Once upon a time, the moon rose, large and red …

Image from Pixabay

A snippet from the novel, ‘All the Colours Above’ … Tobiah has a book of beginnings, of unfinished stories … the dark blue book of endless possibilities, of mind probing, and inner revelations. The book of once upon a time … and of the dark night. He gives Indigo the beginning of a story, and she must finish it.

Tobiah opened the dark blue book, a little less immaculate after it had spent a month in the outdoors of Winterdom. He looked at me. ‘Close your eyes, and give the story words, with your mind and heart, then speak it to life.’

I closed my eyes and listened.

‘Once upon a time, the moon rose, large and red, dominating the sky with its splendour. People gasped. All except Lucelle. She fingered the letter in her pocket, knowing that it needed to be opened. Now.’ Tobi’s voice sounded fruity, in a gentle speaking melody, singing to my heart, the core of my being.

I exhaled, then took in a deeper breath, and fell inside the story that started drawing images in my mind. ‘Once upon a time, the moon rose, large and red, dominating the sky with its splendour. People gasped. All except Lucelle. She fingered the letter in her pocket, knowing that it needed to be opened. Now. She wanted to keep looking at the moon. She wanted to memorize every detail about how the colours of red and orange bathed the moon in magic, knowing it would stay with her for days. But she couldn’t concentrate for two reasons. Firstly, she had learned to hate the moon, and, secondly, a long-awaited letter had arrived three days ago with the inscription, “To be opened as the blood moon rises”.

She took one last lingering look at the moon and tried to inhale all of its majesty, then slipped her hand into her pocket and pulled out the letter. She stared at it, checking three times that the handwriting belonged to the deceased.

Of course it was. It could only be from him.

She moved away from the hordes of people and sat between the black volcanic rocks, hidden. She pulled out her book and a torch from her bag. She wedged the torch higher up behind her in the crevasse of a rock, settled more comfortably on the sand, took a breath, and slid her finger above the red wax seal on the back of the envelope, opening it.

Her heart pounded, and she hesitated, like she always did. She had been receiving letters like this since her love died.

Who did he give them to?

What instructions had he given them?

Was it a man or a woman?

And how did the letters get to earth from the base on the moon?

She slid the letter out, held it against her face, closed her eyes and inhaled the familiar cologne of her love – a crisp blend of aquatic and woody scents. She so wished he was still here with her.

She unfolded the letter, opened her book, and placed the letter on the page to read in secret, like she had done every other time since the accident.

She frowned. His words were fewer this time.

Dear Lucelle,

As I write these words I live and breathe. And, as you read these words, I live and breathe.

Still.

Lucelle took a sharp breath. He was dead. How can he breathe? She looked up at the blood moon. She was told he had died while researching on the moon base. And these letters, all fifty-two of them, were written as he prepared for death, written to … make his death less difficult for her. She continued to read:

By the time you have this letter, I will have been released from quarantine. From isolation. Meet me on the beach where we first met. 2pm. July 27th.

The reason my heart is still beating, is because of you.

I love you.

Grayson xx

Lucelle’s breath shuddered. Her eyes filled with hot angry tears. Then guilt. Her wish had come true. She should be over the moon that he was not dead as she had been led to believe.

It was all a lie? She had been betrayed?

How could they?

Squeaky footsteps in the sand came closer. Lucelle closed her book, ensuring no part of the letter, or any of the other letters, were protruding. She blinked away her tears as best as she could before Gael sat beside her.

“Hey, my beautiful wife,” he said as he lowered himself to the ground and gave her a chaste kiss. “Why are you here? You can see the moon better from the other end of the beach.”

Lucelle looked up at the moon. She was sure she could see the damage of the lunar station explosion on its south pole. “I thought, if I could move away from the crowds with their phones and cameras, I could see it better, here … where it’s darker,” Lucelle lied.

Gael looked up at the moon and tilted his head to the side. “I don’t think so.” He stood. “Come. Let’s walk to the other end of the beach. This is a once in a lifetime event.” He held out his hand to her.

