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Archive for June, 2014

Tracy Ryan

A lovely insight to a poet I have admired for years; Tracy Ryan.

I Don't Call Myself a Poet

Interview with Tracy Ryan by Aaron Tilson-Brown

Tracy’s shared blog.

1. In a personal perspective on the subject, what does poetry mean to you?

For me, poetry is a way of making sense of the world, and of language. That’s both for reading and for writing it. Life would seem very much the poorer to me without it.

2. When did you first realise that poetry was the path you wanted to pursue?

I loved reading poetry from early childhood, but it wasn’t until about age 16 that it “clicked” for me as what I wanted to do. My school literature teacher took our class to see a “moved reading” of the poems that were set for the exam syllabus, both Australian and British poems. This was done by professional actors in a theatre in the city. I was so overwhelmed by the power of the performance of these…

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My daughter’s studio. #JessicaMcCallum © 2011

My daughter Jessica McCallum’s  3rd exhibition ‘All the Pretty Ones Are’  (all things Circus) was held in 2011 at the Heath Ledger Theatre foyer in the new and exciting State Theatre Centre.

I feel the poetry I wrote to the artworks of  that exhibition, was some of my best; particularly this one written from a childhood memory of the circus coming to our small town in Africa.  Although he was an Indian elephant –  African elephants can’t be tamed and I love them more, for that.

The Global March for Elephants and Rhinos is a call for a world-wide response to the continued senseless cruelty – the terrible things happening to these beautiful, wise, gentle creatures.

Just weeks ago what’s said to be the largest bull elephant in Africa; Satao of Tsavo in Kenya had his face hacked off for his magnificent tusks!

All this information is thanks to  Harry Owen on Facebook:  I’ve  mentioned before, his book to raise funds for the cause of saving Rhino’s and can’t wait for my copy…

Meanwhile  I thought I’d share another of my poems from that exhibition.

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Artwork 2 of 4 from the ‘Play’ series, sketch in progress. #JessicaMcCallum © 2011

 

When I was a child

I remember thinking

that chain around

the elephant’s leg

wasn’t strong enough.

 

Elephants are tough!

 

If he wanted, he

could free himself just

by lifting that mighty foot

shaking the metal loose

and walking away…

 

Why does he stay?

 

No-one could stop him

If he chose to go, take

his own path. No more

performance on command

– he could find some green.

 

Walk through jungles again!

 

Elephants are tough so

why does he stay, stroll

through sawdust, put up

with that lady who leans

into his ear, whispering…

 

It’s because he loves her.

 

#FrancesMacaulayForde   #JessicaMcCallumArtist  #AllThePrettyOnesAreExhib  #HarryOwen  #GlobalMarchForElephantsAndRhinos  #SataoOfTsavo

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A couple of weeks ago in my blog posting ‘SOME FOLKS FOLK’  I mentioned the Monday Supper Club with special guest poets Glen Phillips and John Ryan.

My musician Hubby agreed to go because the amazing Ken Nicol, once the guitarist in Steeleye Span, was also appearing…

I previously included a photo or two but now can share my short videos taken that night, so click onto the screenshots and the links will take you to the YouTube performances.

Although I must apologize for my spur-of-the-moment video skills, I hope you enjoy the local glimpses anyway!  It’s all about spreading the love 🙂

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‘Dryandra Dreaming’ #GlenPhillips #FrancesMacaulayForde

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‘Ice Maiden’ #GlenPhillips #FrancesMacaulayForde

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‘Mid Stride’ #GlenPhillips #FrancesMacaulayForde

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“Wine” #JohnRyan #FrancesMacaulayForde

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“My Kentucky Country Roads” #JohnRyan #FrancesMacaulayForde

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“Inside a Jarrah Tree” #JohnRyan #FrancesMacaulayForde

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‘Stratford’ #KenNicol #FrancesMacaulayForde

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“Initial Variations” Instrumental #KenNicol #FrancesMacaulayForde

#FrancesMacaulayForde   #GlenPhillips     #JohnRyan   #KenNicol  #MondaySupperClub  #SteeleyeSpan

 

 

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To quote WritingWA from Facebook yesterday:

“Hooray! There’s a Hippopotamus on our Roof Having a Birthday Party” by Hazel Edwards.

