New Year – New Logic Board

Happy New Year!

My 2022 ended with a little stress – my computer crashed… A failed logic-board, meaning that I was completely reliant on my back-ups. To be honest, my initial feeling was relief. I’d really struggled to get to a creative place, typing one-handed, so I wasn’t sorry not to try anymore. I was mildly concerned that I may have lost what little work I’d done over the past 6wks – no knowing when I’d last backed-up – but I was hopeful I had something, atleast…

Christmas passed, and after a two-week tech-break, it was time to power up the revamp Mac. ⚠️⛔️⚠️ The new logic-board didn’t recognise my TimeMachine back-up disk!!! It looked like the disk was corrupt; 2+years of work… gone! (😱) Then … when we’d tried everything, and AppleCare was convinced it was a failed drive (Gaaaah!) they noticed that the new logic-board was still running on an outdated operating system. It was not compatible with my up-to-date Time Machine back-up, and therefore couldn’t recognise it. After 36hrs of stress (!!) and 6hrs of updates, I was finally able to restore all my old data. (Persistence pays!) AND I had run a back-up just 2wks prior to the crash, so very little was lost! (I even surprised myself, with that!)

Two things worth nothing:

1) If buying a Mac, buy AppleCare! This is my second Mac that has crashed out of warranty, but covered by AppleCare. (This was a 2yo machine, so I do find that concerning… But better to be covered than not.)

2) If at first your Time Machine data recovery doesn’t work… Update!

In other news, the New Year saw me released from my sling. Now trying to free up the frozen shoulder, and so glad I can type again!

Next week I’m thinking to revisit the Poetry Pep-up prompts from 2020. If anyone wants to join me for a 5-day pep-up, you’d be very welcome! Let me know in the comments. I’m thinking to create a padlet, for those who want to share poems and chat, but that’s optional. I’m keeping it low-key; a creative play with poetry friends.

Thanks to Catherine at Reading to the Core who is hosting our first Poetry Friday round-up for 2023. Sync or float – I hope it’s smooth sailing.🙃

Celebrating Miss Understood – Arooooooo!

What a thrill it was to celebrate the release of Miss Understood in the North Burnett Region, including launch celebrations with kids and staff – and my parents, too – at St Joseph’s Catholic School in Gayndah.

I’ve been very excited for the arrival of this book, because I kind of figured it would be a fun read aloud – but even I hadn’t realised how much scope there was. If you get into character and let go of inhibitions, it is a howl! (Especially when kids get into character, too, and start to see things from the wolf’s perspective (that would be, Miss Understood’s) – or in some cases, remaining loyal to those little stinkers and their porkie-pies.

It’s so much fun reading this book to kids! Who am I kidding??!? I love reading this book to anyone!!!🤭 (My brother scored a reading in his workplace last week. Now he knows how I expect him to read it. And he’s been practising.😹)

I must commend Beau Wylie on his choice of outfit for Miss Understood. She has great taste – and I rather like to emulate her!🐺 The touch of pink in both my 2022 books was also a gift and dressing for author events has been a delight.💕

🐺 Megan Daley (YKNR Podcast): I really, really enjoyed ‘Miss Understood’. It’s a fractured fairytale. It’s poetry. It’s full of puns. It’s got this wonderful beat and rhythm to it. It’s fantastic. A really, really clever little book.

🐺 What’s the Story Rory (Reading with a Chance of Tacos podcast): ‘I judged the book by its cover and I automatically knew I was going to love it – and the cover really lived up to the story… Really clever rhyme. Beautiful illustrations. Absolute joy to read… A brilliant book.’

Incidentally, it was also great to share The Bird in the Herd in an area where so many kids knew what a drover was! Prior to this, in the 14months since release day, during visits to schools and libraries in country and city locations, I have had one child who knew about drovers. (Yet every child can tell you about cowboys! And we don’t even HAVE cowboys in Australia. Aside from football teams.) Drovers are such an important part of our Australian heritage – and are still in operation today. (And not just in the North Burnett.) Yet Australian kids know more about their American counterparts.🤦‍♀️ This is why Australian kids need Australian farming stories!

