I have fond childhood memories of books - touching, reading, tracing my fingers over maps and illustrations. The musty smell of old books … the clean, crispness of new ones.
Books were an escape, a refuge, a place where imagination wasn’t only allowed, nurtured and encouraged but necessary.
And so the day came where I began to write my own stories. Even at a tender age, themes of mystery and intrigue took root. I was obsessed with C. S. Lewis’ world of Narnia, Russian fairytales and mythology.
I recently found a story I wrote at around age 9. Fittingly, it’s called “The Day of Courage”. Five children follow a strange man, discover a skeleton and unwittingly stumble upon a detective's investigation. I hear the formative influences in my words: Catholicism, darkness and redemption. My 9-year-old resolves these contrasting ideas:
"The detective said that if the skeleton had stayed there if would have haunted the warehouse but now it is buried, London's Field would now be in peace."
So let’s get the eye-rolling cliche out the way:
Writing chose me … (ugh, even typing the words elicits an audible cringe).
But no matter which way I slice it, that’s my reality.
Like many things in my life, I was dragged into writing, kicking and screaming. For decades, the Universe said, “OK, we can do this the easy way or hard way”.
“Hard, hard, hard!” came my plaintive refrain.
Until one day, I gave up. Seriously. Consciously. Hard sucks. Easy peasy is my mantra. The easier the better.
Now, I say 'no’ without flinching.
I say ‘yes’ to myself with a profound sense of joy.
I trust my instincts.
In 2013, I quit my job, sold everything I owned and bought a round-the-world fare.
And in the soil of uncertainty, something delicious began to bloom.
Do I still have moments of anxiety and doubt? Of course, I do. I’m human. But I don’t let these moments unravel, unhinge or take up ‘free rent’ in my head.
Writing - as with any creative gig - requires commitment. This is an ideal and action that has challenged me my whole life.
There have been moments where I resented the relentless, annoying voice in my head, urging me to write when my faith was lagging.
But now I accept it.
This is who I am.
This is what I do.
And it’s with pleasure and deep gratitude that I share and bare all with you.
Deleonora Abel is an Australian poet, novelist and screenwriter … as well as an intrepid nomad, yogini and astrologer.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and History from the University of New England and studied screenwriting at Bond University. Her work has been described as in the style of l’écriture feminine. Her confessional, stream of consciousness narrative is influenced by mythology, occult imagery and the cyclic, natural world.