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!

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.

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!

Singapore Surprise

The blog has been quiet, as I’ve had lots of time travelling, firstly to Brisbane, for school and bookshop visits, followed by an unexpected (short notice) trip to Singapore to catch up with our son (briefly!) and experience the richly diverse country that he is calling ‘home’. Continue reading

Writing on the Rocks

The last month, I’ve been alternating between polishing (and submitting) picture books, and writing poetry. I’m busily at work on my Antarctic historical verse novel – trying new poetic forms and realising all over again how beneficial poetry is for writing. Truly seriously, if you are a principal, literacy coach, or classroom teacher (if you value writing muscle and creativity), you NEED poetry in your classrooms. Regularly! I know I say it often – but after an extended period of time fashioning facts into strict poetic forms I’m going to say it again – nothing builds writing muscle better than poetry. Nothing sparks creativity, wordplay and experimentation with literary devices better than poetry. It’s a challenge. It’s invigorating and rewarding. It’s valuable. It’s FUN!

Why aren’t we encouraging and enabling more kids to write more poetry?

Why do we clutter their curriculum with so many persuasives that kids can’t even be persuaded to want to WRITE!?  Everything feels so prescribed. Actually, I had a little rant about something similar on Twitter last week. So maybe I should just combine the two, and do the job properly! In the hope that someone who writes curriculum might one day stumble on my blog, I’m just going to include a couple of the tweets here…

To illustrate my point, about the muscle, creativity and economy of poetry, I’ll include a little snippet from my Antarctic WIP. And a picture. From Antarctica… (Any excuse to revisit Antarctica!!)

The poem is a tetractys, (or in this case, a double tetractys) and follows a specific syllable count.

Line 1 – 1 syllable
Line 2 – 2 syllables
Line 3 – 3 syllables
Line 4 – 4 syllables
Line 5 – 10 syllables

The double tetractys reverses the syllable count in the second half. A tetractys  can rhyme. Often mine do – but in this one I was focused on the facts and wordplay. And so many details! (Read more about the tetractys.)

The process. Early versions of a tetractys draft – though I know there were many other combinations that don’t seem to be in my document. #Ooops  There are ERRORS in the above, btw. Can you spot them?

The portion of text that shaped the poem.

Current version (after three days of tweaks) – which I can’t guarantee won’t change… but I’m feeling pretty chuffed with!

Dark
hill slope,
blinding snow,
slick, too-smooth ice,
frozen obstacle course and push-pull squalls.
Do not snuff the lantern! Record results.
Face and fingers
frostbitten;
wind has
teeth.

Tetractys © Kathryn Apel 2017 – All rights reserved

Different bay, different season, different era, different character, but… Antarctica! (So that’s okay – right?) #breakingalltherules

There are so many different forms of poetry – something for every reader, writer and situation. Some forms have ‘rules’, like the tetractys, while others offer freedom. Poetry is a wealth of creativity just waiting to be unleashed!

Irene will help you Live Your Poem (Yay!) as she collects the links for the #PoetryFriday round-up today. Thanks, Irene. Whether you’re a reader, a writer, an educator or a student, (anyone, really) I’m sure you’ll find good stuff there!

Brisbane Booking

I will be in Brisbane during the first week of August for author visits – and I have one day still available! I offer author talks and poetry workshops, for primary and secondary students – and staff.

“If you are a Brisbane school, I can highly recommend Kat for an author visit.” (Kim Yeomans)

Read Kim Yeomans’ teacher-librarian blog about my May visit to St Martins, in Melbourne.

More information under my Author Talks tab. I’d love to talk creativity and kindness with your class.

Whirlwind Week of Wonderful

Today is Friday – which makes it a poetry day! … After a whole WEEK of wonderful poetry days!! You can catch the link-up at Reflections on the Teche, where Margaret is hosting us this week. Thank-you Margaret. 🙂

Last night I arrived home from an author tour in and around Melbourne – and I had a blast! Talk about eyes opened. That is one HUGE city! But I covered north and south and centre in a wonderful crammed week of school visits, bookshop workshop, kidlit conference, networking, research, friending and just the teensy-tiniest smidgen of sleeping!

And I ticked a few big boxes! Continue reading

Too Many Friends – Release Day

Today is release day of my most joyous book, ‘Too Many Friends’. I am delighted to share this little ray of warmth and sunshine with the world. If you haven’t yet seen the trailer, click back to my previous post – because I’m still feeling pretty chuffed about that! Meanwhile, for this special day I thought I’d include two of my favourite pages from in the book. Not spoilers! Though they do fit with the themes in the book.

1) Dedication

Continue reading

Too Many Friends – Book Trailer

On Monday, my new verse novel is released – so this past week I’ve been busily behind the scenes doing things for that. And the ‘thing’ that took the most time, was the book trailer. After two full days of staring at my screen (Did someone say perfectionist…?) I am almost at the stage of needing glasses to see through my (new) glasses…

BUT… I have a book trailer!

Do you want to SEE it???

(Correct answer is YES! Because want to share it with you!)

 

My lovely editor Kristy had the idea for the gorgeous chapter headers (there are more!) throughout the book, and the amazing Jo Hunt excelled herself, going above and beyond anything Kristy and I had even dared to dream. Let this be my very heartfelt thank-you to you both! Aside from looking gorgeous in the book, they made my job with the trailer so much easier! (Or was it harder, deciding which images to use…?)

‘Too Many Friends’ goes on sale Monday, 1st May, but I heard from a teacher-librarian friend yesterday, who had attended a Professional Development in Melbourne, where it was ‘highly recommended’ by The Kids’ Bookshop. Kim bought a copy and read it last night, and her feedback was beautiful;

Such a gift for observing & capturing children’s thoughts/ feelings with yr exquisite use of words So much goodness in this book!😍 (@kimyeo)

Poetry Friday this week is being hosted on Teaching Authors, so be sure to skip across and collect the links and be inspired by all the wonderful ways you too can play with words in poetry. A special thank-you to Heidi Mordhorst and her creative class, who last week inspired me with their poems for two voices, which prompted another poem for my Antarctic WIP. (That’s a whole other kind of wonderful-good.)

As for me? I’m on a countdown to Monday… 😀

Title: Too Many Friends
Publisher: UQP
ISBN: 978 0 7022 5976 0
RRP: $14.95

Too Many Friends – Too Many Smiles!

It’s not every day you get a new book in the mail… But it’s always a good day!

A collage from my walk to the letterbox – playing bullrush with the cows on the way there … and back again. Because first they run away. (Good!) And then they run back!? (Bad!!) But we have lots of trees. (Phew.) So I go tree-to-tree.

Usually I wait until the cows aren’t between me and the mail, but I suspicioned there might be a blue book waiting… And there was. ‘Too Many Friends’ releases 1st May 2017. Not far away!

Reasons to smile. And smile. And SMILE! 🙂