Showing posts from 2012

Rounding up the Reindeers

There were plenty of KABOOM moments in this little black duck's writing year.
Thanks to everyone for following, commenting, supporting and just turning up now and then for a cuppa and friendly chat; all necessary components to keep my writing wheels spinning. Here's the sparest list I could compile of my writerly milestones to date. I promise I will be bothering you a lot less in 2013 because I've ordered a giant vat of bum glue and plan to apply it to my writing chair early next year. Till then, Happiest of the Christmases to you all. May your holiday season be filled with interesting reads, words you'd like to write and keep, and inspiration to simply smile.
Writing Round Up:
Won placings in writing for kids competitions 5 times.Published on line several times.Won my first publishing contract.Released my first children's junior novel, PS Who Stole Santa's Mail?Hopped aboard Boomerang Books Blog as Children's book reviewer.Join the Society for Children's…

Governor of Queensland launches Christmas spirit

You may have seen the pictures. You may have read the book. For those who missed the official launch of PS Who Stole Santa's Mail? in Brisbane on Sunday, here is the speech that Her Excellency, the Governor of Queensland, Ms Penelope Wensley AC, gave to launch my new book.

An enthusiastic crowd packed into the Black Cat Paddington book shop and cafe to witness the birth of my first children's chapter book. Smiling kids and candy canes, snow and eventual sunshine were the order of the day spectacularly fulfilling the Christmas dreams of this little kids' author.
Excerpt from Her Excellency's speech:
Managing Editor, Morris Publishing Australia, Ms Elaine Ousten, President, Book Links (Queensland), Ms Jenny Stubbs, Owner, Black Cat Books and Cafe, Mrs Stephanie Hogan, Author, Mrs Dimity Powell, Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen, Girls and Boys.
As 2012 is the National Year of Reading and as I am Patron of Book Links Queensland, of the Queensland Branch of the Children&#…

Censorship in Children's Writing - A Matter of Debate

What follows is a recent post of mine some of you may have read in last week's Pass It On e-zine by Jackie Hosking. It attempted to lift the lid on the curly question of 'Do books need a rating?' As predicted this is an absorbing topic for debate, one that I'm probably not fully qualified to adjudicate but am fascinated by.

Ben Marshall raised some interesting and salient points in his response (thanks Ben) in this week's PIO issue 415. He argued 'that censoring books is a form of lying'; that young people can in fact enact their own form of censorship merely by closing the book; and that exposure to the warts and all darker bits of life through the written word is a good way to prepare them for if. I tend to agree with him.

From an author's point of view, rigorous and formal censorship would only create another loop through which writers, publishers and agents alike would all have to jump, further frustrating the actual production of a book for the re…

Dim's Sleigh Ride Begins!

Dashing through the space of the cyber hemisphere, you'll learn a bit about me, that'll bring you close to tears (of laughter?)
Join me on this tour of some awesome bloggers' sites. It's going to be a blogging tour that'll fill you with delight.
Check out the amazing sleigh-load of bloggers and reviewers participating on what promises to be a spectacular ride with me. Tune in each day, leave a comment or two and don't forget to enter the COMPETITION FOR SIGNED COPY OF PS Who Stole Santa's Mail? in time for Christmas. It's easy. Just answer the question: What do you think Santa wants for Christmas? Details of how to enter on each blog tour post. Competition closes midnight 30th November 2012.
17 November Kids Book Review
18 November My Little Bookcase
19 November Sheryl Gywther
20 November Morris Publishing Au…

Book Trailer

It's not really a true fruit mince pie without a generous sprinkle of sugar on the top. Christmas pudding is nothing without lashings of brandy custard cascading down its sides. And it's never truly Christmas for me without Christmas music playing extremely loud and annoyingly often. Singing along is a given.

So here is a sweet, little, festive season something extra for you all to enjoy.

The trailer, behind the book, behind the elf, behind the possible destruction of Christmas. Play it loud, to drown out your incredulous laughter or questioning gasps. Parental guidance not really recommended, but if you have a child who doesn't handle curled blue elf shoes well, best slide hand over face of said child  for 3 seconds.

Book Trailer for PS Who Stole Santa's Mail?
Available to purchase in all good bookstores now, via order or online at Morris Publishing Australia
Don't forget: BOOK LAUNCH of PSWHO STOLE SANTA'S MAIL? at the Black Cat Cafe and Book Shop, Paddington

Santa Delivers

The first cut is always the least it is when you're slicing your way into your first consignment of books.

