As I peer through the casement window at buildings tinged pink by street lights, I listen to voices excited by chemical enhancements and the fact that it’s Saturday Night. A boat hoots in the background and cars swish swash past on wet roads. There are no kangaroos, no bleating lambs, no silence.

Day One of my May Gibbs Fellowship – safely landed in Brisbane and it’s not what I’m used to, but it’s oh so exciting!

Not so appealing is the fact that I already wrote this post and it mysteriously vanished before I got a chance to save it…but you get that. Perhaps Satellite Broadband has its advantages after all:-) (She says quickly pressing the ‘save’ button again:-)

My May Gibbs Fellowship started the minute the ‘fasten seat belts sign’ was switched on and the cabin voice advised that “all electronic devices must be switched off”.

That’s when I allowed my characters to creep out of my head and speak their first words. I did warn them that these might be discarded in future drafts, but they seemed happy with that – they were appeased by the fact that they were finally getting the chance to have their say.

Seeing as I’m writing a YA psychological series, I figured that now would be a good time to think about the psychology of my characters. A great resource when it comes to choosing personality quirks and character motivations is Writer’s Guide to Personality Disorders by Jeannie Campbell LMFT*.  I read Jeannie’s book and listened to my character’s some more.

Who says you can’t write on a plane?

So Day One, this is the lowdown. I was collected from the airport and warmly welcomed by the wonderful Judith Russell from the May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust. She then drove me to a library…um it was in Brisbane somewhere and it was in a green building. There I caught up with writerly colleague Sheryl Gwyther and was entertained by Michael Gerard Bauer talking about his writing exploits. We listened to a talented poet and an amazing group of recorder players on the most impressive looking recorders I had ever seen.

Dinner at aThai restaurant and back to my ‘Brisbane home’ to write this post…and uphold my promise to blog every day. Sorry no pics today – hopefully I’ll get some happening tomorrow.

Thanks to everyone (including my very special family) who has made this fellowship possible, and to all the lovely Brisbane literary people who have welcomed me.

I know this is going to be a fabulous experience. I’m going to be sharing it daily with you on this blog. Hope you can come along for the ride.

Happy writing.


* Jeannie Campbell also has a blog worth visiting at


  1. A big, warm Queensland welcome to Brisbane, Dee. I’m sure you’ll have a marvelous experience here. 🙂 Looking forward to reading about your journey into characters.

  2. Can’t wait to read all about your experience of the fellowship and secretly (or not so secretly!) dream of the day when I might be able to get to do a fellowship too 🙂 I’m going to read and learn! I will most definitely see you at the High Tea. Enjoy the new sounds of the city and letting your characters take over.

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