Why Writers Need to Vote in the Logies

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I don’t know if you’ve noticed but the Australian book industry has taken a bit of a beating of late. The government seems intent on bankrupting authors with trying to reduce the copywrite on their works and changing parallel important laws. Not since sleazy venture capitalists took over Borders then tried to use it’s success to prop up their other failing companies and ultimately bankrupted all of their companies, have books been so under threat in Australia.

This year Australia’s most prominent television show on books, The Book Club ABC hosted by Jennifer Byrne, has been nominated for a TV Week Logie. I urge you to vote for it. Even if you hate TV, even if one of the panelists said something mean about a book you liked, even if you saw some mainsplaining going on in an episode, and yes, even if you’re just not that into the show. I urge you to vote for it anyway. And not just because I love the show and write recaps.


I urge you to vote for The Book Club ABC in this years TV Week Logies because it is this country’s most successful show about books and we need to show people that we still love books and that we support authors. Let’s get behind the Books Create Australia movement, let’s lobby politicians, but let’s also show popular culture that books matter. Books are just as loved and necessary as they always have been, so vote for them. Vote for books to win.


Voting closes on the 18th so you need to vote now rather than leaving it until later. So what should you do if you really want to get behind books and vote right now but there seems to be a few pesky categories you need to vote in before you are allowed to skip straight to Best Lifestyle Program and vote for books and you have no clue who to vote for? Here are some suggestions to help you out in a book loving way.

Best Actor

Anthony Brandon Wong from Family Law. The Family Law is Book Club regular Ben Law’s baby.

Best Actress

Virginia Gay from Winners and Losers. Virginia Gay has been an enthusiastic panelist on Book Club a number of times

Best Presenter.

Jennifer Byrne from the Book Club.

Gold

Jennifer Byrne from the Book Club.
Those are just suggestions to get you past the mandatory voting fields so that you can skip straight to Best Lifestyle Program and vote for The Book Club ABC. Obvious vote for who you want in those fields. But books need you. They don’t even usually rate a mention on the Logies, this year they need you to advocate for them. Vote for books to win best Lifestyle this year.


Vote now. Let’s make books win on TV.

[If you get time, please also vote for some scripted shows, TV script writers work hard, so knowing that their shows resonate with you would also be fab.]

All I Want for Christmas is BOOKS

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It’s that time of the year again, the time when I write out the perfect gift suggestions for Christmas, guaranteed to please even the fussiest gift receiver. You’re welcome.

Let’s start with the kids in our lives.

Want a great picture book? You can’t reall go past My Dog Bigsy by Alison Lester. It’s an adorable book about a cheeky dog that causes quite the commotion amongst other animals. Buy it here.

 

Looking for something for the sporty 7-10 year old in your life? Try Kicking Goals with Goodesy and Magic by Anita Heiss, Adam Goodes and Michael O’Loughlin. A lovely book about friendship. Buy it here.

Do you have an 8-12 year old who loves action and adventure and also has a love of maps? Al Tait has what you want and plenty of it in her Mapmaker Chronicles. It’s been described as the best thing since Deltora QuestBuy it here.

Do you have an 6-9 year old that loves action and adventure but want unicorns instead of maps? Search no further than Kate Forsyth’s Impossible Quest series. So many beautiful nods to classic fantasy, your kids will be sure to love it. Buy it here.

 

Wendy Orr’s Dragonfly Song is also a great choice. And just quietly, I’m pretty sure it based around the same ritual that the minotaur myth was derived from. Give it a read. Fascinating stuff. Buy it here. http://www.booktopia.com.au/the-dragonfly-song-wendy-orr/prod9781760290023.html

 

Looking for something for 12+? Try Fleur Ferris’s Risk. It’s an eerie book about what lurks online. Buy it here.

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This year, why not go on a crime-spree for the adults in your life?

 

Harry’s World by A.B. Patterson. Rough cop, gritty issues, sexy sexing and beautiful writing. Buy it here.

