Hello again Fellow Children’s Writers and Friends,

Firstly, thanks to all of you who’ve been following and checking in to my Facebook page according to my stats, not that I understand all of that or more to the point have the time. I just took that last phrase out of brackets because I realised that that’s really what this post is about.

Time. There’s two aspects of time I want to talk about today, or one I really want to talk about and the other my usual whinge about my lack of it. It’s not really a whinge because I love what I do-mostly, but more on that later. The second aspect is that we are now in the KidLit world’s peak time. Peak event, peak launch, peak course, peak well everything time. What does this mean? It means we’re spoiled for choice, it means FOMO and it means making some difficult decisions. Nothing world changing mind you, but certainly holding the possibility of personal transformation and opportunity.

This term sees me claim back some time to get my personal and creative life back in order. Yes, I’ve bitten the bullet and taken a term off one of my day jobs as a teacher. A casual teacher, therefore, not too major a change in time commitment, but a huge difference in physical and mental commitment. Time, I now plan to channel into my health and fitness and into my frustrated creative life. I will still retain my role as a Sacramental Coordinator, which I find remarkably rewarding, but can now spread it out over the week as (don’t laugh full timers) the two eight hour days were annihilating my creative stamina leaving me with only enough energy to do my mandatory meanial tasks. Not being a morning person, these tasks have now been relocated to before work, leaving evenings free for family and creativity. Why am I telling you all this? Well simply because, one critical component of creativity (other than a love of alliteration 😉) is figuring out your best time to create. Figuring it out and then making time for it.

If you are children’s writer and do not belong to any Writers Groups like SCBWI The Duck Pond, ASA FAW and (the now in hiatus, CKT) AWC or your State Writer’s Centre then I suggest you do some serious googling, because the industry is buzzing at the moment, pretty much from now until September, you’ll find publishing houses open, competitions on, Conferences, Festivals (you can even look back at some of my posts to find some of these) and books being launched by friends. Here is what I’m up to at the moment and what I’m going to have to miss out on.

All going well I plan to enter the Angels Anthology Competition, the WestWords-The Other City Competition (maybe) submit to a couple of publishers attend Zanni Louise’s Blue Mountains Writing Retreat this weekend, (YAY!) and attend a (US Based) 12×12 Book Chat. This unfortunately, is what ill be missing out on. Debra Tidball’s latest book baby Achored’s launch and the big Ethel Turner, Woodlands weekend event organised and run by good friend, Abbey Lane. Best of luck to both of you.

Farewell fellow travellers,

Savour the quest,


Posted in Creativity, Organisation, Work/Life Balance, Writing Events | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Life and Writing: What Life Can Teach Us About Writing and Vice Versa

Hello Fellow Children’s Writers and Friends,

This post will be rather clinical but it is loaded with background emotion. Why clinical then? Two reasons:

1. No one wants to see someone else’s day to day emotional baggage, it’s boring! If you’re an empathetic soul, it’s also exhausting.

2. I want to and am ready to move on to a new year and bring into it only what’s good for me, my family and my creative journey.

Suffice to say, the writing journey doesn’t occur in a vacuum and the ill-health of an aging family member and the changes that necessitates sheds a stark light on the strengths and weaknesses of all those involved. That, plus navigating some of my own ongoing health issues, an uncommonly consistently busy year at work with little down time, as well as the hoped for opportunities to give Star (my debut PB) the chance it couldn’t get to sparkle and shine out in the world during Locked Down 2021, has left me very much needing this time of fallow I’d planned for at the beginning of the year.

October: One of the two books mentioned, published for my Parish Jubilee Celebrations. November: Christmas market stall and Book Fair Australia stall. Author friends at Book Fair Australia. November/ December Alfie and Noa book signing with a famous customer and fellow author (also famous) Belinda Murrell. January: StoryStorm participant’s badge

Again as with 2021, I forgot my Word of the Year partway through, but both circumstances beyond my control and self imposed time after Christmas has given me the year of fallow I felt my writing needed last year. That coupled with 12 Days and StoryStorm has meant that I’m now ready to embrace writing as an old friend, relieved of the pressure I was feeling this time last year. More on this later, but first some highlights from last year. (photo collage above) I published two books, but few if any of you will ever read them and I’m fine with that, it was never the aim, I helped out a colleague and took up the opportunity to teach some local young writers and I spent many hours over several weeks signing and selling copies of Star. A lot of these coincided, hence my need for some intense rest at this time. A time when I’d hoped and planned to do a whole lot of (what I thought was catch up) writing. See I really had forgotten my word, ‘WAIT!’ but life hadn’t.

Life; the universe, God, or whatever you chose to believe has a way of giving you just what you need at the time to ‘grow and glow,’ especially if you are attuned to it and to yourself; your body, mind and heart. I have found that just like life, writing has its ups and downs and you need to work hard and be grateful no matter which you receive at each turn, because it is likely just what you need.

No surprise then that my Words for the Year 2023 are WONDER and FUN!

After 2022’s joys and challenges I feel the need to capture these both personally and in my writing, just like a child. A fresh, joyful, open, precious gift of a child. I only hope my writing will reflect this. I guess we’ll see this time next year.

As mentioned earlier, undertaking Julie Hedlund’s The 12 Days of Christmas For Writers and StoryStorm (Tara Lazar’s January inspirational challenge) is already assisting me with this goal. After my year of fallow, ideas are flowing, lush green, plentiful and original as hoped. Let’s hope this year’s words will support and guide me to expand these ideas into awe-filled stories of fascination with life, and some silly stories simply for fun!

Farewell fellow travellers,

Savour the quest,


Posted in Road to Publication, Work/Life Balance, Writer's Conditions, Writing Events, Writing Groups | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment