*Are you happy at the moment?
Yes I am happy…I have finally fulfilled a dream I’ve kept locked away in my imagination since I was ten years old of writing/illustrating/publishing a fictional children’s book…and the people I love most in the world helped my dream come true!
*If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?
I would say to myself…stop dreaming and wake up… Paul McCartney and Elvis Presley are not going to marry you!! Then I would definitely convey wise words; when you think your parents are ‘strictly speaking’….they’re not, as it’s ‘love speaking’.
*What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?
You’re never too old to make a dream come true…..and Live, Love and Laugh often, as life is so precious.
*What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?
If my book can brighten children’s lives and make children more mindful, then I will have achieved.
*What’s your secret to happiness?
Happiness is giving love and care to others. I love to see a smile on someone’s face, especially when you are the reason for somebody’s smile. I once read, “that if you give a person a smile, it may be the only sunshine they see all day”. Another quote I love which gives me great happiness (as you know what you’ve given is treasured by others). It is a quote from one of my most loved movies, The Wizard of Oz; “A Heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others”. By “others” I am not only referring to humans, but also animals. They are one of the greatest gifts on Earth. I have three dogs and there’s nothing that warms the soul more or gives me endless happiness than the unexpected ‘licks’ I get every day!
*What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?
Telling my children every day from the moment they were born to the present, “I love you”.
*What’s your biggest regret?
Not telling my parents every day of my life, “I love you”.
*What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?
“Treat every living thing in the manner you wish to be treated yourself.”
*What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?
Delaying housework is my biggest habit…thankfully I have others in the house who help….but I only wish I had a magic wand! Phyllis Diller once said, “Housework can’t kill you…but why take a chance!”. I probably do more housework just before someone visits, than I do in a week! I’m shameful!
*Aside from motherhood/fatherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?
I’m proud that my parents gave me a heart, a brain, courage and a sense of humour.
*When were you happiest?
My wedding day (38 years ago) and the moment each of my children were born.
*What ten words best describe you?
Loving, sentimental, respectful, creative, thoughtful, aesthetic, imaginative, sincere, comical and appreciative.
I am an Australian mother of 3 adult children who, at age 63, has just fulfilled a dream I’ve kept hidden away in my imagination for over 50 years. I’ve written/ illustrated/published a fictional/part educational children’s book called Bullies, Bees and Brussels Sprouts for ages 8 -10.
I was born in the 1950s at a time when a certain medication for expectant mothers was prescribed for morning sickness which was sadly later recognized as the cause of many anomalies in babies. My mother was never prescribed medication yet I was born with similar physical anomalies. Throughout my childhood, I encountered ‘bullying’ and name-calling but somehow it didn’t faze my love of drawing or writing.
Fortunately, as I’ve matured as a woman, I didn’t care as much about being stared at or patronised because I had a husband who loved me, three beautiful children and always inspired by well-known people who have achieved in our world despite illnesses and anomalies, such as Helen Keller, Stephen Hawking, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Andrea Bocelli…the list went on and on – but underneath I still felt that angst from school years especially when I heard the word “bullying”.
My book is based in Australia with many animal characters including some of our beloved and unique ‘Aussie’ animals as the main characters. As one of my characters proclaims (and the reason for the title): “Bullies are like Bees ..they cause pain and the pain takes a long time to heal … and Brussels Sprouts … take a lot of strength to tolerate, in fact they are extremely unpleasant!”
So if my book can convey issues to make children mindful in a fun, fictional way, then I have achieved what I set out to do.