Poetry Friday

I haven’t participated in Poetry Friday for a while but as it’s World Poetry Day (yesterday for me here in Oz) I wanted to keep the poetry thing going.

Today’s poetry roundup can be found at Rebecca Herzog’s Sloth Reads who also informs us that it’s National Goof Off Day so she sent a challenge out for some goofy poems.

And here is mine. Please enjoy Silly Pigs.


Results are in….

Huge congratulations to everyone who entered my Spring Poetry/Story in Verse Competition last Spring – you’ve all be incredibly patient but here is the moment you’ve all been waiting for. I have to say this was an incredibly hard decision to make hence all the highly commendeds and honourable mentions – the standard was fantastic. Prizes will be sent out shortly along with a email. Thanks to all of you who entered, the entries were an absolute joy to judge.


Beginnings and endings

It is with a heavy heart that I write this post. Ten days ago I lost my brother in law, Jason. Jason was only 41 years old when he slipped and fatally hit it head. He wasn’t found until the next morning and all efforts to save him ultimately failed. The family is understandably devastated. Jason was such a generous soul. Here he is setting up the swag that his brother, Jamie (my husband) and I slept in when we first bought our new property.

Screen Shot 2018-12-21 at 10.45.37 amScreen Shot 2018-12-21 at 10.45.22 am

Another thing that Jason loved to do was burn big bonfires and they were the tidiest bonfires that I’ve ever seen. This one took place a few weeks ago, just before the fire season started. He was always very responsible and was so looking forward to helping us clean up our property once the danger period was over.

We moved to our new home on 30th November, our youngest son’s 18th birthday. It’s a ten acre property on the Surf Coast of Victoria about a 20 min drive inland. It’s a beautiful property with so much birdlife, as I type I can hear so many birds twittering away. On the day that our son entered adulthood another tragedy was about to unfold. While we were busy unpacking, our blue staffordshire bullterrier Rex got into the next door neighbour’s yard and attacked their baby goat, the neighbour’s screams brought us running. Having always lived in houses with fences this was something that none of us had ever experienced with Rex – he was always such a gentle soul with even the smallest child. I guess we were naive, Rex was just following his instincts, which, as we were to find out later, possibly saved our lives. Unfortunately the goat didn’t survive, it was too badly injured and here’s where my instincts took over – something I never knew I had in me. The goat was suffering and I knew it had to be put down but to call in a vet would have taken too long. I won’t go into details but I was able, through sheer compassion, to put the goat to rest. It certainly wasn’t the best way to be introduced to your neighbours. Understandably upset, the mother of 3 wanted Rex reported to the council, we knew this wouldn’t end well for Rex. Immediately we build Rex an enclosed area and I assured her that I wouldn’t let him off his lead if he wasn’t in it and I hoped that she’d reconsider. Our son was devastated, he’s had Rex since he was nine and they’d slept together every night since. It was just awful. Here’s Rex in his enclosure. He didn’t like it one bit.

Screen Shot 2018-12-21 at 11.22.09 am

As it was our son’s party was the next day, a Saturday, we asked that the neighbours hold off reporting him to the council until the Monday and they agreed. Now I’m not sure if I believe in Karma but what happened next seemed very Karmic to me. The party was held on the property. Two fires, one for our son and his friends and one for the “grown ups”. I let Rex out of the enclosure and put him on a long lead tied to tree. He could move about freely among us and was happy enough doing that. A friend of ours, Ross, who is a transplant recipient (kidney) was clearing a path between the house and the area that we were all sitting in. His wife and I were inside doing something when we hear, “Snake! Snake!” We ran to the back door in time to see Rex trotting back to Jamie. The snake was dead and I knew Rex had been bitten, this was his second snake bite. As I went to him he reared up and collapsed. We rushed him to emergency but it was too late. He wasn’t breathing on his own and even though they gave him a shot of anti-venom he was going to need another as well as having to be put on a ventilator and still with no guarantees of survival. It was going to cost thousands, money we didn’t have and so we made the very painful decision to have him put down. We didn’t tell our son until the next day.

