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READ WRITE INSPIRE. Welcome to my Words, a place devoted to making Reading and Writing for children more Inspired.

Monday, 28 November 2016

It's begining to taste a lot like Christmas

 I know, these are food shots and not very brilliant ones. But that hardly matters when you're gobbling down fist fulls of bonsai gingerbread men and mouthwatering fruit mince pies.

It's beginning to taste more like Christmas now.

For recipes and more Christmas fun, check out the PS Who Stole Santa's Mail? downloads page on my website.
You'll be whipping up rounds of Santa's favourite sweet treat in no time.
Created by Dimity, iced by her husband, consumed by the neighbourhood children


Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Dim's Web Site

Like many things I attempt by hand, they can be a long time in the making and never quite perfect.

But it's sure fun having a go at getting them right.

So now, here, just in time for Christmas - Dim's shiny NEW WEBSITE.


It's bright and has lots of bits of me in it.

I hope you like it.

Let me know either way.


Sunday, 30 October 2016

Coming Soon!



One lower in calories than the other but just as delectable.

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Awarding oneself - WA Premier's Book Awards

The argy-bargy that sometimes accompanies the gratuitous use of the terminology 'awards' on social media profiles is entertainment I often find chuckle worthy.

Colour me mission brown and call me Splinters if you like, but as a habitual fence sitter, I appreciate both sides' argument: stating you are an award winning author having amassed nothing more than a feeble handful of competition placings compared with someone whose work has gained notable international or national recognition is a bit of a stretch of artistic license and one we have all indulged in from time to time, yours truly included. It does not seem to matter that those very competitions you so diligently entered and conquered no less touted themselves as 'Awards' in the first place. The causal observer may not distinguish the semantics of the situation so easily as they can the sublime subterfuge of it.

Nonetheless, if you enter something and are rewarded in some fashion for it, the fact of the matter is that you deserve to bask in the winners' spot light no matter how fleeting or feeble. You have achieved something others for that moment have not. That is the significant thing to remember not how people perceive your moment of glory based on how you chose to proclaim it.

I am lucky. I can sit on my fence now with even more awareness of the views on both sides. The tab title 'Awards' that I'll use on my web page will not only reflect my most recent glorious achievement...a Shortlisting by the Western Australian Premier's Book Awards (a bona fide big deal award) but continue to pay homage to all those writing competitions and children's writing awards I collected along the way. Why? Because without all the fining tuning and feedback submitting to them provided, I would not have been able to identify a great opportunity as easily as I did. I would not have had the confidence in my writing to throw it out there for such strenuous judgement and I would not possess the pluck of the courageous to 'give it a go'.

It is a war cry worth remembering; if someone opens a door or a window or even provides a tiny rent in the fly screen of you life, don't be afraid to dive on through it. You never know what may be on the other side. A shiny gold award like this one to stick everywhere perhaps.

My humble story may not win the digital category. But for now it has achieved far more than I ever envisaged and has earned a rightful place under the banner 'awards'. And I still can't help chuckling about it.

The Chapel of Unlove is a digital narrative penned as part of the innovative Story City app project.
Here is what the judges had to say about it as a locative digital narrative:

Powell, Dimity The Chapel of Unlove  This narrative employs the Story City platform and is therefore primarily designed to be enjoyed as part of a walking tour. Normally the narrative would be driven by the choice of direction the reader takes for their walk, although it is also possible to make direction choices without physically moving around the space. Engaging and amusing, the story has a number of twists and turns only apparent when one works through the narrative more than once, altering choices made. Alternative endings mean this story walk could be taken a number of times, and suggestions for bonus activities and links to external web-based content add further interest.

To experience my story, The Chapel of Unlove, simply download the FREE Story City app, here. It's buckets of fun. You'll find dozens of other terrific stories to play in and around Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Adelaide, too with more and more coming on line all the time. Follow Story City and The Chapel of Unlove updates on line, here.

To win a chance to rub shoulders with Australia’s famous authors and publishers at the prestigious 2016 Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards ceremony on Monday 3 October 2016, vote for your favourite fiction book from those shortlisted at https://competitions.thewest.com.au/print-comps/the-west-australian/2006-premiers-book-awards-2016/ in the People's Choice Awards. Voting is open now and closes on Friday 19 August 2016.

Good luck and may you have reason to congratulate yourself some day soon.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Overcoming Slump with Glenn Maxwell

Who would have thunk it? Career advise from a sportsman that makes sense (to a non-sportsperson).

T20 Player of the Year, Glenn Maxwell sums it up nicely. Apply these inspirational words of wisdom as necessary to your own; day, life, writing project, sporting event...I did.

Maxi's Top Tips:
  • Play to your strengths
  • Prepare early
  • Be patient
  • Be brave - don't be intimidated
  • Take the initiative - be confident and look for opportunities
  • Avoid over analysis- don't over think things, it can distract you from getting the little things right.
  • Take things slowly - try to stay relaxed and don't rush
  • Stay positive
  • Be selective 
  • Keep your eye on the ball - don't lose sight of your goals

 ‘Sometimes if you concentrate only on trying to do big things, you end up forgetting the small stuff that’s really important.’

