Category Archives: Writing Stories

THANK YOU TO OUR KICKSTARTER BACKERS


You can buy these books directly from me as soon as our website http://www.lazylittlefrog.com is set up. You can also purchase by emailing me on jkleahyart@gmail.com to send you an invoice or PayPal payment request.

I wish to thank all the backers who supported my education campaign on Kickstarter. I sincerely thank those who donated. We did not make the Kickstarter Goal in the 30 days, however, any money raised after Kickstarter will enable me to complete the Motu version – Paroparo Maragina Hesiku Dikadika and potentially help me print 100 copies of each language for distribution in PNG. For the backers on Kickstarter, you still want your book, order here or at jkleahyart@gmail.com.

I’m grateful for all your support. Please note, some adjustments are being made to the website: http://www.lazylittlefrog.com and once they are completed, you can purchase the books there.on that website.

The Lazy Little Frog Launches on Kickstarter Tomorrow – March 8


BUY YOUR COPY TOMORROW, MARCH 8, ON KICKSTARTER (www.kickstarter.com)

My first children’s book, The Lazy Little Frog (hardcover) will be sold through Kickstarter from tomorrow, March 08, 2022. A limited signed hardcover copies (500 each language) will be sold with in a gift box. The Lazy Little Frog is also in Tok Pisin and Motu – the three official languages of Papua New Guinea.

This 46 page book is printed on premium paper and includes 32 watercolour illustrations.

The digital launch has been delayed due to unforeseen circumstances and the Queensland floods. Our Page on Kickstarter will be live and you can access by http://www.kickstarter.com and search for “The Lazy Little Frog” or “Joycelin Leahy”.

I will also insert a link here once we are live.

Kickstarter is a creator’s crowd-funding platform, and by selling my books through this platform, I can raise funds to print and distribute my book. I can also sell book merchandise and promote the book world-wide.

Kickstarter is an “all or nothing” system, so I have to raise my goal of $30,000 AUD to be able to receive the pledges and print the books.

All your support and comments are welcome and please share my post.

Thank you. Joycelin Kauc Leahy. Author/Illustrator.

Book Interview with Suzy and Johnny – It Takes Two


The Lazy Little Frog book was featured last Sunday on Brisbane’s 99.7 Bridge FM by Suzy and Johnny – It Takes Two.

Suzy and Johnny promote the arts on this show and have been sharing artists’ achievements and many creators’ journeys on the airwaves. They began in 2017.

You can catch them on Sundays between 6pm and 10pm in Brisbane. The duo like to support local Art Societies, Artisans, Authors and anything creative.

If you would like to listen to Sunday’s my book interview with Suzy and Johnny on The Lazy Little Frog, please click on the MP3 below. The recording is courtesy of Suzy and Johnny.

You can share this recording.

The Lazy Little Frog Storybook


It’s with great pleasure that I introduce to you, my storybook, “The Lazy Little Frog“. I plan to launch the book on Kickstarter on February 14th, 2022. I wrote and illustrated this story along with a Tok Pisin version, “Liklik Hambak Rokrok“.

You can follow the book website on www.https://lazylittlefrog.com here at WordPress.

The Lazy Little Frog is a universal story about friendship told through the eyes of a little green tree frog. I have included a short book description in English and Tok Pisin.

Loki Enough, a little green tree frog thought hard work was for losers until a near-death experience changes Loki’s view and attitude forever. This change also earns Loki a best friend.

Liklik grinpela rokrok Loki Inap i ting olsem ol lusman tasol i save wok hat. Tasol taim em i bin kamap klostu long lusim laip nau, tingting na pasin bilong Loki i senis olgeta, na em i bungim wanpela gutpela poro.

A limited signed hardcover copies will be sold on Kickstarter platform from February 14th, to help raise funding for another educational project in for PNG children.

We are working on a Motu version of The Lazy Little Frog. My goal is to have the story in these three languages -English, Tok Pisin and Motu. The country has over 830 languages and I am making the story more accessible to the children of Papua New Guinea. This story is set in PNG but it is a story anyone from anywhere in the world can relate to. You can read the book reviews on lazylittlefrog.com

The idea of the book initially came after ‘The Song of the Turtle”, my first children’s story I wrote in 2015 and won The PNG National Literature Award for the best children’s story. The Lazy Little Frog book began with a dialogue in my mother-tongue between a young green tree frog and an old rooster. It has taken me five years to craft the dialogue into a picturebook.

My broader vision is to help educate children about climate change and future changes in our environment. I hope to create illustrations and develop stories specifically around my area of study, climate change and how it affects intangible cultures. Storytelling is an intangible culture. I grew up by the fire listening to stories told by my grandmother and family members. It was our way of handing down family information and our history. It was also a way to teach our young and protect our way of living. Some evenings, storytelling was simply for the laughs and many stories were told with a display of action.

