Being interviewed by the Science Show host, Robyn Williams, is like having front row seats with a master in the art of interviewing. The stars of this interview were two little native freshwater fish -- Gladys and Stripey. It was fab to discuss my first children's book with Robyn.
A podcast is available on the Science Show website. And I quote from the ABC RN Science Show podcast, ' Michele describes how she is inspired by the natural world, and how she created an adventure story for children based on science and the lives of two little fish.' Here's the link to the podcast.
The book is called, Gladys and Stripey: two little fish on one BIG adventure.
Thursday 23 November at 7.45pm (SA time) I'll be chatting to the iconic, and soon to retire (as in next week), Peter Goers. What an amazing radio host. We first met years ago when my memoir about accompanying my mum with dementia was published. Delighted that I'll get to say goodbye when we chat later this week about Gladys and Stripey -- my first children's book.
It's hard not to laugh when chatting with Peter Goers, even when the topic is tough. His dry quick wit is really something. This photo was taken in Adelaide at an Alzheimer's conference a few years ago.
Read a fab review of Gladys and Stripey: Two little fish on one BIG adventure by author and blogger, Dr Helen Edwards. Perfect timing for Nature Book Week (4 -10 Sep 2023).
Michele will be speaking at Darebin Creek, on Sat 9 Sep (10am), as part of Nature Book Week. Along with Victoria from Nature Play Learning, they will then explore the newly-built fish ladder, and enjoy being out in nature. Bookings are essential.
I hear it often. Wanting to write your own memoir, or life story, but not sure where to start. Here's a tip. Instead of staring at the blank page, wondering where to start, and feeling overwhelmed, why not start writing a personal profile -- an overview of your story in 1000 to 3000 words. And if you can't write it yourself, get someone to write it, or help you write the piece. It's amazing what emerges -- a spark, ideas, a theme, a voice, structure, or even style or tone.
I've been collaborating with a couple of business women lately, and it's worked for both of them, even though the story each of them wants to tell is about much more than their respective businesses.
Text and image copyright Michele Gierck
If you enjoy reading memoirs, or if you are learning all you can about them, (perhaps even threatening to write one), this is a book you'll want to make sure you get your hands on. I've just finished it for the first time. Feel like I need to read it again, because I was so delighted with the story and the way it was written, the way words and images melded into amazing descriptions, that I charged through it.
One of Mary's lines at the end of the book says a lot about the effect this first memoir of hers has had on readers. 'Reading Liars' Club seemed to crowbar open something in people.' I can totally understand why.
I happened to discover this wonderful book, published in 2015, in the it's-yours-for-free box at the local library. Just proves that one library's trash is another person's treasure.
Here's one of my favourite quotes. 'In fact, every memoirist I know seems doomed to explore the past in an often-agonized death march down the page.'
Hope you get a chance to at least read the Preface. It's a classic.
Personal writing is rarely just about the end product. It's a process. And that process can be a real gift, requiring deep thought and reflection. Yes, it often comes with challenges and surprises, but it's a bit like going fishing. You never know what you're going to find. (Or what finds you!) Even the difficult parts of life, when written about, take on different hues, and allow you to look from a different perspective.
My two memoirs have been about powerful personal experiences: one in a war zone, the other accompanying my mother with dementia. I might have thought I was writing about human rights, or breaking down barriers about dementia. But looking back, I realise I was just trying to make sense of it all -- of the madness of life.
That's why I encourage people who are thinking about writing -- perhaps daring themselves to give it a go -- to dive in. It's not so much the end product as the process of writing that's the real gift.
Over the years I've been contacted by quite a few people wanting to write part of their own story, but wondering where to start. Here's my suggested strategy -- three questions to ask yourself.
If you were to choose six parts of your life to write about (they could be events, experiences, life stages, transitions, or times when you learnt something significant) what would they be?
Why do you now feel the urge to write? Is it because you promised yourself you would before your turned, 30, 50 or 75? Perhaps you want to hand stories down to family members. Or to reflect on your journey so far? Is it to tell the story of others through your own eyes? Or to let your creative self flourish and see what emerges?
Who would you like the audience for your writing to be? Are you writing for anyone in particular? Or just for yourself? Would you like your prose or poetry to be published?
Dear Friends, Readers, Community,
Here's a quote for the day that someone I've never met was kind enough to send me.
Necessity is the mother of invention. In these challenging times get creative!Creativity and curiosity are great gifts to have, especially now. They help us stay upbeat.
Friends have been sending me links to useful online sites. No point keeping them to myself, so here they are.
For some relaxing yoga -- as good for the mind as the body -- check out this online session.
If you're up for a free short course, you might like to have a look at the broad selection on offer at Future Learn, from screen writing to health and history.
Feel free to contact me via the contact page on my website if you have ideas or comments.
Photo and text copyright Michele Gierck