I never anticipated how much I would enjoy engaging with readers. I’m a homebody who prefers socks to high heels, and emails instead of phone calls. Writing is a solitary job with no need for make-up or a uniform. The flip-side of this career path is community engagements.
When The Green Goggles was published one year ago I honestly didn’t expect much. I wrote a book for children to enjoy, not realising just how often I’d be reading it aloud to other people. I found myself writing presentations to dicuss my book themes, creating activities for craft, and opening an Instagram account. It was a lot of hard work and I loved every minute of it.
But I had to juggle it with raising a young family, graphic design work committments, and writing other stories. I was sick quite a few times and when I look back I don’t know how the house didn’t fall down around me, heavy with cornice cobwebs and laundry and piles of filing.
My author year at a glance
Storytime & Craft at Bundaberg Art Gallery
Book Launch – Bedtime Bilby at Bundaberg Library
Dreamworld Wildlife Foundation tour with Save the Bilby Fund chairman Al Muci
Stories in the Park with Toowoomba Library
Storytime at the Teddy Bear’s Picnic in Hervey Bay
Storytime & Craft at Coral Coast Early Education
Storytime & Craft at Cuddle Bugs Kindergarten
Storytime & Presentation at St Jospeh’s School
Storytime & Presentation at Woongarra State School
Storytime & Presentation at Gooburrum State School
Storytime for ‘B is for Bilby’ at Bundaberg Art Gallery
WriteFest Coordinator 2017 – CQU Bundaberg
Workshop Presenter at ALEA Meanjin Writer’s Camp at UQ Springfield
Coming up… November 30 – Author Talk at Bundaberg Art Gallery
The highlight was teaching at the ALEA Meanjin Writer’s Camp. I was invited to present a workshop by Kylie Myer, a picture book fan and also a lecturer at UQ Springfield campus. I put forward two ideas and when ‘Creating Believable Characters’ was selected I developed the workshop material as a powerpoint presentation and also created a workbook for the students. I repeated the workshop in AM and PM sessions and was quite chuffed that so many students came up for photos or autographs at lunch and towards the end of the day. The other wonderful thing was working with (albeit not side-by-side) other authors. It was a buzz to hear Morris Gleitzman speak during the keynote as I’m a fan of his work. And he was a lovely fellow too. Gregg Dreise had the kids on their feet and interacting with the most amazing Welcome to Country I’d ever seen. And it’s hard to miss Karen Tyrell all over social media so it was a pleasure to finally meet the energy behind the books that are inspiring children.
Even after writing for ten years I still believe there’s always something new to learn. So for professional development I attended KidLitVic in Melbourne, CYA in Brisbane, a QWC workshop and also local meetings with the Bundaberg Writers’ Club. I also subscribe to a few blogs and try to keep up with some facebook writing groups. But there’s only so much time in a day.
Next year will be very different. Both of my children will be in school so on one hand I’ll have the opportunity to work Monday to Friday, but I’ll also have more homework and school committments (I had no idea how many forms come from school advising of things that need to be done, remembered or replied to!).
My ultimate goal is write. I want to finish my junior fiction series and there’s a novel that’s been burning inside me for about four years that I feel is nearly ready to be freed.