Wednesday, April 10, 2024

A bag of cats ...

I finally sent off my last piece of non-fiction writing on Monday - a report - that was on my list of to dos. It's taken me two and a half months to reach this point, and I tell y'all my mind is a bag of cats right now. I decided to take a few days off but I am not yet feeling rested - too many cats up there, I tell ya.

Over the weekend I got to read my poem Pet Lessons and a couple of others at the launch of Takahe 110 at The Open Book in Ponsonby. You can read my poem here or check out all the goodness here.  Despite some nerves, I enjoyed reading my poetry aloud. And I loved hearing the work of others. The whole event felt warm and inviting and supportive. Note to self 1: attend more poetry reading events. Note to self 2: write more poems. 

I have sent a couple of picture book manuscripts off into the ether (fingers crossed for these babies) and am waiting on edits for another in preparation for its publication hopefully later this year. Now I want to work on a couple of longer projects but I am finding it hard to settle in to it. The end of daylight saving doesn't help. Is it just this year or is every autumnal 'fall back' accompanied by this amount of sleep adjustment? It also doesn't help that the nights are unseasonably warm. I also navigated my first school visit for the year, talking to Year 7s and 8s at St Kentigern Boys' School on Monday. It was a fun session with such lovely students. I have another booked in for July at a primary school and a couple of creative writing workshops earmarked for May. It's good to have a mix of things on the schedule because I think I work better when time is somewhat limited.

I was excited to see some lovely reviews of Sun Shower on the KiwiReviews site here:  

I think what first drew me to Sun Shower was the quality of the illustrations. Isobel Joy Te Aho-White has done a superb job in capturing the essence of the differing landscape patterns of Aotearoa New Zealand with the weather variations unfolding in the sky above. 

The text contains a powerful message about diversity, cooperation, and friendship. Melinda Szymanik has started with a scientific concept and presented it in a context that even very young children can understand.

I was apprehensive as to whether my 10-year-old would stay interested in the story, but knew my 7-year-old would stay till the end, but to my surprise my eldest was captivated, and it even opened up conversations about other weather patterns and how they are formed. I recommend this book as a cute story to show that even though people maybe opposites, they can still get along and still create something special.

And the book is currently hanging out at the Aotearoa New Zealand stand at the 2024 Bologna Book Fair, along with many other superb local titles. I hope some international rights get sold!!

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