On 11 April 2013, Hobart illustrator, Gay McKinnon and I celebrated the launch of our book, The Smallest Carbon Footprint in the Land & Other Ecotales at the Hobart Book Shop in Salamanca Square. Patsy Jones, well known conservationist and former President of the Children’s Book Council of Tasmania, was to have launched the Ecotales, but was, unfortunately, unable to deliver her launch speech due to a sudden illness. So what else could an author do in such a predicament? Ask her fairy godmother to launch the book of course.
As luck would have it, my friend, Angie McGowan, had come to the launch dressed as the Op Shop Fairy Godmother from The Smallest Carbon Footprint in the Land. Although somewhat flabbergasted at being asked to launch a book with two minutes notice, she did the honours in flamboyant and entertaining style. Angie was ably assisted by Fin, who came dressed as Prince Jamie, the prince who is potty about about organic gardening, while Tasman Hughes put his heart and lungs into the role of big bad wolf (aka the sustainable energy salesman) as he and I did a shared reading of “The Three Little Porkies”. Gay McKinnon also entertained the large assembly with some brief anecdotes about her transition from research scientist to children’s book illustrator.
FAW(Tas) Nairda Lyne Award
In April I was invited, for the second time, to judge the 2013 Fellowship of Australian Writers (Tasmania) Nairda Lyne Award for story of 1,000 words or less for children aged 8-12. This competition, which was open to all Australian writers, was won by Tasmanian writer, Andrea McMahon, with Donna-Lee Austin receiving a high commendation. Here is a link to the results and my judge’s report. Congratulations to Andrea McMahon, Donna-Lee Austin, the shortlisted entrants, and to all who entered for completing their work to submission standard.
May was a time for holidaying – and, wanting to keep our carbon footprint low, my partner, John, and I decided we would be tourists in our home state. Leaving Sheila the dog and chooks, Jennifer, Clarissa, Milly and Little Mo in the capable hands of our housesitters, Pete and Jo, we set off to see the West Coast of Tasmania in a caravan called Little Ted. I took this photo after we camped our first night at Interlaken, in the Central Highlands of Tasmania.