International Women's Day Victoria 2011

Migrant and Refugee Women:
Write your contributions to life in Victoria!

Her Story is a migrant and refugee women’s project to celebrate

100th International Women’s Day. It will be launched at 10:30 am on Friday, 4th March 2011

at the Immigration Museum of Victoria, 400 Flinders Street, Melbourne.

If you are a migrant or refugee woman, this project is for you. We invite you to share your story of contributions to life in Victoria – through participation in civic and political activities, how you have made a difference and continue to make a difference for social justice, women’s rights, and for a multicultural Australia. Many migrant and refugee women have inspirational stories. If you are one of them, write your story on 3 pages of A4 white paper. You can write in English or in another language, by hand or typewritten. You can decorate your story, draw on it or include your photo.

Answer the following questions as a guide to your story:
2.Country you came from
3.Year of arrival
4.Why you came to Australia
5.How did you cope with the first 2 years?
6.What have you achieved as an individual?
7.What were your contributions to Australia?

Your story will be kept in albums displayed at the Immigration Museum for the rest of 2011. We encourage you to write your story and send it to us before March 4 so that it will be on display in albums on the day of the launch. You can send your story to us by:

•Post to VIRWC, Level 1, 210 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne 3000

•Email to e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it (if all contents are electronically done)

OR you can bring your story with you on the day of the project launch on March 4!

If you cannot attend the launch, you are invited to visit the Immigration Museum and write your story at any time before 2011 ends.

How can organizations participate?
The Victorian Immigrant and Refugee Women’s Coalition (VIRWC) is coordinating “Her Story” in collaboration with the Ethnic communities Council Victoria. All organizations are welcome to support the Project and celebrate the Centenary of International Women’s Day with us on March 4 at the Immigration Museum. We also ask organizations to actively collect stories from your members. You know who among your members have stories to contribute. Please also encourage your members, clients and staff to attend the launch.
If you need more information about this project, please contact:

•Jeanette Hourani on 0412160418 Email e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

•or Melba Marginson on 0418389135 Email e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

International Women’s Day is celebrated each year around the world on 8th March. Events are held to acknowledge women’s contributions to life and human rights and to inspire and celebrate women’s achievements.

This year marks the celebration of 100th International Women’s Day.

To find out more information about International Women’s Day, visit UNIFEM Australia at

Sigrid's Writing Tips

Be your Own Editor - Sigrid Macdonald

When should you use the word contrary and when should you use contradiction?

Contrary means argumentative. “You say yes, I say no. You say stop and I say go, go, go, oh no. You say goodbye and I say hello, hello, hello.” Hard to imagine someone being contrary to the Beatles, but there you go. When people are contrary, they disagree.

When people are contradictory, they may say one thing but do another. Their actions or words are inconsistent or incongruous. John Lennon was a man of contradictions; he advocated peace in his music, but wreaked havoc in his personal life, particularly in his first marriage. Contradictory is the adjective and contradiction is a noun. A contradiction is something that we find difficult to understand, like when Rev. Jesse Jackson ministered to Bill Clinton after Clinton confessed to having an affair, yet later the public discovered that Jackson, a married man, was the father of a love child (I promised I would give equal time to teasing Democrats in today's writing tip).

Learn more about word usage in my third book, Be Your Own Editor. When should you use between or among, further and farther, or complement and compliment? Find out in BYOE, available on in print and on Kindle.

Sigrid Macdonald is a book coach, the author of three books, and a manuscript editor.

Deutsche Welle Blog Awards -The BOBs start today

The BOBs round seven starts February 23

For the seventh year in a row, the annual Deutsche Welle Blog Awards - a.k.a. the BOBs - will begin searching for the diamonds that are hidden in the rough of the World Wide Web. And we're going to need your help.
Starting on February 23, we'll be accepting your suggestions for the best blogs and websites. We're looking for the people and projects that aren't getting the praise they deserve for informing all of us about events happening around the world - sometimes under the most difficult of circumstances. In light of events around the world, this year's contest will be putting a special emphasis on human rights and freedom of expression.

This year there are some important changes to the contest:

Before you can submit your favorite spots on the Web to the BOBs, you’ll need to log in via either Facebook or Twitter. After we're sure you’re not a bot intent on submitting blogs to the BOBs on your path to world domination, you can suggest sites in 17 categories and 11 languages (Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, English, French, German, Indonesian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish).

Please remember, it doesn’t matter how many times a blog is suggested to the BOBs - once it’s in, it’s in. Unlike other awards, the number of times a site is suggested does not play a role in whether it advances to the next round.

