Three Things #11

Bookshelf for ABC Radio 04

It has been awhile since I compiled a Three Things post.  Traditionally, it should be different things, Reading Looking Thinking, but sometimes I don’t quite stick to that plan.  The original post was started by Paula Bardell-Hedley of Book Jotter.  She has the best literary links in the blogging biz.

Let’s open with READING

Tensy Farlow And The Home For Mislaid Children
by Jen Storer

  • Published: 3 August 2009
  • ISBN: 9781742286495
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 348

Tensy Farlow and The Home for Mislaid Children by Jen Storer

MY REVIEW

A scary story for ages nine and upwards but personally I would not have read it at nine years of age.  Or if I did, I would have had my fingers ready to peek through.  But seeing as I was an adult when this story was written, it’s all a bit hypothetical really.

Abandoned in the River Charon as a baby, Tensy Farlow is found and raised by dear Albie Gribble until circumstances contrive to send her to a gothic children’s home which is anything but homely.  Tensy is a strong yet unusual protagonista with flame red hair.  She makes friends with the other foundlings and workhouse orphans, but as if Watchers-in-the-night aren’t bad enough there is a swampy creature with an evil agenda—and Tensy’s name is top of the list.

The characters are both funny and horrible, like despicable Matron Pluckrose, her assistant Mrs Beadle, foul Cook and very creepy buildings including a haunted chapel loosely based on Abbotsford Convent in Melbourne where Jen Storer had occupied a writing space.

Amidst the mayhem and dire food, there are nice people like GAs (guardian angels—although Tensy doesn’t have one) young Howard, Olive, good guys Guy and Magnus and… well, I think there were some other nice people.  When I wasn’t reading through my fingers (ahem) I steadily progressed to the climactic ending.  I did question the tenuous tying up of loose ends but over all it was a transcendental finale.  One for the Roald Dahl and Lemony Snicket readers but with unique quirks and atmospheric twist-backs all its own.

IMG_9269AUTHOR Jen Storer of Girl & Duck is an award-winning author of numerous books.  She is a writing motivator, creative inspirationalist, founder of Scribbles, the international children's writers creative group for authors, poets, illustrators and all things kidlit.  Jen has worked both sides of the publishing industry and knows trillions of wise and wonderful things to encourage and guide emerging writers.

Listen https://soundcloud.com/girlandduck

Now a peek at LOOKING

Australian Art: Short Course

I joined many others on Zoom as Angela Goddard, Director of Griffith University Art Museum, took us on a 3-part virtual short course to discover a unique perspective on Australian art.

Using artworks on display in QAGOMA’s Australian Art Collection, this introductory short course explored aspects of Australian art history, from ancient Indigenous traditions through to the present day.  Each virtual session featured a focus lecture, followed by a Q&A with a contemporary artist.

SESSION 1: COUNTRY, LANDSCAPE AND MEMORY
SESSION 2: NETWORKS OF MODERNITY
SESSION 3: PATHS TO THE CONTEMPORARY

I could ask questions and discuss ideas with other attendees and panelists via the Zoom chat window.  It was fascinating to see how our art evolved from the European painters to a strong Australian identity and then recognition of the original Indigenous artists.

Link to images of several of the works of art under discussion:
https://www.qagoma.qld.gov.au/whats-on/exhibitions/australian-collection

Campsite on Philip Island by FC Bernet c1950
Personal collection – Campsite Philip Island © FC Bernet c1950

And close with THINKING

After coming to grips with the Covid-19 pandemic, my city of Brisbane is learning how to get back into social activities and community events in a new socially acceptable way.

Apart from learning how to properly wash our hands and wear a face mask like the rest of the world, we are now embracing outdoor activities more than ever before.  In the cool calmness of morning, I do yoga in the park and share my mat with insects and fallen blossom.

I took this photograph (below) of the back page of November 2020 “What’s On” brochure which showcases some of the mostly-free Brisbane City Council activities on offer, from pottery and pilates to Shakespeare, cyclists and circus handstands. 

Hmm, I am thinking of attending the evening performance of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in Roma Street Parklands, 14-15 November from 4pm.  Although the park is adjacent to the central business district and fine dining, I think a picnic would be nice.  The event states "live music and swordplay".  Nothing like munching on a sandwich while watching dueling swordsmen spouting Shakespeare.

