Monthly Archives: October 2011

Writing Weekend

Yay it’s the fifth weekend for the month!

I love it when we get an extra weekend for the month. I always have very busy weekends and as I volunteer my time for the Gold Coast Writer’s Association every third Saturday of the month and co-ordinate my The Ten Penners group (which is adults writing for children) every first Saturday of the month. That leaves the second and fourth for writing, which I do get to do sometimes. Sometimes, I drop my daughter at her drama and head home instead of the library to do …heaven forbid…housework! I try not to let it interrupt my writing time but it just screams out for attention.

Anyway, tomorrow I am looking forward to writing. I know my plans have already been interrupted with a visit to my sister, plus a couple of errands, a visit to the first Indy Authors festival, which is being held most of the day at Robina library. Unfortunately, I won’t be there all day but I will get time to support my fellow, local writers, including the talented Jill Smith, who wrote some short children’s stories for our Fan-tas-tic-al Tales, but she excels at Sci Fi drama! Her book Dual Visions is great and the draft I have read of her sequel is even better!

You may notice that my writing time is diminishing but I don’t see it that way. I see it like this…after I drop my daughter off I get to do my errands (import to maintain the order of my life and clear my mind by achieving my productive outcomes for the day). Then pop over to Robina library for the Indy Authors festival, I’ll be watching, listening and learning. Dash back home for hopefully some spring cleaning (more mind clearing) and visit my sister, then pick up daughter. In that time, even though pen has not hit paper I have cleared my mind from the things that niggle to be done, creating a clean mental slate. Then I will interact with like-minded people, absorbing knowledge and getting a buzz of enthusiasm. Hopefully stumbling across some interesting character profiling and taking in real life drama situations. All in all, a great writing day, then when I get home I simply need a bit of time to scratch some ideas and pen a story! Bliss!

Oh and another reason for the spring cleaning is preparation for NaNoWriMo, which is only two days away… I wonder if I will actually make the 50K word count this year?




New Gold Coast Writer’s committee line up

A new era begins as the Gold Coast Writer’s Association farewells president Jeannie Barker and welcomes new president Julie Boyd.

After two successful years as the Gold Coast Writer’s Association (GCWA) president, Jeannie Barker has stepped down to pave the way for new president Julie Boyd. Following their AGM newly elected Julie is enthusiastic about lifting the GCWA profile to a new height.  An accomplished writer, she has published professional learning books for teachers, articles and numerous national journals. Julie, together with her committee, will continue tireless voluntary work to make the GCWA a well-respected literary group on the Gold Coast. Workshops are being planned, guest speakers being booked and focus on their mission statement: to be a home for writers, a place to learn, a place to grow and a place to be heard.

The GCWA meet at Fradgley Hall, above the Burleigh Heads library every third Saturday of the month at 2pm to 4pm, they have guest authors, members book launches and afternoon tea with plenty of networking opportunities. Find out more at

Buy Fan-tas-tic-al Tales

This week I finally made the link to Pay Pal, so for anyone who wants to buy a copy of our children’s anthology Fan-tas-tic-al Tales featuring 34 short stories, poems and novellas, visit The Ten Penners blog via this link!

Beverly Cassidy

Today, I have an interesting creative topic to cover. Photography.
In particular a very clever photographer, Beverly Cassidy.

Beverly is a mother of three beautiful children (who love to pose for her portfolio shots!). Together with her husband, they live a semi rural life on the Brisbane / Gold Coast run. I was lucky to be a raffle winner at last year’s Gold Coast Writer’s Association 20th Anniversary luncheon. My prize of a photo shoot was a godsend! I have never had the funds to lash out on a professional photographic sitting. However, my daughter, who is a budding young actress could do with this prize more than me, I told Beverly. As you will see from the photos below, they are certainly worthwhile and it captures a lovely family moment in time. We could easily get addicted to this, as our daughter changes into a young woman, we will need to update the look again and again!

Hi Beverly! Thanks for joining me today.

I love these photo’s you did of my daughter,  

are girls the most fun to work with using all the pretty dresses and head wear to vary the shots so much?

Creating a theme and dressing up a client to help them create an
image of themselves that they will love forever are most definitely the most
fun shoots, people love creating images that are different and unique.

What  was your initial motivation to begin photography as a business?

