Monday, April 27, 2009

Edsel Grizzler Book 1 - the cover and blurb!


Welcome to Verdada.

When Edsel takes an unexpected voyage to a parallel dimension, his life is transformed overnight. Suddenly, his over-protective parents are nowhere to be seen and rules are a thing of the past.

Or so he thinks.

Everything seems perfect.

Everything is not what it seems.

Edsel needs to decide between the world he knows or being Forever Young in a place of Forever Fun. But time is running out.

Will Edsel be stuck in Verdada forever?

(Also, be sure to check out the YouTube trailer.)

Saturday, April 25, 2009


I'm not a perfect parent. I'm nothing like a perfect parent, and I've never claimed to be. But I like to think that I would never allow my child to own a toy M16 semi-automatic rifle. And if, by some freak event, I did allow my child to have such a toy, I feel completely certain that I would never allow that child to take it along to an ANZAC Day parade.

Perhaps these people thought that their young sons were entering into the spirit of the day, what with marching people in uniform, and ex-Army Jeeps, and a Catapult Party with rifles. But then to allow them to run around pretending to fire volleys of bullets into one another was insensitive at best, offensive at worst.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Russell Brand - not as funny as he thinks

If a lanky ex-junkie/recovering sex-addict with bad hair, tight jeans and a self-conscious giggle is your bag, Ponderland might be just your thing.

If you like your jokes delivered from an auto-cue with a healthy sprinkling - nay, a frikkin shovelful - of the Bleeding Obvious, Ponderland might float your boat.

If hearing a lanky ex-junkie/recovering sex-addict with bad hair explain the irony behind what would, under any other circumstances, be bewilderingly amusing clips from old British TV documentaries, give Ponderland a go.

Anyone else should avoid it like a rampant dose of the clap. Seriously.

(Is there an emoticon for "shudder"?)

Friday, April 17, 2009

YA Blogosphere

It's like your one-stop YA blog shop. Check it out. Click on the pic. Say hi to Steph. Then come back here.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Wikifish by Babelpedia

You know how sometimes when you're really tired, you'll be reading something on Wikipedia and you have to look twice, and you think, Wait, that's so badly worded that it must be my tired eyes playing tricks? But then you look again and it's not that - it really is that badly worded. Then you realise that it's because this is part of an article about a place mainly populated by people who don't speak English at all, but do speak Spanish very well, so they've written the article in Spanish, then used some kind of online translator to turn it into ... something. Thus:
  • Park of May In May
of 1910 when commemorating itself the centenary of the rebolución of May, is inagurado is green space, from comes its name there. Be lung of the city is in the intersection of the streets Reconciled Liberating General San Martín and the Heras, has infantile games, an artificial lake with an island, fish and aquatic birds, a velodrome, kartódromo and sentenares of statues between the outstanding are the one of General San Martín, the one of Federico Cantoni (governor of the province) and the one of the monument to the sport..
This is from the Wikipedia article for San Juan, Argentina, and the whole piece isn't like this - it's just parts of the Urban Aspect section.

I'm quite fascinated by the infantile games in particular. Poking fun at one another, kicking sand in faces, smacking and pinching, showing off, that sort of thing. Usually when I'm Wiki'ing I'll fix little errors that I find, which is, of course, what we're all supposed to do. But in this case I seriously don't know where to start.

(Oh, and please, before anyone gets all snooty, I'm not being Anglocentric and making fun of Spanish-speaking people, OK? I do respect their language, cultures, dialects, customs and regional idiosyncrasies in all their rich diversity. This just stuck me as a little amusing. Sheesh!)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Parallel Importation

This from the news section of the Australian Society of Authors website, regarding parallel importation, and how the 'Coalition for Cheaper Books', led by Dymocks, seems determined to undermine the livelihood of Australian authors, along with our unique literary culture:

Parallel Importation

The draft report from the Productivity Commission on the parallel importation of books has been released. Authors have until April 17 to make submissions in response.The ASA’s view is that the report does not show books are more expensive in Australia, yet supports the fact that Australia’s literary culture benefits from territorial copyright. Therefore, we reject any suggestion for changes to the current restrictions on the parallel importation of books. We call on members to make submissions supporting this view not only to the Commission, but also to the Prime Minister and Cabinet. These submissions are best done as hard copy documents — faxes or traditional mail — rather than email, since politicians give more weight to this form of document.
Click here to read the report.