 

Love crime but the person you’re wanting to buy for is ice-cold? Go get L.A. Larkin’s Devour. It’s the hotest thing in Antarctic Noir. Buy it here.

 

Emma Viskic’s Resurrection Bay won all of the crime awards. All of them. It’s a book that truly lives up to the hype. No spoilers, just buy it here.

 

The Promise Seed by Cass Moriarty is a beautiful story about cross generational friendships and the ties that bind. Buy it here.

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How about books that explore mental illness?

 

Anna Spargo-Ryan’s debut The Paper House has taken Australia by storm. A beautifully literary book about living with mental illness and grief. It is contemporary Australian fiction. Buy it here.

 

I also hear that Confessions of a Mad Mooer is awesome. Forget all other suggestions, this book is the perfect Christmas gift for young and old. It’s my memoir, whoops I mean, it’s the author’s memoir about their month long stint in a psychiatric hospital with postnatal depression. A must read for any PND sufferers, and for any of their friends or family. Also great for any writers struggling with mental illness. It does have swearing. It’s nonfiction. Get it here.

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You want to give the gift of laughter instead of crime or madness? 

 

Try Our Tiny Useless Hearts by Toni Jordan. Fresh, funny, a great read with lots of depth along with the laughter. Buy it here.

 

We’re all Going to Die by Leah Kaminsky… okay, I know the title sounds a bit morbid, and it is about death, but I promise that it’s actually uplifting. It even says it’s a “joyful book about death.” Buy it here.

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Feel like you want something more historical to give? 

 

Try Ben Pobjie’s Error Australis a humorous recap of Australian history. Buy it here.

Mary’s Australia by Pamela Freeman is a fascinating read about life in the times of our very own Saint, Mary MacKillop. Buy it here.

 

Or you can get Girt by David Hunt. It is a totally unauthorised history of Australia. Buy it here.

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I hope that I have helped make things a little bit easier for you…. Now go buy my book!

 

Don’t forget to check last year’s book recommendations, they’re still excellent choices. So get on it and buy, buy, buy!

Allison Tait: #Robinpedia

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Hair of fire, pen of flame, Allison Tait is an Australian writer, teacher, and an inspiration to up and coming writers. Her series, The Mapmaker Chronicles, have been warmly received by critics but also, more importantly, by the children they are aimed at.

The Mapmaker Chronicles are published through Hachette. They are well liked for mystery, mayhem and even murder. They’re an adventure quest set on land and sea. Allison’s Mapmaker Chronicles have been compared to Emily Rodda’s  Deltora Quest for action and excitement. A must read for 8-12 year olds… and 37 year olds. I never grew up.

Allison is also known for her educational podcasts with Valerie Khoo. In these podcasts Allison draws on over twenty years worth of experience from working in magazines, and now novels, to help new writers not make the same mistakes she did when she was starting out. Valerie and Allison’s podcast is rated number 1 in Australia for writing education.

And as if all that wasn’t enough, I suspect that Allison Tait is part of an underground organisation known as The League of Extraordinary Redhaired Gentlewomen. It’s so underground that I’m the only one who knows about it. The members don’t even know about it, that’s how cool and secret it is. Seriously, ask them about it and they’ll deny all knowledge of it.



The League consists of amazing red-haired women who kick arse and are talented in multiple ways. Other members include Emma ViskicIsla FisherPenelope BergenKeighley BradfordLisa Fleetwood, and many more. I think I might even be in it. By day we create art, by night we fight crime.

Find Allison Tait’s website here.

Find Allison on Facebook here.

Find Allison on Twitter here.

If you feel you’d like to add any information please do so in the comment section.

Learn more about Robinpedia here.

2 Ways You Can Win My Fully Full-On Awesome Book; “Confessions of a Mad Mooer”

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Do you like free stuff? ME TOO! This must be true love. We have so much in common. In which case you’re going to doubly love this announcement. I am giving away not one, but two print copies of my memoir, Confessions of a Mad Mooer; Postnatal Depression Sucks, which will be released in December. Hooray. You can win a copy either through Facebook or Twitter.

