Update from Raphaela


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I received some devastating news last Friday. It came in the form of a group email, stating that my publisher had gone into receivership the previous Monday. I read and re-read the email, unable to take it in. I worked hard for two years, promoting my book and also planning eight further titles. The room spun as I tried to gather my thoughts. It meant that I wouldn’t receive royalties, and that the income I hoped to receive whilst home schooling my daughter wouldn’t be forthcoming. Life had to continue, even as I struggled to process what had occurred. I took my daughter to a friend’s home, as she was going to go to an ice-skating party with a bunch of girls. I didn’t talk about what had occurred. Instead this mum and I laughed about all manner of things until tears streamed from my eyes. It was such a release. I found it hard to leave and go back home to try to do the practical things necessary in this crisis.

On the Saturday, I attended a 40th birthday party for a courageous friend. I have watched her create a wonderful life for herself and her girls over the past eight years. It hasn’t been easy, but she has done it. There was a fire pit, and I sat mesmerized as the flames danced. I haven’t been sleeping since this occurred, feeling as though I am in limbo. I can’t do anything until the receiver’s get in touch and let the author’s know about their books. I am stunned that we were told in such a manner, and angry that the publisher didn’t live up to many parts of the contract. I had to trust that they would, as we have to do on many occasions. Trust a person’s word. Trust them on face value.

My daughter was asked if she could climb a glorious tree in a friend’s backyard and thread through lighting and mirror balls in preparation for a house-warming. She is an avid climber and had a ball helping out. I sat underneath this beautiful tree, and it reminded me of the one in The Magic Faraway Tree.

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The light shot out and changed colour every minute. It turned the tree into a kaleidoscope of luminescence. The kids chased each other and threw water balloons, and I listened to the band singing ‘Blackbird’ by The Beatles. At that particular moment, all was calm in my world. There were tears as I talked with friends, but there was also laughter. I feel the need to display to my daughter how one can bounce back from betrayal and disappointment. It helps to sit in a lush backyard with a beautiful community of people on a Spring evening. A galah joined us, and to our surprise, regaled us with a stream of profanities! It was perfect in its whimsy. I am so tired that I can’t think. I am so anxious that my stomach is in knots and my body is shaking. I feel a cacophony of emotions and dread the thought of starting again.

Start again I must, for there is a little girl watching; a child that I have to provide for. There are friends and magic trees and visiting galah’s with rude vocabularies. There is music and sunshine and giggling and water bombs.

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