The last stop of the WA tour, and my heart was won over by the students at St Mary’s College. With a strong percentage of indigenous students, mixed with an imaginative healthy bunch all round. I was struck by their enthusiasm and excitement to get involved. Attention was high, smiles large. I had them in the cup of my hand. From start to finish, we connected over story!
ABC Open – Stories about peoples Day Jobs (Click on link) – https://open.abc.net.au/explore/72xl6fb
On Tuesday 10th June, the WA Tour branched away from the iconic coastal scrub that Aussie author Tim Winton best describes. Away from the walking, sight-seeing and surfing to visit the joyous kids of Kalbarri Primary School.
Being a guest at this school was insightful for all involved. I enjoyed listening and learning from the children as much as their smiles and enthusiasm awarded me the attention I received.
Next school visit; Parabadoo Primary near the amazing Karajini National Park.
Story Time was sweet and delightful. It took me back to the world of ‘Wheels on the bus’, ‘If your happy and you know it’ and ‘The great big elephant is so slow’…What i was invited for, was a little contemporary injection. Reading Skate Session to many smiling cute faces and young parents in Margs.
Special thanks to my new friend and WA local; Mandy Collinson, for coming along in support and taking these pics as seen here.
Next stop, Kalbarri Primary School…YEW!!!
After an eery early morning surf @ Gracetowns South Point, where one of the recent shark attacks went down. Did i mention i was out there alone for the first hour, before a great guy by the name of Rob paddled out. And it just so happened Rob assisted the shark bitten surfer out of the water that day. He conducted CPR for 40min on him. Yet, not the result all of humanity would ask of their friend or loved one, yet it was real. And it was the bravery of Rob & his mates, not to pull the victim out of the water in the first place, but to be the first two surfers to paddle out for a wave the next day. They decided to take this action as a way of lifting the dark cloud that hung over the area and its people. And as Rob says, there has been 5 attacks in the last ten years and thousands of surfers in the water every day. The passion and joy one gets from riding a wave far out ways the small chance of being bitten by a Noah.
Besides the noah story, i was pleased at the support and love i received from the local library here in Margies. Not only have they purchased a copy of each book title, but they really did look after me in whatever way they could. So a big heart felt thank-you go to the librarians on the day.
Kind local librarians and opportunities a match. As synchronistically i walked in as weekly sheduled Story Time had just finished. And unbeknown to everyone, next Tuesday’s Story Time might see me grace the chair. As MR library may have a guest author read them an action-adventure tale that the local kids and their parents will enjoy I’m sure!
See ya there if your in the area…
We are pleased to say, the Margaret River Writers Festival officially kicks off the #ActiveKidsBooks Tour of Western Australia. Look out kids, here we come!!! Yippy…
So as one event comes to a close, symbiotically another takes its first breath. And before long, I will be passing on the torch to the work force at the Kimberley Writers Festival come late July 2014. With many schools and fun to be had in-between. Before we head off, I’d like to personally thank Nick Carroll for the literary gift he kindly signed for me at the MRWF. As one author to another, i’ve invested in a good book i just know it. As i grew up with #TomCarroll, in which the book is based on, as being a World Champion Surfer and one to watch with amazement! The book will be my reading material for the next couple of months as i travel in the recently purchased Landcruiser!
And to talk briefly about my Poetry Slam experience. Not a genre i generally find myself writing or delivering in public. Yet, it ended up being the only opportunity i had to speak with the literary folk of the area. So i blew caution to the wind, got busy writing 5 days before hand and gave it my best shot. I managed to get a 9/10 from one judge, yet i struggled to remember the entire poem and to really do it justice. It was fun all the same, but not to joke with you i was also super nervous. What it offered was a deadline, somewhat boxed the wild imagination in with faded grey boundaries yet a whole lot of freedom to creative play with words! BOOm thats why i went for it!
Before i go, i encourage you to say hello if you see me in the streets (or out in the surf). And to also have your children write to me, let them tell me what they think of AKB stories etc. I’m promoting old school snail mail over email, but everything and anything is great for their literary development.
Go well and lets pray for swell!!!