 

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/confessionsofamadmooer/photos/a.289580744550640.1073741830.289544227887625/669519129890131/?type=3&theater

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For your chance to win your very own copy of Confessions of a Mad Mooer: Postnatal Depression Sucks simply share and like the pinned post, and then write “MOO” in the comment section.  The winner will be drawn 15th of December at 4pm (AEDT). Good luck!

Entry are only available to Australian residents. And remember to share publicly so that I can see that you’ve done it. Competition runs from 19/11/2016 – 15/12/2016

 

On Twitter: https://twitter.com/RobinElizabee/status/799815859199819776

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For your chance to win your very own copy of Confessions of a Mad Mooer: Postnatal Depression Sucks simply tweet your own confession about life with a new baby and mark it #CoaMM.  You can enter as many times as you like. The winner will be drawn 8th of December at 4pm (AEDT). Good luck!

Entry only available to Australian residents. Competition runs from 19/11/2016 – 07/12/2016. I will happily report any trolls to the police who choose to “confess” illegal activities. And people cannot profit from their crimes so… NO BOOK FORF YOU!

 

I’m confident that you’ll love it, but don’t just take my word for it, read the blurb and the words of praise.

 

What happens when a mother says she isn’t okay, and nobody’s listening? That’s the situation Robin faced after the birth of her identical twin boys. She already had a needy toddler and a husband who worked long hours, but no matter where she turned, her desperate cries for help went unanswered. It wasn’t until her newborn twins ended up in hospital with bronchiolitis that the medical staff realised it was Robin who needed the most care.

The hospital diagnosed her with postnatal depression, and sent her and the boys to a psychiatric hospital. Inside the Mothers and Baby unit Robin finally found her confidence, not only as a parent, but also as a writer and a worthy person in her own right. Her periods returned, too, but she didn’t consider that as much of a blessing. “Confessions of a Mad Mooer” is her story, told with warmth, humour, and unflinching honesty.

 

Words of Praise for “Confessions of a Mad Mooer:”

 

“Ugh, do I have to read it? Do I make you read my work stuff?” – My husband (Still hasn’t read it.)

 

“That’s nice that you wrote a book. Have you seen the new app I downloaded for choir?” – My mother (It really wasn’t that impressive.)

 

“Fanwah. I love that word. I’m going to use it all the time. Did you make it up?” – My friend Helen. (No. Robin does not sit about in her pj’s all day making up words for her vagingo. Her friend Tash made it up.)

 

 

So, win my book and you might just beat my husband to reading it… maybe post a review about how great it is and then send it to him.

 

 

Confessions of a Mad Mooer: 20 Celebrities That Had Postnatal Depression 

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It is the final day of Postnatal Depression Awareness Week for this year so I thought, what better way to let you know that you are not alone than to show you? So here are 20 well known women that have also battled postnatal depression, or postpartum depression as it is termed in the US, and quotes they have said. Each woman experiences  postnatal depression differently, celebreties are no different, so each woman has a very different perspective and therefore different quotes. I hope you find this educational as to the full spectrum of postnatal depression.


Adele

Brooke Shields 

Drew Barrymore 

Gwenyth Paltrow 

Alanis Morissette 

Courteney Cox 

Kristen Bell

Marie Osmond 

Bryce Dallas Howard 

Amanda Peet

Hayden Panettiere 

Amy Davidson 

Lena Headey

Lisa Rinna

Carnie Wilson

Natasha Hamilton

Jessica Rowe

Miki Brzezinski 

Valerie Plame Wilson

Kerri Sackville 

And of course, I had it too. I’m no celebrity, but I’m there with you.

