Making stories

I led a workshop on the other side of town on Monday, at Glen Waverley library (thanks Lisa). There were 20 well-prepared young writers/illustrators there, raring to go. 

Together we created characters, wrote them and drew them.

Then we developed plot outlines. An hour isn’t very long to construct a story and do illustrations, so we focused on transforming ideas into outlines, encouraging characters starting to show their ‘colours’.  

This young writer (above) has a diary full of stories, ideas and images.

They were a attentive and imaginative group. The same character name generated character sketches of pigs and pencils, females and males. And the plot lines? Wow. They were stratospheric! Literally, with action moving to the moon and beyond.

If this group of young people is any indication – and there’s no reason to expect it’s not – imagination and creativity is alive and thriving. Thanks for supporting and encouraging them must go to their parents, family, teachers and librarians around them.

And that pic I’m holding? That’s me, as sketched by Sneha. Fabulous!

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Magnetic Island

We had an unexpected trip to Townsville this past weekend and also a day trip to Magnetic Island, scene of several holidays in the past. This was our first trip since the ferry terminal was moved from Picnic Bay to Nelly Bay and we were keen to see the impact on the Picnic Bay village.

This is the pier …

… and this is the hill …

and these are the trees …

that linger still … Beautiful as ever
but it was a different place. I’ve written a poem for an online Month of Poetry Challenge and include it here.

Maggie island
Picnic bay now the ferry no longer calls
There were curlews here once
hoards of them
all long legs and stretch neck
old-wood feathers
and whistle-sad cry
They whiled our evenings
dinnering on the promenade
The resort fence remains
and the waterfront walk
The pier reaches to the mainland
as if in supplication
The banyans umbrellas broader
and the wreck sinks further
into the seabed
The red yellow flags
show where it’s safe to swim
and a few do
The Chinese restaurant
now sells burgers
and coffee
and bait
The trees flutter
as they frame luminous sea
and a lone butterfly
lands on a empty bar stool
There are no curlews now
not one left 
to cry down the long quiet afternoon
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Getting Away From It All … or should that be … Getting Back To It?

Two kookaburras sitting in an old gum tree …
We think it was an almost-grown child and a parent. They were certainly having an animated conversation.

These leaves were huge, the longest probably 50 cm or more.

This was the view just behind our hotel room. Almost poetic in its apparent perfection.

Then there was an island in a lake, with only the barest of hints of the industrial origins behind.

Down a dusty road, over a rumble-clang bridge, a waterfall

And a photo bomber to spoil the view!

The only sounds were the crinkling creek and the gently rattling leaves. And the occasional cow reminding us we were in their place.

 
 A bridge, a bridge from here to there … wherever here might be …

Glorious day, just glorious.

Man faces off with cow, armed only with tufted grass.

Cow faces off with man, armed only with a previously-planted cow pat. Cow 1: Man 0.

Did I mention how glorious the day?

We were in timber country, and many early buildings remain, if not in use.

Where once was railway track,

is now a path for bikes and feet.  

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