April 2019

Hello again, and thank you for dropping by. After the heat of summer, we are experiencing perfect autumn days here on the Sunshine Coast. A slight freshness in the mornings gives way to glorious sunny days – sufficient to still dress in summer clothes. Perfect! With school holidays here once more, there are crowds of families enjoying our beaches and hinterland. How blessed we are to live in this part of the world. I have to say, being tempted to get out and enjoy the days makes it difficult to get on with work, and the list of things I wanted to have completed by the end of March is only half done. Such is life as Ned Kelly once said.

On the positive side, bookings are now open for the autumn term of my Memoir Writing classes. If you are thinking of telling your own story, this five week course will help you to get started, even if you have never written anything before. Don’t be put off by feeling you have to write every single thing about your life, especially if you have lived to a good age. Writing memoir, and not autobiography, means you can select the highlights or parts you want to write about. This course will help you to establish an information base that will keep you on track, show you how to recall those ‘forgotten’ memories and, most importantly, teach you various ways to bring those memories vividly to life.

If you live on the Sunshine Coast, the next course begins on Thursday 2nd May and runs for five weeks on Thursday afternoons from 1:00 until 3.30 at Buderim. There are simple exercises to do that will ultimately help you to tell your life story in the way you want to tell.it. Numbers are limited as classes are kept small (4 -5 people). This number has proved in the past to be ideal to stimulate discussion and prompt memories. If you would like to find out more, you can email me direct at annemoorhouse@outlook.com The course is also available on line for those who cannot make the class. Again, email me direct and we can discuss details.

This month’s reading is from another Australian author. It is pleasing to see so many now are making best seller lists.

The Orchardist’s Daughter – Karen Viggers

Sixteen-year-old Mikaela has grown up isolated and home-schooled on an apple orchard in south eastern Tasmania, until an unexpected event shatters her family. Eighteen months later, she and her older brother Kurt are running a small business in a timber town. Miki longs to make connections and spend more time in her beloved forest, but she is kept a virtual prisoner by Kurt, who leads a secret life of his own.

When Miki meets Leon, another outsider, things slowly begin to change. But the power to stand up for yourself must come from within. And Miki has to fight to uncover the truth of her past and discover her strength and spirit.

Set in the old-growth eucalypt forests and vast rugged mountains of southern Tasmania, ‘The Orchardist's Daughter’ is an uplifting story about friendship, resilience and finding the courage to break free.

This one took me away from my comfort zone and made me question why I can read about violence and killing in crime fiction without being affected (after all it’s only a story) but when it comes to books with domestic violence, schoolyard bullying and emotional abuse it really hits home. This book has them all. But so much more besides! When a National Parks ranger settles in a small logging community in Tasmania it is obvious sparks are going to fly.

Viggers gives a very balanced view from both sides of the ‘greenies vs loggers’ debate; the concerns of over-deforestation against the need to consider the economic and social repercussions of these communities if they lose their industry, and thus their livelihood. Overreaching this is the author’s obvious love of the forests of Tasmania and, peopled as it is with believable characters, this was a book that I could not put down. Highly recommended.

That’s all for this month. May you all have a peaceful and blessed Easter and manage to spend some time with your loved ones.

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