Nailing my niche...
I get such a kick out of writing... really, it's my drug of choice. I'm addicted. At the end of a writing session I feel I could run a marathon. I guess I'm making those 'feel-good' hormones that keep us coming back for more. For some it's running, for some it's flying or mountain-climbing… for me it's writing.
I've experimented a bit too, writing in different genres and for different audiences. But more and more I realise how my writing is a reflection of my deepest interests, and I see that most clearly in the reading that draws me. Finally I've started joining the dots. My favourite stories and their writers are:
- Year of Wonders - Geraldine Brooks
- Burial Rites - Hannah Kent
- People of the Book - Geraldine Brooks
- Caleb's Crossing - Geraldine Brooks
Epiphany... all historical fiction! There are also completely fictional stories set in actual historical events, especially wartime Europe, that are reading magnets for me...stories such as Anthony Doerr's All the Light We Cannot See, Jenna Blum's Those Who Save Us and Markus Zusak's The Book Thief.
It's not surprising that I'm beginning to understand myself as a writer. My most significant project - the one that has driven my writing from the beginning, that challenges me the most and haunts me every day to keep going, despite the obstacles - is also historical fiction. It's a story inspired by the events of WWII as seen through the eyes of the small child who would survive against the odds and who would grow up to become my mother.
Like so many global citizens, especially Australian and Balinese, I hope for and support a fair judicial system that aims to both respond to crimes with appropriate sentencing and protect the community from criminal behaviour.
The fight for clemency for those committed to the death sentence is not a contradiction to the idea of justice that is truly just. The contradiction occurs when officers of the law impose a death sentence as a way of demonstrating that murder or other heinous crimes are wrong.
In a fair society the community can expect nothing less than a sentence that is commensurate with the crime - this may mean a hefty jail sentence, even the rest of life. But we should never repeat evil in a bid to defeat it. Such a response only serves to reflect on our own lack of humanity, dignity and justice.
#istandformercy too, in appealing to the Indonesian authorities to abandon the death penalty and reclaim its standing as a humane, dignified and just society.
Photo by echiner1, Flickr; photo cropped
Keep hope alive...
So good to be in the city last night in support of Amnesty International's campaign to abandon the death penalty in jurisdictions where it still applies.
The crowd was enlightened by different speakers, including Supreme Court Justice Lex Lasry, who delivered some much needed wisdom around the issue. Speakers were measured in their messages, never losing sight of the gravity of crimes in the first place and the propriety of assigning custodial sentences, especially for heinous crimes. However, earnest reflection cannot but recognise the glaring moral contradiction of a judicial system that imposes death in the name of justice.
Not civilised and not justice.
Good to see so many gathered to support this important social justice issue.
And proud to be among them.