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.
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.
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.
Writers 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.