Magic Fish Dreaming is one of those books destined for parents who understand the importance of reading a book to their children, a book that discovers magic in the country and its creatures. The words are joyful and magical. The illustrations are lovable, alive with shape, imagery and spirit.
This book is filled with poems that draw you into the peacefulness of the Australian bush. Poems that celebrate the creatures like Geckos’ Dance, Beyond Caterpillar Days, Tawny and Wishing for a Fish invite readers on a rhythmic journey with images to help them along the way.
Poems that feature the power of our environment like Storm Dancers and Lost at Sea gather readers up and ask them to explore the heart of far north Queensland.
Walking and thinking are truly a cure for a bad case of procrastinating starting something new.
Recently I have been constantly perched at my desk, and sometimes a lovely green recliner chair in front of the fish tank (that is when I can ‘rent’ some time from my daughter who just loves this chair) planning and planning a new novel, character by character, scene by scene, and furiously studying how to build scenes through reading a text-book.
I’ve been researching setting (more still to do) and yet the first pages remained unwritten for several weeks.
I’ve been writing other things; four poems, a short prose piece, a short observation piece; as well as editing several picture books.
I’ve been reading quite a few books for children, young adults and adults to see what I like in my own reading and what techniques I like from other writers.
I’ve been avoiding my novel project.
But a couple of days ago I knew I just had to start doing the hard yards of writing and completing my first novel, lest this become the novel unwritten!
I began to do more walking. Something about the fresh air, and moments to observe and day-dream suddenly lead to a productive writing session of the opening! As I walked the voice to open the novel became clear. That’s it! I suddenly felt like the journey of writing this novel was on!
Now heading into my third day of writing I have four scenes, and have established three central characters. I have made a pledge not to miss a novel writing session every day, even if its short, it is the sticking at it that is going to get me through, together with some change of scenes, and thinking breaks when required throughout the day, and of course I do have other things to do, being a mum, running a household, being a tutor and conquering some other things in life to enable me to grow as a human being.
I am doing the first draft, and have a goal of when I would like to complete it.
The outline does make me feel more confident that I can do this, although the characters may do some dynamic things, but I have a compass for them to help us all make it to the end.
Switching from short forms to long forms and finishing long forms has been a bit of an issue for me, and a recent realisation that many of my short stories are novels, or novellas in the making is a jolt to the writing senses. I have actually started three novels and not completed them. I could sigh, and say, ‘I just have to do this and make it through the first one!’ But I want a better attitude than that, and want that being in the flow writing experience. I do so love these characters and want to honour them!
On one of my trips out into the real world – I came across this random cafe poetry. It made me chuckle. It reminded me this novel cannot be completed by being chained to my desk.
Wondering about the opening
Apathy sets in
Lingering on other tasks until
Kickstarting this dream with the first scene after a walk.
Well I can’t stop in too long to this blog because there is a novel waiting for its next scene and a few submissions to put in so as to earn a crust.
Yes, I am walking today, and who knows what novelistic ideas I will daydream whilst I walk through my next scene.
Have a brilliant week wherever you are, and don’t forget the power of a walk and dream session!
June said: This is a triolet using the prompt ‘Blurred.’ The first words that came into my head were, ‘outlines crash into swirls’.
The trickiest thing with this poem was picking the artist. Would they be someone I personally knew who painted, a fictional small child, or someone who everyone knows that paints? I thought of a famous artist who used swirls, Vincent Van Gough.
I added the dedication to help with understanding of the poem.
I imagine this poem is an art class for early childhood with a teacher who likes to introduce the children to great artists, and likes to encourage them to look beyond the surface of the painting, into what it means to the artist who paints it. I decided to name the teacher after my favourite art teacher at high school.
(Published March 3rd at Australian Children’s Poetry Blog)
I’ve been doing some submissions for projects and hope to have good news for our fans soon.
With submissions of both projects and poetry publications I like to forget about them once they are in, working on my writing helps me to take my mind off them. At this stage all I can say is that some of these are not just for Magic Fish Dreaming, but the cause of poetry and children in general! Please cross your fingers and send your positive wishes !
I’ve always loved collaborating and recently began to have conversations with a number of Australian poets for children. I have always…
ISBN 9781925335347 Hardcover Picture Book EK Books. Endorsed by Paradise Kids, Reccomended retail price $24.99
It is a challenge to cover the deeper topics in life for young children in a way that is relatable, honest and caring, but Dimity Powell’s TheFix -it-Man sets out to do just that.
Nicky Johnston’s gentle joyful and equally caring illustrations take the reader through the happy although sometimes challenging times in a family that is about to be broken by something that just can’t be fixed. A double centre spread of predominantly subdued grey colours depicting a father and daughter nestled in a bean bag, is particularly moving, and marks a shift in the narrative from the fix-it-man to a fix-it-girl.
Another especially powerful metaphor for grief in the story is the broken teddy bear, ‘Tiger’ who needs mending. Our young narrator says, ‘Pieces spill out from Tiger’s heart, as Dad takes him from my hand. ‘I can’t fix him Dad.’
(Extract from upcoming review: for the rest visit this blog in April and also watch out for a moving interview with the compassionate Dimity Powell).