My very first attempt was a 77-page text (with hand-drawn illustrations) full of plagiarism and BIG ideas (as is evidenced by the title).
My book was all one-finger typed on an ancient typewriter that was, for some reason, in our home; with carbon-paper wedged between sheets (one for myself and one for "skipper" (for my scouting 'writer's' badge).
Yes, I got the badge (after months of labour).
My next lot of writing very much reflected the forces influencing my teenage attitudes in a Catholic, lower-middle-class family in Geelong.
Letters to the Editor (Geelong Advertiser) became a more public form of expression for me with:
comments reflecting my initial interest in politics (very much in line with the DLP, Democratic Labour Party, policy) on 'the creeping danger of the Chinese' and the 'domino' effect.
opinion pieces on the plight of Aborigines penned following my visit to central Australia. This lead to an invitation for me to go with a group of seminarians to a mission station in Lese (in the gulf area of New Guinea).
Throughout my teaching career I have fortunately had ample opportunity to play with creative writing in its many forms.
Also, I experimented with poetry as a means of self-expression ~ on love, being loved and being hurt....
During the eighties, while involved with Geelong Dive and Outdoor Centre, I published the club monthly newsletter. This allowed me to experiment, albeit tentatively, with the integration of photography, prose and self-publishing.
My creative writing only formalised in my mid-forties while as a teacher at Grovedale primary school where I explored the concept of strategy gaming as a technique for developing pupils' problem-solving skills. So confident of my creation was I that I directly approached the editor of Longman Cheshire. In 1986 they published the "Play the Game" series.
When one of my editors moved to Macmillan, she requested that I produce another series of strategy-gaming books for teachers.
In 1990 the "Game-Play Program" was published.
Toward the end of the eighties things were getting pretty hectic.
I was asked to produce a new series of problem-solving texts for teachers across the whole of the primary-school division. I knew I needed to seek help from others more qualified at given grade levels: Glennis Harrison and Heather Rankin-Eagles.
The Mind Stretcher series was published over the 1989 - 1992 period.
I was becoming increasingly confident about my writing and increasingly enjoyed the challenge of creating new problem-solving activities. Wanting to try something different, and again with Heather, I wrote a teacher's book based around the ABC TV program, "Behind the News".
In 1990 "News Views" was published; again by Longman Cheshire.
1990 saw me branching out yet again; this time in the area of enhancing pupils' word mastery skills.
Longman Cheshire Pty. Ltd. published "Word Stretchers" - a compilation of blackline vocabulary-development masters.
It was inevitable that I should work at compiling a single strategy-gaming resource book.
"Tactix" (188 pages) was published by the newly-formed Addison Wesley Longman Australia Pty. Ltd.
1997 was a mammoth challenge seeing the publication of what I was to regard as my most ambitious book, "366 Maths Plus Ideas"
(188 pages) by the newly formed Addison Wesley Longman Australia Pty. Ltd.
2002 saw the publication of the "Blast-Off" series (Books A-D) by yet another newly-formed publisher: Pearson Education Australia.