To the country, perchance to see an emu. We did! We did!

We also found family gravestones.

What stories they tell.

And then there was this Heritage Listed Maritime Pine. How cool is the bark???

And one final emu. This one is the cover of my new book, to be launched at 2.30 pm Saturday 9 August at the wonderful Book & Paper Bookshop in our new home at 36 Douglas Pde Williamstown.
And if you think that’s an invitation, you’d be right.
There may well be music …

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Conferences

I’ve just been in Sydney for the Walker Conference followed sharply by the SCBWI International Conference.

The Walker Conference was for authors and illustrators who work with Walker Books and was a great way to meet all the Walker team and learn more about how they work together with us to make and sell books. It was also great to meet new people and spend time with friends and co-creators.

Two highlights for me were meeting Graham Byrne, illustrator of ‘Big Red Kangaroo’ and ‘Emu’ for coffee before the conference, and then meeting Lizzy Newcomb who is illustrating ‘My Name is Lizzie Flynn’. Lizzy had brought with her the art for ‘Lizzie’ and I was bowled over. Okay, I cried. It’s so beautiful.

The conference was held at Rose Bay on a glorious Sydney day.

The following day was just as beautiful and a group of us went for a walk across the Harbour Bridge … not the climb, but the walk. It was fabulous. Lovely to stretch the legs after a day mostly sitting, and to see the Harbour at its sparkly best. Good company too! We were quietly chuffed to be identified as ‘artists’ by someone we asked to take our photo!

 We weren’t the only ones to enjoy the day. This wedding had a video photographer and at least three other professional photographers!


Three wise monkeys aka me, Sue and Sally. Emu, my new picture book is dedicated to these two good friends. 
 

The second conference was the bi-ennial SCBWI Conference which is always great fun. The program is full, as is the time between. It’s stimulating, noisy, informative and absolutely exhausting! I’ve come home for a rest!

Making sourdough bread

Last year, Julia, Kate and I ran a 2 hour workshop on making sourdough bread (as part of the Newport Folk Festival). This year, we did it again.

Part of the magic of copresenting this workshop is that the audience get to see how differently we make the bread, despite having the same starting point. 

Some sourdough recipes call for digital scale measuring of every ingredient, others say just do what seems right. Of the three of us, I think I am the least experimental, and the one who can hardly read her scales! But again, that’s the magic of sourdough – it just works anyway.

Here Julia is wet-kneading. Not necessary for a normal sourdough loaf, but great fun. Bread made in this way has large holes.

  
Michael and a few others lined up to throw and turn using this wet-knead method. Highly recommended if you’ve had a tough day and feel like throwing things!
  
Here’s one Kate made earlier. We were talking at this stage about oven temperatures and crusts, crunch and chew. 

Here’s some we all made earlier. 

The proof is in the pudding, so they say, so everyone had to taste all of them.
Of course.

By the way, we did a handout sheet with basic instructions, as tested by the three of us and refined over the last couple of years. If you would like instructions, send me an email, or comment here.