I will post more stories about my storybook in the days leading up to Kickstarter launch. Please like, comment and share and I hope you can support us on Kickstarter. You can also follow the lazylittlefrog.com blog.

The Precious Plum


The Precious Plum is a sweet, whimsical and fairytale-like love story. Imagine taking a journey back to your childhood (speaking of the older generation), where you are lost in fantasy of story and lyrical rhymes. As it’s name suggests, this is a precious story.

The book reminds us to pay attention and be open to what we know and see every day, for what we seek may be right before our eyes.

Author and Illustrator Jennifer Horn used her architectural skills, combined with her love for art and storytelling into a finely crafted story.

Jennifer Horn and I met by accident when my niece Lani Kami, her friend, brought her to my studio for an art workshop.

I learnt that Jen was an illustrator and later found out she was publishing a storybook. Below you can read what others have written about The Precious Plum and links to where you can buy this book.

Jennifer Horn launching and sharing her storybook with readers at the Mad Hatters Bookshop in Manly, Brisbane.

“A perfectly glorious little gem of a book” – Angela Slatter, Author of the World Fantasy Award-winning The Bitterwood Bible

“Jennifer Horn illustrates her gentle fable The Precious Plum with a narrative, lyrical, calligraphic line, both winsome and whimsical, as if illustrating a song you can almost hear… A kindly and dawn-hued fairy-tale debut” – Kathleen Jennings, World Fantasy Award-winning Artist

What better time than a global pandemic to self-publish a fairytale book? Brisbane-based illustrator and author Jennifer Horn had this story cooking inside her imagination for the better part of a decade, and despite it receiving years of rejections from traditional publishers, knew it was meant to be created. 

Then the pandemic hit and along with many other industries, the publishing world slowed up completely, with major decelerations to everything in its pipelines. Jen had been given some great advice from a few writing mentors – fellow picture book writers – that amidst the disruption, if she was up to the challenge, now was the perfect time to self-publish. 

“At first, the idea of self-promotion and doing it all myself was overwhelming. But then I just kept surrounding myself with people who had been down similar paths and bit by bit, it was all do-able.” 

Jen’s fairytale about a baker of magical goods who tries to help her friend, has resonated with children and young-at-heart adults alike. With a team of local musicians from Matt Hsu’s Obscure Orchestra providing a magical Playschool-esque soundtrack to the readings, Jen launched the picture book in independent bookshops and art spaces around the Brisbane area to keen audiences.

 A tale for all who have unwittingly left a piece of themselves behind, “The Precious Plum” is a whimsical fairytale about finding that sometimes the things we are looking for are right where we left them.

And sometimes the dreams we are wishing for are right where we can create them.

About the Author Illustrator


Jennifer Horn is a Brisbane-based freelance illustrator and budding children’s writer. She illustrated the cover of Anthology Angels’ children’s fundraising anthology, Once Upon a Whoops!: Fractured Fairytales and Ridiculous Rhymes (2021) and her short stories have appeared in each of these annual publications since 2018. Her first Young Adult short story, Faulty Connection, was published in Rhiza Edge’s dystopian and sci-fi anthology, Crossed Spaces earlier this year.

With a background in Architecture, Jen draws on her love of stories and adventure to create whimsical illustrations. She enjoys reading books over local community station Reading Radio, and playing keys, including the piano accordion.

More Press Kit info at: http://www.jenniferhorn.com.au/press-kit/

Get The Book

The Precious Plum” 
Jennifer Horn

Imprint: Crooked House Press
On sale: 23rd October, 2021
Price: AUD$26.95 RRP
Pages: 36

ISBN: 978-0645258301

Age range: 6-12yrs (and anyone who enjoys fairytales and stories about magic)List of stockists at: https://www.jenniferhorn.com.au/the-precious-plum/

CONTACT:
Jennifer Horn
www.jenniferhorn.com.au

Instagram: @eskyjen

Facebook: Jennifer Horn – Illustrator/Author

Tribal Contemporary Art Portraits – Papua New Guinea


#Contemporary Art

Pic: Luke Stringer.

While I have been away from this blog I have been painting and creating other projects. I am sharing these short post and images especially for my blogger friends and followers. Thank you for your continued support. It is good to see some of you here already.

One of the the themes that has become part of my contemporary painting style and signature are the tribal Papua New Guinea (PNG) portraits. While these artwork take me a long time to paint and require research and specific layering to stay true to the authentic ‘bilas’ (traditional decoration and representation of the tribes), I really enjoy the process of painting these.

