I spy… The Bully!

Bully on the BusI’m so excited to share the gorgeous cover for ‘Bully on the Bus’ with you!

As if that’s not exciting enough… HOLDING that shiny-new book is even better! Who knew that an advance copy would hop into my letterbox this week? Not me!!

Leroy’s story always clutches at my heart. Reading it as a book squeezes every ounce of happy right up and bubbling out of me.

Pssst… Hop over to win your copy on Goodreads;

Cover Art/Design: Jo Hunt
Publisher: UQP
Release Date: July 2014

Reasons to smile!

Clockwork Holidays – a poem

Clockwork Holidays

The clock has stopped. The bus has run.
School bags lie in wait, lunchboxes packed,
while uniforms hang about in dishevelment
and kids run free!

School bags lie in wait, lunchboxes packed
and stacked
away at the back of the cupboard.

While uniforms hang about in dishevelment,
waiting to be pressed into shape,
rumpled, crumpled comfy clothes are donned,

and kids run free!
No HW. No bedtimes. No alarms.
Unwinding as the clock… ticks… down… to… school.


My trimeric, for Day 23 Month of Poetry. We love the freedom of school holidays, and always feel a large slice of regret when the school year starts again.


Phone Photo of Fireworks

Phone Photo of Fireworks


New Year’s Eve
and we wash down
the river bank;
colourful flotsam
bobbing along at the water’s edge,
laughter swirling
and caution whispered on the
cooled evening breeze.

Floodlights shine
on scarred remains
of ravaging floods;
concrete bones exposed in
cavernous shadows of earth;
bare slabs silent witness
to what

Swept along in the ebb and flow of
a river of revellers; family,
friends, strangers and neighbours;
we flood the banks of the Burnett
as the heavens burst and
stars rain down like

Once again I’m co-ordinating a Month of Poetry, so you may see some snippets of my poems here throughout January. This was inspired by the Wide Bay Australia Bundy NYE Fireworks Spectacular – and the year that was.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year!

Month of Poetry 2013

It’s January – and this is the sixth year I’ve started with a poem a day – the fourth I’ve co-ordinated a Month of Poetry. It’s also the first year I’ve been able to wear the co-ordinator’s hat and work on my WIP at the same time. WIN! I love the progress I’ve made, also the poetry that has inspired me on the #MoP13 blog. Such a diverse group and so talented! The daily collections on the blog are locked, but I’ve selected a couple of my poems to share below.

Stone the Phone!

If ever something
makes me groan
it is the wretched
mobile phone,
that rings attention
with a tone,
dispelling thoughts
of time alone.

In the change room,
on the throne,
at play, at ease,
when lying prone,
its shrill demands
are soon made known;
a body’s heart
and soul to own.

Inspired by David Harrison’s post about Careerhymes;

Grazier; a cow cocky –
not a blocky
always on the go
watching grass grow.

Patient: one who waits
as sickness abates.

A spot of cooking in the country prompted this tongue-in-cheek poem;

Moist Date & Carrot Muffins

There’s weevils in the flour.
Have they eaten much, you think?
And the sour cream is mouldy,
with a more-than-sour stink.
The egg has hatched a chicken
though it’s only just a speck.
Should I use a shriveled carrot?
Cause I’m thinking, what the heck.
We haven’t any dates, of course;
that’s really such a shame!
I think I’ll substitute with prunes
and hope they taste the same.
Use ½ a cup of oil they say…
Well there’s no need for that.
The oil might make the muffins moist;
it’ll only make me fat!
The oven’s on the blink again;
I cannot shut the door,
and those flames around the element…
Have they been there before?
The timer hasn’t rung yet.
I wonder if it’s stopped.
My muffins. Oh. The wretched things.
I do believe they’ve flopped!
I googled for a recipe
but Google makes mistakes!
These moist date carrot muffins
would be better called rock cakes!

My first sestina was a stumble… not worthy of sharing… but thankfully it didn’t break my brain like last year’s first sonnet did. And doubly thankfully, this year I wrote two sonnets in a day – and it hardly hurt at all!

