Monday, February 28, 2011

George and Ghost Blog Tour Coming Soon!

Title: George and Ghost
Publisher: Hodder (UK)
Publication Date: Nov 2010 (UK) March 2011 (Aust.)
Author: Catriona Hoy,
Illustrator: Cassia Thomas,
ISBN: 9780340988855 (hardback)

George and Ghost are friends, but George isn’t sure he believes in Ghost anymore. How can Ghost prove to George that he is real?

A delightful tale of friendship, with a little bit of science and philosophy thrown in. Guaranteed to be the starting point for many interesting discussions.

George and Ghost Blog Tour Dates:

Mon 7 March 2011
Claire Saxby's Blog -
Topic: Art vs science

Tue 8 March 2011
Alphabet Soup Magazine Blog -
Topic: Does a picture book need editing? How do you work with your editor?

Wed 9 March 2011
Trevor Cairney's Blog -
Topic: Writing journey

Thur 10 March 2011
Robyn Opie's Blog -
Topic: Writing George and Ghost

Fri 11 March 2011
Book Capers Blog -
Topic: Ghosts? Do you believe?

Sat 12 March 2011
Chris Bell's Blog -
Topic: Writing picture books

Mon 14 March 2011
Lorraine Marwood's Blog -
Topic: In conclusion…

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Meaning of Life is Imagination!

The number one definition for imagination, as defined by, is: “the faculty of imagining, or of forming mental images or concepts of what is not actually present to the senses.”

As a writer, I recently found myself wondering about the imagination. The imagination is an integral part of our species. Every human being has an imagination.

Why? I wondered. Why does every one of us have an imagination? Why is the imagination so important to us?

Human beings have certain needs. We need food, water, shelter and clothing. These needs are necessary for our survival. They are survival needs.

Okay, so perhaps humans have imaginations to help us to survive. Perhaps our imaginations are necessary for our survival.

Let’s see…

My imagination could inspire me to create an apple pie. But my survival doesn’t depend on the apple pie. The apple, itself, is all that’s necessary as a basic need – food.

My imagination could inspire me to build a house. But my survival doesn’t depend on the house. A cave is all that’s necessary as a basic need – shelter.

I realize that today’s population can’t all live in caves. We don’t have enough city-sized caves. Honestly, I don’t need my imagination to work this out. I need logic.

If I’m being pursued by a man-eating tiger, my survival isn’t based on whether I can imagine becoming dinner or not. I know I’ll be dinner, unless I can escape. Will my imagination help me to escape? Again, I need logic. Good instincts would help, too.

If I fall in a lake and am in danger of drowning, my survival isn’t based on whether I can imagine being rescued or not. Let’s say I imagine being saved by aliens. Sure, that’s going to help. Not! Again, I’m back to logic and instincts.

Imagination could come in handy if I want to cross a river. My imagination could inspire the invention of a boat. But is the boat necessary for my survival? I doubt it. Surely, I could survive by remaining on my side of the river.

I kept thinking about basic human survival. Try as I might, I couldn’t establish imagination as a necessary tool for human survival. Food, water, shelter and clothing – yes – but not imagination.

What about imagining fairies who live at the bottom of the garden? No, that doesn’t help our survival. What about a boy who goes to a magical boarding school to learn how to be a wizard? No, that still doesn’t help our survival. What about a girl who falls in love with a vampire? Maybe the girl should worry about her survival but this idea has nothing to do with our real life survival.

Then, why do we have imagination?

So we can have light-bulb moments like this one?

I realized that imagination isn’t connected to basic human survival. But there’s no doubt that we have imagination. Follow the logic here – or use your imagination.

If imagination isn’t connected to basic human survival, but we have imagination nevertheless, then logically humans are meant to do more than just survive.

Get that?

Imagination isn’t necessary for our survival. Yet, we have imagination. Therefore, humans are meant to do more, much more, than survive.

We’ll assume that humans are surviving – and I don’t think we need our imaginations to make this assumption – then our survival needs are largely under control. We don’t have to worry about food, water, shelter and clothing to the same extent as our cave-dwelling ancestors did. We’ve come a long way over the millennium.

So, we’re assuming our survival needs are under control. Now what? This must be where our imaginations come into play.

We survive. Great. Then what? We use our imaginations.

Imagination assumes that our survival is under control because imagination isn’t necessary for our survival. With our survival under control, we can enjoy the pursuits of our imaginations.

With imagination, we go beyond, further, than mere survival. Humans are meant to survive. That’s why we have survival needs and instincts. Then we can go beyond survival, to a better place, of potential, growth, self-improvement, development... imagination.

We use our imaginations to:

  • Visualize;
  • Create, design and invent;
  • Solve problems:
  • Cope with anxieties and challenges;
  • Relax and play;
  • Improve our lifestyles and quality of survival; and
  • Achieve and maximize our potential.

If you’re just surviving, then you’re missing the meaning of life. The meaning of life, for humans, is to go further than survival, to utilize the imagination. So that we can make this world a better place for ourselves, our families, our friends, our neighbors and everyone else.

The meaning of life is imagination!

We are here to use our imaginations and make this world a better place for all of us.

The question is: Are you surviving, or are you making this world a better place?

Use your imagination!

Thanks for reading. Until next time....

Take care and all the best,
Robyn Opie

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Writers on Rafts - Get Involved!

Many of you would know that Queensland, Australia, recently experienced major flooding. Three-quarters of the state has been declared a disaster zone. Early estimates show that the floods caused $55 million worth of damage.

My heart goes out to all the people who were effected by the floods and also Cyclone Yasi (which soon followed the floods). I can't imagine what these people have been through, and are going through. My heart reaches out to them with love and best wishes.

Which brings me to the positive side of these types of disasters. Yes, there is always a positive. And that is the way people come together to help each other. You can guarantee that people will pull together and that those in need will receive the love, support and help they require, and often from strangers.

Like hundreds, if not thousands of people, I don't personally know anyone who experienced loss or damage as a result of the Queensland floods. But that doesn't matter. I'm helping anyway. Humans, animals and the environment suffered and that does personally affect me. My fellow humans, animals and planet! So I'm taking action to help. Only in a small way. A small way adds up, though, when enough people do their little bit. A small way can become huge!

One way I'm helping is by donating my time and books to an initiative from the Queensland Writers' Centre called "Writers on Rafts".

Please enter QWC's competition to raise money for the Queensland Premier's Flood Relief Appeal. Writers on Rafts entrants choose a prize from their chosen writer from a fantastic pool including a writing mentorship, an author visit, a stack of signed books, or a character named after them in their writer's next book. Entries are open to anyone in Australia so be sure to forward this news to your Aussie friends.

The financial goal of Writers on Rafts is $20,000. Entries close on 25 February 2011. Visit to enter and share with your friends.

Thank you! Let's see what we can do to help our fellow humans, animals and our wonderful planet. As always, people come together in times of trouble and need. We're united and will always help each other. It's a shame, though, that we often need these natural disasters to show how people can help each other. We should be helping each other, anyway, in our daily lives. Besides donating to the Queensland Premier's Flood Relief Appeal why not help someone today? A small way can go a long way!

I wish you all the best,
Robyn Opie