After Yasi

So many memories. Had an interesting call from the Creative Recovery Network today, more on  what this might mean later.

After Yasi


Could you find your smile again when everything around you looked smashed and splintered after a cyclone?

The memory of that Yasi filled cyclone night is something that will never be fully erased, but the kindness since shown is something that with time will be more powerful.

This book illustrates with photographs and stories, the resilience and strong spirit of the Cassowary Coast people recovering their smile within and rebuilding their community spirit after Cyclone Yasi.

Especially suitable for community arts workers, health workers, volunteers, artists, writers, council, community planners, working in natural disaster zones and looking for practical ways creativity can assist in recovery.  May also be inspiring to people in natural disaster areas seeking inspiration to start their own community healing projects.

Book by June Perkins and Residents of the Cassowary Coast. June was a guest blogger for ABC Open’s Aftermath Project.

View original post 100 more words

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


A Story in 6- 50 Words -Return Tutor

A spine poem for the local library

A spine poem I created whilst living  in Tully 

‘Return tutor; bookshop; purchase it all.’

Well not really, just three books.

But since cyclone Yasi I haven’t been purchasing many books, more giving them away to good homes or recycling them into art (yes some were too mouldy to do anything else with them).

I realised after moving house twice in quick succession, and going through the delicate operation of rescuing physical books,  that we owned far too many; I swore after several ute trips with books and some heavy lifts up stairs with books, only to add as I subtracted (ie buy one give one away).

Why own books anyway we can always make trips to the library?  Up until I was sixteen I owned about 25 books. I saved all my pocket money to buy several JD Salinger books.  At the time I just loved his writing; having library copies was just not enough. University was to see me develop a great love for the bookshop!  Any spare money went to a purchase, but they had to be precious I’d reread it again ones.

I like to own manuals  and guidebooks I  can come back to on: bird life, plants, and how to improve any aspect of writing.  I borrow these from the library and have to return them before I finish every time. I do extensive online reading on these subjects and collect blog links to come back to (but sometimes I am distracted by the internet itself), but love having a cohesive chapter book that I can perch on my desk and refer to.

I like to own books for the feel of them, and arranging them on the shelves to remind me of the journey I have taken in study and life.

Back to the  present day university book store; I purchased:

1.Chris Sykes,How to Craft a Great Story

2.Hazel Edwards,The Writing Experiment

3.Markus Zusak,The Book Thief

I’m having so much fun with them and have read the first chapter of Skyes and Edwards.  I picked these two because I am now a registered tutor with a local university and will, cross fingers, have some students to mentor in the creative and research subjects. I wanted to get a handle on some of the contemporary university texts they will be studying as I wait for bookings.

I’ve been constantly studying and sharing writing, research and creativity in the field of general life, but just wanted to regain access to the academic point of view.

Soon I will have a uni library card again; then I can also explore the library shelves, but now to have a couple of on tap text books to work through and re-tune into the academic lexicon.

Why The Book Thief – I’ve heard so much about this book and so thought it would be good for my daughter’s birthday (and I could read it as well.)  I wanted to see why people love it so much and encourage the whole family to read it.

I’ve given so many books away – but those kept represent the most important aspects of my writing, life and reading journey. Maybe I’ll take you on a tour of my bookshelves.

I’m going to make a big effort this year to purchase some ebooks of contemporary fiction as I’d love to see what in the now writers are publishing.

Chris Skyes – Chapter 1 – is about developing 50 word stories.  He challenges readers by presenting them with a six word story and analyses how it is possible to create a story in just 6 words. I love this challenge and am already feeling enriched by reading Edwards and Sykes methodologies.

How great it would be to teach creative writing at university and develop a cohesive way of teaching creative methods like Sykes and Edwards have done, and then read the imaginative responses of students. Ah another dream in the making.

(c) June Perkins

After Yasi 4 year Anniversary – nearly here

February 2nd in Australia.

It’s been  weekend of reviews and this morning a profound chat with Ali.

Tomorrow it will be 4 years since Cyclone Yasi made landfall.  Presently Tropical Cyclone Ola looks like it won’t be too much hassle.  One of our sources of information during Yasi, other than the BOM site and ABC, were Oz Cyclone Chasers.  I still check their site to see how things are brewing in the Far North.

There is just one more blog hop  for the After Yasi Virtual Book tour, and then a wrap up post and launch.

The final blog we’ll visit is of profound and compassionate musician, Melinda Irvine, who is herself now working in Aftermath recovery in the Phillipines.

Over the weekend Carol Campbell,  Gail Kavanagh and Owen Allen posted reviews of the ebook.

“The eBook is an interactive experience that links to blogs and sources that show how people coped with the cyclone and the aftermath. It’s a rich trail of material that celebrates the human spirit in all its facets – despair, pain, recovery, optimism and resilience.blghopchristine

Among the highlights for me are Christine Jenkins and the anchor she tied to her house; Mr Hardy and his chainsaw optimism; and the wonderful poem Cassowaries Can Fly.”
Gail Kavanagh


“Having an interest in contemporary dance, I particularly appreciated that one of the recovery events that June documented was a dance workshop run by local dancer Danielle Wilson. Contemporary dance is still a less well-developed community art form in Australia.” Owen Allen


This morning Ali Stegert has shared her interview focusing on yasi and its impact on children and youth,  with thought provoking questions inspired by her background as a school counsellor.


Don’t forget that if you leave a comment on any of our blogs included in the virtual tour you will have a chance to win a free copy of the ebook or copy of the photographic print from the book.  Your chance to comment for a prize continues until the 6th of February.

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)  ABC Open  (guest blog, June Perkins, storytelling tips for covering the recovery from a natural disaster)

Jan 27   Karen Tyrrell

Jan 28 (Wednesday)  Dimity Powell (interview)

Jan 29 (Thursday) Charmaine Clancy (tips for writing about a natural disaster)

Jan 30 Jedda Bradley  – (interview)

Jan 31 (Saturday) Carol Campbell  (review)

Jan 31 (Saturday) Gail Kavanagh  (review)

Feb 1 (Sunday) Owen Allen (focus Dance)

Feb 2 (Monday)  Ali Stegert (focus children and youth after a cyclone)

Feb 3  (Tuesday) Melinda Irvine

Feb 3   Wrap up and thankyou blog from June

You can find sample pages and more details of the ebook here:

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

See the facebook page: The Launch Link:

*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.