Look – Don’t Touch

More work from the archives of ABC Open. From the days of The 500 word project.

Following the Crow Song

Mum has always loved gardens.  She used to stop and knock on our neighbours’ doors when their gardens had plants with brilliant potential cuttings.   Then she would ask ‘Do you mind if I take a cutting?’

She came equipped with her own garden gloves, shears and buckets.  I wonder what the neighbours thought of her as she harvested their gardens.  I remember being embarrassed, but she did do it with everyone’s blessing.  I don’t remember anyone ever saying no to her.

Mum loved to try and grow tropical plants in Tasmania to remind her of her original home in Papua New Guinea.  She had immense pride when she had success with her hibiscus. She has always been a determined lady in both her garden and other parts of her life.

When we were little Mum clearly told us to stay away from her garden flowers – ’Look, don’t touch.’

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Blogging the North

A House Destroyed by Cyclone Yasi but the Roses are Growing – by June Perkins

16-06-28 WQ Perkins June 2016 Facebook link image replacement full width

I’ve had an article Blogging the North republished by the Queensland Writer’s Centre.

It covers the story of how I become a blogger for community for ABC Open’s aftermath.

This was the time my Smile Within Book  and exhibition began to be created.

You can still purchase the ebook online through the Australian Society of Authors.

You might like to visit posts like Tupperware Houses and A Guide to Documenting Disasters.

Other Relevant Links

The Smile Within Blogspot

Smile Within WordPress


Magical Mystery Tour – After Yasi Hosts Revealed


So now the After Yasi virtual book tour heads from Dimity Powell’s blog home  to Chairmaine Clancy’s web page.

I am so delighted with the retweets, shares, facebook posts, and comments coming into various spaces on facebook, the blogs and launch pages.  Queensland History, Australian Women’s Writers, ABC Far North, ABC Open and individuals like Sam Sochacka (amazing children’s literacy advocate) and others I have become twitter colleagues with, have really made my day.

A key part of setting up the blog tour is taking you on a journey through other blogs I admire.

Dimity is a tireless children’s writer who reviews books.  Charmaine is a dedicated author, teacher and writing retreat organiser whose blog seeks to encourage writers to develop their skills.

You all know how much I love ABC Open. They have been central to the mentoring that enabled many aspects of the ebook to be created.

Karen Tyrrell is dedicated to the development of resilience in children and adults.  She has many books people who like my book would also love reading.

Coming up are a poet, dance advocate, school counsellor, aid worker, and creatives.  But let’s leave some of the magic of their spaces a mystery as they are just around the corner.

My goal with this tour is to introduce the After Yasi –  Finding the Smile Within ebook to anyone who would benefit from reading it and exploring its various filmic, photographic and video hyperlinks.  Its first incarnations where a photo exhibition, followed by a community coffee table book mostly created for the contributors (but still available through blurb.)

The strength of an ebook is that for a full colour experience they are inexpensive and can encourage you to visit hyperlinked online materials.

If you visit any of the blogs leave a comment for your chance to receive a free copy of the ebook or a photographic print.

The tour will be continuing until February 3rd.  So stay tuned for the next installment.


After Yasi Blog Tour


After Yasi: Finding the Smile Within is going on a virtual book tour, commonly known as blog tour, blog hop or virtual book tour.  A big thank you to all those listed.

Best comments for each blog will be given a PRIZE, either a free copy of the ebook or a choice of a signed print of one of the photographs from the book. Would absolutely love it if you retweet, reblog and share this post – and the blog hop posts, to all your friends.

The After Yasi Blog Tour includes visits to:

Jan 27   (Tuesday) http://open.abc.net.au  ABC Open  (guest blog, June Perkins, storytelling tips for covering the recovery from a natural disaster)

Jan 27   Karen Tyrrell http://www.karentyrrell.com/

Jan 28 (Wednesday)  Dimity Powell (interview) http://www.dimswritestuff.blogspot.com.au/

Jan 29 (Thursday) Charmaine Clancy (tips for writing about a natural disaster) http://charmaineclancy.com/

Jan 30 Jedda Bradley  – (interview)https://www.facebook.com/jeddabradleyartist

Jan 31 (Saturday) Carol Campbell  (review) http://writersdream9.wordpress.com

Jan 31 (Saturday) Gail Kavanagh  (review) http://gailkavanagh.com/blog/

Feb 1 (Sunday) Owen Allen (focus Dance) http://owen59.wordpress.com/

Feb 2 (Monday)  Ali Stegert (focus children and youth after a cyclone) http://ali-stegert.com/

Feb 3  (Tuesday) Melinda Irvine http://businessonblue.com.au/

Feb 3   Wrap up and thankyou blog from June https://pearlz.wordpress.com

You can find sample pages and more details of the ebook here: http://gumbootspearlz.pressbooks.com/

You are welcome to attend from wherever you are in the world -the online launch -February 3rd.

