Flocking with Feathers

They say birds of a feather flock together – and that is never more true than in the Poetry Friday community. This week, our hostess, Christie Wyman has asked us to hatch up some feathered friends in verse form. Since Book Week is upon us, and life is busy, I’m cheating, and pulling out some old faves; photo poems featuring birdlife. Admittedly some are very brief – but that’s the beauty of poetry, where each weighted word has to work within the poem!

I give you a cinquain (didactic), two haiku, and a couplet – a peck of poetry!

 

 

 

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Find Your Costume Treasure!

Looking for Book Week costume ideas? I’ve just created a new tab with easy-peasy ideas linked to my books – so you can find them year after year. 🙂

Don’t have a copy of the books? You can order signed copies here. From now until end of August 2018 you can order two-for-one on copies of ‘This is the Mud!’ – plus postage.

Thank-you, Mr Postman

My mailman has been unusually busy of late, which has been quite lovely. And I’ve been a bit slow in posting them – to the blog… So, here goes;

1) Imperfect – poems about mistakes an anthology for middle schoolers, edited by Tabatha Yeatts. (Available online here.) I’m chuffed to have my poem, ‘Scared of Cows’ included in this, alongside so many lovely Poetry Friday pals. Yes, as most everybody knows, the farm-girl-married-a-grazier is still scared of cows! (The poem is about my mistake – that led to this enduring fear…)

2) Author copies of the American edition of ‘Bully on the Bus‘ arrived. You may spot the difference quicker than I did…

Spot the difference!

3) ‘Big Blue Whale’ was included in the English for Primary workbook, for Year 7 students, published by Gyldendal Undervisning. It’s been paired with poems by James Carter and Kenn Nesbitt, to inspire kids to write their own shape poem.

4)  A lovely poetry swap from Amy LV. Along with her poem, a wish for ‘Today’, Amy, the Queen of Notebooks, sent 4 gorgeous notebooks. If this is what American notebooks look and feel like, I’m not surprised you all love them!! The paper quality! #swoons I have been meaning to give this notebooking a serious try – and now, thanks to sweet Amy, I have no excuses! Funnily enough, when reading Amy’s poem I was thinking there was little chance of pinecones in my day… and admittedly I wasn’t walking, BUT – on a drive two days later, I spotted a fat pinecone in the middle of the road! Made me smile. Thank-you, Amy, for your dreamy poem and gift – and Tabatha, for organising this fabulous joy-spreading swap. 🙂

Thank-you Mr Postman! I can’t imagine there will be anything anywhere near this exciting for quite some time, now.

And in a nice little touch of synchronicity, this week PoetryFriday is hosted by Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone. I wonder if her postal-person has delivered a little poetry swap package from me! Thank-you for hosting us, Molly!

 

Poetry Swap – Tabatha Shapes Up

I love what Tabatha Yeatts has done with the Seasonal Poetry Swap – but this year I’m doubly thankful to her, because not only did she organise the swap, but she drew my name… So sent her poem to me. And not just any poem… a shape poem, inspired by my whale concrete poem. And there again, I was doubly blessed, because my gift came not just from Tabatha, but her talented daughter, Elena, who turned the words into a work of art.

Like it? I LOVE it!

QUESTIONS FOR KOKO
by Tabatha Yeatts

Fireworks child,
A fine-gorilla-person is who?
Me, Koko (I speak to you!)

Do you want something to eat?
Food, food (Give me your treat!)

What did you name your kitty?
All Ball (His tail is bitty)

Is there a sign for you?
Queen, queen (You know it’s true!)

What is that photo you have?
Sad-cry (I miss my cat)

Where do we go when we die?
A comfortable hole (Kiss me goodbye.)

Of course, I had to go and read more about Koko. What a beautiful (also, sad) story! And there are cats! (Which you know… because the poem does say that. 🙂 )

Thank-you so much for your thoughtful gifting, Tabatha and Elena! It is very much appreciated.