“Teaching affects eternity. You never can tell where their influence will stop”, as believed and promoted by Kalbarri Primary School staff and support by us here at AKB.
The AKB initiative of supporting boys lower literacy and promoting healthy active kids, kicks off for the third time running in 9 days time. Always an exciting part of our development and focus for Active Kids Books. And thrillingly so, we head off to the wild west for adventure, inspiration and share our colourful love of story.
Western Australia boasts the biggest land mass of all the states in OZ, so there is going to be plenty of driving. This campaign is shaping up to be of epic proportions, with three months allocated to travel from Margaret River down south east to the KImberly way up north-east. We look forward to visiting the kids & staff at Kalbarri Primary, Tom Price, Paraburdoo, Karratha and community schools within the KImberly…
But its not all about work. To walk the talk on health and inspiration, one must experience and live such mantra. And its with this that i set out to surf the biggest waves of my life. I’ve wanted to do a surf trip to WA twenty years ago, now my reality is only days away.
I intend on updating my travels, but also know i’m looking to embrace the moment and not get bogged down in external events. My intention is to offer the kids of WA something special, to give back for all that it will give me. I set off as the proud creator of AKB and look to full-fill an authentic journey of adventure, physical achievements and to share the love of story!
Wish me luck.
The Western Australian adventure is nearing its departure.
The Life’s Awesome campaign No. 3, is in it’s final stages of planning and preparing for another trip away. The excitement is building and the focus is becoming more clear, whilst the days count down. There has been moments of fear, anxiety and questioning the intention/ reason for going. But right now, i’m in the zone with my heart rhythmically drumming a convicted beat.
A determined beat can be heard, with 5 weeks to go before i leave. It feels like the right thing to do, with excitement and determination emotionally flowing out of me. I’m really looking forward to having time to create. I look forward to pushing my athletic abilities in big powerful waves and i look forward to sharing my love of story with kids of the west, including Indigenous communities along the way. I’m going there to make a positive impact, to see and feel more of my country and to share the joy, the fun, the importance of STORY (creation, entertainment, written, told, performed, read, shared, history, communication). Although i’m not sure of the outcomes, the success of the trip or the state of my bank account when i get home (back to Byron). The Life’s Awesome campaign, the desire to focus on new writing concepts and my passion for adventure will be a reality very soon.
You can follow ‘the tale of one dyslexic man & his dream’ via this blog, also articulated as ‘The Journey of the Wild West’.
The journey of the wild west is three fold, as you know. What i’d like to share, is the detail of these intensions that are taking me across and up this vast island country i call home. First and foremost, the Life’s Awesome campaign is all about ‘showing up’ and sharing my love for story with a group of kids. I aim to engage the audience via dynamic acting, sharing my truth and hardship i felt as a dyslexic child and talking about the makings of ActiveKidsBooks. The campaign’s focus is to roll out positive change towards the disappointing stats on ‘boy’s lower literacy levels’ in Australia. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Thirdly, and not without surprise. I’m excited to go to WA for its big powerful challenging waves. Surfing is another creative outlet i get to immerse myself in. Its a chance to test my strength, test my coordination and test my wits against the unpredictable ever respectful ‘mother-nature’. Surfing is the balance i have between sedentary styles of creation i.e. writing, and physical creation of surfing! Drawing any line i choose on a moving mountain of aqua. Surfing helps me stay creative out of the water and offers me breathing time to come up with creative ideas.
There is a good reason AKB has published #SurfSafari, #SkateSession & #ShreddingSnow. As the passion i have as the author, i’m super stoked to be able to share to joy i feel with others! Especially to offer a gift (story book entertainment/ good times/ golden moments) that is shared between parent and child.
I’ll be signing out now. Signing out as one excited author/ father/ adventurer, with the future of AKB looking bright and life treating me well!
P.S. Given that its a Football World Cup Year, you may be interested to know that the first draft of ‘Football Friendly’ (AKB’s coming title) has been written. Given the time it takes to illustrate, our forecast for this title to be published and ready, is the following World Cup in 2018. Stay tuned.