Includes book reviews and bits from writer's journal. For the professional stuff, see website link below left.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The year that's been.

Like so many people nowadays, we do the xmas update letter to far-flung friends and family. Omitting the greetings and closings, here's the latest summary of events and highlights:

It's been an up-and-down sort of year. The biggest drama was Andrew's heart attack in July, however it was a mild one, not even painful, and he is well recovered by now. It taught him not to push himself too hard, and he is now taking time out each day for things like walking, swimming, resting and reading.

His environmental fairy story, "Jorell", was published early in the year and launched on Environment Day under the auspices of the local Environment Centre. It has sold well locally, and we're about to take delivery of a second edition. A big thrill for us was when the cover artist, Tom Giffin, a young Californian, visited us with his Aussie girlfriend and presented us with the original of the beautiful cover painting.


A film company opened up not too far from here; Andrew approached them about making a movie of "Jorell", and they were very encouraging. He now has the task of writing a screenplay and attracting sponsorship. Luckily my son Steve, who is now working as a film financier, has a lot of clues about screenplays. He turned up to visit just at the right time to help Andrew tackle this; also he addressed my writers' group on the subject on several occasions, and held them enthralled for hours at a time.

I started the writers' group late last year, wanting to give something back to the community that helped get me to Texas for my 2006 poetry tour. It's hosted by the local Neighbourhood Centre, and I co-facilitate it with Pam Moore – another performance poet, ex-librarian and so on, like me. It's called WordsFlow, is full of talented, fun people, now has its own blog, and we just launched one member's first poetry book. In the coming year we're planning to branch out into a local history project, the creation of a community newspaper, and a book for children in hospital. The Neighbourhood Centre is very keen on the suggestion from Thom the World Poet
when he visited last year, that we transform this town to Poetsville. It's taken a while, but we shall do it!

My poetry's still going strong. I've had a few pieces published in on-line literary magazines, and there's a faithful Yahoo group of "Rosemary's Readers" who like to receive new ones in their email every so often. It was fun to participate in the "30 poems in 30 days" project at Writer's Resource Center in September, particularly as my Texas friend and soul-sister Connie Williams did it too and we got to interact there. Otherwise, my main writing activity has been blogging. I enjoy MySpace and Twitter, am getting to like Blogger – and I tried Facebook briefly and hated it! Andrew does a bit of blogging too, but he's by no means so addicted as I am. We're both still working on memoirs, and I hope the blogging proves a painless way of recording some details. We belong to a memoir group which meets monthly in Byron Bay. We don't always get there, but have had some great meetings and very useful feedback.

An online magazine called The Smoking Poet did some nice reviews of "Jorell" and also of my poetry book "Secret Leopard" . And we've finally got a website. It's not finished and is probably subject to some changes, but the bits about our books are there to stay.

At the end of March we had a quick visit to Melbourne for Andrew's son Adam's 40th birthday party. We also attended a luncheon, movie showing and general celebration of Young Media Australia, an organisation of which Andrew was the first Chairman 50-odd years ago. It was great fun, and we heard some stimulating speeches about the current goals and needs, and the things the organisation has achieved for children over the years. Sorry if you're one of the many we didn't catch up with this trip. We managed to see most family members, went our separate ways one day to catch up with a few other people each, had a quick look at the Art Gallery, and then we had to rush back home to Pottsville. Hope to make it down there again in 2008 for the launch of a "tribute" book to the late Melbourne poet Shelton Lea, probably February, and will definitely be there for Andrew's daughter Cecilia's wedding in April.

My dear friends Maureen and Alan had a birthday party for me and our other Scorpio pal Marg in their wonderful new house. It was very luxurious! And all the assembled company got drawn into a very heated – though essentially good-humoured – debate on politics, with our Federal election coming up. One person there thought John Howard was OK; we were eager to disabuse her! Need I say, Andrew and I are delighted that Dishonest John met such a resounding defeat at last. Steve arrived for his visit just in time to see us glued to the TV on election night. He was vastly amused. "This is such great theatre," he said. "Not that stuff on the TV – you two!"

We're still doing Reiki and psychic readings at the Sunday markets, but not so often in 2007 what with Andrew's convalescence and Steve's visit. We decided to be more laid-back about the whole thing. We also still see clients privately, and I've taught Reiki to a few people during the year. Early in the year we became involved with a remarkable animal healer, Doc Jamieson, who is also good at energy clearing for people. We spent some time helping him in his healing work and he in turn did some energy clearing for us. He wants to open a healing centre and have us live in and me be the resident psychic reader, but I'm not at all sure I want to leave Pottsville. We're happy here.

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