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Thursday, 27 April 2017

Thank Yous

Living is an uncompromising occupation at times. You often have to sift through mountains of detritus to find even the tiniest diamond chips. Sometimes, you get lucky. But more often you discover the hard way that fate is a capricious companion and good luck is never guaranteed.
 
Despite all this, I believe that good things do come to those who wait, and as the saying goes, better things come to those who work for them.

I've been one of the so-called lucky ones these past few months. Realising a dream come true has the tendency to inflate joy, rekindle hope and raise esteem. The release of The Fix-It Man, has done all that and more for me.
I want to say THANK YOU  to all those who have thanked me and Nicky Johnston for this book - for all the 'thank yous'. You have embraced our humble story with full and open hearts. Some degree of fan fare always surrounds any new book release. Ours was no exception. The groundswell of appreciation and positive reviews for The Fix-It Man has exceeded all expectations. Support like that is coveted and of course, cherished.

However, sometimes the most decisive moments of all, the ones that banish any doubt you may have harboured that your story failed to find its mark, the ones that validate every minute of hard work and every ounce of effort you expended to make your dream a reality, these moments often come after the main event is well and truly over.

Unsolicited reactions are the most telling and for me among the most precious of all. Responses like this one from June Perkins, published on her blog Pearlz Dreaming.







And this, from Shaye Wardrop, writer, reader and dreamer. Shaye has graciously permitted me to share her words with you because she hopes it will 'help others to see its beauty'.

Excerpt from Shaye Wardrop to Nicky Johnston and me about The Fix-It Man March 2017

I just have to tell you how much I adore The Fix-It Man.

I knew it was going to be good, but I wasn’t ready for how much I would connect with the words and illustrations, how much my heart would ache and then smile as I read it, and how much I would think about the story after I closed the cover.

My mother had cancer. I was a teenager when she passed away, but she was diagnosed when I was in primary school. Every word and illustration was so accurate, I was crying five pages in when I saw Mama watching the family from her chair with a scarf on her head.


The jumble of happiness mixed with sadness while Mama is sick tore at my heartstrings, and the little girl making tea and doing washing had my heart pounding, because I know how young kids often have to grow up fast when a parent is sick (washing was what I used to do to try and help).

But for me, the shining star of The Fix-It Man is the hope it offers. Hope that there can be smiles after tragedy and kids can find a new identity, a new place in the world, after losing someone they love.

It breaks my heart, but bad things do happen, often to very good people. And while not all kids have been through this exact experience, they may have lost a pet or grandparent or even a cherished toy, and I think acknowledging what loss and grief is for kids is such an amazing gift.


So thank you so much for bringing The Fix-It Man to the world. The wisdom and strength it will provide children is immeasurable.

I have not met Shaye personally yet nor have I known her long, but her words, shared with such raw honesty, will remain with me forever. 'Happy-sad tears'. That is what life is about, as uncompromising and incongruous as our emotions. 

Thank you for all your Thank Yous


4 comments:

Norah Colvin said...

Thank you for sharing these two wonderful responses to your book, Dimity. I could feel Shaye's pain, and understand how your story would be wonderful for discussing loss and grief with young children. It can be a difficult subject to broach or to know what to say in such circumstances. Three young nieces and nephews (10, 8 and 6) lost their mum (my sister) 22 years ago. How lovely it would have been to have had your book to share with them then. I get the impression from Shaye's response that it's never too late to do so.

DimbutNice said...

Oh Norah, I am so touched that to hear that and that it has meant something to you...and your family. No, nothing is ever too late.

Sandy Fussell said...

Love.

DimbutNice said...

:-) xxx