Celebrating the triumphs of friends

char signing

“I count myself in nothing else so happy
As in a soul rememb’ring my good friends.”
~ William Shakespeare

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the book launch of Charlotte Nash’s Ryders Ridgehosted at that bastion of local writing support Avid Reader, in West End, Brisbane.

Charlotte is a dear friend, and a member of our writers’ group Sisters of the Pen.

I felt so proud, hearing Kim Wilkins (you may know her by her pen name: Kimberly Freeman) introduce Charlotte, and share the history of how this book came into being.

Kim Wilkins, introducing Charlotte Nash and her debut novel.

Kim Wilkins, introducing Charlotte Nash and her debut novel.

I got to take home a signed copy of Char’s book, had hugs from my ‘Sisters’ Meg, Fi, Char and Kim, and lots of extra hugs from friends there to support Charlotte’s launch.

After a crappy couple of days of feeling miserable and being befuddled, it was a magical elixir for my soul.

It’s a wonderful feeling; seeing the people that you love work at, struggle with, not give up on, and from that process realise their dreams.

I encourage you to keep putting one foot in front of the other with your dreams too. Bless xx

My signed copy of Ryders Ridge by Charlotte Nash

My signed copy of Ryders Ridge by Charlotte Nash


The gift of impermanence OR Live like you’re dying…

A few years ago I suffered a heart attack.  It was induced by a virus, and it absolutely floored me.  I ignored the symptoms the evening they began, and it was not until late the next day that I took myself to hospital.  As I lay in Accident and Emergency with doctors and nurses fussing round me, and then as I lay on my own, wired up to all manner of machines in a curtained cubicle I had this sudden realisation – This is serious and I might actually die!  I wasn’t afraid of dying.  What bothered me were my regrets.

I lay in that cold room, and counted the hours as they slid by.  One thing blazed in front of me the whole time – I hadn’t spent enough time just hanging out with my husband, and I hadn’t written a book. My life had been brought into stark focus.  The two things that mattered the most to me were the things to which I’d devoted the least energy.

There was no ignoring my heart as it kicked and bucked and clenched. I was lucky there was no lasting damage, and I came home to begin my recovery.

Almost a year later to the day I got a small paralysis tick in my ear. At the time it was a mild inconvenience.  But that tiny beastie sparked off cardiomyopathy in me. I now have a big fat heart. It’s improved over time, but my heart still tweaks me now and again. I’m affected by heat, and find it hard to carry loads or walk up steep hills.

Sounds bad, doesn’t it? I don’t think of it like that.  I think of it as a constant reminder to live with the right priorities.  Since my heart attack I have now written three completed manuscripts and am working on a fourth.  I had two of them shortlisted for the QWC Hachette Manuscript Development Program. I spend plenty of time with my husband, and other people I care deeply about, and much less time with people who don’t matter.

We’re all going to die.  We don’t know when this crazy ride might end for ourselves or someone we love.  I’ve learned the value of life, and I actively seek joy and cultivate gratitude.  My wish for you, as we move into 2012, is that you find your priorities and fill your life with what matters to you.