She sucked in a shaky breath and placed her hand in his and stood, and they began to walk. She kept her eyes on the sand. She couldn’t tell him that she hated the moon. She couldn’t tell him that the moon was the reason for her broken heart. And now. Grayson was back. From the dead.’

From the dark blue book of endless possibilities, of mind probing, and inner revelations. The book of once upon a time … and of the dark night, in the novel, ‘All the Colours Above’.

Enjoy the book trailer

Grab a print book at Lilly Pilly Publishing Or an eBook or print book at Amazon

Julieann Wallace is a bestselling author who writes novels under the pen name of Amelia Grace. She resides in Australia and likes to encourage others to use the Arts to be changemakers, and a voice for others through use of the power of written words and visual art. She is a self-confessed tea ninja, chocoholic, and papercut survivor, and tries not to scare her cat, Claude Monet, with her terrible cello playing.

Instagram Amelia Grace https://www.instagram.com/ameliagraceauthor

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/julieannwallace.author/

Website https://www.julieannwallaceauthor.com/

Amelia’s novel, The Colour of Broken (and prequel to ‘All the Colours Above’), has a main character with Meniere’s disease, and was #1 on Amazon a number of times. It was longlisted from 1000s of novels to the top 42 for “Adaptable – from book to screen” in 2021. She donates 100% profits from sales to the Brain and Mind Centre at the University of Sydney where researchers are searching for a cure for Meniere’s disease.

Enjoy the book trailer

Grab a print book or eBook at Amazon. Print book also at Lilly Pilly Publishing

There was once a boy …

A snippet from the novel, ‘All the Colours Above’ … Tobiah has a book of beginnings, of unfinished stories … the dark blue book of endless possibilities, of mind probing, and inner revelations. The book of once upon a time … and of the dark night. He gives Indigo the beginning of a story, and she must finish it.

B & W photograph from 123rf. Eye artwork by Julieann Wallace

‘There was once a boy …’ Tobiah said, his voice fruity, like an elegant red wine.

I waited for him to continue reading. When he didn’t, I opened my eyes and looked at him.

He connected his eyes to mine. ‘Finish the story,’ he said, his voice like velvet.

‘What?’

‘It’s what you have to do with this book. It gives you the beginning of a chapter, and you have to finish it.’

I frowned at him. This was the stupidest book I had ever heard of!

‘I like to escape into the words and get lost in my imagination. It helps me to relax and stop overthinking life,’ he said, as a way of explanation.

I inhaled deeply, wondering what would make him overthink, then decided to go along with his little charade and humour him.

‘There was once a boy. He was born with knowledge that no one else had. He could see things that no one else could see. But when he spoke of these things in truth, he was told he was lying. So, with every breath of every day he tried to hide his gift; his otherworldly knowledge, but his eyes couldn’t. Whoever looked into them could see the stars that shined, showing them that he was not like the others. He was different. And was misunderstood. He became the centre of allegations and rumours and untruths. So, to protect his heart, he withdrew from people. And he learned this: if no one could like him, he must be unlikeable, and therefore, unlovable.

The boy made himself invisible. Head down in books. Caps hiding his face. Ear buds in to block out the world. And the stars in his eyes faded until there were none, replaced by the uncolour of normality. Of gray colours of acceptance. Of camouflaged colours of blending in. Of being liked by others.

And so, he must be happy, mustn’t he? He was now like everyone else and fitted in with perfection, his giftedness boxed up, sealed, and buried.

Dead.

His behaviour had been moulded by others, by society, creating him into a copy of them, like they were all on the same medication to stop individuality. And that is how he lived his life. Like the others. Sleep. Wake up. Work. Sleep. Day in. Day out.

Then one night, when he was lying in his hiding place, stripped bare of his normality, daring to release his true colours and his inner light while looking up at the stars, a girl stumbled upon him.

She gazed into his eyes and saw more stars than the night sky.

‘What!’ he said, angered that she was in his hiding place beyond the trees in the open field, and that she had seen him. The real him.

Disappointed by his reaction, she hung her head. ‘Nothing. I just thought … you might be … different … to the others.’

