Hey guys, last week I was asked to represent my organisation that I am working for at the National Suicide Prevention Conference. I work within an Indigenous school program that is seeking to reconnect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youths to culture and also to talk about mental health. It was an amazing conference – where I learnt many things from the other participants and speakers, there was a variety of organisations represented.
A wonderful time of talking to each other about how we can work together in our common cause of reducing suicide rates in Australia.
I met some beautiful people, especially Francesca a psychologist from Italy and Billy Jo, and Aboriginal Program Coordinator from the Northern Territory.
I thought I would just share this as it was significant for me. Though my next blog will go back to being about writing. 🙂 I am editing, writing elements of my novel at the moment.
Hey guys, it is my habit and that of many others to reflect on the year that has been before entering the New Year. So I wanted to say I am grateful for the adventures of this year.
At the beginning of the year I was blessed to travel to New Zealand with my daughter, to the North and South Island. It was stunning and we experienced some beautiful pristine wilderness as well as some near misses with locals on blind corners and one way bridges haha…it was a wild and magnificent ride. One moment that was particularly beautiful was when we pulled over for a quick rest, and found this bubbling, soothing stream running over and through rocky ground surrounded by silent, glorious mountain ranges. That was simply magical and a moment I won’t forget. New Zealand is where my father is from and I was able to go to where he was raised in Auckland and I was able to see where the other half of my heritage came from. I felt like I had placed some pieces of my puzzle and connected parts of my Dad to myself. I can’t really explain it. I was also able to see a friend I haven’t seen in years, this was amazing. So, a beautiful trip to New Zealand started my New Year.
Throughout this year, I wrote, rewrote and edited my novel, Where the Sun Risesand I graduated from Master of Arts, Macquarie University in Sydney. Following the completion of my novel I applied for funding to attend the New York Pitch Conference in New York (of course) from Arts Queensland and the Sunshine Coast Council. I was fortunate enough to receive this funding and in September – October I went to New York and was able to travel with my friend Allison Quigley as well. This was a phenomenal experience that taught me so much. I had wanted to go back to New York for years as well. I had lived in America when I was young. I was able to pitch to four editors in New York and had an opportunity to submit my novel. Apart from this, I traveled around and experienced New York and visited Boston as well. I am very grateful for this trip, it was amazing.
Finally, I was able to pitch my novel to Australian publishers when I returned from New York. Two out of the three editors requested my novel, so now I am waiting to hear back from Harper Collins and Hachette. So, I am very grateful for this year and all of the adventures and opportunities that have come my way. I feel blessed and excited for the New Year. I am now writing another novel – but my novel Where the Sun Rises will be published in the New Year.
So, now after reflecting on my year that has been – I will write my goals for this year. Do this for yourself, write what you are grateful for this year and what has happened for you this year. Then, write down what you would like for the year to come, personal goals, or bigger goals. Write these down too. Then it is a great exercise to come back and see what has happened for you. 🙂
Have a lovely New Year’s Eve and HAPPY NEW YEAR for this one to come! I am excited for 2019 and I am looking forward to what will happen this year. All the best, to all of you! Suz 🙂
I am enjoying starting my new novel which is about one of my characters from my other novel, Where the Sun Rises. (I am planning to have this published in the New Year) My main character is a journalist, a foreign correspondent and I am enjoying the fact that I know where she is from, (I am also from Sydney) and I don’t have to research every element of this narrative. There will be some research, as there always is with any book or script, but not as much as my other novel. 🙂 Not many novels could ever be as much as that. 😉
Anyway, it is a good time of year to keep creating. In Australia, we have very hot weather right now, and people holiday at this time. It is a good time to continue creating whatever project you are working on. I am also thinking about a script idea I have in the background as well. These are the things that make me excited! So, I hope you have some time to create some things this Christmas/holiday period. 🙂
Last night I finished the book Green on Blue by Elliot Ackerman. Wow, what an ending. Ackerman carefully and slowly builds the story and the reader’s connection to the characters. The main character, Aziz is a young Afghani boy who is forced to make a decision when his brother is maimed by a bomb that goes off in the market. His older brother is Ali, a sibling who cares and provides for his brother when they lose both of their parents in conflict. The style is reminiscent of Hemingway in its sparse, simple yet powerful imagery. I enjoy this style. Hemingway is my hero, and I recently finished A Farewell to Arms as well. These books also helped me as I have been writing my book about female soldiers in war.
