I love to make things – stories, songs, gnomes…anything really!

Here I will write about my creative passions and those of my family, friends and anyone else who comes my way.

I hope you enjoy reading 🙂


Pablo’s Valentine

*This is an entry in Susanna Leonard Hill’s Valentiny Writing Contest – a 214 word story for kids incorporating the theme of guilt! Thanks for the opportunity Susanna heart



Pablo was a practical joker about to meet his match…

He was hiding in the garbage when Polly came pecking.


Poor Polly lost a few feathers!

‘Hmmph!’ she thought. ‘This guy needs taking down a peg or two.’

So, when Pablo noticed an attractive pigeon – mysteriously submerged in the lake – Polly had an idea.

‘Why hello there,’ said Pablo, plumping his feathers. ‘You’re a pretty thing!’

From behind a tree, Polly projected her voice. ‘Coo! So are you!’


Pablo returned to the lake again.

‘Why don’t you come to the shore my love?’ he asked.

‘I need to cool off,’ said Polly. A couple of her feathers fell out.


The next day Pablo paced beside the lake – as did his beloved.

‘Beautiful bird,’ he cooed. ‘Will you be my Valentine?’

Polly’s grin slipped. A few more feathers fell out. Her tummy flipped over.


Pablo waded into the water.

‘No!’ Polly cried and flew in front of him, ‘Pablo, it was me. I’m your Valentine!’


By now, only Pablo’s head was above water.

‘The bird you saw – it was a reflection, silly!’

Polly flew to shore and returned with a stick in her beak.

‘Grab this!’

Safely on shore, Pablo’s eyelids flickered.

‘Forgive me?’ begged Polly.

‘Coo!’ said Pablo. ‘Fancy some hot chips?’

The Song of Good Hope


Glen Hansard – folk singer extraordinaire

We’ve been singing an amazing song in choir that has felt so relevant to me as I struggle with another dreadful bout of self-doubt on my writing journey. The Song of Good Hope by Glen Hansard speaks on so many levels. Hansard wrote it for a dear friend who was battling cancer but I think the song can apply more broadly to battling our inner demons. Here are some of my favourite lines:

Take your time babe, it’s not as bad as it seems, you’ll be fine babe,

It’s just some rivers and streams in between, you and where you wanna be.

And watch the signs now, you’ll know what they mean, you’ll be fine now

Just stay close to me and may good hope walk with you through everything.

One dear lady, who I don’t know very well, cried buckets of silent tears as we sung this song the other night. It was all I could do not to run across the circle and embrace her. Sadly, I don’t know her well enough to enquire but I think the comfort of the ‘coming to the well’ which is the group of women who meet once a week to sing may have helped.

And then, another night one of our choir friends shared that this song had spoken to her during her own cancer battle. She had sung it every day and it had brought her strength and solace. Wow, that’s some powerful writing! And so brave of her to share.

If you’re interested in learning more about Glen Hansard there’s a good article here.

And thanks as always to the beautiful Belinda McArdle for truly living up to her philosophy ‘finding the heart in the music and the music in each heart’


The Secret Seven Picture Book essentials

katrina-portrait-1-regularfilesize4Last month, I was lucky enough to attend a picture book master-class with author Katrina Germein at the CYA conference. Katrina is one of those beautiful people who makes an instant connection and makes you secretly hope she’ll be your new best friend 😉

Seriously, she was so generous with her tips and so humble about her success that I came away feeling inspired and refreshed on my PB journey.

And because, as I’m revising my own PBs in progress, I keep trying to remember her pearls of wisdom, I thought I’d record them here.

Katrina’s top seven tips for picture books are:

  1. A swift orientation – the who, where and why. Drop the reader straight into the story. Set the scene and create intrigue. We looked at some great examples, including:

He was red                                                                               red

But he wasn’t very good at it.

Red by Michael Hall.





My uncle’s donkeyDonkey

is allowed in the house!

My Uncle’s Donkey by Tohby Riddle





The girl had lost her way.Lost

The Lost Girl by Ambelin Kwaymullina




2. Use evocative language which is concise and poetic

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