- Duncan Ball
- Hi, welcome to my blog. I'm a writer of poetry, prose and plays but my best known work is children's fiction. My most popular books are the Selby series and the Emily Eyefinger series. This blog is intended as an entertaining collection of thoughts and pictures from here in Australia and from my travels in other parts of the world. I hope you enjoy it. (For more information have a look at my website.)
Friday, December 23, 2011
Sunday, December 18, 2011
My favourite was Crabby Santa at the Sydney Aquarium.
Followed by Clinging-On-For-Dear-Life Santa. (Making do in the absence of a chimney.)
And then Luminary Santa.
He Knows-When-Your-Are-Sleeping-and-He-Knows-When-You're-Awake Surveillance Santa.
Merry Ferry Christmas Santa.
Sunday, December 4, 2011
I think you'll see what I mean. (Please be kind with your comments. I'm only a beginner.)
The first was recorded on an island on the coast of Maine in the USA on a cool and blustery day:
The book is always better than the film.
Friday, December 2, 2011
And there were lots of kids from around the state. Some of them had been up since four o'clock in order to get to the reception. Kids who didn't have to get up early were some from nearby Ultimo Primary School, pictured here with Deborah Abela and myself.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Frederic Chopin's fans are much more respectful of his memory. No lipstick kisses here, just fresh flowers.
Who is this? Possibly a writer because he's holding a book. It shouldn't be long before he's joined by a writer holding an e-reader.
This monument "To Death" is one of the most haunting in the cemetery. Upstairs are a couple heading for the underworld and staring into the void ahead. Behind them are people soon to follow and none too happy about it. I'm not sure what's going on downstairs but the one lying on the ground doesn't look well.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
It's the first time KOALA had its awards day at the venue but, hopefully, not the last. There's a big stage and seating for over 300 kids. As usual the KOALA Committee did all the work and we authors and illustrators swanned in, were made a fuss of and had a good time. Full marks to the KOALA people, especially Val Noake and Antonina Fieni (both of them past presidents of KOALA) as well as the present president, Kris Fegent for all their hard work.
The schools attending made outlandish hats this year for the authors and illustrators. My own (the best of the lot) was made by the marvellous milliners and mad hatters of Bringelly Public School. The Queen would be jealous.
In the spotlight were (from L to R): Bob Graham, me, Belinda Murrell, Pat Flynn, Deborah Abela, Oliver Phommavanh, Andy Griffiths, Lisa Shanahan, Catherine Jinks, Robyn Bavati, Richard Tulloch, Kim Gamble & Anna Fienberg. To see who won the prizes have a look at KOALA 2011 AWARDS.
Here with me is the immediate past president of KOALA and teacher librarian extraordinaire, Antonina Fieni, and her band of admirers.
We all had our own personal assistants for the day. Mine was the very companionable Katelinh. Many thanks, Katelinh, for your excellent guidance!
A small confession: The authors and illustrators were all asked to speak about the best or worse birthday present we'd ever received. I couldn't think of anything so I told the story about how I'd met my wife on a bus and paid her fare when she didn't have the right change thereby getting to talk to her etc. Now I have to admit that some of this story was a bit exaggerated. Factually inaccurate, would be another way of putting it. Actually, it was more false than true. Okay so the whole thing was made up. Well I am a storyteller, after all. (Now I don't feel so guilty.)
Sunday, October 30, 2011
My wife and I just happened to be in Cangas de Onis on the day of the annual Feria de Quesos---the Cheese Festival. This area is known for its wonderful cheeses, especially Cabrales blue cheese. In a big tent in the centre of town a panel of big cheeses were awarding prizes to the best cheeses while we made our way around sampling so many little bits that, by the time we left, we were too full to even think about eating lunch.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
The Selby saga began when I got a phonecall from Selby. He said that he was a dog but that he'd learned how to talk "people talk". He was keeping it a secret from his owners, the Trifles, and from everyone else. But he wanted me to write about his adventures. Of course I leapt at the chance. The first Selby book, Selby's Secret, was published in 1985.
Monday, September 19, 2011
I did manage to get a Monarch Butterfly to pose and also a very patient Great Blue Heron.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Selby took an interest in a chipmunk but the chipmunk quickly disappeared under a rock. Selby just wanted to play but there was no convincing the chipmunk of this.
The local herring gulls are bigger than the seagulls we see in Sydney. Here's a young one before its feathers changed to the usual blue grey an white of the adults.
Four wild turkeys crossed the road in front of us and I followed them into someone's back yard. Unfortunately they were too shy for me to get close to them but I did manage to get some photos before they went off into the woods.