Friday, February 26, 2010

A Tale of Two Awards

Well in the past few days I have been given not one, but two blog awards.

Firstly Rebecca Emrich from Living a Life of Writing passed the Prolific Blogger Award to me.

Rebecca truly is a prolific blogger basically always posting several times a week if not day. Thank you Rebecca.

The rules of this award are:
1. Every winner of the Prolific Blogger Award has to pass on this award to at least seven other deserving prolific bloggers. Spread some love!
2. Each Prolific Blogger must link to the blog from which he/she has received the award.
3. Every Prolific Blogger must link back to This Post, which explains the origins and motivation for the award.
4. Every Prolific Blogger must visit this post and add his/her name in the Mr. Linky, so that we all can get to know the other winners.

I am going to pass this award to:

1. Lisa at Lit and Life Lisa is one of my most frequent commenters and has a great blog into the bargain. So I have to for give her even if she is a Geelong Cats fan.

2. Lilithcat at Reading my Life Away I lurk fairly frequently at Lilithcat’s blog.

3. Deb at Ranch Girl Ramblings I’ve only just discovered Deb’s blog but I like what I’ve seen so far.

4. Tasha at Heidenkind’s Hideaway. I really like Tasha’s blog about books and art history (and other items), sometimes I even manage to leave a comment that seems vaguely intelligent.

5. Shelli at Market my Words. Sorry Shelli I know you have so many followers that you have probably been given this award a dozen times before. If so this will have to be “lucky thirteen”

6. Alyssa at On the Writer’s Road Less travelled. Alyssa has already self-published and is now working with an agent to get another MS to traditional publishers.

7. DJ Kirkby at Chez Aspire. DJ posts about living with Asperger’s, her family, her writing and many other interesting subjects.

My second award is from Deb at Ranch Girl Ramblings. Deb has tagged me with the Sunshine Award, the rules of which are: Rules to Accept the Award:
Put the logo on your blog in your post.
Pass the award onto 12 bloggers.
Link the nominees within your post.
Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blogs.
Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.

This is starting to seem like a lot of work. The only good thing about it is I don’t have to leave too many people out.
So with out further ado I nominate:

1. Sarah at Falen Formulates Fiction Sarah Blogs about writing.

2. Jax at Lassy in Lancashire. From as you can guess Lancashire Jax, has only just recently started blogging, but boy has she begun with a bang.

3. Amanda at Life and Times of a New New Yorker. Amanda blogs about life in NY, books, her dog Charlie and she posts some lovely photos.

4. Rayna at Coffee Rings Everywhere. Rayna is from Bombay in India and blogs about life as she sees it. I would encourage you to visit, Rayna has an interesting take on many aspects of life.

5. Elspeth at It’s a Mystery. . Elspeth is a published mystery game and script writer and offers all kinds of advice about writing.

6. Kristen at We Be Reading. Kristen posts book reviews, about writing and about life with her little one “Z”

7. Michele at Southern City Mysteries . Except I’ve just noticed Michele has already been given this award. Ahh well, Michele will just have to have two Sunshine Awards!

8. Michael at Book Making . Michael has embarked on an almost Quixotic campaign to discredit vanity publishers.

9. Lynette at Chatterbox Chit Chat. Lynette has a blog with piles of writing tips.

10. Anne at Suspense by Anne. Anne talks about suspense fiction, particularly her own.

11. Tiana at Spilled Ink Tiana blogs about her writing experience and reviews.

12. Last but not least Vicki at the Shy Singer/Songwriter .

Now I have had enough.
As I have not yet posted a single piccie I will share one I took last weekend.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Russell Sprout, a Tale of Four Schools part II.

Roll on Junior High School. As parents we did all the usual stuff: talking to teachers; talking to school counsellors; talking to special needs teachers (I don’t know about overseas but here they usually are responsible for planning for kids at both ends of the spectrum). Same stuff different school.

Then we moved interstate (for Deb’s career) and tried it all again. The school Lu went to in Canberra had one of the best reputations in the Territory. For a moment things looked like they might be better, the school seemed to be listening. They put Lu in the advanced maths class and agreed to support her with an IEP.

The problems started again almost immediately. The school took the attitude that Lu needed to ‘prove’ herself in class before they instituted much of the IEP. Lu, already disenchanted, went back to resisting anything they suggested (as I said above she can be her own worst enemy). She also raised a legitimate point: ‘I have proved myself already. I have played an intellectual sport for my State and Country. I always do well in any test. I am not going to play “the good girl” for them in class.’

