Cat Call – Me? Ow!

Sliding into the Poetry Friday round-up with a cat-themed poem, and a hint of Christmas. (That is my Christmas tree box and tinsel sprinkled on the floor.)

What cat doesn’t like to hide in boxes? (And what human can resist those poised paws, and twitching tail!)

Our cat has been affectionately dubbed many things, but methinks Little Lion and Tiger may be the most accurate… Those claws!!

You’ll find the full round-up of poetry-packed posts at Laura Shovan’s blog. Or you can stay and play with SavvyCat … who really does have the twitchiest tail.

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Poetry at Sharjah International Book Fair 2018

I am really struggling with blog posts these days. It feels there are so many things I need to write in other places – most especially in my stories (LOVE), and the submissions to accompany them (Aaargh!) and blog posts just keep getting pushed to the bottom of the pile …

I do want to share some pics from my second visit to Sharjah – this for the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) which was even bigger than the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival. It was so good to go back again, and, with so many people in attendance, it was amazing to recognise people from my previous visit! It was especially lovely to have children and adults come up, eyes alight and smiles wide and thank me again for my sessions in April. One very busy day saw 50K kids pass through the doors, with a record 2.3million people in attendance over the 10 day event. (Sometimes just getting through the door felt like an achievement.😉)

All my sessions involved poetry – though sometimes it was more about creating than writing. We made jigsaws and tag poems and 3D poetry and poetry wall plaques. I especially loved the school groups that came through in the mornings. These were half-hour sessions, and I was astounded with how much we achieved in such a short space of time! The kids were awesome – so polite, and yet enthusiastic and instantly engaged with their ‘writing’ tasks. We talked and laughed lots – and they often delighted me with their witty way with words. I was also incredibly touched by the feedback from every teacher, who took activities away to use with other groups in their classrooms. And this beautiful comment from one lovely teacher, on finding out I no longer teach, but write fulltime and present at festivals, like SIBF; “It is better, you not working in one school. Now you can share your skills with the world.” 💞

Sharjah was beautiful! The people so wonderfully warm and welcoming. Sharing the adventure with lovely Aussie kidlit creators, Catherine Pelosi, Dee White and Claire Richards made the adventure even more enjoyable. As did the beautiful accommodation. This time I didn’t just see the beach from a passing car – I swam! And it was glorious! (I had planned to write heaps, in gorgeous settings … but talked heaps, instead! Networking … 😉 There truly were lots of discussions about a dreaded synopsis!!) I didn’t get out to the desert this time – or see a single camel… but I did get lovely views over the desert as I was flying out, so it was good to see it in this new perspective.

SIBF18 was another amazing event and adventure, and a delight to be involved! I could be tempted to go back… ☺️

This week I’m in for #PoetryFriday – and you can Live Your Poem and all things poetry at Irene Latham’s blog. Having just had a peep in preparation for linking this post, it would seem as if Irene has been busy in recent weeks, which included the news that her book, ‘Can I Touch Your Hair’, (in partnership with Charles Waters), was announced as a Charolotte Huck Honour Book. How exciting!

Edit: I had meant to include a link to the interview on Sharjah24 News. You can see me in hypo-bunny mode here;

On Silence and Writing

It has been so long since I posted to my blog, that I feel like I need to just jump in and not even try to play catch-ups … so here I am!

Life has been gloriously busy, with Book ‘Week’ visits waaay back in August, and so many other wonderful activities celebrating literature and/or poetry.

And too, there has been writing. So much writing! Much of September has been spent immersed in words – either my historical non-fiction Antarctic verse novel (which just this morning clicked over 20k! 🎉🤩🎊 Sooooo close to finished!) a kids’ poetry collection, and an unexpected rhyming picture book – that grew from one of the poems …

My bog has been neglected, but my writing has not! Here are two little snippets from my verse novel. Firstly, a cherita, a form I have learnt much about from Diane Mayr’s blog. Technically a cherita doesn’t have a title – though I do have one on stand-by, if needed.😉

The door is barred.

Cast one 
look back

our last
sledge
journey

© Kathryn Apel, all rights reserved

And secondly, a list poem.

The Things We Had Forgotten

          Cook Harbour,
          Staten Island
       Isla de los Estados;

	waves washing 
variegated rubble-stones
	
	inexpressible pleasure of
green grass

	peeping out of the stones 
a flower!

	closely arching 
beech bushes

	overpoweringly magnificent
valley of trees

	barberry shrubs dripping
red bell-like flowers

	airborne insects – even
large yellow moths 

	twittering crowds of
small birds …

       Overcome with emotion
        I am scarcely able
            to proceed.

© Kathryn Apel, all rights reserved

Happy Poetry Friday. It’s good to be back! Now to find out who is hosting the round-up – and catch-up on everyone’s news!

Oh! Tabatha is hosting – with an invitation to take part in the ‘Winter’ poetry swap – which is summer for us Aussies. I am so glad I didn’t miss that invitation!

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!

 

 

 

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.