Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Murray Upper Christmas

Last year was our first Murray Upper Christmas, and for this year - our second one, I decided to make a small video.

I wanted to capture the arrival of Santa, small town country spirit, and the lolly scramble mostly.

I didn't want the video to be too formal or long.

Some precious moments presented themselves along the way.  My favourite moment is the mother going up to Santa's truck  . . . watch to see what happens.  I received a request to take a photo for someone and that photo is inserted near the end.

I still enjoy making and editing videos and will begin some more explorations of method in the new year.

We now have a gopro as well, and can add some different kinds of shots into our films.

I've invested in a microphone for my camera but apparently I might need a 'wombat,' to filter the power pick up of sound.

I'll be looking at some handy programs for syncing music to stories, and that kind of thing! Time to search and love watching youtube tutorials!

I'm literally dreaming up lots of ideas for short or long films, so time to write some scripts, do some storyboarding, and see where to go from here.

Have a very Happy Christmas and New Year.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012


                                     Reading the Sunset - By June Perkins

It’s an inspiring time.

I’ve finally managed to make headway on my writing projects. A memoirs is well underway. I am enjoying the process of bringing memories of past friendships back to life. The process of the memoir was given momentum during November.  I was writing stories for the ABC Open project Who Shaped Me.  I decided to do a blog challenge – 19 stories in the month. I was delighted to complete the challenge I had set for myself during the month of Nanowrimo.  At the end of the challenge I had 12,000 words towards my memoir.  It is now up around 25,000 words and continuing.

I love the process of memory unpacking.

On top of this I've managed to finally finish a poetry book which a  dear friend is going to illustrate.
It's designed for families to read together;  it isn't for children or adults alone and is based on my time living in North Queensland.

Some of the works are quite lyrical and have been sung at various places for friends and family.

I have been loving working for ABC Open as a moderator/Editor.  It's just awesome - and I had my time extended there so will be doing this for a bit longer. Working there just doesn't feel like 'work' but more of a blessing.

Reading, writing, editing!  Ha yes, even editing.  It's something to enjoy, not detest, because when you are reading, editing and moderating other people's work, it gives you even greater ability to be detached when it comes to editing your own stuff.

I'm reading so much now, that I really know which things jump off the page at me.  This  makes me strive even more to write in a way that makes the reader want to read my work!

I am so grateful to many people I've never met, except through reading their blogs, or joining them in online writing projects.  They are brilliant because they inspire me with their comments, feedback and their own enthusiasm for writing.  I especially love the Monday Writing Sprint Group - !!!  But the ABC Open contributors and producers are pretty amazing too.  I also adore the Soul Food group of Heather Blakey and am enjoying getting to know the Write Practice Crew..

To unwind I head out and take photographs, like the one above.  I am so blessed to have such great settings to easily access.  There is magic in the cane.  I've even written a poem about 'Ghosts from the Cane' that follow you to the city.  All will be revealed in my poetry book.

That's all from me for now - you can checkout my work and if you feel inspired please leave a comment on my Pearlz Dreaming Blog or at ABC Open.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Dance For Recovery Screening at Mission Beach Film Festival

The film about Danielle Wilson's beautiful workshop 'Dance for Recovery' will be screening at the Mission Beach Festival. 

I hope that everyone will enjoy it.  I won't be able to attend as we have family visiting we haven't seen for two years and we are off to visit them that weekend.

I think also I get a bit nervous sitting people watch my films.  I know now why film makers like to do test audiences and sneak in and watch their films where nobody knows who they are.

I am very proud of this lovely film about a moving community project, and the participants and creator of the show were also very happy with it.

We are hoping to work on more projects, and I am especially keen to create some poetry and musical and lyrical films that reflect some of the things trialed in this film.

Several other short films from locals will be screened at the festival, as well as entries and interesting films from around the world.  Why not head along and enjoy all the festivities, including the opening night.

I will be there in spirit, and narrative, behind the camera of 'Dance for Recovery.'