His face softened. ‘Different in a good way … or different in a bad way?’

‘Different, in a good way. Trying to fit in with the world is a boring path that keeps its own flat line, without peaks and falls. No challenges. No creativity. No imagination. No triumphs. It just is. Sleep. Wake up. Work. Sleep. Wake up. Work. Mediocrity.’

She reclined next to him and gazed at what he was looking at: two versions of himself. In one vision, he was dead in spirit, to fit in with others, but in the second vision; his true being, fearfully and wonderfully made, was shown—his inner light and his vibrant colour.

She poked him in the chest. ‘I prefer this colourful, shiny version of you. Release yourself from your self-imposed prison. Be who you are meant to be. Follow the path that was built just for you. Love others like you want to be loved.’

He frowned at her. ‘You can see what I see?’

‘Yes. You’re not the only one who sees what you see. The world is waiting for you to show them light. But it takes courage. I know you can do it.’

He shook his head.

‘After the first step, it gets easier.’

He looked at her, eyes brimming.

‘The world will love you for being you. Not at first, and not always. But in the end.’ She covered his hand with hers, and he held onto her fingers, and closed his eyes.

When he opened his eyes again, she was gone. But the stars in his eyes were brighter, burning like they were created to be.

He smiled. He had work to do. Important work to gift to others.’

From the dark blue book of endless possibilities, of mind probing, and inner revelations. The book of once upon a time … and of the dark night, in the novel, ‘All the Colours Above’.

Enjoy the book trailer

Grab a print book at Lilly Pilly Publishing Or an eBook or print book at Amazon

Julieann Wallace is a bestselling author who writes novels under the pen name of Amelia Grace. She resides in Australia and likes to encourage others to use the Arts to be changemakers, and a voice for others through use of the power of written words and visual art. She is a self-confessed tea ninja, chocoholic, and papercut survivor, and tries not to scare her cat, Claude Monet, with her terrible cello playing.

Instagram Amelia Grace https://www.instagram.com/ameliagraceauthor

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/julieannwallace.author/

Website https://www.julieannwallaceauthor.com/

Amelia’s novel, The Colour of Broken (and prequel to ‘All the Colours Above’), has a main character with Meniere’s disease, and was #1 on Amazon a number of times. It was longlisted from 1000s of novels to the top 42 for “Adaptable – from book to screen” in 2021. She donates 100% profits from sales to the Brain and Mind Centre at the University of Sydney where researchers are searching for a cure for Meniere’s disease.

Grab a print book at Lilly Pilly Publishing, or an eBook or print book at Amazon

Enjoy the book trailer

Roll Up, Roll Up, Clean Up – Taking Responsibility

Title: Roll Up, Roll Up, Clean Up – Taking Responsibility

by: Penny Harris

illustrated by: Winnie Zhou

Publisher: Big Sky Publishing

An innovative, award-winning series helping children develop social and emotional well-being”. Selected for the Victorian Department of Education and Training’s School Readiness Funding Menu for 2020.

Roll Up, Roll Up, Clean Up – Taking Responsibility

Ginnie & Pinney and their friends are discussing spring-cleaning when they notice a bad smell coming from the Koala’s house. The friends have to intervene. Teaching the koalas to clean their house is a lot of fun, but when the friends leave, have the koalas learnt anything?

Author, Penny Harris, has spotlighted an important issue relevant yesterday, today and in the future – taking responsibility. The characters in the story discover a bad smell coming from the koalas’ house and confront them about it. They each pass the buck dodging their responsibility. But then the friends all get together and help each other out. But is it enough?

One particular aspect that I liked about the story is how each characters’ thoughts, feelings and point of view is expressed, discussed and how they decide together what the solution for the problem is, showing children how to communicate and to focus on the problem at hand together as a team.  

Artist, Winnie Zhou, has used facial expressions on the characters well to show the feelings of the characters so that children can see the emotion as well as read about it.