So the month of December has been full of beginnings and endings. It’s been such a difficult time and I’ll be glad when this year is over. We will miss Jason and Rex so much and are ever grateful that Jason was able to donate his organs to 3 people and that Rex very likely saved Ross’s life as organ recipients have very compromised immune systems and wouldn’t likely survive a snake bite.

Here are some pictures of happier times. And as you can see below, one of the most beautiful beginnings is our niece Jaya – she will miss never knowing her Uncle Jason but we will keep his stories alive and believe me there are so many of them to tell. RIP dear Jason, you gave us so many laughs with your quirky ways. We will miss you terribly.

If at first you don’t succeed…

…what ever you do, don’t give up!

This morning I received some lovely news. A magazine in which I’ve been longing to appear accepted a poem to be published in their Winter Issue (Christmas because they are in the northern hemisphere). I have been submitting poems to this particular magazine since 2015 – 18 poems all up and I’ve also entered their competition a few times.

This particular poem I wrote for a different magazine for their “Crows” theme. The poem I wrote is called “Stone the Crows” – the rejection was lovely but a rejection all the same.

Thank you for submitting ‘Stone the Crows.’ We weren’t able to place it in the crows issue, but we wanted to let you know that we enjoyed your style and sense of humor. We hope you’ll submit to Root & Star again in the future.

If you visit their website you’ll see that the magazine is a lovely production and I will continue to submit to them. It’s a challenge now.

The magazine that has decided to publish “Stone the Crows” is The Caterpillar Magazine.

It too is a beautiful place to be published and I can’t wait to see how it is illustrated, one of the most satisfying things when it comes to having a poem published. And oh, for anyone who is interested, the poem rhymes, of course it does.


If I Were a Poet…


If I were a poet I wonder if I

could write lots of poems that spread wings and fly


Well that’s exactly what one of my poems has done. The very first poem that I wrote specifically for children, If I Were a Giant, has flown the coop and landed not only in the pages of The School Magazine (2005 & 2016)


but also in Oxford University Press India’s Mulberry English Course Book (2 editions)

and more recently at Cambridge University UK as part of their Festival of Ideas.

If I Were a Giant

First published by The School Magazine – Orbit 2005 and again in 2016 and illustrated by Kim Gamble


This poem is very special to me, not only because it is my first children’s poem but also because it was illustrated by Kim Gamble who sadly passed away in 2016. I’ve since decided to name my giant Jamble (Jackie & Gamble).

While I also write picture books, my first love is poetry, particularly rhyming poetry and when I think of it even my picture book The Croc and Platypus is really a poem, an Aussie twist on Lear’s nonsense poem, The Owl and the Pussycat and soon to be released with a brand new cover (here’s the old one) – it begins…

The croc and the platypus trundled off

In a rusty old holden ute

They took some damper and tea in a hamper

And bundled it up in the boot

The Croc and the Platypus-COV

My next picture book, Road Trip, is also being published by Walker Books (black dog books) and is due for release next year. Is it too a poem? Well if not a poem then certainly a story in verse that is being illustrated by the very talented Tom Jellett. Can’t wait to share more about that one.

So have I written any poems that don’t rhyme? Yes I have, with two recently being published by Balloons Lit. Journal (Hong Kong, China). These two poems came to be during a poetry writing course that I did with the amazing Lorraine Marwood. Prose poems don’t come naturally to me but with some gentle coaxing I managed to produce two that I’m quite proud of.

Screen Shot 2018-10-01 at 3.07.34 pm

Two more poems that ended up in China can be found in a book edited by Mark Carthew and Kit Kelen, titled When the Moon is Swimming Naked (Flying Island Books). These two poems appear in both English and Chinese which I think is wonderful.

Screen Shot 2018-10-01 at 3.24.29 pm

Screen Shot 2018-10-01 at 3.24.59 pm

Two more poems have ended up in America, Night Rain in Spider Magazine (Cricket Group) 2010

Screen Shot 2018-10-01 at 3.34.55 pm

and Morning Star in Kenn Nesbitt’s One Minute till Bedtime (little brown). 

A few of my poems have also ended up in England via a lovely publication called The Scrumbler that’s no longer in production.

