I am sure many people, especially those late to our saga, wonder why I continue to publish, why I am editing my manuscript, why I don’t just give up now our personal battle is over and “get on with life”.
I’d like to share two experiences of the last 24 hours to help explain why I do this.
Yesterday another Australian commented on this site. A person who holds a very similar perspective to mine. So far it has taken her and her partner five years to get to the point they feel they can afford to battle the system. She wants to drive change.
This morning a woman in a shop asked me if I might be able to give some support to her sister, a woman fighting to have her husband and the father of her child granted a partner visa. I gave her the URL of this website and my email address, stressing I am not a migration agent. If nothing else, the poor woman may feel not so alone which is all her sister is seeking for her, from me.
One article I wrote early this year, about Form 888, has now passed 6,600 page views. Most readers don’t comment, but a few do, thanking me for providing information. As you can see the readership has gradually grown since January.
Another article, detailing exactly what certified copies are, is fast becoming a regular read as well.
I have marked up manuscripts back from two beta readers and am madly editing. 158 A4 pages (single spaced) is a lot of editing! Once this editing pass is done, the manuscript will be sent to the people mentioned in the book for their approval. I don’t anticipate any changes from them in relation to my depiction of them in the book, but one never knows! I’ve been surprised. I expected the editing process to be horrible, but it isn’t as bad as I envisaged. My beta readers haven’t slaughtered my efforts and while I expected to be hyper critical of myself, I find, so far at least, I didn’t do too bad a job to start with. That opinion may not last to the end of the edit!!
I have received valuable suggestions and feedback from published authors interested in our story. One person reading the manuscript at the moment is someone I am very excited about! I haven’t been sworn to secrecy or anything, but I will wait for permission before saying anything! Just this morning I had another published author offer to read through the manuscript for me.
The person who contacted me yesterday wrote, in part:
I would very much like to see a huge movement to change things, but this can’t happen until more Australians know how things are. This does have the potential to affect anybody these days, and if not people themselves then their children who are travelling more and more. I think if we started a campaign of information, getting stories published in newspapers and on current affairs programs, there would be a lot more outrage from everyday Australians.
I agree. I have often mentioned the increased mobility of the global population and the resulting increase in cross border marriages. What we DO see in the media is more often the sort of reporting I highlighted in Emotive reporting, perhaps? Negative beat-ups.
These are all reasons I do what I do, why I continue the work. I feel I am somewhat uniquely placed to highlight the flaws in the system, to highlight the pain and trauma we who dare love across borders go through. I hope I also manage to show, in some small way, that asylum seekers are real people.
Mr O hasn’t written another article, the children haven’t written for ages either. Life is busy! We are parents to four lively (I am a master of understatement sometimes) teenage children. We have jobs. We sometimes feel like ships passing in the night as it is!
I hope this update explains in part why I do what I do, why I continue, why I believe in our book.
Now if I could just get a damn synopsis down I’m happy with, the writing world would be a better place!