Look inside: https://www.bigskypublishing.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/BSP-GP-Roll-Up-9781922265791-Sample-Pages.pdf

Teacher Notes: https://www.bigskypublishing.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/G-P-Roll-Up-Roll-Up-Clean-Up-Teachers-Notes.pdf

Purchase a copy:  https://www.bigskypublishing.com.au/books/ginnie-pinney-roll-up-roll-up-clean-up/

Title: Roll Up, Roll Up, Clean Up – Taking Responsibility

by: Penny Harris

illustrated by: Winnie Zhou

Publisher: Big Sky Publishing http://www.bigskypublishing.com.au/

ISBN: 9781922265791

Subject: Children, Learning,

Pages: 32

This book was given to Julieann by Big Sky Publishing for review

Reviewed by Julieann Wallace

(Dip T, B. Ed, Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator)

https://www.facebook.com/julieannwallace.author/

https://www.julieannwallaceauthor.com/

Julieann is a multi-published author and illustrator who is continually inspired by the gift of imagination and the power of words. When she is not disappearing into her imaginary worlds as Julieann Wallace – children’s author, or as Amelia Grace – fiction novelist, she is working as a secondary art teacher, editor, book designer, and book magician for other authors. Julieann is a self-confessed tea ninja and Cadbury chocoholic, has a passion for music and art, and tries not to scare her cat, Claude Monet, with her terrible cello playing. 

Julieann is a member of:

Queensland Writers Centre

Write Links

Share Your Story Australia

10 Naughty Numbats

Title: 10 Naughty Numbats

by: Grace Nolan

illustrated by: Nancy Bevington

Publisher: Big Sky Publishing

Learn to count to ten with the naughty numbats and their delightful bush friends!

Author, Grace Nolan, has penned a fun counting book for children that has a great beat and rhythm that will have children chanting the words as well as counting the animals in the story – platypus, koalas, kangaroos, wombats, dingo pups, kingfishers, possums, black swans, echidnas and numbats. As I read the story, immediately I could see 10 Naughty Numbats being acted out in class.

Artist, Nancy Bevington, has portrayed the animals with a happy disposition, engaging the onlooker with a sprinkle of happiness.

As an educator, I was happy to see “Fun Learning Activities” as an added eight page bonus after the end of the story, written in a way that increases in the challenge of counting and encouraging active learning.

Purchase a copy: http://www.bigskypublishing.com.au/

Title: 10 Naughty Numbats

by: Grace Nolan

illustrated by: Nancy Bevington

Publisher: Big Sky Publishing http://www.bigskypublishing.com.au/

ISBN: 9781922265616

Subject: Numbers, counting

Pages: 32

This book was given to Julieann by Big Sky Publishing for review

Reviewed by Julieann Wallace

(Dip T, B. Ed, Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator)

https://www.facebook.com/julieannwallace.author/

https://www.julieannwallaceauthor.com/

Julieann is a multi-published author and illustrator who is continually inspired by the gift of imagination and the power of words. When she is not disappearing into her imaginary worlds as Julieann Wallace – children’s author, or as Amelia Grace – fiction novelist, she is working as a secondary art teacher, editor, book designer, and book magician for other authors. Julieann is a self-confessed tea ninja and Cadbury chocoholic, has a passion for music and art, and tries not to scare her cat, Claude Monet, with her terrible cello playing. 

Julieann is a member of:

Queensland Writers Centre

Write Links

Share Your Story Australia

Rain Shaker

Title: Rain Shaker

by: Elizabeth Mary Cummings

illustrated by: Cheri Hughes

Publisher: Big Sky Publishing

When Erin finds a snow-shaker she embarks on a magical journey of possibility.

In a world of droughts and floods where water won’t behave, Erin’s imagination shakes things up and shows her she can help make a better world.

Author, Elizabeth Mary Cummings, has captured the summer temperature and dryness of Australia with visually descriptive words pulling you into the heat and land of thirstiness, encouraging you to join Erin on her crusade for water so her sunflowers can grow. As you turn the pages and read you discover some interesting facts about sunflowers that fill your mind with wonder before you are drawn into the decorating of a Christmas tree, the switch on of the exterior fairly lights of the house and finishing with an excited Erin doing the rain shaker dance until the heavens drop their drips of water on her. But is it enough to make her sunflowers grow?