I have been through the cultural process myself while growing up in Wagang Village, Lae, Morobe Province. I grew up with feathers, magic leaves, bones, shells and all the beautiful natural materials you use to create special costumes. I made my own bilas and danced with my people for many years prior to moving to university to study away from home.

My love for intangible and tangible cultures of my people and the aesthetic beauty for each area in province in PNG continues through these contemporary creative exercises. I hope you like these and please share them if you want to. If you want such portrait done, comment here or email me on jkleahyart@gmail.com for sizes and prices. All work posted here are copyrighted.

Oro Beauty (Fiona Stringer). JKLeahy©

“Simbu Princess” Cleo Kambolz – J.K. Leahy©

Where Love Is


Where love once lived

wounds grow sturdy trunks

Roots go deep, flowers soar to the sun

Here, sweet fruit once dropped. Now there’s rot

Clusters the pests and diseases to feast

From the dark, where they are lost,

tales come from a child’s storybook.

The fantasy lands past and present

collide in a new hope of peace

and a place of bliss.

Two Songs for One Opening


J.K.Leahy memoir stories ©

“I have a song”, I told my mother over the phone. The regular 30 minute costly international call between PNG and Australia started with muffled voices. And then, depending on who had used her phone, my mother came on when the phone was passed back to her. Sometimes Mother had to find a good spot to get the best reception. And sometimes her voice changed and I knew other ears were listening. Not all will be discussed, some things will come in the future conversation.

“Hello Ma. Are you there?”

Someone is talking in the background and she is telling them to be quiet. I smiled at myself as the picture of her room flashed in my head with the village dogs barking in the background.

“Hello!”

Family discussions and on-going feuds took up the 30 minutes so quickly. As creators of art and music, my mother and I had agreed on many occasions that we would rather sing and ‘stori’ then exchange on family heartaches. Telling stories about happy occasions and things we enjoyed often took up between ten to five minutes of the entire call.

“What song?” my mother responded.

“A song for the church opening”, I replied in Bukawac.

My mother is the village composer and musician. Not me. I am a dancer, creator of crafts and beautiful things and a fisherman.I cal also catch eels but not my mother. And Mother is not a dancer so Tinang, my grandmother and my aunts taught me. My mother did not teach me to compose nor play instruments, but we still sang together. If I wanted music – she played Skeeta Davies and Jim Reeves and Elvis. She also played her flute.

“Which opening – our village one?”

We sang every day in the evenings with my grandmother when she was alive. There was a ten-pact short biblical songs we sang at dusk. They were my favourite. If we sang at home in the village, all my aunts joined in. My mother returned to the phone after telling someone to close her door.

“Do you want to hear my song?” I said.

“Yamandu? (Really?)” she said.

“Yamandu!” I repeated. That means “true”. I wanted so badly for her to focus and listen my song.

In Wagang Village, all families were asked to contribute to the new village church opening. This was last Christmas. Monetary contribution was at the forefront of this event. In the past when I was growing up, each family whether they were crafts people, hunters or fisherman would be invited to contribute what they had, made and grew. Not anymore. Money was first.

“I may not have enough to give to the church so I wanted to gift a song,” I said. That sentence went to a silent respond. I wasn’t sure if that was good or bad. I suspected it wasn’t what she anticipated. Perhaps there was more to the silence that I wasn’t aware of.

I let the silent pass. In the background I heard my sister scolding my nephew. I didn’t want to ask my mother why my sister was doing that.

I had composed this song one afternoon at my studio. It just happened. And tonight was the first my mother heard of it. She probably expected me to just send some money. She waited for me to explain.

“I will sing it for you Ma,” I said in Bukawac. “I had composed this song for the opening and you and your sisters can sing it on our behalf”.

“Okay” she said.

The church project was instigated by the provincial government in Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea. The villagers had been waiting for a church for over three decades. The first church was built by the people themselves – each family contributed the materials showing their craftsmanship through handwoven walls, brackets of pulled and dried rattan, carved seats, and hand sewn sago palm leaves. It was a church none of us growing up with it would ever forget because of its aesthetic beauty and the fabric of a cohesive and supporting community sewn together. In time the church building deteriorated. The maintenance did not happen. The relationships in leadership, the respect between the elders and the younger generation became difficult to maintain and the cohesiveness slowly came apart. Termites slowly and quietly menaced their way into what was left of the handcrafted building. It was sad.

“Ma! Are you there?” I asked her.

“Mnem!” (Sing!) she said. I gathered my thoughts. I was only singing to my mother, but it suddenly felt like I was about to face a grand stand with thousands of people.

