Sunday, 25 August 2019

In loving memory ...

Rodney Colin Morris
15/04/1949 - 25/08/2004

It's been fifteen years since you went away,
It's been far too long since you said G'day.
Sun sets. Moon rises. Life goes on.


You're not here to share our lives,
You're not here to give high fives.
You're not here to be grandad,
You're not here which makes me sad.


I want to tell you about my life,
I want to call you when I'm in strife.
I want to hear about your golf game,
I want to answer when you call my name.


Today I will hold on to my memories of you,
Today I will raise a glass to the man I knew.
Sun sets. moon rises. Life goes on.



Wednesday, 31 July 2019

New Publishing Journey ... Let's begin!


Drum roll please ...

I wanted to share this amazing opportunity that has just been offered to me. I am incredibly grateful and excited for my new Young Adult novel to be published and am looking forward to the journey. Thanks Odyssey Books!

Saturday, 30 December 2017

New Year - New Attitude

What's with the New Year? It makes people all shades of crazy. Reflective. Despondent. Hopeful. Excited. Nervous. Thoughtful. Melancholy. Joyous.
Everyone wants to reflect on the year that has passed. What have I achieved? What do I still need to work towards? Everyone wants to set goals for the year ahead. What do I want to achieve? What do I want to work towards?

It's been almost twelve months since I posted anything on this blog. Not because I've been living in the remotest part of the world with no access to WiFi. Is there even such  place? If so message me the coordinates so I can go there. 
It's also not because I've had nothing to say. I've got plenty to say, just ask my kids and husband!
The truth is, I haven't posted anything mostly because life got busy and I had to evaluate where my energy went. 

I listen to conversations around me about people's lives and sometimes I feel the need to have a nap with how full their day is. Family commitments. Offspring's commitments. Exercise commitments. Education commitments. Business commitments. Work commitments. Social commitments. Social media commitments. Housekeeping commitments. Pet commitments. Shopping commitments. The list is never ending!

Don't get me wrong, I'm not afraid of commitment. But what I am afraid of, is Life Passing Me By. Sorry, I couldn't think of a cute little acronym to go with my fear. LPMB doesn't quite roll off the tongue. Although OMG works, as does LOL and PMSL so maybe LPMB will catch on.

I had a milestone birthday this year and it was like a slap to the face. My life was either halfway over or only just beginning. After much thought, I chose to go with the latter. Because you only get one shot at this life. So whilst there will always be commitments and juggling acts in our lives, it's important to stop. And live. And laugh. And be in the moment. Or else life will pass us by and we won't have been able to enjoy it.

Goals for 2018 ... Do not let LPMB.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

All of us together By Bill Condon - Blog Tour!



Bill Condon is a well-known Australian children’s author whose books have been CBCA short-listed four times and won numerous awards, including the inaugural Australian Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Youth Literature. His last CBCA short-listing was his junior novel, The Simple Things (Allen & Unwin) in 2015. His most recent junior novel is All of Us Together (About Kids Books), a gentle and sometimes funny family story set in the 1930s Australian Great Depression. Today he shares some of his writing journey.

Tell us a little about your writing journey.
I had my first book for children published in the early 80s when I was just a boy of 30 something years. Now I’m just a boy of 67, but I’m still hanging in there. I stumbled into writing, probably because at school it was the only thing I showed any aptitude for. When I was about 14 I wrote an essay that a teacher singled out for praise – a rare thing for me in those days – and I think that’s what got me dreaming of one day becoming a writer. My writing apprenticeship was simply living and earning a crust, mowing lawns and working in factories, meeting people and hearing about their lives, all the time subconsciously ‘growing’ my own stories, which I’ve been plundering ever since.

What do you enjoy most about being a writer?
I love the freedom of being able to create my own little world and to play in it, also to escape from real life and to not have a boss. Writing is the one thing I can do well.

What is the hardest aspect of being a writer?
Self-discipline, mainly the pressure I put on myself, lots of negative messages. There are millions of books so it’s extremely hard to come up with something original. There’s also the stress of spending years writing something which might never be published.

