Courage…in 2020!

Hi guys,

Yesterday, I was reflecting on the journey of writing my novel I released in October, 2019. The central idea I had for this novel four years ago was to explore the idea of courage, and to reject the notion that it is purely a male characteristic. I have pondered this for a long time how women in my life have showed so much courage and some men have not showed the same courage. A few friends have told of stories when they faced a partner that was violent and how they were not scared at all of them.

A juvenile example of this is when I was a young kid I loved going on those little rides, like the cars in the shopping centres, but my brother only wanted to sit on them and was too scared for them to actually go. When I was a three year old, I walked off into the Australian bush to go explore and find a dam that was on our vast outback property and my brother said he couldn’t go with me. I had two dogs with me and I reached the dam and then realised I was very lost. Consequently, my family had to come and find me, miraculously they did find me and I was okay. I am not sure if this is courage or just a desire for adventure and not knowing what I was doing. (haha). But still…

Also, I have heard many stories from my friends who were fearless towards men fighting etc and stepped into situations like this. After I experienced domestic violence once, since that I have found myself in a couple of situations where I have stepped in between two men fighting or a man victimising a woman. I will always go towards helping in these situations as I remember that feeling that there was no one to help.

So, the notion of courage I always felt had been mosty unrecognised in women. However, in 2015 I became enthralled by the extreme courage shown by the Kurdish women fighting Daesh in Syria.

For more than three years, I have lived and breathed this novel and been with these women. They inspired me to walk in courage, and every time I felt afraid of something I thought of what they sacrificed and what perils they faced. Then I was able to do somethings and overcome.

These women still live with me and will always be with me. The women in my novel are based on a lot of research I conducted, but they are fictional. I created their back stories, personality and characters. These characters will always be with me throughout out my life. In Where the Sun Rises I sought to reflect the courage I saw in these phenomenal Kurdish women, but also that I see around me in my female friends and I hope to reflect myself.

I think that coming to the end of 2019, I am reflecting on the year that was, and also how thinking about these women spurred me into many things this year. I wish to continue to take this inspiration from these women – and it is for men as well, into 2020. I am so keen for a New Year, this year had many challenges, but was also glorious as well.

Let’s move in to the New Year with Courage! Bring it on! Thanks for reading! Suz 🙂

Courage – the theme for my new novel!

Courage is my main theme for the novel I am writing about the brave Kurdish women who fought Daesh in Kobani and won. The courage I see in them –inspired me to be courageous to travel to the middle east on my own, for research and travel in 2016.

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I am galloping towards the end of this novel and am constantly spurred on by the story of these women and my central characters. I have had to do extensive research to capture the reality of war for these women. I have spent hundreds of hours of research over more than two years of writing this novel. I have a few more chapters to write and I am itching to be able to do this around work and being a mother.

I follow Hemingway’s advice however, he recommends to always leave water in the well for the next day of writing. I seek to do this. I seek to stop writing while I am still inspired and, in the zone, so that I can continue this passion the following day.

After I have finished these chapters I know there will be more rewriting as every author has to do, but I am excited to get to this complete manuscript. There may be more scenes to be added, but I will know the story arc, character development and texturing is done for what I want to do at this point.

I am excited. Then starts the process of rewriting and then sending out to agents and publishers. Writers, authors need to remember this is a long process. I am prepared for it but I am excited to be finishing the manuscript.

Every writer must be prepared for more rewriting than they realise, every good author does this. At university I was shown pictures of all the corrections made to The Great Gatsby, which encouraged me a lot. This book, is a triumph, a perfect novel in my mind. So, let’s remember that all the great writers had to rewrite, so that is part of the process. However, soon I will know that the manuscript will be done to what I want to create. Then we will see. Then I can send it out.

Anyway, back to the theme of courage, my novel looks at the idea that only men are courageous and in this narrative it is clear that women are courageous. In some cases, more courageous than men. But it is not a competition, just to say that women are courageous all over the world and have to deal with many serious threats to their lives and wellbeing. This novel is inspired by these real-life women who have fought and given their lives and shown amazing courage beyond comprehension! They also remind me to be courageous in my novel writing as well, attempting to write about something I have not experienced, within a culture I have not grown up with. Courageous or silly, I don’t know. (Haha)

But be courageous in your writing! It’s worth it.

I will let you know when I finish the manuscript. Thank you for reading. 🙂

Kind regards,

Suzanne

Ulysses…Beautiful poem!

Come, my friends,
’Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, …for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles…
Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892)

Read this poem aloud, it is breathtakingly beautiful. This speaks of the desire to set off and travel into life, to plumb its depths, to embrace life and even though we are all aging, as he says “that which we are, we are. One equal temper of heroic hearts.”

In light of many events in the world today, I feel his poem is particularly poignant and apt, for myself anyway, particularly his line:

“Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will

To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield.”

May we continue to seek, strive, to find and definitely not to yield to the increasingly narrow minded, harsh way in which certain countries around the world behave towards one another. I know it has always been this way, since time immemorial, but sometimes we need to be reminded to continue the good fight. So this morning, I wanted to post this beautiful, transcendent poem to anyone who wanted to read. Let us not cease to hold those values we know to be true and just and right. Let us strive and seek and find and not yield to the increasing violence and hate in the world. Let us not yield.  🙂

 

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