Classroom playscripts encourage literacy especially if linked to a fun picture book. ‘Hooray! There’s a Hippopotamus on our Roof Having a Birthday Party’  paperback out soon (from Hazel Edwards) but classroom performance script based on hardback available for free download.   http://www.hazeledwards.com/files//classroom_playscripts_from_picture_books/pb_hazel_edwards_classroom_playscript__birthday_hippo.pdf

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“Wilfred Gordon McDonal Partridge” by Mem Fox

I know this.  I was commission in 1998 to adapt a well known book by Mem Fox to a playscript, so children visiting Joondalup Library could act out and enjoy the story more. The characters in “WILFRED GORDON MCDONALD PARTRIDGE” provided lots of opportunities for young minds to express themselves and enjoy putting themselves into the story.   And they did – with gusto!

So I know, the play script so generously provided here by Hazel, will be a huge hit – just as her book will be.

 

#francesmacaulayforde  #WritingWA  #HazelEdwards  #MemFox  #JoondalupLibrary

 

 

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Jack Lynch Tunnel, Co Cork © 2003 #francesmacaulayforde

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Ultimate Book Coach – KINDLE NINJA 30 day Challenge

This is my latest challenge:  I’ve got 30 days to publish a KINDLE book and Kirsten Eckstein the Ultimate Book Coach and KINDLE  NINJA  is going to show me how to do it!

It’s only the first week, so at the moment I’m trying to decide what to do first.

I have so many manuscripts and ideas but need to focus on one, then the next, then the next.

Kirsten makes it seem easy and so far, with the insider help of a well-published and successful KINDLE NINJA, I think I’ve got this!

My problem has always been to focus on one thing and get it done.  Kristen gives you easy steps to do just that – focus and get it done.  

It’s exciting to find out what other participants are already putting ‘out there’ for comment.

For my first attempt I’m thinking of doing one of these:

1.  A children’s series of stories which at the moment are in the form of scripts for a TV Series.

2.  Should I publish a series of my short stories?

3.  The one which keeps nagging me – a DIY book to test the waters, ‘Dressing My Princess’.

What do you think?

 

#FrancesMacaulayForde  #KindleNinja  #UltimateBookCoach   #DressingMyPrincess #MrPandaLivesNextDoor

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download

CRANNOG Spring 2014 Journal

A free subscription was included with entry into their competition, so I’ve just received my copy of  ‘CRANNOG Spring 2014’.

Wish I’d read it before entering…    The book feels slim but the 88 page volume is packed with clever writing.

The Galway editorial board did a superb job of choosing short stories and poems which affect the reader – and they did.

Like “Worship”  by Ruth Quinlan:  Your white shoes aren’t white at all.  They’re just cream pretending to be white and when you hold them against the Communion dress they look old and discoloured  even though you know they’re new.   

The words put put me right into the moment of my own Holy Communion (which I haven’t thought about since) remembering the crisp feel of new material and the smell of polished shoes.  Wonderful writing.

Or Breda Wall Ryan’s  “Crushie” poem:  The rain has stopped. Sunlight/veneers a table set between windows. /The year turns.   

The journal CRANNOG Spring 2014  is available for Kindle fans or surprisingly cheaper as a printed version.

Certainly well worth the few dollars to enjoy such gifted authors.

 

#FrancesMacaulayForde  #CrannogSpring2014  #RuthQuinlan  #BredaWallRyan

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A day off – yayyyyy!

Yesterday was a working day up in the hills of Perth and it was cold!  (Well cold for us – about 10 degrees C when we got there but the wind was freezing!)  I had four layers on and wished I’d added my leg-warmers too.  The sun never really got through the clouds so although the temperature rose to 20 C it felt a lot colder until the wind died down.