The school threatened to drop her from the advanced maths class for not completing all her work. Lu responded by pulling her finger out for five minutes and scoring 100% in the next few assessment tasks, then she went back to her usual tricks.
In that second year of Junior High a couple of things made school more bearable for Lu. For the first time she began to make some real friends at school (her best friends before had been in the chess community and she related better to adults than kids in general).

I suspect the other kids had grown up enough for Lu to find them more interesting; and she had also matured in outlook and was more prepared to take people as she found them.

The second glimmer was her second semester science teacher Mr Collins. Mr Collins is a geologist who came late to teaching when he felt the need for a change of pace. For the first time ever Lu had a teacher with whom she ‘clicked’. He recognised what he was dealing with and took the most flexible approach so far. First he provided interesting, different extension work (not simply an extension of what the class were doing) and he gave her space to do it in class. He did insist that she completed her part in groups, but for individual tasks he was happy for Lu to demonstrate she had the concept and then move on to the other material he was providing her.

Year 9 and things went back to almost where they had been. Lu lost Mr Collins (just because he wasn’t teaching Year 9), although he did keep in touch. Fortunately, she still had friends so she wasn’t quite as unhappy at school.

Lu rowing her Uncle Ian, Avon River, UK 2005 (Lu age 11)

By now we had pretty much given up on ever getting what Lu needed at school. We still went in to bat for her at every opportunity, but we didn’t really think things were going to change much.

Deb’s career then brought us here to Victoria. So Lu started at another school. Again we went to see the school staff to explain what Lu needed. To be honest we expected more of the same.

At this new school, like the others, Lu was expected to meet with the staff who were responsible for planning an IEP. As usual she and we went through what her experience with school had been to date.
The response from staff was quite relaxed, ‘OK you are going into Year 10, but why don’t we put you into Year 11 maths and physics and see how it goes.’

There were not the usual warnings about having to perform or she would be dropped back. They did say that she needed to be aware that Year 11 subjects counted to the VCE (Victorian Certificate of Education which decides university placements) and that it would be up to her to decide if things were going OK with that.

Their emphasis was subtly different. Firstly there was no ‘you will have to prove yourself’ statements; this was really helpful because they are a red flag to Lu. Secondly, they were putting the responsibility on her. At other schools the line had always been that if she didn’t meet their requirements THEY would move her. Here it would be her decision.

The result of that different approach has been profound. For the first time at a school (other than with Mr Collins) Lu has felt they trusted what she was saying.

Now it may be that as well being intelligent our girl is growing up. But Year 10 was a breeze (in comparison) for Lu. Again she has made friends, while for the first time she has found the academic component bearable. It is not all plain sailing (she still gets bored), but she makes an effort now. Even with the subjects that are not her favourites she aims to not only complete them but to do well.

Then perhaps the biggest surprise our Lu has ever given us. At the end of term last year Lu said, ‘I think I’ll take a break from chess for a while. I want to be Dux of the school in year 12 so I will have to take it seriously.’

Lu age 2, it was this face that peered over the edge of a chessboard and asked "Can I play too?"

I was gob smacked. I briefly wondered if our daughter had been abducted by aliens. Lu putting school before chess! Inconceivable a few months ago.

I am not being so naïve as to believe Lu’s problems with school are over. She has nearly two years of school to before she completes her VCE at the end of Year 12 (the Oz school year is from February to November).

Finally, Tasha of Heidenkind's Hideaway commented "Just get her into a good uni and she'll do fine. :)" For me these are words of wisdom and I have hung on to an idea like this for some years now.
Fortunately, even if Lu has a meltdown again and gives up on school the her VCE result is by no means the end of the line. One thing the OZ education system does really well is providing alternative paths into Higher Education. Open University and Adult Entry are just two of the options for her down the track (hopefully they won't be needed), in the end it will be up to Lu.

But for the moment at least, things are going well.
The reason for the change? In Lu’s words, ‘They have shown me respect and trust, so I can show them some.’

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Russell Sprout and Tale of Four Schools: Part I.

Thank you all for your supportive comments following my last post. I really appreciate this aspect of the blogosphere there just seem to be so many great people out there.

This post was prompted by DJ Kirkby's comment to my previous post. It is a rather long post so I have elected to break it into two parts.

Meet Lu, the baby of our family.
We have three girls: E who is 23; Io who is just about to turn 20;
Lu at 16 is a full seven and a half years younger than E.