Santa, how could I have ever doubted your ability to deliver?
Now time to find those stockings to stuff. It really is beginning to feel a lot like Christmas...

The Next Big Thing

I'm excited. Christmas around the corner. Debut book,PS Who Stole Santa's Mail? about to launch. The prospect of Santa visiting soon is enough to produce a smile even on the most chaotic of days.
I'll be celebrating the imminent new arrival in November with several book launches and a ripper sleigh ride around some fantastic author blog sites (aka Blog Tour). Stay tuned for dates. But for now here is a preliminary glance into the world of Dimity Powell's first children's novel - an interview conducted by the Next Big Thing Blog Hop. THANKS for the NOMINATION ELENA, of Answers From Blog.

                'THE NEXT BIG THING' BLOG HOP Q: What is the working title of your book? A: PS Who Stole Santa’s Mail? This is the published title. The working title was PS What About Christmas?
Q: Where did the idea come from for the book? A: Amazingly from the local newspaper. Years ago an article appeared announcing the decreasing numbers of post boxes throughout the Gold Coas…

The Little Things

It's the tiniest, subtle changes in routine that an out of-work-husband being-at-home-all the time brings, that are creating the greatest disturbances.

His presence has noticeably shifted the fragile balance I fight so hard to maintain between creative household management and things of a writerly nature.

For instance; my laundry situation. I know, I know; it was a personal pact of mine to never air my dirty laundry socially, but now that the frequency of my coloureds load is compromised, now that my weekly wash routine is in complete disarray (I'm at a loss not having to wash drum-loads of uniforms), I feel compelled to explore the reason why.

And it is simply because he is here.

OK, maybe my problems are not that significant in the grand scheme of clean clothes management, but life-balance is a precious, delicate thing and when something like a stay-at-home-husband comes along and leans too heavily on one side of the scale, well, there's no telling where one's smalls…

Starting Fresh

I quit the gym this week. Not an earth shattering revelation but it was a harder thing to do than joining one. After twelve loyal years of sweating it out and pounding the treadmill, I'm cutting the emergency stop chord free. And not without some reservations.
But at least it confirms that I do indeed belong to the human race; for I share the same two inherent dislikes that  most human beings have difficulty dealing with: changeletting go Perhaps though, it is time for a change. Reduced physical activity should tie in nicely with my renewed writing commitment; to apply bum glue, stay put and write more.

Okay, so not all life choices are wise ones. But not all in life is a matter of choice.

Like a Mountain in Springtime

It's Queensland Writers' Week in this neck of the woods. A time to embrace and celebrate the vibrant literacy culture of the Banana State. It's also a time of great activity as I embark on the launching of my debut novel, so my involvement this year is limited to a few humble blog posts. Here's the first of the week;a small knot of realisations spawned from some much needed time away over the school holidays to rest and recouperate.
Running away from something is not always a bad idea, especially if there's a Rhino chasing you.Beauty is not always hidden and hard to find. It's just sometimes very discreetly placed so at first you don't notice it.It doesn't matter what you're running away from, or to, or even who you're running for; sometimes it's just good to run for the sake of it. To jog and loosen up all the cracked thoughts, to shake them free and make way for new ideas and inspirations.Running into discreetly placed beauty can sometimes …

We Will Become Like Birds

Ad Astra Per Aspera
That is all.

Book Week Wrap Up

Another couple of weeks of brutalising the vocal chords, getting lost on school grounds, and forcing the breakfast routine at home to hurry along to ensure I make it on time to the next gig are drawing to a close. Ask any (children's) author or illustrator what compels them to make so many back to back engagements during various literacy promoting weeks like CBCA's Book Week and the National Literacy and Numeracy Week and you'll probably get a different answer every time.

Their agent asked them to.Book Week is THE time to make school visits count.It's a nice change to presenting at Festivals and Industry Seminars all the time.It's a golden opportunity to reach out and connect with your actual target audience - The Kids.It pays well - I actually made enough to cover the cost of a new magenta ink cartridge, once you subtract the chemist bills for all the medications needed to retain my voice.They like the sound of their own voice (if they don't lose it) - reading …

Champions Read ~ And look at the Pictures

Have you read a book today? For yourself, or even better with someone else. If that someone else is a child, then Bravo. You're a Champion and like the motto for this year's CBCA Book Week, ChampionsRead.
However in the sometime chaotic race to excel these days, the simple things in life are often given scant attention in favour of achieving the BIG GOAL. I'm speaking of the shelves of picture books that may have been jettisoned now that your child or grandchild has moved out of the first grades of their education and are busy piling the seas of literacy.
Throw out a life buoy and reel them back in I say. The importance of picture books can not be ever underestimated, in my estimation and that's not just because I love to write them and read them still.