Writers are sometimes influenced by things that happen in their own lives. Are you?
Yes. There are autobiographical aspects to most everything I write. I plunder my life including things I see in day-to-day life. My writing is largely influenced by my environment and my personal history, the people I meet and places I’ve been.
                                                                                                                 Tell us about your publications.
I’ve had more than 100 children’s books published by publishers such as Allen & Unwin, Random House, and Queensland University Press et al – more recently a junior novel All of Us Together (About Kids Books My writing includes novels, short stories and non-fiction, and collections of plays and poetry.

Three of my YA novels, Dogs, No Worries, and A Straight Line to My Heart, were shortlisted in the Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards. Dogs won CBCA Honour Book of the Year (2001), No Worries won CBCA Honour Book of the Year (2006), A Straight Line to My Heart was CBCA Honour Book of the Year (2008), Daredevils was a CBCA Notable Book (2007) and my junior novel, The Simple Things (Allen & Unwin) was CBCA short-listed in 2015.

No Worries and A Straight Line to My Heart were also shortlisted for the NSW Premier Awards.

I was very lucky to win inaugural Prime Minister’s Literary Award in 2010 for Young Adult Fiction for my book Confessions of a Liar, Thief and Failed Sex God. My YA novel A Straight Line to My Heart was also short-listed for the PM’s Literary Award in 2012.


Other than writing what else do you love?
Playing Scrabble, reading, golf, watering the garden, punting on horses and making meals

What would your dream location for writing be?
My ideal location is where I live currently, at Cordeaux Heights on the beautiful south coast. It is so quiet and peaceful here. I can go to my office any time, even in the middle of the night, and write without any hassles.

What are five words that sum you up?
A very tall sexy bloke

How can we learn more?
I share my website with my author wife, Dianne (Di) Bates. I have a Facebook page, but I don’t do much social media.

Thanks for the interview Bill and all the very best with your exciting new release!

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Song Bird Superhero By Karen Tyrrell - RELEASED!

Ever wondered how authors create their make believe worlds? Today Karen Tyrrell shares some tips. Karen has 8 published titles to her now. She works tirelessly to help people feel empowered and is passionate about helping others. Song Bird Superhero is her recent release which will no doubt be a soaring success! 

How to Create a Superhero World in Fiction
I created a unique superhero world for my children’s novel, Song Bird Superhero.
From the very first page, readers know Song Bird Superhero lives in a superhero world, reminiscent of superhero comics and movies. Song Bird Superhero is set in Happy Valley, a parallel universe where superheroes reign supreme, incognito with super villains. Happy Valley reveals normal world scenes like the family home, the neighbourhood, the local park, Happy Valley School, the science fair and dreamscapes but populated by supernatural beings. In Happy Valley, dark spectacular happenings occur. It’s a place where good triumphs over evil …eventually.

Meet Song Bird and her alter ego, Rosella Ava Bird, a young girl who nightly dreams are filled with flying. Too bad her waking hours are a living nightmare:
Her flying inventions crash.
Her kooky parents, Mr and Mrs Bird are super overprotective.
Her singing shatters windows.
The principal bans her from the science fair.
Worst of all, Rosie lives next door to Frank Furter, an evil boy-genius whose sights are set on seeing her fail! Rosella is the girl least likely to soar, and yet when she learns to sing something incredible takes flight. Rosella becomes Song Bird, a flying superhero who saves the day.

In chapter one, we meet Rosella’s kooky Mum, a health and safety officer. And her dad who’s scared of heights and speed. Both are oblivious to Rosie superpowers. Her little brother Robin and her big sister Raven do suspect something is going in.
Rosie’s side-kick, Amy Hillcrest is wheelchair bound, diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. Amy supports Rosie’s quest and inspires us by her positive words and actions. Amy is smart, confident and super talented in maths and science, inventing things.
Rosie’s teacher and mentor, Miss Darling is a superhero in disguise. Her role is to guide Rosie on her journey to discover her super powers and save the day.
Rosie’s nemesis, Frank Furter is a bully, whose traits we recognize from our schooldays.  He bullies the weak and turns them into victims. Frank Furter’s evil powers are equal to Rosie’s, which makes her soar even higher.
Rosie lives in a human world facing supernatural brick-wall challenges, instigated by the villain.
Can Song Bird defeat the evil child genius and save her brother, Robin and the school?


