Posts Tagged ‘books’



For lovers of books, bookshops will always entice.

I’ve mentioned my favorite bookshop, nestled in Ennistymon, County Clare, Ireland is also a Literary Centre, run by Jessie Lendennie, publisher of Salmon Press.  A meeting place for those in the poetry scene in Ireland where Jessie is both necessary and influential.

Across the oceans, here on the Cafe Strip in Fremantle, Elizabeth’s Bookshop has long been a place to fall into soft couches with a favorite tome and lose yourself for a while.

MillPointCaffeBookshop in South Perth serves coffee and is a favorite haunt for a writer friend who literally immerses himself in words, while he creates.

While Boffins Bookshop in Williams Street in Perth City specialize…

The Boffin

Bookshops are like lovers,

they numb in black & white

then seduce you with colour,


titillate and tempt your soul

until you finally let go,

find the courage to close


the book ~ pages which leave

you gasping  The breath of air

on your face feels like a slap.


Frances Macaulay Forde © 2004

Finalist “Inner City Life” Literary Competition 2004.


@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #Bookshops  #POEM:TheBoffin    #SalmonBookshop #SalmonPoetry  #Elizabeth’sBookshop  #MillStBookshopCaffe   #BoffinsBookShop   #Writers   #Poetry  #Poems   #Books



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So sorry I’ve been absent again… my internet access is intermittent (at best) but they’ve promised to fix it by 6th November!

(This is a very quick post to apologize. ) I’m using the time to practice my sketching so I can better illustrate my children’s books.


‘Santa’s Swim’ was my first attempt.  Busy putting a few new stories together now, inspired by the 12 x 12 sessions which I highly recommend.

Although I studied CPB’s thoroughly at University, I’ve learned a lot about current practices, putting pictures to words for children though discussions with other Children’s Picture Book writers through the Vanilla Forums of 12 x 12.

Hopefully normal ‘transmission’ will resume as soon as possible…


#FrancesMacaulayForde  #Santa’sSwim  #Children’sBooks    #PictureBooks  #ChristmasStories


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My novel… that is.

So I’d be the perfect candidate for a course to be run by award-winning Natasha Lester with UWA Extention called “Nailing your novel”:  “Designed for those who’ve always wanted to write a novel but don’t know where to begin, as well as those who’ve started writing a book, only to put it away because they’re not sure where they’re going.”

Natasha won the TAG Hungerford Award (my dream) for her manuscript and debut novel, ‘What Is Left Over After’.  Her latest; ‘If I should Lose You’ is wowing reviewers and me-thinks also on an award-winning path.

How she finds time to do her very informative Blog for book lovers and writers in between the writing and teaching etc.  I’m envious!

If I had the time, I would do the course because I know I would identify why I’m stalled, get the impetus to keep going with my novel and hopefully, make it worthy…

Meantime  I need to take heed of  Natasha’s Writing Tips.


#FrancesMacaulayForde  #NatashaLester  #NailingYourNovel  #BookLovers&Writers  #UWAExtention  #TAGHungerfordAward  #Novelists  #Books  #WritingYourNovel  #Writing  #FinishingYourNovel


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yn02-georgiana (1)

Quite a few years ago now, I was sent Libby Hathorn‘s bookWoman of Flowers’ to consider for adaptation to screen by the publishers Hachette Australia.

Georgiana Molloy moved to Western Australia with her  new husband in 1829.  WA was very different to the gentile English countryside  and Georgiana had a lot of trouble settling in.  The eminent botanist James Mangles asked Georgiana to collect specimens for his research.  A new world opened up for her and she thrived, loving the native plants and documenting them carefully.  Her samples were packed with such care, Mangles sent them on to colleagues who actually managed to grow and study new species from the meticulously packed seeds.

Meticulously researched, Libby’s book provided both a factual and fictional view which I loved after reading it as a subject for adaptation.

I thought it would make a good TV Series but discovered that a local company was busy doing a lot of research on the same subject, seemed well advanced with plans to do something similar, so I judged it not the right time.

6 years on, others have since documented Georgiana’s wonderful achievements over the years, particularly the ABC National Radio but nothing like I envisaged.

As I’ve said, I’d love to give her a new life – a dramatic screen life.  

So any producers out there – maybe now is the right time!



#FrancesMacaulayForde  #LibbyHathorn  #GeorgianaMolloy  #WomanOfFlowers  #WAWildflowers  #WAPioneers  #Books  #AdaptationToScreen  #AdaptingBooks

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Still on the KINDLE kick, my latest upload (probably not available yet as still being processed) is another Poetry Chapbook ~ the third.

(I’ve just added two examples of poems from my ‘Love’  KINDLE uploaded over the weekend,  just like I did for my ‘Rail Tales’ blog post.)

‘The Return of Rainbows’ was also conceived at University as a mature-age student bloodied by life’s battles and as always, finding succor in words.

My seemingly audacious presence provided lots of  fodder to explore the constant challenges and effects of that experience on my life.


The Return of Rainbows

Driving down Alexander,

(early morning rush hour)

lecture on documentary film.

Eager for knowledge, I noted

low, broad bands of colour

spanning the sky above Uni.

Ignoring the grey clouds,

I welcomed the return

of rainbows to my life.



There’s no place for love

at this time in my life.

I envy those who achieve

the balance of need.


Opportunities ignored

in the interest of safe-ness,

flying toward my ability’s

determined focus.


Children gone in their own

living-dreams direction,

lessons learnt and heeded.

My job’s complete.


Is this my way of avoiding

the ‘empty nest’  syndrome?

Gath’ring materials for comfort

as I settle into old age?


Frances Macaulay Forde © 2003

(I’m about to upload some short stories next.)

#ReturnOfRainbows #FrancesMacaulayForde #McAlpineBellPublishing


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Totally star-struck while Alexander McCall Smith signs my books.


Last Thursday at the Octagon Theatre in the University of Western Australia, I spent a most-enjoyable hour giggling as a master storyteller regaled us with quick peeks into his world.

As a HUGE fan who had the affectionate nick-name ‘Susie Matwetwe’ when I lived in Africa, I remain in awe of  Alexander McCall Smith; his energy, his easy characterizations and perfect stories…

I love his Botswana stories and find his list of publications absolutely inspiring – he only came to fiction in 1998 and has not stopped producing delightful stories since.

Presented with so many of his wonderful words lined up in boxes in the foyer,  it was very difficult to decide what to buy.

He generously signed two books for me.  The queue was so long, I was grateful I’d lined up quickly and was in the first 20.  (I think every one of us wanted a quiet moment with the master.)

My first purchase that night was  “44 Scotland Street” .  I’ve heard such lovely things about this series and although I haven’t finished reading all 15 of the “No I Ladies Detective Agency series, I’m looking forward to plunging into this one.

The other is “Trains and Lovers ~ The Heart’s journey”.    Although my copy’s cover is different from the one shown on his website, how could I resist reading this one when my I had written my own  ‘Rail Tales’ from the same ‘platform’.

When it was my turn – actually came face to face; I smiled and said, “How are you?”  I know, such an inane thing to say – but I was in awe!

I did recover and ask the question I had wanted to ask in the Q & A after his talk:  ‘What about a new TV Series?’

I loved the TV Series Anthony Minghella produced, co-wrote with Alexander and other wonderful writers, and naturally directed with such affection, beautifully.

I’ve always been a fan of Minghella’s ‘big’ films, starting with ‘The English Patient’ – he directed so many.  He “used expansive tastes in literature and a deep visual vocabulary to make lush films with complicated themes that found both audiences and accolades. “   His films were so layered, he  “used a careful eye for cultural and historical detail”  and he brought all that to the TV Series.  (Quotes from: New York Times.)

Although it will be difficult to find someone who can ‘read’ the characters and the location so well, I’m hoping one is found, soon.


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Apart from the name (although there’s no ‘e’…) when I saw he was a guest at the 2003 Cork International Short Story Festival, I booked my place to hear him read.  What a treat that was – both being in Ireland and being able to attend in person!  I learned a lot about short story construction and writing in general.  

Wish I could have attended the  Munster Literature Centre  – Cork Spring Poetry Festival last week too!

What a writer: Happy 70th Birthday  Richard Ford   (a very good interview).

Now to order his latest…

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