At long last I have decided to make a serious commitment to writing.
From an early age I have been encouraged by those wiser than me to write. At Orbost North Primary School (Victoria, Australia) my teachers actively encouraged me. It is with great pride and humble gratitude that I recall they referred to me as ‘the one with the Enid Blyton touch’. Once, I even beat the English teacher’s son in a story writing contest!
When I moved up to Orbost High School (now Orbost Secondary College) the teachers there also encouraged me to write. At this stage I even enjoyed the exhilaration of having my short stories published in New Idea (a national Australian magazine).
Did I take the hint? Did I buckle down and develop the craft of writing? No! I have been fiddling around in life: having fun, making mistakes, earning money, not earning money, meeting wonderful people, meeting horrible people, doing wonderful things, doing stupid things, working, playing, loving, hating and everything else that came my way … except writing.
However, writing has always been close to my heart and nearby in some form or other. For instance, I have been an oral storyteller for over twenty years. In 2011 my work as an oral storyteller led me to become one of two winners of the ABC Hope 2011 award for my story The Flowerdale Tattoo, I was editor of the national storytelling magazine for many years. I attended writing workshops and courses. I published some articles and started to write several books. It wasn’t until 1995 when my mother died that I found a story that not only compelled me to start to write a book but also motivated me to take it to the finished and published stage. You see, my mother had a secret that only came to light after her death. I write about her tragic secret in Whisper My Secret, which was published in 2007 and enjoyed much success although it was not destined to be a best seller. It is now out of print but may still be available through Barnes & Noble, Amazon and some book stores and it may resurface as an Ebook. In the last two years I have written short stories, poems, songs, and ditties; won a few prizes but nothing major apart from the Hope 2011 award.
I am a member of two writing groups. One is seasonal (we meet each season) and is a delicious mix of people; not that we eat each other, although we do eagerly devour each other’s work. The ambrosial quality of this group is created by our linked connections of friendship, storytelling and writing. The members of the seasonal group have been a source of inspiration and positive reinforcement (and fun) for me.
The other group is the newly formed Friday Group; a collection of emerging writers connected through our membership of Writers Victoria. This is a lively group of people with a variety of writing styles but committed to developing our own and each other’s writing.
At present I am working on a sequel to Whisper My Secret. This project was progressing quite well until it was interrupted by another story, a children’s story that had been lurking in my imagination for years. This children’s story has developed into a planned series of seven books. I have completed the first book: Trapped in Gondwana.
So, all in all, it looks I am pretty serious about my writing…finally! JB 🙂