Artist, Cheri Hughes, has cleverly used colour to complement the story creating a juxtaposition between the reality of Erin’s dry and dusty world and her dream world of techni colours, keeping you grounded in the real world, and then sweeping you up in the dreamy colours of imagination.

There’s an added bonus on the end pages – “Erin’s Sunflower Fun Facts” and a page titled “Grow Your Own Sunflower!”

Rain Shaker is a wonderful story that will keep you turning the pages hoping that rain will come for Erin’s sunflowers. I can see children everywhere wanting to grow their own sunflowers after reading this book. In fact, I think I will do just that!

Purchase a copy: https://www.bigskypublishing.com.au/books/rain-shaker/

Title: Rain Shaker

by: Elizabeth May Cummings

illustrated by: Cheri Hughes

Publisher: Big Sky Publishing http://www.bigskypublishing.com.au/

ISBN: 9781922387165

Subject: Global warming, nature

Pages: 32

This book was given to Julieann by Big Sky Publishing for review

Reviewed by Julieann Wallace

(Dip T, B. Ed, Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator)

https://www.facebook.com/julieannwallace.author/

https://www.julieannwallaceauthor.com/

Julieann is a multi-published author and illustrator who is continually inspired by the gift of imagination and the power of words. When she is not disappearing into her imaginary worlds as Julieann Wallace – children’s author, or as Amelia Grace – fiction novelist, she is working as a secondary art teacher, editor, book designer, and book magician for other authors. Julieann is a self-confessed tea ninja and Cadbury chocoholic, has a passion for music and art, and tries not to scare her cat, Claude Monet, with her terrible cello playing. 

Julieann is a member of the Queensland Writers Centre, Write Links and Share Your Story Australia

Tommy Bell Bushranger Boy: The Masked Man, a book review

9781922265425-BSP-Tommy-Bell-The-Masked-Man-Cover-e1561618608520

Title: Tommy Bell Bushranger Boy: The Masked Man
by: Jane Smith
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing

When Tommy Bell’s father’s car breaks down on a road trip, Tommy and Martin are stranded overnight in a motel room in a strange country town. Things get even weirder when Tommy finds himself roaming the deserted streets on a moonlit night, way back in 1869. But wait – is that an armed robbery in progress? And who is that masked man?

I love the Australian History Series, written by author, Jane Smith. The Masked Man is book 8 in the Tommy Bell Bushranger Boy Series. It brings to life a robbery that occurred on the 8th of May, 1869. Andrew George Scott (aka Captain Moonlite) robs the London Chartered Bank at Egerton near Ballarat, disguised in a mask and a cloak, and Tommy, the fictional character of the series, witnesses the robbery when he travels back in time after putting on his cabbage tree hat. But then Tommy finds himself in a spot of trouble and escapes, by returning to the present, then convinces his friend, Martin, to put on his time travelling boots to return to the scene of the crime to help the innocent men accused of the robbery.

Jane has a particularly effective writing technique where she sets the scene of the story, pulls the reader into the problem, then adds action, upon action, upon action, to keep the reader turning the pages. The fast-paced storytelling never fails to keep your attention.

I highly recommend Tommy Bell Bushranger Boy: The Masked Man, not only as an engaging way for children to learn about Australian history, but also as a high-interest chapter book for independent readers. The main characters, Tommy and his best friend, Martin, are likeable characters who insert a sense of humour and friendship into their adventures as they travel back in time to a snapshot of bushranger true stories.

As an added bonus to the story, there is a section at the back of the book titled: ‘historical note’. It focusses on the historical facts of the robbery, followed by an amusing fictional ‘question and answer’ with Captain Moonlite.