I’m moaning because the day before was beautiful, sunny and warm after many days of rain; a glorious Summer day in the middle of our winter – at least 25 degrees.

Anyhow, we rushed home to get ready after work because last night we were due to see my brother-in-law perform with Vocal Evolution, 2013 Australian Mens Harmony Chorus Champions – Woo Hoo!

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Vocal Evolution – Australian Champions Photo: from VE Facebook page.

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What a great show!  Certainly brightened up our day and naturally, we’re very proud.

If you’ve never been to a show, get down to their next one – these guys have amazing voices and do a fantastic job of entertaining with gusto.

Last night Vocal Evolution mixed it up with ‘TLA’ and ‘Lock Out’ Barbershop Quartets and the band  ‘Alcatraz’ .

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Jazz band ‘Alcatraz’ Photo: Ellington Jazz Club

Amongst others, their amazing singer Bindhu  sang this song  then belted out an Adelle song as if it was soooooooooo easy!

A great night of fabulous voices – thanks Vocal Evolution!

#FrancesMacaulayForde   #VocalEvolution  #TLABarbershop  #LockOutBarbershop  #AlcatrazJazz

 

 

 

 

 

 

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‘Inspiration’ was written earlier but appears on Page 1 of my book  ‘Hidden Capacity ~ a poet’s journey’  © 2000.

So I’m speaking here, directly from my heart, remembering my childhood in Africa and the struggles of my dearest Mum and Dad who died many years ago, who would have been so proud to see my words in print.

I’ve arrived at a time in my life where I’ve finally allowed myself to be utterly selfish.

My children had grown after my divorce into balanced, well-educated adults living their own lives, so I took myself to university.

It was my time to put myself first, my needs first, my dreams, soul and heart first, to follow my bliss.

I finally published the book in Ireland for them and for my brothers, children and extended family, just as much as for myself.

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My bedroom © 2000

Inspiration 

Why do I now prefer writing in my bedroom when I have a perfectly good study – a space cleared for thought?

I feel inspired to dream while I’m awake in here – not there.

Is it because I’ve just coated the room and everything in it a lilac pink?

Is that the colour of my inspiration?

Or does it illicit forgotten memories from my childhood?

The baby-pink bedroom of my spoiled youth, the dear faces of my parents still missed after so many years.

I’ve been through so many colours since then.

But perhaps I need to visit them once again, in my imagination.

Maybe this shade is my mood-connection to the past.

I’m alone now, responsible for the world I live in and my painted walls.

Or could it be something to do with the womb – a protective colour – a safe haven for my dreams.  

Help that I need in a harsh world, often too over-whelming for someone totally unprepared or never expecting to be the ‘Bottom Line’.

This softness, which evokes feelings and comfort, allows my mind to wander and explore, knowing I’m enclosed and private, separated from others who see too much.

Or is it the large mirror with its elaborate edge reflecting my thoughts surrounded by soft, gentle, allowing colour? 

I look at myself in the frame and from the ‘truth’ of distance – an inner truth?

Is that what empowers my exposure?

Is distance enabling me to write such secret, forgotten feelings in my journal?

My teenage bedroom was a similar pink – total colour – enshrining girlishness and innocence… protection, before adulthood and reality hit me.

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2000

#francesmacaulayforde  #HiddenCapacity  #Inspiration

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Blarney Castle, Co Cork, Ireland © 2003 #francesmacaulayforde

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Blarney Stone juts out above the top window © 2003 #francesmacaulayforde

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Hubby kissing the Blarney Stone © 2003. #francesmacaulayforde

#francesmacaulayforde

 

 

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Stephen Page

Author: The Salty River Bleeds, The Timbre of Sand, Still Dandelions, A Ranch Bordering the Salty River. Alum: Palomar College, Columbia University, Bennington College. Follow on twitter @SmpageSteve on Instagram @smpagemoria on Facebook @steven.page.1481

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