 5 Tips to World Building
  1. Create an original, authentic scifi or fantasy world with the minimum of clich├ęs. The superhero genre is a sub-genre of scifi, fantasy or both. 
  2. Hook the reader in with intrigue, immersing us into the main character’s emotions. 
  3. Personify your world with emotions. Describe your world vividly in regard to its physical environment, social structures, special rules or languages and the people. 
  4. Ask yourself:  How is your fictional world like ours? How is your world different? 
  5. Reveal your intriguing world and code of behaviour through dialogue between characters, thoughts from the main character and specific vivid descriptions where needed.

Did these World Building tips resonate with you?

FREE Teacher resources and kids activities for Song Bird.
Includes STEM science, creative writing, history, art, craft, maths, literacy, drama, social skills, and bully prevention.
Download HERE.

Song Bird Superhero by Karen Tyrrell is now available on Amazon HERE

Song Bird Book Giveaway

 Let’s celebrate the release of Song Bird Superhero by Karen Tyrrell on Amazon. 
Comment below to win a "LIMITED EDITION COPY"  of Song Bird Superhero. 
Answer this question: Why do you want to win a copy of Song Bird Superhero?

Giveaway closes on October 20.  Good luck J

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Outback Adventures with the Wrays - Final post

Outback Adventures 
by Toby & Molly

Katherine x 4 nights
Kilometres travelled so far 5,133 km

Edith Falls
We went for a 2km walk and eventually found a swimming hole with a waterfall. I swam out to it and got under it but the water was hard on my head.
By Toby

Gunlom Falls
We climbed up to the waterfall. It was really, really tough and hurt my legs! But when we got there we went for a swim and it was cold.
By Molly

Katherine Gorge
The canoeing was strenuous! But we got to go for a swim. There were fish swimming around us where we swam!
By Toby
Katherine Gorge

Katherine Gorge

Katherine Gorge
We went to Katherine Gorge and went on the canoes. We saw a freshwater crocodile. I was scared!
By Molly

 Katherine Gorge

We left Katherine for home and stayed in Devils Marbles, Alice Springs and Port Augusta on the way back.
We have had the most amazing adventure travelling a total of 10,940 kms in just under 6 weeks.
The Northern Territory is a vast, rugged and spectacularly beautiful part of the world. 
Thanks for the memories NT!

 My favourite bit about the trip was being able to adventure though central Australia. My top 3 were canoeing, quad bikes and the crocodile jumping.
By Toby.

My top 4 bits were going on the quad bikes, the crocodile jumping, canoeing and doing the walks. But not some because they were tiring!
By Molly

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Outback Adventures with the Wrays - Part 5

Outback Adventures
By Toby & Molly

Kakadu x 2 nights

Kilometres travelled so far -  4,878km. 253

I learnt at the cultural centre that there are picture story books about aborigianl stories. I read one where the Mum told the little boys not to look at the sun too much because their heads will get stuck together. They didn't listen to thier mother and thier heads got joined together. Luckily another person told them to go into some special water so they could get seperated again. They always listened to thier Mum after that.
By Molly

My favourite part were that the walks were short but there was lots to look at along the way.
By Toby

The aboriginal people used crushed rock and animal blood to make paint and draw pictures. 
By Molly

We climbed to the top of Ubir. Along the way we could see Aboriginal paintings. At the top we could see a view that went all around us, right across Kakadu.
By Toby

We went for a walk and a snake slithered past me unexpectedly. It gave me a HUGE fright! On the walk there were warning signs saying look out for buffalo's, crocodiles and snakes.
By Toby

My favourite part was when we looked at the rock artwork we could see different pictures and we guessed what they were. I saw fish, people, kangaroo, spears and turtles.
By Molly