Final Hours Magic Fish Dreaming some Special rewards

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So we are down to the final 46 hours for Magic Fish Dreaming and we’re at 133 precious and beloved backers, We just need $342 to reach $10,000 AUD.

Mini Education kit $65 AUD
1 plushy native animal toy, 1 Tasmanian Tiger Toy, 1 printed book signed by author and illustrator, 1 calico bag, 1 pdf of educational activities (or printed copy if preferred), stickers and a4 posters
Release of another Totem Paradise Scarf Special (includes a poetry hunter kit, pictured above)
LARGE SCARF Bird of Paradise – Hand painted mother and brother, tribal totem Small scarf bird of paradise hand painted by Gerard Family June’s totem. [plus earlier rewards, but excluding educational]
Two books, two calico bags, $50AUD (Custom Reward)

 

Writers New to Blogging – Handy Tips 1#

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Photo by Ivanneth, Creative Commons

Ivanneth Creative Commons

So you’re a writer and have started a blog because everyone has told you to do so. Now you’re wondering how to go about it.

1) Pick your theme. With themes it’s a good idea to check what they look like on phone and tablet as well, as some themes translate better across devices and people may read your work on their tablet rather than laptop or pc. Personally I like clear uncluttered layouts. The theme used on this blog at the moment is sketch.

2) Choose interesting and related topics. 1)How you researched or created your book (really interesting for historical books) 2)Typical days in your writing life 3) Interview with a character or expert in your field 4) Interviews or reviews of works in your genre that you admire 5) Great news you want to share (be humble though). I currently have a memoir focused blog, a poetry blog and my After Yasi blog.  I appeal to different readers on each blog, and feed it back into a homebase blog (via reblogs) to people who like to follow all I’m getting up to in multiplatform storytelling.

3) Think about your readers. Often writers new to blogging wonder who will read my blog? Key groups are: readers  and writers of the genre, potential future publishers, other bloggers and people following a tag online (wordpress, twitter). ie topic of interest #cricket #wellbeing #diet #australianhistory #youngadultwriter

4) Adhere to WordPress Advertising Guidelines. Don’t create a blog that is just a book tour blog consisting of already written publicity material to just sell books, but do feel free to blog about your book (as above) and link to where to buy it.

Read these WORDPRESS ADVERTISING GUIDELINES. You absolutely can share the journey and views on your own original book and reviews. The key to this is that you are not sending people off to just buy the work of others (running a publicity business) all the time or doing anything terrible like promoting pirated books and get rich schemes.

On the After Yasi blog I have a wide variety of material, how the book was created, extensions of stories in the book, interviews, and any interesting news.There are side links to resources people reading the book will find interesting. It is as much a resource as the ebook.

5)  Edit. Considering who will read your blog, always try to edit your work well before putting it up on line.  Although I also like to share drafts of work to give insights into the creative process.

6) Keep it short and regular.  Be aware most people don’t read a post over 500 words.  If you are going to write something longer (which I do sometimes), you need to keep the reader hooked in with techniques like placing interesting images throughout the post, or posting it in parts.

(c) June Perkins

(Future posts to cover- innovations in blogging- blogging as an art form –  legal  and ethical considerations, blogging for a daily writing habit )

Murray Upper Cultural Day: A Photo Essay

Recently my son’s school went for a cultural day with some local Elders.

The day began with a Welcome to Country.

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Welcome to Country – June Perkins

The children broke into smaller groups and some went for a rainforest walk to learn about the plants.

It rained on the way so some of the students made hats out of leaves.

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Elder Talking about Plants – June Perkins

The children learnt about weaving.  They had to watch carefully.

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Weaving Elder – June Perkins

Some made a very good attempt at it.  A few managed, with some assistance, to nearly finish small baskets.

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Weaving – by June Perkins

Then a yummy damper, made by the Elders for lunch, was enjoyed by all. It was topped with syrup.

Every single piece went.

Cutting up Damper - June Perkins
Cutting up Damper – June Perkins

The children shared their fruit with the Elders and also teacher aides made the Elder’s warm cuppas as they worked with the children.

Reciprocity is important!

Elder Weaving & Cuppa - June Perkins

The children  attempted to make smoke, traditional style, and mainly made their hands warm!  No chance of any fire in the forest.  Lots of rain around too.

Making Smoke - June Perkins
Making Smoke – June Perkins

The children did some painting on bark and paper.  One of the teacher aides put a dot for every child who came on the excursion onto some bark.

She hopes this event happens with even more organisation and participation from community next year.

Bark Painting - June Perkins
Bark Painting – June Perkins

On the way home we all visited the information centre to view some artifacts.   We had to go in, in small groups as it was a small building.

There were some examples of baskets and shields within.

