Life Stories

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Pictured with my Mum and Daughter.

Welcome

I am working on a memoir.

I am pleased to say that it is progressing, at last, due to the invaluable feedback from beta readers on the latest draft.

Right now I am writing a detailed outline and selecting poetry to open the chapters.

It is so much fun to gather all the memories together ready to select the ones I think readers will gain or be the most moved by reading.  My goal is to select around 25 scenes from this outline to build the memoir.

Looking at the nearly 7000 word outline I am beginning to realise I might have to write two books or a book and several articles or stories.

Some of the pieces here are first drafts, fragments, memory flashbacks, and meditations.

I use them as a resource for constructing longer pieces that may be included in the memoirs or creative non-fiction articles.  Some of them have been blogged at ABC Open 500 words and other places too.

I ask only that readers respect my copyright and if they feel moved leave genuine and sincere feedback.

June Perkins  24/07/2015

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Pacing Yourself – When Creatives Get Busy

Pearlz Dreaming

So this has been a week of longing to creatively write and being busy with so many other tasks.

I have the longing of this girl staring into the banana field.  My finished novel and books are somewhere in the distance.  But now I need to use that longing to walk into that path and continue, and to keep searching for pockets of time to write.

I managed to figure out a new approach to a tricky picture book idea and write half of it down.  Then another task demanded I do it.

I gave myself one session on my novel, but longed for more.  But Sunday is looking good to continue on this.  The novel is ticking away in my head even though I am not writing it.

I kept editing a piece written for my brother’s memory.  A writer generously gave me the tools to find the most…

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Writing Journeys & the Power of Words

This blog has been a little neglected, but here is a festival where I shared some family stories.

Pearlz Dreaming

Lauren Elise Daniels and June Perkins

Saturday 29th April 2017, was a day to be inspired as authors shared their writing journeys and ideas on the power of words with writers and readers gathered at Bracken Ridge Library.  Both sessions were chaired by Sheryl Gwyther (introduced by Adele Moy), an Australian children’s author. She writes novels, chapter books, short stories and school plays for children and short stories for adults. She is the recipient of two Australian Society of Authors’ Mentorships, and two May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust Fellowships as well as a SCBWI International Work-of-Outstanding-Promise award.

Writing Journeys

Sheryl Gwyther, Duncan Richardson, Michael Aird, June Perkins

Michael Aird, Keeaira Press, began by explaining how he went from working in a factory with a low level of literacy and working out the spelling of words for the lunch order with co-workers to a dawning realisation that his older co-workers were unhappy…

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Writing Group – First of Year

Pearlz Dreaming

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I just love  my writing group.

I have been attending Write Links for three years now, and over that time, I have:

  • learnt more about the art and craft of picture book and middle grade writing
  • attended numerous professional development workshops with many established writers in the field
  • met the amazing Leigh Hobbs, whose characters my children and I grew up with
  • been on a writers’ retreat run by one of the members where I met John Marsden (who was doing a master class) and made friends with Robyn, Debbie, and many other writers
  • attended the CYA conference
  • pitched to an agent and a publisher at the CYA conference
  • made a successful ASA mentorship scholarship application and been being mentored for the last 12 months.

And those are just some of the highlights!

But one of the biggest things I love about my writing group has been the creation of…

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Epic Journeys and Families Meant to Be

Pearlz Dreaming

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My friend Mel is on an epic journey to become a full time mum who is able to live in the country she chooses with her currently, foster, but hopefully to one day be adopted son.

This journey actually began as a reaching out to voluntarily help people in the Philippines after a typhoon, this was motivated by  the experience she had of Cyclone Yasi, something we  share.  Mel and I  met at a song writing workshop provided to help locals process their cyclone experiences and find healing through music.  Mel went to the Philippines to use her skills in music, and business to support the rebuilding after the typhoon.

