Picture Books and Poetry

This week I’ve been super-productive with my picture books. I put the final polish on a picture book manuscript inspired by this little bird on our trip to Antarctica, then shared it with the lovely, talented and passionate children’s librarian, Kim Yeomans, who delighted me when she described it as, ‘a ‘quiet’ story with depth and light and shade. It ebbs and flows with tension and emotion.’

For a complete contrast, I then worked on a rhyming picture book I’ve had in my head for some time – well, I’ve had a four-lined repeating stanza, but that was all. I was thrilled when the rest of it romped out midweek, pure silliness and fun, and exactly the riot I was hoping it would be.

Alas, this then happened …

Which still makes me giggle … and blush! Whatever does the courier guy think???!? (The hazards of living in a rural location, where you can be loud and proud and not worry about the neighbours, when you ROAR! 😳)

On that cheerful note, as promised last week, I leave you with two more lai poems, these written over the New Year weekend. What is a lai? You can read more here. (I conformed with syllables but broke some rules with line breaks, in ‘Go Fly’.) They are definitely a form I will delight in revisiting in future.

Not an analogy. Just a reality. Stronger strings affixed now! 🙂

This little dragon was super-quiet and photogenic.

Today is Australia Day, so I’m off with friends climbing Mount Larcom — hoping for clear skies and a cool breeze, so we can enjoy a view over Gladstone Harbour and scattered islands; a little portion of this beautiful country that we are fortunate enough to call home. Who knows what poetry that will inspire?

This post is a part of the Poetry Friday link-up around the blogosphere.
You’ll find more poetry and links at Beyond LiteracyLink.
Thanks, Carol!

Afternote: I am now exhausted but triumphant after a 3am start to conquer the mountain. Alas, the peak was shrouded in mist for the duration, so perhaps we were the losers after all … although it was cool! #win (More pics on my Insta-story, if you’re quick; @Kat.Apel)

MountLarcom - 1.jpg

The view from Mount Larcom @ 6:45am.

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35 comments

  1. Kat, you are cooking with grease (as my grandfather would say)! 🙂 Love hearing about all your projects, and you know what, you probably made that courier’s day with your ROAR. My husband and I had a similar experience as yours when we visited Crater Lake, which they say is visible 98% percent of the time… umm, NOT the day we arrived! We took our hazy pics and then went back the next day for a better view. 🙂 Thanks for sharing all this goodness. xo

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    • Haha. I’ve been cooking with gas before, but never grease. We are keen to conquer the mountain again – but will pack wind-cheaters to keep our sweaty selves warm if it’s gusting at the top again – and more snacks, so we can wait out the weather. 😛

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  2. You inspire me! I definitely want to try that form!

    My first time visiting Glacier National Park in Montana, I camped out (in a hotel) for several days until the weather cleared. Luckily I had time to wait for the good views to return!

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    • I think your build-up makes it more of an achievement, Mary Lee. A view to savour. For us, it was only the very top that was shrouded in mist. As we were heading down we kept trying to catch glimpses to see if it had cleared – but no-one had the energy to rush back up, even if it had. 😛 Fortunately, it was always dipped in cottonwool. Maybe next Australia Day…

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  3. This is such a delightful post from start to finish. I so enjoyed your story of the embarrassing roar and can relate. This week I mistakenly created and sent an audio file to our plow guy–did I mention I created the file while my phone was in the bathroom?–Ack! I’m afraid to listen to it! Your lais are wonderful and I’m itching to try writing one. Your rhyming in the dragon one is especially clever! So many ideas, so little time!

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    • Oh, Molly. That is so good!! Do you sing (loud and proud) in the shower? I feel much better knowing we shared our embarrassing moments this week! Writing lais is fun, though yes, the tinkering and polishing takes time. But that’s such a big part of the value of poetry, isn’t it. But YOU have mastered the sonnet this week – so all else will seem a breeze! 🙂

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  4. Kat, you’re something else, you know that? In a good way! 🙂 You hike the poetry landscape like you hike the mountain… with no expectations, just appreciation for whatever you find. Thanks for introducing me to the lai. I also read the post you linked to and was quite touched by the poem you wrote for your son. xo

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  5. Oh, I’m so glad I visited today. Happy Australia Day. I hope it was fun and you got some clear skies. What a rich post. Many congrats on the new book and I’m glad to see you are juggling projects and being so productive. I really love the story of the voices and the ring of the bell.I was going back and forth a bit with Rebecca H. about reading poems outloud. I don’t read my work outloud enough. Now, when I do I’ll think of your story.

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    • I think there’s enormous value in reading aloud, Linda – especially with picture books (and even more so rhyming picture books), that are designed for shared reading/reading aloud. What can work in your head doesn’t always trip off the tongue so easily – and rhythms aren’t always what you think they are on a silent read. You should try it – especially with your silliest stories, to provide maximum blush factor if overheard. 🙂

      I should just clarify (and will go edit my post!) that it’s a picture book manuscript that has had the polish – ready for submission. But I’m quietly hopeful…

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    • Haha. In the rush of the moment, I don’t think I really gave him a chance to rebel! 😛 A friend on twitter said he should have answered the door after a delay (there was that!) explaining that he was just turning the TV off. We didn’t think of that!

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  6. LOVE that dragon poem – and that little dragon, too, sporting a serious face for the photo! Good for you for rising at 3 a.m. for an adventure… no wonder your writing is so lively. (& too funny about the knock on the door…!)

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    • Yes – surprised, Matt. I would agree. I think they’d be a great form in the classroom. They just felt very achievable – they can be a stretch, but not overwhelming. I’m glad you liked.

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