My mum passed away suddenly in 2008 when she was only 45 years
old of an acute asthma attack. This turned my world upside down as it was
totally unexpected.  After this tragedy  as I went through my grieving process I had many “why are we here” and “what is  it all for” moments that brought me to think of what I should do in my life to  make it all worth it.  When I came to
thinking about my career path I thought long and hard about how I could support  my family making money doing something I love doing.  As you can see I chose to take photographs of  people making precious memories, creating snapshots in time to show generations  to come those memories we have in an image.

Do you find it gives you flexibility for working around your family commitments?

Working for myself does give me more flexibility to be with my  family more than if I worked for someone else. I choose to schedule everything, so if I schedule in time for my family I don’t allow work to take over that  time.

There is definitely a creative talent with portrait photography. Do you think it is a natural talent to take great photographs or is it a learnt craft?

I think it is a combination of both, I love to be creative I  always have, in school I loved art class and even as an adult I have enjoyed  sewing and scrapbooking, I find these are great to do with your family as some  of my most fondest memories are sharing these creative times with my mum and nanna.

But without the technical knowledge I have learnt I could not pick up my pro camera and take a decent shot, it takes a lot of thought to take even a remotely decent photo with a professional DSLR camera.

As a photographer who began her career specialising in babies and young children.  I see you have ventured into maternity, women’s pin-up and corporate headshots as well. Which give you the most pleasure? Why do you like to specialise for women? Though I have noticed couple shots in your on-line portfolio as well, but… is photography more of a girls thing?

I have chosen to specialise in women’s portraiture because there  is nothing like helping a woman to feel beautiful. So many women forget what it feels like to feel pretty, that is why I love the 1950’s era so much it really embraces the womanly body and all of it’s beautiful curves.

You do a 40’s/50’s style pin up girl shoot each month, will you tell us how and why this started?

As a child I grew up enjoying my parents music just as much as  the Top 40 countdown, I took Rock ‘n’ Roll dance classes and just loved the Buddy Holly musical my parents took me to.   So when I saw that the American photographers were recreating the “Pin  Up” posters for women in the 21st century I just had to give it a  go. When I did, the response was overwhelming, the women I did the trial with had many wonderful compliments which helped boost their self esteem making them feel better than they ever though they could. That was a turning point  for me because just knowing that I helped a woman gain self-esteem she never had before, was an awesome feeling.

I love your blog with the pretty, retro look and the old fashioned beauty tips.

Do you dig around in your mother’s old stuff to find the apron patterns and tips? Or do you hire a researcher? There is certainly a lot of information coming through.

On my Kustom retro blog I have my Nana write for me in the “I  Remember When” posts, I just love that nostalgic feeling you get when you hear  about a beautiful time when there were dirt roads and life just seemed so  simple.

I also have beauty tips, as the 1950’s were all about women  embracing being a woman and being proud of it. In all the other posts I do the research as it helps me to  create the Pin Up photos with authenticity.

Do you sell to magazines or web sites?

I have never sold any images to any publishers although I have
had my images published just recently in City West News, as they ran a double
page article on “The return of the Retro Babes” featuring my work and what I
do. You can see the article here:

Have you ever thought to go into other styles of photography?

I love taking photos so if an opportunity arises for me to try something new I won’t pass it up.

What gives you the most pleasure from this business?

The flexibility to be with my family and waking up each day knowing that what I am doing is for me and my family and to make others feel great!

Do people come to you or do you go to the people?

It depends on the situation, for Newborn shoots I certainly go to their home, as I need to photograph newborns before they are 10 days old and for the convenience of the families I go to them.  Some families prefer outdoor photos so we meet at a location  that best suits their personality, but some days I need the privacy and the controlled lighting situation of a studio, so when that is the case people come to me in a studio set up.

Do you find that living in a rural setting gives you more depth to your creative

I actually live in Beenleigh which is a little business hub no more than 30 minutes from Brisbane, Ipswich or the Gold Coast I find this a great location although one day I would love to live in a more rural area, as I  really am a little country girl at heart!

Are your family very supportive of this business? Is it flexible with a family

Most certainly, my husband has even sold his beloved Harley Davidson to help me build my little business. I promise him I will buy him a new one, one day!

How can people contact you and book in a fabulous portrait session?  or 0421 528 463 or go to the website

Thank you Beverly for this interview and the wonderful shots you did for me as well.  Now I have a couple of great shots to use on my next book and facebook profile page too!  

It was my pleasure!