Purchase a copy: tommy-bell-bushranger-boy-8

The Masked Man
Author: Jane Smith
Release Date: 12/Aug/2019
Subject: Bushrangers, Adventure series, Time Travel, Australiana
Pages: 100
Book Type: Paperback
ISBN: 9781922265425
Publisher: http://www.bigskypublishing.com.au/

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Reviewed by Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Children’s Author, Novelist, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator)
https://www.facebook.com/julieannwallace.author/
https://www.julieannwallaceauthor.com/

Julieann is a published author and illustrator who is continually inspired by the gift of imagination and the power of words. When she is not disappearing into her imaginary worlds as Julieann Wallace – children’s author, or as Amelia Grace – best selling fiction novelist, she is working as a secondary art teacher, writing mentor for primary and secondary students, book designer, and book magician for other authors. Julieann is a self-confessed tea ninja and Cadbury chocoholic, has a passion for music and art, and tries not to scare her cat, Claude Monet, with her terrible cello playing.

 

Julieann is a member of:
Queensland Writers Centre
Write Links
Share Your Story Australia

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – a book review

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Title: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
By: Gail Honeyman
Publisher: HarperCollinsPublishers

5-stars

Panic set in when I realised I didn’t have a novel to read before bed. Thankfully, my daughter came to the rescue with a book she had just finished, ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’.

‘Thanks,’ I said, and turned the book over this way and that, checking out the cover design. Used matches. There must be fire involved. It’s a natural assumption, based on predicting a story by the cover.

Once I began reading, it was obvious that Eleanor Oliphant was not completely fine, and from that moment, I knew I was in for a treat. Life experience has taught me that everybody has a reason for they way they behave. We are living and breathing stories, shaped by our experiences.

A couple of days later my daughter said, ‘Have you met Raymond yet?’
‘Yes.’ Then I frowned. ‘Eleanor’s mother is not so nice, is she?’ I said.
Strangely, my comment was met with silence from my daughter. Which she did on a couple more occasions when I asked her about other parts of the story. She is very good at not giving storylines away. Frustratingly!

As I continued to read ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’, the authentic voice of Eleanor was a delight to hear in my mind, endearing me to her. As odd as she was, I really liked the character. All I wanted was for good things to happen for her.

Thank you, Gail Honeyman– I totally looked forward to reading your novel each night when I went to bed, enjoying the humour, the highs and the lows, and turning the pages, manically reading to find out the reason for Eleanor being the way she was.

Like my daughter, I can’t give anything away in the story, but one thing is for sure, Eleanor Oliphant is a survivor.

If you enjoyed reading ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’, you will love ‘The Colour of Broken’ by Amelia Grace, as sent to Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey, Huey Lewis, Nicole Kidman – available at Amazon and other online bookstores.

 

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Reviewed by Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator)
https://www.facebook.com/julieannwallaceonethousandwords/
https://www.julieannwallaceauthor.com/

Julieann is a published author and illustrator who is continually inspired by the gift of imagination and the power of words. When she is not disappearing into her imaginary worlds as a children’s author, or as a fiction novelist, she is working as an editor, book designer, and book magician for other authors, and as secondary visual arts and drama teacher at a private school. Julieann is a self-confessed tea ninja and Cadbury chocoholic, has a passion for music and art, and tries not to scare her cat, Claude Monet, with her terrible cello playing. 

In 2018, Julieann was honoured to have her #8wordstory printed on the back of the Queensland Writer’s Centre business cards: 

(and yes, her name was spelt incorrectly – the story of her life – you just have to laugh! )

Julieann is a member of:

 

That Event – A Memoir

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That event. You know the one. It changed your life. You can never go back to being the person you once were…

Maybe it happened to you, or perhaps, you were a witness, or a first responder. It’s your story alone to tell. But you’ve kept it inside you, even though it keeps niggling away, wanting to be told. You’ve heard your story repeated by others, but it’s not right.

What can you do?

Some people never speak of it again. It’s the only way they can cope. Some people journal the details and keep it private. Some people write a memoir, so the truth of the event is on record, or just to keep for themselves so they never forget the details. It’s a personal choice.

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That event. You know the one that was a positively magnificent experience! It enriched your life and that of others, and you want to tell your story before, during and after the event. You need to tell the story.

What can you do?writing-923882_1920

Memoirs can be traced back to ancient times. Julius Caesar’s first memoir, Commentaries on the Gallic Wars, was written around 50 BCE. People have always been drawn to revealing milestones of their life from their own perspective. Think of it as a snapshot.