All the best,


Dance for Recovery - June Perkins

Look Don't Touch

This is one of my contributions to the ABC Open project 500 words. I felt inspired by the topic and am loving reading everyone's contributions.

Look - don't touch Girl and Hibiscus - June Perkins

Mum has always loved gardens.  She used to stop and knock on our neighbours' doors when their gardens had plants with brilliant potential cuttings.

Then she would ask 'Do you mind if I take a cutting?' She came equipped with her own garden gloves, shears and buckets.

I wonder what the neighbours thought of her as she harvested their gardens.

I remember being embarrassed, but she did do it with everyone’s blessing.  I don’t remember anyone ever saying no to her.

Mum loved to try and grow tropical plants in Tasmania to remind her of her original home in Papua New Guinea.  She had immense pride when she had success with her hibiscus. She has always been a determined lady in both her garden and other parts of her life.

When we were little Mum clearly told us to stay away from her garden flowers - ’Look, don’t touch.’ We had to water and weed the vegetable patch. Our vegetable garden was vital to our family’s survival as we didn’t have a large income.

Our Dad was often away working as a labourer so the garden gave my Mum many hours of happiness. She tried to make us follow the rules of her garden – things like 'you are not allowed to pick the flowers or pick the fruit and vegetables before they are ripe.' But the problem was I loved the delicious scent of Mum’s garden flowers and was keen to make perfumes just like the ones on her dressing table.

There was one plant in particular with a yellow mushy part that you could crush easily into a yellow powder and it made a vibrant paste for not only perfume but for making your own paint.

One day I found myself with this glorious plant busy making my perfume - how I loved  the feel of the soft yellow part of the plant - when my Mum stepped out of the back door and began to yell out and run for me – ‘No, how could you….’  I was sure I turned the bright pink of my Mum’s hibiscus.

I looked up from my perfume making efforts at my Mum’s anguished face, and glanced briefly at the very empty flower bed.  Had I really used that many flowers?

Holding my bowl of flowers forward, as if it was now the best treasure of all, I managed to squeeze out the words, ‘I made it just for you.’
 By June Perkins

  For more Caught Out Stories head over to ABC Open's 500 Words.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dance for Recovery - Behind the Scenes

So here it is, my latest venture into documentary - Dance for Recovery - Behind the Scenes.   This is the story of how movement can be used to assist people recovering from the trauma of cyclone yasi.  Be inspired by Danielle Wilson's vision, and all those who supported her to make this dream come true, everyone is credited in the closing of the video so keeping this blog short and sweet,  just hop onto the vimeo and take a look.  I'll be blogging this in more detail at ABC Open and will put a link to that post in here later and Connecting Community Voices will have a vimeo channel of other inspiring stories up soon.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Song Trails Review

I've been busy over at my Pearlz Dreaming Blog.  Recently I've had two documenting jobs, one of a Dance for Recovery Project and another for Song Trails.  I covered both photographically and have just about finished editing a video documentary for Dance for Recovery.   In the mean time here is my Song Trails blog.

Michelle Walker and Bob Elliston, Singing a Song they wrote after meeting in Last years Song Trails – June Perkins

This year Tully Song Trails  gathered the musical experience of nineteen people from the ages of fifteen to seventy-eight years.

All ages worked together and came from the genres of  bubble gum punk,  folk, country, rhythm and blues, and rock.  We had harp,  saxophones,  bass, flutes, guitar, trumpet and voices – high and low – all of us were motivated to do what we all love- make music.

Peter Farnan was again one of the tutors, this time joined by Morganics a hip hop artist from Sydney.  Both had considerable talent in producing songs, which was  important on the last day of the workshop when two songs were recorded.

