After Yasi Blog Tour

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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.

Books and Brunch with Pam

Catching up with Pam for brunch at New Farm – October 4th

On Saturday I was delighted to catch up with my dear friend Pam Galeano, who was doing a visit to family and promoting her books, now available at New Farm Editions, and being the special lady she is before doing her author duties she treated me and my daughter to a birthday brunch as a present.

She has written five picture books over the last few years,Glissandra the Glider, Hull River Rolley, Elmo the orphan, Count Back Crocodile, and Cassowary Coast Count on Country, so next time you are over at New Farm Editions look for them on the shelves.

She has worked closely with three illustrators, all themselves talented ladies. I was fortunate to attend a few of the local launches in the Cassowary Coast.  Pam was one of the first people to make me and my family feel welcome during my time living there and I enjoyed our time together as part of the Licuala Writers Group and co-working together on our writer’s group anthology and other projects.

Boolarong now distributes all her publications to bookstores but she and her illustrator partners sell directly to tourism outlets and gift shops. Boolarong Press.

Pam and Books – at New Farm Editions

Discovering Youth Art

Last night a Youth Arts Exhibition opened at Mission Beach community Arts Centre.

These are just a few photographic highlights.

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Hayley, Sonya and Sheridan
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Young Singers – Buskers doing a gig
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Ben
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Some of the crowd

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A wonderful night was had by the over 50 people who attended.
 
As well as supporting young local artists, the evening gave families of the artists a chance to mingle and meet others from throughout the Cassowary Coast. Visitors from from as far as Townsville came to support the artists and the night, and artists and their families came from Feluga, Mission Beach, Murray Upper and Tully.
 
The biggest eye capturing piece was a street art sign saying Mission Beach Arts Rocks. This, along with some individual pieces displayed beside it, were made possible through money provided by the Cassowary Coastal council for a street arts workshop. This had a tropical twist to it, through featuring butterflies around the letters.
 
It did present a challenge to hang, but thankfully this was resolved, and at the conclusion of the exhibition will grace the outside of the gallery to add colour and youthful vitality.
 
Hayley Gillespie’s workshop resulted in a Discovering Me wall, full of vibrant pieces of portraits, butterflies, ying and yang and a colourful still life.  Hayley came to the opening and selected pieces for encouragement awards.  She commented on how much she enjoyed working with the young artists from the area.
 
Another school holidays workshop with Sally Moroney led to the inclusion of a wire sculpture of a giraffe made by Matilda, a six year old artist, who recently moved from Victoria to the area with her family.  Sally holds regular workshops for budding artists of the area and encourages them with their work.  She held a preliminary meeting to encourage their participation in the project.  They then put the word out to their friends as well.
 
A few students from Tully High school put in work, with Sonya, Caitlin and Sheridan all receiving encouragement awards.  Sonya, Judge’s Choice, Caitlin, composition, and wall display, Sheridan.  Each high school artist featured a dragon in her art and all are good friends.
 
Sonya had striking social commentary in some of her pieces, and a note about how she had obtained bones from animals to construct one.  Caitlin created delightful bird paintings on feathers amongst her three contributions. Sheridan’s mixed media wall had several digital art pieces, as well as a collage and some canvas work.

 

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Sonja

 
Other award winners where Shinji for his use of colour, and Georgia for her open and moving artists’ statements.  Vouchers for further art supplies were a welcome reward to the emerging artists.

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Matilda and her creation

 
There are many other noteworthy art pieces including an almost murder mystery trio of pieces.  You’ll need to go have a look at the exhibition to see what they were.  It is open until the 23rd of July.
 

Young musicians came and shared their instrumental and singing talents whilst attendees feasted on cheese, crackers and a sausage sizzle.  Sally made a discovery a young group of buskers who she invited along to participate in the night.
 
Ben, an up and coming guitarist, gave his guitar a brilliant and sustained workout; playing, blues, popular and classical to set a beautiful tone for the afternoon/evening.
 
Sonya gave a heartfelt thank you to Sally for all she does for local artists when arising to accept her award.  Many  parents also thanked her for providing this opportunity for young people from the area.  Hayley Gillespie was thanked for inspiring them as well, and some of the children and youth requested photographs with her.

 

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Young Artist and Hayley

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Chris and daughter, and Sally

 

Returning North

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This story  first appeared at ABC Open’s, New In Town.  Head over there to read more stories on this theme.

So many times my hubby and I were new and then gone.

We always seemed to be just settling in when it was suddenly time to go again.

This follow, or be blown, by the wind life style, which came about initially through being students and looking for work, courses and scholarships, had its down side.

We missed the people, especially extended family, left behind and often wished they could come in our suitcases.

The upside was that we always found something tantalising in the new, like when we first moved to North Queensland, to live in Townsville; that time over twenty years ago comes back to me in a huge memory wave – the long, long drive from New South Wales, the intense heat, the finding a hotel on the first night and the thankfulness for air conditioning. It was so different from my Tasmanian childhood upbringing.

I can still hear fruit bats in the trees, taste mango, and remember swimming for the first time in ocean that was like a warm bath. I remember days and days without rain. Townsville is dry tropics.

New places are vivid for the writer who thrives on a changing environment, so all these new experiences came into my life and my writing and enriched them.

During that time someone said to us, ‘once you’ve been North, you will never really leave.’ We didn’t know what they meant until we did leave when our eldest son was just one, only to return seven years later, as if by some invisible magnetic pull, but also disenchanted with the downside of life in cities.

It was a drive, further than before, past Townsville, past the cane, and heading into Tully, a town we had never heard of before – a town with a big gumboot.  Now we were in the wet tropics.

We had a tiny plastic turtle whose head wobbled up and down perched in the car, it was just one of many things to amuse our now three children in the back of the car. We named it Tully Turtle.

Looking at the photographs of when we first arrived here I see how small my children were back then, all three were under ten. Two are now teenagers, and one is heading to eleven.

We have lived the longest of anywhere our entire married life, eight years in the Cassowary Coast. Previous to that our average was about three years.

Now we know what it is to move beyond being new to being settled.

The lessons are that you learn to overlook the short comings of the area, like distance from health facilities, no public transport system, and people initially being suspicious of you and waiting to see if you will actually stay before even wanting to be your friend.

We’ve learnt what it like to live in the wet season, be flooded in, and long for days without rain.

We’ve learnt the joys and pressures of tiny communities and small schools.

We’ve learnt that there is something special your children attending school with mates they were at in kindy or year one with.

We’ve learnt what a community does to pull together in tough times like after Cyclone Yasi.  They become family.

When my friend Paulien visited from Holland – she took pleasure in all that was new – and kept telling my youngest two children how special their home was.

Surrounded by it all the time they take the Licuala palms, the cassowaries, the beach – all of it for granted, all of it home, none of it new now. Her wonder, made them curious about her home and why she should be so amazed – it made them want to travel.

They don’t remember what it’s like to be new to a whole area and how long it takes to make close friends. They are just at the beginning of life and they long for adventure.  They long for the tantalizing things that travel will bring.

(c) June Perkins