Yes, books have trailers now.

Yes—as is utterly obvious even on first viewing—I make my own trailers. It would actually be cheaper for me to hire someone else to do it. You can get a professional-looking trailer for around $5 if you know where to look. This trailer cost considerably more than that (I paid for music, actors, and three video clips).

The thing is, although I can barely navigate iMovie (or anything more complicated than a text document with a few hashtags and such for coding interactive fiction), I just adore putting together book trailers. For me they’re a great way to draw people quickly into the mood of the tale. And although I’m overwhelmingly not a visual artist, I admire it when I see it, and I like to dabble.

So without further ado, here is the first trailer for The Monster Apprentice:


NB: I accidentally deleted the rest of the credits on the Monster Apprentice trailer, which will eventually read:

With thanks to




This trailer kicks off a new series, for a new audience (children/tweens rather than adults/young adult) and is certainly has a different feeling and style to my other trailers. I’ve played it about a dozen times for my kids (and of course, roughly a million times for myself).

Here’s my other two (so far) trailers:

Antipodean Queen 1: Heart of Brass


Antipodean Queen 2: Silver and Stone

I will be doing two more this year! One for Murder in the Mail: A Bloody Birthday (that’ll be interesting—the trailer will need to explain how it all works), and one for Antipodean Queen 3: Iron Lights.

Horrible things that didn’t happen

Here are some of the common pregnancy side effects that I managed not to have:

-very painful feet and ankles

-massive weight gain

-varicose veins

-huge numbers of moles (the skin kind, not the rodent)

-gestational diabetes

-dental problems or other bone issues due to calcium going out of mum into the baby

-high blood pressure

-complications at the birth

-ugly baby

-colicky baby

So THAT’s nice.

In a shocking break from recent tradition, I will NOT be talking about Louisette tomorrow, or posting another photo. I’ll actually be writing a good old-fashioned “Daily Awesomeness” entry. Then on Wednesday I’ll post all about breastfeeding (including the results of getting Louisette’s tongue tie fixed, which is happening tomorrow and will probably have instant results) and my mental state.

To tide you over, here is a near-fatal dose of cuteness that will have to last you until Wednesday (unless I snap and post something tomorrow after all). Regular readers will recognise Louisette’s cousin. Louisette is honestly getting prettier every single day.

Plot Device Film, and Ten Untranslatable Words

Here is a movie and an article that are sashaying around the writerly blogosphere at the moment.

Yes, it’s a long film for youtube. But it’s way shorter than a movie, and just as good. Say hi to the zombies for me.


And this is an article by someone who has picked ten words that have been adopted from English into other languages due to their precise meanings.

An Australian, an American and a British girl walk into a Chinese recording studio. . .

This video was recorded by a British girl and features an Australian man and an American woman recording a dialogue intended to assist Chinese students learning English. It singlehandedly explains all the Chinglish you’ve ever seen. As you watch, keep in mind that they were not allowed to alter the script in any way. Enjoy the increasing insanity as the Australian man starts playing multiple parts. Don’t forget to listen carefully to exactly what they say.

The fake glasses are Korean.

And here are some random photos from January last year when CJ and I went to Beijing.

I blogged about China here and here, and about the Great Wall here.

#308: Skyfire

Skyfire means two things:

1. Fireworks set to music.

2. Canberra’s annual rush hour – with drunkenness and Canberrans (unnaccustomed to serious traffic) in the mix.

Oh, and jet fighters.

People gather all around Lake Burley Griffin for hours before any kind of show begins. Around six o’clock, stuff starts happening. Jet fighters, helicopters, Jessica Mauboy, radio people (it’s run by 104.7FM), and so on.

The barges above are where all the explosives are. The helicopter is either part of the entertainment or standing by in case of drunken accidents. Beside it is the Carillion, which lights up at night (you can see it in most of the photos below).

It was very cold, and even rained.

And then it began!

Here’s a video to show you what “fireworks set to music” actually means.

The final song was “Firework” by Katy Perry.

The instant it was finished (as captured above) we elbowed children and drunks out of the way willy-nilly in order to get out of the crush before it fully congealed.

As always, totally worth it.

Tomorrow is the FINAL DAY of the Year of Daily Awesomeness.

There’ll be a greatest hits video.

S#79: Karaoke

Too embarrassed to write much. Suffice to say:

1) Yes, I prepared by drinking.

2) No, I don’t know the guardian angel beside me (although her mother was also there, and they both sang).

3) I’m so, so sorry.

4) It could have been worse. So screw #3: I’m not sorry at all.

I will admit it was strangely enjoyable.

PS For those following the twittertales, “Minion Number Two” begins on March 4. It’s a tale of intrigue, ambition, and how to train your kangaroo to infiltrate an evil lair.