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Category Archives: grief
The set up, which I thought would only take an hour, stretched to all morning. Coordinating the set up of an exhibition this size with so many ‘exhibitors’ had Michelle Richards, the Brisbane Central Library’s exhibition coordinator, running a million directions at once, advising as to ‘how [it was something new to a lot of us], finding stands and suggesting modes of display, and generally guiding us all through to ‘VOILA!’ – one fascinating and very varied exhibition!
But there was more – not just the glass cases to set up, but hanging around to do the hanging! this was not as straightforward as it sounds. We had to somehow attach our paintings to fine dangling wires and – here’s the worst part GET THEM TO SIT $#@*# STRAIGHT!
Can’t remember when I’ve had so much creative fun with such a fantastic group of multitalented folk! 13th to 16th January we arrived in from all over – WA, NT, Vic and ’locals’ Christian and self. We were housed in the Gatton Motel, a leg stretch away from the main venue, not that we needed to walk. We were chauffeur driven everywhere by local Minibus/taxi owner Sue.
This is the door to my room, the non-existent No. 13, on 13th January, a Friday, how lucky can you get! Interesting how many places omit room 13, floor 13 etc etc. Do folk really think we are so bound by superstition and hangovers from the dark ages that we will eschew a room or a whole floor just because of a place in a numeric sequence? Evidently it is so.
Craig and I had joint sessions with small groups of ardent attendees in a series of workshops. All interacted with us freely and kept us on our toes with their questions.
We started with a draft of my story about the cow that swam the Brisbane river during the January 2011 floods. It was over 700 words [too long for a picture book] but gave the background Craig needed to locate the story and characterise the little cow. This is a link to a newspaper article about her amazing survival swim.
It was a revelation and a privilege to work with Craig one on one as he sketched out his visual thoughts on the story with me reading excerpts and the audience interspersing with comments. I cut swathes from the text as Craig’s expert hand created wonderful image after image.
This is a glimpse of the creation process -
- A view of the Brisbane Rive in flood provided by Kim Byron from her newspaper collection on the event.
- Craig working on a charcoal image of the little cow. He has a strong feel for movement and can create a whole range of emotions with sometimes the barely there addition of a line or a smudge.
I love the way illustrators climb into the visual universe of a story. Text says a family is sitting in a kitchen. The illustrator will look over their shoulders, look out the window, go out into the next room, climb the stairs to the attic or down to the yard and see where the house is located in a community.
[more coming... I just need to sleep now...]
I thought I had probably long gone received the last of the reviews for my Crichton Award winning picture book, “Mending Lucille”. WRONG! Just got the loveliest, very belated review -
RADIO NEW ZEALAND:
Sarah Davis [my amazing collaborator, illustrator on this wonderful project] sent it to me today. It came out on 17th June this year! Better late than never!
John McIntyre gave a very thoughtful, in depth review citing the use of “Mending Lucille” by the Monash Centre for Grief Education in the training of counselors working with children experiencing grief, loss or separation from a parent. Read more of this post
CHILDREN AND WAR ANTHOLOGY
This anthology, to be published by Cinco Puntos Press in
2011 or 2012, will explore all angles of children’s and
teenagers’ experiences in war. The core of the book will
be personal essays, memoirs, journalistic accounts, and
historical narratives, both previously published and
original pieces. It may also include photos, artwork,
posters, and other debris that depicts the effects of war
on children and teens. Though the book will be primarily
non-fiction, we may include some fiction, and we are willing
to consider pieces about both current and past wars. “War”
is defined liberally to include both “official” declared
wars as well as secret, unofficial wars, such as those carried
out by governments on civilians in places like Chile, Argentina,
and Zimbabwe. All submissions, queries, and suggestions should
be sent to J.L. Powers at firstname.lastname@example.org by June
NOTE: While the guidelines do not state the payment rate, I
spoke with Jessica Powers, editor of the anthology, and the
payment is $200 per story accepted.
A websites well worth visiting -
Two children’s authors sharing how they are doing it and things they have learned en route.
Carol Denbow at
has lots of writing tips and marketing tricks and lots more.
Dream Chaser Magazine regularly features articles and interviews on new children’s writers and illustrators as well as tips and tricks by those who have been published. Latest edition - http://www.magcloud.com/browse/Magazine/92435
Interviews and writing tips and more -
– recently featured illustrator, K. Michael Crawford.
GRIEFABET by Karen O. Johnson
Note – a new kind of Alphabet to use with older children, teens and adults in literacy classes! I ust wonder if Karen has realised this potential for her amazing little book herself! Folk addressing illiteracy issues in their lives have more that just that they are trying to face, come to turns with, cope with, get past. This alphabet is for them! It is therapeutic whilst it teaches, but in an unobtrusive, non-threatening way!
“Griefabet” by noted American therapist/counsellor/presenter, Karen O. Johnson is unusual.
The book,of course, is primarily aimed at counseling and therapy settings and there is a workbook that can be purchased to accompany “Griefabet”. But this little book is a great deal more.
A book of warm, witty, affirmations for those who are coping with grief and loss, it has a few happily playful ‘venting’ exercises thrown in for good measure. It is also a free verse poem that celebrates life and the resilience of the human spirit. Finally, it is a work of art – illustrations use the letters of the alphabet in designs that mirror the verse of affirmation opposite. It is a design achievement!
“GRIEFABET” by Karen O. Johnson, http://www.griefabet.com, ISBN 978-0-615-39746-7.
Thumbs up from children! “Mending Lucille” in top 6 picture books for NZ public library district + reviews
New Zealand children have chosen “Mending Lucille”, placing it in the top 6 picture books for 2008. This is a wonderful honour to be chosen by the children themselves! Sarah and I are suitably excited and humbled at the same time! Dunedin Public Library District is one of the largest in New Zealand , incorporating 6 pubic libraries in its territory.
See page 3 of the promotional brochure:
Other Reviews for “Mending Lucille”
“New Zealand Listener”, December 20-26 2008 Vol 216 No 3580 – has placed “Mending Lucille” in the top 10 chldren’s books/young adult books for 2008 - Full review available online on 3rd January 2009
This week’s edition of New Zealand Listener, December 20-26 2008 Vol 216 No 3580, has rated “Mending Lucille” as one of the Top 10 children’s and young adults books for 2008 [full text of the review available online on 3rd January 2009]. This is amazing and totally blow away news in what has been an ‘interesting’ year!