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.

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

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

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

 

Inspiration

Inspiration

Maguk, Kakadu National ParkInspiration must be one of the most precious, unpurchasable gifts of life. And I’ve been lapping it up as I work on my children’s book about two beautiful fish who embark on a wild adventure. These days , it seems as if much of my inspiration is drawn from nature.

Photo: Maguk Walk, Kakadu National Park, Australia

Text and Image Copyright Michele Gierck

www.michelegierck.com.au