The Song Trails Weekend  reminded me of what most of us like in songs and what composers and writers search for to make a memorable song.
1-  A groove in the music.
2- A contrasting chorus and verse – with a stable chorus and unstable verse (reverse this for an unusual effect).
3- Writing with a sense of the history of the genre you are writing in whether it is Blues, Hip, Hop or Jazz.
4- A texture of instruments and voices that fits the groove of the song.
5- Music is collaborative.
6- Instrumental solos can build of be scattered through a song for great emotion and can have a certain feel to them coloured by the song.
7- Writing songs means tapping into creativity through many means, from drawing on the subconscious, the feeling our piece of music gives to us (ie you can begin with the music and then add the words that fit that piece).
8- It’s important to search for the unpredictable rhyme.
9- Having a hook in a song makes it extremely memorable.
10- It is possible to write a song in just over an hour, but it might take more time for it to settle.

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Songtrailers posing hip hop style -taken by Giuliana Bonel

As for the new format of Song Trails, it’s a ripper, from a participant’s point of view you learn a lot more about song making than the original three-hour workshop.  You have a great chance to form connections with other artists, and you see much more of the song producing process if you have never witnessed this before.  We learnt concert protocol and added to our performance experience.

The concert at the end of the three days featured local talent who had participated in the workshops extensively, with Peter and Morganics supporting on instruments and doing just a few of their own works.    The feedback I’ve received from people who headed to the Tully concert was that is was great quality.  They audience were amazed by the newly composed songs and impressed by the local artists – they also enjoyed what Morganics and Peter shared.  Especially Morganics rap/ode to Tully.

The three day workshop format is a ripper, the only challenge I can forsee is that if you have over twenty participants you’re going to need another tutor, to assist in mentoring the groups and recording songs.  Another singer, musician might come in handy throughout the weekend just to have another genre, person with different life experience there.  Although a lot of this can come from participants as well.   It really depends on who turns up to the workshop.

I was delighted QMF employed me to photo document song trails this year.   It might be possible with more of a budget to regularly make a montage  photo video as part of the three-day workshop.  Yes, I know I’m shamlessly plugging for another documentary gig and an extension of this role to possible music video maker, what can I say – I absolutely loved documenting Song Trails as a participant and it was energising wearing the two hats. I threw a photo montage together on the spur of the moment on the Sunday morning, and Morganics did some rhythmic editing to time it to the music.  Hence a small music video was possible!  I went home after the workshop and mixed a montage for another song as well.  Loved doing that but wasn’t really part of my original time budget for the project, just felt moved to do it for participants.

Those attending the concert enjoyed the behind the scenes photographs, especially the family and close friends of the participants.  The parents of the youth participants said their kids came home every day raving about what they had learnt, who they had met, and other local youth are rearing up to do it next year on the recommendation of their mates.  Morganics was a hit with them!

Importantly this workshop worked as everyone was deliberately mixed by the tutors and collaborated with people they did not know, all ages and genres mixed.  This was extremely good for ensuring everyone learnt something new.  So a big thankyou to Peter Farnan and Morganics,  you both did a great job.

In breaks many people were trying out playing the harp of one of the participants, and so many youth want to work with the harpist next time.  I think she felt like quite a celebrity.  Peter was extremely delighted to record a live harp, which he said he had never done before.  So perhaps people will be lining up  for the  facilitator’s experience at  Song Trails remixed and have an experience like Peter’s, although everybody would love to see Peter again as he has such a subtle way of helping you improve a song.

Another highlight for me was extremely talented songwriters turning up to support emerging songwriters by attending the workshops.  Their willingness to attend the workshop really made it for the other less experienced participants, I refer especially to  Michelle Walker, Sue Day and Shirley Lyn, who added to the positive dynamic of the weekend.  More experienced song writers and singers should not discount participating in Song Trails, for the opportunity to meet up and coming artists and form collaborations and friendships.  Who knows maybe some more song trailers will present co-written songs, just like Michelle and Bob did on the first evening.