If you or someone you know has postnatal depression you can find good resources on the following sites:

  1. Gidget Foundation http://gidgetfoundation.com.au/
  2. PANDA http://www.panda.org.au/
  3. PIRI http://www.piri.org.au/
  4. Black Dog Institute http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/
  5. Lifeline https://www.lifeline.org.au/ 

Confessions of a Mad Mooer: We Don’t All Make It Out Alive

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My heart breaks for the family of Florence Leung of New Westminister, Canada. She was a woman, a human being in her own right, as well as a mother and a wife. Like me, she has battled postnatal depression, unlike me, she didn’t make it out alive. On Wednesday her lifeless body was found.

Last June Allison Goldstein made headlines in the US for her suicide. She was 32, just like I was when I had my first child, bubbly, beautiful, and well liked. She seemed to have it all on the surface. but below the surface postnatal depression pulled her down.

In 2010 an investigation was launched into Joanne Bingley in the UK. She had postnatal depression and sadly left her family home as her husband and baby slept and then laydown in front of an oncoming train. She loved her baby but felt like she couldn’t cope. Joanne had begged health care professionals for help but they wouldn’t listen. The result was that a little girl will never get to know the love of her mother. 

These are just a few cases that made headlines, but they are unfortunately not isolated cases. Suicide is one of the leading causes of postnatal maternal death. I was nearly one of these women. Raging hormones, lack of support, complications with feeding, and exhaustion can provide a deadly cocktail for mothers. And yet women are still frequently dismissed when they ask for help. 

Health professionals are supposed to be vigilant for signs of depression and not coping but mothers often report being treated like hysterical first time mothers when they ask for help. And science backs them up. Studies have shown again and again that males going in with the same symptoms as females are more frequently referred for further testing and given medication, whilst  women are simply sent home. Mothers are on the absolute bottom rung despite the media releases from the health professionals declaring that they should be at the top. 
I was on the receiving end of this dismissive attitude, I thank my lucky stars that someone finally listened otherwise I’d be another statistic. I doubt I’d even make it as a news report. Simply dead and ignored.

My daughter came at 35 weeks. She attached fine to the breast but was a slow feeder. She’d take up to two hours to feed. Then I’d change her nappy, try to put her down to sleep, she’d shriek  in pain so I’d hold her upright in my arms so that she wouldn’t explode with acidic vomit. She’d sleep in my arms for forty minutes and the we’d start the process all over again. Day and night. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat. I’d  cry often. My legs would buckle underneath me at random moments. I’d vomit up bile. I was exhausted and my  body was failing me. I told the community nurse I was exhausted. She told me to just put the baby down and stop overreacting to every little sound. I told my GP at the time that I couldn’t cope. She said babies like to suck and a breast was better than a dummy. She said it couldn’t be as bad as I said otherwise I wouldn’t be able to smile or function. I felt like I was going crazy. I hurt. I couldn’t keep going. I wanted to kill myself so that my daughter could have a mother that people would help. And I would have done just that if things hadn’t changed.

My regular GP wasn’t available for my daughter’s four month check-up. I had to see a new GP. She diagnosed my daughter with reflux and hip dysplasia, both conditions were quite severe and had been missed by the hospital, community nurses, and my previous GP. Referrals to  specialists  were given. With medication for reflux my daughter was able to sleep better. Which meant I could too. She also needed two ooperation for her hip dysplasia, three months in a spica cast and several more in a brace. That GP improved my daughter’s quality of life and saved my mine. I doubt that I could have gone on another week the way it had been.

When my boys were born people said, just call, don’t get yourself into a tizzy like you did last time. But whenever I called  they were too busy. And they were too busy the next day or the next. And then they’d show up and help with my daughter but I still had the twins, born at 32 weeks, to take care of and dinner to make.It was a slap in the face. A tokenistic gesture of help given not when I needed it and not in a way that allowed me to get any sleep.

