Sunday, 27 September 2015

Notes on a weekend

1. If you leave the road to find the signmarked lookout, that carpark just off the main road, is probably connected to the lookout. 

But look what you can find if you keep on driving. And driving.

2. Old trees can make the most law-abiding person ignore the fence. (It was down, the fence was down).
And the view from the top ...

Valley of a thousand hills seems to have at least that many. They ripple the horizon like a barnacled beach rock.

Shot gun shot, up close. This sign would suggest recent seismic activity ...

3. Kayaks sitting on the bank of a lake may have seat-wetting holes in them. But the water is warmish, until the sun starts dropping. By then, the lake has been circumnavigated a few times.
Further warmth can be assured by playing tennis.
Extra note: That small spider in the equipment box? Yup, it's a redback.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

'My Name is Lizzie Flynn' is in the papers!


And how beautiful does Williamstown and Gem Pier look? I'm on page 9

Monday, 14 September 2015

Final Book Week school visit

My last Book Week school visit was today: two sessions each with Yr1&2 students. Both sessions were fabulous. A late minute change meant the regular teachers were at a planning meeting, but because they'd been reading my books to their classes and using me for their author study, the students were super-excited and super-prepared.

I didn't have to ask if they'd read any of my books, but I was interested to learn what they knew about me! This chart is as yet incomplete, hope I get to see the finished product.

They had prepared questions for me.

And there were flowers and chocolate and a card full of lovely words.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Ah, the beach

Torquay's White's Beach and an odd cloud break
 Just back from a lovely 10 day break by the sea. Managed to read a book or three, walk along the beach in all weathers, and visit the odd bookshop. Actually, none of the bookshops were odd at all.
Torquay Books, Great Escape Books and Lorne Beach Books were all jam-packed full of wonderful books and great book champions.

Lovely Lorne
 Had my first sighting of my new picture book with Five Mile Press and Janine Dawson, 'Christmas at Grandma's Beach House in the window at Lorne Beach Books. Very exciting!

Enjoyed lunch next to the almost empty beach. The following day a big bike event was to begin in Lorne, and I expect there were more than a few extras in town.


Sleeping in a tree outside the Lorne information centre, Kenny was happy to pose for photos.

Back at Torquay, the sun was shining,

shining bright.

Okay so this wasn't at the beach, it is the fire stairs for one of Melbourne's iconic buildings. They don't make them like this any more!

Just missed the bloom
All I needed was one more day and these Spanish bluebells would have been in full bloom. One more day ...

Sunday, 30 August 2015


I was lucky enough to spend part of Book Week in Newcastle, arranged by Carol and Lynne of Newcastle Libraries. Carol collected me from the airport and showed me around town before dropping me at my apartment. My first priority was a walk by the river.

I think every ship coming in to this river (and out) is escorted by tugs.

This is the Nobbies, near where I learned to swim. No, not this trip, but when I was growing up here.  Ahem, a year or so ago!

This is the view from my apartment. Not long after, I met up with Belinda Murrell in the foyer and we walked up to join Newcastle CBCA for dinner. Lovely it was too. No time even for photographs ...

First bookstop, Wallsend Library and a room of G5s and 6s.

Last school group was smaller but full of great questions. In between, there were visits to other schools and libraries as part of Book Week. There were signs of bookish events everywhere. One girl had the remainder of some Book Parade freckles.

Final session was for adults, based around 'My Name is Lizzie Flynn'. Very deja vu, as I was presenting in the library that I visited very regularly as a child. I lived at the end of the same street. This session was organised and supported by Amanda of McLean's Books.

Newcastle has recently opened this Anzac Walk. It's fabulous.

The weather was okay too.
Then I flew home, arriving in Melbourne to temperatures half those of Newcastle, and to far less blue.
A great way to finish Book Week.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Parks and libraries, stories and more

About two years ago, the choir I sing with performed at the then fenced off Madigan Reserve near us. The park was contaminated and there were sink holes opening. But the time of our sining, it was nine years later and still the fences, still no plan for remediation. One of our members heard of an international initiative where communities worked together to beautify spots that had been damaged by human use, human decisions. So we sang and threaded flowers through the fence.

 Fast forward to today. We sang again, this time to celebrate the reopening of our park. And as you can see, there was a great turn out. Such a positive thing to feel part of.

This afternoon I was at Altona North Library as part of Book Week celebrations, for the launch of their new Kids' Own Book Cubby . I talked about the writing of 'Emu' and then led the children in their own story writing, illustrating and publishing.

When their stories were done, they chose a spot in the book cubby to show their book. These books (originals went home with the creators) will be available for other young readers to read.

It's a great idea. And there were no shortage of great ideas in the creation of new stories. There were dinosaurs and monsters, rainbows and discos, jungles and egg-hatchings. Our future is in great hands with these young storytellers.

Thanks Hobsons Bay Libraries for inviting me to be part of it.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

'My Name is Lizzie Flynn' launch

Last night, in conjunction with the Loom Room (a local craft group) and the Hobsons Bay Libraries, 'My Name is Lizzie Flynn' was officially launched. Local councillor and WillyLitFest cofounder, Angela Altair created a patchwork (do see what I did there?) of history - mine, Williamstown's and Lizzie's - to share with us all.

There was food downstairs at Williamstown library (provided by Sharon from Cocoa Latte Cafe)
and Sue and Wenche from Book and Paper (where I work part time) sold books. Guests came from all around Melbourne and beyond, including Claire who had arrived back from the US that morning! The above pic shows me offering to whistle the crowd to silence (it's one of my few party tricks and very loud)

It's hard to see here, but the cake was styled as a book, with a spine worthy of any grand library.

What a poseur!

A bite to eat anyone?

As the event was upstairs, and the food downstairs, we cut the cake first. As is appropriate, I led the singing for Happy Birthday, Lizzie.
It was a wonderful night, made possible by so many people. Emily from HB Libraries, Sue and Wenche from Book and Paper, Sharon from Cocoa Latte, my always wonderful family and friends. Thank you all.