One day, my friend Effie and I were standing in the lane way between our houses talking about what we had done at school that day. I was showing Effie a book I had written and illustrated. I was clearly excited about receiving lovely remarks from my teacher. Effie asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up? “A writer,” I said.
Forty years later, sitting in a café in Elsternwick, Effie retold this story to me and told me how incensed she was at the time as she wanted to be a writer herself. We laughed about this childish notion that friends could not desire the same thing. As we tried to cram 40 years of life into one lunch time, filling in the missed opportunity for friendship all those years, Effie was bursting to find out if I was still writing.
The truth was, I had gone on to fear both reading and writing throughout my school years and it took me until I was over forty to make peace with my desire to tell stories.