Want to be more creative? Do this!

  A few years back, I wrote a book about creative writing. It’s still selling on Amazon. But I never promote it. I want to tweak it. And it needs a new cover… Because. Shit. I know more now! I’ve got more to say. More to share. Maybe I’ll just write a whole new book.…

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writing, publishing, decorating…

WTF? Yes, dear reader, I do still blog! In fact, I’ve missed it (and YOU) desperately. Sometimes, I think blogging is my favourite form of writing. I love the immediacy, the intimacy, the ongoing relationship. And I LOVE all the pretties. So, Elsie’s makeover. Of late it has ground to a halt. Because… WINTER. Holy…

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Why I’m quitting writing

I texted my friend, today. Why do I get so much pleasure out of cooking corned beef? No reply required. My apologies if you’re vegan or vego. But. Corned beef! I use Stephanie Alexander’s recipe. I love poking the cloves down into the onions. Chopping the carrots, real rough. And the celery. Tossing in the…

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Part Three. My Year in Review: Work and biz, the flops and the favourites

Here’s Part Three of the trilogy, my love! Talk about a saga. Let’s start with This Writing Life. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly! The Good Truly Tan: Baffled! (that’s book seven) came out in October (in paperback and in audio). The series continues to delight old fans and gather new recruits. This year…

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Institute Opening Sale! Be quick!

Hello, dear reader. Do you remember the Ponds Institute?   Here at girl and duck HQ, I desperately wanted to call our new school, The Pond Institute. In loving memory, of course. And so I could justify a lab coat. But. I didn’t want to get sued. So, we have opened the girl and duck…

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Cottage news, awards and competitions (for you), film news and a studio that requires imagination

Blog time. Go, Jen, go. K. The hunt is over! We bought a cottage in the country!  OMG! This Easter we got ten substandard Easter Eggs and a 1930s cottage with two big trees, a wasp nest and a headless statue. Exhibit A: We move in winter. Lots of time to declutter — the house,…

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Shining on the slush pile (revisited)

The following is a transcript from an early Q and Q Friday (Questions and Quacks). You can read the transcript or you can scroll down and watch the video. Yay! If you subscribe to girl and duck you’ll receive a Q and Q video like this one, every Friday. Straight to your inbox. Free! Dear…

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Want readers to sigh over your work? Try this

Universalities. Those little pearls of wisdom… In literature, universalities are statements that apply to everyone or to the human condition. Sometimes they’re accurate, insightful and give readers, young and old, a lovely ah-ha moment. Sometimes they’re grossly inaccurate. Famous universalities in literature include: It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a…

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How to survive school visits

If you write for kids, you’ll be asked to visit schools from time to time. Some authors relish this and seek it out. Others find it exhausting. If you’re an introvert, like me, you might find this side of things gruelling. Remember, being an introvert has nothing to do with self-esteem and shyness. It just…

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Behold! The children’s book industry. Here’s how it works

Is there a hierarchy in the children’s book industry? Hell yeah! If you’re just entering this dog-eat-dog world, think of it like a school. A large, grey bugger with tall fences and lots of asphalt. The picture book creators are kept inside, in a rarefied, humidity-controlled, tastefully decorated sanctuary. Busy finger painting. Will speak to fairies. No one else. The…

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