Bayside Local Author Expo: Victoria, Australia

Free program for writers at the Beaumaris Library, Victoria, to be held on Sunday 29th May 2016, 1-5pm.

Having joined the Sandy Beach writer’s group, I am now tiptoeing out of my comfort zone to join in this Bayside Local Author Expo. It would be great if any of you are able to come along. There will be many authors selling books, plus the program below that looks quite interesting.

It will also be children’s book illustrator- friend, Andrew McLean’s 70th birthday that day, so there should be some great celebrations as well. Please introduce yourself if you do manage to come along.

Beaumaris Large Hall
1.30 – 2.15 Writing and marketing Children’s Literature
Panel Discussion
MC Kieran Carroll George Ivanoff
Annie White
Jacqui Grantford
Leanne Vernon
2.30 – 3.15 Developing a non-fiction book that will appeal to agents and readers alike
Panel Discussion
MC Kieran Carroll Graeme & Elsie Johnston
Krissy Nicholson
Vikki Petraitis
Susan Moore
3.30 – 4.15 Challenges in writing and publishing Fiction
Panel Discussion
MC – Kieran Carroll Anna George
Sally Hepworth
Elise McCune
Leigh redhead
Beaumaris Small Hall
1.30 – 2.15 Get a publisher or self publish?
Panel Discussion
Facilitator: Vikki Petraitis Martin Playne
Olga Lorenzo
Suzanne McCourt
Suzy J Brown
2.30 – 3.15 Promotion is not a dirty word! The art of marketing your book
Panel Discussion
Facilitator: Rochelle Jackson Lorraine Campbell
Jane Sullivan
Olga Lorenzo
Jenny Ackland
3.30 – 4.15 Past & present Bayside Writers in Residence: where are they now?
Panel Discussion/Readings
Facilitator: Mark Potter Dick Gross
Pauline Luke
Gillian Barnett
Christine Rogers

Looking back:

Have begun writing some of my memoir into short stories. This is one example:
Empire Day
I watched my mother make toffee apples. The sweet smell of sugar melting, bubbling fast with the bright red cochineal added. No stirring allowed as the sugar became toffee. The dimpled, large tin tray was filled with skewered toffee dipped apples left to set.

The year was 1956, May school holidays. The neighbourhood kids, my brothers and I had scoured the bush on the parade for dead branches and trees. We’d collected anything flammable. Old tyres were a prized find, though previously these had to be hidden from a rival arsonist gang, who had burnt our bonfire down the year before.

This year we joined forces with the rival gang and invited them to help build our bonfire and share the night. They were not so scary, once we got to know them. Two of them, the Stone twins, led a tough life, having to milk the cows each morning and night, helping their mother after their father had died. We all had fun dragging dead branches and piling them up until the bonfire was huge.

Cold winter darkness descended. Dressed warmly in our woolen coats and full of anticipation, we all went to the paddock opposite where the bonfire was ready to be lit. My mother waddled carrying enough toffee apples for everyone, the tray resting on her extended stomach. After distributing them, mother collected everyone’s crackers and put them onto another large tray to prevent them being lit at the same time so that it would extend the fireworks display.

Dad lit the fire illuminating excited faces. Flowerpots disgorged their red and yellow sprays of colour from the fence post. A few tom thumbs ignited, popping here and there, with penny bungers and Jumping Jacks being thrown, scaring the unwary. Catherine wheels spun skewered to fence posts. Rockets soared out of beer bottles, spraying red, green and white stars.

Suddenly there was a ruckus. Someone had thrown a large cracker onto the tray, which started igniting the rest. My mother dropped the tray, jumping back as crackers went off in every direction. A rocket whizzed between her legs as she hopped and danced. Disappointed, without understanding why, my brothers and I were quickly gathered together and taken home.

It wasn’t until the next morning that we were told our brother, Angus, was born on Empire Day. He came into the world with a bang and inherited a crackerjack personality.

Computer troubles overcome:

Having been off the air for some time, I forgot to mention that my beloved contacted a firm to help me resolve my computer problems.

MacKeepers are a firm who assist Apple owners resolve their problems remotely. I had lost use of my iPhotos and not being resourceful and wanting to go out of my way, instead found other things to keep me occupied, rather than fix the problem. The first man to help lived in the Ukraine. By paying rather a lot, I now have oversight of my computer without having to worry about new bugs invading. The first help took 13 hours to rectify the 2052 problems and freed up some GBs. It is now in the regular helpful hands of MacKeepers who are also at the end of the telephone if I have questions or problems. This is a wonderful service and I really am grateful to have the computer back. Of course there are lessons for me to learn to help keep my computer healthy. I have utilised this telephone service once and the man was very patient and talked me through, seeing what was on my screen he could see what the problem was.

The relief is enormous. I hadn’t realised just how much it was bothering me subconsciously.