  Wise words, Maxi. I think I have a new hero... If you want to discover more about   Glenn Maxwell or his cricket inspired series of mid-grade novels for kids, check out my review post, here.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

The Power of Story with Jackie French

 “If you want intelligent adults, give our children stories, because each story increases the neurons in a child’s brain. If you want creative adults who can mine the asteroids or find three million ways to cope with drought, pollution or global warming, give them stories now.”  Jackie French AO.

Jackie French's take on the power of story. What follows is my truncated take on her impassioned speech last night at Riverbend Books in Brisbane on why books matter and must always matter.

  • Books give kids the ability to choose what they want to be and who they could be, not necessarily describing to them who they are already.
  • One kind act can change a life. Kindness is as contagious as evil and anger.

  • BOOKS MATTER – books improve, enhance, stimulate and, strengthen our intelligence. It’s a scientific fact.
  • CREATORS MATTER - as creators, what we do matters.
  • LIBRARIES, TEACHER LIBRARIANS AND BOOKSHOPS MATTER. - Kids need guidance when it comes to book choice and reading
Because 80% of kids (and adults) find books boring...

...kids need to learn to ‘taste books’
Reading is good for us but it this is not the predominant reason why we do it. We do it because we love to.

Need to teach kids that they are the Boss of Books in terms of: choice, type, and when and how they read them. They don’t have to finish a book if they don’t want to; it’s not a piece of broccoli!

  • Don’t give up and stop (reading) because of preconceptions about age. Kids will get bored with books they are able to read at a certain age but they will love longer books with more intricate themes and relevance to them even if they cannot quite read them.
This is why we must keep reading to them!

Adults = kid enablers – we must guide and teach and show.

We are the people of the books but this does not provide any economic argument sufficient to convince the pollies / bean counters of the impact of the need and value of books and reading. Therefore, this is perceived as sentiment rather than proof. But it is not. We are not sentimental.

We are not stupid because we read!
Stories show where we come from, who we are, and what we can be and where we are going.

To ignore them is detrimental.


Friday, 4 March 2016

Review: Madeline Cain: The Adventure Begins

Madeline Cain: The Adventure Begins Madeline Cain: The Adventure Begins by Emily Craven
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm comfortably well acquainted with many of the stories set in and around Brisbane here in SE QLD. It's a climate and people and ethos I can relate to being my birth-state. I'm even better acquainted with Rundle Mall's balls, Glenelg's beaches and the quintessence of North Terrace having grown up in Adelaide, which is perhaps why Emily Craven's Madeline Cain Adventures reeled me in in the first place. I was keen to revisit the city of my youth and the breeding ground of a trillion new experiences and life long mind-images; a bit like those of maturing teen, Madeline Cain.

In this introductory episode of her adventures (there are three books in total thus far), this almost 18-year-old and her tight ball of buds share their last few fraught post matriculating months with the world at large as Gen Y is wont to do...on the world wide social web. Madeline is stuck in a lime-light saturated spot between the rocks of 'Just because I'm super savvy with school work, the world expects me to go to Uni and love it' and 'I can't commit to a career choice because I have no idea what really rocks my boat'.

This novel trends well thanks to it's entreating format. Now while I'm a fan of fictitious epistolaries and admit I'm more addicted to social media than my Luddite tendencies profess, I did harbour a smidge of reservation about this. Most of me jumped with enthusiasm; surely this was going to be one fun read, the ultimate serve of social media funk. But a small part of me (that obstinate 19th C bit) thought, hang on, I get bored with inane social-media commentary at the best of times. How the heck was Craven going to maintain my voyeuristic verve for the length of an entire novel?

She did it with style and a gangbusters' attitude to keeping it real, that's how. Unless you live off grid, by yourself, with more than one cat and no inclination to boot up anything other than your wellies, you are more than likely to feel at home with the layout of this tale; told in genuine Facebook style through a series of posts and PMs. Never in my wildest moments would I have become this engaged and involved with a bunch of teenagers' trials and tribulations, not even when I was one. The tone is 200% conversational (of course) but rings so true and clear, it's alarming (pardon the pun).

Craven has delineated sharp, winning characters out of virtual drivel. Her intimate knowledge of Madeline's hometown also creates cutting-edge authenticity although you need not be a crow-eater to appreciate the setting in which Madeline first discovers her new passion and potential career path: photography. Madeline's online intercourse between her school mates, family and friends afar is so heavily spiced with wry witticisms, it made my eyes water - with laughter.

Madeline Cain makes the whole internet doctrine somehow more acceptable (for me) and a darn sight funnier. The only trouble with re-living my youth adventures through Maddie is that I want to see how she ends up...must-get-next-book, kind of want. A highly appealing, easy to scroll through, chuckle-worthy read for media savvy tweens, teens, NAs and ex-Adelaidians like me.
In short - I like LIKE it enough to SHARE. :-)

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