Lu is simultaneously a delight and a total handful. All our girls are very intelligent, each of our three has a very different worldview and vastly different strengths.

E is a social being, her first word wasn’t ‘mum’ or ‘dad’, rather it was ‘hello’. E can walk into a room full of strangers and in ten minutes all of them will be her friends.

Language is Io’s skill, I would never dream of trying to debate anything with her she would simply tie me in knots. She also has an amazing gift when it comes to drawing and painting.

Lu prefers much more structured things. She loves Maths and Science and until recently, her driving passion was competition chess. Amazingly, Lu has played chess since she was two years old. I was teaching a ten year old E to play when this tiny face peered over the edge of the table and said, ‘Can I play too?’
Of course being an indulgent dad I gave her a go. To my surprise Lu nut only understood but actually learnt to play.

By the time she was 3, Lu was beating her then 11 year old sister. Not surprisingly E quickly lost interest in the sport. Lu joined her first chess club when she went to primary (elementary) school, not the school club but the local adult chess club. Soon after she had us travelling all around the country for tournament play. She represented Oz as under 12 female in the World Youth Championships and she held the State Women’s Title at 12.

Now I don’t want to give the impression she is only good at very structured things like maths and chess. Like many bright kids Lu has an interest in all sorts of other pursuits: singing, music, sport, reading, animals, etc. etc.

Our two older girls found school easy. A piece of pie really, achieving everything they wanted and more. They did what they had to do in class and then cruised.

In theory, Lu should have found school easy, as easy as her sisters found it.

No such luck. To be fair to the schools Lu’s first year of school was ok. She was occupied with things like learning to read (which we had deliberately not taught her, E went to school already reading and was a bit bored in Year 1).

Once Lu had managed the basics like reading she rapidly became bored. After that things went down hill – quickly.
Oz has a good public education system, but we have always wanted a bit more for our girls and have elected to pay (usually more than we could really afford) for private schools. The girls usually got scholarships because they were clever and at one we paid half fees because I worked for a church organization (there are some perks working for charities).

So, because we had our kids at good schools, with good resources and (in theory) the capacity for structuring individual programs for kids, we went to the teachers. We repeatedly explained what the problem was. Repeatedly asked for an individual education plan (IEP). This had mixed results, in primary school they ranged from really disastrous; to just bad.

At the disastrous end of the spectrum, Lu’s grade three teacher was positively threatened by the concept that there might be a kid in his class who was smarter than him; it just got a whole lot worse when she beat him at the school chess club. Five times. In a row.

At the simply bad end we had teachers who meant well, and who coped well with bright kids; but who just didn’t get that they were dealing with a kid outside the box. They’d try giving Lu ‘extension’ work which simply meant more of the same. Another tack they tried was to get Lu to help the slower kids in class with their work. This simply frustrated Lu to tears, she couldn’t understand that anyone could struggle with something like maths.

By the time Lu finished primary school she was totally disengaged from education. In some ways she was her own worst enemy, when she was bored (which was always) she simply turned off: she refused to complete assignments; she wouldn’t finish class work. Her attitude was something along the lines of, ‘I showed you the first time that I understood the concept. Surely it is a waste of my time and yours to do it over and over.’

Lu’s school tried stick, detentions and loss of privileges, but for a strong minded person who already hated the system they became something to fight against. They tried carrot, prizes for first in the class etc. Lu’s response was usually something like: ‘but I would have to do all that boring stuff’; or ‘I get paid cash for beating adults at chess tournaments, why would I bother?’

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Well I haven’t posted for a few days now.
I have been coming home from work tired.
We have had some very stressful incidents over the past week or so.
Attempting to deal with such issues and keep everyone else safe and well at the same time takes it out of you.

To keep the bureaucratic arm of our organisation happy, we have at work what are called “critical incident” forms.
These forms are to record instances where there was either some form of illness, harm or the risk of harm in the workplace. In theory they are to help us as a team and our OH&S staff at head office to improve workplace safety.

As you know I work in an industry (services to homeless people) where there are probably more than the fair share of incidents. So on average, as a manager, I probably fill in about one of these a month. Since Tuesday last week, I have filled out no less than six of these forms, and strictly it should have been seven.

Here is my list of misadventures and close shaves for the week.

A fight where one client (I’ll call him Hacker, he is actually known by a nickname) attacks another. The victim turns on the attacker and begins to beat him up. Greg and I intervene and manage to talk them down. Result Hacker and the other guy banned from our premises for three months.

