Back in January 2013, I was joined by a very lovely lady, Jo Skehan. Today I found out she lost her fight with Cancer. I would like to re-post Jo’s guest post today in honour of her. RIP Jo.
Those who know me will tell you I am a nutter on writing and gardening. I inherited my passion and the need to feel the dirt on my hands, from my father. His big gentle hands successfully produced vegetables, fruit and flowers in our garden year after year and I can honestly say he taught me everything I know about gardening.
The obsession of writing was inherited from my mother who told the best stories ever about life on the harsh, hot land of Australia where my family all hails from. Mum was one of eight all brought up on a huge cattle and dairy property in central Queensland, and had first hand experience of droving, milking and producing the best Hereford cattle possible.
As kids, my many cousins and I loved the hot summer nights that were too sticky for us to sleep upstairs in our beds – on those nights we were allowed to sit on the veranda in the huge canvas deck chairs to catch the breezes from the creek below the hill where the big old house stood proudly. My Mum and Aunts would then tell us stories of life on the land – some of them so funny we would almost pee ourselves from laughing so hard. The younger cousins would be lulled off to sleep and were then carried upstairs to their beds by the uncles where they could carry on dreaming about cows and horses.
When my husband Tim and I moved here from Perth West Australia almost five years ago, he kindly suggested that I not work so I could devote my time to writing and establishing the gardens on the acreage we built our new home on. So like a foolhardy clown I dug, dug, dug and cursed, swore and promised myself never to do anything as silly as that ever again.
With the garden looking ok after spending thousands of dollars on plants, a bore to water to water it with, pathways, patios, pergolas and a green house I decided it was time for me to get back to work where I could talk to people rather than plants and our cats and dog.
Working full time again, I found spare hours to keep the garden maintained very limited, let alone any time for writing. Each time I sat at my desk, flexed my knuckles over the keyboard in the hope of banging out a few hundred or even better a few thousand words, the sight of the huge weeds that had grown so well over the winter and spring months would hit me and send me hurtling back to reality. The computer turned off, I’d grab my fork and spade and head off to do battle with the weeds instead.
Now the garden has been restored to a state of decency and I can (hopefully) get to work on the books and short stories I have been writing for many years now. Four of my short stories were published in an anthology of short stories called ‘Telling Tales’ which was a combined effort of writers collectively named Writers For Welfare. I have several books I have been working on and off over the years and of course a couple actually completed that I wrote during the Nanowrimo challenges. I find it inspirational and motivational so try to take part each November.
We are now half way through our summer which has been speeding by just as last year did. I figure I have about two months to concentrate on my writing before the garden demands attention again.
Watch this space….the keyboard has been cleaned and my fingers are flexed….