Reading At Riverbend Books

Reading at Riverbend Books, next week!

Magic Fish Dreaming

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WEDNESDAY 18th January 11am

RIVERBEND BOOKS

193 Oxford Street, Bulimba Queensland 4171

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Excited to be doing my first reading gig at a bookshop at Riverbend books, a shop I just adore.

We will also  do a creative activity to encourage children and their parents to create their own poems.

This is free but you need to book in at the Riverbend events link  MAGIC FISH DREAMING EVENT

“Help your kids discover the magic of poetry these school holidays at our special kids poetry event!

Magic Fish Dreaming by June Perkins is sure to ignite your young ones imaginations!

On Wednesday January 18th at 11am, June will read us some of her delightful poems, followed by a craft session perfect for kids between the ages of 5 and 9.

This is a free event, but places are limited, so be sure to book and join us for this…

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Magic Fish Dreaming at the Big Draw

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Courtesy of Ozan Tortop

It was a brilliant weekend reading some of the work from Magic Fish Dreaming, at the Big Draw, at the State Library.  This marked the first public appearance where Helene and I shared samples of the book.  Heidi, our designer, worked on three pages especially for this event.

Perched comfortably in a super red story chair,  miked up, and with a red mat for families to sit on, I read three poems, ‘Wishing For A Fish,’ ‘Beyond Caterpillar Days’ and ‘Discovering Magic.’

I asked if any of the audience had been to Far North Queensland, and one parent had grown up there.  I then explained about the kickstarter and working together with Helene on the book and pointed her out in the audience.  I actually picked her as my illustrator which you don’t usually do with a mainstream publisher.

I talked to everyone a little bit about fishing and the large and beautiful Ulysses butterflies from where I used to live.

I asked if any of the children knew what a Thylacine was, and told them about it being extinct, and then showed them where it was tucked in the illustration.  They came closer and looking for all the animals on the dragon.  Many of them they identified straight away and some were trickier like the thylacine and quoll.

At the end one young man asked, ‘Did you write all those poems?’

I then gave out an activity based on ‘Discovering Magic’ and some launch invitations and posters.

Then over at the demonstration art area Helene gave a sneak peak of the story board, and insights into her illustration process.

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Courtesy of Ozan Tortop

This included a delightful video demonstration.

 

It was great to catch up with Helene, as we are both busy completing a variety of projects other than Magic Fish Dreaming,  which is presently with the designer.  We stay in touch of course via email and phone, but it is always great to see each other in real space.

We loved having this opportunity to present on the same day and we’re thankful to all the organizers for inviting us.

14040117_10209111617920497_7918633927857669289_nOne of my dear friends from Goodna,  Minaira, traveled with a friend to give support on the day.  She is  a fabulous artist and it was lovely to see her connecting and chatting with Helene.  It was special to share this first public reading with someone I consider family.  I hope to see her illustrated books one day too.

14068406_10209112114052900_9123785854540585190_oHere I am with these dear young women from Goodna.

14067833_10209111617880496_8193615689196394645_oAnother friend to offer her support, and one of our many kickstarter backers, was Nancy, who came along with her husband Andrew.  Nancy, Helene and my friends from Goodna all took some fliers to distribute in their areas to let people know our launch is on October 30th.  It’s support like this that made our book happen in the first place.  So thank you all!

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                                                                          Courtesy Nancy

There were many other fabulous readers on the day  and it was lovely to learn from them how they do it particularly Peter Taylor with his Puppets, Sarah Owens, with her use of kinetics and a bike horn.   It was also brilliant to see Shannon Horsfall, reading ‘Was Not Me’ and sharing her art processes.

Illustrators Anil, Giuseppe, and Lachlan were just brilliant to watch in action.  Anil was so relaxed working with her digital tools and looking at her work in progress on the screen.

My fellow Write Linkers  produced two collaborative stories with the guidance of Charmaine Clancy.  Children made their way to the art tables to illustrate these, and had some volunteers to talk to whilst they did their art, with either an art or writing background.  These are some of the art works fromthe children in response to the story.

