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Archive for June, 2014

Last week I attended a masterclass with illustrator Alison Lester.  So inspiring I totally forgot to take photos to share the experience (sorry) but have a look at her website and the wonderful 25+ books Alison has been involved in either writing or illustrating.

I came home with two beautiful books signed by Alison to my grandies:  Kissed by the Moon  was recommended for my 19 month old by Alison and Imagine with a sparkly cover things to do while we read, for my 5 year old.  

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Kissed by the Moon #AlisonLester © 2014

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Imagine by Alison Lester #AlisonLester © 2014

When I read each of these for the first time, I got shivers of sheer enjoyment from the beautiful illustrations and simple but so evocative wording – hard to do.

I confess, I was not aware of Alison before the class but I’m now a HUGE fan and intend to build a library of as many of her books as possible  for my grandchildren.

I consider no other gift as valuable as the love of books and like my children, my grandchildren already have an excellent collection of (especially but not exclusively) Australian writers.

Now they have two more treasures.

Our very active and totally encouraging local Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators:  SCWBI WEST volunteers, organised the Masterclass to be held on the same day as Duelling Illustrators.

No less than 6 illustrators took part, with three writers offering their unpublished manuscripts as the stimulus for furious flaying of arms around large sheets of paper.

An exciting and great fun, FREE event with standing room only.    If you missed this one, don’t miss the next event which happens once a year at the State Library in the Perth Cultural Centre – one of my all time favorite places to be.

SCWBI West members stayed back “Behind Closed Doors – a view from the Publisher’s desk” with Cate Sutherland  from Fremantle Press and Jane Godwin from Penguin Books.

Many lucky members left the next morning for a writers retreat held over last weekend on Rottnest Island,  just 14 Km off the coast of Perth.

Can’t wait to read the wonderful books which result, as they do every year.

If you’re a West Australian writer or illustrator – or talented enough to do both, I highly recommend you join in the fun and nurturing at  SCWBI West.

 

#SCWBIWest  #AlisonLester  #FrancesMacaulayForde #DuellingIllustrators

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KINDLE edition #francesmacaulayforde

 

Well, that’s it – I’ve just published my first KINDLE book on Amazon of a previously printed  “Rail Tales ~ notes from the Currumbine Line”  and naturally, had to buy the first copy.

“Poetry and stories written while travelling on the Currumbine Line between the City of Perth and the Northern Suburbs in Western Australia.”    

It’s live and available right now so I’m pretty pleased.  (It certainly wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be but I managed.)

Here’s another of my favorite short poems from the book:

 

Rail Trail

parallel bars ride the sand

silver bullet steered by hand

expressed in kilometre-d speed

human flotsam to concrete greed

 

 

…and a (very, very) short story I hope you’ll smile at, remembering I was riding the rails when I wrote it.

 

The Great Escape.

Head back, eyes closed. I savor the cool, quiet efficiency of train travel.

I’m alone on this journey.  It is obviously not a popular time to commute.

Silence.  Then a scuffle, a soft knock below me and to the left, makes me

open my eyes. There it is again.  Are there mice on this train?  

It sounds like old crackle-y paper. Rounded, moving haphazardly

in all directions.

I hope the security video can’t see me climb onto the seat. 

Where is it? More importantly – what is it?

Feeling foolish, I gingerly step down. Then cautiously kneel and bend over,

eyes level to the carpet, bum up. 

Oh, it’s O.K. Panic over. Breathe again.

It’s only an onion, enjoying the freedom of riding on the train. 

Do you think it’s got a ticket?

 

 Frances Macaulay Forde © 2003

#BOOKRailTales   #FrancesMacaulayForde

#McAlpineBellPublishing

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Dingle0032Sunset

Dingle Co. Kerry, Ireland #FrancesMacaulayForde © 2003

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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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INStudioPLAY

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

140512GPIceMaidenSnapshot

‘Ice Maiden’ #GlenPhillips #FrancesMacaulayForde

140512GPMidStrideSnapshot

‘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

wilfred

“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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