Sunday, 4 December 2016

A week it was.

It's taken a little while to get my head around Spring (and now Summer) after being in Ireland for Autumn. But joys like this one help.

Everyday gorgeousness of geranimums.

On Wednesday last, I visited Hillcrest CC for 'Read to Me' Club to share (read and sing) my Christmas stories. Michelle Nye is always so welcoming and supportive. She even sang with me!

This lovely young lady remembered me from my visit in Book Week. Greeted me with a hug! What a welcome.

Not my house, but one opposite where our choir rehearses. Certainly brings the 'season' to life.

On Thursday, I was guest speaker at the National Council of Women's annual luncheon. I can't remember the name of this engineer/performer, or her instrument, but her playing was delightful. She played another woodwind instrument too. 

I loved the reflections of buildings on this building. Photo taken at sunset en route to Creative Net Christmas party.

We had an early start to Saturday, helping our son and dinlaw move into their new house. This involved collecting furniture and other bits and bobs from several spots in Melbourne before delivering them to their new country house.

Twas a big truck. Almost too big for the street. And despite predictions, they filled it. Oh my.

Not a bad view. Back yard.

All hands on deck. The number of cars gives it away - it was a hive of industry inside despite this peaceful facade.

There was a sunset. It was good.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

What does your Pa look like?

Today I visited Monash Medical Centre as a visitor (via Koala Kids Foundation) to the Children's Cancer ward's outpatient clinic.
I read 'Wild Pa' several times and we made many wild Pas. What personalities!

We also sang songs and created some superheros including Superman, Superwoman and my personal favourite SuperSanta to begin decorating the empty Christmas tree. Inspired by these creations and aware that the top of the tree was bare, one young boy created his own special Christmas star. It now sits securely at the crown of the tree.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

So, it's been a little while ...

... since I posted.

It's been a busy while.

The biggest part of that while was spent in Ireland. And what a time was had! There was research and relaxation. There were theatre shows and music sessions. There were hill climbs and seaside discoveries. There were poorhouses and cathedrals. And there were wonderful, funny, musical, generous Irish folk. And there were many stories. Stories from now, stories from so many years ago that it's hard to fathom. 5th century stories of Brendan and small boats and big seas. 12th century stories of a castle built by a woman (castle in a field - accessible by climbing a gate). Famine stories (so much heartbreak). Family stories (meeting the backpackers who once did some casual work for our Australian family, and meeting their family). Storymaker stories (CS Lewis and the Mourne Mountains)

So here are a few pics from that trip. I'd thought about offering them thematically (yano castle pics, church pics, cliff pics, botanic pics) but as my mind is frequently jumbled, so are these pics.

In a tower once part of a church, a secret stairway. Kells.

Once was castle, now is (very swish) hotel. Kingscourt

A poorhouse. So much sadness here. Carrickmacross

Ancient Celtic cross, in a tiny village called Tynan, my maiden name. 

A grand cathedral. One of two St Patrick Cathedrals in Armagh.

Tesselated walls. Armagh

Looking to the Mourne Mountains (where later we walked). Dundrum.

Looking to the sea. Dundrum Fort.

Sunrise. County Down

Stooks ... wearing the hay equivalent of a knotted handkerchief.

Kitchen supplies. Donegal Castle

Silebales. Like silage but in bales. Beyond Donegal. So many tractors on the roads.

Consequences for those who do not heed.

Connemara. Near Leenane.

Connemara. A still day.

This dolphin meets the ferry. He was seemingly interested in the propeller - fortunately when it was idling. Inisheer, Aran Island.

Stone walls. Inisheer.

Ballyferriter. Dingle peninsula. 

SCBWI YA novel-writing all day workshop with Sheena Wilkinson. Cork

View from the belltower. Cork. Yes, we rang the bells.

A fishing and shooting bits and pieces cabinet. Birr Castle. Birr.

Put another log on the fire. Peat fire in the kitchen. Shannonbridge.

Shopping, 1930s style. Shannonbridge.

In the fairy glade. Who wouldn't want to spend time here? Rostrevor.

Canal boat, Grand Canal Dock. Dublin. A wonderful way to end our holiday.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Wild Pa is in the ... um ... wild

Saturday 3 pm at Little Bookroom and I finally got to meet Connah Brecon, illustrator of Wild Pa, and also coincidentally illustrator of 'Barking Barnacles' a first picture book project for us both. Due to circumstances, this book made it as far as final proofs but not to print. Spin the clock forward and here we are with Wild Pa, both happy to see our work in print. 

Loving the jungle back drop. Shall you read it, or shall I?

Okay, I'll do it.

Let's do it together. Good idea.

We tagged-teamed it, with me reading and Connah showing the pages.  I did have to keep stopping to show all the extra gags and details embedded in the images.

 I have no words ...

White paper fever ... happens to us all when faced with a blank page

Was his nose big?

He wore a cravat ...

Thank you Leesa, thank you Ian and Lesley. Thank you to everyone who came to help us celebrate. Thank you Connah and Kimberly who paired us on this project so many years after that first book.