After Yasi, Finding the Smile Within

I recently received a lovely email informing me a Queensland school library had purchased  After Yasi, finding the Smile Within and the teacher librarian wanted to make a pdf of it available to their students and staff.

I was surprised as the book has been gently present online, and only about 50 printed versions of it exist ( it is print on demand).  It was really sad last year  when ABC Open, where many of the photographs and stories from the cyclone and cyclone recovery were featured, closed down, and now  the material produced by open producers and contributors is no longer as freely available.

I am so  glad I made a book with the help of my friends from the Cassowary Coast. Furthermore, I archived all of my ABC Open and personal blog posts and videos that I could and these are available via my sites.

Interestingly next year cyclone Yasi, is coming up to its ten year anniversary.  Last year I was interviewed for a pod cast about it as another cyclone was on its way, and penned and published a story for children based on the experience which was shared in the Spooktacular Stories.

It was quite an experience, to write a cyclone story for children, which I had wanted to do for sometime.  However, I am sure I needed distance from the event to approach it in a creative and what I hope is an uplifting way.

It seems strangely relevant to think about the resilience the Cassowary Coast Community had to find in its recovery from the cyclone, and perhaps the book will be helpful to anyone struggling with the pandemic.

The people of the Cassowary Coast community despite the heartaches, found its way back to joy and growth and creative expression gave many hope!

You can find out more about After Yasi on my dedicated blog to cyclone yasi and the journey after the cyclone.

For all the followers of the Magic Fish Dreaming blog, poetry, story and art are wonderful ways to deal with anxiety, and stress, and to release grief.  These modes of expression were widely utilised after Yasi, although often there were times when it was hard to write or draw.  That is when dance, music and song often helped!

 

Spooktacular Launch

It was enormous fun launching Spooktacular Stories, this years Share Your Story Anthology, to a packed audience of contributors, their families, the public and young readers who regularly frequent the Mad Hatter’s Bookshop.

Contributors were able to make it from as faraway as Canberra and Townsville.

This year marked the first year a contributor under 18 made it into the anthology.  She read beautifully.

Michelle Worthington, shared news of the hospital visit , where several contributors did a special launch with children and their families to share stories and craft, a few days earlier. It was  greatly appreciated by staff and families such that there may be another visit next year and an ongoing relationship with hospitals.

Each author present was thanked for donating their stories to the anthology and invited to read.

We all thought of our wonderful contributors who were unable to be present.

It is a precious and uplifting experience to have readers ask you to sign their books and there was much book signing, and many contributors also took the chance to invite fellow contributors to sign books as a memento of the occassion.

This is such a special project to be part of, because for every anthology sold one will be donated to Australian hospitals for sharing with children who are often in situations where they and their families demonstrate great courage.  May the stories be fun, thrilling and ultimately uplifting.

A huge thank you to editor and project creator Michelle Worthington.

Also many thanks to the Mad Hatter’s Bookshop.

You can purchase Spooktacular Stories online and in bookshops.

Great news is that the book is doing well in the Amazon Best Seller lists, and has made number one twice.

    

71351067_10157930625104415_2262995045374230528_nPhotos courtesy of Sheridan Perkins, Maria Parenti-Baldey and other attendees at the event.