It started with an urge, but I didn’t know what to write
As I was facilitating healing and meditation workshops I kicked off with a draft of self-help. I sent a few chapters to Allen and Unwin and a wonderful woman called Maggie asked for my full manuscript. What! No way. I wasn’t expecting that. With Maggie’s help, my book took shape and morphed into memoir then burst into fiction. Maggie was certain when my book was ready, Allen and Unwin would publish it. Ohmygod. I was living my writing dream. But plot twist, she was wrong. They declined my book and wonderful Maggie left my life. This was my first heavyweight dose of rejection.
I wanted to give up
I sent my book to agents and publishers, and they all said, ‘No.’ It was very hard to retain even a teardrop of confidence. I rewrote my book. Rewrote my book. And rewrote my book. Sound boring? It was. But in spite of all my work, the outcome remained the same. Agents and publishers all said, ‘No.’
The nasty, evil truth about writing
A massive part of being a writer is dealing with rejection. At first it was like being stabbed in the heart. Then the leg. Then it made me angry, and I wanted to stab them in the heart, then the leg. Overtime, I’ve become used to rejection and now it barely touches me. However, it can still be disappointing.
In 2018 things changed
I was cruising around online and found the Australian Writer’s Centre website. They were launching a new competition. The challenge was to write a story in less than 500 words. The first sentence had to be only three words.
My story began, Dear Broken Heart.
Then something unexpected happened. I won. And that launched my love affair with Flash.
To sum up here and now
Flash fiction has taught me more about writing than all the books I’ve read and all workshops I’ve been to. I love writing it. I love teaching it. Within flash, people can create beautiful and meaningful stories without the draining slog of writing a book. Flash makes storytelling more accessible for everyone.
From my stories …
We don’t touch much anymore. Don’t reach out to each other in the long licorice nights.
From Falling In. Falling Out.
Let grief capsize you twice. Once for a father. Once for a stranger.
From The Rubble of Longing
Dear Broken Heart,
Drop onto the sofa.
Tear down the soft sound of hope.
Fill Your Boots
I’m roadkill on red earth. The car is three meters away, wheels in the air. Outback stars powder the blackcurrant sky.
Red Ochre Rising