Gretchen Bernet-Ward
IMG_20201106_125108
Brisbane City Council November 2020 “What’s On” Event Guide

Author or Businesswoman? The Story Behind Girl and Duck

Real world experience and advice from a published author with dedication, sincerity and passion for sharing her craft.
Gretchen Bernet-Ward

Featured Image -- 12053
Who is this wonder woman? Read on…

girl and duck

This week at girl and duck, we opened The Scribbles Academy. It’s been super exciting and lots of people have jumped on board.

Thank you!!!! I know you’re going to love your Scribbly experience!

V2_Resized_ScribblesAcademyWordpress banner copy

But how did this all begin?

What’s the real story behind girl and duck?

I wrote about this a couple of years back. But, in those early days, I was more interested in talking about the community. How passionate it was and how it seemed to sprout from nowhere.

More time has passed and now I want to go deeper. I want you, dear reader, to know exactly how I began my online business.

How and why I started it. And who was there to help me.

Ding Ding Ding! Multiple Income Streams!

Back in 2011, it occurred to me that I might NEVER make a liveable income from writing. No matter how many books…

View original post 1,599 more words

Scribbles Masterclass 2019

One of my favourite contemporary children’s writers is Jen Storer.  Wise, warm and wonderful, Jen imparts her wealth of knowledge on Girl and Duck online with Scribbles courses, Questions and Quacks videos, Facebook live sessions and a yearly Masterclass.

Here is a letter from Jen Storer


Scribbles Masterclass Logo 2019

Scribbles Masterclass 2019

Dear Children’s Literature Creators,

KidLit Vic is fast approaching and so is the annual Scribbles Masterclass!

  • Scribbles Masterclass
  • 4.1 Hayden Raysmith Room
  • Ross House
  • 247 Flinders Lane (That’s right. Across the street from Brunetti!) Melbourne Australia
  • Friday 24 May 2019
  • 2pm – 5pm

Note: This year we have a SECRET special guest joining us!

If you would like to join me (and my special guest), please CLICK HERE to book your place by Wednesday, 15 May 2019 10pm (AEST).  There are still a few spots left.

IMPORTANT:  You do not have to be attending KidLit Vic Melbourne in order to join the Masterclass.  We are not affiliated, we just time it that way because lots of Scribblers are in town!

Stay scribbly!

Jen Storer
Children’s Author and Chief Inspirationalist at Girl and Duck.com*


Scribbles Masterclass Information 2019*Girl and Duck is a flourishing online community of emerging and established children’s literature creators (authors, illustrators, publishers, editors, designers and enthusiasts) with members from all over Australia, New Zealand, the USA and Europe.

Learn more about Duckies, Scribblers, writers and illustrators:
https://girlandduck.com/

Click to BOOK your Masterclass 2019 place NOW.  I know first-hand it’s a fun learning experience.

Gretchen Bernet-Ward

Scribbles Masterclass Melbourne May 2019 Panel
Girl and Duck ‘Scribbles’ Masterclass panel featuring Jen Storer, Lucinda Gifford and Judith Rossell, May 2019 Melbourne Australia.

Why do we care so much about shortlists? And I am on one!

I am honoured to be on the Shortlist in such esteemed company.
Here’s Jen Storer telling us all about shortlists… Gretchen Bernet-Ward

WordPress Scribbles Girl and Duck Awards Shortlist 2018 02

CWA_badge_SHORLIST-2018

girl and duck

Someone recently asked, what’s the big deal about a shortlist?
 
What’s the big deal?
 
A shortlist groups together the best!
 
 It acknowledges the most accomplished of a long and always healthy collection of entries.
 
It’s also how we make competitions like the Scribbles Creative Writing Awards, manageable — both for the judges and for the competitors.
 
Imagine if we only gave out two prizes, two ‘nods’, per category. Judges would tear out their hair. Creators would feel jaded and demoralised. And rightly so!
 

shortlist pre-announcement

A shortlist gives more people a chance to shine. It spreads the love a little further.
 
Yes, indeedy. To be on a shortlist is a great honour. And a great thrill.
 
Not only can it boost us emotionally, psychologically and creatively, it can also boost our career.
 
