Sunday, February 23, 2020

Sunday Story - The White Girl

I'm a big fan of Tony Birch. His latest book is The White Girl, and it's beautiful.

He writes about topics that are difficult, e.g. domestic violence, child abuse, poverty, and this one is the Stolen Generation. But his genius is that he writes about these topics from the point of view of love.

It's not what you expect. And yet, it is how you get through difficult times or difficult things in life.

The love of a parent for a child, or a child for a parent. The love between siblings. The love of friends. The love between family members.

In each instance, the love and care and support each receives, makes their world a better place.

This is the gift that Tony Birch has, to see that love and to shine a light on it.

It can be a fierce love or a gentle love but always it's a protective love. Love that makes the world a better place. Love that makes life tolerable and sometimes beautiful... even in a situation that seems unbearable.

Deep friendships.

Strong familial connections.


It makes the world go around.

In The White Girl, the love is focussed between a grandmother and granddaughter. But there's also the love between mother and daughter, friends, a community, a race.

Don't be mistaken, there are some horrible moments, awful people, terrible events, but seeing them through the story about love, makes them less of a focus. They're still there. They're still awful and confronting and horrible. They still show what a bloody awful society we are. But love gives hope - hope that things can and will change. Hope that one day love might rule the world.

I saw Tony Birch speak at the Wollongong Writers Festival and he spoke of love, but also of fear. His conversations about fear really hit me.

Often the awfulness of the world comes from fear - fear of the unknown, fear of loss, fear of having less than another, fear of change, fear of others... so many fears.

I hope one day, we can all live from a place of love and not fear. Like Tony Birch shows with his every story.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Where is time going?

Oh my goodness! How do I go weeks without posting on here? Time seems to be the weirdest thing at the moment. It seems to be flying by so quickly that I can't get things done... and yet, I went to Book Club last week after our Christmas break, and it seemed like 3 years since our last meeting in November. How can that be? How can I be so busy I don't get things done, and yet time seems to extend as well?

Are you feeling like this too, or is it just me?

I've been working on the Pockets of Joy photo book. I thought throwing photos into a book would be easy and quick... but no! And I've made so many mistakes with the PDFing and the set up. It's a completely different way of doing everything to what I do day-to-day. Hopefully I've followed the instructions properly and I know what I'm doing now.

The day job has been kind of crazy. The world has been kind of crazy. So I guess it makes sense that time is kind of crazy.

Hopefully it will settle down soon.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Weird Wednesday - Pockets of Joy

Sometimes things happen in the strangest way.

We've had a hell of a lot of bushfires in Australia this spring-summer, which I'm sure you know about. Although my little village wasn't affected, quite a huge proportion of the area around me was burnt. I was really struggling with the loss of lives, the widespread destruction, the uselessness I felt, and the horror of it all.

I hate feeling like that, and I know I can spiral into negative thought loops that just drag me down and down and down. So I needed to do something to kick me out of that...and I thought it might help others too.

So I dug through some old photos and took some new ones, and began putting them on Facebook, and sometimes Instagram. I called them Pockets of Joy. Sometimes you can't find joy in everything, you've just got to find a tiny piece.

You know I take weird photos if you follow Wildlife Wednesday, and people seemed to enjoy that quirky view I sometimes pick up. I kept putting photos up, each day throughout January.

At some stage a few friends started saying I should make a book. That they'd buy it. Someone even said they'd buy copies for gifts.

And on the January long weekend, I remained at home (on fire watch) while family went away. I was planning on a huge writing weekend...yet, I found myself collating photos, creating a book. I spent 2 blissful days creating. I sent it to a couple of people, got some feedback, kept fiddling and creating.

It's been an absolute pleasure to create this. I love playing with the photos that make me smile. I've even enjoyed culling and swapping and changing book sizes and shape. I have draft after draft after draft. More feedback.

This is what I have so's not the final product...just the latest draft. An A5 sized book that I hope I can print in an affordable way so Pockets of Joy is available for anyone to buy.

And maybe if it's not exorbitant, I can get extra copies and drop them down the coast into bushfire affected towns to give people a pick-me-up.

So...not the usual Cate thing...but not so weird either.

I'll let you know when it's available! And I'll show some sample pages. Stay tuned!