A Contract and Kayaks

I have good news! After such a wonderful experience publishing ‘Bully on the Bus’ with UQP, 12 months later I’m thrilled to say we’re doing it all over again!

‘On Track’ is a middle-grade verse novel about two brothers in pursuit of sporting excellence, battling the angst of sibling rivalry and self-doubt.

The contract is signed, and with an early 2015 release planned, I suspect I will be very busy between here and Christmas! And yes, it’s with the lovely team at UQP. I can’t wait to begin work on edits.

In related news… A little bit silly. A big bit spontaneous. But totally unregrettable. I spent my advance, less than 24hrs after it was paid into my bank account!

We stumbled upon a terrific sale on kayaks, and with two teenage boys, a lovely big dam, and relatively close proximity to the beach (and because we’d been dreaming about getting one, but the price was so good, for very little more, we could get four) we bought a family set of sea kayaks.

The Old Town kayaks that hubby and I have are lounge-chair comfortable, stable, and so light/easy to propel through the lilypads. But what I like most is, you’re laid-back and not in a position to see all the spooky shadows and things that wash underneath as you paddle along. I have a little bit of a vivid imagination about things underneath me in the water… but what you can’t see, can’t hurt you… right?

I’m thinking the kayaks will be a good investment in my writing, because what could be more relaxing and inspiring than a gorgeous vista in the cool of evening?

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And what could be nicer than enjoying it all with my family?
(If I can just keep those boys from tipping me out!)

My Cocoa

Cocoa: Sixteen *

A calf has gorgeous deep, dark eyes
framed by long curled lashes
and when it sucks from the bottle
in your hand it is the cutest thing
and you want to keep it
forever.

She is old now;
grey hairs pepper her
black hide
and her tread… drags… slow…ly

as if she knows

the end is near –
and I
can’t bear
to let her
go.

* © Kathryn Apel January 2013

Cocoa

 Some pets we have for a short time, and others seem to be with us for a lifetime. But not long enough…

Her name was Cocoa, and for almost 18 years, she dotted the landscape of our home paddock. Yesterday we said goodbye – and the view will never be quite so beautiful. Today I find my eyes still roving the paddock looking for her not-so-glossy, not-so-youthful frame… as sorrow wells and I remember all over again, that she is gone.

My Cocoa. xx

(Cocoa was my first bottle-reared baby; the shy one. Amber joined us 2 months later. Though we have had countless mobs of cattle in our home paddock over the years, the girls were rarely far apart. As the photos show.)

Sneak Peek – What I’m Writing

I’ve been tagged again – this time by talented picture book author and beautiful, supportive friend, Katrina Germein.

The challenge is to share 7 lines from page 7 or 77 of a current WiP. Then tag other writers to continue the game.

Here’s 7 lines from page 7 of my current WIP – another verse novel.

 

My hand hurts and the
harder I try the more
those blue lines
squeeze my letters
out of                         place
.           out of
.                        shApE.

 

Now to tag the next writers to share a sneak-peek of their work…

1) Adam Byatt , 2) Rebecca Newman and 3) Samantha Wheeler.

Looking forward to seeing where you’re all at with your current WIPs! (And congrats Sam, on your beautiful new UQP book, Spud & Charli. xx)

Author Visits & Awesome Schools

This term has been a wonderful celebration of books and creativity, with so many different schools and children – and at other community events. I wish I had more photos to show you – the interactions, engagement, creativity and achievement. And the gorgeous costume parades that many schools marked the day with. They were awesome! Alas, I was so busy, I usually forgot to take pics! *sad face*

One of the highlights was seeing the teachers getting into the spirit of things – and not just the primary teachers, either. Huge cheer for the secondary teachers who celebrated a love of literature (and dress-ups) with their students – and also played with the different poetry forms. Yes, even the man-arts and maths/science teachers. You were all awesome!

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The wonderful thing about author visits is that the activities I’ve been doing with teachers and kids to inspire creativity in the classroom… inspire creativity in me! Which means, I’m now going to go and WRITE something! :D

On the Road Again…

The yellow ‘Bully’ bus has hit the road again, this time rolling up at the Curtis Coast Literary Carnivale, in Gladstone, for more launch celebrations.

The book was launched by Robyn Sheahan-Bright, President of the Curtis Coast Literary Carnivale; lovely, generous lady, and a font of wisdom in the children’s publishing world. Robyn read a draft copy of my Bully on the Bus manuscript (four years ago, as Robyn reflected in her speech), and offered invaluable feedback in many areas, but most significantly, in freeing my creative wordplay, which, for some reason I had nipped in the bud in earlier versions. It was a real treat to hear her thoughts on the finished book!

The ice-cream cake to launch the book was FAN-TABULOUS! So many gorgeous colours underneath that lovely Bully cover! And wonderful to share it with so many people who have impacted on my writing journey.

Enough words. Here are some pics of the day. You’ll see that sneaky Bully/Wolf has made an appearance again. But she’s trying very hard not to be nasty! We even had our very own lovely BUS DRIVER roll up for some cake and photos.

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Thank-you to the members of the Curtis Coast Literary Carnivale committee, who nurture local writers, and inspire a passion for literature in the children of the Port Curtis Region. Your efforts are appreciated, and invaluable!

Guinea Pig Love

This blog is mostly about my writing, but sometimes life pops in. Today life is here with teary eyes and a sobbing heart.

Five good years with lots of loving, memories and photos (oh so many photos!) and we say goodbye to our beloved Gipsy. She was the Queen of guinea pigs – placid affectionate, adorable and snuggly-cuddly. Everybody should have a Gipsy Queen in their life!

We will miss ours.

Goodbye my Gipsy Queen.

Goodbye my Gipsy Queen.