A big thankyou to Queensland Music Festival, APRA, Cassowary Coast Regional Council, Queensland Government, and Kareeya Hydro for bringing this workshop to Tully and making it so accessible, as the workshop was free.  The support crew of Song Trails were great as well, thankyou so much for all you did whilst in Tully.
Taking a Bow at the Final Concert – David Perkins

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

The Anchor - inspiring healing

I have just begun guest writing/creating posts on creativity and its role in the recovery processes in the Cassowary Coast, since Cyclone Yasi. I was so happy to share this story from Christine. What an inspiring lady! You might find the following site worth a VISIT Place Story. Please take the time to leave comments THERE

Thanks so much to the Creative Recovery Arts Corp for inviting me to be a community journalist from now until August.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Invitation to the Exhibition - Smile Within

Here is the invitation to the launch.

For a bit of a taste of the exhibition go to Smile Within.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Sometimes There's no Need for Words

I am gearing up to do some short poetry films.  Here is a short practice film without words, except for the titles and credits.  It's about a day at the beach.  The thing about film is it began in this silent form often with piano, with no words (except for the occassional written ones on screen) came later.  It is good to understand the craft in its simplest form, and to strip away the words and simply express with moving image.   Then I will begin to layer the words on.  There are quite a few poetry films out there, I must explore and see how they are approaching it.

Usually I use Vimeo for sharing video but for this one have opted for youtube as it is compatible with easy embeds in blogger.  I will also explore the best video share options.  I like vimeo because its  has no ads and is frequented by people serious about the art of film-making.  But then I also enjoy paying for a vimeo pro account to have good storage and freedom from ads.   Just remember I don't endorse any of those youtube ads if you click through to view this on youtube.

My goal is not to be a youtube sensation, but to explore the art of film and express what is important to me, if that pleases you leave a comment and discuss.

(c) June Perkins

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Kite Girl

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KiteGirl-June Perkins

She looks at the kite small and bright
She wonders if she can make herself light
For the air and for the possibility of flight
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KiteGirl 2- June Perkins

She checks out the string and the physics of things
She follows the plastic rainbow streamers that will make it work
And she dreams of what life seems in the centre of rings

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Kite Girl3- June Perkins

She is the kite girl who has found her inner bling
She will dance and take the breath out of the wasps sting
She is the kite and the kite is her.
At least that’s what she thinks as the world blinks.

(c) June Perkins
[Time to start making some poetry films I think - putting video, poetry, photography and performance together. First posted in ]

Friday, March 02, 2012

Submissions of Stories to Smile Within invited

 Bouncing Back from Cyclone Yasi.

 Moments of Community ...

Sunday, February 26, 2012

At the Oscars/ Academy Awards with the Perkins's

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Feather on Water, by June Perkins

So it’s raining – and our wet season, which is deciding whether to arrive keeps threatening. Just a moment ago we couldn’t see the canefields across the road.

I’ve spent the morning trying to fend off a cold. As well as having all my kids at home sick with coughs that would drive their teachers mad and are consequently instead leading to Mum needing ear muffs. Poor little mites. Time to whip out that hot lemon.

They are settled in watching the Oscars, after eating some tinned spaghetti.

Wonder what they will be eating at the Oscars, Billy Crystal says there is a smorgasboard on offer.

So far we have been treated to some documentary and special effects awards. The beauty of it is that all the results are live, no more waiting until the actual night when it’s all a repeat and you just know the results. What’s the fun in an award night with no suspense, an awards day where results are unknown is much better if you can have it, which we can. With all the internet coverage they are now screening it twice, and those of us at home for any reason can watch it live on tv. I think they realise otherwise we can and will watch it somewhere on the internet.

Billy is a relaxed and genial host, who is funny but never upsets the establishment. Yet Oscar humour always has a mixed history, sometimes the jokes only work on the audience, well if you are to believe their laughter; around the world Oscar humour can fall embarrasingly flat, but does anyone tell the academy – only the savaging after the event critics. Perhaps though it is because the jokes can be ‘in jokes’ that mainly the actors, directors and writers get.