Mel has shared the journey of meeting Jerry and his personal story on her website. From their first meeting, where  she didn’t know anything about him except that, “He had cut, bleeding feet and no…

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December In Status Statements

3rd of December

We will have some Magic Fish Dreaming books before Christmas to send out to all you wonderful kickstarter supporters! Will let you know the day we start posting them out and they may arrive Christmas or early new year. Hooray! Our apologies for the delays beyond our control.

The sky on the 4th of December after Storms.

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5th December

The Perkins trio for want of a better name are organizing their music performance repertoire.

Just wrote the prologue to my novel — now for a writing stint on the rest, I am truly ready to write it now !

8th December

What a year it was visiting: Melbourne (family and friends), Writing Group, Visits from Friends, Meeting Writers, and time with Ruha, Temily, Marika, Shirin, Nancy, Katrin, others, writing mentor, meeting lovely writers, sharing poems, youth group

9th December

Thinking of dear David and the KG lego robotics team competing at the nationals today. They have worked so hard, and may they have the most brilliant time whatever the final result.

Saw this online and told David!

Attention all Queensland teachers! You get free entry to #HadronCollider from today until 24 December 2016.

Help us spread the good news.

Teachers may preview Hadron Collider: Step inside the World’s Greatest Experiment free of charge from 9 – 24 December 2016. 
 

14th December

Just back from watching  Arrival. Such an intriguing story. Loved it.

15th December

Finally starting to pack the Magic Fish Dreaming kickstarter packages for mailing out. Helene and I are signing the books today.

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17th December

Best feeling in the world sending parcels of Magic Fish Dreaming out into the world.. Today it heads to New Zealand and France!

18th December

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(Our friend Bashir pictured here with David, who we haven’t seen for a few years. )

Had a wonderful chat and visit on a home delivery of Magic Fish Dreaming to a friend  (Persian background and her husband is Ugandan raised in Geneva) and her family, about life, the universe, diversity and so on. So happy she was then going to read a poem for bedtime to her children and keep working on her own poetry! Also saw an old friend not seen for years and he is going to take a book to deliver to other mutual family friends who supported the kickstarter! (love saving a bit here and there on postage when I can).

19th December

Milestone, reached the half way point with the kickstarter packages for Magic Fish Dreaming being posted out. Dropped book off for consideration for sales to second book store in Brisbane. Used up all the tracking stickers at Milton post office (sorry everyone!)

84 rewards now sent, with the book heading to Philippines c/- of the wonderful  Mel Irvine in January. Magic Fish Dreaming reaching out to more places but where to next? I think tomorrow we will do Canada and the United States now I have all my customs forms and have almost finished packing them!

20th December

100 Rewards now sent, and Magic Fish Dreaming now heading to the United States and Canada! If only Dragons were real and did home deliveries. . .

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21st  December

Magic Fish Dreaming is up on the shelves at Riverbend Books. If you are over there take a picture for us! And if you don’t have a copy yet that’s the way to purchase one now in Brisbane! The book will be up on the website in a couple of days! Yay so happy our book is now at this beautiful bookshop.

Wow, all our teenagers are off with friends and our Eldest participating in a wonderful service project over the university break, empowering youth in country areas, so proud of him.

(Visited the Hadron Collider Experiment Exhibition in the morning.)

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22nd December

Today we went op shopping, and came home with a brilliant pair of binoculars, a pair of sneakers for David, a dress my daughter likes (she normally hates dresses), two saucepans, and a lovely milk jug, a small nice looking formally bed side table which we will re-purpose to solve the lack of a cupboard in the bathroom, two pretty white wicker baskets, a set of small breakfast ceramic plates all in matching white (50c each!), a comfy ottoman (with storage and so comfy to sit on) (matches everything in our house), and were able to replace three or was it four David Eddings books from a series some members of the family are rereading which were destroyed in cyclone yasi. A fun day topped off with delicious lunch time kebabs and thanking my mum years ago for creating a love for bargains!

Handy tip if you want to find a cheap wedding dress or re-purpose an ivory (as many are more ivory and cream than white) wedding dress as a formal gown, check out Milton St Vincent’s. It has several of them for between $30 to $100 and they are just gorgeous!

