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!