Old Sailor in Woodend

I had a lovely time in Woodend yesterday afternoon at New Leaves bookshop, reading ‘Old Sailor’. It’s a lovely bookshop with a great range of local and international titles. Well worth a visit.


I took my bollard sailor and sea creatures and the children enjoyed feeding him. I love when the children also want to tell you about their world. One was very firmly attached to her bunny and bunny featured in all her stories. Another had been to Mexico and seen dolphins and could speak Spanish. Another said she wanted to buy my book but her mother said it wasn’t possible this week. Put out she was.

Anyhoo, a coupla pics…

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The thing about poetry


Sally Murphy recently released her new verse novel, Toppling (ill Rhian Nest James, pub Walker Books) and as part of her promotion, she invited guests to talk about poetry at her blog. There’s a month worth of poetry and thoughts about poetry over there. Worth a look.

I’m March 12.

btw Toppling is a touching story about a young boy dealing with the illness of his best friend. Beautifully written.

Drama at the cinema

Today we went to see ‘Valentine’s Day’. Indulgent really, seeing a film during daylight hours, but there you are. Within seconds of the movie starting my husband noticed there was something wrong with the colour. And there was – a strange green cast to the skin tones of the actors. We did see Avatar last week, and their skin was blue, but this was a film supposedly ‘real’ and that doesn’t include green skin. So he quietly slipped out and told someone.

Minutes later, the film stopped. Then started again. Nup, still green. Stopped again. Then hypergreen. Hmm. Each time, the audience grew more frustrated and more vocal. Shh don’t tell that it was my husband who started all the fuss.

20 minutes, an offer of a refund and a new projector later, the movie started. Wow, that low light sky actually had the pinks of sunrise! And the cars on the freeway had tail lights. Red ones. There’d been something wrong with the colours alright – no red. Imagine Valentine’s Day with no red! It just wouldn’t work.

So we settled down for the rest of the movie. All good, until the final 15 minutes. It stopped again and we began to see the shorts for the next session. Hmm. Someone else raised the alarm this time. Be with you shortly, said the usher. Every cinema is having trouble. Eight cinemas I think they have. It’s the storm, she said. It’s affected them all.

We waited and sure enough after a couple of false starts we were back on track. Lucky it wasn’t a suspense thriller. 15 minutes later and the film finished. Others were going to demand their money back after the almost comic interruptions to the film. We walked out to see the longest queues we’ve ever seen at this cinema. Staff were walkrunning this way and that. Is the cinema ready? Almost, said one.

We decided not to complain. Hardly their fault and they seemed to have enough challenges to be going on with. Inside, we’d not been aware of the storm at all. But it was clear as soon as we hit the street, that our little dramas were just that, little.

Book Group

Today was the second meeting for our new children’s book group. There were 13 of us today, and we were looking at ‘Wolves in the Walls’ by Neil Gaiman, ‘Field Guide’, the first title in The Spiderwick Chronicles written by Holly Black and ‘Various’ by Steve Augarde.

As at our first meeting, there was a wide variety of opinions and new insights.

What I like most about the book group, apart from the obvious discussion of books by book lovers, is that I’m directed to books I’ve not necessarily read, and may not have read. Particularly when others are particularly passionate about those books.

Next month, we’re looking at Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, ‘Does My Head Look Big in This?’ by Randa Abdel-Fattah, and ‘Ziba Came on a Boat’ by Liz Lofthouse.

Launch of ‘There Was an Old Sailor’

Saturday 27th was the official launch of ‘There Was an Old Sailor’. It was held in the foyer of Sun Theatre, and hosted by Sun Bookshop (which includes the across-the-road children’s bookshop Younger Sun).


It was great fun. We had a good crowd there and Danny Walsh‘s playing and singing drew in a few more off the streets. Cassandra Allen was unable to be there, she being in Switzerland and all, but her parents and a friend were there and it was lovely to meet them. My good friend, storyteller and fellow author, Jackie Kerin launched ‘There Was an Old Sailor’. Appropriate for her to be the launcher as without her, I probably wouldn’t have written the story or persisted in submitting it to publishers. Danny sang and played, including singing the story of the old sailor, which he’d set to music. He had us all singing along.



The only bad thing about launches is there’s never enough time to talk properly to everyone. Thank you to everyone who was there. Perhaps I’ll just have to have another one! Anyhoo, here are some pics from the day…