See the facebook page: The Launch Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/866286073402069/?pnref=story

*This schedule is still subject to  minor changes but I will post any changes closer to lift off. Apologies the visit to Michele’s blog has had to be postponed due to unforseen circumstances.

Regional Festivals Matter

In the lead up to the Cairns  Tropical Writing Festival  (Sept 14-16 2014) I caught up with Diane Finlay, one of the driving forces behind it, to ask her just why a writing festival is so important to the building of the Far North Queensland Literary Community.

June:  Why is a writing festival so important to Cairns/North Queensland?

Diane: It’s not called Far North Queensland for nothing!

We are along way from many things and for a lot of writers the cost of air travel, hotels and festival attendance simply make it to difficult to do. So bringing a festival to the region seemed like the most logical thing to do.

Writing is often a lonely experience and even getting to a writers’ group can be quite a trek for some. BUT writers are willing to make the effort to travel to a writers’ festival if they can simply drive there.

The festival offers valuable networking opportunities, workshops and for the more confident writers a chance to present in the Public Arena.

 Diane and Tropical Writers Festival banner

June:  How long has the festival been going ?

Diane: The festival began in 2008 with huge enthusiasm from the regional writing community. The festival was so well received that meant it had to be done again

June: What are you planning for the upcoming festival and who is involved in organising it and  sponsoring it?

Diane: The festival committee has everything in place for an amazing line up of both local and interstate talent with some of the presenters recognised internationally.

As always the Public Arena forms the hub of the festival. This is put together by asking regional writers what they themselves would like to present and what talent they would like the committee to attract. In saying that who we want and who we get are two entirely different things!

BUT even in that there are wonderful serendipities – who would have thought that our literary dinner speaker would be Geraldine Doogue?

The Biggest Book Club has become an integral part of the festival – it is a wonderful way to capture the interest of readers. After all writers wouldn’t get very far without readers. We now have this event locked in on Sunday morning.

A great way to start the day – grab a coffee, sit back and enjoy the discussion/ dissection of three wonderful books – Heart of Darkness, Burial Rites and The Rosie Project.The Poets’ Picnic on Saturday lunchtime is sure to capture an audience. There will be poets, storytellers and open mic sessions and an opportunity to enjoy a picnic lunch in the gardens.

The festival is organised by a dedicated team of volunteers some from Tropical Writers Inc – the writers group who started this whole thing and others who are either connected with JCU or like myself heavily involved in the local writing community. Added to the mix for the first time is Melissa Robertson who has come on board as Events manager and Sonja Anderson as a late arrival to lend her skills as a communications specialist to widen the awareness net for this festival.

We have an amazing line up of festival sponsors and partners – those who have either tipped some cash our way or have lent valuable in-kind support. Thala Beach Lodge, Rydges Tradewinds, Cairns Airport, Cairns Regional Council and Cairns libraries, JUTE, Tropical Writers Inc., JCU, ABC Open, TTNQ, Ramsay Health Care, BDO, Collins Booksellers, Blackbooks, Screen Queensland, Queensland Government, Cairns FM 89.1 and last but by no means least – because they have been with us from the very first fledgling festival – the wonderful QWC.

June: What would make it easier to put on more festivals?

Diane: Long term events funding and that is now up to us – we’ve proven the festival’s viabililty and we have an established audience and the big picture in moving forward is very clear in the heads of those involved we just have to commit it to paper and make it happen.

June: What will help the festival survive?

Diane: The willingness of the regional writers to support it – their ongoing enthusiasm and the fact there is a real need to have something like this happening in such an iconic tourist destination. Look what happened in Bali – surely we can do that here?

June: How do you support regional writers?

Diane: The festival supports the regional writers by bringing in workshop content. Whilst QWC does have its regional program that one small organisation has to cover a lot of ground year after year so the festival can help fill the gap.

Also this year we have introduced “Snap up a Local” which is a book launch and book sales event designed especially to support the many talented writers who have published whether it be self published, partner published or mainstream published.

We would hope to keep this as a feature in future festivals. Any tourists attracted to the festival will be blown away by the huge writing talent this region produces.

For more details on the festival head to  their website : Cairns  Tropical Writing Festival  FRIDAY 12- 14th SEPTEMBER 2014