This is part of an introduction I did at the Victorian SCBWI Meeting on Saturday afternoon. While I’m not writing, under my pen-name of Corinne Fenton – as Corinne King, I look after the Victorian Chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writer’s and Illustrators, an organisation for professional children’s writers and illustrators. The Australian website is and international site is

‘Last Wednesday was only a part of what has been a very challenging week and month so I thought I’d take a moment to talk about ‘challenges.’

Wednesday began quite normally with me almost finalising numbers for this meeting and posting my Wednesday blog post. The rest of the day was organised – a walk through the bush with my sister and her dog Max (leisurely), a quick trip to the doctor to pick up a prescription (easy) followed by a funeral (which was always going to be challenging.)

The day started going downhill when Max insisted on sniffing everything about him and rolling about in every muddy puddle he could find, which made me late for my doctor’s appointment. As I drove I attempted to phone the clinic to explain I was running late and ended up being entertained, white-knuckled hands on the steering wheel, by 10 mins of Musak instead.

Out of the three car parks at the clinic, all were full so I ‘borrowed’ a spot and raced to the foyer. As the lift was taking forever I decided to race up the stairs to the 5th floor – that’s how I got locked in the stairwell – for a while.

30 minutes later I actually saw my doctor (while I clock-watched) then grabbed a coffee and croissant to eat in the car on the way to the funeral. Then came the call from La Notte, our regular meeting venue – ‘Our floor has collapsed.’ Mario promised to try and find an alternative venue.

On the journey from Templestowe to Mulgrave I ate my lunch, sipped my coffee and changed from my grotty track suit into more funereal-suitable clothing at each set of traffic lights. My greatest fear along Springvale Road was that I’d pull up next to a truck. Getting track pants off and tights on, was the greatest challenge. I kept thinking of the lady whose funeral I was going to – my best friend’s Aunty Adrian, and I knew she’d be laughing.

I did make the funeral on time – just – and for a couple of hours I forgot about my little own little challenges and thought more of Aunty Adrian’s husband and their six daughters. The girls talked about a lady who fashioned six lots of double plaits each morning before school – was a creative cook, a cub leader, an animal lover, a mother and I thought about her challenges.

Although La Notte tried to find an alternative venue – by 6.00 p.m. Wednesday night I was having a few moments of ‘concern’. But to be honest, compared to the challenge Aunty Adrian’s family were facing it was nothing, I knew I’d find something, somewhere. So here we are at Dimattinas.

Three week’s ago I returned from a blissful month at the May Gibbs Studio in Brisbane, where I was totally focused on myself and my writing. The last three weeks have been challenging – the night after I returned my son had an anaphylactic attack, his girlfriend left home under difficult circumstances and moved in with us temporarily – with her 10 week old puppy called Maverick. We live on a main road, on a cliff, without fences but in spite of this,  – a story has been screaming at me, inside my head and it’s made it into 2 pages of draft form – page 2 of which Maverick ate! (Thankfully it was backed up!)

So really, finding an alternative venue for today’s meeting was child’s play and life will always be full of all kinds of challenges.’

Corinne at SCBWI Meeting 23.7.11

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  1. Chris Bell You are amazing, and what an incredible week you had. Your calm and strong sense of perspective no doubt got you through the challenges to great effect, resulting in a fabulous and informative SCBWI meeting on the Saturday. I think your intro could only have been enhanced by a physical demonstration - just how does one remove track pants and pull on tights seated behind the wheel of a car? The mind boggles and I bet those around wondered just what that woman in the car ahead was up to.
    July 27, 2011 at 9:13 am · Reply
    • corinne I've replied to you and Sue together Chris. Demonstration any time you are both up for it!
      July 27, 2011 at 7:50 pm · Reply
  2. Sue I agree Chris - we need to see a re-enactment of the trackie and stocking incident! Corinne, I marvel and all that you do - not just for your family, but for your friends. You are incredible - and you make me laugh too!
    July 27, 2011 at 7:40 pm · Reply
    • corinne Yes sure girls. I might also do the 'applying the false eyelashes and wiglet' in a moving car while on my way from work in Kentucky Fried to a ballroom dancing floor . . . but that was about 100 years ago!
      July 27, 2011 at 7:50 pm · Reply
  3. Alana pileggi Hi corinne, I love your book queenie because it stands out so nice.
    July 31, 2011 at 5:34 pm · Reply
  4. Alana pileggi Hi Corrine, I love your books because there interesting and some sound funny like Dad and the masquito and andy i think and the baana. I hope you enjoy your work that you've done and can continue on writing storys that you appreciate writing. Love from Alana
    August 5, 2011 at 6:09 pm · Reply
    • corinne Yes, thanks Alana. I do love being a writer.
      August 8, 2011 at 3:55 pm · Reply
  5. Paula Hi Corinne Fenton I really LOVE YOUR BOOKS! My favourite book is Queenie because I Love Animals I might want to be an author like you sometime from one of your fan Paula
    August 15, 2011 at 10:29 am · Reply
    • corinne Hi Paula. Thanks for your message. I'm glad you liked Queenie and I'm glad you want to be an author. Be persistent and I'll look forward to reading your work when I next visit your school. Corinne
      August 15, 2011 at 3:16 pm · Reply
  6. Paula Hi Corinne Fenton thanks for replying I would love to tell you my story you are my favourite Author EVER! from Paula again
    August 17, 2011 at 5:36 pm · Reply
  7. Aaron Hi Corinne,I think all your books rock! Do you like illustrating?
    August 18, 2011 at 10:42 am · Reply
    • corinne Thanks Aaron, but I'm a writer not an illustrator . . . I can't draw for nuts!!!!
      August 18, 2011 at 4:23 pm · Reply
  8. shane Corinne how are you???:) Is writing FUN??? you rock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    August 18, 2011 at 10:54 am · Reply
    • corinne Thanks Shane. I do love writing but I can't say that it's always Fun! I'm not sure I've 'rocked' before, but thank you. Corinne
      August 18, 2011 at 4:18 pm · Reply

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