17 November, 2008

christmas gift with zing!

Our little zine fair at the markets was a success! And fun. We had a good position and enjoyed the atmosphere. Stall holders were looked after well, with free tea and coffee and a complimentary cup of popcorn. I wore my new Queensland Writers Centre t-shirt which prompted one stallholder to ask me for assistance in writing assignments for his politics and history degree. Hahaha. We were very near the handmade chocolates stall, and I resisted right until the end and then bought half a dozen Christmas themed chocolates. Yum. Special thanks to Shar who was a great companion at the fair. Shar now owns the storyjeans featured on my slideshow.
For those of you who bought Good Fortune - enjoy your literary snack. For those who bought TEN for the young writers in your life - their creativity is going to go through the roof.

Today's good news - both zines are now in stock at the local Visitor Information Centre (thank you, Kelli). It's a Christmas gift with zing for readers and writers alike. And you get your own special fortune when you buy GF. Go, buy one!

Submissions are now open for issue #3 which will come out next year. Jacaranda zine showcases short fiction and poetry from Fraser Coast writers, with local images. Want to be part of it? Contact me for the guidelines.

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.

13 November, 2008

reading in pyjamas

A quiz from Bronwyn at The Pyjama Foundation, and my responses.

As a child, which book was your favourite? Eleanor Farjeon's The Little Bookroom
What books from your childhood do you still possess? The Little Bookroom, The Monster at the End of this Book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Magic Pudding, Anne of Green Gables, Winnie The Pooh, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, etc etc.
As a child, who influenced you by reading aloud? my Mum.
What do you believe are the benefits gained from reading aloud to children? Togetherness, Big person pronounces the difficult words so Little person learns, Reading is seen as important, Big and Little get to laugh together and make outrageous sounds together, Big and Little can explore design elements and the professions of writer and illustrator, Little and Big go on many adventures together through the world of print.
Name a book you secretly love, but never admit you read? I'll admit to all on my list (you want me to say the Sweet Dreams series??) - there are more that I want to read but haven't.
What book would you choose to read aloud to children? Eric Carle and Pamela Allen's books, Mick Inkpen's Wibbly Pig, something with rhythm and repetition and interesting concepts.
What is your favourite movie made from a book you have read? the Narnia Chronicles, the Spyderwick Chronicles,
Who is your favourite book character? Griselda, and Tashi
Where is your special place to read? Hobart Botanical Gardens
What book are you reading now? Kate Grenville's The Lieutenant (thanks, Dave), The Lollipop Shoes, looking forward to Nick Earl's next in '09, and trying to get to Inkheart.

01 November, 2008

school tutor

I've recently completed 36 hours of tutoring for three fabulous middle-school students over a three month period. As an Evenstart tutor I worked on the Investigations into Components of Writing program tackling punctuation, spelling, vocabulary, sentence control and ideas. I enjoyed showing them their creative minds at work, and seeing them all improve in test results. A created a beautiful poem about October lillies, M did well in his wordgames, and I had such laughs with B over our bizarre collaborative four word story project. We had a combination of activities using the Internet, writing on paper and on the blackboard, using the Bananagrams tiles and playing word snap. That was so much fun I'll have to do it again.

words in film

Congratulations to Jason Van Genderen (and associates) on his Tropfest win with Mankind is no Island. Tonya Turner wrote in The Courier Mail that this is a moving, poetic and inspired story about homelessness without a single word spoken. Instead, words and images captured on street signs, t-shirts, posters, shop fronts, movie boards, traffic signs and menus fill the screen one at a time as a gritty urban narrative. Keri Smith opened my mind to the stories blossoming all around us and I developed story sparks for my children's workshops. One was 'Walk around town, noting the t-shirt messages and signage you see. Use some words in your opening paragraph.' I was thinking, note them in a journal/notebook, but that was before I started carrying a camera around. But, hey, Jason shot MINI on his mobile phone. It is beautiful and raw, and will hopefully inspire others to practice 'the gentle art of hearing'.
View MINI on YouTube here.

Other memorable films with words - Bob Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues and INXS' Mediate from the Kick album (oh yeah).
And Carrie Donovan flicking the library cards on YouTube with Hey, You/Ask.

what's a zine?

Joanna mentioned that people at markets are always asking her what a zine is, so I thought I'd better have an explanation ready myself. These are my notes.

  • A literary snack delivered straight from the writer to the reader: independent, organic and handmade
  • five minute fiction
  • an artistic literary format in which you will find stories, illustrations, images, poetry, reviews, interviews, comic strips, opinions, beliefs, etc.
  • quirky
  • funky
  • they can be privately treasured or shared
  • non-mainstream
  • it's about self-expression
  • it's about exploring your art
  • it's about getting sticky with glue and familiar with a photocopier
  • it's C6-sized, A4, mini, it's handstitched, it's folded, stapled, coloured, designed, typed, handdrawn, notes in a matchbox, printed on paper, sold, given away - it's whatever you want it to be
  • something anyone can make and share.

Which zines do you read?