A year in review
We made it! As I entered the month of December I couldn’t help but feel relieved. The end of the year was well and truly upon us. As we decorated our house for my favourite holiday, Christmas, I felt excitement sweep over my entire home. My loved ones and I were enveloped by Christmas cheer. I couldn’t figure out whether this overwhelming feeling of joy was coming from knowing that Santa and his reindeers would soon be visiting us or whether it was the hopeful magic that this holiday brings. Christmas is known for its miracles, it instils a belief in all of us, it fills us with faith that all will be good. The spirit of Christmas conveys love, it inspires us to give, to be thankful for those amazing individuals who share our life with us and to bring happiness to all those we encounter. It really is the most wonderful time of the year.
December also gave me another opportunity to reflect on the year that was. A year that has taught me a lot about resilience, perseverance and courage. The challenges I faced this year have shaped me for what is to come. It has been a year full of lessons and a year that has commanded respect, audacity and growth. Getting through this year has been one massive feat but I had done it and being surrounded by friends and family through the holiday season, made me realise that what lied ahead was going to be truly beautiful. It was time to relax, unwind and enjoy the moments to come.
As part of the end of year festivities, I was asked by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators ACT Branch to note down the authorly highlights of my year, to share with other members in the Branch. This was a wonderful opportunity to indulge in those sparkly moments of my year. Revisiting these events made me realise I had actually accomplished a great deal this year and I had a lot to be grateful for. Below are the magical moments I shared with the Branch:
- Charlie’s Adventures…in Hawaii shortlisted for the Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards. A moment that truly sparkles and I am beyond grateful for.
- Charlie makes it to New York! (thank you to Pages for Changes and others) Charlie reaching some wonderful international supporters as we strive to nurture a more inclusive community and inspire global citizens.
- Charlie’s Adventures…in Hawaii being selected as a Finalist in the American Book Fest Awards. With over 2,000 entries from around the world it was an incredible surprise.
- Being invited to join the Creative Kids Tales team. It is wonderful to be able to contribute to the platform and support this incredible community.
In addition to these magical moments, I had completed my Master in International Development this year. I had contributed to other online platforms such as IT’S THE NOW and Just Write for Kids. I had attended a number of writing conferences, including KidLitVic and participated at writing festivals and Storytime events, including the Noted Festival and the Goulburn Reader Writer Festival amongst others. I had been to Geneva, Zurich and Vietnam for work and South Africa for leisure, witnessing these rich cultures. The second instalment of Charlie’s Adventures…was also on its way to production.
I also ended 2017 by receiving the Anne Edgeworth Fellowship from the ACT Writers Centre. This is one of the most spectacular moments of my life. Anne Edgeworth was a truly remarkable woman and to be chosen for this Award was beyond a dream come true. The Awards were announced at the ACT Writers Centre Christmas and Awards evening. It was a wonderful evening where I met some lovely members of the writing community. I was also in the company of many familiar faces from the Canberra Children’s writers community, which was very comforting. I am overjoyed to be part of this truly supportive and inclusive community. I also found my writing endeavours and international development career cross paths at this event, as I unexpectedly met colleagues from my job in international affairs. I often try to keep my two ‘vocations’ separate but for this moment it was nice to have the support of these colleagues. As part of the evening, Anne’s brother presented me with the Award. He delivered a very inspiring speech, articulating that the Award itself was to enable emerging writers to kick down doors as they pursued their career in writing, something I am looking forward to doing in the new year.
As December invites us to say goodbye to the year that past, it also compels us to set intentions for what is to be. We will soon have a blank canvas to start a fresh, 365 new days to fill with adventure, laughter, family, friends and a whole lot of sparkly moments!
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH
Dreams come true! Thank you to the ACT Writers Centre & judges
In the incredible company of Tania McCartney and Gina Newton
Santa made it to our house & left a trail behind 🎅 Hope he made it to yours! Have a merry little Christmas 🎄✨