Conquer the Tyranny of Distance

We enjoy travel to distant places for conferences and another presentations, right? (But in chilly winter weather, even the airport might feel an effort, after packing leads, adapters and remote–and clothes for anticipated weather.) Exciting presentations next month take me back to my roots. And I relish the prospect of reaching wider audiences through webinars.

Present from the comfort of your home or office

So why didn’t I explore webinars sooner? Thank you to my savvy co-presenter Bev Ryan for prompting these. Our first foray is Monday 10.30am. Or listen later at a lime that suits.
Info and registration

Ruth Bonetti-Webinar-16 JuneWrite or tell it now–before memories are lost

Writers of life stories sift truths from myths and reveal the black sheep and white – and those in the middle. They open closet doors to skeletons and shine light in dark places. What more precious gift to future generations than to write a family history or memoir? Do it now, before stories and insights are lost to the world.


Tribute to a fellow memoir writer

Last week Dr Pamela Davenport launched her memoir Searchlights, Slate Pencils and Searchlights: A Child’s War 1939–1954
As she taught me both Ancient and Modern History long ago, I knew it would be riveting to read. Her lessons opened my eyes, mind and imagination to a wider world. It was an honour to express some of the impact she made on my life, as historian, researcher, and teacher.
(Often we THINK our gratitude; let’s also EXPRESS it to those who inspired us.)

Imagine the thrill on my first visit to Rome when my bus turned a corner to– the Colosseum. Little wonder I lived seven years in Europe!

So vivid were Pamela’s lessons, that we felt to the marrow the sheer desecration of the Dark Ages.

Aleppo in Syria warns that Western civilisation teeters on the brink of similar decline. Will the Classical education that enriched my own Dark Ages of childhood and adolescence still be available to future generations?

What Pamela taught me

Pamela taught me to look below the surface of events; to wonder at the personalities and motivations of those involved.
(Not surprising that she and I share writing of memoir.)

Modern history intrigued me to understand world events and to envision my forebears’ roles in them. What drove them to emigrate?
(Australians are a nation of emigrants. We all grow from roots elsewhere.)
Letters told of settler battles and sucesses. I imagine how family back home grieved their loss, while accepting they left for a brighter future.

What history taught me

In this centenary of WW1 battles and armistice, how did families divided at either end of the globe view history from opposing prisms?
In 1918, people with foreign accents risked internment as “aliens” so my grandfather and his brother made lavish displays of patriotism.
Back home, their Finnish brother welcomed arms and training from the German “Huns” to help save Finland from Russian overlords.

Whether we write our stories or record aural history
“Telling Life Stories” is my first session in my birthplace, Hughenden, Western Queensland on July 3.

head west after presenting for Music Teachers Association in Townsville at the Alan Lane Memorial Weekend

There’s that memory-memorial–memoir link. For Alan Lane taught shy young Ruth Theory of Music. As she wrote in her memoir…

Back to my outback roots

What a metamorphosis has been my own journey from shy “bush” child to one who now enjoys communicating in public. From hillbilly music to Mozart. Schooling was through correspondence lessons– a far cry from the present School of Distance Education. Last year at Mt Isa Eisteddfodwe adjudicated young musicians over the airwaves!

Journeys-Finland-snow-to Outback-dust crop

On our sheep station outside Hughenden I played recorder to the poddy lambs.  Read how I surmounted technical challenges and culture shock in Sounds and Souls and also in the second part of my memoir Midnight Sun to Southern Cross. There I paid tribute to Dr Davenport and also my English teacher Mrs Bridgwood.
On July 3 I’ll present two sessions as guest of Hughenden Flinders Library:

  • Telling Life Stories
  • Journeys–from Finland snow to Outback dust


These link my own circles around the globe with those of inspiring forebears.

Off your beaten track?

Catch my WEBINAR  Writing Life Stories  on Monday June 18 at 10.30am.

Nature, Nurture–or neither?

In both Sounds and Souls and Midnight Sun, I explored the culture shock of an outback childhood. But…
Life’s journeys can take us to horizons way beyond our expectations.

In later decades I evolved from that shy ‘bush’ child who hid in the toilet block rather than face fearsome peers. I became an adult who welcomes platforms to reach out with words and music. When I now help people to confident performance of their words and music, I can say ‘The person you are now is
not who you will be in a decade or two or five. If I can conquer such shyness and fears, even welcome public performance, so can you.’
The outback child would run a mile at the prospect of speaking in public. Now she enjoys such opportunities.

How did that evolve? Midnight Sun to Southern Cross tells the story…And those of my inspiring forebears.

Time to write YOUR book?