I am amazed and delighted with the friendships and connections I have made since publishing my books. Yesterday, we were expecting a tree lopper but as our seven year- old grandson rushed downstairs gasping,
‘Pa, the tree lopper is here, at least I THINK it’s the tree lopper.’
In walked a slightly bemused fellow author, Gavin Fisher with his hands held high,
‘I’m not a tree lopper, I’m here to exchange books with Jenny.’
Gavin and I are part of a mentoring group conducted by our publisher (Ocean Reeve Publishing). During the Covid19 lockdown we have been participating in a fortnightly Zoom meeting with up to forty fellow authors. These sessions have been educational and inspirational. One of the many outcomes has been connecting with other authors, sharing our personal stories, and our books. Book swapping has been popular, which in turn leads to exchanging reviews, something which is difficult to obtain. That is how Gavin (not the tree lopper) came to share a beer with us last night. I can’t wait to read Gavin’s first book ‘Colour of Greed’ (www.gavinfisher.com), if I can extract it from Rick first!
Tomorrow morning I’m delighted to be joining Pip Coleman’s book club in Phillip Island by Zoom, as this group have been reading my latest book ‘Innocent Nurses Abroad.’ Pip and I have exchanged books and shared an interview on Zoom. Pip’s life whilst working on cruise ships all around the world is compelling reading. ‘Finding my Soul at Sea’ (www.pipcoleman.com). These are two examples of finding connections and friendship through our writing journey.
In the past twelve months I have lost two very close, life-time friends and another, only known for a short time, but very special non the less. I miss them every day, the regular phone calls, laughter together, and their very presence. Friendship is precious and to be valued.
My book, ‘Innocent Nurses Abroad’ tells of special friendships. The ‘innocent’ nurses setting off to seek adventure on the other side of the world at the fledgling age of twenty-one, relied on trust and strength to help each other through challenging times but also to enjoy the great times together. Any group of girls who can survive travelling in a bomb of a bus called ‘Dennis’ that constantly broke down leaving us in vulnerable positions constantly will be friends for life! During the three years of nursing training, one works with all personalities and dispositions in a stressful working environment with tragedies and triumphs associated with an acute public hospital. This taught us to be considerate and work willingly with all types. What a great lesson on life. If only our political leaders could do likewise!
Having written the story of travelling together in 1968, I have received comments from the nurses involved (the amigos), thanking me for writing it down as they are now able to pass this book on to their families for future generations. It has even encouraged and inspired one of the girls to record her memoirs. It’s so important to leave a legacy for our future generations.
During my Author Tour promoting my first book, ‘Back of Beyond” I was amazed at the connections that appeared in the most unexpected places. At the Glen Innis Library amongst the audience of thirty guest appeared a familiar face. Beverly had lived in the unit above where I was living in London in 1968. We had not seen each other since then.
I have connected with governesses and stockmen who had worked for us at ‘McAllister” some forty years previously, I even found some long-lost relations in Orange and Narrandera in NSW, one was particularly boring. An ex-boyfriend appeared in Armidale with his delightful wife and on it goes.
I have been blessed with the many connections and friendships I have gained through publishing my books. It is a bonus I never expected.
So….. start recording your memoirs, or if you have a fiction story in your head, start writing it NOW! You never know where it will lead you. I have been pushed into doing stuff on the computer I never thought I would attempt, though I have to admit I still suffer serious computer rage regularly. I am very grateful for my mentoring work book which I refer to frequently.
Until next time…. Treasure your friends and enjoy new connections.
Stay well and safe and enjoy limited freedom.