Archive for July, 2014


Halfway through and I’m frantically trying to finish a manuscript to send to an agent through my 12 x 12 Picture Book Challenge with Julie Hedland.

I have so many manuscripts saved,  waiting patiently for my attention and felt disappointed I couldn’t muster up the time to do so.

This challenge has made me re-look at them, so I have picked two; “Suzette the Snake” (based on a poem) or “New” (based on a short story) and have been vacillating between them all week.  Although many others call to me and I keep getting new ideas, I want to just stick to getting something done with these two.

The opportunity to submit to an agent (each month) offered as a GOLDen Book Member is invaluable.  Although I know, as an Aussie participating in an American challenge I’m somewhat on the back foot, I wanted to push myself.  And rejection is empowering, isn’t it?

Support from other members in the Forum, on the Facebook Group page etc is both encouraging and inspiring when a member announces their successful signing or future publications.

So, I’m just focused on revamping my work, getting it ready for submission and actually experiencing being a member of the 12 x 12  group of Children’s Picture Book Writers.


#FrancesMacaulayForde  #JulieHedland  #12x12Challenge2014  #12×12  #Children’sBooks  #PictureBooks  #Illustrated  #SCWBI

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Ann Hatheways Cottage, Stratford. 2002

#FrancesMacaulayForde  #AnnHatheway  #WillShakespeare  #Stratford  #WordlessWednesday  #Playwrite  #Theatre  #StratfordUponAvon  #ThatchedCottage


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Just back from the hometown premiere of this movie  ‘These Final Hours’ with an extra bonus Q & A session after the movie with  Writer/Director Zac Hilditch and Producer Liz Kearney.

Definitely not my usual fare, this film wallows in reality; the reality of knowing you’re dead – or will be in a couple of hours.  And absolutely nothing can be done about it except make bloody sure you spend your final hours exactly as you want – and be with whoever you want, when the end comes.

It’s dark, the premise is miserable; the ending foretold at the beginning and the cast of characters reacting predictably, except for the unlikely hero on his final journey.

Winner: The Age Critic’s Award Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) 2013 Best Australian Feature.  Screening Director’s Fortnight 67th Festival de Cannes, 2014  where it received a standing ovation!

The film is shockingly human, traumatizing and confronting-ly honest.  The characters disturbingly ‘real’ with outstanding performances by the leads, ably supported by many others – all perfectly cast.

Angourie Rice  has a HUGE career ahead of her and although I’ve not seen Nathan Phillips before, I’ll look out for him now.  He and his young co-star created magic in this film and made me cry.

I loved the guessing games and familiarity of home but hated the destruction provided by special effects and cinematography worthy of a much higher budget.

In other words, worth the $14 or whatever.  It opens on 31st Thursday this week at various cinemas.

Congratulations Team TFH – bloody well done!


#FrancesMacaulayForde  #FILM:TheseFinalHours  #ZacHilditch  #LizKearney  #AngourieRice  #NathanPhillips  #Film  #WestAustralian  #WAFilms  #TheseFinalHours  #LocalFilm  #ShotInWA  #Cannes







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05FMF Postcard 3


#FrancesMacaulayForde  #FMF:PoetryPostcards  #PerthWA  #Airport  #Skyline  #Immigration  #JumboJet


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I don’t need a Bell Curve

showing the Probability of Distribution

nor an economist theorizing

about the Positive Externalities


this is no pie in the sky nor castle in the air

although this is a novelty for me

an invention of a future

love is a collaborative result

a breakthrough in this human’s knowledge

an altruistic patent knowing I can love again


because necessity is the mother of invention

and we invented you and I

put into practice love after fifty


according to the five Laws of Limitations

(Diffusion of Innovations)


~ you found me on the net after thirty years


~ you in Ireland me in Oz and Messenger


~ both agreeing to Explore the Possibilities


~ your plane landing at Perth Airport and that hug

and Confirmation

~ yachts and vows on Hillarys Boat Harbour


Frances Macaulay Forde © 2007


#FrancesMacaulayForde  #LoveOnTheBeach  #BellCurve  #Invention  #LoveAfter50  #LawsOfLimitations  #Knowledge  #Persuasion  #Decision  #Implementation  #Confirmation  #Yaghts  #HillarysBoatHarbour  #PerthAirport  #Ireland  #Australia  #Messenger  #PieInTheSky  #CastleInTheAir

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12Aug30Dowerin (17)W

‘We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.’
Anais Nin

A Facebook friend (thanks Jennifer Mars) reminded me of this favorite quote, so I thought I’d share an unpublished example from a book I’m working on called “Tasting Life Twice”.