 

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Upstairs Charmaine was conducting a Writer’s Workshop for youth. I caught up with her briefly before heading home.

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To see more photographs and details of the day head to the Children’s Book Council Awards – Queensland Branch  facebook space.

A big thank you especially to Sam Sochacka  for coordinating the program and volunteers, all the Write Linkers who were there in force, and a big thank you to our first audience for making it such a great experience.

Listening Divas

Dad
Family Archives – with Dad

When we were young, Dad told us bed time stories. They were always silly with us in starring roles.

Dad liked Spike Milligan and AA Milne. Sometimes he’d recite his favourite poems and direct them to one of us. Snatches of AA Milne come back to me at the oddest times, with his poetry of children whose parents run away and cautionary tales to not step on the cracks in the footpath.

Dad’s stories were funny and satirical but sometimes we protested about the way he portrayed us. We were unruly characters, tiny divas, jostling for bigger and more complimentary roles. We directed our storytelling Dad just so.

Our favourite thing was Dad giving us magical powers. We told him the names we wanted and what we should be doing.
‘No I wouldn’t do that.’
‘I should be taller’
‘I need to run faster’
‘I’d jump to … the moon’

We loved to take over his stories. Sometimes our diva listening ways were so out of control they would make our storyteller abandon his tale and he’d grab out the Muddle Headed Wombat book to read to us and do all the characters voices for us. Tabby Cat, Mouse and Wombat became our friends. I read all the books when I had mastered the art of reading.

Read the Rest of this story over at  ABC Open

And catch up with Ali’s Posts on World Read Aloud Day

Listening Divas – A Family Ritual Contribution

You can find Listening Divas over at the ABC Open project 500 words.

It’s day one of the project and we already have twenty contributions.  These began coming in this last week.

There are some beautiful stories arriving into the space.  My present favourite has to be Helen’s Puftalons.   The combination of rain, food, and overcoming drought is just mesmerising.

I like writing about the everyday that elevates it to some poetic level and I think Helen has achieved that.

There are lots of others to appeal though on themes from holidays to christmas and I’m sure there’s many more stories on their way

Yesterday I began work on my memoirs.  Some of the stories I’ve written for the ABC Open challenge will be in there, others are from the blog here, and my personal blog challenges, some are written for writing challenges over at Write Practice and some are never before seen stories.

I am so excited about it.  As of this morning the memoirs is at 25,000 words.  I have listed several more titles for story/passages  I wish to write, have a structure that I think is working. I’m not going to share it all here. You will just have to wait for the book.  After all you need some surprises!

I might give a sneak peak now and then of the work in progress, but I’m having a ball writing it, so  I hope you’ll have a ball reading it.

Listening Divas
My Dad – with us as Kids- by Anna Ako
When we were young, Dad told us bed time stories. They were always silly with us in starring roles.
Dad liked Spike Milligan and AA Milne. Sometimes he’d recite his favourite poems and direct them to one of us.
Snatches of AA Milne come back to me at the oddest times, with his poetry of children whose parents run away and cautionary tales to not step on the cracks in the footpath.
Dad’s stories were funny and satirical but sometimes we protested about the way he portrayed us. We were unruly characters, tiny divas, jostling for bigger and more complimentary roles. We directed our storytelling Dad just so.
Our favourite thing was Dad giving us magical powers. We told him the names we wanted and what we should be doing.

‘No I wouldn’t do that.’
‘I should be taller’
‘I need to run faster’
‘I’d jump to … the moon’

We loved to take over his stories. Sometimes our diva listening ways were so out of control they would make our storyteller abandon his tale and he’d grab out the Muddle Headed Wombat book to read to us and do all the characters voices for us. Tabby Cat, Mouse and Wombat became our friends. I read all the books when I had mastered the art of reading.

These stories were important because when we were very small our Dad was often away for long periods working as a labourer. Partly because of not having qualifications from his years in Papua New Guinea and partly due to prejudice over our Mum’s race he found it difficult to get and keep other work.

Our Mum told us when Dad came home after long labouring jobs my little brothers had forgotten who he was, and would hide behind her crying as the strange man with the overgrown beard came to hug us.

