A New Year about to Begin

Tomorrow marks the anniversary of the bushfire that hit Broulee. Today, instead of dark and ominous smoke clouds and heat there are grey rain clouds and a cool breeze. It could not be more different.

We all have gone through a strange year of downs and ups. The news feeds on all media are full of this year’s happenings; mostly of the catastrophic kind. But it was all predicted and, worse, could have been avoided if we, and especially world governments, had listened to the scientists.

So for me here are some of the other things besides fires, floods and Covid-19 that occurred during 2020:

: I had three short stories published – two about the fires and one fantasy story.

: Our little Jack Russell/Irish Terrier cross Russell died at age 15 and 1 month. He was a lovely fellow and is sorely missed by my husband and I as well as his litter make Jack.

: I started a new not-for-profit with friends to sell Climate Action Signs. This will allow CAN groups and individuals to buy signs at next to cost price.

: I learned how to use Adobe Illustrator and reacquainted myself with Adobe Photoshop. As a result I have obtained editorial work and found a new skill in book cover design.

: Friends and we managed to get away during September to tour outback NSW. We saw places we would not have otherwise seen as our cancelled trip had us going to Uluru and Kings Canyon.

: All our friends and family have so far avoided the dreaded Covid-19.

: Finally, I have become an active member of several climate action groups.

Considering the time we have all had to reflect on our life’s journey, this year has had it challenges but also benefits. And yes, I’m definitely a glass nearly full girl!

I wish all who read this a safe and happy future and hope that our governments will see the light, as even large corporations are doing, that the future lies in working together to save this planet, and the human race, from destruction and extinction.

When Writers Get Together

Like many writers/authors, I am a member of a writing group – the Eurobodalla Fellowship of Australian Writers. There are two groups; one meets during the day and the other at night. The two groups have similar ideals but work toward them in different ways.

Our evening group is made up of a different demographic due to the fact that people who work are able to come. We have teachers, a doctor, a psychologist, a psychiatric nurse, a retired IT manager and trance medium/health advocate and property owners. It makes for very interesting discussions.

Our meeting last night started out as any other, with critiques of short stories or chapters of books that were sent to participants a fortnight before the meeting. But instead of the agenda topics that were to be discussed after, and, as many local groups have found, the bushfires became a topic because one story focussed on survival when faced with difficult health issues.

Over the course of the hour and a half that followed, we heard stories from parents with children watching as the fires decended while they stood helpless on a beach, listened to those with damage to property and those with asthma who spent weeks simply trying to breath. Others who found that not having any way out was scary, tales from those with family and close friends working on the firefront and the feelings of survivors guilt.

Yet as the evening wore on, funny stories began to emerge and we let go of the sadness and giggled and laughed. It was very healthy really.

As a result the group decided to put together a novella with bushfire tales – ones with optimistic outlooks despite the fear and destruction. Bushfires and Vegemite Sandwiches will come together over the next few months under the Secret Society of Words Publishing banner. It is intended to be both cathartic and a record of experiences during the “lost summer.”

Today it is raining – good solid rain. As the picture above shows, two moths after the devastation, at least the bush is beginning to come back. Birds are squablling over territory and some bugs are around. But it will take a long time for the wildlife to reestablish. The rain and regrowth will help.