In my early career as a family therapist I wrote exclusively for my colleagues, focusing on issues of clinical interest. But as I changed, gradually starting to look outside the therapeutic world into the world beyond, so too did my writing. Women of Substance (Allen and Unwin, 1998) about large and luscious women happy with their lot and The Crowded Nest (Lothian Books, 2006) about the challenges of adult children living on for longer in the family home, were both written with the wider public in mind.
I can pinpoint the exact moment when the direction of my writing changed forever. It was when I realised that individuals can make a difference. This happened one evening in June 2000 when I attended a lecture in a local hall with a friend and our kids. The speaker was a woman called Maude Barlow, who some years before had initiated a tiny community action group with a few friends in her Toronto living room. Within a relatively short time this small group had morphed into an immensely influential, Canada-wide community watchdog organisation. Maude was my age, we even looked a bit alike. I left the meeting ablaze, thinking: ‘If she can make a difference, why can't I?’ She was an organizer. I am a writer. So I knew what I had to do.
Below, you will find a cross-section of my writing, covering the arts, food, travel, the environment, and social justice. All links open in a new window.