Tag: #shinealight

Q for Queenstown and Shine a Light!

Before I crack on with Q a little announcement. My ebook of poems about lighthouses, Shine A Light,  is out and I’m delighted to give it to my readers for free today. Every single poem is kid-friendly. The scariest thing is a witch and she’s not very scary.



I am so happy that Hannah did the picture on the cover and another illustration in the book too. Each time I do the milk run and see kids’ art on the wall I’m inspired. Thanks H! She also did this play dough picture with me:

Q for Queenstown

Shine a Light on Autism

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This cute picture of the cars and planes from the movie was drawn by a boy who has autism. The son of @susanmfitness. I saw her tweet under #shinealight and just had to share here. He must be selling t-shirts to raise money.

As most of my readers know, our dear friend Robyn has a son with autism. These mums rock with all they endure and their sweet love for their kids is a example to all.

I absolutely love this TED talk by a girl who has autism and her hair rocks:

If you have a shine a light post you want to do next Monday that would be great. Please use this picture and link to my blog.


Have a great day!


One a Day: Christmas Tree poem


I know it’s super weird doing Christmas stuff now, but it is still snowy if that helps. I suddenly realised I didn’t have a poem for this illustration (which still needs a lot of work) so today while we were out and about I wrote a few drafts in the car.

Just in case anyone wants to see the journey of a poem, here are all the drafts (so far)


I am no ordinary Christmas tree.

Hidden in my branches are special presents for weary travelers.

Park up at the dock.

Whatever it is you need will be waiting for you here.

Making sure the weary traveler stays evergreen.


Is there a Santa for sailors who sail all year on the water?

Why yes there is. Park up in the dock and visit me.


Stand in front of me on Christmas Eve and make a wish.

Stick your arm in branches and pull out your present.


No, just Christmas spirit.


Hidden in my branches are some presents bright and new

No need to worry that Santa won’t deliver them to you.


Santa of the seas

Giver of hope

Tree of bounty to the traveling ones

with no chimneys.

So it changed a lot in a few hours. Which one do you like best?

Have a great day!


#ShineALight on Society6


All hail to Teresa for telling me about this funky place 😉

Society6 sells your artwork on all kinds of products like jewellery, t-shirts, mobile phone cases, prints. It was founded by Justin Cooper, Lucas Tirigall-Caste and Justin Wills.

As of yesterday I have this lion picture available as prints and mobile phone cases. I couldn’t up the pixels to get it on mugs and t-shirts. I’ll work on that.


Right now I’m up loading my zebra picture.


Obviously they take a big cut for selling it for you and putting it on all those things. I haven’t got those capabilities and I’m not a renowned artist with huge selling power so this is perfect.

Something to get excited about is they have a blog with featured artists on. Their traffic is huge! I can’t find the stats right now but just imagine mine with about five noughts on the end and that’s what they get weekly.

This is the coolest thing I’ve ever done. Anyone else want to do it? Check out the Society6  website. It’s so easy and you keep the rights to your work so you can sell it anywhere else you like.

Have a great day! Get painting 😉



#ShineaLight on Carrots (again)

carrot Thanks to my nine year old I now have a fun helicopter element to this zany scene. Matthew really wanted the carrot to go running all around town shooting carrots from it’s nostrils. Fun idea but I doubt I could draw it.

Here are my sketches before I picked the boy:

WIN_20150223_075135Oops I didn’t take a good picture. I was going to put a danger do not wear orange sign up. We’ll see. Now that the boy is taking the lighthouse to the zoo the poem will change drastically anyway.

Did you know my good friend, Yvette is now a WordPress blogger? Check out her new blog here. She writes MG fantasy for children and leads our Writing for Children WANA group.

I followed a heap more blogs after reading this birthday post celebrating fifty great blogs. They are really good ones too. Check them out at Hugh’s Views and News here.

Have a great day!




Shine a Light on End It Movement


Today’s shine a light post is a biggie. Trafficking is always a major concern for everybody. I had a crazy conversation last November with a former truck driver. I won’t say what he told me but it’s very concerning.

The End It Movement covers all forms of slavery and it sounds a bit like pyramid selling except you form a team pay a bit of money each and those teams add up to make a difference.

I probably couldn’t even make a team, I’m no rabble rouser. I have changed my mind about what constitutes action though, in part to all the Je Suis Charlie stuff. What we write, draw and share does make a difference good and bad.

We don’t have to march down streets, start campaigns, knock on doors. Maybe I’m wishful thinking, but it would be nice to think bringing it into everyone’s awareness disgraces those responsible and makes each of us that much more aware of our surroundings.

Would you help if you saw someone in trouble? It’s such a dangerous decision sometimes. At the very least you can run and tell someone.

Anyway, here is the website if you wish to know more. Thanks to the End It Movement for doing something. What a great cause.

Start a message

Send it

End it


I’m afraid that’s all I’ve got for a One a Day sketch and a poem. The message is more important 😉

Have a great day!



#MoP15 Day 12: Boy Lighthouse


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Soft light leads the way

The gentle lapping of waves

Summons lost friends home.


Catherine Johnson, © 2015.

If I had made the boy a bit brighter and funkier a more livelier poem would have gone with it. I think this is a quiet boy like my Matthew.

It’s my birthday tomorrow so I shall try and whip up a livelier poem for the occasion.




#MoP15 Day 7: Pizza Lighthouse




(w.i.p. illustration)



Out on the seas for days

only beans to eat,

scooped from the sea

and cold tomato soup

that drips

from the moon.

The tall lighthouse

comes into view.

Hopes are raised

among the crew

for a bite or two

of pepperoni pizza.

‘Thank you!’

Catherine Johnson, 2015.

Quite by accident I split the lines like this and it looks pretty much like a lighthouse. Does anyone think the breaks are in the wrong places? As the poem progresses the lines will probably move anyway.

What would your ideal lighthouse be made of?



#MoP Day 6: Pumpkin Lighthouse



Thanks for stopping by

Bat and Witch.

You made this old pumpkin lighthouse smile.

See you next Halloween

Or stay and enjoy the surf.

Witch can ride the waves.

Bat can hang with the gang.

Catherine Johnson, 2015.


I forgot to mention that the last couple of poems have been an attempt at personification from the p.o.v. of the lighthouses. It seems kidlike but I’m not sure if they even sound like poems. Sorry this weirdo is mentioning Halloween already 😉

Pop on over to Kidlit411.com for their birthday celebrations, lots of prizes up for grabs!


http://catherinemjohnson.com   catherine_mrsj@hotmail.com   @CathM_Johnson


#MoP15 Day 5 Mummy Lighthouse




Hey… sailboat!


…scuba diver

I need your help.

I’m stuck inside this mummy.

It’s not funny…

Let me out!