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Information Centre- June Perkins
Information Centre- June Perkins

The day ended with a bus trip back to school and time for everyone to reflect on what they had learnt.

A slide show of the trip was shared at school that evening.

A copy of all the photographs, including some not featured here or on the public flickr link is with the school

and parents can ask for them care of the school.

You can see more pictures here  at:  Murray Upper Culture Day

The Power of Excellence and Dolls: Piece 14

My idea of beauty as I grew up was fair skin, straight blonde hair and green or blue eyes.

Why did I choose the opposite of my own curly dark hair, dark skin, and brown eyes?

Are we naturally inclined to opposites, or was I being shaped by the popular culture around me?  I was given hand me down dolls when we were growing up in a housing commission area in Devonport, and they were always blonde with blue eyes.

When I first went to school I was often picked on for my dark olive skin, called names I don’t want to repeat beginning with N and A and B, and subjected to hearing jokes about dark skinned people.  I was teased and taunted on the bus trip to school every day in my first year and began to walk to school to have some peace and quiet.

I had stones thrown at me in the street and names called out.  ‘Go home, back where you came from’ the neighbours’ kids would say.

My Dad trying to make me feel better would say “white skinned people like me, we get sunburnt more easily, and why do you think people tan themselves, they like olive skin” but then he would always say “you’ll have to do twice as well to be treated equally.”

Mum and he later told me that they had been upset when one of my teachers had said “she is so smart despite her “background,” I have her help teach the others.”  They didn’t tell me until I was much older, in case I stopped liking that teacher when in her class.

Later I went to a small school of rainbow coloured and cultured kids, where for the most part you were accepted regardless of your colour or age, although sooky spoiled kids weren’t well regarded.  It was cooperative based and we weren’t graded but passed milestones we set in written contracts with our teacher.  I went to the houses of the other children on visits and we were all like one big family.

We went on lots of interesting trips throughout Tasmania, and did art, music and movement.  Once we went out to see mud brick house built.  We kept journals and went on regular outings to the town library.

One day my parents could no longer afford to send me there, and put me back into the mainstream system.

Whilst I missed some of the freedom and acceptance of my old school mates, my new school had an inspiring footballer for a teacher.  He encouraged me to excel at sport and told my parents to sign me up to athletics, swimming and netball. He was a true coach to the students, a former footballer, and strict but fair.

I began to feel hungry for excelling at things, as he encouraged healthy competition.  Awards came my way and I liked the feeling receiving them gave me.  It made up for standing in the free list line to obtain my free paper and being yelled at by the office lady.

‘How can you use so much paper?’  So her inquisition would begin

Undaunted I would say ‘I have a lot of assignments.’

Our football coach teacher was amazing.  He gave me the courage to compete without making me feel it was just to fit in, like my Dad unwittingly had.  He also made us run around the block of the school every morning so we could concentrate better in class.

Although I had loved my cooperative school there was a competitive streak within me that needed an outlet.  Later I would learn the best person to compete against is yourself, and some of the cooperative learning from my small school would come back into my nature.

I would also come across a dark skinned barbie doll, with movable joints and buy it for my daughter.   She was glamorous and fit, statuesque and I realised I no longer thought of myself as needing to have straight blonde hair and green or blue eyes. I still love the feeling doing my best gives me, and I know that knowledge and excellence do give you power.

Today I think fondly of that school where children cooperated, supported and could be like one family – and where I was always allowed to have as much paper as I wanted from the school supply cupboard.

Inspired by the Who Shaped Me project for ABC Open, this month’s  Pearlz Dreaming blog theme will be about the people who inspire me and there are lots of them! Goal 19 pieces on Who Shaped Me.

The First Grader

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Juli-Dali art – Photo June Perkins

 

Just watched an awesome movie about never being too old to learn, the inspiring story of Maruge.  The synopsis gives you the general gist of this film based on a true story.

It has some brilliant turning points to watch out for and is one of those films you will never forget watching.  I love the high points in the movie like where Maruge has to show strength of character and stand up to others, but there are special moments like when he uses a goat to pay for a trip to Nairobi. How many more inspiring stories like this are there out there?  I feel so lucky to have learnt this one. The colonial rule of the past is something with far reaching consequences if it is too quickly forgotten, and education is a tool to building a new future in Kenya.

This story reminds me of how privileged many people in our world are, and how others have very limited resources but make the most of every opportunity given to them to learn.  Jane Obinchu, the teacher, who gives Maruge the opportunity to go to Primary school, even though he is eighty four, is an awe inspiring lady.  She reminds you of just what a difference great teachers can make in their communities.

I recommend this film highly to anyone who ever feels they are too old to learn something or make a difference or who is trying to find the courage to stand up for what is right.

For more see The First Grader.