Since my bone cancer was identified in September I have been on a brain activity high. There is a new stimulus that has allowed me to produce Blog Posts, a series of Letters to Dorothy, revision work on two unpublished novels, and a large submission to RGSQ on a Long Distance Trail in the Carnarvon Ranges. This includes Inspiration during the night when sleep is disturbed and i get up to jot down notes or write a small article or poem.
The reading about Iranian which I did over Christmas and January, and the understanding I developed about the effects of the Muslim Revolution has had on society in my new daughter-in-law’s country of birth, has given me great insights into memoir writing. While Azar Nafisi’s work on understanding the themes, voice and structure of challenging novels from Pride and Prejudice to The Great Gatsby has allowed me to determine how I can change and improve the approach to my own writing.
Physically, although restricted in strength and having to give up Golf, Tennis and cycling, I have remained active doing walks in Toohey Forest, putting time in in the Brookland Gym and swimming in Feb in the Brookland pool. In this I have stayed positive about my health and gone ahead and booked a cruise from Broome to Darwin in April.
What is more remarkable is how things magically work out at just the right time, such as catching my bus, and timing of activities to fit other commitments, thus meeting my own deadlines. An example last Tuesday was when taken to lunch by Frank Spranklin at the Corner Cafe and by surprise environmental friends, Beryl Roberts and Bernise Voltz, walked in. Both deserved an update on my cancer — having not seen either for over a year. So we lunched together and shared updates on our interests. Another example was getting home from the forest just in time for the cleaner I had organised but wasn’t expecting that day and who was about to leave because she was locked out.
Now just today I am offered a contract on my new novel with a top publisher. This is serendipity in the extreme since I was ready to scrap that project all together and have been concentrating on an earlier unpublished work.
These will seem to be trivial examples, but as the number of them build up, coincidences almost every day, I can’t help thinking my sub-conscious is in the driving seat and life as it now is under my palliative care regime will continue to bring me joy.