Entering the month of April, I approached my last month of pregnancy and I was officially in the nesting stage. I spent the month sprucing our home for the arrival of our second (or third, if you count our beagle, Sherlock) baby. Amidst all the tidying, cleaning, decluttering and redecorating I allowed myself opportunities to rest and disconnect. To be completely honest, I was exhausted! For me, confessing my exhaustion is a big deal. As people who know me very well would attest, I rarely give in to being tired. I always want to hustle and keep striving, however being responsible for a little being growing within me, I needed to admit defeat and sleep!
Although I spent most of the month nesting or in my bed, I had committed to a couple of author talks as part of the National Museum of Australia Creative Connections series. This series of workshops were designed to encourage visitors to interact creatively with some of the incredible objects on display at the museum. I was honoured to be invited as one of the local artists to facilitate two creative writing sessions as part of the series. My sessions centered around two remarkable objects ‘wedding dress 1956’ and ‘Mawson expedition medicine chest.’ I love preparing workshops. Before commencing a career in foreign policy and international development, I had spent many years working in the learning and development space within a number of organisations. Designing and developing workshops as an author fills me with so much joy! Being able to connect with the skills and knowledge I gained during my time in learning and development, whilst passing on my love of writing and storytelling to both children and adults is such a delight. Through preparing for these workshops I was able to ignite my imagination too. Losing yourself in each object and being able to create vivid stories based on the endless possibilities they could encompass was thrilling.
‘Wedding dress 1956’ belonged to the Japanese war bride Yoshiko Ishikawa. The wedding dress signified her connection to both Japan and Australia. I chose this item to work with as it allowed me to explore the concepts of culture, identity and diversity. Three themes that always seem to creep into my stories. Three themes that are central to who I am. As a Sri Lankan-Australian, I identified with Yoshiko’s story. Creating strong characters and tales from simply looking at this exquisite object was incredible.
Similarly, ‘Mawson expedition medicine chest’ presented an opportunity to write and delve into an epic adventure. Douglas Mawson was a remarkable explorer. By looking at the medicine chest we were able to create astounding scenarios around the object and create stories that took us on great quests around the world.
Preparing for these workshops kept me connected to my dream of being an author. Even though I have a lot going on being pregnant, having the chance to lose myself in my love of writing, made me so happy! I know the next few months will be a challenge as we get acquainted with our new baby, but what April taught me is in order to connect with who I am I need to write. Regardless of time, I may have an hour, I may have 10 minutes, writing has to be part of my day-to-day. It was part of my nesting phase and I am determined to keep it a part of my routine after our little one is born. For me, writing is bliss. It connects me to my essence. It rejuvenates me. It is part of me.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH
Delighted to run creative writing workshops for both adults and children at the National Museum of Australia as part of the Creative Connections Workshop series.
Waiting for the arrival of baby #2. Time to rest! This is where you will find me for the next little while.