Here are a few more photos, left over from my last post of our visit to Arthurs Seat, Mornington Peninsula.

Tree surfing

Tree surfing

One of the Mazes at Enchanted Adventure Garden

One of the Mazes at Enchanted Adventure Garden

The Fairy Garden

The Fairy Garden

Cherio from M & J

Cherio from M & J

Easter holidays over:


safety instructions

safety instructions


These holidays coincided with our grandson’s 8th birthday. Jack and Mackenzie really enjoyed the water park, and on Jack’s birthday we went to Arthurs Seat on the Mornington Peninsula. Here they have lots of child friendly activities. It was the first time we’d been. Tree surfing for nippers included being suspended in the trees with a harness with many challenging obstacle courses ending with a wonderful zip, or flying fox after each course. There were three courses for the young nippers and it took about an hour. The adult course looks very hairy and that takes two hours, though that wasn’t for us.
After a picnic lunch we then discovered the many mazes and some slides that were in constant use. Carrying the blowup tubes to the top of the hill was part of the experience. Exhausting grandparents who just gazed and children who climbed again and again.



The gardens were beautifully maintained and my favourite part was the Japanese garden. My photos don’t do it justice. Having our grandchildren over to stay makes us realize why people have children when they are young.

Autumnal pursuits:

Christopher Pyett : ideas for paintings

Christopher Pyett : ideas for paintings

Autumn is a time for hunkering down. My daughter rang to say her gutters have been replaced and a dangerous chimney taken care of.
We’ve decided to remove two large palm trees that drop thousands of seeds and sprout everywhere. I love their height, but the other trees will soon fill the space left behind.

General garden maintenance is a fulfilling task. Removing spent tomato plants, culling the raspberries and tying the new canes makes the garden feel ready for winter. Pruning everything is something that needs to be rationed according to the recycling bins. We now have two brown bins, for garden waste that I don’t want to compost. Our six compost bins are fully utilized. So the garden is in need of constant attention, which fits in with writing.

I’d like to work half days at each, writing and gardening, so that I’m not sitting in front of the computer all day. This healthy option seldom works out, but I shall continue to aim for this ideal.

My computer is fine apart from the iphotos, which won’t allow me access. I shall really have to learn to use my new laptop, which is another thing I’ve been resisting. So for the moment, no photos of the garden.

Blog Revival 20th March 2016

After having been off the air for some months, I have received several ‘follows’ which have inspired me to pull my finger out. Hello everyone!

I have joined a writer’s group at the Sandy Beach Centre in Sandringham, Victoria, where we meet once a week. We are an eclectic group of people with vastly different interests. Our teacher, Claire, a poet, introduces different genres and writers each week. We share our work and write constructive ideas on one another’s work. It’s a very supportive atmosphere, but it has made me realize just how much I don’t know. I feel like a novice, as so many are far more advanced than I am. This is a good thing, as it keeps me trying harder.

When I last wrote a post, I mentioned a film, Poets’, in which Chris and I had been invited to participate. If you blink you’d miss us! The film was shown in Rosebud at the Short Film Festival and won its section. It will travel Internationally and be shown in Cannes. Congratulations to all concerned, especially the poet, Andrea Louise Thomas and the young Director, Liam Kelly.

A rather important mile- stone was celebrated this February, my seventieth birthday. This inspired me to travel to Tasmania with my eldest daughter to visit relations. Instead of coming home, I continued onto Canberra to spend time with my other two children and their families. This time I ensured I had an extra day to catch up with former work colleagues and friends. Nothing replaces old friends!

Sharing work on the Internet has drawbacks. Some competitions require unpublished work, and therefore I’m saving my short stories, hopefully to compile enough for a book. I did enter one recently in the Ely Writers’ Day, Short Story Competition, U.K. and it was highly recommended. This was a great surprise and a thrill.

Lily’s Wish Book Review

I thank Dixie Minor, who wrote this excellent review, so am trying to reblog her post! I’ve forgotten how already.Her blog can be found at:

Lily’s Wish
Lily’s Wish is a beautiful, whimsical Christmas book that celebrates the special love between children and grandparents. The story features Lily, a small child who wants to fly. At first, we, as readers don’t know the reason Lily wants so badly to be able to fly. But then she writes a letter to Santa Claus, and the wish seems to take wings of its own.
The author, Barbara Pyett, has written a heartwarming story that weaves together the magical moments of Christmas with a very real love that exists all year long: the love of Lily for her grandmother. The book is sure to please children as well as their parents and grandparents, perhaps especially grandparents who do not live close to their grandchildren.
The illustrations, by Serena Geddes, are lovely. Children will be delighted to follow the story through pictures and discover the wonderful surprise that is revealed near the end of the book.
This book will enhance special book-sharing time around the holidays, both for children and for those of us who are still children at heart, especially at Christmas.

The book can be purchased from