New Conversations

It’s the Queensland school holidays and I am able to sit down today and leisurely look over my new book that arrived recently. I called it Conversations with Strangers, the Art of Creativity and Connection. To hold it in my hands and feel the smooth matte finish is a wonder for me. Back when I turned 60, I decided to write this book. Now I am 63 and proud of its messages and completion.

2020 hasn’t been easy for many families. Cocooned up in my bubble with mountain and sea views, I am blessed to find the time to write in Mapleton. Retired and yet busy as ever, I sort through all my photos taken on my iPhone to include in this 162 page book.

Photographs that echo my travels, meeting different people spontaneously at train stations, in the French countryside and closer to home, Conversations is about connecting with that unknown person to see things differently. It’s about the energy and joy of those connections. How that has enabled my creativity and to expand my learning. To share this with others who might like to take a chance.

I wrote the book over months of hard work and drafting, and decided to seek out an author service in Alex Fullerton at Beerwah. Alex and her team worked alongside me, supporting, communicating and assisting me in my direction and goals. Their services provide typesetting, cover design, and setting up a printer account for me with Ingram Sparks. The latter sis something I have to manage and educate myself on as a platform to sell my books.

The editor from Auckland, Tanja was superb in her careful execution and mastery of word choices, structure and line editing, always a thinker and word player. After every edit, a sense of relief came over me as I knew that slowly, but surely I was getting closer to the end revision. Sylvie, who worked on the book design, communicated to me about the layout and font style etc. I showed her my ideas, colour choices and vision for the book, and she quietly brought this to life.

Of course, Covid hit and my panic set in with new Zoom meetings across to New Zealand. At all times the team were professional and tender, guiding me through the stages of my new book. It’s helpful when people encourage and believe in you and your work.

Conversations is divided up into 12 themes to show the reader how I have sparked up some dialogue with strangers. I always consider myself one to openly engage in other’s talk, or to ask questions. This creative energy helps me in many ways.

The gift of time spent at home in quarantine also allowed me to work harder in isolation. Twelve themes like travel, nature, empathy, loneliness, writing, art and more. Each has a personal story that I share, plus an inspirational quote or pull outs to reflect upon. At the end of the chapters, I have included questions to ask yourself and activities to try.

I believe the book is easy reading as you dip into whatever chapter appeals at the time. It has a universal flavour and suits mostly women from 25-75 years, yet men can gather meaningful ideas also from its themes. Poems are added to the mix too.

Even though at childhood we are taught not to talk to strangers, my experiences have shown me that new perspectives and valuable connections can come when you embrace new possible others along the way. My book is dedicated to my 4 children and it is my daughter who inspired me in the first place to make this happen. At its core, is the relationship we build with each other. It sells on Amazon and Book Depository, and you can check out my website, for further details. There will be a trailer ready for viewing on my website soon. The stranger factor is really not surprising. They are everywhere.


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September 25, 2020 at 2:33 am

Your theme in this new endeavour is just right for COVID times Margaret. It will be a thrill for so many people to encounter this new book of yours. Congratulations!

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September 25, 2020 at 5:00 am

Yes, in an unplanned way I think the themes are perfect for our global restrictions. Thanks Julieanne.

September 27, 2020 at 9:34 am

Another book to admire you for. Congratulations. It sounds wonderful and peaceful. Loved the little video and the music.

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    M.J. Gibbs
    October 12, 2020 at 9:03 pm

    Hi Joy, hope you find someone to talk to this week, perhaps in the shopping centre; someone who needs your smile and a short conversation.

M.J. Gibbs
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