Archive for July, 2015

These rangers are true heroes – every day. Thank you.

Fight for Rhinos

world ranger day

The depth of our gratitude is endless, as these people put it all on the line, affording the rest of us more time to rack our brains to come up with a solution. We are indebted to them all for their perseverance and very existence, as without them we would never fully possess our sanity, let alone be able to sleep. To know they are there, on guard, watching, listening; it is a comfort like no other.

Thank you for your hearts, your strength. KNOW we stand beside you during the patrols, in the silence of the night, in the heat of the forest, during times of fear, fatigue, and despair. You are each an inspiration, a hero.

Thank you for everything you do. You are a blessing to the animals. May God keep you safe. -Gerri

Thank you to all the wonderful Rangers that perform such a dedicated job to help…

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As a visual, I use mind-maps for most of my writing…

Nerdy Chicks Write

Keep your plotting on track from picture books to chapter books using at-a-glance diagrams.

Having settled into a groove with my picture book process I found myself venturing into unchartered territory with a chapter book project. The idea had been noodling around (with countless embarrassing ‘first’ drafts) for a few years but it’s always ended up back in the drawer with the book going nowhere and me feeling utterly out of my depth.

I’m used to working with less than a 500-word count and had no idea how to handle THOUSANDS of words—let alone think about plots, sub plots, chapters, multiple characters, cliff hangers and such. I needed to figure out how to break this project down so I didn’t feel like I was drowning.

“The secret of getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small, manageable tasks, and then starting on that first one.”
—Mark Twain.”


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TIFF Lineup Announced

To attend Toronto would be a dream…

The Fluff Is Raging

Mountain climbing, space opera, gangland violence, dotty old ladies, high-wire adventurers, and people who turn into lobsters.

It must be TIFF.

The Toronto International Film Festival announced its lineup today.

Here are some of the films which will be jostling for attention, many of which will possibly feature in next year’s Awards race. Big names like Matt Damon, Tom Hardy, Rachel Weisz, Colin Farrell, and Idris Elba are all bringing movies to the Festival of Festivals.

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Remember to tell the tiny…

Carly Watters, Literary Agent

1_50e07351ddf2b32d2600b4e8Author is the name that everyone throws around. But what about storytellers? Storytelling is also known as a verbal art, but storytelling in terms of the words on a page is what agents are looking for in the slush pile. In the slush we know that writers are just beginning their journey so we’re looking for a glimmer of the future. So what that means is that we’re looking for writers whoknow how to craft curiously.

We are looking for interesting characters, smart butambitious plots, hidden turns of events, and larger than life settings. Life is all in the details, are so are storytellers.

4 Reasons Agents Want To Work With Storytellers

1. Storytelling transcends the page. — Crafting a tale that is big, real, honest, curious and insightful is something that doesn’t just live in books. It can become a part of our culture that is so much bigger…

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I remember Susan from uni too… more for my wish list!

looking up/looking down

UnknownRecently, during a major decluttering exercise involving thirty or forty archive boxes, I came across a collection of my undergraduate literature assignments (do I need to mention I’m a hoarder?). As I sorted through them, I was reminded that long before Susan Midalia and I became friends, and writing and editing colleagues, she had been my lecturer and tutor in a unit on Australian Literature and Film—a unit I had loved, not least because Susan is the most inspiring of teachers. I think she has been teaching me, in one way or another, ever since.

Susan retired from an academic career in 2006 to write fiction full-time, and her new book follows A History of the Beanbag (2007), shortlisted for the Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards, and An Unknown Sky (2012), shortlisted for the Steele Rudd Award. She is, or has been, a judge of several literary awards, including the…

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Meet Tracy Farr

I hear you, Tracy: “…giving myself permission to make things up.”

WordMothers - for women writers & women’s writing

Interview by Nicole Melanson ~

Interview with writer Tracy Farr by Nicole Melanson - photo by Liane McGee

Tracy Farr is a Melbourne-born, Perth-raised, New Zealand-based writer and former research scientist. Her debut novel The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt (Fremantle Press, 2013), was longlisted for the 2014 Miles Franklin Literary Award, shortlisted for the 2014 WA Premier’s Book Awards and the 2014 Barbara Jefferis Award, and will be published in the UK (Aardvark Bureau) in early 2016. Her short fiction has won awards and been published in anthologies and literary journals. She’s held a number of writing fellowships and residencies, including (July 2015) the inaugural Mildura Writers Festival Residency.

Tracy grew up in Perth, and studied Science then Arts at the University of Western Australia. She spent five years in Canada in the early 90s. Since 1996 she’s lived in Wellington, New Zealand. She’s currently working on her second novel.

Tracy Farr’s website

Twitter: @hissingswan

Facebook: /tracyfarrauthor


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Bond… James (my son’s name) Bond.

The Fluff Is Raging


007 is back.

The first full trailer for Spectre was released this week, and by the looks of it, the film is aiming to be modern, gritty and solemn while also still catering to Bond’s iconic film history by including all the expected: globetrotting, girls, gadgets, and guns.

This is Daniel Craig’s fourth go-around as Bond, and there’s something of a clearing-of-the-decks and a reset on the series.


The massively successful Skyfall, you may remember, ended with the the death of M (Judi Dench) following a weird finale battle set in Bond’s ancestral home in Scotland.

The sequence was part Monarch of the Glen, part Home Alone.

In the new film Bond’s new boss (Ralph Fiennes) is dealing with office politics (Andrew Scott, glimpsed briefly in the trailer, wants his job). Naomie Harris returns as Moneypenny and it looks like she will get to do more than…

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A Natural Mum



a farmer’s daughter

knew about living

what was important

filtered accordingly


allowed her children

freedom to explore

worlds in books

all that lay before


solving problems

building dreams

loving each other

dancing in raindrops


and when tears appear

how to handle the hurt

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2015

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Another inspiring West Australian writer!

looking up/looking down

Attachment-1Western Australia is home to several world-class crime writers, and one of them is Felicity Young.

Felicity was born in Germany, attended boarding school in the UK, and emigrated to Western Australia with her parents in 1976. She, her husband and their three children moved to a small farm 40 kilometres north of Perth in 1990, and now, when she is not writing, she works on their Suffolk sheep stud and rears orphaned kangaroos.

It’s no secret that I have loved Felicity’s Dody McCleland series since the first book was published in 2012. Set in Edwardian London, it features Britain’s first female autopsy surgeon, and I was interested to read on Felicity’s website that the background of this character is drawn from the life of Felicity’s grandmother, who was at that time one of only a handful of female graduates of Trinity College, Dublin. Crime plus historical fiction is an…

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Lots of great stuff here!

Writing and Illustrating


Patricia Keeler lives across the Hudson River from New York City in Hoboken, NJ, with her husband, photographer Francis X. McCall. Ms. Keeler received an undergraduate degree from Virginia Polytechnical and State University and a master’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. Before coming to Hoboken, Ms. Keeler worked in advertising for the Richmond Times Dispatch and was art director for PBS Television (WCVE, Channel 25) in Richmond, VA. She has illustrated and/or written many books, including Thank You, Angels (Hay House, 2007), Drumbeat in Our Feet (Lee & Low, 2006), Car Wash (Lee & Low, 2004), A Huge Hog Is a Big Pig (Greenwillow/HarperCollins, 2002), and Unraveling Fibers (Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon and Schuster, 1995). She is the illustrator for Brain Food: 100+ Games That Make Kids Think, published by Prufrock Press. Ms. Keeler has also created a variety of illustrations for magazines, posters, and educational projects with…

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