Animatronic Goat Skulls in Montreal

Yes, I have been a bad blog­ger of late — ignor­ing my blog, not answer­ing emails, writ­ing in a real-life diary instead, etc. I have been in New York and Canada hav­ing what we call a ‘hol­i­day’, what the locals there call a ‘vaca­tion’ and what the US gov­ern­ment calls ‘a valu­able input of tourist money into a flag­ging US economy’.

And here is the most amaz­ing thing I found dur­ing my North Amer­i­can travels.

Yep, more goat skulls! After I spent a good por­tion of this year blog­ging about goat skulls, it was per­fect that in an art gallery in Mon­tréal, Canada I would find mov­ing crea­tures with the heads of dead goats. I watched them for a lot longer than the above video goes on for. The com­bi­na­tion of goat skull with crab claws is inspired.

The artist of these dis­turb­ing (good dis­turb­ing, not bad) exhibits is a local guy called Eric Braün (who does some pretty cool art­work and comics as well).

An open letter to ‘youth blogger’ Kevin Rudd

Dear Prime Minister,

I am writ­ing to thank you for start­ing up your very own ‘youth’ blog. As some­one who has just writ­ten a book all about blog­ging it pleases me greatly to think of the Aus­tralian Prime Min­is­ter star­ing at a com­puter screen and scream­ing, ‘Why won’t this image upload? I keep press­ing ‘Upload’ and noth­ing hap­pens. And how do I make all my links flu­o­res­cent green anyway?’

How­ever hav­ing looked at your youth blog I thought I would offer a few sug­ges­tions so that your blog might be some­what more appeal­ing to the kids.

To start with I think you should include some ref­er­ence points for young peo­ple. And when I say ‘ref­er­ence points’ I mean lol­cat jokes. For exam­ple you could include a pic­ture like this:

kevinlol

It will demon­strate that you can make fun of your­self and that you can speak the con­tracted lan­guage of the young.

I like the way that on your last blog post you asked read­ers to tell you what they would do if they were Prime Min­is­ter for a day. You should know that while some peo­ple think you are a stern taskmas­ter with no sense of fun, I can assure you that ALL young peo­ple would love to be you for a day. Mainly so they could call Obama and have a chat with him on the phone.

Which makes me won­der – when you call lead­ers of for­eign nations do you use Skype? It’s cheaper than call­ing on the phone you know. Plus you could do video link-ups. Just imag­ine being about to see the looks on the faces of the Burmese junta when you tell them about new sanc­tions being intro­duced on their country!

I think that your blog would also ben­e­fit from some wid­gets. For exam­ple how about a wid­get to count­down to Mal­colm Turnbull’s birthday?

Noth­ing says ‘bi-partisanship’ more than get­ting the leader of the oppo­si­tion a present for his birthday.

Finally, I like a blog post that fin­ishes on a light note – some­times with a YouTube clip that gives me lolz.

Per­haps a clip like this one would be a good starter?

I think if you fol­low my sug­ges­tions and ‘funk up’ your blog you will imme­di­ately gar­ner a strong fol­low­ing from every mem­ber of The Youth demo­graphic. After all, The Youth are the future of this country’s fed­eral electorates.

Kind regards,
Andrew McDon­ald
Author of The Great­est Blog­ger in the World

DIY Books at the Story Festival">DIY Books at the Story Festival

I did an event at Gas­works Arts Park in Albert Park today as part of the Story Fes­ti­val and DIY was the theme of the day.

We were in the Gar­den Stu­dio at the back of the fes­ti­val where I talked about Great­est Blog­ger and blog­ging and writ­ing sto­ries. With the help of the delight­ful group of kids (and some of the par­ents) we made up our own story about a roller­skat­ing tur­tle called Fluffy.

Fluffly-the-Turtle

Then every­one got to work mak­ing their own books  - filled with words and illus­tra­tions and bound together with rib­bon. There’s noth­ing quite like mak­ing your own book from the words to the hole punches to the rib­bon bind­ing. DIY book cul­ture is a fine thing indeed.

kids-creating-books

Reading The Greatest Blogger in the World

This is my attempt at doing a video read­ing of my book (and two oth­ers). Make sure you hang out to see the final book I read from. It’s one of my favourite child­hood books.

Oh and sub­scribe to my YouTube chan­nel while you’re at it!

FAIL">Internet FAIL

I tried to do a Skype video link-up with Hawkes­dale P12 — a lit­tle school in the south of Vic­to­ria, just inland from Port Fairy and War­rnam­bool — today but was thwarted by bad inter­net caused by bad weather at Hawksdale.

Some stu­dents from Hawks­dale P12 attended my Mel­bourne Writ­ers’ Fes­ti­val ses­sion in August and have been in touch with me on this blog ever since. It was a shame not to be able to chat to them prop­erly again today. It has left me with a dark and stormy feel­ing inside. I will now express my feel­ing of stormi­ness with this very lit­eral pic­to­r­ial representation:

clouds

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