More Presentations… and a Holiday!

I blogged earlier in the week about ‘Celebrating Our Stories‘, a speaking tour I ran with the support of the Gladstone Region Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF). A wonderful added bonus was the opportunity to speak at a number of other community and school events whilst I was on tour. And many of these included poetry!😻 I presented a professional development for early years educators in the Gladstone Region, titled, ‘Poetry Through Play’ – ran a poetry workshop for the Gladstone Region Home Schooling Network – with parents and kids, which was rather special, and ran additional workshops/author talks at a number of schools where we were ‘Celebrating Our Stories’. AND  I have more school bookings as a result. That is for sure something to smile about!

In Calliope I followed up with a talk about characters with Year 2. ‘Too Many Friends’ is set in a Year Two class – and there are some very different characters in that book – who are quite recognisable as classmates in most schools I visit. The kids’ faces lit up when they heard about the push/pull toys, and saw the coconut helicopter that inspired ‘Chop Chop’ in the book. They were learning about push/pull toys in Science – and recognised force in action in an instant. (The Year Two teacher in me smiled gleefully, because there is a reason this story was set in a Year Two class!) Even more trippy… Sara, the lovely librarian at Calliope, was in my Year 2/3 class for almost two years, many, many (MANY!🤫) years ago. The Sara, in ‘Too Many Friends’? Well – she isn’t this Sara, but this Sara did inspire her name. To see her so active in her role as community librarian was super-special. (Pic here.)

To round off some busy months, I presented at the Capricorn Coast Writers Festival, in Yeppoon. Gorgeous location – on the beach! It was wonderful to be on a panel with Dr Anita Heiss and Allison Tait, both powerhouses within the Australian kidlit scene, talking about Crafting Stories for Children. I then got to do Storytime at the library – the first time I’ve shared all three of my picture books! (‘The Bird in the Herd’ had to be ordered in three times in the lead-up to the festival, because the lovely local/festival bookshop, Hannah Jones, kept selling out – in advance of the festival!💙)

My final session at the CCWF was poetry workshop for adult writers.  I always love poetry workshops – but this workshop had a special feel to it, and by the end of the session, they had formed their own poetry group! Last weekend they sent me a pic from the first get-together. My heart…

By this time, my head was spinning from juggling everything, so hubby and I took time off in a rooftop tent in Central Queensland, in the middle of winter. We spent 2 nights in Byfield National Park, before heading across to Emerald, stopping at Blackdown Tablelands along the way. I took far too many pictures for my blog (far too many pictures for Instagram, even) – but do pop across to Insta, where you can sample a squidge in a five-part Rooftop Tent in Retrospect. (Or click on the links in the poem titles below.)

There were some breathtaking views, and stunning landscapes.

Byfield National Park

it never rains,
but it pours -
when home is a rooftop tent

thunder and lightning
is frightening;
nowhere to hide

camping is fun!
carried away
by the mozzies


Blackdown Tablelands

bump-bump-bump-bump
slow and steady
on rusty rutted roads

on top of the world
surrounded by trees -
and thunder

now planning
a camping expedition
in drought-affected home paddocks


Minerva National Park

c-c-c-c-anvas on c-c-c-car is
c-c-c-c-cool;
until you're c-c-c-c-old to the bone


© Kathryn Apel - All rights reserved.

I should add, that the rain definitely didn’t dampen our spirits. We loved our rooftop tent – and I was ready for some laughs, after the busyness of previous months. For those vistas, I’d do it all again!

And now, I look forward to hearing about what all my Poetry Friday friends have been up to. I have missed this community! Find the link-up, and more poetry Reflections on the Teche. Thanks, Margaret! 


26 comments

  1. Oh wow Kat. You have been so busy, doing such exciting stuff! Wonderful to read all your news, and your poems are, as always superb. The c-c-c-cold one spoke to me because I am shivering away through yet another winter storm here in WA. Glad I’m not out c-c-c-camping!

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  2. Oh my, Kat! You’ve been so busy. The positive energy in your post sparked all the way over here! I love seeing pictures of your adventures and reading your accompanying poems. You’re a dynamo!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You have been so busy but your post is full of how happy you are. It just gleams! You are doing the work you are meant to do. I’m glad that you got some relaxation and fun time, too.

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    • I’m so glad that’s how my post reads, Margaret – because it felt a bit hodge-podge, when I was putting it together! (My blog haiatus means that WordPress blocks continue to confuddle me!)

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  4. Kat, I congratulate you on all of your accomplishments both professionally and personally. Looks like we both were thinking about parks when writing. Love your sound effects in the last poem. I sent out a tweet from your post to share Aussie’s parks.

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  5. How WOOOOOONNNNNNDERFUL! I’m delighted seeing all those smiling faces around your books and your wisdom for learning and poetry. I just can’t be happier for you or prouder of you. You GO, KAT! GO! And, I have never seen a rooftop tent before. I would be very worried that I’d dent the roof! We are in summer heat here. I wish I could send you a bubble of it for your camping experiences. What a special treat to go camping with your hubby. The photos are gorgeous.

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    • You are a treasure, Linda. Thank-you. (Another reason I have been so busy, is that in amongst all of this, I’ve been 🐌editing… and working on first pages… for the verse novel that maybe wouldn’t have ever been subbed, without your belief and encouragement.🥰)

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  6. Oh my, oh my! What a busy and fun post. I would love camping as you did, the big drawback, alas… the mozzies. The views, the relaxation, the nature, the birds… all of that sounds wonderful. And a huge congrats on your presentations! Kudos!!!

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    • The mozzies almost ruined it for me, too, Karen. I was tucked up in the rooftop tent by 7pm that night. (Fortunately that was also a rainy night – so reading in a tent was not a bad thing. Thankfully, it was mozzie proof. And waterproof. And the mozzies didn’t follow us the whole way.)

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  7. Kat, wow! Great pictures and poems. Congrats on all your poeting and traveling! That rooftop tent sounds crazy. I like your c-c-c-cold poem, as I was reminded it is winter where you are!

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  8. Kat, congratulations on all your presentations! Your post shines with happiness and fun. I’m happy that you were able to go camping, too. Beautiful photos and poems. I especially love this stanza “on top of the world/surrounded by trees -and thunder.” I’ve never seen a pop up tent before. Are mozzies mosquitoes? 🙂

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    • I know, I know! We said the same thing about mozzies in winter! To be fair, Byfield is known for its mozzies. And we had repellent. But I’d moved it from its usual spot in the car. I found it on the last night of holidays. (Fortunately we only had mozzies for the first two nights. And first was the worst!)

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  9. What an adventure you had and shared with us too! That tent, WOW you actually slept in it on your roof–there might be a whole story there… and it sure sounds like it was “c-c-c-c-old to the bone.” I’d love to know what kind of bird is in your pic? Congrats on all the presentations and workshops, and this fun-filled post Kat!

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    • Oh! Sorry. I didn’t even think to name the bird. (I had been going to write a poem about it, but in the interest of making this round of PF, it didn’t eventuate.) It’s an emu. I’m reminded of a line from the John Williamson song, Old Man Emu’; he can’t fly, but I’m telling you, he can run the pants off a kangaroo.🎶 This guy was still running as he disappeared in the distance.

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