I am for sure looking forward to more author events in the near future – and sharing Miss Understood with kids of all ages and sizes. Though there will always be something special about that reading at St Joseph’s, with my parents in the room. Dad was a pig farmer, so we grew up surrounded by pigs, their smells – and the puns! (There were even three kids in our family.🐷🐷🐷) Though I cannot recommend pigs in wedding photos…

Poetry Friday this week is with the lovely Linda at A Word Edgewise. Correct me if I’m wrong, Linda – but I am pretty sure that Miss Understood was one of those stories we shared at your dining room table… 

Photo credits (and thanks) to St Joseph’s, North Burnett News, and staff at North Burnett Regional Council libraries. Photos shared with permission.

Poetry Friday Round-up – Release Week

I cannot believe it is the first week in March already – and yet, here we are, with storms and floods ravaging large areas on the south-east coast of Australia and Ukraine digging deep to show incredible fortitude in the face of aggression. My heart has been heavy. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 (NIV)

And in amongst this turbulence, What Snail Knows slipped quietly into Australian bookshops – followed by beautiful, detailed reviews and so much love. I hadn’t expected such a response – and I am incredibly thankful for those who have taken the time to share. Here’s a little snippet from some of them. (Click the reviewer’s name to read each review in its entirety.) 

💗 Kim Yeoman: I am in awe once again of Kathryn Apel’s skill in weaving together similes, metaphors, alliteration, imagery, rhyme and shape poetry with compassion and creativity to tell Lucy’s story.

💗 Lamont: Lucy is a character that you will fall in love with from the start. This story will be thoroughly enjoyed by junior to middle primary level readers.

💗 Sandy Bigna: This beautifully constructed verse novel for younger readers gently illuminates themes of loneliness, belonging, kindness, friendship and family. It will both break your heart and make you smile. Highly recommended for your 7+ reader.

💗 Barbara Braxton: A most poignant verse novel… a potent story of loneliness, friendship, acceptance, and building and connecting with community.

Mandy Foots light pencil artwork bring Snail and Lucy to life.

To coincide with release week, I was interviewed on the Australian Alphabet Soup blog, so if you’re intrigued about the answer to any of these questions, click the pic to read more.

Australian readers can also leave a comment on UQP’s Facebook or Instagram giveaway posts for your chance to win a copy of the book.

And don’t forget to leave your links below, for the Poetry Friday round-up.

I’m looking forward to catching you all on the rounds.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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The Little Things

I am determined to post again – so today I’m sharing two poems I’ve had sitting in my files for many-many years. I’d never seen fireflies until I was married. And we still don’t see them often. Didn’t seen them at all during the drought years. But I saw some on Christmas day… and again, two weeks ago.

Fireflies

Fanciful
fireflies
fritter
the night away,
flitting
and flashing
like flickering
festive
fairylights.

By contrast, drought or floods, there are always ants. (And lots of them!)

Ants

Bit by bit
they thieve
and leave.
Left, right,
left, right,
left, right…

Left!

Poems © Kathryn Apel – All rights reserved

Hoping the little critters in your life are sparking your joy – not stealing it!

Someone who sparks my joy is Tabatha – and she’s hosting Poetry Friday this week, at The Opposite of Indifference. (She had some fun animal couplets last week. If you haven’t already seen them, scroll back for a smile.) Thanks Tabatha.

Wonder (of wonders, I am here!)

I’m becoming reacquainted with my computer after a break through the Christmas/New Year period. There are so many things I could post – but I just can’t yet pull those thoughts together, so for today, I’m keeping it simple with a poem (right) inspired by a moment of wonder I experienced this week.

My last post mentioned snail eggs. Well – I have since hatched four clutches of snails! But the tiny snails that hatched this week were a complete surprise – and so small, they almost escaped notice! There aren’t many – but I spotted T2 busily laying more eggs today…

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There are more bubba snail pictures on my Instagram page – and lots of other things, too, actually. 🙂 (I’m still basking in the beauty of yesterday’s sunset.) Click the montage to go directly and you’ll see I didn’t completely fall off the face of the earth, even though my blog was quiet.

And there are more poems on the Poetry Friday round-up, which you’ll find (with a jewel of a pomegranate poem) at https://ayearofreading.org.

