Spinning Tops and Gumdrops

The inspiration for Spinning Tops and Gumdrops came to me while watching my grandchildren at play. I grew up in a country town in the 1950s, a time when billycarts, milkshakes, double-dares, Ginger Meggs and the sixpenny Saturday morning serials at Hoyts were our main preoccupations. The outskirts of town marked the extent of our horizons. The city was somewhere we might visit one day, and the wider world merely a rumour.

Attention self-publishers!

To anyone who has written a book: Congratulations! As someone who agonised over every word in this short blog post, I salute those with the inspiration and the commitment to write an entire book.

But now what?

How do you get people to find and read your masterpiece?

What sells a book sells a book, same in traditional or self-publishing. You gotta shake your tail feathers

- Joni Rodgers (author)

Blues Brothers Shake Your Tail Feather

Writing the history of fishing

When I heard what the National Library was looking for I couldn't believe my luck! Here was a request to write history (my day job) about fishing (my moonlighting activity). I guess the question was, how? How to capture that sense of wonder across time, of changing practices and attitudes to Australia and its environment.

Confessions of a History Nerd

As a teenager, history was one of my favourite school subjects. While my girlfriends were reading about fashion and make-up, I subscribed to an illustrated history magazine! No doubt that early contact with retelling history in an accessible way—combining factual ‘storytelling' with historical images such as political cartoons, posters, newspaper cuttings and photographs—influenced the way I now present history to young people through my Heritage Heroes series.

Melodrama in Meiji Japan - Part One

The Preservation team at the National Library of Australia have recently been working with a number of amazing items that are now on display as part of the Melodrama in Meiji Japan exhibition. Many of these include stunningly beautiful and brightly coloured Japanese woodblock prints, also termed Kuchi-e (pronounced ‘koo-chi-eh’), literally translated as ‘mouth-picture’. A major part of the exhibition were the prints donated by Professor Richard Clough from 2011 to 2014.

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