Daughter of Nomads

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Daughter of Nomads is the first in a two-book series by much-loved writer Rosanne Hawke. This magical story draws readers into the ancient world of the Mughal Empire in 1662, where fourteen-year-old Jahani is in fear for her life after an assassination attempt. Upon discovering that her life is not as it seems, Jahani embarks on an adventure filled with danger, mystery and magic, to find out who she really is.

This book is a beautiful and romantic read, and the setting is extremely exotic and compelling. I also fell in love with the main character, Jahani, who is so feisty and strong. She is a complex girl who is being constantly challenged, and, like all teenage girls, struggles with her identity and wears her heart on her sleeve. As much as she is challenged she also challenges those around her and yet is able to form strong bonds through her compassionate nature and her positive outlook on life (even in some pretty dramatic circumstances). It also helps that she has some fabulous abilities that allow her to experience life on an ultra level!

Roseanne has drawn from her direct experience of living in the Pakistani Karakoram Mountains and the fantastic setting certainly shows her love of this area of the world. It is not only a story of adventure, but also a travel story relaying the awesome beauty of the himalayas and surrounding terrain. Throughout the riveting plot, Rosanne’s prose is classic and delicate, which is perfect for the setting and seems to capture the romance of a magical time from the past.

I recommend this book and the forthcoming title The Leopard Princess to all children 10+ and even YA readers. It is published by University of Queensland Press and available from all bookstores for $16.95. Find out more at www.uqp.uq.edu.au

 

Owning It

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Did you know that your art, novel, building design or piece of music is automatically copyright protected just because you have authored the work? You probably did already know this, but what you probably didn’t know is that this may not necessarily stop somebody from using your work or copying it. How does this happen? And when should you question the actions of others or even yourself?

 

Having just completed a Copyright exam I know just how tricky this part of the law can be. Working with writers, designers and other creative people also makes it clear to me how important it is for an author to protect their work from being copied or used without their consent, particularly for economic benefit. Protecting your own work is just one part of this minefield, however, and with digital communication at a peak and pics and words so easy to access you have to be careful that you are also not taking and using something that you shouldn’t. Owning It – A Creative’s Guide to Copyright, Contracts and the Law by Sharon Givoni and published by Tess McCabe from Creative Minds Publishing is a godsend for those who are a little vague on what they can and can’t do and how to protect their own work. It’s not only the law in layman’s terms, it’s also full of loads of gorgeous pics and a layout that is just so lovely to flip through you could do it in an afternoon over a pot of tea. This hardback gem is a stunning production with a dark matt cover and beautiful binding strong enough that the book can be used frequently as you need it. It’s also very thorough and you will have a basic understanding of ownership, works (from jewellery to architecture to music), trade marks, social media, contracts and moral rights by the time you’ve finished page to page.

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While Copyright law legislation is quite dry and convoluted (believe me, I should know), the cases both here and overseas are absolutely fascinating and the arguments for and against worth reading about in case you assumed Copyright was a cut and dried process. Thankfully, Owning It is filled with these cases and Sharon Givoni takes the reader through the main points of each case as it relates to the content. You will not believe some of things that people think they can get away with, or the things they actually did get away with! These discussions are not only fascinating, but give a practical reference to the legislation.

 

There is also information on when to seek help about contracts and about registering your business and when further protection for your work is needed. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is starting or has started a creative business. There is just too much that is being shared right now and you can’t afford to turn a blind eye to Copyright issues. Make it your go-to bible – a checklist and a valuable resource forever.

 

Owning It is sold for $75.00 in select boutique stores and bookshops. For more information or to purchase online visit: www.creativemindshq.com

While you are there, check out the other amazing books published by the very clever Tess McCabe, who also runs the Creative Women’s Circle, which is a not-for-profit organisation that runs events and offers information for creative women running their own business. Not only that, Tess also hosts a podcast on iTunes for working parents called the New Normal Podcast with fellow creative Emma Clark Gratton of Gratton Design furniture. Their details can be found at the following links:

www.creativewomenscircle.com.au

www.tessmccabe.com.au

www.grattondesign.com.au

 

 

Tim Sharp and his Double Shot of Happiness

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If you have not heard of Tim Sharp, you will very soon. Tim is a world-renowned artist whose bright and bold artwork has graced album covers, been exhibited in many respected galleries and has even been made into a cartoon series.

What’s more astounding is that when Tim was a toddler, his mother, Judy Sharp, was told that Tim was severely autistic and that he would never talk, never be able to go to a normal school and, worst of all, that he was incapable of showing affection towards anyone. This was devastating news for Tim’s mother, but with utter devotion and love, she raised Tim to become a warm, talented, funny and doting son.

This story is not only Tim’s. It is also Judy’s – about how she struggled as a single mother of two and became fiercely resourceful in order to ensure her boys had the best chance of success and, for Tim, of a normal life. She fought to maintain possibilities for Tim despite his diagnosis, and made sure that he was educated in a regular school and not an institution. She took opportunities when they arose and found ways to support her family to give them everything they needed on very, very little. Most of all she saw in Tim a talent for artistic expression and she nurtured it. Very soon Tim’s drawing, which was initially therapeutic, became the thing that propelled Tim into the spotlight. From his exhibitions of his most famous and funny character, Laser Beak Man, to presenting at TedX, Tim Sharp has shown the world what he has to offer.

This story is one of the most inspiring I have ever read. The opening chapters about Tim’s early years and how Judy coped with his intense behaviour – trying desperately to find solutions – shows Judy’s amazing strength and love for her child. The chapter about the doctor’s early diagnosis is utterly heartbreaking, yet Judy’s commitment to Tim takes them on a journey that ultimately finds ground and then quite literally takes off. By the end of the book I was almost jumping up and down with excitement for Tim and his family and their fantastic future.

Time again we are shown how the diagnosis does not make the person. If Judy had taken the doctor’s advice all those years ago and institutionalised Tim I doubt we would have seen his amazing body of artwork. Through Judy’s encouragement, Tim has found the perfect vehicle to express his feelings – those feelings he was told he would never have – his infectious humour and his enthusiasm for life. Whenever I grab a Birthday card picturing Laser Beak man saying, ‘Have a Filthy Disgusting Birthday,’ it never fails to bring a smile to my face, and I am reminded of this wonderful book and of Tim’s fabulous work. His artwork has a unique quality and his execution of linework highly skilled. On the one hand there is a restraint and organisation to his art, yet also an exuberant flow of shapes and colour. I guess that is the beauty and contrast of Tim’s highly complex mind. It is a joy to see.

I can guarantee that you will be moved and inspired by Tim’s story.

A Double Shot of Happiness is published by Allen and Unwin and is available in June 2015 from all good bookstores for $32.99.

For more information go to www.allenandunwin.com      

To purchase Tim’s artork and find out more about him go to www.laserbeakman.com