Stepping Out

After a few months in hibernation enthusiastically crafting new stories, I marched out in March (sorry, I couldn’t help myself). From Instagram challenges to story time sessions to book launches and creative masterclasses, I was out and about.

March kept me on my toes. It was an eventful month. It was my last month at work before commencing maternity leave and it was also full of literary commitments. As much as I wanted to continue to hibernate in my little bubble, I knew it was necessary to step out, network and support my community. With a new baby well on their way, I would have plenty of time to write and be a recluse in a mere couple of months.

At the beginning of March I registered to partake in an Instagram challenge. Social media for me, a naturally shy and private person, is a minefield. The Instagram challenge provided the tools I so desperately needed to make my way through this perplexing platform unharmed. It was a great way to step out of my shell for the first time in 2019. What I liked about the challenge was that it restored my faith in social media. If used for good and not evil, social media can have tremendous benefits in facilitating a connection with others around the world. The challenge also showed me the importance of story. Seeing the response you get from your peers, supporters and even new followers by simply communicating your story, made me realise we are all in this together. We are interactive beings who need to connect. We are also curious beings longing to see how others in our community may live. We learn from not only sharing our stories but hearing the stories of others. I love that sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. The beauty of Instagram is it tells the story of what is really important to us through a simple snap. A picture often captures the vibrancy of life. For me, the Instagram challenge gave me permission to embrace my authentic self a little more. I no longer feel so afraid of social media!

Aside from taking lots of pictures in March, I was invited to do my first Charlie’s Adventures… appearance for the year. The Queanbeyan Multicultural Festival was a flurry of activity. I was delighted to be invited to share Charlie’s Adventures… at the event. The value of diversity is something I am very passionate about, which made being involved in this particular Festival all the more special. A huge thank you to the Queanbeyan community!

March was also filled with significant days, International Women’s Day and Harmony Day are both celebrated in March. Two very important occasions! To recognise both these days, I attended an incredible book launch at the National Library of Australia. A dear friend of mine (I love being able to call her a friend) and fellow author, Coral Vass, launched her new book Grandma’s treasured shoes. The remarkable Christina Huynh illustrated this touching story. These two exceptional women delivered a truly heart-warming book launch. If you haven’t already, please take a look at this book, it is well worth the read and again eloquently demonstrates the significance of diversity.

Finally, March ended with not only me saying goodbye to my wonderful colleagues and day job for a number of months but also with an insightful afternoon of writing and illustrating masterclasses. Attending the masterclass sessions was inspiring! It was a great way for me to step back into creating. A lot of the information shared by the presenters has helped me further navigate the path in front of me. I know I have an important job coming up, bringing a newborn into this world, but hopefully I will also have the opportunity to bring some more books into this world soon too! My writing journey began with the birth of my daughter, who knows what will come with the birth of my second child! It’s definitely time to keep stepping out!

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH

A few images from the Instagram challenge. Visit the de Rose-Ahern Stories Instagram page to see more pictures.

Had a wonderful time sharing Charlie’s Adventures…at the @qbnpalerang Multicultural Festival. Thank you to the Queanbeyan Library & event organisers for inviting me!

❤️ Book launch! A wonderful afternoon celebrating the launch of a very special book by the incredible Coral Vass & Christina Huynh 

A lovely afternoon of writing & illustrating masterclasses! 📝

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