When Dad was finally home again for most of the time, we were able to know him again through the storytelling ritual.

Just as we were getting used to on tap Dad, he was away again to study and become a teacher and then later a librarian. Luckily I could read some of the books he had read to us so I didn’t miss him too much. Dad lived in another town with a landlady and sometimes we would visit him.

Dad hitch-hiked home to see us when he had a chance. This time when he came home we would come running out to meet him and my younger brothers would pipe up with ‘a story, a story.’ I listened for old time’s sake.

I was less of a listening diva because by this stage I was writing my own stories – partly thanks to my Dad’s early storytelling efforts to reconnect with his children.

For more on the ABC 500 Word Project Head to ABC Open, and check out  rituals families have.

Imagination on Fire – Tropical Writers Festival part 1.

june and gretal2Meeting Gretel Killen- She spoke to each person as she signed their book, just finished reading it today – REVIEW coming soon.

What does it mean to have an imagination on fire? Is it never having a dull thought, or boring words but rather an array of wordsmithing skills that can polished until they are gleaming? Is it going beyond the expected to find a voice that is unique, individual and surprising?

Then there are all the practicalities.  How to go beyond writing and the the craft itself, to finding an agent, a book that is bound, self published, or published by others, and funded maybe even by a grant of some sort.

There there is the way in which writers present- that is an issue that is now going all sorts of directions, multi arts, ebook, blog and online platforms. And what are the ethics of it all! With online bullying rife how can you ensure young readers are not being ‘corrupted’.

What constitutes great and classic literature versus the airport trashy read? One of the most engaging discussions of the festival was the Book club, sponsored by ABC, which featured Journalist Gavin King, ABC’S Fiona Sewall, Gretel Killen and Mayor Val Schier. It was chaired by Angela Murphy. They discussed each of the following books in some detail – Girl with the Dragon Tatoo, by Stieg Larsson, Lloyd Jones’s Mr Pip and a Tim Winton’s novel Cloud Street. Gavin felt Tim’s characterisations were a little boring whilst others said he was ‘gentle with his characters’ even if they did not have admirable traits.

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The whole panel, Gretel Killeen, Val Schier, Gavin King, Fiona Sewell

The discussion was on fire with a spirited discussion of Winton’s artistry and capturing to the Australian vernacular – with some for him and his beautiful prose (Fiona) and others seeing him as rather long winded (Gretel and Gavin). Only Mayor Val Schier, enjoyed Stieg, with the others finding him a terrible writer.  Although there was a discussion of whether something had been lost in translation by Collin’s bookseller. His depictions of women were not appreciated by some of the panel, whilst later an audience member was to say he was a typical Norweigan man. There was some discussion about how one of his characters was based on Pipi Longstocking, which Gretel was disgusted with.  Also Eat, Pray, Love now a movie, although not up for discussion officially got a canning from Gretel for it’s depiction of women.

Mr Pip was universally praised as one of those books that makes you cry on the public transport on the way to work! As many of the audience were unfamiliar with the book, they plot was shared but it was the deftness of the prose that was also praised. The book was written by a journalist, perhaps accounting for the economy of the words. Why are some books more popular than others!

The final conclusion of the book club was that everyone should read! It opens doors and creates opportunities.

RESPONSES INVITED!  What was the last book you read that made you feel on fire, not only with imagination, but the will to write your own stories and to read more? 

 

book club presentation5Mayor Val discussing books!

 

book club presentation2In defence of Tim Winton, Fiona Sewell expresses her viewand Angela Murphy keeps the dialogue moving along

I will continue my reports of the festival in another post, as a long post might not lead you down the READING path.   Just to give you a teaser in posts to come there is the wit and vitality of the festival dinner, some multi media arts Mapping the Heart that was truly astounding,  meeting and networking opportunities (I meet someone who I haven’t seen for fourteen years) and of course my new mates the WINQ writers and Jacque Duffy.  We had a ball and our conversations about literature and life were as interesting as the Book Club.  I love North QLD literary community.

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Gretel gets her point across, with a bit of humour, passion and some keen intelligence.

(c) words and images June Perkins