14 March update:

I didn’t end up going to Sri Lanka in January. The timing wasn’t right and I was not where I wanted to be with the book at Christmas time, so I changed my trip to late April. Late April is now 5 weeks away.

ProgressMy head is swimming with all that I feel I need to do before I go – as I’m not where I want to be with the writing this book (still!).   I’m putting pressure on myself to have substantial parts of existing drafts, rewritten by the time I go. Is it realistic and feasible? Well yes, it is if I selfishly claim back my time and focus.

On Saturday in 5 weeks time, I’ll be sitting in a moderately priced, conveniently located hotel in Colombo recovering from my flight and contemplating a 14+ hour train ride to the cool, green hills of Haputale.

I’ll be spending a week with Bruno to do some fact-checking for the book as well as giving him some business mentoring, visiting some communities, getting blessings in temples and hiking through the tea plantations. I’ll spend a further week in the south of the country on a writing retreat.

Here’s a little update on where I’m at, just so you don’t think I’ve been slacking off since the last update.

  • I’ve drafted 24 chapters out of a planned 33 chapters plus prologue and epilogue.  I’m currently writing the prologue and in the process of re-editing the first 14 chapters – feeling that I need to get that right before laying down new content.
  • Content wise – areas of my life that I wasn’t intending to write about – I have started writing about and going far deeper into my life story than I first though I would.  I felt the need to include some of those events to give gravity and sense to my experiences. The book now spans 20 years, not 10!
  •  After exploring the editing process, I realise that I am not ready for it. My goal is to achieve a complete first draft by August 2015 and then see how I go.
  • I HAVE had the pleasure of reading 4 chapters to Geraldine Cox – because she’s in them. Her reaction was “it’s all true Sue – everything you say happened. Your story and the way you’ve written it is a book that I would buy and love to read.” – Thanks Mum, I’m very encouraged by that.

Sue and GC

One of the most challenging aspects to this writing project is managing my energy and time. My professional work as a marketing consultant in the area of mental health and private hospitals is incredibly demanding. I work on issues such as depression, anxiety, suicide, drug and substance abuse and post traumatic stress disorders. Not light or easy work by any stretch. However – some of these issues bring a different focus and relevance to my own story which includes some of those terrible afflictions above.

Switching from work mode – to writing mode is not so easy, nor is carving our precious time to focus on delving back into my history and articulating it. I will keep going though. I must, I have gone too far now to not achieve publication of this book.


I will be donating $200 raised over Candles for Community 2015 Christmas campaign and will also take over some of my cute Zulu Community bags for Bruno to sell. I already donated $200 to Fr Jeevanadas and with that he bought a student a pushbike!


3 tileI will be having a unique fundraiser for Accidental aid worker project on 21 June in Sydney and we will also be celebrating Geraldine’s 70th Birthday. Please connect with me if you would like to know more.

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