Here’s a favourite…

Screen Shot 2018-10-01 at 3.58.28 pm


So if I were a poet and I think I must be

Then I’d write lots of poems and set them all free



Poetry Friday – a Zeno poem

This week’s host is Margaret Simon – click the image to see the round up


What is a Zeno poem?

The zeno form was invented by J. Patrick Lewis.  The syllable count is a mathematical sequence, 8,4,2,1,4,2,1,4,2,1 with the one syllable words rhyming.

I’d never heard of a Zeno poem until today and I have to say I quite like it. In fact I like it a lot. So I thought I’d have a go at a Zeno poem myself. It’s still a bit birdy, following last week’s theme but I like birds so here we go, my Aussie, birdy, Zeno poem…


Cocky is short for Cockatoo


METRE (METER) MATTERS – although the spelling doesn’t



Hello again – I’ve not posted anything since June as I’ve not really had anything to say, that is until now.

So since then I’ve put together a writing course to help explain WHY metre matters and HOW metre works when writing in rhyme.

Some of you may have purchased my Rhyme Like the Experts Book and this course is really just an expansion of that along with some added bonuses.

I have been editing adults writing children’s poems and stories in verse for years now and I absolutely love it.

So far I have edited over 300 rhymers and close to 1000 rhymes – that’s amazing!

To read some of their testimonials you can click here.

Over the years I’ve been asked if I run any courses and of course, until now, I hadn’t.

So what do I offer? And what does…

View original post 863 more words


I’ve been meaning to join in on #poetryfriday for ages

and thanks to this post on Renée LaTulippe’s blog I now know how to do it so thanks for that Renée.


This week’s host is Christie Wyman – click image

When I went to Christie’s blog, Wondering and Wandering – I was delighted to see that her blog title was “Birds of a Feather” because as it happens I have a poem with that exact same title that was published in our beloved School Magazine way back in 2008.

I’ve written many poems about birds over the years, I too love them and they seem to love me, when I come bearing gifts.

Cockatoo and King parrot

They absolutely LOVE pumpkin and sunflower seeds.



Anyway here’s my poem for this week’s Poetry Friday challenge Birds of a Feather.



Self publishing has always fascinated me but I’m not a blower of my own trumpet so I’ve never gone down that track, that is, until today. Why today? Well, because next week I shall be attending a Book Week event.




The Croc and Platypus will be read, which takes about two minutes. I know I can stretch


it out a bit but it’s not a very long book, it’s a poem really, as is Edward Lear’s The Owl and the Pussy Cat.

So…..I’ve been searching about for some other things to read and from my experience, preppies or foundation students as they are now known (in Australia at least), like a picture to go with a story. My next picture book with black dog books isn’t due out until next year and my poetry, while illustrated beautifully thanks mostly to The School Magazine, is still very short. So what to do?

Recently I entered a story into a competition. It didn’t win but it did get itself this lovely comment…..

What a cheeky rhyming story with a delicious finish. Rhyme can often hinder the writing process, but you have captured it beautifully. It is clear you are well-versed in the writing process and have a polished manuscript to prove it. We encourage you to submit your story to publishers.

Then it got this quite nice rejection from Scholastic….

This is very humorous! Unfortunately, if you have a look at the picture book titles of the last 12 months, this topic has been WELL covered. We even have our own picture book in this area just recently released.

So sadly, we won’t be able to take this title.

So I have a picture book, a funny, polished picture book but I think its ship may have sailed at least as far as traditional publishers are concerned which is why I’ve decided to jam it into a pdf, quick and dirty, with the help of CANVA, a graphic designy sort of site that I’ve very amateurishly used for the purpose of having something fun to read during book week that’s also got some pictures.

I’ve also decided to share this story for FREE so if you feel so inclined please go ahead and download it but DO NOT JUDGE ME!!!!

And enjoy 🙂

Mummy’s Smell Like Roses

Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 4.19.05 pm

50% off first hour’s edit

To warm up your Winter Writing – Jackie’s Rhyming Manuscript Editing Service is offering 50% off your first hour’s edit for the entire month of JUNE.

Normally $45, for JUNE only you can get your first hour for only $22.50 – you’ll also receive a FREE copy of her Rhyme Like the Experts book.

So if you have a rhyming children’s story or poem that just won’t behave itself why not take advantage of this special offer?