You’ve come to a family-friendly website and short story blog.
“Love in a little black diary” is a memoir, at least in part. Much of it is autobiographical, my life story, revealed in random miniature sketches. But it is much more than that. It includes stories about other people, some amazing individuals, who have touched or enriched my life. It includes much of my family history and the history of my husband’s family as well.
Memory is essential to my storytelling.
Having lived with and cared for someone with dementia, I praise and thank God daily for the gift of memory! But, thankfully, I don’t have to rely on memory alone. I am blessed to have access to my own and family diaries, photographs and memorabilia. I have items from one side of the family dating back to the late 1800s; from the other side of the family, the family tree has been traced back to the mid-1700s.
One item in my possession is a diary from the early 1940s. It is my grandmother’s diary, which inspired the title of my short story blog: “Love in a little black diary”. I won’t tell you why here – that is the subject of A Mother’s Love (24 October 2015). However, I suggest you read Joy and a joy-giver (September 5, 2015) before you read “A Mother’s Love”.
My short story blog covers topics such as: kids and parenting (and grand-parenting), relationships, family history, lessons learned, work, care-giving, ageing, mortality, God, Jesus and the Bible, and Christian ministry. My entire family loves food and we love cooking too, so there are lots of stories about food and the art of cooking. My husband and I like to travel, so the collection includes stories about places we have visited and peculiar travel experiences. Finally, my blog includes some short narratives, anecdotes and poems, what I call “little gems”.
Photographs of people, food, places, and items of interest, many of which I have retrieved from the family archives, help bring the stories to life. In this regard, I am indebted to my husband who is an avid collector of memorabilia and who encourages me to take copious photographs. I must admit to complaining on many an occasion about all his accumulated “stuff”, and saying “Do you really want me to take photos of this?” Now I am so thankful that I have this resource, and for his persistence when I didn’t want to be bothered taking photos. I am also indebted to my late mother, who left me with her wonderful stash of kept items and family photographs.
I always wanted to write stories.
I began writing a “book” when I was about 10 years old. I recall handwriting the story, chapter by chapter, and my father (bless him) typing it. How he encouraged me! I still have the handwritten copy, and my father’s typed pages, evidence of my childhood aspirations.
Writing gives me much satisfaction. I enjoy writing. It’s a creative outlet for me. At secondary school, I won prizes for my essays and poems, even prose and poems in French! About 10 years ago, I took some courses in writing – telling your life story, use of dialogue, how to sell your writing, and more. At that time I was working full-time and I didn’t have the time or inclination to pursue my storytelling dream.
I’ve done a lot of formal writing over the years, including two major academic theses. The first,”Towards Better Mathematics Teaching“, is a report of my Master of Education research of a teacher professional development program conducted by Education Queensland in the early 1990s.
The second is my PhD thesis “Chaplaincy in Queensland State Schools: An Investigation”, which I self-published in 2002. It examines the nature and development of chaplaincy in Queensland State Schools, with a focus on the role played by early campaigners and Scripture Union Queensland. The thesis, which is very readable, is available online at The University of Queensland website: http://espace.library.uq.edu.au/view/UQ:184700.
Writing and interpersonal communication have been central to the various positions I have held in my working life. I have been a secondary school teacher, teacher of adults in a tertiary institution, researcher, mediator, investigator and strategic planner. When I left the public service in 2007, well before retiring age, my colleagues asked me what I intended to do, and I said I wanted to write…stories! But it took me until 2015 to get started.
I look forward to sharing my stories with you and I invite your feedback. Hopefully, I will post a new story on my site every 2-3 weeks.
Once again, welcome to my site!