How cool Christopher Plummer from Sound of Music fame, a movie he reportedly did not like, as well as a few other films just got an Oscar. Now that’s brilliant. He’s only two years older than the actual Ocars themselves and after a life time of acting he finally makes it. The audience so appreciate his win it takes a while for them to let him speak. I am enjoying his speech. What a romantic ending, to thank his wife and give her the nobel peace prize for her patience and long suffering. A little cliched of course. Yet it’s so hearfelt and he seems to have been with her so long it’s not quite like the average celebrity marriage. They probably deserve an oscar for that one too – although it is his third marriage so who knows.

The romance continues with another awardee thanking his wife, and begging for extra time to share the love and give the love! I am remembering emotions more than names here but then if you want names just go to the Oscar Blog.

Now as well as the Oscars I am considering my blog and what it’s goal is. I am officially abandoning this month’s challenge, which was 8 interconnected story posts (I got to three) and considering my writing identity. Must be the rainy weather sending me on this writing identity quest. Or maybe I am just sick of that pesky bird – who is gurgling and singing and inspired my writing quest and then left me high and dry, but today is wet so I am paddling out with my writing again! But where it the bird. The bird is a footnote!

I love to read and write in so many genres. Where is my focus? This question keeps cropping up the last few months and I am finally getting around to answer it.

I blog anything that moves me to write, especially our country life, art, creativity, photographty and events that I feel inspired by local and global (hence my lack of discussing at any great length the antics of our country’s leaders and the fact we still have a certain red head as our Prime Minister. I’ll leave that to all the facebook forums. My comment was to post a picture of Ghandi! On my facebook page and say we needed some more spiritual ethical leaders to run the place). Key word ‘inspired;’ so what inspires me today – Billy Crystal

Billy Crystal is now making me giggle with impersonations. He is brilliant! Just so natural, I don’t think anyone can host the Oscars like he does. No wonder they keep asking him back.

Now there’s another thankyou speech of someone indebted to his wife, but who also grew up to work with the legendary ‘Muppets.’ Maybe my daughter’s dream of growing up to meet a dragon might just come true, all she has to do is meet a puppet or a blue screen with dragon on a screen.

Now Angelina Jolie takes to the stage. It’s the Scriptwriters turn to be acknowledged. Anticlimax, no speech as Woody Allen is not there to accept his.

Now actors share their favourite movies – and they are talking about the power of stories

What makes you laugh? What makes you cry? What are the moments of dignity?

Sounds like the pathway of writers, not just in film but in so many genres. The scriptwriters have actors to help them on their way, the writer of the story flat on the page, must transport the reader beyond the page into their imagination. The writer’s friends are words, their collaborators are editors. Writing about the art of writing, can lead to a maze.

Are you writing entrapped in the art itself? How are you going to climb out of that writing box?

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Australia Day Award - Cultural Medal June Perkins - Taken by David Perkins

At the Academy Awards they are now speaking about high speed digital cameras and I am thinking about the power of my Nikon to collect footage for family films. I have entered a small film competition for the first time, with my movie about Pam and Joe. I’d love to win some extra money to make some more short films. Maybe I should aim for Tropfest, who knows?

What subject can I find in this rain, cane and spagetti afternoon with sick children who are looking for something to make them not feel blue?

So now the rain begins again, making the world outside invisible in shades of grey and the Perkins’s (minus one member) continue watching the Oscars punctuated by ads about consildating debt and so on.

Our town does not have a cinema, but only projection screens and businesses or the highschool who put on films. You have to journey more than an hour either direction to find a cinema. People do that and make a night of it.

One cinema at Babinda, I’ve heard from friend, is like travelling back through time. The old style has been retained and the town prides itself on this. I think I better make a trip there one day as that sounds fun, although too far back and I would be dealing with colour bars depending on where I lived. Not all of us want to live in the past where there was a lot of prejudice against migrants and those of ‘colour.’ I don’t like that term, the ‘coloured’ – aren’t we all full of some colour – and does that make others the ‘uncoloured.’

