Willy Lit Fest Saturday

I was lucky enough to be asked to be ‘in conversation’ with Alison Lester at today’s Festival. I’d prepared lots of questions, more than I expected to need. And yesterday I combined giving driving practice with visits to all the libraries in our LGA to collect as many of her books as I could. And that’s quite a few!

I wanted to be able to get a picture of her ‘evolution’ as a creator. And an amazing evolution it has been. Alison began her career illustrating books of others, moved to illustrating her own words and in some of her most recent projects, she is writing and others are illustrating for her.

It was great fun and she was very generous with her responses.

After lunch, I attended a workshop on blogging, with a diverse group of people blogging (or intending to) blog for a range of reasons. The workshop was led by Angela Meyer who blogs here and elsewhere. She talked about the what, why and how of blogging and different ways of establishing and extending readership.

I was interested in learning about some of the different platforms, and it seems there is a blog platform for just about everyone, from the beginner to those wanting to do more. One interesting titbit was that a sure-way to increase traffic is to use lists and factoids! So watch out for those appearing here! Well, maybe.

Looking forward to tomorrow and more workshops and maybe a couple of extra sessions if I can fit them in without overloading my brain.

This weekend it’s all happening in Williamstown

I’ll be here. Starting on Thursday night I’m (gulp) joining those reading their work for the People’s Choice event, then Saturday I’m ‘in conversation’ with Alison Lester. The rest of the weekend will be easier. I’ve picked out several sessions to attend and looking forward to it all. Details of events for children and for those with an interest in children’s literature here.

Shh don’t tell

We’ve found a new park for picnicking in. It’s so close to the city that you can walk there, but it seems that no one much knows about it. Well, not today anyway. The car park was empty and we had our pick of tables. Just as well really, as we table-hopped out of and into the sunny spots.

There’s a very well groomed baseball field nearby. And there were quite a few bikes travelling through. The small pond/lake was abundant in all manner of reeds and the birds who hide within.

But it was perfect for a picnic. So perfect, that we’re thinking of hosting Christmas lunch there this year.

Works for Boules too.

A, C, B. Isn’t that how it goes?

A is for Autumn colours everywhere now, even in my garden. This is a Maple tree, I’m not sure exactly which one, but it has very small three-point leaves (bit like a bird’s footprint) and masses of helicopter seeds. It’s slowly turning as red as our moderate climate allows and looks lovely in the late afternoon sun. We bought this tree from a school fete, almost 20 years ago, when it was little more than a stick in a milk carton pot. First time in my life I’ve been able to plant a tree and really get to see it grow. Love it.

Botanic Gardens yesterday. Lovely lunch with old friend and new, grown children, and old trees.
Yay to our forefathers who planted this wonderful garden, and to everyone who keeps it going for us all.

C is for Celosia
It’s been a long week with husband buried in the challenges of live theatre, so I bought myself some flowers. This is a Celosia, surely one of nature’s more unusual things. It’s part brain, part coral, part gloriously odd. The bunch, cleared temporarily off my table last night for a game of Bananagram, cheers me up every time I walk past.

B is for Bananagram
Bananagram, by the way, is similar to Take Two. Got it? Think multiplayer Scrabble without the board, where players begin by making their own unboarded scrabble layout from a limited number of letters, then call for everyone to take more tiles. It’s great fun with large numbers, all ages and even with Scrabble-naysayers. You can play it just with scrabble tiles, but with Bananagram you have the option of calling ‘Peel’ when everyone must take another tile. Word arrangements can be changed to accommodate new letters and it gets fast and furious. Good fun.

It’s Autumn

I had to collect my son from Riddells Creek today . It’s colder in Riddells than it is in my part of Melbourne and the reds of the autumn trees are so much more intense.

A Nandina, in full red coat.




No red here, but if you click on the photo you’ll see the stone steps underneath…steps to the troll’s house?


The very broad and full program for the Willy Lit Fest is now available. Go here

I’ll be ‘in conversation’ with Alison Lester at 11 am on Saturday 30 April. What should we talk about? Happy to channel questions.

My friend, Jackie Kerin is MC for a People’s Choice event on Thurs 28 April. I think I’ll do some workshops this year too. There’s one on turning fact into fiction, which fits nicely with a couple of projects that are fermenting away in my brain.

In my garden,

many things grow. Long grass, weeds, tall, tall trees, short trees and a few flowers.

There’s an old swing frame that predates our occupancy and is about twice as tall as would be permitted these days. At present it has no swing, but the spiders are happy to use it as a frame for their webs.

And judging by the tears in this web, the spiders are doing okay

Bag lady

That’s what I’ve become…and I’m loving it!

This is a modern interpretation of a very traditional bag, the Papua New Guinean bilum. This one comes to me directly from near Mt Hagen, in the PNG Highlands.

This one hasn’t travelled as far but is made using vintage and recycled fabrics. A gorgeous thing.

And this is my new city bag…the one I take to the city when I’m headed for the State Library researching. It’s big enough for an A4 note pad, and smells leather leather leather. And it’s green! yay