I’m wondering who else has poetry parcels to share during the round-up this week… Looking forward to checking out all the Poetry Friday links at Reading to the Core, thanks, Catherine!

Bystanders and Bullying – Longford Primary Presentation

The Northern region of the Tasmanian Reader’s Cup used ‘Bully on the Bus’ as one of their set texts this year. A creative response component required readers to prepare a creative response to one of the books. The D’Reados, from Longford Primary School, chose ‘Bully on the Bus’ for their creative response, and not only did they achieve a perfect score for their dramatic presentation (Well done!) but they also had a strong impact on audience members, and later, online viewers, with their take on bullying – and the role of bystanders. Not a retelling of the book by any means – but a powerful presentation on the theme. I am so thrilled with what they have produced – and blessed/amazed by the fact that something I wrote has inspired such a thought-provoking representation!

Click the pic to view the video on Longford Primary’s Facebook page.

By being a bystander, you have the power, and the opportunity, to do something about the bullying.

Take that truth and spread it wide in the world, D’Reados! 

This post is a part of the Poetry Friday link-up around the blogosphere. You’ll find more posts at Poetry for Children when the round-up is collected on Friday.

Video Link; https://www.facebook.com/LongfordPrimarySchool/videos/2236538019696632/

Have Wheels, Will Travel

Good news! I’m rather thrilled to share that ‘Bully on the Bus‘ is chugging across the oceans, to Kane Miller Books. #PoetryFriday peeps, it will be coming to a store near you! After all this time. (Picture my very happy face. ☺)

Already reviews are starting to pop up like bus stops across the interwebs…

Like this review from https://heightshappiness.com;

And in a world where too often fists and weapons are used, Beth Sluzewski (heightshappiness.com) also noted;

How beautiful is that? I’m touched and honoured that something I wrote, prompted that beautiful assessment.

I’m hoping there has been joy in your week.

To read more great poetry posts, putter across to Carol’s Corner, (Thanks, Carol!) for the Poetry Friday link-up.

Reasons to Love Adelaide

  • gorgeous old stone buildings earthed in charm and character. Sometimes it was like stepping back in time.
  • the walks – so many lovely walks – through city streets, and around parks and city walking trails
  • bushwalking and koala spotting – in the wild!

    When your friend wants a photo with a koala … and it won’t come down from the tree!

  • autumn leaves – tree bones and lacework in the sky (We don’t have autumn leaves in CQ.)
  • beautiful weather – and heating on cooler days. (Bliss!)
  • metropolitan sights and eats –with country hospitality
  • time with the Adelaide kidlit community – which is every bit as supportive and FUN as I had imagined. So much laughter. LOVED!
  • critique sessions with Katrina Germein and Janeen Brian. (So valuable!)
  • meeting with Little Book Press, who are doing amazing things to promote literacy
  • bookshop visits
  • book club dinner at Glenelg
  • author visits at Victor Harbor (4 days) and Walford Anglican (1 day) – affirming to introduce new activities and have them so enthusiastically received.
  • exploring Victor Harbor – including a visit to the Coorong, where Storm Boy was set and filmed. Super-special, thank-you Sarah!

Nostalgia washing over me, in Storm Boy country – inspiration for the legendary Colin Thiele.

I wrote. Lots! Though nowhere near as much as some preceding May Gibbs Fellows. There’s a Fellows Journal in the Burrow that we all contribute to, and I must confess, the word counts of some Fellows had me a wee-bit intimidated for the first few days. But then I gave myself permission to polish and perfect as I go, as is my process. One day I took 7hours to write 49 words – but that was a particularly challenging poem! (Writing a non-fiction verse novel makes many poems particularly challenging! Which is half the fun. 🙂 )

For the first two weeks I worked on my historical NF verse novel about an early scientific expedition to Antarctica. That story hooked me the moment I heard it (whilst on a ship enroute to the Antarctic Peninsular)  – and the more I write, the more I love it. I added 3,550 words (more in draft stage still – but I only count polished words dropped into my WIP) to bring my word count over 10,000wrds, and am so excited about this manuscript! Having worked more on this since I’ve returned home, it now totals almost 11,000wrds.

