There's a good bit of mileage in this line-up. Poet, story-gatherer, editor, publisher, content writer, logo creator, graphic designer, educator, librarian, writing workshop coordinator, spoken word artist, life coach, business partner, motivational presenter, parent, life-partner, sister, aunt, friend.... and after enlightenment, wash the car!
There's songlines, but not many straight lines. WordHarness, now with the creative events agency and the separate design studio underneath its umbrella, puts two sets of creative itineraries onto the same map for the future..
But looking back while thinking forward, and to give you a sense of the journey/s... here's the map of past:
- Before relocating to the Hunter, I was a decade with PeakXpression as a publisher & indie book distributor.
- With a diploma in library studies, I've been school library manager in four schools, both primary & secondary, running creative writing workshops in Byron Bay, Wanaka NZ, Cairns, & last year here at Cessnock, including adult, children & teenager groups.
- Having coordinated the adult education programme in Wanaka NZ, and presidented the Tropical Writers during the first years of the FNQ Writers Festival, I'm experienced (from holding-your-breath preparation through the exhilaration of attendee excitement) at event management, workshop facilitation and presentation.
- With a stint in advertising in Sydney in earlier heyday years, I developed a keen eye for graphic design and layout skills, along with focussed copywriting & confident client liaison. Skills that have served me well in publishing, content writing, and graphic design. And now put to good use for WordHarness.
- My original work experience was as a support worker in refuges - youth, drug & alcohol detox, general family - after training with Lifeline to work as a telephone counsellor. Having a practised commitment to mindfulness as a tool for living well, there's been a natural progression to mentoring and coaching. My kids say their athletic prowess - significant - is inherited from their dad, but what's between their ears is from their mum. I'll own that! (But of course it's not that black&white, their dad is wickedly creative too, and my own mother was walking ten kilometres a day till she passed away at 78.)
- Recently training as an educator for One Door Mental Health, I co-facilitated a module on suicide in 2016, & ran a 4-week carer support program 2017. This was an organic progression being a carer for a someone close to me.
- And of great joy, poetry has been a constant companion. I have three full collections published, with many pieces published in Australia & NZ, a set of YouTube spoken word video clips online recorded with backing by Kevin Lowther from Francis & The Shadow Girl, many live spoken word appearances, and a well-developed network of poets and writers who have walked the talk as well.
- This year, along with a strong & passionate cohort of central Hunter poets, I've been part of the Maitland City Council Poets in Cafes residency program, and coordinated the regular Crossing Live spoken word events as well at Kearsley. Love that poetry vibe!
No story of what I've done and who I've been would be complete without including what I'm most proud of: the raising of a son and a daughter who I love dearly, not for what they've accomplished - though this is, & continues to be, significant - but for who they are. But that can wait for another blog, another day...