Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Lyrebird! A true story has been short listed by the Children's Book Council of Australia 2013

Look what the Postie delivered today! A copy of Lyrebird! a true story with its proud sticker. I'm looking forward to the Award ceremony which will be held in Canberra at the National Library in early August.

I've already contacted my storytelling friends in the  Storytellers Guild ACT and am looking forward to to meeting up with them all at the same time.

There are a lot of sleeps before the Children's Book Week, lucky I have plenty of storytelling to keep me distracted.

Adventures with stories in 2012

2012 is done and dusted but here is some video footage, taken with a pocket camera, that will give you some idea of my adventures with story. Unfortunately I don't have any recordings of festival performances; these things can be difficult to organise. But here I am, captured talking about stories to adults and telling stories in a primary school and at a party.  Enjoy!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Talking story at the new Williamstown Library

The Williamstown Library has been rebuilt. It’s less than a year since the books and librarians moved in and already there's a brilliant calendar of events. Last night I had the fun (Technology! Ouch!) of talking about oral storytelling and in particular Lyrebird! A true story from a tellable tale, to film to book. Librarian Amanda has created a gorgeous bushland display at child height. If you are in the Williamstown area, our new library is well worth a visit.

Also copies of Lyrebird! A true story are available at Book and Paper, a short walk from the library.

Book and Paper: HERE

Williamstown Library : HERE

The Library is hosting events as part of the 10th Williamstown Literary Festival. Details and program: HERE

Friday, May 10, 2013

Lyrebird! A true story. The story behind the story: 16 May Williamstown Library 2013

Please join me at the Williamstown Library and share the story behind the story of my new book.

From the moment I stumbled across the tale of 'James', one of the first Lyrebirds to be filmed and recorded in display, I was hooked. Definitely a story that needed dusting off and bringing into the light. Illustrated by Peter Gouldthorpe and published by Museum Victoria, our book has been received with praise and delight. I've had emails and calls from bird lovers around the country.

Lyrebird!A true story has been short listed by the Children's Book Council of Australia which is a splendid thing as it means even more young people will have the chance to enjoy the story.

Whenever I have the opportunity to speak - I learn more about these wondrous birds. Please come and share your bird anecdotes with me. As my storytelling friend Bettina Nissen frequently says, 'Stories beget stories'. For example: this photo of the road sign was sent to me by Peter  C... who lives on the Belgrave Ferny Creek Road, Ferny Creek. With Peter's help, we were finally able to prove, beyond doubt, the location of this beautiful tale.

Williamstown Library 104 Ferguson Street Williamstown
16 May 7-00 - 8.30

Booking and details HERE

Launch of the Williamstown Literary Festival Program 29 May - 2 June 2013

It hard to take a photograph that makes a Festival launch look interesting but I promise you all these people are fascinating!

I had a list of things to do today but it all went on the back burner when I received a message from Ange Altair (President) saying it was all go at the Town Hall.

The fun of festivals is making new friends who share an interest in words and ideas and meeting up with old ones.

Here, pictured left to right, is Lowan Clarke. Lowan will be conducting one of the workshops for the Festival: Industrial Landscapes.

Next to Lowan is Isabelle Rowan and Randall Stephens. I like the way Randall appears to be sporting a set of horns - a mischievous performance poet by any measure. Randall and Isabelle are part of a session titled: Love Writing with a Twist - Rated MA 15+.  Erotic gender bending romance is the genre of the moment. (Doesn't the idea of 'bending gender' only hold if you subscribe to a heteronormative view? Perhaps I shall find the answer to this and other questions if I go along?)

And of course, the woman in red, is the current President of the Lit Fest and one of the co founders along with Robin Grove and Catherine Ryan.

The festival is 10 years old this year. You can read all about the Willy Lit Fest HERE.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Newstead Short Story Tattoo. Fire Stories 2013

It’s six years since I visited the inaugural Newstead Short Story Tattoo at this tiny town in Central Victoria. Curated by Neil Boyack, it’s the only festival in Australia that celebrates the short story. I loved it the first time but it was even better the second time around as I had the fun of meeting up with folk I hadn’t seen since the first time. (… if that makes sense?)

I was there for Fire Stories on Saturday night but made the most of my time attending the sessions in the Community Hall and then cruising over to Clunes Booktown for more readings and more chat and more coffee.

It's worth checking out the website HERE. Be astounded at the guests and the originality of this remarkable event.

As well as spending time with mates from Storytelling Australia (Vic) Anne E Stewart and Andrew McKenna, I had the joy of catching up with Phil Mac, poet, musician and raconteur. I could say so much about my weekend away but I don’t like reading long blogs, so on that basis, I shall spare you. But I urge you … get to know Neil aand Phil.

The sublime Phil playing saw and reminding us that spoken language is music too.

Learn more about Neil Boyack HERE
And Phil Mac: HERE

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

House concert to celebrate 21 years! Hobart 2013

 Its often said that in the days of old, the seat by the fire was reserved for the storyteller.

My daughter and friends have reignited the tradition of the house concert. This is the second time I've had the privilege of telling stories for her tribe.

This time we were celebrating 21 years of beautiful Zoe. There was a singing/guitar duo, stories, a wonderful speech by her Dad and all topped off with a fabulous, funny and loving performance in the back garden by Magic Alister.
DIY entertainment - its the best!


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