Go here for the latest ASA news and press on the subject, or here for the newly created AusBooks website.

Brisbane: Children's authors protest against Parallel Importation. Join the protest on 16 April at 10.30am, outside the Queen Street entrance of Dymocks.

The group has chosen Dymocks because they are the most pro-active members of the “Coalition for Cheaper Books”, and the distributor of a petition they claim will “help reduce the price of books". The ASA refutes this, and urges all members who are also members of Dymocks Booklovers to consider removing themselves from the mailing list, and registering their protest at Dymocks’ actions with Managing Director Don Grover (c/- Dymocks, 424 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000).

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Personal Inventory for April 7, 2009

  • State of desk: full but reasonably ordered
  • State of mind: positive
  • Number of writing projects currently under way: 2
  • Writing mindframe: fusty
  • Hours of sleep last night: 4.5
  • Number of Facebook friends: 328
  • Number of spam emails waiting to be junked: 368
  • Number of gigs this week: 1
  • Faith in human nature: fairly solid
  • Number of words written so far today (not counting blog): 0

Sunday, April 5, 2009

'Gimlet Eye' review

From Sue Bursztynski's The Great Raven book review blog, this:

In this third instalment of the spin-off of the popular Quentaris shared-world series, a character from the original series is actually killed off, something that doesn’t usually happen in shared universes. As it happens in the prologue, it’s no secret...

(sundry stuff about what happens etc in here: JR)

In my opinion, this one is the best so far in the new series. We learn more about the characters and their feelings. The adventure is fast, but straightforward enough for the young readers for whom this is an introduction to fantasy. At the same time, there’s a murder in the first chapter; there’s no tiptoeing around the issue. What happens to the adult magicians is also scary.

But there’s still plenty of humour, maybe more than there's been since the end of the original series – and in the end, Fontagu is shown in a more positive light than before.

The only thing is, while you can probably get something out of this book without having read the others, you really do need to have read them to understand properly what’s going on. The series is no longer a lot of related but individual titles. There is still, however, a policy of using some of Australia’s top children’s writers to keep the quality up.

Recommended for children from mid-primary to early secondary school.

Yay! Thanks, Great Raven!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

A two-part joke about Buddhism

Part 1.
The Dalai Lama goes to a street vendor to buy a hot-dog. When the vendor asks what he'd like, the Dalai Lama replies, 'Make me one with everything.'

Part 2.
The Dalai Lama receives his hot-dog, and the vendor tells him that it costs five dollars. When the Dalai Lama hands over a twenty dollar note, the vendor pockets it. The Dalai Lama stands there with his hand out, looking confused.
'What?' the vendor asks.
'Where's my change?' the Dalai Lama enquires.
'I thought you'd know - all change must come from within.'

Thank you very much - I'm here 'til Thursday. Tip generously - Nancy's a real trooper, and her sister's quite ill.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Onward and upward

Someone once said to Yehudi Menuhin, the great violin virtuoso, after a performance: 'Mr Menuhin, I would give up everything to be able to play like you.'

Menuhin replied: 'I did.'

Thursday, April 2, 2009

More from Max

This is the Max Quigley product review currently doing the rounds on some of the online bookstores. I'm not sure who wrote it - probably someone from Houghton Mifflin - but I like, especially the first line...

For readers just past Captain Underpants, for those who relish the sort of humor of Louis Sachar and Jack Gantos, here is a hilarious novel by an author who truly gets boys. His main character Max Quigley is no angel; in fact one might call him a bully. But even as he taunts "wimpy Nerdstrom," he also begins to understand him. A most unlikely friendship grows. In the end, Max wins readers over, keeps them laughing, shows he is capable of change, and ultimately, brings us to a better understanding of boy dynamics.