The challenges of country life – no cinema, no access to a gp for 6 weeks if you are sick (unless you head off to the hospital ringing it at 8.30am). I wonder if any kids out there- at home sick, watching the academy awards will grow up and make movies. Or become doctors, head on home and stop these 6 week waits.

Will they talk about the country environments that inspired them? Will they look back at history and critique it? Will they find novels about country life to inspire scripts? Maybe they will not look back at country life, but look forward – into the future? Will there be any country life left when all the farmers sell up because their kids don’t want to come home and run the farms? Larger farms, fewer owners, what does it all mean for the future?

Oprah Winfrey’s honorary Oscar for Humanitarian purposes brings a tear to my eye. What an inspiring lady! And it’s a trip down memory lane through all the parts of James Earl Jones. And now for the in memoriam section of the Oscars, farewells to all the buried actors, writers and producers…

Meryl Streep is slightly embarrased to be up on stage for the third time, best actress, for an invokation of Margaret Thatcher – but a deep breath and she’s away – beginning with thanking her partner, not ending with thanking him. She is celebrating friendship, new and old and with those present and those now gone from this life.

Do they make movies in heaven?

What is the best movie of the year? — The Artist, A silent and black and white movie takes it out, and it seems that movies travel back in time to achieve a dream for some film-makers.

So that’s the Oscars at home with the Perkins’s. A space to watch the rain on cane, dream, think about the wonders of writing and care for the beloved treasure of this world children. For a full list of winners if you are interested — read here. Now I end with a few questions.

Why do you go to the movies? What is your favourite movie? How far do you have to travel to the movies at a cinema?

(c) June Perkins, all rights reserved. First Published in Pearlz Dreaming

Saturday, February 25, 2012

I am an Artist

This is a sticker every artist should have! I love serving my community but to keep doing art and writing one has to have some of the time adaquately paid for or have a day job.

It is an interesting time for me, moving from mostly voluntary work in writing and art, to endeavouring to make a living out of it. If I can be very successful one day then maybe I can be like our great entrepenuers and sponsor others. I love seeing successful authors who are doing this, they are my role models, but there is a step inbetween (or several to be able to do that).

Arts in the framework of not for profit, should not mean starving artists and writers living on the breadline.

So they next time you want to ask an artist to do something for your event, function, or project, do consider paying them for their efforts and consider they will put the money to great use, and it will probably go to their time to create more art.

(c) June Perkins

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Butterflies Storified

I love butterflies and today I created this in storify after taking a photograph of a Ulysses.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Some of My Favourite Books

This blog was created using pinterest. As with all applications copyright must be respected. Here are some books I love. If you click on each book you will go through to the pinboard and can find some more information on each. The whole pinboard can be found by clicking HERE

Friday, February 03, 2012

Cyclone Yasi and Its Aftermath - Storifyed..

A friend put me onto Storify - a useful way to present an assortment of links from facebook, youtube, online newspapers, tumblr, blogs, and flickr. It reminds me of scrapbooking only it's digital, quick and dead easy. Others can enjoy your websearches on any set topic. Here is my first storify effort - Cyclone Yasi and its Aftermath.

Enjoy this assortment. I'll be doing a few more of these - on video making and ebooking. I think it's best to use your own photographs and those that have a clear creative commons on them as storify displays images the same as if you pasted them into the page and I think you could run some copyright issues if you don't follow this guideline.

All the links are extracted in a visually attractive way to make them appealing for readers to find.

It is similar to Squidoo but easier and you can embed your results into your established blogs like I have done here. You are encouraging people to look at the work of others documenting, or educating on your topic of interest and I think they would be more than happy that you are sending them more traffic.

In some ways it reminds me of the gallery options in flickr where you organise pictures on themes you like and others can view your curation, only Storify is appealing because it is so versatile.