Publishers and agents care about shortlists. Funding bodies care about…

View original post 106 more words

The Year of Living Duckishly

Did you know that?  In the spirit of The Duck Pond, here’s a heads up from author Jen Storer of Girl & Duck.

Exciting times!  Jen’s SCRIBBLES CREATIVE GROUP (writing and illustration) is having a FLASH SALE on 30th September 2018.  Join now!

Yay! That’s 30% off their signature online course – 30% off on the 30th.  Ink it in, okay?

 Then the SCRIBBLES CREATIVE WRITING AWARDS open on 1st October 2018.

Have you got an awesome picture book manuscript or a junior fiction story you think might fly in the competition?  Middle grade?  An exciting storyboard?  There are FOUR categories and I bet you’ve got something creative worth entering!

To read all about the inaugural SCRIBBLES CREATIVE AWARDS plus prizes and how you can win a manuscript assessment and one-hour Skype coaching call with published author Jen Storer of Girl & Duck CLICK HERE.

Clarrie's Pig Day OutJen, creator of Truly Tan series and other children’s books, says “I hope this post flips your lid.  But only in a good way!”

#keepscribbling  #stayinspired
To keep up with all the news (and all the pretty pictures) follow Jen on Instagram.

Visit the website Girl & Duck and ask to join Jen, Zoe, Dulcie, Geek Duck (and me, and the other Duckies from around the world, talking children’s literature and stuff) in The Duck Pond, the most unique and supportive online kidlit group around – then join SCRIBBLES for even more fun!  I will definitely be entering the Awards competition!

All the links you’ll ever need to write and illustrate brilliant kids books:

https://girlandduck.com/
https://girlandduck.com/online-courses/scribbles/
https://girlandduck.com/scribbles-creative-writing-awards/
https://girlandduck.com/online-courses/the-girl-duck-institute/

Gretchen Bernet-Ward

Let Your Heart Be Light

Jen Storer is an established Australian children’s author brimming with imagination and inspiration. This post encapsulates her talent, personality and future plans. Jump into The Duck Pond and start paddling with emerging writers and illustrators!
Gretchen Bernet-Ward

girl and duck

Hello!

I like writing blog posts at Christmas. No one expects much. Do they?

IMG_3967Writing: I finally finished Truly Tan: Baffled! (book seven) and delivered it to my publisher on time (working right up until December 15, the day it was due). Phew! Next year I’ll be waaaay more organised. Ahem.

Finalising: We signed off on Danny Best: Me First! Check out the full cover. Talk about The Best! 😉 Due out in Feb 2018.

DB_MEFIRST_FC2Receiving: I received a Christmas card from a Tan reader. The letter attached said, I know you like wolves. So here’s a card with a fox on it. God, I love my readers.

IMG_3984 2

Planning and: pondering 2018. I have some lovely plans for girl and duck, including a Scribbles Boot Camp in Feb, and an IRL (in real life) Scribbles master class in Melbourne in May. We will also be launching the Girl and Duck…

View original post 518 more words

Writer’s Self-Help

My Reading Tray 05
Afternoon Tea

Over the years I have read a handful of self-help books aimed at emerging authors, including the iconic Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron and famous memoir On Writing by Stephen King, but recently I came across these two quite diverse publications which really gave me a nudge in the right direction.

“Use Your Words” by Catherine Deveny 2016 published by Black Inc.
“See Me Jump” by Jen Storer 2016 published by Girl And Duck.

Catherine Deveny’s book is written in plain straight forward language, and she gets right to the heart of the matter.  There’s no place to hide once the momentum starts rolling.  Be warned, this book is for adults.  Catherine uses impolite language and bad manners to push you forward, sometimes against your will.  Then you see that glowing light at the end of the tunnel, er, book.  Well worth reading this boot-camp style book.

Jen Storer’s book is slim yet informative with small sketches dotted through the pages.  Her style is easy, encouraging, friendly and humorous.  It’s a book for adults but those with a yearning to write good books for children.  Note the chapter 4 heading “Don’t let adults fix your character’s problem” which is a must for kids literature.  Many of Jen’s sentences make memorable quotes, my favourite “Be brave. Don’t wait to create.”

Gretchen Bernet-Ward

Catherine Deveny Writer
Self-Help
Jen Storer Writer
KidLit