So what is a memoir?

Memoir
Noun
1. a record of events written by a person having intimate knowledge of them and based on personal observation.
2. Usually memoirs:
–  account of one’s personal life and experiences; autobiography.
– the published record of the proceedings of a group or organization.
3. a biographical sketch.

Mémoire is French, meaning “memory.” It’s a type of nonfiction where an author recounts life experiences. Memoirs usually take the form of a narrative.

 

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The popularity of memoirs has increased in recent times. People want to connect to the person behind the story. People want to know what shaped, influenced and sometimes broke the person, and how it affected them or others. Readers also want to know if there is a happy ending as they relate the story to their own lives. People are awakening to the realisation of how extraordinary each of us are, and storytelling is a powerful tool to tell a story, creating understanding and empathy, and sometimes changing lives.

Why Write a Memoir?

There are numerous reasons to write a memoir. It could be:
• About your ancestors
• Preserving a family’s Legacy
• You have a secret that needs to be told
• A search for your identity
• Healing from a traumatic experience
• Help you deal with emotional angst
• Your story needs to be told

Make no mistake: writing a memoir is powerful, both for yourself and others, who read your words.
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Many people think about writing a memoir, but don’t, simply because they don’t know how to go about it, or because the task of recording their story seems like a huge undertaking.

If you are considering writing a memoir, here’s some must do’s:
Step 1
Read published memoirs to see how they are written.
Step 2
Research how to write a memoir. There are many sites online that will guide you.
Step 3
Make a plan and start writing.
Step 4
Have your memoir edited so that it is the best story that it can be.

Does your story need to be significant or important to be captured in a memoir? The only answer to that is, if it’s important or significant to you, then YES, your story deserves to be told. We can learn from every life lived.

Memoir and Family History Writing Weekend

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Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator, Paper Cut Survivor)
https://www.facebook.com/julieannwallaceonethousandwords/
https://www.julieannwallaceauthor.com/

Julieann is a published author and illustrator who is continually inspired by the gift of imagination and the power of words. She is a children’s author and novelist. When she is not disappearing into her imaginary worlds, she is working as an editor, book designer, and book magician for other authors. Julieann is a self-confessed tea ninja and Cadbury chocoholic, has a passion for music and art, and tries not to scare her cat, Claude Monet, with her terrible cello playing.

Julieann is a member of:

Eva’s Imagination, a book review

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Title: Eva’s Imagination
by: Wenda Shurety
illustrated by: Karen Erasmus
Publisher: New Frontier

Eva is bored. Soooo bored.
‘What’s happened to your imagination, Eva?’ asks her mum.
So Eva and her faithful sidekick, Chops, set out on an adventure to find it …

‘Mum, I’m BORED!’ There isn’t a mother on the planet who hasn’t heard these words. But being bored is a very good thing. It’s a chance to unleash the amazing ability of the mind to imagine anything that’s possible and impossible. Where would we be without the imagination of those who have invented, found cures, explored Earth and beyond, and written stories?

Author, Wenda Shurety, has written an inspiring tale of discovery in her picture book, Eva’s Imagination. Young Eva is bored. Her mum asks, “What’s happened to your imagination?” But Eva doesn’t know what an imagination is, so she goes looking for it with her adorable dog, Chops, tagging behind. On her journey, she encounters fantastical landscapes and creatures amongst the real-life landscapes in her home, as her imagination kicks in without her realising it.

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Illustrator, Karen Erasmus, has captured Eva’s imagination playfully, transforming ordinary household furniture and items into exciting places to explore. Children will enjoy looking for details in the imagination pictures like a game of ‘I spy’.

Wenda Shurety  has added an extra surprise into the story. It’s something found in an imaginary cave that will give children and adults alike a warm fuzzy moment. When you find it, it will make your heart smile.

Eva’s Imagination is a beautiful story that children will adore, while encouraging them to go on an adventure of their own, wherever they may be. This is most certainly a book to treasure.