After looking through all your suggestions, our international jury of bloggers and media experts will choose the 11 best blogs and websites in each category and subject them to public scrutiny via online voting. The jury will also meet at Deutsche Welle HQ in April to decide the winners of the Jury Award in each category.

But it's not all just jury members locked in a conference room. The BOBs also have a User Prize decided by the online public!

When the time for voting comes, you’ll need to login again with one of the networks before casting your ballot for the User Prize in each category. We’re sorry for the hassle, but it’s how we’re trying to keep the contest’s voting results honest.

There are also a few changes to the categories this year. Anyone who’s seen the BOBs over the past seven years knows we’re especially taken with blogs that promote freedom of expression, but this year we want to put that policy on the record: We’re particularly interested in projects that bang the drum for freedom of the press, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and other human rights.

Oh yeah, the BOBs site is getting a redesign this year, too.
Here are the dates to mark in your calendar:
February 23 to March 11: Submit your candidates for the 2011 BOBs in 17 categories and 11 languages.
March 12 to March 21: Take a break while the jury sorts your suggestions and comes up with 11 finalists in each category.
March 22 to April 11: Vote for the nominees that impress you most and help decide the winners of the User Prize.
April 11: The BOBs jury members gather in Bonn, Germany, to decide the Jury Award winners.
April 12: Come back to (where you are now) to find out who won in each category.
June 20: Follow the winners’ ceremony at the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum in Bonn

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Ireland Photos -- National Geographic

The thing with living in Australia is ..... you need a decent loan to go travelling :-)

These picutres make me start saving up again to go back to Ireland !

I would soooo love to spend a week in this cottage ....

Check out more of these sensationally great photos here -->  Your Ireland Photos -- National Geographic


Jill Shalvis - Animal Magnetism

Publisher: Berkley Sensation

ISBN: 978 0425239810

My rating: 3.5/5

Sunshine, Idaho, is a small and sunny town - the perfect home for man and beast. Well, maybe not for man, as pilot-for-hire Brady Miller discovers when his truck is rear-ended by what appears to be Noah's Ark.

As the co-owner of the town's only kennel, Lilah Young has good reason to be distracted behind the wheel - there are puppies, a piglet, and a duck in her Jeep. but she doesn't find it hard to focus on the sexy, gorgeous stranger she's collided with.

Lilah has lived in sunshine all her life, and though Brady is just passing through, he has her abandoning her instincts and giving in to a primal desire. It's Brady's nature to resist being tied down, but there's something about Lilah and her menagerie - both  animal and human - that keeps him coming back for more ... (from the back of the book cover).

My thoughts

My second Shelves book, though I didn't get engrossed in it as much as the first one I read (Simply Irresistible) this one was still a page turner. Brady comes to Sunshine following an invite by his foster brothers Dell and Adam who run a veterinary centre and gets rear ended by Lilah on the very first morning he arrives ... and can't get his eyes and hands off her for the rest of his stay in Sunshine.

“Animal Magnetism” is a character driven story rather than a plot, but like “Simply Irresistible”, the characters felt real to me. I loved Lilah and felt connected straight away – she got hurt and only surrounds herself with people she knows and trusts sounds very (!) familiar to me. Brady is Shalvis’ typical male character, ticking all the right boxes, yet brought to his knees by the cutest dog, Twinkles. (Great scene when Brady tries to get twinkles to go to sleep :-)

This is the first book in another series by Shalvis and I do hope Dell will be next. I loved the little scene between him and Jade when they come to visit Lilah.

Favourite quote.... many!
“Let me get this straight. You can’t stop barking to save your own life, but you can roll over?”

Janet Evanovic - Visions of Sugar Plum

Publisher: St Martin's Paperback

ISBN: 978-0312947040

My rating: 2/5

A Between-the-Numbers Novel

A holiday treat from #1 New York Times bestselling author Janet Evanovich--spicier than gingerbread, with more nuts than a fruitcake--it's Visions of Sugar Plums
It's four days before Christmas and things are not looking merry for fugitive apprehension agent Stephanie Plum. She hasn't got a tree. She hasn't bought any presents. The malls are jam-packed with staggering shoppers. There's not a twinkle light anywhere to be seen in her apartment.
And there's a strange man in her kitchen.
Sure, this has happened to Stephanie Plum before. Strangers, weirdos, felons, creeps, and lunatics are always finding their way to her front door. But this guy is different. This guy is mysterious, sexy--and he has his own agenda. His name is Diesel and he is a man on a mission. Diesel is unlike anyone Stephanie has ever met before in her life. The question is, What does he want with her? Can he help her find a little old toy maker who has skipped out on his bail right before Christmas? Can he survive the Plum family holiday dinner? Can he get Stephanie a tree that doesn't look like it was grown next to a nuclear power plant? These questions and more are keeping Stephanie awake at night. Not to mention the fact that she needs to find a bunch of nasty elves, her sister Valerie has a Christmas "surprise" for the Plums, her niece Mary Alice doesn't believe in Santa anymore, and Grandma Mazur has a new stud muffin. So bring out the plastic reindeer, strap on your jingle bells, and get ready to celebrate the holidays--Jersey style. Visions of Sugar Plums--the world of Plum has never been merrier! (

