Wishing I was back at school…

Some days I wish I was at school…

Now, I hated high school. I don’t have the best memories of the time I spent there, but there are some days I wish I was back in school…

It’s not every subject, just English. One thing I appreciated (now, not then) is the discipline of writing something, handing it in to the teacher for feedback, then working on the piece again, making it better. [Read more…]

Through the eyes of a child…

Through a child's eyes

If you’re a regular reader here, you know that I’ve been participating in Write on Wednesday with Ink Paper Pen.

Over the last few exercises, I’ve written a couple of pieces that describe events and activities through the eyes of a child.

I have started editing Time for a Walk as I wrote it quickly and I can see that there is potential in the story, either as a kids book with photos or pictures of a toddler walking, or as a longer short story.

Even this weeks exercise was fun and I can see potential in expanding it to show the set up for the event through the eyes of a four year old (and possibly the unfairness in being sent to bed before everyone arrives).

From the comments on both these pieces, I can see ways to expand them as well as other enjoying them.

I’m enjoying writing pieces through the eyes of a child, and it seems like I’m good at it, again judging by the comments on these posts.

Where this goes to from here, I don’t know yet, but it’s something I’m having fun doing.

If you have suggestions on where I can take these, I’d love to know.

Entered a competition…

I've entered a competition...

I’m holding my breath slightly right now.

I stumbled upon the Kids’ Book Review Inaugural Unpublished Picture Book Award! and as I have an unpublished picture book I’ve been working on, I thought I’d enter.

With some encouragement from my PlanBig friends and followers on my Facebook page, I submitted my story last night.

Now, the Jimmy James story is too long for the criteria, so I’ve entered Mikey’s Bedtime. I am now waiting for them to get back to me with their payment details so I can pay the entry fee.

I’m a bit nervous. Then again, I don’t know why I’m nervous – I have won writing awards before, but it has been a while.

Please wish me luck. I’ll let you know how I go.

Sunshine in a Cup

A bit of sunshine in a cup

It’s Write on Wednesday time again. This week we have a writing prompt: “Bring me sunshine in a cup.” You can read the whole prompt here.

Sooti edged closer to the table. It was beautifully decorated and she had been told not to touch ANYTHING. Mum had placed every plate, glass, fork, knife and spoon in their place. They were shiny and the light from the candles danced of them. To her four year old eyes, it looked magical.

Her fingers started to move closer to a shiny, silver fork, the temptation too much, before something else captured her eye.

Turning away from the table, she focussed on the candles flickering near the windows, reflecting in the glass. They were in frosted glass holders. Sooti sat on her knees and admired the sight in front of her. Each one looked like Mum had captured a little bit of sunshine and put it in a cup, just for tonight.

I wrote this while waiting for the boys to finish choir. It was very interrupted, so I’m not sure how long it took. I hope you enjoy it.

Write On Wednesdays


A new idea for Jimmy James

A good lunch?

Driving home from school yesterday, I asked my 9 year old how his lunch was. He replied “Good” then giggled, saying “How can lunch be good? It’s not as if it can be naughty!”

This led to the suggestion that we should explore a Jimmy James story with a naughty lunch… we just weren’t too sure what this would look like.

So, I’m asking all my awesome readers and supporters for some help.

What would a naughty lunch look like? What would it do?

I’m sure Mr N is thinking about this too, and I look forward to writing up all the different ideas we come up with.

Amazing things for a 9 year old

Amazing things for a 9 year old?

I need some help. I am in the process of editing the first Jimmy James story I have written – the story of Jimmy James and his amazing socks.

Here is my question:

What are some day to day amazing things that can happen to a 9 year old boy?

My own 9 year old has given me some ideas, like kicking the winning goal in footy and his little brother giving him the last chocolate biscuit without being told. But I need some more ideas.

If you have some ideas I could use, please add a comment. I look forward to your suggestions.

Jimmy James writes a letter

Writing a letter...

It’s Write on Wednesday again. This week is a “Choose Your Own Adventure” challenge. You can read the details here.

I was sent a gorgeous book for my birthday that is correspondence between two people. I have also seen a number of reports about how kids aren’t writing much any more. I have also been toying with writing something about Melbourne & history for kids. I got an idea in my head yesterday for a Jimmy James story written as letters – probably one sided as it’s been a long time since I’ve been overseas…

Here is what I have so far. I’m trying to use a similar style to what my 9 year old may write… Enjoy.

Dear Lara,

You don’t know me, but our Mums knew each other back in high school. My teacher told my Mum that I have to practice my hand writing, so she sent your Mum an email and suggested I write to you since we are about the same age. Anyway, Mum has been nagging me, so I’m getting her off my back by writing this to you. She wouldn’t let me send an email!

So, a bit about me – my name is Jimmy James and I am nearly 10. I live in Australia with my Mum and my little brother, Timmy Tom. He is really annoying. I love footy, not like the one where you are in England, Soccor, but Aussie Rules. Look it up online. It’s the coolest sport. Mum won’t let me play in a team… but I do AusKick to learn how to play.

My favourite colour is Purple. I used to think it was a girls colour, until my Grandma gave me the COOLEST socks for my birthday.

I hope that’s enough for now, my hand is getting tired! Write back if you like.

Jimmy James


Write On Wednesdays


Kids book – an update

Updating you on my kids book

It’s been a while since I’ve updated you on my kids book. If you’ve been supporting my plan on PlanBig, you may have seen some updates…

But here’s the latest:

About a month ago, I attended a workshop by Create a Kids Book. I wasn’t very well on the day, and didn’t take a lot in, but the most useful part was the mini  assessment at the end. The amazing Jo Thompson went through my edited manuscript and suggested a whole lot of changes. It only took me a month from the workshop, but I finally sat down on the weekend, made those changes and finished off the story in line with those changes.

Before submitting it for a manuscript assessment again, I thought I’d forward it on to a few people for their thoughts. I have sent it to three different people, one has never seen the story before, one read it about 15 years ago, and another read the last draft I did.

So far, one person has come back with her thoughts, and I have butterflies waiting on the others.

I’m still not sure whether to self publish, or contact traditional publishers, but that isn’t a decision I need to make right now. Either way, I’m hoping to have the manuscript at a publishable state in the next few months.

A story challenge?

Story on Twitter...?

I’ve been toying with an idea for a while… Short stories seem to be my thing, and I also seem to be writing things one paragraph at a time.

So, I was wondering if a story could be written/published on Twitter – 140 characters at a time.

The idea would be to publish an ongoing story, rather than lots of 140 character stories, and set up a Twitter account (and possibly a blog, Facebook page, etc) for people to read the story.

It would certainly be an interesting exercise, but I’m not sure if anyone would be interested in reading it. Also, whether I should continue with the Accidental WAHM theme, or try something else…

So, I thought I’d put it out there – what do you think of this idea/challenge? Do you think it would work? Do you have any suggestions for a topic or theme?

I look forward to your feedback 🙂

To plan or not to plan…

Do you plan?

Recently I dug out a pile of writing I did when I was at school, along with some of the worksheets (I don’t know why I still have those). There was so much emphasis placed on planning stories and essays.

I can remember that I used to cheat – I would write a story or essay, then write the plan. It was hard when we had to submit the plan first, and when I had to do that first, the finished product bore little resemblance to the plan. [Read more…]

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