Yesterday, Mark Wilson, talented Melbourne author and illustrator (and musician and conservationist ... ) travelled the breadth of Melbourne to launch my new picture book. He talked about writing war for children and included some amazing diary entries and photos.
A young audience member read his copy of 'Meet the Anzacs' as I did, making sure I didn't miss anything.
He didn't take me to task, so I'm taking that to mean that I got it right.
My husband 'turned pages' digitally as I turned the paper pages. As I was writing this spread, I was visualising Melbourne Town Hall, but the illustrator, painter Max Berry, is a Sydneysider and he's drawn Sydney Town Hall. It's beautiful, as are all the images, but in my head, the men are still lining up in Swanston St!
I thanked the library staff directly, even though they were downstairs, but I'm sure my words floated down through the windows ...
Mark is holding an extract from a WWI diary ... amazing document
I had hard tack biscuits (tasted by some hardy souls!), Anzac biscuits, cake, tinned corned beef and more. There were army boots that my son's gf threatened to steal ... amazing construction, completely leather lined and a leather stacked heel. I can't blame her.
I am so grateful to friends and family, teachers and librarians who travelled to share yesterday with me. I love the opportunity to show them what I've been doing ... that it's not all faffing about and gazing into middle distance.
Today I was in the city prerecording a radio interview for RN Drive with Jonathan Green and John Schumann (author and singer of 'I Was Only Nineteen' illustrated by Craig Smith). Listen out for that on 621 next Wednesday or Thursday evening.
Recently I was asked to contribute answers to some questions about writing for another blog. Not much very unusual about that. What was unusual was that the request was that these answers be hand-written.
I have one friend who lives interstate and we do have a hand-written correspondence, in addition to our email and sometimes text ones. We also use the phone. But that's about the only occasion that I write more than short paragraphs by hand.
I do freewrite sometimes but there's no audience for that except me, and given the grammar and spelling of those exercises it's probably just as well.
Practice makes perfect, so it's said. And it's true that practice made my handwriting more legible. But lack of practice and the lack of an audience and therefore the need to be understood by anyone but me have meant my handwriting is somewhat less than it was.
But it was a lovely organic thing to do. I didn't write a rough copy and then copy it nicely. There's something delightful about the flow of words produced both literally and because I was using my favourite fountain pen.
So thank you to Rebecca of Thirteen Red Shoes. The questions and answers (and much more besides) are here
... that I am mastering my fear of the carwash with its moving machines that challenge my sense of place and with its slappy slappy wash bits. This pic was taken from inside my car where I was sitting alone. This is the second time I have gone through alone. I had to do it a second time to prove to myself that the first time wasn't the last.
Last night with two fellow authors I attended the Melbourne Clayton's Night where five speakers talk about their predictions for the upcoming CBCA Awards. It's always interesting to hear others talk passionately about books in general and specifically. The speakers last night were Anna Burkey from the State Library, Emma Baker also from the State Library, Sarah Mayor Cox from La Trobe Uni in Bendigo. A couple of other scheduled speakers were unable to be there but their presentations were 'channeled' by CBCA members.
This photo shows Big Red Kangaroo being presented to the room of teachers and librarians by Sarah Mayor Cox. Thanks Sarah! (It was tricky - nay - impossible to get a good screen shot but it IS Big Red up there )
We were introduced to a closer look at many books that I've seen and/or read over the past 12 months, and some I'll be searching out. Most presenters were unable to stick to the six titles they were supposed to present. I think all snuck extras in, not that anyone in the room was complaining.
The dinners at the Clayton's night are always fabulous and this one was no exception. Moroccan-themed and delicious.