I’ve just had a fun day at Port Stephens, running two holiday workshops for high school students on ‘writing fantasy’ at the libraries at Raymond Terrace and Tomaree. I told the students a little bit about my books and where my ideas come from, and showed them a powerpoint display of some of the sites I’ve visited while researching both the Shalott trilogy and also the Jannas. We talked about the conventions of writing fantasy: answering the questions WHAT is the quest about, WHO goes on the quest, and so on. We finished with a series of fun exercises exploring the possibilities of magical objects and magical creatures, and students were then invited to choose one of their writing exercises to read out. Some BRILLIANT writing there, and some wonderful ideas too. Onya, everyone; I hope you enjoyed the workshops as much as I did!
The new (February) issue of Good Reading is now out, and I have an article in it, written about my morning walks and how they help to inspire what I write. I’m often asked about how to get over writer’s block, and my answer is always, first up, to go for a walk – without your iPod, best friend, boyfriend. girlfriend or anyone else. (But you can take the dog, if you have to!) I find walking is wonderful thinking time, and often knotty problems in my plots/characters are resolved as I walk about, so that I come back to my computer refreshed and willing to hammer out a few thousand more words!
Enjoy what’s left of the school holidays and all the best for 2009.

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