As for my guardian angel of a GP, my boys had been in the NICU I was in their system. I had to go back to them for the twins’ checkups. I didn’t have time to also see my GP. When the social worker would pass she’d ask how I was, I’d say exhausted, she’d laugh. During check-ups I’d mention to the pediatrician that the boys weren’t sleeping well and I was having trouble taking care of them and their 2 year old sister. I was told that was life with premi twins, just deal with it.
Again by four months I was ready to end my life. And then my boys got bronchiolitis and ended up in hospital. In the emergency room I just cried and cried because I was exhausted and desperately worried about my babies and it was a catastrophic  combination. I felt utterly alone. The emergency nurses were fantastic. They told me that they rarely got to have babies in there so would have no shortage of nurses who would want a cuddle. The nurses woke me to breastfeed then whisked my boys off to be cuddled. Nurses were coming from other departments on their break to get a cuddle with my boys. I got four hours of broken sleep that night. I wouldn’t have had much more than that all up in the past four months.

And then we had to go up to the children’s ward. I lost my beautiful angels of mercy who had come to help me in emergency. 

They had strict rules in the children’s ward. Most of them resulted in the nurses not being able to help. So I juggled my two babies on my own and stared out the window and thought about how I’d jump out if I could actually open it. I decided that when my husband visited I would excuse myself to go to the bathroom, walk outside, then walk into traffic so that I could finally die. I was in so much pain, physical and emotional, that I just wanted it to end.

Luckily the pediatrician who had treated my daughter for reflux was the doctor on the ward. He took one look at me and knew I was not  myself. He spoke reassuringly to me that there were options and that he was calling the social worker and that they would help. I was too tired not to believe him.

The social worker came. She said there were things that she could do to help but she also wanted to refer me to a hospital psychiatrist. He was there within twenty minutes. It became apparent that I was a patient along with my boys and that I was the more serious case. It was determined that I needed intensive support. Once the boys were well enough the three of us were transported to a psychiatric hospital with a mother and baby unit. And that’s why I’m still alive now.

If health professionals had continued to minimise my cries for help then I would be dead. I wouldn’t be typing this up on my phone next to my 5 year old daughter. She lies next to me sleeping peacefully as I type this because she was scared so came in for some mummy hugs. Last night it was my youngest child, he may only be younger than his twin brother by a minute but he’s still the youngest. He was scared and wanted to watch Yo Gabba Gabba. It was 3 am so I said no and he had an epic meltdown which I tried to soothe as quietly as I could lest he wake his siblings. The night before it was my middle child, all he wanted was for me to hold his hand whilst he dropped back off to sleep. If I hadn’t made it, my kids would have missed out. And to be honest, my death was only avoided by half an hour.

I owe a great debt  to both those doctors, but they shouldn’t be so few and so far between. It’s about time health professionals stopped paying lip service to the notion that they’ll be vigilant of mothers struggles and actually were. How many more avoidable suicides must we mourn?

My book Confessions of a Mad Mooer: Postnatal Depression Sucks will be out in December. It deals with my time in the psychiatric hospital aan what I have learned. If it stops one more mother from killing herself then it is worth it. You’re not alone. I’m here, I made it through and so can you.

If you or someone you know has postnatal depression you can find good resources on the following sites:

  1. Gidget Foundation http://gidgetfoundation.com.au/
  2. PANDA http://www.panda.org.au/
  3. PIRI http://www.piri.org.au/
  4. Black Dog Institute http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/
  5. Lifeline https://www.lifeline.org.au/ 





    Confessions of a Mad Mooer: 5 Uplifting Quotes About Motherhood

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    ​”Mothers are all slightly insane.”- J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

    “There’s no bitch on earth like a mother frightened for her kids.”- Stephen King

    “(24/7) once you sign on to be a mother, that’s the only shift they offer.”- Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper

    “It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.”- L.R. Knost, Two Thousand Kisses a Day: Gentle Parenting Through the Ages and Stages

    “You don’t have favourites among your children, but you do have allies.”- Zadie Smith, On Beauty