Some of the lunchtime poets! Gotta love kids who come back voluntarily for poetry!

The last week of my Fellowship I was focused on picture books – revising and polishing a number of manuscripts, critiquing with two writing buddies, writing submissions, researching publishers open for submissions and getting work out there! This was a more disjointed period – but valuable! (More ideas in the pot of inspiration, too.)

And finally, I worked on a poetry collection for children! Still not complete – but closer!

It was a productive, inspiring and affirming month! I was spoilt beyond belief and am exceedingly grateful to the May Gibbs Trust – and for the care and attention from the May Gibbs care team, who think of absolutely everything and are beautifully generous, each in their different way. I don’t think I have ever felt so nourished within my creative soul. Thank-you.

I love Adelaide!

Could not get enough of those LEAVES!

I posted more pics to Instagram, under #MGCTF – when I remembered the hashtag!

This post is a part of the Poetry Friday link-up around the blogosphere. You’ll find more poetry posts at  Michelle Kogan‘s blog – where you’re sure to get double the creativity with words and art! Thank-you Michelle.

Feasting on Poetry

Oh the things that I have done since cracking open that door of opportunity in my previous post. I hadn’t planned to fall silent – rather, had planned to blog often! But once I started on my May Gibbs Creative Time Fellowship, I threw myself unreservedly into the myriad of opportunities … and just lived in the moment! Four whole weeks of writing (poetry!!) bliss! I can’t wait to get my head and blog organised, and share some highlights with you!

I returned Wednesday – and presented an online Poetry Workshop on Thursday, as a part of the Ipswich Poetry Feast, with fifteen schools across Queensland taking part – plus the Brisbane School of Distance Education. I’m hoping there are lots of young poets inspired to put pen to paper after that. There is nothing quite like purpose and opportunity to inspire writing – and this great International Poetry Competition certainly provides that! (More information and entry forms here.)

This week I ‘discovered’ (thank you Libby) this wonderful 7 minute documentary about Dorothea Mackellar, one of Australia’s most esteemed early poets, and author of the stirring poem, My Country.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror  –
The wide brown land for me!

You can (and should!) read the full poem here– which includes the first verse, too. 🙂

And I am sure you will find Libby Hathorn’s documentary fascinating.

Happy PoetryFriday. Enjoy! You’ll find more poetry posts at https://karenedmisten.blogspot.com – including ‘Sustenance’, a beautiful tribute to Karen’s husband – and marriage. Thank-you Karen!

A Door Opens

The Burrow

Welcome to the Burrow, where I am as snug as a wombug, cosied up with my laptop, working on my Antarctic verse novel.

After much trepidation about the weather, (How many times can you repack a suitcase?) late Wednesday night I arrived in Adelaide for my May Gibbs Creative Time Fellowship. (#MGCTF)

I have long wanted to visit Adelaide. I thought it would have a ‘big country town’ feel to it like Bundaberg, though from the little I have seen, I was very wrong – but I like it lots! The lights and buildings driving along North Terrace were magical. I’m torn! I want to get out and explore … and dig deep and squirrel away words. Hoping there is time for both! And time to catch up with the funtabulous Adelaide kidlit peeps, too!

For now, I have work to do!

Happy Poetry Friday!
.

This post is a part of the Poetry Friday link-up.
You’ll find more poetry posts at Sloth Reads.
Thanks, Rebecca!

Postcards from Sharjah

The problem with three people going on holidays with cameras and smart phones is that there are too many photos to sort through! And I can’t throw out a bad photo if it’s attached to a memory… #ihaveLOTSofphotos

But finally, here is a very SMALL portion of the photos taken while we were in the United Arab Emirates, as a part of the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival. (See previous post for pictures from the festival.) Continue reading