And finally… Just a tiny snippet from my latest WIP. This is written from Shaun’s POV – though in fact much of the work is written from Toby’s POV. In a-maz-me news, my verse novel (which hasn’t even scored a working title as yet) has this month shattered the 10,000 words – which for me was a major milestone! *Insert party poppers and fireworks here.* It’s currently sitting at 10,450wrds… and I’m stoked! :D


Toby is a klutz – can’t keep
his hands on anything;
drops the ball
trips over his feet
and bumps and slumps
the day away.
I wish people didn’t know
he’s my brother
but it’s a bit hard to hide that
in a small town small school
where everyone knows
everything about
your mother’s brother’s

I wonder what the rest of January will produce…


All poetry on this page is © Copyright Kathryn Apel 2013

Snollygoster – a poem


Honourable Politicians


Would you be a snollygoster?

Every action aimed to foster

trust… and votes… a campaign win…

then lining pockets from within.

The rhetoric. The talk. The lies.

Confounding people to disguise

a calculating, shrewd imposter;

politician… snollygoster.


© Kathryn Apel 2012


My son and I have been enjoying ‘Weird and Wonderful Words’ (Erin McKean, Oxford University Press 2003) which defines a snollygoster (pg 87) as; a dishonest politician, especially a shrewd or calculating one.

For many politicians this doesn’t apply, but never-the-less I am just a little surprised that snollygoster isn’t a word more widely used today. It has such a ring to it – don’t you think?

(Oh. Look at that. Click on the book to go to Oxford’s page and what’s the very first question they ask?)

Madness – I’m Sane Again

The Madness Poetry Tournament continues over at Ed DeCaria’s blog – but I am sane again. :P I was knocked out of the tournament in Round Four, and seem to have spent the last 36hrs fighting sleep. (Five hours sleep per night isn’t enough for me. Who knew? Who knew sustained suspense could take such a toll?)

You can still follow the madness at Ed’s Think Kid, Think blog – and vote on the remaining two rounds. I’ll be there, voting.

Meanwhile, here is my collection of poems, inspired by the Madness. If you click on the pictures, they will take you direct to the match-up on Ed’s blog. Remembering that each poem had to include a given prompt word… All poetry on this page is Copyright Kathryn Apel, 2012.

Continue reading

Madness – Round Three

Click on the picture to go direct to the match-up.

Voting has started on Round Three of the March Madness poetry tournament, over at Ed DeCaria’s Think Kid, Think blog. The competition is fierce and beautiful. Two musical poems that both capture the essence of music. Whatever the outcome of today’s tightly contested poem, I’m so grateful to Ed and Allan, for pushing me to write this heartfelt sonnet. And whilst it’s making it very tricky for the voters, I’m also glad that Allan’s poem is heart too – in a humorous way. What a wonderful contrast of our words.

Go over now and vote! There are four match-ups left to be contested in this round. Some exquisite poetry.

6-scratched-vs-15-virtuoso: CLICK TO VIEW THIS MATCHUP!

Madness – Through Round One

Quick update on the March Madness knock-out poetry tournament.

I’m relieved and delighted to say that I made it through Round One of the March Madness – which was a tough battle against a great poem by Carol Wilc. I am now in the next ‘anxious wait’ period – waiting for my next word to be posted. In Round Two, I’m up against Laura Salas, who won Round One with her ‘knack’ poem.

As with all things to do with children’s writing, I am finding the competition to be fantastic fun and friendly! The children’s writing crew has always been one big happy family, and whilst I hadn’t met many of the #MMPoetry crew prior to this event, I am again enjoying being a part of a wider kid-lit community.

A fantabulous event over at Ed DeCaria’s Think Kid Think blog. I hope you can follow us into Round Two!

March Madness Round One: Dotted

The March month of poetry Madness is well underway, over on Ed DeCaria’s ThinkKidThink blog. You  really should visit, read and vote, because it’s a heap of fun!  My Round One poem is now up – and the 36hr clock is ticking down…

My word was ‘dotted’ – and being the lower seeded poet (seeds are determined by degree of difficulty of the word) I knew I had to do something tricky to gain ground. I was hoping I wasn’t going too far out on a limb… (In fact, I had two poems I was tossing up between, and had to put it to a mini-in-house-vote to decide on an entry.) This morning I woke all anxious eagerness to read the poems, and I see that Carol, too has taken a risk with her poem. And done well! (I like risk-taking in poetry, but there always is that element of… risk!)

Click the picture to go direct to our poems.

So – what do you think? You’ll have to skip across to the melee of Madness, to find out. I’d love it if you vote for me – but seriously, you vote for the poem that you like best! (And while you’re there, check out all the other great battles, too. It’s fantastic. Well done, Ed!!!)

These links will help you navigate the Madness more easily.