Whirlwind Week of Wonderful

Today is Friday – which makes it a poetry day! … After a whole WEEK of wonderful poetry days!! You can catch the link-up at Reflections on the Teche, where Margaret is hosting us this week. Thank-you Margaret. 🙂

Last night I arrived home from an author tour in and around Melbourne – and I had a blast! Talk about eyes opened. That is one HUGE city! But I covered north and south and centre in a wonderful crammed week of school visits, bookshop workshop, kidlit conference, networking, research, friending and just the teensy-tiniest smidgen of sleeping!

And I ticked a few big boxes! Like… flying solo on the trains – with changeovers! I’ve been squishy-hugged in a train door (yowzers, those things have some muscle!) – but I survived… and so did my laptop!! #mymainconcern I rode the trams. Had horse-drawn carriages clopping past my balcony near midnight, Saw a hot air balloon (would love to add that one to my #listofthingstodo – but am a wee-big-bit freaked by the idea, since #scaredofheights…) and… huge and unexpected excitement… rode in a double-decker bus! You can catch something of the euphoria of country girl flying solo (with the help of just-the-right-many friends!) in the big-city from my Instagram feed; @kat.apel.

Snapshots of Melbourne; #sunshineeveryday #crunchywarm #autumnleaves

I was also thrilled to appear on the very lovely Michelle Heidenrich Barnes’ blog last week, where Too Many Friends got some amazing American ditty-love. Thank-you so much to Michelle for having me – and prompting all the beautiful comments that set my heart to skipping. Thanks also for sharing the love – and the Friends. (Giveaway winner is announced today – on Michelle’s blog.)

I thought life would be slower after Melbourne – but the snowball just started hurtling downhill! I really want to share more of the ‘wonderful’, but that will have to be in future posts…

For now, I leave you with this. In fact, it was written in preparation for my visit – after a passionate and skilled teacher-librarian had read and discussed my verse novel ‘On Track’ with the class – looking at (amongst other things) alignment and white space on the page. The poems the kids had written (about ANZAC Day) just blew me away. I read them the night before my visit, and wondered what I could possibly add, to enhance their blossoming creativity and in-touch emotions – because Kim and those kids were doing so well without me! This is just one from a widely-varied selection. (Not all of them shape poems.) Whilst I admire the visual, it works because it enhances the well-structured words. That use of the quote to close … So powerful.

By Josh, at St Martins, Melbourne.

May your Friday shape into beauty and poetry.

Postscript: What a treat to click across to pop my link up for Poetry Friday and see ‘Too Many Friends’ already there! The delightful Irene Latham has a review and interview on her Live Your Poem blog today.


  1. I read Irene’s review and am wondering why it took so long to connect with you. I’ve never been to Australia and love experiencing a bit of it through your eyes. Aren’t students some of the best poets ever? Thanks for linking up. I promise to be back again soon.


  2. It sounds like you had an amazing week! As another country girl, I feel the same way when visiting the city–and our cities aren’t that big in my neck of the woods! Go for that hot air balloon ride–my past flight instructor was afraid of heights, but flying didn’t bother him at all!


    • The simplest things were so amazing for me – and kids in the classes. We didn’t realise how different our experiences were until we started sharing – and felt all the wonder.

      The balloon is something I hope I gain courage for – if the opportunity arises. (By contrast, climbing Sydney Harbour Bridge won’t ever happen. That would most definitely immobilise me. #endofstory)


  3. I’ve been up in a balloon and loved it, Kat. Hope you will give it a try someday. What an amazing week of celebration for your book(s). That poem shared is certainly a celebration of your writing and that teacher’s support of the students’ writing. It is both a tribute and a sorrow, isn’t it? Thanks for all. I hope I can find some of your books to read soon!


    • Linda, I know you found the ebook edition on Amazon. If you’re looking for a paper copy, Book Depository stocks all my verse novels, and does free postage worldwide. If that helps? And yes, tribute and sorrow is a perfect description for this moving poem.


  4. So happy to play a small part in last week’s wonder-full whirlwind, Kat! (Laura Purdie Salas was the happy winner of your book, BTW.) We never did get to Melbourne when we lived in Oz. Guess we’ll have to come back. 🙂 I have been ballooning though, and it’s amazing—so quiet and peaceful up there… unlike your life right now. 😉 Looking forward to hearing about whatever wonderful comes your way!


    • How lovely to have the book heading out to make new friends, Michelle. Yay for Laura. 🙂 I think it’s that quiet/peacefulness that is drawing me to a balloon. That bobbingness… My son wants to batsuit, bungee jump, skydive and all manner of crazy-freaky-scary things that I would NEVER do (nor want to KNOW if he is going to do them) – but I think mayhaps that serenity of a balloon ride could draw me in, and up, up and away. #lookout #dontlookdown


  5. What an amazing, exciting experience! So often the most amazing times in our lives are also among the scariest, at least a little bit, but pushing yourself outside your comfort zone can be exhilarating, at least every once in a while. 🙂


  6. Wow. That student poem is amazing.

    I’m chuckling at your “country girl giddiness” over the big city. Sounds like you had fun and managed just fine!


  7. Hi Kat,

    From someone who has been in a hot air balloon in the Northern Territory…you have to do it one day! Such a peaceful way to travel (if you ignore the burner!)

    Thank you for inspiring our students with your visit. The Year 6s are already trying your suggestion of Erasure poems and I’m starting a Creativity Corner in our library for students to share their creativity and hopefully inspire each other. Thank you for sharing Josh’s powerful poem.

    You should be so proud of all you achieved in Melbourne and managing our public transport system solo…take a bow!


    • I hope to share more from your school, Kim – including those amazing cupcakes! And that after-school project! And more poems… Hoping the snowball might slowfall next week, to give me a chance. 😉

      And Melbourne public transport went so smoothly on account of good friends and forward planning! #friendslikeyou


  8. Congrats, Kat — wow you DID have a wonderful, adventure-filled week! Glad it all went smoothly and that you experienced some fabulous new things. Thanks for sharing Josh’s poem!


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