Christmas at Grandad’s Farm


Look what I found yesterday! Very excited to unpack book box yesterday and discover my new picture book, illustrated by Janine Dawson and published by Five Mile Press. Officially published 1 October. Think Jingle Bells in the Australian countryside. 
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Happy Fifth Birthday Newport Community Choir!

Our local choir celebrated today. It’s five years since the first group gathered to sing.
 

Why join a choir? 
Many reasons really. My primary reason was because it’s fun and my boys weren’t supportive of me singing at home. I also hoped to improve my breathing when speaking in public and perhaps to feel a little more confident about how to sing. 
But I’ve gained so much more. I’ve learned to make sour dough bread. I’ve been part of a local fruit and vegie swap. I’ve learned about ways to reduce my ‘footprint’ while still living in an urban environment. 
And I’ve made many friends and feel so much more part of my community. 
We sing songs in many languages from many eras. Some we love more than others, in fact some we’d like to quietly remove from our repertoire, or at least slip to the back of the folder until they disintegrate … 
One thing I had no plans to do was perform in public. Never. Not once. But even that’s great fun, now I’ve survived the first few. There’s an energy in performing for an audience that lifts every public performance.
It’s been said that there is little to beat being in a community choir when it comes to lifting your spirits, and I gotta say I get it. It’s amazing.
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SCBWI Creative Retreat Maldon

 
The conference begins.

The SCBWI Maldon Creative Retreat aimed to provide stimulus and support to Childrens’ writers and illustrators. 
 

Attendees ranged from newcomers to well-published Australian creators. While mostly Victorians, we also welcomed two Tasmanians. 

The first day program was designed to offer stimulus via workshops on poetry and illustration, emotion and form.
 

Morning and afternoon tea, lunch and dinner breaks nourished not only body, but provided the opportunity to renew and extend friendships, meet new people and share stories.
 

Pitfalls can be avoided by sharing knowledge. The second day featured presentations by publishers and editors sharing experience and opportunities.
 

Gatherings like this offer surprises and develop unexpected opportunities.

It was a big weekend, full of wonderfulness and fascinating people both on and off stage. 

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Out and about

These next photos are all taken from approximately the same place. 
But they are endlessly changeable. Hence the many photos …

City has vanished
 

Morning …
 

… and evening of the same day.

National Gallery water wall captivates all
 

love the shadows
 

Gum blossum

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