Guest Post: Introduction from Paula and Me by John Jeffery

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Last year, I was asked by John Jeffery (better known to everyone who knows him as JJ) to help get his autobiography ready for self-publishing. This week, Paula and Me is finally available for purchase and JJ has been good enough to let me post the introduction to his book on my blog.

If you’d like to read the whole book, it’s available for sale as a paperbook or an ebook through the following links on Monday’s book review.

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It’s been said that everybody has a book in them and it’s just a matter of sitting down and writing in order to get it out. For me, there was a crucial moment between living the life you’re going to read about in the following pages and writing this book. That moment was an old work colleague and friend suggesting that the action-packed life I had led would be an interesting read for my grandkids.

There was just one problem. I’d never written anything before and I didn’t know if I could write. But there was only one way to find out. I had to give it a go. So in typical JJ style, I started making notes at three o’clock one morning as I lay in bed unable to sleep. Six hours later, I was still typing away on my laptop. Maybe that old work colleague and friend knew what he was talking about, after all. Continue reading

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Guest Post: Invisible Illnesses by Genevieve Davey

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Today’s guest post is from eighteen-year-old Genevieve Davey. Genevieve is my youngest sister, although with the nineteen year age gap between us, we are mistaken for mother and daughter more and more often now (despite the fact that we look nothing alike).

The following piece is the result of a list of thirty prompts published to encourage awareness and discussion of invisible illnesses in society and decrease stigmatisation during Invisible Illness Awareness Week. Gen’s honesty is confronting but impressive and I think this piece also demonstrates that the talent for writing runs in our family.

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Guest Post: The Man Who Cut His Lawn With Scissors by Zac Newnham

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Today’s guest post is perhaps an unusual one. The author, Zac Newnham, is family – my second cousin – although family promoting family, there’s nothing very unusual about that. His knack for top-notch short stories (from the very short to the slightly longer) meant that when the Melbourne Writers’ Festival asked people via Twitter who their favourite short story writers were, I immediately tweeted back about “a relatively unknown up-and-comer, Zac Newnham” and predicted “big things ahead for him”.

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Guest Post: Bereavement Leave for Step-Families by Jessica Vigar

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Step-FamiliesAlthough this blog is normally my self-indulgent platform for promoting, well, me, I am more than willing to share the (very limited) limelight for examples of other people’s writing, especially when that example is well written and for a good cause.

Just like Jessica, my inaugural guest post author, I am one of those people who is part of a step-family (in fact, I’m part of three of them). When she was denied bereavement leave on the occasion of her step-grandfather’s death, she was moved to pen the following letter to the Fair Work Commission to protest the unfairness of the Australian Government trying to tell us who we should and shouldn’t consider family.

It’s hard to argue with common sense (although governments attempt it time and time again). Read on for Jessica’s thoughtful, articulate and reasonable request for change.

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