Being interviewed by the Science Show host, Robyn Williams, is like having front row seats with a master in the art of interviewing. The stars of this interview were two little native freshwater fish -- Gladys and Stripey. It was fab to discuss my first children's book with Robyn.
A podcast is available on the Science Show website. And I quote from the ABC RN Science Show podcast, ' Michele describes how she is inspired by the natural world, and how she created an adventure story for children based on science and the lives of two little fish.' Here's the link to the podcast.
The book is called, Gladys and Stripey: two little fish on one BIG adventure.
Thursday 23 November at 7.45pm (SA time) I'll be chatting to the iconic, and soon to retire (as in next week), Peter Goers. What an amazing radio host. We first met years ago when my memoir about accompanying my mum with dementia was published. Delighted that I'll get to say goodbye when we chat later this week about Gladys and Stripey -- my first children's book.
It's hard not to laugh when chatting with Peter Goers, even when the topic is tough. His dry quick wit is really something. This photo was taken in Adelaide at an Alzheimer's conference a few years ago.
This is a beautiful picture book for our times. Called Hope is the thing, it was inspired by Emily Dickinson's poem, "Hope" is the thing with feathers. Who said picture books are just for kids? All ages will be blown away by this beautifully written and illustrated book. Best to head down to your local bookshop or library, and get yourself a copy.
In 2015, my book about accompanying my mum with dementia, Fraying: Mum, memory loss, the medical mazeand me was published. What I discovered, when mum's memory was changing, is that Mum and I loved looking at picture books together, often the garden or nature variety. Mum's earthly journey came to an end over a decade ago, but I'd bet she would have loved this book. The rhyme is as soulful as the illustrations.
If you have someone close to you with dementia, and you read this WITH them, I'd love to hear how it goes. You can contact me via the contact page on my website - www.michelegierck.com.au
It's great that the River Detectives program has discovered Gladys and Stripey: two little fish on one BIG adventure, and like it so much, that this unique picture book, --'valuable to all as a way of learning about waterways, native fish and importance of healthy habitat and fish passage' -- is now one of their recommended resources.
The book is based on an Australian threatened freshwater fish species. It encourages readers to discover what's in their own waterway. Public and school librarians will want to check there's a copy on their shelves.
More details about Gladys and Stripey: two little fish on one BIG adventure, including a video, educator notes and activities can be found at https://michelegierck.com.au/gladys-and-stripey/
El Salvador might be a long way from Ukraine, but the tenacity of the people and their determination in a conflict zone certainly has its similarities.
As a writer and storyteller, I thought this might be the best way I could make a small contribution. Please note that it's only set up for people in Australia. In other countries I'm sure there are local Red Cross or Red Crescent initiatives, or other NGOs that you can support for Ukraine.
A big shout out to Red Cross and Red Crescent for the great work they do in conflict zones, and with displaced/refugee people.
I hear it often. Wanting to write your own memoir, or life story, but not sure where to start. Here's a tip. Instead of staring at the blank page, wondering where to start, and feeling overwhelmed, why not start writing a personal profile -- an overview of your story in 1000 to 3000 words. And if you can't write it yourself, get someone to write it, or help you write the piece. It's amazing what emerges -- a spark, ideas, a theme, a voice, structure, or even style or tone.
I've been collaborating with a couple of business women lately, and it's worked for both of them, even though the story each of them wants to tell is about much more than their respective businesses.
Text and image copyright Michele Gierck
If you enjoy reading memoirs, or if you are learning all you can about them, (perhaps even threatening to write one), this is a book you'll want to make sure you get your hands on. I've just finished it for the first time. Feel like I need to read it again, because I was so delighted with the story and the way it was written, the way words and images melded into amazing descriptions, that I charged through it.
One of Mary's lines at the end of the book says a lot about the effect this first memoir of hers has had on readers. 'Reading Liars' Club seemed to crowbar open something in people.' I can totally understand why.
I happened to discover this wonderful book, published in 2015, in the it's-yours-for-free box at the local library. Just proves that one library's trash is another person's treasure.
Here's one of my favourite quotes. 'In fact, every memoirist I know seems doomed to explore the past in an often-agonized death march down the page.'
Hope you get a chance to at least read the Preface. It's a classic.
Once in a while, if you are really lucky, you come across a picture book that is so beautifully researched and written that your heart begins to sing as you read. I was totally drawn into LOOK UP WITH ME Neil deGrasse Tysone: A Life Among the Stars (words by Jennifer Berne), that I feel compelled to let the world know about it. (The illustrations are by Lorraine Nam.)
If you are grown-up, or yet to grow up, and have ever looked up at the stars, or would love to, see if you can get your hands on a copy of this book.
The Introduction by Neil, and the Author's Note by Jennifer are fabulous bookends to the story.