Writer of historical fiction, blogger, mum, pet lover :)


March 2018

Queensland Art Gallery

We spent yesterday soaking in some old fashioned culture. Our intention was to take our youngest to the Brisbane Science Fair at Southbank. Jessica is doing all science units for her OP subjects so it is all Biology, Chemistry and Physics in my house at the moment.


I needed some arty culture to counter act the equations/experiments and such that were happening along the Brisbane river….how much physics can one take? Seriously, it was very educational and the student scientists were more than pleased to show us the dynamics of a molecule or to explain how DNA works….my daughter lapped it up.

Further along the embankment though, we stumbled across one of my favorite venues in Brisbane – the Queensland Art Gallery!

Here are some pics I took of our day…and came across inquisitive ibis, perched on a canopy above the walkway.

Have a great week!

#brisbane #lifestyle πŸ’™

The Book of Dust-Philip Pullman

For my Masters degree, I’m specializing in Children’s literature. I’m enrolled on three units, one that covers Folktales and Fairytales and one on YA (Young Adult) fiction.

YA fiction is a gente of writing that I have yet to fully explore. With preconceived ideas that YA books are merely ‘meant for teenagers,’ I ‘ve been proved wrong -they are just as enjoyable as any contemporary book you care to mention!

At the moment, I’m exploring the alternate worlds of Philip Pullman’s fantasy books. The Book of Dust was recommended in Book Club TV show recently, but when I took out the book (and also as part of my own research) I was disappointed that it was a YA book. How wrong was I ?

The Book of Dust

Malcolm Polstead is a lowly innkeeper’s son, who goes about his life unnoticed and ignored….so he makes for fabulous spy material. When a baby named Lyra is under the care of the local Priory of nuns, Malvolm is swept into danger, intrigue and the very heart of what’s right and wrong. He has to battle forces who want to suppress freedom of thought and inquiry, in a world inhabited by alethiometers, daemons and a Magisterium.

The book is well written, explaining themes of suppression, religion, forces of good and evil and human consciousness. Pullman himself wants to explore the concept of matter and spirit and the time old philisophical questions surrounding our own place in the world.

A definite 5 * Looking forward to the next episode of the trilogy! πŸ“š

How to create settings for your book


‘The world only exists in your eyes – you can make it as big or as small as you like.’ – F. Scott Fitzgerald.


Creating your own world in your novel is one of its most important elements. Otherwise, where can your characters live? Love? Fight for their lives? How can you set up your plot lines with no background?

A good setting frames a novel, makes your characters believable, and can hold your readers interest until the very last page. Who doesn’t want that, right?

Here are a few tips to help you along the way:

  1. Use your imagination! By that I mean let your thoughts, and ideas flow. Open your mind to all possibilities and your writing will flow. If you find your computer room a bit stale in your creativity, then – take a walk, listen to music, do some baking – anything that will let the ideas pop to the surface. For my latest book (still in the editing stage), I took inspiration from a TV show I was watching at the time. I found myself asking ‘What if?’ a lot – and set about writing my book!
  2. So, as inspiration hits – write it down. Have a pen and paper to hand at all times – in the bathroom, bedside, kitchen, garage – and then jot down your ideas. They may seem like random thoughts and squiggles, but who knows where they will lead?
  3. Jot down at the start where your book will be set – then write all you know about that place. Research as much as possible – whether its a tropical jungle, a desert, or even in space – if you find out as much as you can about the world you’re character will inhabit, all the better! You can always edit it down later.
  4. Take into account all 5 senses as you create your world – smell, sound, sight, taste and touch. By using these (don’t stress about using them all, at any one time), they will enhance the setting and your characters’ place in that world. Any mood you create will influence your characters, make them more real to the reader, whilst driving the plot forward.
  5. ‘Show, don’t tell.’ You’re probably heard this a hundred times, but it still rings true. Instead of saying. ‘It was warm,’ describe the world around your character – the weather is only a small part of that! NB :A literary friend of mine told me to avoid writing about the weather at the start of every chapter – it makes for a monotonous read!

There you go – tips and ideas to get your creative juices flowing, and a bestseller by Christmas ! (Well, we can all dream ….!)

Please share any tips you have, they are all welcome here!

Have a great week!

#writing #writingtips #settings #storytelling



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