My mother is known in our family and the community for her music. She was the composer of original songs and songs she translated from different languages into ours – Bukawac and Yabem. Her music contributes to the Lutheran church for openings, ‘sam katong’, large church gatherings of multiple congregations, and many village events. She was a trained muscian. Germans during the colonial era taught her flute, guitar, harmonica and singing at Bula Girls School, not only did she get trained by Germans to nurse, but also to sing and play numerous instruments. The flute was and still is her favourite.

“It’s called “Conversation with God,” I gave her the title. “It’s between God and I,” I said.

“Mnem!,” mnem ma au wangu”, she said. “Sing! Sing it so I can hear it”, she said and although she softly spoke, I detected the excitement in her voice.

“Ae ngoc geng masi, ae ngoc ming masi, ae gameng gebe yagung yawing aom.” (I have nothing, no words, but I came to sit with you).

I sang the first verse and chorus and then stopped and there wasn’t a single sound from the phone. I wrote the song in Yabem. This was the ‘church language’ like many church hymns – they were in Yabem. I learnt this language by listening to my mother, her parents and two brothers speak it to each other. My grandfather was a teacher and most of his teachings were in Yabem. My late Uncle Kwaslim mostly communicated in Yabem – it was his favourite language.

“Mama! Mama!” I called into the phone.

“I’m here”, she said.

“Did you like the song?”

She was very quiet. Then she said, “It’s beautiful! I don’t know what else to say”.

Three months later my mother tells me that she also composed a song for the opening and she sings it over the phone to me. It was very beautiful – but that is another story.

*****************************

(If you like my stories, please share them). I thank you all for being here. If you’re new to my blog – welcome! For all my friends who have been with me for a while, I appreciate you and I want to sincerely thank you for your patience. I have been away for a long while and working on other projects. I will share the news here soon.

Sir MeK Has Died


It is very sad for me personally and as a Papua New Guinean to share this story here and I hope that it will get to those that have known and loved Sir Mek. Sir Mek was a great leader and person. Many as I are fond of him. I had the honour of knowing him and his wife Lady Roslyn during most of my professional years in media, politics, and the private sector. In 2017 when I returned to PNG he had agreed and opened my historical first PNG female fine arts exhibition in Port Moresby. I was extremely grateful for his time and know many people will have their own stories about Sir Mek.

Credit: This story was published earlier in “Papua New Guinea Today” and I’m glad I could share it.

Mekere Morauta KCMG

The Member for Port Moresby North-West and former Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta has died. This was announced by lady Roslyn Morauta in a statement. 

“It is with the deepest sadness that Roslyn and James Morauta announce that their much loved husband and father, Sir Mekere Morauta, KCMG, died peacefully in Brisbane on Saturday 19 December.

 BIOGRAPHY  – the Rt Hon Mekere Morauta KCMG

Mekere Morauta was the first graduate in Economics from the University of Papua New Guinea.  He became a Member of the Papua New Guinea National Parliament in 1997 and was Prime Minister from 1999 to 2002.  From 1997 to 2012 and 2017 to 2020 he held the seat of Moresby North-West in the national parliament.

Prior to entering politics, Morauta was Secretary for Finance (1972-1982), Managing Director of the PNG Banking Corporation (1983-1992), Governor of the Bank of PNG (1993-1994), a company director and successful businessman.

As Prime Minister, Mekere Morauta is credited with initiating significant constitutional and economic reform.  In 1999 the Papua New Guinea economy was on the brink, with government finances in disarray and a currency that was spiralling to inconvertibility.  Morauta devised and led a rescue package, which stabilised the economy and the budget.  Key institutions of state were strengthened, and important reforms were introduced to the financial sector, especially in banking and superannuation, and to the structure and workings of the public sector.  Constitutional changes were also introduced which brought stability to politics in Papua New Guinea and laid the foundation for the orderly development of political parties.  

As Minister for Public Enterprises from 2011-2012, Morauta re-set the primary focus of the Independent Public Business Corporation, concentrating on strengthening it to undertake the important job of rehabilitating the state-owned enterprises.

After retiring from politics in August 2012, Sir Mekere was appointed by the leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum as the Eminent Person to review the Pacific Plan.  The report was published in 2013.

In 2012 he was also appointed Chairman of the Papua New Guinea Sustainable Development Program Company.

In 2017 he re-contested for Parliament and won the seat of Moresby North-West.

Sir Mekere was born in 1946, in Kukipi Village, Malalaua District, East Gulf, to Morauta Hasu and Morikoai Elavo. His father, Morauta Hasu, was a leader of the Toaripi people of East Gulf, a Local Government Councillor, and Deacon of the London Missionary Society (later United Church). He was prominent in the Cooperative Movement for the Toaripi Association.

Funeral arrangements will be advised at a later date.