A nice surprise!

July 21, 2014

I just heard that I have been awarded second prize in the Hector the Lump of Coal Picture Book Competition. I wrote a story in verse called ‘Hector and the Bully’.

Such a pleasure to rhyme and to have a narrative, and a group of characters, I must say. It was a very different type of poetry from that which I usually write, which tends to be free verse.  I tried to make the poem quite easy to read, particularly aloud, while avoiding overly clunky rhymes.  (It is about a lump of coal, though, which is a fairly solid addition to any poem.)

I wanted to raise the issue of bullying without making the work too confronting for a potential audience of young readers (some of whom might have the story read to them by parents, should it be published).

Hector became more like a real presence to me as the piece progressed, as those close to me noticed. What started purely as a bit of fun became a tad more serious. Hector began popping up in the conversation all the time.  I began imagining him in all sorts of scenarios.  As is usual with me, I became a little obsessed.  First time it’s happened with a coal-shaped mascot, though!

To say that I am surprised to win a prize is actually an understatement, given that this was so far from what I usually do.  Although I have secretly been working on a different children’s book, it must be said…Here I am dreaming of publication.

This current award does not necessarily mean publication of the story, by the way. It is a cash prize.

Thank you to the organisers, DBCT Pty Ltd. I only wish I could meet Hector some time.

I had a poem prepared for today, but this most unexpected news intervened.


November 17, 2009

I’ve just had a second book published by Ginninderra Press (see blogroll), a collection of short stories called A Quiet Day. To be launched in December by Peter Frankis.

Launching books
atmosphere pulls
pages flutter

Really, perhaps I should leave haiku alone and stick to quirky free verse, which seems to be my forté. And super-short stories with twisty possum tails. Have you noticed that no-one says that anything is their piano, let alone pianissimo, as in something they’re hopeless at?

Novels were her pianissimo,
Crushing her in bulk,
smalling her to modesty.
She slams the covers on her fingers.

Enough. Blogging is the new nicotine.