Green on Blue was devastatingly powerful at the end. I feel like it built on the tension so well, there was this moment where the action began to escalate and culminated in an ending that was both tragic but also understandable for Aziz. Twice I was reduced to tears by Aziz’s relationship with an old man he bonds with and also with his caring, older brother, Ali. I can’t write too much without revealing things, but believe me the novel is worth reading. It was devastatingly profound at the end.
This is a novel that examines why people go to war. Ackerman fought in Afghanistan and shows a profound understanding of the complexity in the conflict in this country. I emailed Ackerman when I returned from New York to tell him how I loved his book and ask him a question. He answered my email and I was very touched that he made that effort.
Green on Blue is a profound work of art. I was blown away by the end of the novel, in its sad reality, but also the love that was present as well.
I must now say that I am reading a book that does not involve war, as my previous books I have read were: The Kite Runner, A Farewell to Arms, Green on Blue and Far from the Madding Crowd (which is a profound and beautifully written book). Now, I am seeking something light and comedic so I got a book for my birthday, Marian Keyes, Sushi For Beginners. It’s good to completely change it up and read something more lighthearted. I am going to read Dickens after this.
Check out Green on Blue, it was very powerful. 🙂 Thanks for reading. Have a great day.
I am excited it is only one week to go until I go to New York. I am travelling to the New York Pitch Conference, and I am very grateful to have received funding for part of this trip from the Sunshine Coast Council and Arts Queensland.
Thanks to the Queensland Government Arts Queensland and the Sunshine Coast Council for believing in my novel and supporting me to attend the NYPC to pitch my novel to editors from Penguin, Harper Collins, Random House, St Martins Press and more. We have already been given the assignments to prepare for the conference. I now have written a pitch for the conference based on these assignments.
Once we arrive at the conference we workshop this pitch the first day and then pitch to our first editor, and then the following three days to three different editors. I have finished my novel now and I have been working on it tirelessly for nearly three years. Hopefully, I can attract a publisher, but no matter what it will be an amazing experience to hang out in New York and to learn the skills for pitching, as well as pitching to Editors from US publishers. I know I will learn a lot from this experience. This knowledge I will be able to share with my writers group and other writing enthusiasts back at home.
Thank you so much to the Sunshine Coast Council’s RADF and Arts Queensland funding that supports artists to attend conferences or events that will further their careers. I know that I will be able to also share this knowledge with others when I return.
Thanks for reading! I will keep you updated with what is happening at the conference.
This project is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.
The Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) is a partnership between the Queensland Government and SunshineCoastCouncil to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.
I wrote my book Freedom Writing, to show people how they can help themselves in a completely easy and affordable manner using writing therapy. Counselling should be continued as well, but writing therapy can be used at any time during your day and is cheap, only a pen and paper this is used well with counselling to express how they are feeling inside.
Men benefit the most from writing therapy, and yet they are the ones who find it hard to try this therapy. I have a mission to get this book out to more men, and young people, as well as women. Women have bought and downloaded this book and are open to forms of therapy and I wrote this book for them. Men commit suicide three times more than women in Australia and I would imagine in other countries around the world. Young people are suffering a lot of stress and pressure and some of them decide to end it as well. This book was written to show there is HOPE.
So, I have a link to my e-book or my print version of Freedom Writing. If you are wanting the print version, go to the e-book link and then select Paperback. 🙂
Thanks for reading! If you download this, you can discover some completely easy to use techniques to get rid of stress when it arises, and no one in the world can say they don’t have stress or pain at various times in their lives.
Go well, have a great day. 😀 (Freedom Writing was number on the Amazon Best Seller List for Downloads for three days.)