Category Archives: Uncategorized

A feature spot for me!

After a lovely creative morning with my fellow Ten Penners on Saturday, I have had quite a few cute little stories brewing in my mind. However, as usual, housework & gardening prevailed and today (Monday) I was bookkeeping again! Silly work always gets in the way.  😛

This afternoon though, I checked my email and wow, what a surprise! I am being featured in Pass It On (PIO). A fabulous ‘weekly, on-line, interactive, networking e-zine for those involved with or interested in the children’s writing & illustration industry.’ It’s a subscription e-zine so many of my friends and relatives won’t see it but I am so chuffed to be in there! Chatting about what I have done as a co-ordinator for my writing group The Ten Penners, a support group for adults writing for children, which is part of the Gold Coast Writer’s Association (GCWA). I love my group and love talking about what we are up to. After producing our third anthology Mystery, Mayhem & Magic last year,20171019_192841 we are getting back to basics this year, with fun creative exercises and stimulating homework challenges. We always say we are the fun part of the GCWA! 🙂 And that is exactly how it feels.

So after an exciting end of the day. I think I should celebrate a little with some creative writing just to sharpen things up. I am hoping to get one little project of mine, up and out into the world this year. Wish me luck!

Have a beautiful week everyone!


Christmas socialising …

I had such a lovely weekend!

Saturday, my daughter and I volunteered yet again to set up the Christmas Tree on stage for Nerang Celebrates Christmas. We’ve done it so many times now, it’s like a given that we will do it and we do it with pleasure. Waking early and watching a shower come down before we arrived made it a little steamy but thankfully that was all the rain we had that day! It turned out to be glorious and the choir who practice so hard, could certainly give every other Christmas Carols event a good run for the money. I think they excelled even more this year!  To top things off I even had a job as cameraman, taking a prime spot in the front of the stage to film. I had so much fun!!Setting up for Nerang Celebrates Christmas20171216_201656

Sunday, I went to a S.C.W.B.I. meet and greet and had a ball meeting new and old friends!

Thanks Maria for taking me in the group photo, it was lovely to meet you and had lots of fun taking selfies. Only one of mine was good enough to show here. I look forward to seeing yours!

Merry Christmas!



More signing!

This morning we added more signatures to our first batch of books. It’s almost complete needing only Elli’s signature.  Which we will get when we do our school visit on Monday.  It’s not always easy to get everyone together at the one time with busy lives and family commitments but in the end it gets done! Hopefully when the rest of the books arrive we will all be together cracking a celebratory bottle of champers! Now we are off to the Gold Coast Writer’s Association meeting to announce our book launch on 4th of November at Broadbeach library. Yay!

The countdown is on …

It’s no surprise that I am very excited to be receiving our first shipment of Mystery, Mayhem & Magic soon. Tomorrow is our last Ten Penners meeting to fine tune our marketing and get revved up for the book launch on the 4th November. Not that we really need revving up! See the previous post for the details of the launch and click here to make your free reservation for the library event. This is important for catering purposes! Or chat to us on our Facebook page and follow the event link.

In the lead up to the book launch, starting from the 15th October we will be having a blog tour. I hope you can join us and if you make a comment on the post you will go in the draw to win an autographed copy of our book! Comment every day for more chances! 🙂

Proof 001 cover


Author visit at Broadbeach Primary School


Fellow Ten Penners,  Jill Smith, Kate Russell and myself are preparing our chat to year 4 & 5 students at Broadbeach Independent Primary School tomorrow morning.

After having a fun time at St Joseph’s in Brisbane earlier this year, we are really looking forward to this one. It had been a while for me and the first time for Jill and Kate, but it is so much fun to connect with the kids and promote reading and find out what they think of our stories. Tomorrow we will all be more relaxed (I hope!).

I’m back!

Getting ready for this years NA-NO-WRI-MO and getting excited about it.

I haven’t really been doing that much writing lately. I still co-ordinate The Ten Penners, a support / sub group of the Gold Coast Writers Association. We work in the adults writing for children genre. It covers quite a large audience, but we seem to stay in the young readers target of 10-12 years old.

For me, my writing never stopped. It was just simmering on the backburner whilst life took a few priorities out of my time. This November, I hope to get the literary juices flowing and I will be manifesting my steampunk story. It may or may not go into The Ten Penners’ next anthology. If I actually make 50,000 words and win my NA-NO-WRI-MO certificate, I will most likely try publishing it as a book. If I don’t get the count up, then I shall submit it for the anthology. Either way I guess I win because it will be getting my writing into action, instead of having it swirling around in my head.

I’m looking forward to sharing my new adventures with you.

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!