Yellow Days

Driving through Toodyay in late August

before Spring arrives officially

yellow makes me smile


Broome just opening

dotted with hives

flavouring the honey

and signs: ‘Beware Bees’


Field undulating through hills

no straight lines

sewn to follow dips

valleys and creeks

and around trees


Canola makes me smile

field waiting to be seeded

purple spikes take advantage

of a clear run to the sun


Far hills painted Ochre

as we enter another Shire

splash of blue Leschenaultia


Some giant brush has been busy

Soon Spring will show

its finished painting


England’s fields are patchworks

Here in Western Australia

we let the land and trees

decide the design


Frances Macaulay Forde © 2013


#FrancesMacaulayForde #TastingLifeTwice




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Today we saw  ‘Calvary’the second in a trilogy of stories masterfully written and superbly directed by John Michael McDonagh   The first was ‘The Guard’   which is the highest grossing Irish film of all time!

Both films starred the empirical Brendon Gleeson who has no less than 6 more films in production at the moment and one already completed since ‘Calvary’.  And no wonder – I cannot imagine an Irish film without him now…  but each of the cast fitted their characters perfectly – another film I could not fault.

The story is confronting, full of black humor, lovely Irish accents and scenery beautifully shot around Sligo and Easkey – places my husband took me to because his mother came from there.

If it’s showing where you are, make the effort – it’s a refreshingly different take on some taboo subjects tackled with wry wit and a large dose of ‘reality’.

I wholeheartedly agree with everything  David and Margret had to say, and think this film will break the ‘highest earnings’ record too.


#FrancesMacaulayForde  #JohnMichaelMcDonagh  #MOVIE:Calvary  #BrendonGleeson  #MOVIE:TheGuard  #ABC:AtTheMovies


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On Sunday, we took advantage of a free double pass from ABC’s RN Ideas Network  to see a preview screening of the movie  “Still Life”   at Cinema Paradiso in Northbridge, one of a couple of ‘alternative’ cinemas in Perth, Western Australia.   The critics have waxed lyrically with the film garnering awards at Venice, Edinburgh and other international festivals.

And may I say “Thank you, Uberto Pasolini”  the guy who also brought us “The Full Monty’ –  we loved it!  It’s  what I deem a typically well done ‘British’ film in that it is character-driven; character-centric and deliberately slower-paced compared to an American style of ‘commercial’ film-making.

The British seem to take their time, to allow an audience to absorb all the emotion, subtext and context, give them time to think about what they’re absorbing.  I see it as a form of audience respect.  Just like ‘Philomena’, ‘The Railway Man’, ‘Quartet’ etc as I’ve mentioned before in a previous  “Top 10 Movies of 2013”  blog post…

Although the subject and lead character seem dismal on the surface, this film is not slow and when the ending came I, as audience didn’t want it too.  My mind was full of questions about what happens next to others we had met in the last 2 hours…

Two days later I’m still thinking about the questions and beautiful clever human touches inserted perfectly into the visual narrative, making dialogue almost obsolete.

As a screenwriter I couldn’t fault the completed circle of story-telling carrying me so effortlessly, or the clues in the frame perfectly placed and plausible to the point of my being able to forget the production and direction involved – except to applaud it with everyone else, at the end.

Yes, a near-capacity cinema audience clapped loudly at the ending as they do when they are particularly moved, demonstrated clearly by how many sat and waited for all the credits to finish, before leaving.

I suspect we wanted our swollen, tear-filled eyes to reduce a little before the harsh glare of sunlight exposed just how much we were affected by such excellence.


#FrancesMacaulayForde  #MOVIE:StillLife  #ABCRadioNetwork  #UmbertoPasolini





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Upturned bottles once lined with military order

on dusty, termite-rotten shelves. Fingerprints,

clear spaces of use, caught by the shafts of daylight

through pin-holes where nails have been.


A puddle of spilt pain, beneath an upturned bench.

Life, wasted in boozy stench lies forgotten,

punished for excess, while determined creatures

march with hunger towards rotten snacks.

Dirt’s secret world survives in semi-darkness.


Corrugated walls, rusting-red and brown. Drips

where rain had been, left tracks as if guiding

to the next place. A dark, dank, mud-bed

suitable for long soft round things

to slither and slide through eyes now closed.

Still focused on nightmare dreams, gone before.


Frances Macaulay Forde © 1998


#FrancesMacaulayForde  #POEMBarOfGrief  #BOOKHiddenCapacity  #eBOOKReturnOfRainbows

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Sorry, I’ve been distracted again with another DOT drawing challenge and been introduced to a wonderful  illustrator and his blog.

I love the idea of his book “Julia’s House for Lost Creatures” and the look:  Ben’s style appears simple but isn’t – it’s clean, concise but clear.

If I don’t win a copy, I’ll be buying one – it’s on my wish list for my two little granddaughters who adore any sort of ‘creature’ and would love to fill their house with them!


#FrancesMacaulayForde  #BenHatke   #JuliasHouseForLostCreatures  #DOTDrawingChallenge


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