Saturday, February 26, 2011
Pamela Freeman on gratitude
Award-winning author Pamela Freeman is one of those quiet achievers who churns out wonderful stories and books simply because she loves it, but more importantly, she is damned good at it.
Pamela has written both fiction and non-fiction, for children, young adults and adults and many will know her for her fantasy trilogy The Castings (Blood Ties, Deep Water and Full Circle).
I think I first met Pamela at a Children’s Book Council Conference in Sydney in2006, and then we served on the Australian Society of Authors Committee of Management together. From there a wonderful friendship blossomed. I came to truly appreciate Pamela and her writing life when we I took some time out to yarn over lunch and Coogee beach as friends. Now we ‘do lunch’ for mutual inspiration and motivation, talking books and writing overlooking Wedding Cake Island and the Pacific Ocean.
My ‘Pamela Time’ - although only a few times a year - is something that I am grateful for, because it is food for the soul, always. You can have some professional ‘Pamela Time’ also by clicking here!
On the eve of the release of her latest masterpiece Ember and Ash Pamela has generously shared some very personal words of gratitude for writers and writing. They were food for thought for me, I am sure they will be for you also.
Pamela’s thoughts on gratitude:
On the day Anita invited me to be a guest grateful blogger, I had written a column for the Sydney Morning Herald about ‘5 Books that Changed Me’. It was hard to bring it down to five – I’ve read a huge number of books in my life!
But as I wrote, knowing that this guest blog was coming up, I realised that one of the things I was and remain most grateful for are writers. I had (have) a wonderful family, but they were not literary people, and we lived in Sydney’s Western Suburbs, far away then from the centre of intellectual life in Australia.
As a kid, books were my doorways out – not just out of Rydalmere, but out of the mindset of the people in the neighbourhood, which was narrow-minded in almost every way: racist, homophobic, you name it.
In books I found people who thought like me. I can’t remember the title (it might have been To Kill a Mockingbird), but I distinctly remember realising that the person who had written the book was a real, living, person – and that meant that other people in the world believed that racism was wrong. That other people in the world, including some men, were interested in equality for women. That other people in the world were interested in equity and justice for everyone.
The revelation that I was not the only person who questioned the attitudes I heard around me was fortifying, sustaining, empowering.
And I am grateful. For all the writers who, like Anita, write from the heart and attack the difficult issues head on. For all the writers who choose honesty over cant, and reality over platitudes.
That includes fantasy and science fiction writers, by the way, who taught me to question my current reality by contrasting it with others they created. And it includes script writers in TV and the movies. It includes writers long dead, like Shakespeare and Jane Austen, and writers who haven’t been published yet, like some of my writing students.
So I am grateful for hundreds upon hundreds of people, through time and space, whose words, written or spoken or filmed, have been a light in the darkness.