Welcome to My Words!

READ WRITE INSPIRE. Welcome to my Words, a place devoted to making Reading and Writing for children more Inspired.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Letting Go

Are you the type who can't thin out vegetable seedlings because you believe if they took the trouble to germinate, they should all be given the chance to grow?


Does your garden look like an Amazon rainforest because you can't bear to get out the hedge clippers?


Do you possess more meaningless, random five-year old art work than you actually have five year olds because you won't throw anything out?


Do you hang onto ill feelings long after an altercation just in case you need them again for round two?


As a writer, are you reluctant to edit your own work, because they employ people to do that sort of thing for you anyway don't they, and any self-respecting editor will be able to see how much blood, sweat and tears each word took to produce therefore earning its place in your convoluted story?


An oft hackneyed term that is easier said than done. Perhaps, as writers, we have to deal with the idea of letting go, shaving back, cleaning out, and changing tack more frequently than the average Joe because not only must we contend with our own overcrowded, complicated lives, but we must also be wary of unnecessarily cluttering those of our characters.

And it's much, much harder to butcher the dreams and aspirations of those you love than your own, believe me.

I'm going through a few personal crises just now and a rushed bout of self-editing (for a manuscript). The two are at vastly different ends of my well-being spectrum but the one uniting factor they share is the need to


It's tough work. But the feeling you get after chucking out that Tupperware you no longer look at or culling back an unnecessary paragraph or two is nothing short of liberating and life changing. At least on one's own little life spectrum.

It's not easy but it's worth it. Because to change everything, you simply need to change your attitude. Or at least let the old ones go...

So, what about a change of hair-do then? Hack it off? What do you reckon?

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Young Writers Program

Do you have a Harry Potter trapped within you bursting to be free? Do you know someone between the ages of 10 and 19 who find it hard to suppress their written words? Then check out the latest Young Writers' Program for Kids on offer by the Queensland Writers Centre.

These workshops are sure to bring out the budding author in you. I'm especially intrigued by the Story Safari and wish I knew the appropriate age-reversing spell which would make me 10 again so I could don my khakis and tag along with Tristan Bancks.

Aimee Lindorff
Write On! (Age 12 – 17) with Aimée Lindorff
Tuesdays (Term 2)
Commences 16 April, 4:30 – 5:30pm.
Do you love to write? Want to make new friends with similar interests? In this 10-week workshop series with Aimée Lindorff, you’ll learn the secrets of building tension between your heroes and villains though narrative, themes and story structure. Discover the core ingredients of great storytelling, from getting ideas out of your head and onto paper, to dialogue, characters and setting. Explore novels, comics, transmedia and more!
Tristan Bancks Head of Safari

Story Safari (Age 10 – 15) with Tristan Bancks
Monday 24 July 10:30am – 4:30pm
Calling all young imaginations with a love of adventure! Come on an outdoor writing voyage with Tristan Bancks, exploring South Bank’s parks, people and places. Like true documentarians, discover all the benefits of transforming real life stories into a written world on a page, and learn to use your own life, and the world around you as inspiration. An opportunity not to be missed!
Kathleen Noud - short but sweet
Short Story Workout (Age 14 – 19)  with Kathleen Noud
Sunday 28 July 10:30am – 4:30pm
Need some help stretching out a story from concept to prose? Or maybe you’ve got a not-quite-novel-length idea that you want to compress? Join Kathleen Noud for this one-day workshop, and learn the art of the short story. Roald Dahl and Neil Gaiman did it, and so can you! This workshop is perfect for young writers looking at submitting to the State Library’s Young Writers Award.
All events will be held in Queensland Writers Centre offices, Level 2, State Library of Queensland, South Brisbane.
If you are interested in learning more or signing up for a course just get in touch with QWC at qldwriters@qwc.asn.au

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

The Remedy of Reflection

Once upon a time I wrote a book. It was about kids and magic and Christmas. It was loads of fun to write and even more fun to share with people.
I shared my book with kids; little kids, big kids and kids, like me, who still believe in Santa.

A few days before Christmas, when the blizzard of excitement from sharing my book with everyone died down, I crept back home to my own family  and quietly wrapped a few presents and baked some Christmas goodies share with them.

As I sat through dozens of Christmas movies, sang along badly to carols and paraded the streets every night to ooh and ah at the decorated houses, lit up like...well...Christmas trees, I realised what a brilliant thing my little book about Christmas was part of.

Kids jumped with glee when they recognised a familiar line, idea or concept shared by the wider Christmas audience. Christmas is after all, more or less, universal.

PS Who Stole Santa's Mail? formed part of the magic, the spirit and the sheer wonder of a time of the year which represents a billion different things to a billion different people all over this planet but mostly just draws humanity together for a brief, uber jolly period of time.

I didn't quite realise it at the time - book launches are rather hard work - but I was very fortunate to be part of the spirit.

We are only a few months into this new year. But already, it's nice to reflect on the past magic moments. They happen with imperceptible speed and stealth. They disguise themselves in mundane 'ordinariness'. They are often delivered by people under 12 and they rarely shout out, "Look at me."

They might be hidden in the pages of your new book; the one you are writing or the one you are reading.
They could simply float by as a butterfly on the breeze after a storm or appear out of the blue like a newborn's first smile.

However you happen upon your magic moments, make sure you take time to marvel them because they seldom occur in exactly the same way twice and they are the elixir of life. For me anyway.

So this is not the end.