Back on the Novel Bus!

I’ve been so busy with all things book production and launch.

I’ve been delighted to be part of the Red Room Poetry and Queensland Poetry Festival projects.   And to finish production on Illuminations.

I’ve put in several grant and fellowship applications to do my best to make this writing life more sustainable.  There’s been a few knock backs, but I get back up and keep going.  Thanks so much to everyone who has been writing letters of support.  You are all awesome!  We keep getting surprise grants, and the only thing wrong with this is you do not have long to put applications together.

My poor novel had taken a back seat. The last couple of weeks has changed that. I began to revise my novel.  And now have nearly 50 pages I am happy with.  I am going to do more work on it today and am feeling so happy with the direction it is going.   This picture is a small hint of what the novel might be about…

I was so inspired by our beloved Guinea Pig, Buttercream who has been starring on my instagram lately, that last night I wrote the beginnings of a new picture book idea.

Recently I visited IN PERSON my dear friend Helene Magisson and met her pet chickens. Helene has her first solo book out!  HOORAY!

More on that in another post.  I really must get a photograph of the chickens!  They were adorable.  I was so relieved to see a friend NOT ON ZOOM.  Don’t get me wrong, zoom is amazing, but I am so tired of not seeing friends in real space!  How about you?  How is the pandemic treating you?

 

Here’s a special pic, in the early days of us being friends.  So, happy for my dear friend on her book.  And so happy to be part of the kids lit community of Australia.  They are so welcoming, inclusive, and kind.

I so hope I have some success with grants and applications soon.  Working so hard, and definitely into the swing of story writing.  I’ve also been enjoying observing the block and taking photographs of things, like pirate stickers on windows, tiny flip flops stuck in trees, and cars being renovated, not to mention all the beautiful vibrant plants of Brisbane.

Anyway that’s all from my blog for now.  Thinking of everyone in America and also my family and friends separated by border restrictions all over Australia.

We love you Victoria!

Well that’s all for now.  Keep well.

 

Love, June XXX

 

 

Ancient Modern

(I)

In the seventies

old souls with young faces

went looking for revolutions’ places

found heroes called Bob Dylan

looked in music for something

more than melody

danced with metaphors deep

and blue.

 

Now young souls with old faces

say, ‘Who on earth was he?’

and one wonders is there any

such thing as

legacy

to the old and young set in stone

are they open to change?

 

When will young faces have

young souls

and old souls have old faces

Or is it all a dreamer’s mask?

And a distraction to the true task

as we all face the fading of our bones.

 

To live the poet’s life

let the words

find the souls they belong to

doesn’t matter old or young

look beyond the face

listen to wisdom from every voice

keep alive the questioning of youth

 

and in the silence after

sing

the open door.

 

(c June Perkins

 

Dancing Light
Studies in Green Light – By June Perkins

 

 

Daily Poetry/Crafted Poetry

poetrycapes4

I have noticed that presently I have four main modes of writing poetry, each with their strengths and weaknesses.

1.  Journalling poems that free flow and spill onto the page often with emotion and passion.

2.  Crafted/Technique poems that come from setting myself a challenge in technique or a set form but still primarily writing what comes immediately to mind.

3.  Playful/ Experimental poems these poems start as games.  To my surprise they often lead to narrative poems, or seem to come from daily life and can turn into a journalled experience.

4.  Narrative poems/works in series which can use any of the above techniques.  In this approach I might take an idea of a loss of a child and create characters to tell a story. I might decide to have a water diviner and a king and see what happens to them as they talk about each other and the problems of their world.

The strength of  journalling is that it enables you to tap into your inner thoughts and flow without stopping yourself.  Journalling poems can be written everyday.

The strength of crafting in a technique or set form is that you know the shape and structure of your poem and it disciplines an idea you may have had emerge in journalling.  Discipline in writing poetry often strengthens it!  These poems may take longer to write than journalled ones but they are well worth the effort.  You might even start writing daily haiku verses if it’s your free flow identity.

I love to take an idea developed in journalling and crafting and then create something more playful and original.  I will often employ creative game ideas, like mixing genres, or found poems to see what discoveries I can make.  This is ideal for days where I feel I have nothing to say.  I find out that I do.

I find that extending a narrative and trying any of the approaches allows me to create a world in my poems, similar to that a novelist does.  I find a technique that might suit a particular character.  I am enjoying these sorts of poems more and more.  I write these when I feel the next chapter of a poetry narrative is ready.  I am thinking of writing outlines for these now.

As for weaknesses journalling poems can be without enough structure and are not always the best ones to share publicly, crafted poems can become too constricting if you are working in a form that doesn’t suit you or the topic.

Playful and experimental poems can be too playful and not focus enough on content if you take it too far, and as for narrative poems, it’s finding the best approach for a particular narrative, or a particular character that can be challenging.

I’ve decided whilst I like all of these techniques, it is now time to find some poetry buddies and add to all of the above, consult poetry critique buddies and rewrite.  I especially need to find poetry buddies who write a lot of poetry and know a lot about it so that they can challenge me to push my ability in this form, like a running coach does for a runner.

Perhaps, more on poetry writing buddies in future posts.

How do you approach writing poetry?

Suitcase Home #draft 1

PIC00916.JPG
Gumbootsgirl – by June Perkins

We were talking about
things
we need
versus things we think we do

and
she told me
she would
be selling
all her material goods
to do good in the world.

I thought about the book boxes
and extra kitchen gear
flooding our floor
and wondered why everytime
we move I realise
we have things we don’t need
and could do without.

She offered me some
potential solutions
to shelving
and I could see her rummaging
through things to find them homes
including maybe at mine.

I thought of suitcases.

Suitcases of books are much easier to
move than shelves
perhaps I could do away with bookcases.

In a sincere way
She made me laugh at myself.
Perhaps instead of shelves
I can do away with the things
that need to go on them.

She doesn’t expect
everyone to do without
but it is her choice
her generous heart.

My son tells me ‘moving so much
has taught me
the need to travel
lighter.’

He never wants to own too much
so if he should ever need to move
he won’t have much to burden him.

Travelling lighter
means freedom to move
quickly.

He says he’d like it down
to one back pack or suitcase
as long as he had a tablet
to watch and read and communicate with the world.

I read how Barbara Streisand downsized
and that makes me giggle
she went from several houses
to just one
when all I would want is one simple forever home.

What is home?
Not the things in it
but the need to be in a neigbourhood
to not have to move at the whim of a developer
or because someone who owns the house you rent
wants to sell it and
move onto their next investment

When we first moved to Brisbane I saw
an exhibition of an immigrant’s suitcase.
One suitcase to another land
that was all their family could take.

I remember my children grabbing their guitars and a bag
of clothes on the night
of cyclone yasi.

If all my world could be contained in
one suitcase what would I take
to give me a sense of home.

(c) June Perkins

These are just some preliminary ideas for poems on suitcases of home and learning detachment.
I will be back to rework it into some different forms, but this is the first entry.
It is a bit prosaic at the moment, but thinking of how I will poeticize it.

An important part of any writing is working with an idea and developing it. 

My next few poetry posts will be on that process.