A psychotic episode affecting one of our female clients. One of our staff (I’ll call her Jane) is threatened. Result Woman escorted off premises, psych crisis team called (they don’t arrive until after she has left the area, surprise, surprise.)

A psychotic episode (probably drug induced) affects one of our male clients. He threatens a guest psychologist (I’ll call her S). Greg and I intervene. We get S into a safe room. Greg and I continue to try to talk him down. The guy continues to escalate. I instruct Greg to dial 000 (our equivalent of 911 or 999) The Police take fifteen minutes to arrive (their station is maybe 100 metres away). By then the guy has calmed somewhat. The police elect to not arrest him but just move him on.
S has been a psychologist in the city for over ten years. Yet this is the first time anything like this has happened to her. Greg and I spend a long time trying to reassure her. We then walk her to her car (our shift was over by then). I then spend a long time on the phone to her boss trying to ensure she gets a proper debrief.

Hacker (see point 1 above) turns up after a couple of days. He waltzes in as if nothing has happened. I remind him of his ban. He becomes verbally abusive and threatening. Greg hovers nearby in case thing go wrong, but in the end Hacker listens to me and leaves.

Two of our guys argue. Neither wants to back down. It looks like another fight is in the offing. Greg and I intervene. Between us we manage to talk them down. Both are asked to leave for the day, neither is banned.

Finally, yesterday at breakfast one of our volunteers (I’ll call him Larry) suddenly complains of Chest and abdominal pain. Larry is a guy in his mid sixties and his health is not good. I dial 000 for an ambulance and stay with him until they arrive. Larry is taken away by paramedics.
We have to reassure the guys that Larry will be OK (while being worried for him ourselves).
Fortunately Larry was not too bad as it turned out. He spent the day in hospital while tests were run. The diagnosis – kidney stones.

So as you can see I have had a busy week. These sorts of incidents cause a lot of stress for all involved.
No wonder I am tired.

Now to finish on a positive note or two.

Veiled in Shadows is proceeding, albeit a little slowly at the moment. I am almost ready to upload my files to the printer.
However, I have found a few last minute formatting errors so I am checking the whole thing once more.
I have also just received a National Library of Australia Cataloguing-in-Publication entry.
This thing is getting closer and closer.

Finally my youngest’s school has asked if I can be at an open day to meet with prospective parents to answer questions about how we as parents (and our daughter) find the school.
I am only too happy to help out. Lu came to the school last year (in what we call year 10). This is the first school that has come close to meeting her needs and the first school she has ever been happy in. They are clearly doing things better than any school she has ever been to before.

Hmm. I think I have enough for another whole post there.

Enough for now.
I’ll finish with a piccie of some of the high country north of Melbourne. Unlike the Upper Yarra Valley which has featured a lot on my blog this piccie taken a couple of weeks ago shows much more typical Aussie summer colours.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Tumbling Down and a Maths (Math) Lesson.

A quick post tonight.
I have been staring at the computer screen for hours, working on the website I am designing for Veiled in Shadows. If I spend too much longer I am sure my eyes will go square.

Yesterday, Deb and I went for an early Valentine ’s Day lunch out at Warburton.
(In keeping with Aussie abbreviation rules, the locals call it “Warby”.)

After a thoroughly delightful meal we went for a wander along the main street. While Deb tried on a few clothes I took a few photos.
I am posting these few to show how near the mountains are to Warby. This first really gives a sense of how they loom almost over the main street.

And this one of a local Café (not the one we ate at) has Mt Donna Buang behind.
The treed slopes of the mountain belie just how much higher it is than the town.
Warby stands at 159 metres (521 feet) above sea level measured, as is traditional, at the post office just out of frame to the left. Mt Donna Buang is 1250 metres high (4101 feet).

Now that is not particularly high by international standards, but if you do the maths (mathematics is maths in Oz, not math) it is 1091 metres (3579 feet) higher than the main street.
Not bad for something that is (almost) literally in their back yards.

After our stroll, we climbed up the side of the mountain next to Donna Buang (not to the top but I think about half way).
On the way back down the slope I paused to take a piccie of a very energetic stream that tumbles down the mountainside, before falling across this little road.
The motion of the water has been captured by a very long exposure that I had to use to cope with the dim conditions under the trees.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Cuteness Factor

Well I promised a post on “The Cuteness Factor” so here you go.
As I said in my last post (before getting distracted) Mon, my sister-in-law and her family came down from Queensland to visit us last weekend.

