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Women Supporting Women

Together we can work towards a better future for all women.

I was asked to speak about my books, Seven Signs and Bass Point Boys, for a Network group. Though I’m passionate about the books themselves, I found it hard to know what to say. It wasn’t a book club after all and I needed to relate to the business people who attended.

I wrote and rewrote my speech several times, practicing over and over and finally came up with a version. As I spoke, I realised it was more about getting a message across, than promoting my books.

My book, Seven Signs is fictional, and yet, I wrote it because like all authors, I wanted to tell a story. This was a journey that many could relate to - of courage, friendship, hurt and finally peace. It’s a story we have read in various forms. The novel itself is based around one particular character, Eve who finds it hard to face her antagonists and yet, though she doesn’t realise it at first, she is supported through each battle, by one good friend who helps her to realise her potential.

Bass Point Boys was a totally different style-a YA fiction. Yet I found in the end, it too, had a similar theme-one of hardship, adversary and finally rising up to achieve against all odds. “When life became too hard, Roy, knew where to find a home. In a world of misfits, the youths of Bass Point found family and a sense of belonging.

This brings me to why I’m writing this.

Eve, in Seven Signs, could be any one of us. Someone non-descript, doesn’t stand out from the crowd, gets on with life, hard worker; though like Eve, we often have complicated lives and keep on working, ignoring our feelings, emotions and health. We are busy and push through trying to reach that target or be a better version of ourselves. And yet, things happen don’t they that put us in a place where we are challenged, or a place where we have to make decisions about who we are, what we are going to do or where we want to be. Sometimes our decisions are good and sometimes not so good. But that’s life isn’t it?

There is no book to read on how we should live our life. Just like there’s no book on how to really bring up our children. There might be some guidance, but it’s all trial and error.

Both Eve and Roy’s road, was not just one travelled, but the road of life. It was their journey, from beginning to end, of ups and downs - but they survived. They went on to become better versions of themselves and overcome adversity.

The poem I wrote in Seven Signs, sort of sums it up. I wrote this on the train on my way home, after being retrenched during the GFC. Yet, like many during Covid and the Bus Fires, I had to keep going. It sums up life.

I travel on my journey home I see the cliffs and rocks And as I travel through the tunnel I see it as my block.

You see I've travelled on this track So many times before But none have shown me before today What it was really for.

You see this track is like my life I’ve travelled yet again It goes around the countryside And then back down the plain.

It winds and twists around the hills Between the cliffs and trees Its beauty is so rare to find And yet I didn’t see.

You see this track is like my life That’s journeyed many times Along the tracks and round the cliffs Yet I have been so blind.

I've travelled on the ups and downs And through the forest glen And yet I find I'm here again It's really just the same.

And yet along this journey here I've come to see the view I've come to realise that life Is really something new.

You see although I've aged in mind My thoughts they all have changed Where once I just went round and round I now see more.. It's so strange.

I take in every rock and bush

That lives along this line I see them for what they really are As part of life's own mind.

‘Cause life is just a journey That you travel every time And life is just one lesson That takes us time to find.

So next I'm on this train again I think I'll stop and see ‘Cause this journey has taught me so much About how life is real.

What do you think? Relate? Just as many will survive the catastrophic occurrences which have recently happened during the bush fires and Covid, people pick themselves up and keep going. Don’t get me wrong, trauma hurts. But That’s what life is about isn’t it?

Like one of my other poems in Seven Signs, it’s about living for just one more year-one more year to get that raise, or earn that little bit extra or have that dream holiday-one more to ….. well what do we keep striving for one more year for? How many are on that train just travelling along without really noticing until something happens? You see it’s on that train journey that Eve really sees her life and what it has been like.

I always say one person alone has power; but collectively we have impact. Traditionally we have been taught to be competitive with one another, because there was such a scarcity of jobs at the top. It’s so clear that strategy doesn’t work. The truth is that raising each other up and channelling the power of collaboration is truly how we’ll change the equation—and have a lot more fun along the way.

There is power in realising you are worthwhile and helping others to realise their potential too. Realize your strengths and make the journey worthwhile.

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