My thoughts
It felt really good to have a Stephanie Plum book in my hand, though this one was .... hmmmm .... different.

So, it’s just before Christmas and Steph wakes up one morning with some handsome guy named Diesel in her kitchen. She’s got no idea, how he got in, what he wants or even worse, how to get rid of him. She pushes him in front of the door, but magically he can make the way back int! But to my surprise, Steph doesn’t ring anybody for help ...

After a while Steph leaves to find her FTA, Sandy Claws – with Diesel in tow. And that’s about the story, we have a bit of Plum family, Morelli pops up a few times, not majorly concerned about the strange man on Steph’s side.

Admittedly, it’s an “in-between”, but it was quite a disappointment I’ve got to say. A story packed into a mere 190-something pages – it was fast paced, too fast and rushed though, with scenes and characters not properly developed. Especially the ending! Hang on, was there an ending?

I thought a few days about whether I liked it or not and I hate to say it, but I wouldn’t recommend this one ....

Rachel Gibson - See Jane Score

Publisher:  Avon Books

ISBN: 978-0060009243

My rating: 2/5


A little subdued. A little stubborn. A little tired of going out on blind dates with men who drive vans with sofas in the back, Jane Alcott is living the Single Girl existence in the big city. She is also leading a double life. By day, she's a reporter covering the raucous Seattle Chinooks hockey team—especially their notorious goalie Luc Martineau. By night, she's a writer, secretly creating the scandalous adventures of "Honey Pie"...the magazine series that has all the men talking.
Luc has made his feelings about parasite reporters—and Jane—perfectly clear. But if he thinks he's going to make her life a misery, he'd better think again.
For as long as he can remember, Luc has been single minded about his career. The last thing he needs is a smart mouthed, pain in the backside, reporter digging into his past and getting in his way. But once the little reporter shed her black and gray clothes in favor of a sexy red dress, Luc sees that there is more to Jane than originally meets the eye.
Maybe it's time to take a risk. Maybe it's time to live out fantasies. Maybe it's time to....  SEE JANE SCORE! (

My thoughts

Thank goodness I know better books by Gibson! *smiles*

Main plot is sexy ice hockey player with the Seattle Chinooks, Luc Martinau, a man with a wild past meets female reporter, Jane Alcott, who is eager to suceed with her new assignment as a sports reporter traveling with the Chinooks.

I honestly am disappointed. The story was predictable, though many would argue they always are in a romance, but the certain "oompf" that I liked in "Daisy's back in town" is missing. The constant "inner thoughts" by both Jane and Luc were annoying - "he doesn't like me, I'm not his type, he likes blond and gorgeous looking women etc". And the end - well all of a sudden it was finished, and I couldn't really figure out what had changed Luc's mind in regards to her and being with her.

Not a bad book, but not at the top of my list of recommendations.

Sigrid's Writing Tips

Check out Sigrid's Website

Oftentimes as an editor, I see people confuse the word infamous with famous, but they mean entirely different things.

Fame brings celebrity. It means that someone is well-known, and the connotation is generally, although not always, positive. Natalie Portman is a famous actress.

Infamous means that someone is well-known for an unsavory, contentious or salacious reason. It's synonymous with notorious -- no one has solved the mystery of the murder of the infamous Biggie Smalls.

Some people are famous and infamous -- Madonna, Alec Baldwin, Eminem, Mel Gibson… There is a long list of people who are easily recognizable, but also push other people's buttons because they’ve said or done something controversial. So, it's possible to be both famous and infamous, or just famous, or just infamous. (The Arizona shooter and the Unlimber are simply infamous. Not many people admire them, and they gained fame by doing something heinous.)

Learn more about word usage in my third book, Be Your Own Editor, a manual for students and writers of all ages and stages. Available on Amazon in print and in the Amazon Kindle store [].

Rhonda Pollero - Knock off

Publisher: Kensington 

ISBN: 978-0758215581

My rating: 3 / 5

If I could find a way to deep fry chocolate, my life would be whole.