From Mel:

Look what just arrived! Magic Fish Dreaming the wonderful book written by my dear friend  June Perkins. June’s kickstarter campaign earlier in the year made this wonderful book possible and my order just arrived. Lovely June packed it with goodies and little extras for Jerry and the kids of Botongon. Can’t wait to take it to the Philippines and include it in Jerry’s bedtime reading. He will be so thrilled when he sees it.

Thank you, thank you June.

If you are looking for a quality book of children’s poetry filled with the Australian landscape, that speaks to community, honours indigenous ancestry and cultural diversity; then please consider this wonderful book Magic Fish Dreaming. 5 stars from Mel xx

23rd December

It is just lovely hearing from people as their books arrive! If your book has arrived like this post, and if you like add a picture here or in our Magic Fish Dreaming space.

Jacque writes:

Look what arrived for me at the post office today  June Perkins, congratulations on the book, it is divine.

24th December

Lovely day visiting friends.  Visited three families who are friends today.

(We went to visit many of the families of the youth group that we facilitate – including for dinner and played a crazy but fun game of dictionary/Balderdash)

25th December

Spent time with the Lorenz family at the Gold Coast; they were visiting from Victoria.

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26th December

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Great time swimming in the ocean with my daughter yesterday. Loving these crazy reflective sunglasses too.

December poem – A Riddle

I love the moonlight
and fade by the dawn.

I peek out from beside volcanic rocks
with my beauty.

Neighbours gather ritually
to see me dance.

Shani Mootoo writes my story
Robert Haydn too.

What am I?
Where am I?
Will you write of me too?

By June Perkins

Extract from Facebook Status Statements

Highlights 1 – Meeting Well Known Writers

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It has been a wonderful year for meeting some very talented and successful writers, among them Katherine Battersby, Troy Cassar Daley (song writer – with a memoir),  Sarah Holland Batt, and Tim Winton as well as reconnecting with Alesa Lajana.  I have enjoyed reading their books or listening to their songs and stories, and learning from the way they approach things.  Little Wing, I read and then sent to my niece for her daughter’s first birthday.

I still have to write up the talk by Tim Winton, and will do that hopefully over the holidays.  All my energies are going into creative writing at the moment so sharing photo highlights for now.

What can I say but attending these launches, concerts, talks or master classes has inspired me to put my best efforts in with my craft.  I can’t wait to see who I might meet next year, and what adventures might be around the corner.  It would be so lovely to visit Katherine in Canada.  I have a severe case of itchy feet, and have decided to save for overseas trips!  Just have to find a way to make these trips.   Perhaps just thinking they might be possible, will make me take the steps to take more journeys beyond the shores of where I now live…

Time to make a few more dreams reality.

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At Temily and Sal’s Wedding

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Me with my friend Temily.

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With my daughter.

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With Ruha.

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With Carol, Temily’s mum.

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With Tasmanian connections, and my daughter.

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With Temily’s family, Carol, David and Forrest.

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With my family (except for dear Ben who sadly had to miss the event).

 

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With Minaira.

 

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Son and daughter perform a song for Temily and Sal

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Music duo!

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With dear David.

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The lovely couple, Temily and Sal.

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Hand and Family Crafted

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For Temily and Sal

A hand crafted wedding,
where the family and friends all help
where there are no veils
where there is a top hat
where there are bush flowers
where there is a cake made by the groom, decorated by the bride
where hospitality and love are wrapped
around every guest gathered in this forest.

A hand crafted wedding
with a chalked up flourished welcome sign
with hundreds of paper cranes like rainbow bird stars
with a piano outside on the veranda
with home made bunting
with people bringing pots of rice and other foods
with tiny bubble blowers that
send circular rainbows
into the air
with love.

Serenades for the couple
from the piano
from the violin
from the guitar
from the voices raised in song and prayer
from family and friends
under the cranes that become
like rainbow bird stars
for a marriage where
there are no veils
this is the way this marriage begins.