Thanks Mary Lee for hosting the Poetry Friday crew this week. I made it! (Just…)

Coming Soon! What Snail Knows

I am delighted to share the cover of my upcoming verse novel with you. Illustrated by Mandy Foot and published by UQP, What Snail Knows will be releasing March 2022 in Australia.

Some of the words that have been used to describe it thus far include; delicate, gorgeous and whimsical, pretty and fairytale. I’m utterly charmed. But don’t be fooled – because there’s toads and things inside! But mostly, there’s a sweet and sensitive little girl called Lucy. And Snail. So much Snail!💕

A moving verse novel for younger readers about a shy girl coming out of her shell with a little help from her pet snail.

Lucy and Dad move a lot, so it’s hard to make friends. Luckily, she has Snail, the perfect pet for a lonely girl. If only she had her own shell to hide in each time she started at a new school.

But this place is different. She likes her teacher, Miss Darling. She likes her classmates, especially Tahnee. She even likes Mei-hui’s van park, where she lives with Dad and Snail. This place feels like home. But can she convince her Dad to stay?

A story about making friends and finding where you belong.

Available for pre-order now, via the UQP website.

Special shout-out to the lovely Linda Mitchell, who messaged me offering to be a beta-reader at a time when I was swirling in doubts. If it wasn’t for you, this manuscript might still be hiding in the snail shell that is my computer. And that’s the truth! 💕

No poem from me today – just this gorgeous cover, and the promise of many more poems inside!

Mary Lee is hosting the Poetry Friday Round-up, which promises many more poems, too. You’ll find it here; https://ayearofreading.org. Thanks, Mary Lee!

A Whisker of Poetry

Could there be a better OpShop find? I will only talk in cat poems from now on.

 

life will be
crazy
little kitty –
pounce
like a tiger

(This untitled cunning whisker of poetry © Kathryn Apel – All rights reserved)

Feline Affection

mischievous cunning;
pounce
nip
swat
hiss
trick
play
scratch

stripe like a tiger

cat

(This wild whisker of poetry © Kathryn Apel – All rights reserved)

The lovely Irene will help you Live Your Poem – and share fabulous poetry inspiration from the whole Poetry Friday gang. Have a tigerific weekend. I’m excited for next week – a whole week talking books and poetry as author in residence at St John the Baptist Catholic Primary School … Swoon! Purrrrrfect!)

Nothing… 😶

I’m rather delighted to share another short poem published on the  Dirigible Balloon this week. Contrary to what you might think, it’s a poem where I have nothing to say. Intrigued? You can read (and hear) more here.

I’m also excited to say that I’ve had a sneak peek at the new Australian verse novel resource that a small team of us have been working on – and it is amazing! I’m so excited that it is almost ready to unveil for the world. I’ve always known Australia has a rich history in verse novels, and appreciated the support of my publisher, UQP, who are so much a part of that rich history, but who knew that we (Australia) have published so many for children!

Here is an interesting fact I learnt this week, in a blog post by Steven Herrick on the release of his new novel, ‘How to Repaint a Life’. Steven writes;

I’d like to acknowledge Leonie Tyle and UQP, who twenty-five years ago had the courage to release the first verse novel for young adults ever published in Australia. They followed this a few years later with the first verse novel for children ever published. Both were happily written by me.

You can read Steven’s full blog post here; https://poetryfootballtravel.blogspot.com

Catherine at Reading to the Core has the Poetry Friday round-up for today. And I have lads home at intervals over the weekend, and a plan to enjoy our short time together again. But I will look to catching up with your posts, even if I don’t get to comment much this week. Whatever your weekend involves, I hope it is wonderful!

Dirigible Balloon – Hooroo!

I’m drifting in a little early this week to share news that one of my poems has taken flight on the Dirigible Balloon, a new UK website featuring poetry for children. For something a little different, there’s also a reading of the poem, from me. You’ll find it here; https://dirigibleballoon.org/poem/Hooroo

Dirigible Balloon, created and curated by poet Jonathan Humble, is quickly soaring to success. Maybe you’ve got a poem that would enjoy the ride, too?

I’m sneaking in early with this post – but Laura will be collecting links on Friday at Laura Purdie Salas. Thanks, Laura!

Hooroo!