Or at least that’s what I told myself as I parked my BMW in its regular spot in front of the law offices of Dane, Lieberman and Zarnowski. I often muse about food when I’m in a funk.
It was a beautiful, sunny, April morning, making it really hard for me to get excited about going to work. Okay, so I rarely got excited about going to work regardless of the weather. Then again, who does? I grabbed my adorable new Chanel bag, and with a quick, surreptitious glance, checked to be sure I was holding the pale pink bowling bag correctly. I was, and tugged it onto my shoulder.
It would be freaking embarrassing if my co-workers noticed the big black smear of God-only-knew-what on the lambskin leather. The smear would out me. I’d bought the damaged purse at the outlet in Vero Beach. I would take my secret vice to my grave.
No one would ever know that I, Finley Anderson Tanner, am shopper. And my other really huge fashion secret – I’m a tribute to slightly irregular. My wardrobe is a collection of the unloved cast-offs from the factory and/or the snagged and stained seconds discarded by the trendy stores, then sold at deep discounts. Thanks to the smudge, my new purse was marked down low enough to fit in my budget.
Well, that wasn’t exactly true. I didn’t have a budget so much as a propensity to carry just enough credit card debt to force me to acknowledge that I have little if any shopping self-restraint.
Well, not just shopping. My excesses seem to be limitless, guided only by my over-whelming desire to have it now. It can be anything. Anything I can pay for in installments, that is. My favorite word is pre-approved. I especially like it when it’s stamped across a solicitation for yet another credit card.
So, that’s how I morphed into a twenty-nine year old woman who doesn’t technically own anything. My apartment is rented, my car is leased and if we still had debtors prisons, I’d be serving life without parole. (

My thoughts
I liked the story! I really did. The idea is good. Finley is some paralegal and is given a job which should be straight forward ... yet, it turns out to be not and gets Finley in all sorts of trouble and awkward situations.

Yet, even though I wasn't able to put the book aside,  I have to admit I couldn't warm to the main character, Finley - yet I cannot pinpoint what actually was the problem. One thing I really DID dislike was the constant coffee consumption (was there a deal with Starbucks, or what?) and I reckon the book would have more credibility without continual eBay shopping sprees and the emphasis on Finley's wardrobe on every occasion.

Kathy Reichs - Virals

Publisher: Razorbill; First Edition edition

ISBN:  978-1595143426

My Rating: 3 / 5

Adventure has always been in fourteen-year-old Tory Brennan’s blood. After all, she is the niece of world-famous forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan. So when she moves to middle of nowhere Morris Island, South Carolina, to live with a marine biologist dad she’s never known, Tory does the best she can to adjust to her new life.

There she meets a group of local kids who are just as “Sci-Phile” as she is—science geeks who’ve grown up exploring the backwoods marsh-lands of nearby Loggerhead Island. But there’s something strange going on at the Loggerhead Research Institute… maybe even something deadly. After rescuing a stray wolfdog pup from a top-secret lab, Tory and her friends are exposed to a rare strain of canine parvovirus, changing them—and their DNA—forever.
Now, with newly heightened senses and canine-quick reflexes, they’ll have to solve a cold-case murder that’s suddenly become very hot … that is, if they can stay alive long enough to catch the killer’s scent.

Fortunately, they are now more than friends.

They are a pack.

They are VIRALS


My thoughts

First of all - this was my first Kathy Reichs' book and no, I'm one of the few not watching the series "Bones" - though due to lack of time than anything else.

I've got to say it took me a very long time until I got into the story, though once the group made their discovery on the island I was hooked! My second – and slightly smaller – problem was that I had to constantly remind myself I was not the target group for this book, it is definately aimed at a much younger reader.

As I’m writing this I haven’t really decided, yet, how to rate the story. I really liked the story, it had twists and turns, information and surprises that kept me glued to it. The main problem I had though was the protagonist only being 14 and in my opinion too “young” for solving the murder with her equally, but not quite as young group of three boys. It just didn’t sit well with me and in a way was unbelievable.

So the story is about Tory Brennan, the niece of “Bones” Temperance Brennan, and her three friends making a discovery on an island which leads to a murder investigation – a murder that happened a few decades ago, as well as the “rescue” of a wolf/dog out of a laboratory which was used for a science project. That has consequences for the group as well, not only the legal side of it!

Overall a reasonably good read, probably more enjoyable for the “younger ones” or the truly dedicated Kathy Reichs fans !

So in the end I settled with 3 stars.

Burlesque - Cher

it's just a great song and Cher still got the mighty touch .... or should i say voice !