Purchase a copy: Eva’s Imagination

Title: Eva’s Imagination
by: Wenda Shurety
illustrated by: Karen Erasmus
Publisher: New Frontier
ISBN: 978-1-925594-23-2
Subject: Imagination
Age: 3 – 6 years
Pages: 32

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Reviewed by Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator)
https://www.facebook.com/julieannwallace.author/
https://www.julieannwallaceauthor.com/

Julieann is a published author and illustrator who is continually inspired by the gift of imagination and the power of words. When she is not disappearing into her imaginary worlds as Julieann Wallace – children’s author, or as Amelia Grace – fiction novelist, she is working as an editor, book designer, and book magician for other authors. Julieann is a self-confessed tea ninja and Cadbury chocoholic, has a passion for music and art, and tries not to scare her cat, Claude Monet, with her terrible cello playing.

The Colour of Broken new cover again

Julieann is a member of:

Dreaming Soldiers, a book review

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Title: Dreaming Soldiers
by: Catherine Bauer
illustrated by: Shane McGrath
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing

Jimmy and Johnno are best mates. The two young friends do everything together, sharing adventures and growing up side by side in the dust cattle yards on an Australian Outback Station. When World War 1 strikes, the head overseas to fight on the battlefields of the western Front. Two boys from different cultures. A friendship for life.

Author, Catherine Bauer, has penned a superb picture book based on the lives of Jimmy Watson (an Indigenous Australian) and Johnno Hogan, at an Australian Outback Cattle Station in 1914. We follow the boys’ carefree and fun childhood, where they solidify their friendship as they navigate waterholes, camping, horse-riding, fly swishing, listening to dreamtime stories and the forever words from Johnno’s mum, ‘Don’t you two get into trouble!’
But as Jimmy and Johnno get older, the best friends are separated as Johnno attends ‘big school’, then university. However, each holiday break, Jimmy and Johnno were always reunited, returning to carefree days of friendship and fun.

One day, when Jimmy and Johnno go to town for supplies, they enlist for the Australian Army. ‘Don’t you two get into trouble!’ a teary-eyed Mrs Hogan said. And then they were gone. As the reader turns the following pages, the reality and darkness of war sets in. And there you will see Jimmy and Johnno together, best mates, looking out for each other so they don’t get into trouble.

Illustrator, Shane McGrath, has portrayed the spirit of each page with depth, reflecting the mood of the text. His artwork is divine as he captures the strength of Jimmy and Johnno’s friendship.

I love stories like this one, breaking boundaries, breaking fear of the unknown because of skin colour, helping others to see each person, not by their colour, but by their kindness and empathy for others. We all matter.

Catherine Bauer has included an important information page titled, ‘Indigenous Australians at War’ after the last page of the story. It’s an absolute must read.

Dreaming Soldiers is filled with well-chosen words, but there is one sentence in the story that is most poignant. It reads like this: But this time was special too because, for the first time, Jimmy was treated just like everyone else.

Dreaming Soldiers is most certainly in my top five Anzac Day and Remembrance Day books to read to children and students.

Teacher Notes: Dreaming Soldiers by Catherine Bauer Teacher Notes

Purchase a copy: Big Sky Publishing – Dreaming Soldiers

Title: Dreaming Soldiers
by: Catherine Bauer
illustrated by: Shane McGrath
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing Big Sky Publishing
ISBN: 9781925675535
Subject: Children, WWII
Pages: 32

IMG_0902.jpgcropped.jpgmoidtone.jpg midtones

Reviewed by Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator)
https://www.facebook.com/julieannwallaceonethousandwords/
https://www.julieannwallaceauthor.com/

Julieann is a published author and illustrator who is continually inspired by the gift of imagination and the power of words. When she is not disappearing into her imaginary worlds as Julieann Wallace – children’s author, or as Amelia Grace – YA and fiction novelist, she is working as an editor, book designer, and book magician for other authors. Julieann is a self-confessed tea ninja and Cadbury chocoholic, has a passion for music and art, and tries not to scare her cat, Claude Monet, with her terrible cello playing.

The Colour of Broken new cover again

Julieann is a member of: