Guest Blog Wednesdays with… Colleen O’Grady

This week on Guest Blog Wednesdays at The Australian Bookshelf we are joined by Australian writer, Colleen O’Grady.

Welcome Colleen and thank you for getting your post together at such short notice!

A Writing Dilemma

The trouble I have with writing sometimes seems to overwhelm me. I have figured it out! It is easier to write fiction than it is to write someone’s biography including my own. The trouble is my Dad’s Story. That’s what I’ve called it. It is his story. I mean Dad was a famous man, a famous writer, a good old Aussie at large, the bearded old bastard from the bush he called himself.

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My Dad, WWII

The problem with writing his story, is writing from  his journals. Now he led an interesting life at times when he left journals, like towards the end of the war against the Japanese. But I find that all the good stuff I want to make sure I’ve got in his story, and find myself researching, seeking for tantalising bits of information that he only made a passing sentence to, and did not elaborate or give a thought to what his feelings were. A dilemma then. One particular subject that he made a passing mention of was to Major Bennett, a controversial figure that fledSingaporeinstead of surrendering to the Japanese as required by the British Commanding Officer at the time. An Australian faced the flak of the British. Bennet had to face a Royal Commission when the war ended. Indeed. Drastic measures. Now I ask you all, isn’t it an officers duty to do his best to escape from being a prisoner? Should I elaborate more of this man’s trials in Dad’s Story? What should this top Australian have done? I can’t help thinking of Weary Dunlop’s diaries of Changi and where two of my relations spent time during that war.

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My Dad and I, 1966

And in my own life record I have come across similar situations. How can one remain unbiased when one was reared on the bomb scare or a commo under every bed! What would the modern day youngsters think!

About Colleen O’Grady…

Well, I am a senior, a struggling writer though have completed a doctoral degree in my senior years. Due to circumstances beyond my control I am a late starter, though have often written poetry over the years and had a few published here and there. I am divorced (for many years) and have four grown sons and grandchildren. I currently live inQueensland, but callWestern Australiahome, I miss that state sometimes; the wildflowers, wide easy streets, highways and freeways that can lead either north or south to farms and bush, the great vast, wide open spaces that I love. Often I feel ‘hemmed in’ here – one can’t go cruising like inPerth, there are two many waterways, ducking and diving amongst thick traffic and the notorious gateway. Guess it’s all what we are used to, and here I seem to have better access to my O’Grady family and of course – writing!

The link to my blog is – http://sezogrady.blogspot.com/

I am interested in disasters, very much so, and any interesting news items, get posted on my blog, articles written by others, articles by me and poetry

 If you would like to feature on Guest Blog Wednesdays at The Australian Bookshelf- whether you are an author, reader, writer, blogger- drop me a line at jayne.fordham@live.com.au and tell me a bit about yourself.  Regards, Jayne.

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4 comments

  1. Sometimes it is hard to know how much information to include in a non-fiction story. You don’t want to spoon feed the reader every single detail, but at the same time you don’t want to short change them and leave them confused. I’m writing a travel memoir at the moment and keep coming up with the dilemma of how much background information to provide or whether to just stay in the moment and let the readers put the pieces together.

    It’s definately food for thought…

    Thanks for your guest post Colleen.
    Regards,
    Jayne

    Like

  2. Thanks Jayne, I don’t think I could tackle a travelogue for I would be wanting to put in all the geographical details wherever the traveller was going! All the best with it

    Like

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