We All Have Our Stories

We All Have Our Stories

Sunset Lake Eyre July 2010

We all have our stories. But so often our stories are not heard. And if not written down, at least in Western culture, they are often forgotten.

I was reminded of this during an early morning visit to the local pool. (I’ve been swimming at the same pool for nine years.) Today, instead of laps I was walking up and down in the aqua play area, and so was a retired fellow called Harry. We always say hello to each other, but this morning, since we were walking at the same pace, we started chatting. And before I knew it, I was listening to an amazing story.

In ten minutes I learnt that Harry was from Greece and had migrated to Australia as a 24 or 25 year old. Married to a woman from his own village, and determined to support his family and have a life, once in Australia, Harry worked in the textile industry — 7 days a week! And he worked hard.

Truth be known, Harry had always worked hard. His parents died when he was seven years old, and his 16-year-old sister — who had one leg amputated — had brought up Harry and his younger brother. By nine years of age, Harry was accustomed to walking 35 kilometres to the nearest town to sell goods, and then 35 kilometres back home. All in the one day! And I can just imagine the condition of his shoes.

By nine years of age, Harry had become the man of the house.

Now a grandfather, when I suggested that Harry write his story, so his kids and grandkids could understand the sheer guts and determination that is part of their family roots, and their DNA, he confided that he’d learnt to read, but not to write.

And that got me thinking. What would be the best way for someone who is not able to write in their second language to record their story? It’s an important question because Harry is one of the many many people whose story is so worthy of being on the public record — not just for the public, but for his own family, and for generations to come.

Fabulous Reader Feedback

SigningFraying

It’s great getting reader responses to Fraying. So many people whose parents have had dementia have written to me, and I find their stories so moving.

Here’s a few lines received this week.
‘I purchased a copy of Fraying and I simply couldn’t put it down. It was like I was reading my own life experiences with my mother… Thank you so much for writing this story for me too. It will remain a most treasured book on my bookshelf and shared with others.’

All I can say is thank you, thank you to readers.
The more we share our stories, the richer the community. Stories, after all, are our treasures.
Michele Gierck
Author/Freelance Writer/Speaker

Looking for good read?

Looking for good read?

How fab, having Alzheimer’s Australia VIC endorse my latest book, Fraying: Mum, memory loss, the medical maze and me, as a good read.
Underneath this endorsement Carers Victoria commented: ‘It is great. We are looking at having Michele speak with carers during National Carers Week in October. Very insightful and honest.’
As the author, I am delighted by this positive response. (And all the likes.) Great to see that news about the book is spreading.

AlzAustFacebook26June2015

 

Refer Facebook page: Alzheimer’s Australia VIC, 25 June, 2015

Readers’ Delight

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Thanks so much to those readers who have taken time to write to me to tell me of the delight they have taken in my latest book, Fraying: Mum, memory loss, the medical maze and me.

One of those responses, from a trauma nurse who, it turns out, grew up in an orphanage was so touching. Reading about her life, I began to see Fraying through new eyes.

We have all walked such different paths, and stories are such a great way to understand the path others tread.

Image: Maguk, Kakadu National Park, Australia (Gotta get yourself there!)
Image and text copyright: Michele Gierck

Anticipation

Anticipation

Road to Aoraki MtCook

 

Waiting for your new book to be released (launched) is like having a ticket overseas and waiting for the journey to happen. So much anticipation. Will you rocket down the road ahead, reaching some fabulous pinnacle? Or …

Well, let’s see what happens when Fraying: Mum, memory loss, the medical maze and me is launched later this month. (So far there’s lots of interest!)

You can catch Richard Fidler’s Radio National interview with Michele, (that’s me) on 25 February at: http://www.abc.net.au/local/sites/conversations/  The 55-minute interview will be podcast and can be listened to online any time after the interview.

For more information about Michele’s new book check out her website: https://michelegierck.com.au/fraying/

Image and text copyright Michele Gierck

Photo: Road to Aoraki/MtCook, New Zealand

Seeking Some Peace

Seeking Some Peace

BeeDivesInOct2014

Just finished a magazine article on The Human Face of War. Afterwards, I sought some peace in the garden. And what a delight to see this bee — head first, diving in. Just the way life needs to be lived!

Text and image copyright Michele Gierck

Michele’s other blog: what inspires her www.michelemuses.wordpress.com

Collaboration

Collaboration

GroupFlowers

Writing may be a solitary experience, but bringing a book to life depends on a team of collaborators. And fortunately, the publisher of my next non-fiction book has an exceptional team.

And not just with books, but with life in general, a good crew of collaborators, or friends, make all the difference in life.

Text and image copyright Michele Gierck

Michele’s other blog: www.michelemuses.wordpress.com

A Budding Project

A Budding Project

 

first spring buds BUSH PEA Aug2014

Most things that bloom, regardless of being a flower, or an artistic work start off as a small bud. And I’m hoping that the manuscript just forwarded to my publisher, a budding project, will bloom fully and vibrantly, delighting many readers.

Photo: A bush Pea – Michele’s garden – one of the first spring buds, 2014

If you love flowers or nature, feel free to check out Michele’s other blog:

www.michelemuses.wordpress.com

Time to Celebrate

Time to Celebrate

BirdBillHoneyeaterIt’s certainly time to celebrate now that the contract for my next non-fiction book has been signed with an excellent Australian publisher.  More details soon. For now, it’s on with the editing.

Image: Honeyeater at Bird Billabong, near Mary River, on the way to Kakadu National Park, The Northern Territory, Australia

Michele’s website: www.michelegierck.com.au

What inspires Michele? Check out her other blog to find out – www.michelemuses.wordpress.com

Text and image copyright Michele Gierck

 

Stepping into the World of Another – Writing Personal Profiles

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One of the most rewarding aspects of writing personal profiles, at least for me, is the opportunity it provides to step into the world of another. Then to really listen, not just to what is said, but to get a sense of the person’s essence, and to commit that to the page.

My most recent profile was hip-hop artist and Burundian refugee, Fablice from The Flybz. War, loss and years as a refugee have not dented his spirit or his hope for the future. What an inspiration. So too his song, Child Soldier, with the iconic singer/songwriter Paul Kelly.

To find out what else inspires Michele visit: www.michelemuses.wordpress.com