(c) June Perkins

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The Launch of Little Wing – Katherine Battersby

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I love meeting up with Writer Friends.  When I first met Katherine we were on a writer’s panel together at the Cairns Tropical Festival.   We have stayed in touch on social media ever since.

And then later I met her husband to be, a poet,   Shane Rhodes, when he visited Mission Beach with a group of poets to read his work.

At that evening of poetry reading I shared some work in an open reading, and a poet there (not Shane though)  said ‘Why not make that into a children’s book’  And it made me begin to think about taking my poetry skills in a new direction, into writing for children.  So I listened to that poet and started to do just that.

I was delighted to find out Katherine became engaged to Shane, who I had also stayed in touch with on social media.  I loved his playfulness and experimentation in poetry, and touching character portraits.

However, when I moved to Brisbane I met many of Katherine’s friends in the children’s book writing community.

I am sharing this story with Katherine, as we chat above.

In the next image I am chatting with a dear friend from the Rainforest Writing Retreat.  Debbie. She just made me laugh endlessly at the Retreat  and we hung out with a lovely group of writers, who didn’t mind looking at the challenges of life, with immense humour.

I really want to see her book on the shelves!  I can see her becoming a household name, seriously!  And yes she shared an inspiring teacher story with me.    Hmm another book Deb.

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Now the next image is with a wonderful lady Sam, who is heavily involved in the CYA conference, and Dimity Powell another bright star, who was the first writer from the Brisbane Gold Coast area that I had come across in an online writing sprint group we were both in, set up by a mutual friend.  Again I knew her online for quite a while.  I telephone interviewed her for my blog before we met in person.  Now we often see each other at writing meet ups around the traps.  She is a truly generous human being who reviews children’s picture books as well as writing them.  She has a major launch coming up next year, and yes, I am having her visit my blog.  But you know what she is a real space writer friend as well.  I love everything she does in the service of the writing for children community not just in Queensland, but also in Australia but also her dedication to working on her craft.  Yes, another up and coming star who has always thought of others as well her own development.

As for Sam she loves helping others, and I am thrilled to have met her.  She is often mentoring me quietly and was a good sounding board during my kickstarter.

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And here we are again.  Katherine, had so many people at her launch, who were thrilled to see her back in Australia, as she now resides in Canada.  It was lovely to hear her congratulate me on the upcoming Magic Fish Dreaming.  It means so much coming from creatives  in your own community.  And just before I had this book signed for a young family member who I know is going to just love it I saw Katherine warmly greet and embrace a friend of hers who had driven up from the Gold Coast for the launch.

13939359_10209055641001109_3399098803309876109_nWriters do not have to just exist in isolation, and the sense of community I have found since moving to Brisbane, has been just uplifting, and have given many opportunities for growth and development as a writer.  I too hope to have an inspiring launch like Katherine and look forward to the delightful smiles of young ones enjoying the poems of Magic Fish Dreaming.

Oh and Little Wing is an inspiring character, who just loves books!

 

All the photographs here were taken by my daughter on her phone. 

World Building with Marianne de Pierres.

Writing up a workshop I loved.

Pearlz Dreaming

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On the weekend I attended an inspiring workshop in the Writelinks Workshop Series with Marianne de Pierres.

“She is the award winning author of the acclaimed Parrish Plessis, Sentients of Orion and Peacemaker science fiction series. Marianne is an active supporter of genre fiction and has mentored many writers. She lives in Brisbane, Australia, with her husband and three galahs. Her Night Creatures series, Burn Bright, Angel Arias and Shine Light has been very popular among young adult fiction readers. Marianne is also the Davitt award-winning author of the Tara Sharp humourous crime series under the pseudonym Marianne Delacourt. (From Good Reads)

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During our two hour workshop we focused  on developing  settings as characters and how to make them best reflect our characters’ emotions.

We examined the strengths and pitfalls of tropes, the central importance of story even as we work on settings and gained experience…

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