by Kerry Tolson @kerrytolson.com
One of the things I absolutely love about being a part of a writing community is hearing and discovering the stories that dwell in the most unlikely places, and then having the privilege of watching those stories unfurl as the writer goes through the process of creating narrative, capturing the characters essence and building an image of place; bringing it altogether to be told and shared and to inspire. I feel incredibly blessed to be involved in a writers group with wonderful creative, talented writers of which one such author - Meg Heggen is not only accomplished but inspiring.
Meg is a biographer and memoirist; writing emotive, thought provoking, absorbing life stories of people who sometimes feel there is no story to tell.
Last night was the launch of Meg's latest book (her 10th I believe) -
which was launched at the Lismore Regional Gallery with a champagne-gala party, attended by an enormous crowd filling three rooms of the gallery. The launch of the book coincided with the first 'outing' of Chinoiserie Cabinet, Geoff Hannah's latest creation.
A world renowned artisan and craftsman of exquisite cabinets, Geoff Hannah is a Churchill Fellow who has met and mingled with Presidents, Prime Ministers, Queens and the art elite and yet, is more at home in his stubbies and work boots among the woodshavings of his workshop or driving bare-foot around Lismore in his little Mini Cooper.
When Meg approached Geoff some four years back about writing his biography, he discounted it as nothing to write. But everyone has a story, just waiting to be told, and although many of us don't think our private life is that interesting or relevant to our public persona - especially our childhood, there is the singular threads of day to day past-life and those around us, woven together that makes up the fabric of who we've become and what we present.
Meg gently weaves and knits together these threads of recollections, expressions of love, revelations of hurt and 'metaphorical shavings'* to present to us the living treasure that is Geoffrey Hannah - the baby who was relinquished by a widowed mother, the boy who hunted goannas, wrangled snakes and played among the sleepers and girders of the sawmill in Busby's Flat, to the renaissance man whose work is considered some of finest pieces of marquetry and cabinet-making in the world.
Just as in the creation of Geoff's cabinets which he singularly designs, hand-crafts and produces every part of the piece, so too did Meg Heggen in creating this book. Meg took a hands on approach to every part of the book, not just in writing, but in the design, typesetting and publishing of it through her publishing entity - Boyam Publishing.
Congratulations to Meg Heggen on what is sure to be a cracking good read that will both inspire and enthral the reader. And also congratulations to Geoffrey Hannah for bestowing upon us all, his beautiful artworks that make Australia proud and his inspiring life-story.
The book "Geoffrey Hannah: Never a less likely bloke" can be purchased through Amazon or by contacting Meg Heggen at firstname.lastname@example.org and for a time can be purchased also through the Lismore Regional Gallery.
*note: 'metaphorical shavings' is a description from the book.
No more ironing underpants