Caring for eight years had taken its toll. I visited Patricia in hospital but never saw her. They took me in for an Angiogram and discharged my wife. I was discharged on Christmas Eve and our family had Christmas together. Three weeks later Patricia passed away.
Losing my wife after fifty years of marriage was a huge blow and left me in a vacuum that seemed impossible to fill.
I was a published author who had not written a word or read a book for six years and felt like nothing was going to change.
I looked at bare walls for three months before my mind started ticking over. I was beginning to feel energetic again and even considered caring for others. Then I thought back to when the dementia took hold. I was 73 and writing with a passion that I found hard to believe.
I was 81 when I lost Patricia and going back to writing was a forlorn hope. However, I needed a purpose in life, and I remembered my tutor saying I should join the writer’s association in Pacific Fair. I was totally engrossed in writing at the time, and it never happened.
I found them at Fradgley Hall, Burleigh Heads and attended the monthly meeting. I was early and sat at the front desk on my own to observe the action. I was joined later by Rhonda Valentine-Dixon, who had driven from Brisbane, and next to me was her friend Bronwyn Holdsworth – good luck with ‘The Wizard’s Conscript’, Bronwyn. I wonder if they remember that day. I do because it was a turning point in my life.
We chatted about writing and family history and genealogy which is a pet subject of Rhonda’s. I can’t recall the presentation, only that Bronwyn asked me if I would be coming again, and I said yes. There was a nice feel about the meeting, and it was the members. We all speak the same language, meaning writing, and nothing has changed.
I decided that I had to join the committee and the Annual General Meeting was the following month. I started asking around for signatures and was directed to the Secretary, Beverley Streater, who passed me on to Luke Amery. Nobody knew anything about me, but I crashed the committee with twelve other members.
Date 16 November 2019. Start: 9.30 am (extra hour allocated to planning activity)
Venue Fradgley Hall, Burleigh
Welcome Marisa Parker, Kellie Cox, Jen Swenson, Beverley Streater, Jackie Moore, Kerri Yarsley, Luke Amery, Rebecca Torti, David Kay, Dominique Liongson, Ocean Reeve, Christine Betts, Kerry Pearmain
They were working on a big project, Gold Coast Writers Fair, and probably thought they needed extra help, so I was in luck.
At the first meeting I was asked the purpose of me being there. I told them the truth, ‘I am here to help you – to help me – to help you.’
I needed help to recover from my loss and to put something back in that was useful.
I have recovered and I am writing again, and I will continue to contribute in any way I can.
This has all been made possible because of the committee and the members just being there. We help each other.
FINDING MY WAY
I emerged from my writing slumber to the shock of advanced media communication. Alongside Facebook, authors were now using Twitter, Messenger, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Where did they come from? The Writers Fair fell by the wayside and with the advent of Covid, the committee changed dramatically. New skills had to be learned to communicate online.
I became involved in live Zoom sessions, photoshop presentations, making videos for YouTube, Podcasts for Anchor and writing blogs, not realising that my writing skills were being rejuvenated. My tutor said that I would keep going back to my writing tutorials and it was happening. I was reabsorbing 30 Lectures and Assignments (Lecture 12 is attached). There would be time to write later and the whole committee were experiencing the same transformation. The stalwarts stayed and others, just as talented, returned to give strength to the present-day dynamic committee. Membership is growing and the future looks bright.
I have moved close to my family in Brisbane, and I am missing the atmosphere of the monthly meetings. I am settled in Aveo Newstead high rise, and after the big upheaval, I am at last finding time to write. Books 1 and 2 have been refreshed and republished and both have won international awards. Book 3 has been added to with another 15000 words and is in the hands of the publisher with a new title, ‘The Secret Child’.
I am researching for Book 4, reading Kings in Grass Castles by Mary Durack, transportation of convicts and thoroughbred horses to WA, the Irish Finian movement, an offshoot of the IRA, and the history of the Spanish Monastery in New Norcia, WA, and stories of Aboriginal Dreamtime. The novel is set in 19th century Australia during the reign of Queen Victoria and there are my usual aspects of Fantasy with the title, ‘The Outback Messenger’.
THANK YOU GCWA
Best Wishes, David Kay
David studied genealogy in his retirement, and he passed a professional writing course at U3A Broadbeach. DNA ascertained his ancestors dated back to the Norse Viking immigration of the Lake District and this was the inspiration for his first fiction novel The Sword of Saint Isidores. Norse and Gypsy Mythology and English Folklore became a feature of his novels and ‘Why did you kill off Ragnarr?’ by annoyed readers led to the introduction of Viking reincarnation in books 2 and 3 of the series, ‘Circles of Time’.
Book 2 ‘The Ring of Mann’ introduces the clandestine monks of Furness Abbey, the investigative monks of the Knights Templar, and the rule of King Charles II, racehorses and Quakerism. Book 3 ‘The Inscription’ jumps to the 19th century and the early rule of Queen Victoria, but the lingering curse of Freydis is never far away.