Welcome to the blog of the Tasmanian branch of the Children's Book Council of Australia!

Friday 24 July 2020

I’ve lost my bookmark!

Join Tasmanian author and illustrator, Christina Booth, in a post that navigates the waters of a pandemic world to bring hope and inspiration to her fellow creators and consumers of story – we all have a story to share – but need to make sure we don’t lose our place in the process.

I’ve written about stories before. How important they are, how they bind us all together. Well, I haven’t changed my mind, I never will, but right now I believe they are more important than ever. Because the binding that stories do, will bind us back together, as groups and friends and communities but more so, as individuals.

We all seemed to have woken up in a dystopian novel. A strange science fiction world, a disaster movie world. We wait to wake up from this crazy existence, something story tellers have used to build their amazing and far-fetched stories on for many years, yet, in the blink of an eye, we are all wrapped between the covers of a book we can’t put down or even bookmark for a quick respite to a sunny holiday resort.

It has been difficult for everyone, more so for some. I, myself, moved house amidst all of this chaos to a new city with two adult children moving back home as well. It is still feeling quite surreal. So how do we keep ourselves together? How do we tell our stories when we feel that everyone is struggling with their own?

I suggest we do it as always, we pen them down, write a letter even if it is to ourselves for the future (I was asked the other day what would I warn my younger self of if I had the chance? I answered, “Just don’t get out of bed after March the 1st,  2020!”). We can tell our stories in whatever way we want. And in the future, who knows, these may become the amazing foundation for books and articles and reports, the beginning of a new age.

I wonder what you have all been doing to keep in touch with your fellow story tellers. Has Zoom zoomed into your life? Amazing, exhausting, and weird, but a life saver I must admit. I can cuppa with friends I couldn’t even see before the virus, but it has made us aware of the possibilities.

SCBWI East NewZealand: SA mini conference participants

SCBWI East NewZealand: Shaun Tan talking about process to participants

As an author, this I how I have kept in touch with other creators. Many Zoom meetings, even an online conference or two. There have been amazing short workshops and at the end of July, I am attending my first overseas SCBWI conference in LA!! And I don’t need a passport or a second mortgage to get there.

I have discovered that doing manuscript critiques are much more effective doing them face to digital face than writing up screeds of notes that can easily be misunderstood. A conversation about a story is so much more open to growth and evolution and understanding.

Christina Booth participating in the SCBWI Tasmania PitchFest 

I believe that stories are healing. Listen to others, reading stories that make us feel normal or allow us to escape the fear or drudgery or loneliness. I know that they can help us when we tell our stories and add them to the melting pot that will help others in return. Putting it out there can help lighten the load. Perhaps it is paint on paper, pen on iPad, poems in a notebook, a song discovered in the shower. All stories help to bind the damaged parts of our hearts and minds and souls. Even if we do not put them on public display, they are still important.

I wish you all the very best in your journey through this strange new world. Take care, stay safe, tell your story and enjoy the opportunities to listen to those of others. Laugh and cry and smile through it with each other.

Christina Booth
Tasmanian author and illustrator

W: https://www.christinabooth.com/

FB: Christina Booth Books https://www.facebook.com/Christina-Booth-Books-113682115389375

Speaker bookings: https://www.christinabooth.com/bookings.html

Editor's note: Christina has a strong web presence and her site is a great starting point to explore her books through the book trailers and readings she publishes online.

Are These Hen's Eggs book trailer

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