Hidden Gems

April 8, 2010

Categories: Angel Fish, Ausrtralian History fiction, CBCA Notable Books, Children's Crusade, convict transportation to Australia, Lili Wilkinson, Scatterheart

Congrats to Lili Wilkinson on the inclusion of Angel Fish in the Notable Books section of the CBCA awards announced recently.

Angel Fish follows the journey of Gabriel and the Children’s Crusade as a group of children set out to liberate the Holy Land from the Infidel. The voice of Gabriel is authenticate and evocative of a time and place long past. As with all good historical fiction, it is relevant to today’s readers as it raises issues of belonging, blind faith, jealousy and betrayal.

Another gem which many have yet to discover is Scatterheart, another historical fiction from Wilkinson. The book has recently been released with a new jacket which I would buy just to because it would look so good on my bookshelf. Fortunately, the story is also a great read, set in the time of convict transportation to Australia. This would be a great companion book for students studying Australian History. I also think it has cross-over appeal to the adult market and would make a great book club read. Check it out.

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If only life were like Scrivener…

November 16, 2008

Categories: Chris Miles, Lili Wilkinson, Scrivener, writing

For anyone who hasn’t used the software program Scrivener, it’s a little like the amazing gadget in the Adam Sandler film Click. When Adam couldn’t be bothered sitting through a family dinner because he wanted to get on with his project, he just forwarded through the event to where he wanted to be. In the same way, Scrivener allows the writer to jump from one scene to another, while keeping the two scenes completely separate. My first fumblings at writing were short stories and I relied on my memory if I had an idea about a character or the plot line. Years down the track, and some longer stories later (and the filing system in the memory banks now full of useful information like all the words for American Pie, how to make a health cake with five ingredients, and the postcode for every suburb I have ever worked in), saw me making notes at the end of a MS word document as ideas interrupted my story flow. After recommendations from some fellow writers (Lili Wilkinson and Chris Miles take a bow) I finally took the plunge and looked at the Scrivener software. Am a babe in the woods at present, but I’m already liking the corkboard and scene cards that can be colour-coded, additional notes added to, images added to etc. Kind of like the Click machine, but using it for good instead of evil…

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