Well on Sunday we took them out to one of our favourite haunts, the upper Yarra Valley. The river was beautiful in the summer sun.On Monday we took the little girls (and their parents) to the zoo.
I always have mixed feelings about zoos: I find the plight of wild animals caged quite disheartening; but the children love to see the animals and, I must admit, so do I.
Also, I tell myself that modern zoos play a significant part in conservation of endangered species. This has certainly been the case with some small Australian species brought back from the brink with captive breeding programs, followed by wild release into national parks.

Melbourne Zoo has been undergoing renovation and upgrading for some time. One of the newer features has been the placing of various sculptures, that can only be described as kitsch, around the zoo.

One side benefit of these items is that small children seem to be quite as fascinated by these object d’art as by the real animals.

Meet the nieces: Mon’s “big girl” Kiele uses an elephant sculpture’s trunk as a window.See, I told you, cuteness factor in buckets.

This is Kennedy, Mon’s precocious not quite one year old.
As you can see, she is riding a “crocodile”.

Because the girls are so young we didn’t see the whole zoo.
But these were some of their favourites.

The giraffes.The butterfly house.
Here Kennedy stares intently through the rails at one of the butterflies.
Australian fur seals.In recent decades these seals have been absolutely protected under Australian law.
The seals in the zoo here were all rescued either injured or as orphaned youngsters. According to the keeper this female was found as a pup on a dairy farm in the southwest of the state. She was miles from the sea and starving. Raised in captivity she was released but she wouldn’t leave the area she was released in and kept approaching people begging to be “rescued” again. In the end when it was obvious she was not going to make it on her own she was returned to the zoo.

And last but not least Fairy Penguins. Also known as Little or Blue penguins these guys are very common around Australia’s southern coasts.
As I posted once before during daylight hours they fish out at sea, then at night they come ashore to burrows where they raise their chicks. I have seen these guys in the wild, but only resting in their burrows.
There is quite a tourist industry built around them at a place called Phillip Island people watch them come ashore after dark.

Then when the girls had enough it was time to head for home.

Kennedy peers back from her dad’s arms, by the time I took this photo she was so tired she could barely keep her eyes open.Tired but cute!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Tinny at the Footy

We had a busy weekend. Mon, my sister-in-law (Deb’s sister), her husband and two young children came down from Queensland to visit us.
Mon has never been to Melbourne (or for that matter Victoria) before, so we had an eventful couple of days operating as tour guides.

Because of our visitors, I arranged the roster to give myself the day off yesterday.
For those in the know, I did not ‘chuck a sickie’.
We took my dearly beloved’s rellies to the zoo.

A brief note about Oz English ‘rellies’ are relatives.
Aussies have a habit of shortening many words or phrases by dropping syllables and/or substituting ‘ie’ or ‘y’ at the end.

So: a sick day becomes a ‘sickie’; a barbeque becomes a ‘barbie’; a beer tin becomes a ‘tinny’.

An aluminium dingy isn’t a ‘dingy’ as would be logical it is a ‘tinny’ as well. So to say: ‘I drank a few tinnies while at sea in a tinny”, would make perfect sense to an Aussie.

Another small point: Australians call Australia ‘Oz’ because we pronounce ‘Aussie’ as ‘Ozzie’. When most Americans say ‘Aussie’ it sounds like ‘Arsey’ to our ear which means something entirely different. An ‘arse’ is a butt, I believe ‘arsey’ means ‘unpleasant’ in British English, but in Oz English it means ‘lucky’

As to our beloved mother country, many Aussies (or is that Ozzies) following our tradition of dropping syllables now say not “Aust-ra-li-a” but rather ‘Ah-stray-ya’ or for the verbally lazy ‘Stray-ya’.

While I am rambling about Oz language I should mention briefly another word much beloved by many Aussies.


I am largely mentioning footy because of a conversation I had with Lisa of Lit and Life.

What is Footy you might ask? Well following the rules of Oz grammar it is an abbreviation of “Football”.

“Ah,” they say, “that makes perfect sense.”

Unfortunately it doesn’t, there are four widely played codes of football in Oz. The word ‘Footy’ has differing meanings across the country.

Perhaps foolishly I will attempt to explain.

The four major codes of football in Australia are:

Soccer: this international game is usually called ‘football’ in most of the world. Not many Aussies would call Soccer ‘footy’. However, fans of this sport are attempting to claim the word ‘football’ exclusively for their game and if they are successful (which is probably unlikely) Soccer would no doubt become ‘footy’.