Some months ago I attended a master class by respected children' author illustrator Angela Sunde. Apart from some very illuminating insights on the making of picture books, Angela highlighted an equally salient not…

Resounding Success

As a debut emerging author, I take the utmost pleasure in regularly soaking up as much information as I possibly can. Attending literary events such as theGold Coast Literati Festival, not only allows me to occupy the same room as my peers and other revered authors and illustrators, along with prospective readers but also puts me in prime position for collecting new insights and clarifying old wisdoms.

Resonance was one such session I recently sat in on during which fantasy writer Rowena Cory Daniells, discussed what resonance was, what it meant for the writer and to the reader and how it was acquired.

She explained how Resonance was the unique feeling the reader took away with them when they finished reading a book. For the Writer, it was that special affinity you try to instill in your writing, the mindset you need to be in in order to write true to your story.

Resonance comes in the most part from past experience. For others on the panel, Steve Irwin (author of The Dead Path) and Ne…

Progress Report

I am disappointingly not one of those writers that reports on each writing hurdle cleared. I am not given to mapping every new twist and turn I encounter on the wondrous sometimes ponderous path to publication, which is odd because I'm a natural over sharer.

It's not because I don't want to share the experience, impart the new found realisations, or confirm the actualities of nursing your precious manuscript into existence. It's more a case of me being just too busy living the dream...(which also explains the long draught between posts)

Plus I'm conscious of a few things:
Success comes in many guises. Whilst getting your story to print is a wonderful ego boost and validation of your hard work, there hangs forever above the heads of most writers, the dreaded cloud of 'what if it really isn't good enough?' Will they all laugh at my deplorable writing style and tragic failure to connect with the reader? Will they even want to buy it? (Well they should - …

What's in a Name?

Pseudonym, alias, non-de-plume, literary double, pen name ~ aka ~ not your real name.

Why do people use names other than those which were whimsically or half wittingly slapped onto them at birth? Why do writers in particular choose fictitious names to write under? The answers to these questions are probably as varied and colourful as the stories of those who use them.

When I married, I thought long and hard about surrendering my maiden name. I was advised not to. But acquiesced with tradition and assumed my husband's surname to the chagrin of many (mainly work colleges and business associates).

From the age of 13, I was reminded repeatedly what a great name I had: it's unusual, it's pretty, wow what an awesome name, you'll end being a movie star with a name like that. I kid you not.

 Have I stifled my chance of attaining greatness simply by shifting from a

Dimity Selina Zee  to a Dimity Selina Powell?
Maybe. Maybe not. Let's look at the reasons to change and cons…

Writing Wonderworlds

The words on the banner above state that I possess a desire to make reading and writing more inspired for children. They are not spoken lightly.

As part of the Coomera Rivers SSBook Week in May festivities, I have the privileged honour of being their guest author. Throughout the week I've been presenting writing workshops and reading sessions to over 500 primary aged kids and their teachers.
Nothing gives me more of a buzz than a room full of enthusiastic faces and arms thrust so far into the air (to proffer answers and anecdotes) I'd swear their fingers were full of helium. Together we explored the purpose, importance and structure of story telling. They discussed what makes a good read. They shared their reading secrets and writing aspirations with me. They set free their creative selves with exuberant abandon. And they committed to every writerly task asked of them.
They enthused over the marvellous Book Fair displays in their i Centre with it's rollicking Show Time …

Celebrate Learning

In case you didn't know State Education Week 2012 is currently in full swing. It's a week where State Schools across Queensland celebrate not only the achievements of students within these schools but also their teachers.

Among the multitude of planned activities, Principal for a Day, My Favourite Teacher awards, morning teas, parades and community sharing sessions are all being celebrated, giving the entire extended school community the opportunity to celebrate the joys and rewards of teaching and learning.

I was lucky enough to be invited to participate in a thoroughly enjoyable morning of reading and presenting alongside fellow guest authors, Renee Taprell and Candice Lemon-Scott at the Helensvale State School.

Both of these ladies are no strangers to children's literature; Renee being a keen picture book writer and Candice a published author of several titles including the humorous Aussie Chomps junior novel, Stinky Ferret and the JJs. The Helensvale Grade 3s and 4…