Sunday, August 12, 2007

Back from the Conference

Hi everyone,
I had such a wonderful time at the Sydney conference. It was super fun catching up with everyone both published and unpublished. We had a great Venetian Carnavale theme for the cocktail party which was a lot of fun. I had a great time chatting to some unpublished authors on how to pith a novel to an editor. So many had wonderful story ideas but they were hidden behind layers of backstory and unnecessary information. I am thinking about doing a workshop on it next year as it is really amazing how the writers started to unlock their stories once they began brainstorming with each other. I have a book launch this week and a lot of training for the Winter Swimming Championships so it's going to be full on as usual!
The daffodils are popping up everywhere and the sun is shining so I'm off to take my girls for their walk. Polly really misses me when I'm away so I have to make it up to her with lots of attention.
Speaking of attention as I dashed out of the hotel to do a few mintues of shopping I stopped to talk to a young homeless man who was sitting on the corner of a busy intersection. I crouched down and asked him why he lived on the streets. It was so sad as he said he had no family, he didn't go into details over whether they had died or deserted him but I felt sad for him, he was much the same age as my boys. I read a report recently that said that up to 80% of Sydney's homeless people are suffering from a mental illness. I gave him some money but what I think is more important than dropping coins into a hat is to bend down and look these young people in the eye and express your concern that they have fallen on such hard times, even if in some cases it is self inflicted through drug use or alcohol. People are people and they each deserve to be treated with respect. I may never meet that young man again but I hope he remembers me as the one who took the time to talk to him and wish him well. Having someone, even if it is a perfect stranger express hope and belief in you is important. I went away and did my shopping but the whole time I thought about him, and who his mother was and whether she missed him.
Hug your children this week, no matter how difficult they might be.
Love Melanie xx

Hi Melanie
When i am in bed on a cold and wet night I often wonder how people who are on the streets manage to cope with the weather. I know that they may get assistance from places like the Salvation Army or
St Vincents, it must be hard for them not having a place that they can call home.
posted by Blogger Caroline : 7:28 PM

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