Rugby Union: The international version of Rugby. ‘Union’ is a minority sport in Oz. But if you go to a private school odds are when you say ‘footy’ you mean ‘Union.’

Rugby League: A version of Rugby played widely in the North East of Oz (and in New Zealand). If you come from New South Wales (NSW), or Queensland (QLD)it is expected that you believe ‘League is the one true footy.’

Of course if you come from the rest of the country, Victoria (VIC), South Australia (SA), The Northern Territory (NT), Western Australia (WA) or Tasmania (TAS) there is only one sport. Australian Rules Football sometimes called ‘Aussie Rules’ but in its home states simply ‘footy’.

American Football is played by a tiny minority of people in Oz. It is never called ‘footy’ rather it is usually called, well as is obvious, ‘American Football’ or sometimes ‘Gridiron’.

Being an adoptee of the state of Victoria (although once a Queenslander always a Queenslander) I should say a bit about the home grown ‘footy’ Aussie Rules.

Australian Rules Football is akin to a national religion in Victoria. It is incredibly popular. I think this popularity stems from the fact that it is not only a traditional game here, but it is incredibly fast. For example the 2009 Grand Final score was Geelong Cats 80, beating Saint Kilda 68, and that was considered a fairly low scoring game!

I include a link to some footage of the 2009 Grand Final. That should make Lisa happy being a Cats supporter!

Now I have waxed lyrical about Language and Footy for so long that I have run out of time to do what originally intended.

So next time: The cuteness factor.

Friday, February 5, 2010

More progress?

Another very long day today.

We are short staffed which always causes problems.

Plus we are renovating (at work), we have been training staff, and interviewing for new team members.

So bottom line long days!

Hopefully, things will be more back to normal next week.

Thankfully, I have some time off over the weekend, which is good because we have visitors. My sister-in-law, her husband and children are down from Queensland.

I want to thank all of you who congratulated me about my news in my last post.

Christy Pinheiro of The Publishing Maven also reminded me of needing to get going with my first steps towards marketing. Namely, a website and (she suggests) a blog dedicated to promoting the book).

I am not quite ready to begin a new blog, but I have begun thinking about a website. In fact I have begun mocking up a design for a web page (this is just a jpeg nothing "works").What do you think?
This is by no means finalised rather it could be seen as a “rough draft.”

The image is dderived from the photo I am using on my cover.
For my final version of a landing page I will no doubt have a welcome of some kind. In the mean time I have used the blurb from my back cover.

If you click on the web mock up it should be large enough to read. What do you think of this as a draft blurb?

I have really struggled with this piece of text, I think it is kind of catchy. But I feel it makes the novel sound like a romance. It has some elements of romance, but romance is a minor aspect of what is really an historical thriller.

Finally, I have applied for a Cataloguing-in-Publication (CiP) number from the National Library of Australia (NLA) which I need to put on my copyright page.
Under Oz Law, I will have to provide copies to the State Library of Victoria and the NLA.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


I haven’t posted about my novel Veiled in Shadows and my self publishing plans since around Christmas.

The absence of news has really been due to… well to a lack of news.

Now though, I have some to share.
My formatting is complete, I am finally happy with the way the thing looks.

I have now been taking care of some of the formal measures I have to complete to become a publisher.

I received some news last night that I was going to share today.

This photo shows my excitement at receiving formal notification that the business name I have requested has been approved and registered.I am a publisher! At least I now have a business name registered in my name.
My little (or is that microscopic) enterprise is titled.

Drum roll please…

Xantharea Press.

What is a Xantharea when it is at home?
I have chosen to name my business for a family of Aussie native plants called Xanthorrhoea . Commonly known as grasstrees (or less politically correctly as “blackboys”) Xanthorrhoea are a typical Aussie bush species. They are as tough as old boots, they survive drought, or bushfire and live for thousands of years. After a fire they are often the first green you see coming back in the bush. Not a bad icon to take for a publishing venture especially given how tough the industry is these days.

I decided to modify the spelling from that of the Latin proper name because I hate the correct spelling and it reminds me of a medical condition.

As if I wasn’t happy enough with that when I got home this afternoon I found an email from Bowker’s Australian subsidiary confirming the registration of my ISBN.

This is starting to feel real. Very exciting, a bit scary too, but very exciting!

Enough for tonight as I have had a long day today and need to do a few things in preparation for another long day tomorrow.