Checking in

21 06 2013

Today I woke to yet another day of wintry sunshine and admired my thriving poppy seedlings and pondered the patch of earth where spinach seedlings should really be by now but aren’t.

Last week at this time I was on Rottnest Island for a retreat with a whole lot of other writers and illustrators from SCBWI Australia West — plus a few extras from the eastern states and from Singapore.  It was an inspiring and creative crowd and hanging out with them for four days was a real buzz. Here’s the view from the cottage I was staying in.

Rottnest (dusk)

Rottnest (dusk)

As luck (and a bit of manoevring) would have it, the second half of 2013 will have a lot more time for writing. I am poised to fill it with words. And poppies. But it looks like I’ll have to keep buying spinach …

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Kidlit heaven

22 06 2010

Well, am home from the NSW Children’s Book Council conference where I had an absolutely fabulous time.

HIGHLIGHTS (in no particular order):

Meeting/catching up with authors/illustrators/generally bookish folk

(Watch me name drop!) Sandy Fussell, Dee White, Trudie Trewin, Claire Saxby, Janeen Brian, Sally Murphy, David Murphy, Tania McCartney, Aleesah Darlison, Stephanie Owen Reeder, (and quite probably a few others that I’ll think of later and slip in here while you’re looking the other way).

Margaret Hamilton in conversation with Stephen Michael King and Glenda Millard about their collaboration on the Kingdom of Silk books.

When Stephen Michael King had done a bit of talking, he got up and started drawing at an easel that had been set up for him, while Glenda continued to talk. I swear all the children’s book geeks slid off their chairs in happiness.

"Stephen Michael King drawing Mutt Dog"

Stephen Michael King drawing Mutt Dog

"Stephen Michael King drawing The Man Who Loved Boxes"

Stephen Michael King with a drawing of The Man Who Loved Boxes

Hearing picture book authors and illustrators in pairs talking about how they collaborate on their books.

That session was responsible for a fair whack of my bookshop purchases afterwards. I bought a stack of books to bring home because I’m so short of books at home *cough cough *.

Hearing Shaun Tan speak and watching his short film of The Lost Thing.

He’s a Perth boy you know!

Hearing Sheryl Clark speak about children’s poetry.

The session that most surprised me was given by Paul MacDonald, owner of The Children’s Bookshop in Beecroft NSW. He talked about graphic novels. I confess I haven’t read many graphic novels. I now have a list of graphic novels to seek out.

OK, so here are some of the books that came home in my suitcase:

"The ABC Book of Australian Poetry"

"How to Heal a Broken Wing cover"

"The Return of the Word Spy cover"

"The Great Bear"

There was so much more that I haven’t mentioned but I really do have to deal with my inbox before it explodes. Brilliant conference — many thanks to everyone who was involved in organising it.