for the 52 Week Illustration Challenge founded by Tania McCartney. Week 48: Warm   Week 49: History   Week 50: Party   Week 51: Family   Week 52: World   This year I have particularly enjoyed line drawing. Has a definite style emerged yet? I’m not sure, but others say they can recognise my work. I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of this ever growing community and have been determined each week to complete an illustration no matter how busy or chaotic life may be at the time. I have set myself an achievable goal.…

  • Illustration,  SCBWI

    #illo52weeks – November’s illustrations

    Wow! One month to go till the end of the year. How fast did that go? I nearly didn’t participate this year but I am so glad I persevered. Here are November’s illustrations: Week 44: Scandinavian Funnily enough my Christmas decorations have a Scandinavian theme this year.   Week 45: Peace Peace is much needed at the moment as the house is filled with builders all working hard on the second stage of our house renovations. Week 46: Endangered One of many animals that need to be protected.   Week 47: Play I love this time of year as it gives me lots of excuses to play at dress ups.…